Step 3: Put in the Motherboard
Now theZotac ION ITX board is a very full featured motherboard for this project. It has everything from Dual Antenna Wi-Fi, HDMI-out, USB 3.0 Ports, a built in CPU, and is claimed to be fanless (more on this part later). However the most important aspect is that it has a external power supply, like a laptop. This gives us the room to beef up performance, reduce heat, and reduce the space needed in the case. When working with any of the electronics in the system make sure you are grounded by touching some metal and never work while on carpet as it can generate a static charge and risk messing up the boards.
Now instead of placing the mother board into the case and screwing it to the case itself, lets make a platform for it out of plexiglass. The primary reason for this is that I wanted the board to "float" and have as much air around the board as possible. So get out that plexiglass, measure the size of the motherboard, and cut out a piece of plexi that will cover the entire size of the motherboard's bottom. I used a radial arm saw to cut this out and was shocked that it didn't shatter it and cut it fairly well, just keep on the protective film on the plexi until all modifications to it are complete.
Now simply lay the board on top of the plexi, and using a marker, simply mark the holes where the motherboard will be bolted into it. Use your drill and make the mounting holes in the plexiglass.
Ok, now remember those nylon spacers from the material list? These are what separate the motherboard from the plexiglass to create that air flow for all around the board. So, lets mount the board to the plexi and lay it in place. This gives us an idea of where the motherboard will be in relation to the back panel that we have to cut out.