Desk PC case parts guide: What parts to use for your desk PC case

For the road ahead.

Image via Hydra Shop

Desk PC cases give you a clean, modern aesthetic that lets you showcase the inner engineering of your PC. Why not build your PC into a desk to free up space on your desktop without leaving your PC on the ground?

Rather than buying an expensive desk PC case, maybe you’re thinking of building your own. Here are some parts you’d need to get started.

Supplies

Before you begin to build a desk that can hold the components of a PC, you will need to decide on the specifications of your design. Whether you work with wood or metal, the size and form of your desk and the tools and space you have to access are essential to consider when you start designs.

This article is about finding all the things you will need before you embark on your voyage toward a gorgeous and functional piece of computing equipment. Of course, the supplies you need will be determined by the specifications of your design, but this guide can help you to find the things to bring your designs into reality.

Using preexisting desk parts

If you’re looking to avoid the high costs of a prefabricated desk PC case, you might try saving some money by converting a cheaper desk into a desk PC case. Buy a desk in a style you like and keep only the parts that you don’t want to have to build from scratch.

You might find some legs or supports from Ikea or a full desk kit from Amazon, some other big box store, or even buy a used desk that is easy to disassemble. Then, you’ll have an easier time building a PC case to fit the supports you have.

If you shop around enough, you might be able to Frankenstein the parts of old desks into a desk to build your PC in. You might search for an ornate wooden base and attach it to a glass and steel frame top to combine styles. Or, you could find all the aluminum, steel, and glass you need to craft a sleek, modern desk.

DIY PC desk

Building a PC desk from scratch can be costly and time-consuming, but it’ll ensure that you get exactly the desk case you’re imagining. This might allow you to work around the size constraints of your gaming space or help you to fully realize your ideal gaming aesthetic.

Decide whether the case will be fully wood, metal, or a mix of the two. Most PC cases, and many PC desks, are made of electro-galvanized steel or aluminum. Steel and aluminum can be cut to specific sizes. 

Get in touch with a local custom metalworker or woodworker if you can’t find a PC case online and don’t have the tools to realize your vision. They might be able to make the parts for you to assemble or help you to build your dream desk PC case.

Essential supplies for any desk PC case

Motherboard standoffs

Image by Sutemribor via Amazon

Motherboard standoffs are metal spacers that separate your motherboard and PC case. The motherboard is one of the most critical components of any PC. Having quality motherboard standoffs ensures that your motherboard can regulate power in your PC.

Cable routing channels

Cable routing channels help to keep the inside of your PC case clean and organized. Channels serve to protect the cables in your PC from heat and stress by keeping them away from the components that run hot.

Anti-sag stiffener

A strong rod made of dense metal is sometimes attached under a PC case to support the weight of the PC evenly. Aluminum and wood are malleable and can be sensitive to heat. PC desk cases that are built with them can be supported with a steel anti-sag support to keep your PC desk sturdy. Some desk frames are built completely of steel, so a large sheet of steel could be used to form the bottom of your desk PC case.

Tempered glass

Photo by Kari Sullivan

A common and possibly the nicest part of a PC desk is a glass surface that lets you see the fans whirring as you bask in the glow of RGB RAM cards.  It’s easy to order tempered glass sheets or buy one at a custom size from a local glassworker. 

Tempered glass is strong and can hold a lot of weight while withstanding a considerable amount of heat. That combination makes it perfect for use as a desktop. If you don’t have access to a glass worker, you might find a desk that already has a glass top and build a PC case for the size of the glass desktop. You might also use it for the front and sides of your PC desk case to show off its internal engineering.

Fans and fan control

Image by TekkPerry Store via Amazon

Fans are an important component of keeping any PC case running smoothly. The added measure of fan control software, or a manual fan control monitor, can give you an accurate reading of the ambient temperature of your desk PC, let you quickly read the CPU and GPU power use, and let you control the speed of each fan.

3D printer

3D printers will let you create some of the parts you might need to finalize your custom PC case design. If you have access to a 3D printer, think about how you might use it to make the parts you need for your custom desk PC case design.

Print external modifications with designs that will help you to realize the aesthetic for your PC case or organize the internal structure of the desk. You might print parts like fan brackets or even a cable routing solution.

Tools

The type of tools you’ll need to build your desk PC case will be determined by what materials you plan to use to build the case and its design specifications. If you already have the tool, skills, and space to work with wood or metal, consider that when building your design. 

Get some good safety equipment, a pair of goggles, and some non-conductive gloves, to protect yourself as you build.

A drill and a ratchet set or screwdrivers will be necessary, especially if you’re working with wood. Wood glue, clamps, and a saw will allow you to cut boards to the exact specifications of your design.

A handheld CNC allows you to shave and shape wood or metal and can be a useful tool for intricate custom designs. It also allows you to cut holes in your PC case for ventilation.

If you’re working with steel or aluminum, a rivet gun will let you create strong connections between the metal supports of your desk PC case. A soldering gun to create conductive attachments within the PC is another necessary tool.