Black Computer Cases and other bits

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Nic Rhodes, Mar 11, 2001.

  1. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Black Computer Cases

    I have had a hunt around at home through the surplus PC stock, from old engineering experiments. I appears that I have virtually all the components I need, for a HCPC / HTPC to drive a CRT projector. This new PC would feed a separate processor AV on the audio side. It would need to be situated next to Hi-Fi and therefore I would like it to as unobtrusive and as quiet as possible.

    Ideally I want a horizontal style black case. Preferably one with a cover to hide the cream DVD drive / sound card from panel / 3.5 inch etc) Also sound benefits? This black horizontal box could then sit on a spare shelf on a Hi-Fi rack and just look like another black Hi-Fi box. Unfortunately I haven’t tracked down such a computer case yet. Can anyone help?

    I have found several suitable devices for sound proofing the PC to make it wisper quiet. If anyone has any personal suggestions /experiences on this I would be grateful.

    I plan to use a 550mhz Celeron for the decoding of the DVD. This appears to enough for general DVD decoding. When I looked at hardware decoding there appears to be some problems re de-interlacing. Therefore I have got dTV de-interlacing software. Can anyone give me an indication how much addition processing overhead this requires from the processor? Could I still do this on a 550Mhz Celeron?

    Many of you are experienced users of these devices now, it there are any simple pitfalls that I need to look out for, I would be grateful of any pointers now, before a build.

    Thanks for any help
     
  2. Jenz

    Jenz
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    Nic,

    I hunted high and low to find a black case. No joy there either. So if you find one let me know [​IMG]

    Quiet PC? Then its http://www.quietpc.com/index.html

    Regarding dTV you can reduce the pixel width and use many settings in the dTV.ini file to improve performance. My suggestion would be to try it and see. Does your motherboard allow an upgrade from the Celeron to a P3 in case the deinterlacing is not good? I've had it working well on a cheap P3 650E.



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  3. Jeff

    Jeff
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  4. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Jenz

    I have found vertical black cases but not horizontal ones. I have also found black Pioneer DVD players region free ones. One option would be to have a horizontal case, that I could spray black, that had a cover / flap over all the drives. But I haven't found one of those either!

    The one major component I am missing is a motherboard. This would be new (hence I could have P111). I haven't decided whether to use the old motherboard for the HCPC or the new one yet.

    I have already started communications with quietpc.com, where the ps, HD holder and chip fans would come from. It seems to be the best source in the UK.

    Thanks for input on dTV. I was thinking of putting some Celeon 633 in the new motherboard, so this would be close to your 650 P111. I always end up over clocking these thing anyway (950mhz 100mhz bus) but this time it is just that trade off between cooling and fan noise. I don't expect I can use my normal FEP / Alphas here.
     
  5. Ars longa, vita brevis

    Ars longa, vita brevis
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    if you can't find a horizontal case, many cd drives, dont know about dvd have clips so that towers can be mounted horizontally without the disc falling out.

    you could also spray the case black. This would be favourable as you will could buy a case for the qualitty and not the colour, it certainly won't damage it.

    Or you could go for a home made option, the table top PC with only the components and a power supply, without the case. This allows you to make your own case to whatever shape you like, components allowing, as long as you can cool it.

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    but got bored so it became some latin sh*t
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff
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    The spray paint gave me an idea, you could also spray paint the plastic front bits on floppy and CD/DVD drives. I can confirm that you can do this and get a very professional result, in fact it actually looks better than the real thing. You do need to get the right spray paint though because you want to get the same low sheen finish. The perfect spray paint for the job is Plasti-kote BBQ spray paint, available at B&Q.
     
  7. Ars longa, vita brevis

    Ars longa, vita brevis
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    did you strip the original paintwork? or spray over it, also can you get full width, i.e seperates width desktop cases?

    My major concern with it fitting in with other hifi kit is the actual fascia , most are brushed aluminium, whilst computer cases are plastic

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  8. Jeff

    Jeff
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    I think that spray painting a whole case might be a problem, it would be difficult to get the coat even. But on a small surface like a floppy or DVD drive fascia, there isn't a problem apart from the little led bit. I'm still searching for the perfect case. Here is what I want;

    Full width desktop metal case (black), about 13-15 CM high
    4 external 51/4" drive bays
    1 external 3/12" drive bay
    2-3 31/2 internal drive bays
    300W + power supply
    At least 3 PCI slots (+1 APG)
     
  9. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Ah allow me (used to airbrush lots of cheesy naked barbarian girl picture when I was a kid).

