Small portable CPU case with home based modular GPU case


Apr 1, 2016
I am designing a modular CPU/GPU case system where the CPU case is designed to be as small as possible with the GPU case large enough to hold the beefiest of GPU's. The CPU case (19 by 19 by 6.5cm ) will be powered by a PICO PSU with a Power Brick (12 by 6 by 3.5cm) for portability and will connect via a 90 degree PCI Express Riser card that is built into the case. The GPU case is about 19 cm high, 19 wide, and 36 cm deep and has a straight PCI Express Riser that goes to the top of the case (see Renders)

In the renders that you can see I have not yet gone into such detail as to fix the screw holes, or the tabs to fix the PCIE Risers too. It is more to allow me to gather feedback from people. The GPU case will have perforations for a 140mm fan on the front and 140/120mm fan perforations on the side panels for optional watercooling, while the CPU case has room for a low profile CPU cooler (such as Noctua L9i) and a 50mm case fan.

Are there any obvious mistakes/concerns or possible tweaks and improvements?

Let me know what you think. Any observations are appreciated,

PS: I have not yet found a passable solution for the I/O plate in the back (Will also cut a power connector hole here). I don't want any connectors extruding past the case so had to set the MOBO back but that leaves me with a hole. Any suggestions welcome.

3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg 8.jpg 9.jpg 10.jpg 11.jpg
Last edited:
I still think it looks like a cartridge console! I like it!
I/O is simple. make the cut out the standard size that way the back plate that comes with the mobo can be used.
Will that work even if i have set back the MOBO? Its meant to be a fixed distance from the edge of the mobo too the i/o shield? In my case it would be some distance between the hole in the shield and the actual connector
yeah you'd have to move the mobo back a bit to align with the edge of the case. or make a slight recessed area to attach the I/o shield. otherwise you're left with that gapping hole.
Will that work even if i have set back the MOBO? Its meant to be a fixed distance from the edge of the mobo too the i/o shield? In my case it would be some distance between the hole in the shield and the actual connector
What if, instead of cutting a rectangular hole for the IO shield, you left enough material there to bend four tabs inward, and use those tabs to hold the IO shield?

Speaking for myself, I wouldn't care too much about the DVI connector sticking out the back of the case, but the PCI-E interface sticking out of the two cases would bother me. A magsafe-like connector with magnets and spring pins might be the answer there, if such a thing exists.
That will work for two of the sides of the I/O plate (either top and bottom, or right and left), but there isn't enough material in that space to bend it back on all 4 tabs. Unless I misunderstand your suggestion. The PCIE interface would only stick out of the 'stationary' GPU enclosure, while it sits flush with the case in the CPU enclosure. But you are right. The entire thing hinges on getting a stable and robust connection between the two cases without the possibility of the CPU case falling over (although with the current design all that would be damaged is a roughly 10 dollar PCIe riser card.
That is a pretty cool concept, I like it! I don't see why you'd have to move the mainboard into the case, having it at the back makes the I/O shield work, which is a must with a case that's supposed to be transported, and if you want to protect protruding I/O it would make sense to just extend the side panels past the back edge of the case.

There's a few things that aren't really clear yet or could be improved:

  1. Mounting tabs for the GPU sticking out like that is ugly, you could use a second straight riser to make them disappear.
  2. The base case is unnecessarily large. I understand that it looks better if everything is centred, but I think it would look a lot better if you put the PSU in a different location and made the whole thing narrower
  3. What sort of use will the main CPU case see? If you're planning to use an AMD APU to play games at LAN parties, you should look into making it larger to gain space for a better CPU cooler.
  4. How will the PSU in the bottom be turned on? ATX PSUs have a signal called PS_ON# that is normally drawn low by the Mainboard to turn the PSU on. You'll either need some sort of switch or a connection from the mainboard to the PSU to make that work.
  5. What would be very cool is if you didn't need the power brick when the top case was connected to the bottom one, but that would require quite a significant amount of effort.
So this is a standard PCIe slot:

so you will need a riser which does not have this and yet somehow secure the two together very precisely. I am not 100% that's (easily) doable.
that tab is very easy to remove but I also think a lot of risers and extensions don't have it(see below). the parts are out there for what he wants to do it will take a bit of fiddling to get it all working.