Deskbottom Computer

Deskbottom Setup

This was a project I did out of boredom during the winter of 2011.  I do not currently still use a setup like this but it was worth experimenting with at the time. The picture literally is what you’re looking at – a computer mounted upside-down on a desk.

The inspiration behind this was because of my Massachusetts winters, which isn’t brutal but is long and cold enough to make heating bills something to complain about. My hands also get cold very easily. Anyway, my old computer tower had too poor of air circulation for the CPU overclock I had, and the power supply was exhausting most of the heat. So I figured “why not use the heat from my computer to warm myself up?”

So, I carved out the motherboard tray in an old ugly chassis.  I then carved a hole in the desk right around the area my mouse would go. I inserted the tray into the hole, upside-down.  This allowed the heat from the CPU and northbridge to rise to my hands, while the heatsink would blow any excess heat at my lap.

Deskbottom Underside

Aside from keeping me warm, my computer cool, and reduced dust collection, this also saved some desk space. Below is a picture of where I stored the drives and excess power cables. The DVD drive isn’t screwed in but it is snug. The hard drives are screwed in. The excess power cables are shoved behind everything. Since there was still plenty of room in the cabinet, I put my blank discs in there as well. I use one of my CCFLs to help illuminate the inside, the other CCFL is on the other side of the wall:

Deskbottom Drives Drawer

In the picture below, the areas circled in red are how I get the cables outside to the motherboard:

Deskbottom drive divider

With the door closed, the ATA cable slides through very nicely. I ensured that when the keyboard tray of the desk was extended that all data cables (and power cables) could easily slide out. The 8-pin 12v power cable was the most challenging of all, since it is the farthest corner of the motherboard:

Bottom of the deskbottom

Thankfully the PSU has very long cables, so everything reaches perfectly. With the PSU mounted below everything, it finally gets to suck in cold air, though also a lot of dust.  Now, going to the top of the desk:

Deskbottom as hand heater

I put a piece of cardboard on top of the tray to protect against dust, crumbs, and maybe spills from traveling onto the motherboard. It also helps keep a flat surface for me to use the mouse on

The wood block sticking out (also on the other side of the tray) is designed to keep the motherboard tray in place, and to make up for the lost material needed to suspend the desk. During the process of making this, the desk did crack a little, which I fixed by using a metal brace. The brace was actually a column in the previous tower I cut up. The keyboard tray of the desk is sturdier than it appears.

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