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  dell cases: folly of man? 
 
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Brian Vannostrand Mar 22, 2007, 03:56pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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anybody know of any drawbacks to gutting a Dell pc and putting the parts in a specialty case? would i run into any problems with the drive bays? specifically from a dimension e 521.

also, anyone know what would best safely, and easily, cut the aluminum side of this beast?
my dremel tool isnt strong enough and drilling sounds dangerous. one bend in the metal and its game over.

so in summary, i need to know if there would be any problems adapting Dell components to a new case, and how i can avoid destroying my current one.


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phil Mar 22, 2007, 05:58pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 22, 2007, 06:01pm EDT

 
>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
mod your case when its empty. and your Dell components *SHOULD fit in a standard ATX case.

cutting circles: bi-metal hole saw (drill)
cutting custom shapes: jigsaw (drill small hole in the middle of the area you want to cut out, then insert jigsaw blade into hole and start cutting.)

OR if you have the equipment or a fabrication shop :cool:
for steel cases a plasma cutter, or laser
for aluminum or steel water jet, cast press stamps/or punches
a better rotory ("dremmel") tool
die grinder

---
can't access HWA unless I use a proxy... lol

pfft ..f**k that! (almost sounds like work)
Darren Thomas Mar 22, 2007, 07:18pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?

Darren Thomas Mar 22, 2007, 07:23pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 22, 2007, 07:30pm EDT

 
>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
So what's the problem with the E521 Dell case then?

My sister ended up with a E521 Dell, despite my offers to build a comp for her. But I thought the case was ok, it's screwless and my sisters comp is silent.

With your talk of dremmels and drills am I right in thinking you can't open it up? I had no probs popping the side off and installing a tv card and it seemed pretty spacious and tidy inside too.


Brian Vannostrand Mar 22, 2007, 10:34pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
yea, its nice and when its brand new, it is silent, but it is kind oof non aesthetic and after you load a couiple of gigs of games on, it gets to a normal loudness. i never did think about that though. would it make it louder? can anyone reccomend a good, fairly cheap case with transparent panels?

Darren Thomas Mar 23, 2007, 07:30am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 23, 2007, 07:31am EDT

 
>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
yeah it's not the best looking case, but why do you need to cut the side panel? It comes apart like any other computer case.

Brian Vannostrand Mar 23, 2007, 05:33pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
i wanted to put a window in. ive never had a computr that i could see inside.

Donmeister Mar 23, 2007, 09:58pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
Yeah, but by the time you do all that cutting and stuff, especially if you don't have ways to laser cut the metal other than taking it to a fab shop, you might as well just spend the money on a new case. Mine was about $75 without PSU. But perhaps you're the kind that just likes the fun of turning something bland into something awesome. If that's the case, have fun!

Specs and components in profile...
Bitmap Mar 24, 2007, 12:27am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 24, 2007, 12:29am EDT

 
>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
Brian Vannostrand said:
anybody know of any drawbacks to gutting a Dell pc and putting the parts in a specialty case? would i run into any problems with the drive bays? specifically from a dimension e 521.

also, anyone know what would best safely, and easily, cut the aluminum side of this beast?
my dremel tool isnt strong enough and drilling sounds dangerous. one bend in the metal and its game over.

so in summary, i need to know if there would be any problems adapting Dell components to a new case, and how i can avoid destroying my current one.

The only problem you may have is with the motherboard. I know Dell uses their own mounting template for that, depending on the model. Other than that, I'm pretty sure you'll be okay.

As far as modifying your Dell's case, you're probably not going to find a replacement panel. If you have the tools, go for it, but otherwise, you'd probably be better off buying another case altogether.

________
"None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. YOU'RE locked up in here with ME." - Walter Kovacs, A.K.A. Rorschach.
Brian Vannostrand Mar 24, 2007, 01:46pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
yeah, thanks. i think im just going to get a cheap case and make it pretty :cool: i just hope to find a plastic one to cut easily.

Brian Vannostrand Mar 25, 2007, 03:55pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
ok, so i bought a case, have painted it, pinstriped to segway between colors, and am about to leave to get it airbrushed. next step will be to take it to a metal fabrication shop to get it cut. is it a bad idea to trust my computer to a shop? how much do you think it will cost?
thanks!

phil Mar 25, 2007, 04:13pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
well if you were around here, i'd do it for you for free, unfortunately, you're nowhere near me.. seeing how you've painted it already and depending on what kind of paint you've used, the price may vary... specifically, they could use a hand held plasma cutter and a lenght of angle as a straight guide, and it would take no more than 5mins (for a straight forward rectangle, or other no rounded shape).. and presumably, would be dirt cheap.

however, if you need a finished edge without heat damage, it would need to be mechanically cut(saw blade) , water jetted, or sink lasered,.. all of them being much more time and resource consuming in that order ... i wouldn't sink cut or water jet a steel case panel for less than $50, as it would easily take 1/2hr~1hr depending on shape and problems with paint.

---
can't access HWA unless I use a proxy... lol

pfft ..f**k that! (almost sounds like work)
Brian Vannostrand Mar 25, 2007, 11:28pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
would plasma cutting destroy my paintwork and possibly my case?

phil Mar 26, 2007, 12:07am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 26, 2007, 12:14am EDT

 
>> Re: Dell cases: folly of man?
it could due to the heat involved .. the worker would have to keep the steel panel cool enough not to wreck the paint, and depending on the paint and primer that you used, the heat could make the paint flake right off the whole side (anywhere that got too hot), if i were doing it i'd wet the panel in a non flashing cutting oil... IF the shop has a high quality unit, the arc should be clean enough to cut quickly through the panel and preventing too much heating of the remaining panel.

but just so you know, a plasma cutter uses an open arc which passes from a restrictive nozzle from an electrode to a grounded material to be cut (in this case your case side panel), the current + a gas (varies depending on unit and usage) creates a high temperature plasma arc that melts the material, the force of the gas is what pushes (or "cuts") the molten metal away.

so if the paint you've used needs curing time before being exposed to heat or chemical, give it the time required.. and when or if the panel is cut, care should be taken to make sure that the remaining panel stays cool, otherwise you'll need to touch it up, or install trim to hide burning.


to cut a painted panel, i'd prefer to stay mechanical, and use a saw drill a hole in the centre of what you want cut out then insert a jigsaw and cut out your window. .. just mask over the cut line so you dont scratch or chip you paint job.. draw your line to follow, and go to town. .. then peel off the masking tape and you're done! .. just adhere a piece of lexan (1/8" works good)

---
can't access HWA unless I use a proxy... lol

pfft ..f**k that! (almost sounds like work)

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