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My homemade computer case

October 15th, 2005 by Jim

Why did I build my own computer case?


Originally, I had not planned on building a case from scratch. I only wanted a portable computer to carry between my college and hometown, but found that laptops were outside of my price range. I shopped around on eBay looking for an affordable Dell Optiplex GX150 in a small form factor case (the smallest case Dell offered at the time), but was not having much luck. I eventually got “smart” and noticed I could buy a GX150 case + motherboard + PSU, all separately on eBay, for significantly less than a complete system. I still had the hard drive, memory, and everything else from my previous system, so this seemed like a good idea at the time.

Naturally, the plan failed miserably. I basically ended up with Dell parts that the various auctions claimed were from Optiplex GX150 systems, but none of the pieces would fit together. For example, the convenient snap-in motherboard did not fit the case, because the snap-in recipients were misaligned by approximately 1 inch. It would seem that Dell prototypes find their way onto eBay, and are unfortunately sold as if they are the real deal. Note: The case actually had a sticker that read “Do not remove from Dell. Not intended for resale.”

At this point, I was the depressed winner of three eBay auctions:

  1. Optiplex GX150 Small Form Factor case
  2. Optiplex GX150 Small Form Factor PSU
  3. Optiplex GX150 motherboard (included a Small Desktop case and matching PSU)

Note: The only components that fit were the ones bundled in auction 3. Auctions 1 and 2 were incompatible, and the motherboard from auction 3 did not fit the smaller case, like it should have. All of my research through hands on experience with retail Optiplex GX150 systems was completely contradicted!

So now what? I had many incompatible parts and nothing more portable than before. I suppose the only logical conclusion at the time was to build my own case… 😉 The end result was a completely “see-through” computer case, which received the name Lex because its chassis was primarily constructed out of LEXAN.

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Revision History

2005.10.15 Initial revision.

One Response to “My homemade computer case”

  1. d00d Says:

    make this into a DIY tutorial ?
    (do it yourself)