Introduction: Cyberpunk Themed Briefcase Computer
Originally, I used to own a gaming laptop; it cost more than I thought it was worth considering its specifications. Being a laptop, when it wasn’t plugged in, it would lower the amount of power the components would draw in order to conserve battery life. Of course, this would cause a significant performance hit when gaming. So, I almost never used it away from a power outlet for the few years that I owned it. On top of that, its keyboard stopped working after little over a year without any obvious explanation. I had babied the thing. I had always kept the screen clean and would never place food or drink on the same table as the laptop. Anyway, the cost to replace the keyboard was over $250. I thought this was ridiculous. So, I thought it would be great to make a portable desktop computer that used cheaper desktop components. I also found appeal in the idea that I could upgrade the PC indefinitely with standard desktop components. Bear in mind that this intractable is a rough guide. Please don’t follow it to the letter. I’ll walk you through my process, the parts I used, and a few recommendations for Improving upon my build. This is a first attempt prototype. I’m already in the process of making a revision with an improvement to the design.
Flexible PCI-E Rizer Cable 16x (EZDIY-FAB PCI Express 16x 20cm 90 degrees fit for FD R6 Case)
15.6 Inch USB Powered Portable Monitor ( Cocopar 15.6” Portable Monitor Matte)
power button (Warmstor 2 Pack Desktop Computer Case Motherboard Power Switch 2 Pack)
fan splitter 4 pin (Noctua NA-SYC1 4 pin Y-Cable 2 Pack)
hdmi cable of appropriate length
M.2 NVME SSD (500gb samsung 970 evo)
2x 120mm Case Fans (EZDIY-FAB 120mm PWM Purple LED Case Fans 3 Pack)
SFX form factor Power Supply (evga SuperNOVA 550 GM 80 Plus Gold)
Mini ITX Motherboard (MSI B450I gaming AC wifi motherboard)
CPU (Ryzen 2700 non x 200)
low profile CPU cooler (noctua cpu cooler NH-L9a-AM4)
Memory Pair (corsair vengeance 32gb)
Double Slot Video Card under 8” in length (evga 3060XC)
Keyboard (eagletec KG011 mechanical keyboard)
RGB LED Strip 3ft
LED Strip Connector Kit (NIAVIKA LED Light Strip Connector Kit for 5050 RGB LED 4 Pin)
Electric Hand Drill with Assorted Drill Sizes
105mm 4 1/8” Circular Saw Drill Bit
Dremmel with Basic Tip Kit
Jigsaw with Blades for wood and metal
1/2” plywood 9” x 14” (monitor mount)
½” Plywood 18” 14” (Base Board Insert)
½” Plywood cut to produce two 3” x 5” pieces (Reinforcement pieces)
¼” plywood 20” x 4” (IO Shield)
¼” poly carbonate or similar material 20” x 9” (Holds Fans)
¾” Aluminum Angle Stock cut to produce two 5” pieces (Holds wooden Reinforcement Pieces)
¾” Aluminum Angle Stock Cut to a 9” piece (magnet holder)
½” Aluminum Angle Stock Cut to produce two 5” pieces (left and right lower poly carbonate support)
½” Aluminum Angle Stock Cut to a 12” Piece (rear lower poly carbonate support)
Aluminum Trim Channel for ¼” plywood cut to a 12” piece (rear upper poly carbonate support)
¼” square aluminum bar stock cut to a 12” piece ( left and right upper poly carbonate support)
½” solid wood or plastic cut to produce two 4 ¼” x 7/8” pieces (support and spacer for video card)
Small pull ties
Magnetic tape 1/8” (Kraftex)
8x brass standoffs (for motherboard mount)
4x motherboard screws (fastening motherboard to standoffs)
4x #6-32 x 3/8” machine screws pan head *use washers for spacing* (mounting power supply)
8x #6 ½” sheet metal screws pan head (front lower aluminum support brackets attached to baseboard)
8x #6-32 ½” machine screws Phillips flat head *include hex heads*( securing magnets to holder and keyboard)
6x #6 x ¾” sheet metal screws pan head (2x secures magnet holder to front lower support brackets and 4x adds reinforcement to handle area from the exterior into the front lower wood supports)
11x #6-32 x ½” machine screws pan head *include 7 hex heads*(for aluminum pieces that support the poly carbonate)
8x #10 x 1” sheet metal screws pan head (for securing fans to the poly carbonate)
4x #8 1 ¼” machine screws pan head *include 4 hex heads* (will secure the base board to the case)
4x 1 ¼” exterior construction screw (securing gpu support to the baseboard)
4x machine screws pan head 3/8" long (used for attaching wood
monitor mount to the vesa mount on the monitor)
4x machine screws pan head between 5/8" and 6/8" long *include 4 hex heads (used for securing wood monitor mount to the top part of the case)
Step 1: Building the Base Board
The first step that I took in making this briefcase PC was to measure and cut the base board to fit the inner contour of the bottom of the case. This will of course vary from case to case. Using the Board measurements, I planned out the arrangement of components with consideration to vertical and horizontal dimensions to ensure everything would fit and function properly. Next, I measured out and drilled holes of appropriate size all the way through the base board. I then filled the holes with wood glue before inserting the 4 standoffs. I added additional wood glue to the back of the standoff for extra material strength. I proceeded to screw in the other 4 standoffs into the already glued ones. This would serve to appropriately elevate the motherboard from the base board.
