The PC Building Thread


Remember that Terry Cruz video I shared a while back? Here is what the PC looks like.


I have recently bought a UHD 4K Asus gaming monitor. 28" screen. It’s the best one out there.


So I built my first PC in like 20 years… and well, I think it went well, except for screwing up the USB3 case connectors on the motherboard. At least if I need to use them, I can just get an add-on card to provide them.


I’m really curious how the USB3 mobo connector can get messed up.


I bent and broke pins in it. Might be partly due to doing it without the best lighting and being somewhat tired at the time… plus the plug from my case to the mobo connector was a very tight fit, and I’m not sure if that’s common for all cases or just this particular one. Again, it’s been 20 or so years since I’ve done this.


Yeah, some of the USB3 headers are kind of fragile, and the plug is bulky. It’s not a good design. The header for 3.1/C is much better, but my new high end build is the first time I’ve even seen it on a board.

Also holy shit I’m glad I built this new machine. My work is really disk IO limited. Traditionally we have an SSD or RAID for the OS, a second one for scratch / db and a hard drive for drive images. I threw everything on a single NVME 960 Pro SSD and reprocessed a job from last week. The first time took 8.5 hours to process and 9 to index. This time took 11 minutes to process and 2 hours to index.


Thanks to solving my blue screen problems with that bad old SSD, I don’t think I need a new PC. I thought I might because editing 4k video is a pain, and I’m doing it more often these days. Then I figured out how to generate and use proxy files properly. Since I’m gaming on the Switch mostly these days, and the hottest new PC game I’m into is Strafe, I don’t foresee any new PC buying for another year or two. All my previous PCs lasted about 5 years. This one is at 5 years now. Let’s go for 6 or 7!


I had a similar problem with the USB 3 header in a PC I put together for a coworker. It didn’t seem to be seated right so I went to pull it out and reseat it and it pulled the plastic bit surrounding the pins with it even though I had pressed the release tab. Just super tight I guess. Pins weren’t damaged somehow so I plugged the front panel cable onto the pins and it worked perfectly.


Yeah, sounds exactly like what happened to me here… It’s not the end of the world as I don’t have many USB 3 devices yet and I still have some ports on the back of the mobo and built-in hubs on my keyboard and monitor, so I should be okay for the time being.


If it happens again, I think I should probably just get one of these:


So, I’ve been trying to get some practice with woodworking and I think I’m gonna try and build a PC case. Is there any reason a wood pc case would be a bad idea?


I have seen plenty of wooden PC cases in my day. You can make a case out of anything. As long as it is the right shape and size, it is all good.

There are going to be some concerns, but they are so minor. Like, the wood could change shape and warp over time if it’s not the best wood. Maybe because it’s wood it will insulate and keep in heat more than a thin sheet of aluminium does. Or maybe it won’t provide as much electromagnetic shielding as a metal case. None of these are going to be significant enough that you will ever notice during the life of the PC.


I’m actually thinking about doing one out of laser cut acrylic and maybe wood inlay, since I’m probably going for mATX this build, but I want it to be as compact as possible.


Heat is just a problem of airflow and the thickness of wood I’d be using (probably 3/4" on the outside, 1/4-1/2" for inside plates) would be too thick to warp.

Yeah, I think I might do it.


That sounds super awesome. Do it! Pictures when you’re done!


I wonder if there’s a practical RF concern for having an unshielded computer.


Yeah, no computer case is a Faraday cage. You’ve got HUGE holes in them at the 5.5 inch bays and then at the IO panel in back it’s completely exposed. Besides, now cases are being made entirely of tempered glass and such. Some motherboards actually have Bluetooth built in so it’s not like the motherboard manufacturers are expecting RF isolation.


Definitely go wood. Wood would be dope.

I’m still planning to make an aluminum custom case, but I’ve gotta have a working machine in order to use CAD, so I just went with a $100 NZXT as a stop-gap and I’m pretty happy with it. It looks good with the tempered glass and LED lights.


While you are correct that cases are not perfectly shielded, you are not right about the Bluetooth. Typically when Bluetooth is built into the mb, there is a tiny antenna/dongle on the rear near the USB ports so it will stick out of the case.


[quote=“VictorFrost, post:51, topic:327, full:true”]
So, I’ve been trying to get some practice with woodworking and I think I’m gonna try and build a PC case. Is there any reason a wood pc case would be a bad idea?
[/quote]I’d recommend you use the steel frame from a regular case, and then hang the wood off that. It’s got extra strength to make the thing, and saves you the trouble of making the actual chassis, let alone making it comparable with any modern hardware.