I recently went on a bit of a craze and upgraded my graphic card from a crossfired AMD Radeon HD 5770 to an AMD Radeon r9 280x because I couldn’t turn down an amazing deal.
As part of the whole package deal, aside from the 280x, I also got a ASRock970 extreme 4 motherboard, an Athlon quad core X4 630 CPU and around 9 gigs of more or less working RAM sticks. Basically I bought a graphics card for a great deal but ended up with enough extra parts to build another computer. It being originally a bitcoin mining computer, was kept in an unsightly milk crate.

Milk Crate Setup

Milk Crate Setup

Ultimately, I decided to use the extra parts and make it a linux server that I could always remotely access. I won’t describe the “assembly” process of the computer but I ended up selling the 1200W power supply that it came with and bought an AMD Radeon HD 6870 (a very good price/power ratio right now) so that I could interface with the Ubuntu OS that would be running on the system. I did, however, build and open case for the setup using 1/4″ acrylic and a few aluminum risers. Below is the design I used to cut two acrylic pieces that I needed to make the open case.

Server Case Layout

Server Case Layout

I used three additional scrap pieces to make holders on the 3 sides of the bottom piece so that when the GPU was inserted, the mother board would be locked in place. The design is clean and simple and eventually led me to do a bit of research on the effects of fan shrouds and whether stacking fans have any benefits. Below are a few pictures of the end result.

Top View

Top View

Front View

Front View

 

The results were, in my opinion, aesthetically pleasing but with a lot of room for improvement. I don’t plan to refine the design as I have no need to, but if you are just looking for a simple case for your AsRock 970 Extreme 4 and have access to a laser cutter then feel free to use the plans below!

Download: case plan pdf

 

[Update: April 28, 2015] Upon closer inspection, I realized that I failed to consider the fact that the Asrock 970 motherboard only has one full pcie x16 slot which is the blue pcie slot closest to the CPU labelled PCIE2. A simple solution would to just move the cut over to the left by a bit so that you can put the GPU in that pcie slot, however, because GPU speed (even though a very minimal difference) isn’t a concern in terms of a server, I will not be changing the design but if you want any help changing the design so that it allows access to the x16 slot please email me at admin@clayshieh.com