Next, I drilled two small holes through both of the 4 1/8" long wood or plastic pieces. Then, I drilled two more holes through them. I used the exterior construction screws to secure the pieces of wood to the baseboard. I made sure they were recessed into the wood. I proceeded to drill 4 more holes this time through the baseboard and the case. I used the 1 1/4" machine screws with hex heads to secure the board to the case. Then I primed and painted the board.
I then cut a rectangular hole through the left side of the case using the hand drill and then the jigsaw to make room for the power supply to ensure their was adequate air flow. I measured it out carefully and drilled 4 small holes for the #6-32 x 3/8" machine screws to hold the power supply in place.
See pictures for details. Notice I used a small piece of
Step 2: Fan Mount
Using a drill, I drilled 4 holes on the left and right side of the case. These will hold the ½”aluminum angle stock and the 1/4" square bar stock that will secure the piece of poly carbonate. I also drilled 3 holes on the rear to hold a 12" piece of 1/2" aluminum angle stock glued to the aluminum trim channel piece with epoxy. This acted as the rear support for the poly carbonate. Upon cutting the poly carbonate to size, I drilled two large 105mm holes and 4 small holes around each where the fans would be mounted. I used long #10 1" sheet metal screws for this. One fan would be the intake and the other the exhaust. I then cut out a small portion of the poly carbonate and glued the power button in place with epoxy. Also, I added a small amount of electrical tape were the poly carbonate would contact the aluminum supports to ensure a snug fit as well as to eliminate scratches. See pictures for details
Step 3: Adding GPU, PSU, and Motherboard
Next, I fastened the GPU to the two wood blocks using small pull ties that run through opening on the backplate and the small holes in the wood blocks (I also used electrical tape for protection and grip). I wanted to make sure there was even support. Then I mounted the power supply in place over the rectangular hole cut with the jigsaw using the mentioned #6-32 x 3/8" machine screws. I also used a thin wooden piece to act as a spacer for the power supply so I wouldn't have to cut through the aluminum. You're mileage will vary depending on the case you're using. Ensure you use washers for spacing to ensure the screws only go in as far as they need to. I used 3 for each screw. Finally, I mounted the motherboard as you would in any case to the 4 standoffs.
Step 4: Structure
The next step should be self explanatory from the images. I used the pieces of aluminum to secure the wood supports to the base board. I also have screws running from the outside of the case to add further strength to the handle area. Another aluminum piece is used to hold the magnet and serve as a magnetic support system for the keyboard. These sections that are created from this support system are intended to be used as storage for mouse, flash drives, etc...
Step 5: Keyboard
I used this particular keyboard for aesthetic purposes. I would recommend using a shorter one that allows you to use a piece of polycarbonate that covers the entire rear PC component section. I opened the keyboard and re positioned the wire off to the size for ease of use. You should probably use a wireless one if you can. It will make the computer easier to use. Also, used screws to secure the other part of the magnet system to hold the keyboard securly in place when carrying the computer around.
Step 6: Mounting the Monitor
I used a board to distribute the weight stress on the case caused by the monitor. The monitor mounts to the board. The board mounts to the case with screws that are spread further apart. Before mounting, I added an RGB LED light strip for back lighting. This color changing is controlled via MSI software available on their website.
Step 7: Conclusion
Overall, I'm pleased with how it turned out despite its weight. However, I intend to make a lighter and more compact version using a case made from scratch using all 90 degree angles. It will still use readily available desktop components of course. I also plan to design these builds using Tinkercard instead of pencil and paper. I'm considering making 2 versions. The first will be thinner than this one but will contain a full size 24" display. The second will be thin as well but will use a 15.6" display. However, it will use a significantly smaller keyboard and will use integrated graphics instead of a discrete GPU. The last thing I forgot to mention is the clear vinyl sticker. You should add whatever you like. I added this Cyberpunk decal to fit with the aesthetic I was going for. This is for demonstration purposes only. I do not take credit for the artwork. This instructable was my first one. I would have preferred to have added more detail but I ran short on time. I apologize that I couldn't have gone into more detail. Please ask any questions you have.
Step 8: Thermals and Benchmarks
I used Unigene Superposition to benchmark the GPU and Prime 95 for the CPU
The temperature for the CPU never went over 71 C during my tests for 30 minutes
Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest