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An all-in-one pc built inside a briefcase and mounted to a monitor using the Vesa mounting holes. The original plan was to build a laptop into the case but wanted more power and a larger monitor. When doing research online, few people have built such a computer and the term luggable PC was sometimes used.

This was not a simple project and took weeks of planning, ordering, knowledge of PC building and electricity. Do not attempt this unless you have experience building computers and are familiar with electricity.

Safety:

  • Use safety glasses and other safety practices when cutting holes.
  • we careful of static, static can damage electrical components.

Step 1: Case, Parts and Tools.

Briefcase:

Purchased at Harbor Freight. I first thought it was a thin walled pure aluminium case, I should have known better. It is actually pressed wood with aluminum foil glued on the surface. I discovered this after removing the foam lining. Wall thickness is around 3/16". Outside dims: 18" x 6" x 13"

Monitor:

A monitor manufactured by I-INC was used. It sits on a solid base and has VESA mounting holes on the back.


Tools:

  • Cordless drill,
  • Coping saw
  • Dremel Tool with 565 attachment (Comes woth bits). Amazon
  • Measuring Tape
  • Drill and Tap for #6-32 threads (used to make threaded holes for mounting components).
  • Marker


Parts:

  • Aluminum flat bars (to strengthen wooden briefcase)
  • 120 mm fan guards
  • 80 mm fan guards
  • wires (for power switch)
  • power switch Amazon


Hardware:

  • #6-32 assorted length screws (standard size for mounting computer components) I purchased more than was needed at many different lengths. (Ace Hardware)
  • #6-32 Nuts, washers, lock nuts and lock washers. Again, purchased more than was needed so I didn't run out. (Ace Hardware)
  • #6-32 standoffs (Amazon) For mounting motherboard.
  • #10-16 x 1/2 Self drilling screws (Ace Hardware) for mounting case fans qty: 20
  • M6 x14mm screws, M6 washers, aluminum spacers (ID wide enough for screws) (Ace Hardware) Qty: 4 Each

Step 2: PC Components.

I won't go into details about the parts I picked, the possibilities here are endless. See details at PCPartpicker.com https://pcpartpicker.com/b/nd3Ff7

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core

MOTHERBOARD: Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 Micro ATX AM3+

MEMORY: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600

STORAGE : Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM

VIDEO CARD: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB {The current fastest half-height graphics card}

POWER SUPPLY : Rosewill Stallion 400W ATX

CASE FAN: 2X Rosewill ROCF-13001 38.2 CFM 120mm & 3X 80mm fans (APEVIA AF58S-BK 80mm)


Speakers were removed from a free pair of USB speakers. Discovered after assembly that the monitor already has speakers. USB speakers sound better.

Step 3: General Layout and Placement

Before making any cuts, the general placement of the components need to be determined. Using AutoCAD a drew hole locations for the fans and hard drive. After determining where everything was to be located, holes were drilled for mounting the case to my monitor.

Aluminum bars were mounted to the case to add additional strength to case and provide better airflow behind the motherboard. Using the #6-32 tap, threaded holes were added to mount the motherboard standoffs. Much care was taken to make sure all holes lined up to the motherboard.

Step 4: Cutting Holes

Holes were marked for Power Supply, Fans, and motherboard I/O Ports, and PC slots.Then cut using the Dremel with 565 attachment. Additional holes added behind the hard drive and motherboard. Research indicated that negative pressure is better at cooling with an active cooling GPU unit. So more fans blowing out than blowing in. This will also draw air in through the extra holes and reduce dead air pockets.

After cutting holes, holes were sanded to remove loose debris and the inside and outside were cleaned to remove dust.

Most of the holes were marked using the actual component. I can not provide actual hole dimensions.

Step 5: Components Mounted

First the case was mounted to the monitor. spacers were placed between to allow airflow.

Components were mounted. this was very straightforward at this point except for the GPU. The GPU could not be installed while the motherboard was installed, not enough clearance above the PCI slot. A custom PCI was needed, see next step. The hard drive was mounted on spacers to provide airflow behind it.

#6 screws for mounting pc components.
M6 screws for mounting monitor.
#10-16 screws for mounting fans with guards.

Locknuts or lock washers on all parts to keep them secure. PC will be moved frequently,so screws need to stay tight.

Step 6: GPU Bracket.

To secure the GPU PCI bracket, a custom bracket was cut from aluminum with a coping saw. #6-13 threaded holes were cut to secure the card. bracket was attached with #6 screws and washers and locknuts.

Step 7: Additional Ports and Power Button

A pci USB bracket was installed into the case lid for easy access USB 2.0 ports. The power switch was wired to the power pins and power LED pins on the motherboard. These should be industry standard pins, but check the motherboard owners manual.

Step 8: Power on and Test

Powered it on, the system was actually tested and the OS was installed before final assembly. It booted without a problem. Ran several benchmarks and used Open-Hardware-Monitor to monitor the temperatures while running tests. The benchmarks performed lower than I expected, but it runs Metro Last Light on high settings with no problems. The temperatures are slightly high, but I believe they are within safe limits.

A piece of aluminum had to be wedged into the motherboard base to prevent it from leaning back and falling over.

Overall, it was fun to build.

I'll try to answer any questions in the comments.

Nice project! U know you could buu a laptop ;p
<p>If you use laptops only for see emails, I agree.</p><p>I have been user of laptops all my life and they are troublesome for heat management and high end subsystems (as graphics) are expensive and poor performance. Nothing compared with a desktop.</p><p>Additionally, you can NOT add any except memory and external devices, some of them admit an unnecessary secondary HD.</p><p>Having a portable reliable and fast desktop is interesting for engineers (I am one of them), armed forces (they have own desk top portable designs) and gamers. Unfortunately there is nothing commercially in the market.</p>
<p>Most laptops have fairly mediocre graphics subsystems. You can get high-end graphics in laptops it's gonna co$t ya. Also, most laptops are proprietary in design, while this uses more common architecture and can be more easily upgraded or repaired. The trade-off, of course, is the bulk and limited portability, and obviously this is somewhat more purpose-specific.</p>
You should use SSDs
<p>Nice design. I really like that you used a brief case housing.</p>

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