    Don't try and cover the entire thing in inch thick paint in one go. Smoothness is whats important. Try to get a nice smooth uniform coat and don't be heavy at all. Just gradually build up the paint. Your first coat should be very light and the subsequent coats just build it up. (let each coat dry fully) Also make sure you buy more paint than you think you need and if the can is running low switch to a full one before it empties midway through a coat. I'd personally use a large airbrush or a spraygun over an aerosol: much smoother and they shouldn't spit (with a bit of experience)
     
  10. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    I think www.overclockers.co.uk had black cases at one time ! and if they did not I know for sure that the computer fairs that seem to be on around the midlands area ( all run by same comapny but move around each week, they are in Telford about once a month ) have on sale cases of all colours and sizes !!

    The CELERON is also one of the easiest PCs to overclock and depending on your BIOS can be made even easier if you have a jumperless motherboard !

    One of the best motherboards at the moment is the KT7 RAID board and again a good basic bundle can be picked up from overclockers !

    One thing regaring quiet cooling that you could consider are the fan cards. These are installed into a PCI slot on your PC and dramatically cool the inside of your PC and make very little noise. They retail for about £10 each and if you put two or three in you should have very few heating problems !
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Right, this is what I have found out so far:

    I cannot find a horizontal standard black case in the UK.

    I have found case manufacturers in the UK who claim to do one. They are will to sell me 1000 through their representative but 1, forget it. A few overclocking firms will spray ordinary cases for you if you ask. I didn’t fancy this.

    Quiet PC have a picture of a horizontal black case on their web site but will not answer emails. This very nearly lost them an order.

    Several people do black cases, especially the overclocking specialists in the UK. I looked at lots of different designs but the nicest two I found were based in the states at the Digital connection in the states. The metal case looks awesome but this I might upgrade to later.
    http://www.digitalconnection.com/shopper_htpc.htm

    They do a modified black midi tower. I have done my own version by buying the case from an unknown outfit called squire international at
    http://www.squire.co.uk/


    They show the same slider black case. This has since disappeared from the web page. Oh dear....I have ordered a quiet power supply to go into it from quiet pc to achieve the same as Digital connection. Squire have still to acknowledge the order, let alone make a delivery. I have a funny feeling about this?

    Overclockers.co.uk have an excellent range of black components. The best I have seen in the uk. I have used them before. My experiences this time are identical. The goods when they come are good but any communication with them is a real pain. I am still waiting confirmation of order, or not. At this rate they will loose it. They cannot supply the black 3.5 inch floppy they advertise (but the digital connection can).

    I have bought a cheap black RF keyboard with built in mouse. It was cheap but I wish I held out for the AF Airboard 7100. I have found this a Stak trading but they wanted about £12 P and P which, I thought was taking the **** on a £27 keyboard. Does anyone else know who currently has them, I had no joy from the previous posting on the site.

    I think I have ordered a black CD and DVD players from overclockers. The Digital connection also do nice Toshiba and Teac black DVD / CD / CD R drives. They also do the snazzy black Teac floppy drive. I have not found it elsewhere in the UK. The Toshiba and Teac DVD players are supposed to be quieter than my Pioneer but I already use a Pioneer and know / like it. Sony also does a back CDR in the UK but it is not burn proof.

    Quiet fans, coolers and HD sound box have come from Quietpc to make this as quiet an unobtrusive as possible. I also fancy a zip drive. I plan a cheap internal here and do a bit of the spray painting. It is small and not easily seen behind the flap!

    I have decided to use IBM HD as they have a down loadable exe that can be used to optimise noise from the HDs.

    Currently my biggest problem is UK firms will not answer emails. I am therefore ordering from the states (not for the cost saving but because of the service). This is daft.

    Any thoughts / sugestions?


    [This message has been edited by Nic Rhodes (edited 28-03-2001).]
     
  12. GaryG

    GaryG
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    Nic

    I imported the Digital Connection hydraulic black case, along with some other bits and pieces, got stung on the import duty though, a $400 order set me back about £380. Also I was supposed to get a free copy of PowerDVD in the order, never saw it, despite a number of emails asking what had happened to it (emails never got a reply).

    Regards
    Gary
     
  13. Ars longa, vita brevis

    Ars longa, vita brevis
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    if you're willing to accept a midi tower either standing up or on its side, look for a cooler master case, available in many brushed aluminium finishes, well about three, have a look at www.coolermaster.com , products and have a look at the cases
    here's an example
    http://www.dabs.com/images/products/915/772-915-0010.jpg
    http://www.coolermaster.com/products/atc/atcs/atc200.jpg
    http://www.coolermaster.com/products/atc/atcs/atc100.jpg

    you'd be best going there yourself, and...they're quite expensive, circa £260 plus from dabs.


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