My All-in-one PC

I have a gaming PC. Well, a “gaming” PC, since the average PC gamer wouldn't consider it very good. An FX-6350 processor and an R9 280x graphics card, with 16GB of DDR3 RAM. It was a decent computer back in 2013, but became outclassed very quickly. I don't mind, because I find myself playing old and indie games more anyway.

Young me thought he could get away with not buying a case, and sticking the whole thing in a cabinet. That has worked for all this time, but it sticks out a bit and I'm sure I can do better. I don't have many materials at hand, but I have a lot of free time and that's good enough.

I managed to get a PC gaming friend to hook me up with an old chassis. Apparently it used to be a Corsair something, but it's impossible to tell. It's missing the on/off buttons, the plastic shrouds and the side panels. All the metal mesh protecting the top is gone too. At least it still has those drawer things for the hard drives. It's a start, at least.

I dug out some scrap wooden fibreboard panels from years ago, and cut them to fit inside the holes in the front and top of the case. I painted them light gray, because that is the only colour I have available. They friction-fit into the case nicely and provide protection from dust, and that's good enough for me.

For the power switch, I found an old push button and a nice sounding SPST switch. I soldered them in series and used a wire wrap tool to connect them to the motherboard. The way it's set up you have to flip the switch to on to get any response from the power button. As someone who has accidentally pressed power buttons in the past, this is a nice improvement.

As I worked on my frankencase I had a strange stroke of inspiration. “Stick your tiny server in the computer case!”, a small voice cried. “There's plenty of space for it in the optical drive bay.”. My home server is an Odroid C2 connected by USB to a 1TB hard drive. It syncs my documents between systems, and handles any weird server experiments I decide on. It's also missing a case, and there's nothing to lose by doing so, so I superglued motherboard standoffs into the optical drive bay and mounted the computer there. I housed it's hard drive in one of the hard drive bays. The cable management required to do this was tricky, but I managed to fit everything inside without it looking like an abomination.

Next thing I know the Ethernet switch that connects all the devices in my room was now zip-tied to the top. Next to it there is now a Nintendo Switch dock, which I decided against gluing down because those are expensive. My frankencomputer entertainment monstrosity is now complete, and that's only because I can't fit my PS4 in there. Each individual component turns on without catching fire. Thermals are good enough, because the side panel is missing. It's a crime against nature, but it's my crime against nature and I love it.