• Design • Form
• For years I struggled with integrating traditional PC cases. I never had enough room at the back to plug my devices. Under my desk the tower was cramped, and every time I needed to service a component my heart sank, contemplating going back there. I usually couldn’t move the PC because of the abundance of cables prevented any rotating or tilting. I hated plugging in SATA drives or USB devices when I couldn’t see the port and I needed to guess it’s orientation.
• Design • Function
• A compact design was important. In consumer and industrial PC cases it’s rare to find a case that holds more than 8 hard drives. This case needed to hold 20 hard drives within the confines of a standard PC tower. Also, the case would only accommodate modern components. So no need for a DVD or BluRay drive.
• No screws were used in the core construction of the Oak Case Mod™. The main structural dowels are hidden from view, and the only hole necessary is for routing cables. I was inspired by the design principles of wood craftsmen that built their art such that the structure holds together by the design itself. In this way it could easily be taken apart without an tools.
• All ports needed to be easily accessible, including USB, SATA, Ethernet, audio cables, power, and internal cabling, hard drives, and motherboard. For this reason, the entire motherboard orientation is rotated 180⁰ from traditional case designs, so that all ports face the front.
• Design • Quiet
• The case design needed to be silent and cool. With a measured room temperature of 22°C all component temperatures are continually measured using Corsair Link:
- Hard drive • This open concept allows all components to ‘breath’. Each hard drive has their own fan – a Scythe Ita Kaze, spinning at 1,000rpm (rated at 14.5 dBA). Temperatures range between 30°C – 44°C.
- Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) • a Gigabyte Windforce GTX 770 video card is used, with fans spinning at 700 rpm to 800 rpm and maintaining a GPU temperature of 28°C – 40°C. During Cinema 4D rendering, the GPU fan spins at 1,200rpm to 1,400rpm with temperatures between 50°C – 52°C.
- Power supply • a Corsair HX1000i is the PSU, and it’s completely silent. The fan does not spin under standard working conditions,. Nor does it spin when the CPU is running at 100% utilization, when encoding 3D motion graphics or videos.
- Motherboard • Temperatures range between 26°C – 40°C. Under 100% load the motherboard ranges between 28°C – 60°C
- CPU cooling • This design accommodates a double length 280mm long CPU closed-loop water cooling radiator, ensuring that CPU cooling is maximized (without venturing into custom water-cooling territory). The Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H100i GTX is a CPU water cooler with its fans spinning between 1,000rpm and 1,300rpm. They maintain a CPU temperature between 36°C – 40°C (between all 4 cores) under normal working conditions. Under 100% load, CPU load temperatures range between 58°C and 64°C with the Hydro fan speeds from 1,100rpm to 2,000rpm.
• Design • Beautiful
• The reason for choosing Oak as a base material was inspired by my new company Euro Tech Startups where our motto is Creatively Inspiring Technology. I wanted to combine beauty and technological excellence in this Oak Case Mod™. The case also aesthetically matches my office desk, built out of 4cm thick solid walnut, and follows the same design principles. It’s all about merging art and technology.
Oak Case Mod™
If you missed the first part of this project, you can find the link here:
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