DIY a computer in a metal first aid box.
Happily using mac mac mini duo core for 4 year it was time for some performance upgrades.
Sadly the mac mini isn't that upgradeable yes you can upgrade ram and yes you can replace the hard drive.
But there's is no way you can fit in 4 full size harddisks.You can use external drive but then you're stuck with usb2. And no way you can upgrade the CPU it is soldered to the board :-(
So what's the alternative buying a new mac min and spent a 600€?
No because with low budget and some spare time a nice DIY project will come to the rescue.
In search of a nice solution I came across these low power boards based on the Intel j2900 the Asus Q2900.
With these nice specs:
-Intel® Quad-Core Pentium® Processor J2900
-Supports DDR3 1333 memory, 2 SO-DIMM slots
-1 PCIe 2.0 x1, 1 mini-PCIe
-Graphics Output Options : D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI
-Built-in Intel® 7th generation (Gen 7) graphics, DirectX 11.0, Pixel Shader 5.0
-7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec)
-2 SATA3, 2 SATA2, 4 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 2 Rear), 4 USB 2.0 (2 Front, 2 Rear)
With having selected the Q2900 some casing is needed to build the main board and the hard disks in.
Didn't considered using any default prefab computer case there's no fun in that! Oh please give me this golden Ikea feeling of doing something yourself :-)
So what casing will suit my need for world domination? (Love the marvel movies :0)
First I considered a wood casing. I used a wood case in the past but with that kind a casing I couldn't sleep worried if it would burn down the house.
And besides that, with wood the case must be tinfoiled to prevent alien abduction of course. Nooo that is to prevent glowing in the dark because of the radio waves coming of a electronic device running on Ghz's and also something with interference. So something metal will do the trick! After some search at webshops with household supplies. I came across a metal first aid box for only 15€.
So its time to cut some nasty holes in this puppy. I cut the holes with a dremel with a metal cutting blade.
At the bottom you can see the motherboard mounting screws. In the rear there's a hole with the io board super glued in it. So after some painting with white spray paint it's time to put the parts together.
To the left you can see the three hard disks. In the middle the fan and of course on the bottom the motherboard.
On both sides I made some ventilation inlets also in the bottom there are some ventilation holes.
In the middle of the black cross I fitted the on switch, on the right below the cross you can see the two little holes for the HD and power led.
The board is powered by a 90w picopsu with an external powersuply of 12v 80w.
So now it running for a couple of days with lubuntu and three disks for backup and media files.
The sound levels are nice and quiet, the system stays nice cool at the max 52 Celsius for the CPU running for two days.