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Question Replace side panel with glass?

Jerethi

Member
Aug 20, 2001
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I have a Corsair Carbide 100R "Silent Edition" case, and am thinking about replacing the side panel with glass. I do see Amazon sells a 100R with a window side panel, but I'd have to purchase the whole unit. I've also checked Newegg and eBay and can't seem to find the side panel alone.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to procure a glass side panel only, or am I stuck having to get a whole new case? Thanks!
 
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Jimminy

Member
May 19, 2020
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I have a Corsair Carbide 100R "Silent Edition" case, and am thinking about replacing the side panel with glass. I do see Amazon sells a 100R with a window side panel, but I'd have to purchase the whole unit. I've also checked Newegg and eBay and can't seem to find the side panel alone.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to procure a glass side panel only, or am I stuck having to get a whole new case? Thanks!
Contact corsair and ask if they'll sell you the part.

If that fails, you could cut a window in your panel and take it to a glass shop and have them add the glass to it. Tell them what you're doing ... they may have ideas for even more bling.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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Some of us used to buy Lexan or Plexiglass for windows. A well-known modder's shop, forgot the name offhand but I think it's still in business, can sell you the rubber grommet you need for a hole of a certain size in sheet steel or aluminum. I suppose we're the "old generation" of case-modders.

I myself was curious about glass, for a project of my own. Does not glass contain lead? Does glass block wave energy, for instance radio waves, cosmic rays, EMP and other phenomena? Certainly, it let's light pass through it! Some cases like my Coolermaster Stacker 832 have windows, but with a perf-steel screen covering the hole, and one might assume that this acts as a sort of Faraday cage.

And I'm wondering about this, because removal of the perf-steel and replacing it with glass would make the PC prettier, provided that I don't need that perf-steel for air input and ventilation.
 
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mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,044
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^ Good idea. There's automotive gasket/whatever material that can be used to hold a sheet of material in sheetmetal.

I'd be inclined to use polycarbonate, because it can be worked with normal woodworking tools as long as you keep the speed (heat) down, and sanded and polished more easily than glass too if you want to add a fan hole. It should have a UV resistant coating or else it will gradually turn yellow over years, depending on rate of UV exposure. Starting with it yellow tinted would solve this, or smoke tint to a lesser extent.

Glass doesn't block EMI unless it's specially shielded for this purpose. Run the system with the side panel off to see if any emissions cause problems with your other equipment.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,920
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^ Good idea. There's automotive gasket/whatever material that can be used to hold a sheet of material in sheetmetal.

I'd be inclined to use polycarbonate, because it can be worked with normal woodworking tools as long as you keep the speed (heat) down, and sanded and polished more easily than glass too if you want to add a fan hole. It should have a UV resistant coating or else it will gradually turn yellow over years, depending on rate of UV exposure. Starting with it yellow tinted would solve this, or smoke tint to a lesser extent.

Glass doesn't block EMI unless it's specially shielded for this purpose. Run the system with the side panel off to see if any emissions cause problems with your other equipment.
It was always a question I had about replacing sheet steel or aluminum with a piece of plastic. But I had never encountered any problems with case-modding projects I've completed. For instance, I had a 1995 Compaq ProLiant server case -- bigger than a full-sized tower case. The outer side/top body panels were in two parts: a simple rectangular panel that popped off the left side of the case, and an L-shaped piece making up the top and right-side-panel. So I put a rectangular Lexan window with rounded corners in the left side-panel. Never had a problem of the PC's normal function, nor any noticeable interference with other hardware. But I always wondered about it.

The online Modder's shop I was thinking of was Mnpctech

The rubber grommet material I bought was meant for PC SECC sheet steel of the standard thickness. You had to make sure that the hole cut in the metal was everywhere 1/4" larger than the plastic panel you would install. You had to cut the rubber grommet to the precise length so that both ends mated perfectly once you had popped in the Lexan (or other type) window.

I was actually able to apply "mirror" automotive window film to my lexan window -- perfectly. That stuff is a bitch to use, even on glass car windows. It must not have bubbles; it must not have wrinkles. If done right, on either an automobile windows or something like the PC windows we're discussing, it appears to be part of the glass or plastic surface, as for instance a real glass mirror or smoke-tinted windows from the factory production line.

Oh, I think I found some pictures of the ProLiant case project. The second snap following this one shows the effect of having a mirror surface with lighting coming from the inside of the case. In future snaps of my computer-case projects, I should take more care to eliminate the "office clutter":

P1010241A.JPG



P1010261.JPG
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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Just buy a new case....
That, too, is good advice. As I implied, case-modding is one of the more ancient arts and practices of PC enthusiasts and veterans.

My project in the photos began with an old server case that a PC "Mom and Pop" store owner gave me for free. He was running a recycling operation out of his back door, and had a pile of cyber-junk, including cases. I didn't pay a dime for it. But the OP has a relatively new case -- a Corsair Carbide 100R. And he wants a window.

Suppose he does decide to cut a hole in his sidepanel. OK -- hopefully nothing lost there, but it's irreversible. He may spend a few bucks on Dremel cutting wheels or jigsaw blades. He cannot allow himself to screw this up. He should probably cover the case panel surface with tape, to avoid scratching it up.

But then, add a consideration for the next-door neighbors, who will have to suffer a bit for the clatter all this case modding can make. At least, that's a possible scenario. Unlikely that they would put a kibosh on the DIY project, because the disturbance may only last a few hours. But it is an aspect of the situation.

So, maybe ten bucks for tool parts, a couple hours of sweaty labor. Weigh that against just buying a new case that has a window in it.

At this point, I can't resist asking the question, since I posted my pictures. I wish I'd never let go of that Compaq DIY-mod, but my estranged brother last had it, and probably doesn't realize the value of what he has, so he may have discarded the whole enchilada. I won't go into detail about the various features besides the window, but I consider it a terrible loss.

So whaddya all think of my Compaq ProLiant mod? Is it cool? :p
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
84,174
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That, too, is good advice. As I implied, case-modding is one of the more ancient arts and practices of PC enthusiasts and veterans.

My project in the photos began with an old server case that a PC "Mom and Pop" store owner gave me for free. He was running a recycling operation out of his back door, and had a pile of cyber-junk, including cases. I didn't pay a dime for it. But the OP has a relatively new case -- a Corsair Carbide 100R. And he wants a window.

Suppose he does decide to cut a hole in his sidepanel. OK -- hopefully nothing lost there, but it's irreversible. He may spend a few bucks on Dremel cutting wheels or jigsaw blades. He cannot allow himself to screw this up. He should probably cover the case panel surface with tape, to avoid scratching it up.

But then, add a consideration for the next-door neighbors, who will have to suffer a bit for the clatter all this case modding can make. At least, that's a possible scenario. Unlikely that they would put a kibosh on the DIY project, because the disturbance may only last a few hours. But it is an aspect of the situation.

So, maybe ten bucks for tool parts, a couple hours of sweaty labor. Weigh that against just buying a new case that has a window in it.

At this point, I can't resist asking the question, since I posted my pictures. I wish I'd never let go of that Compaq DIY-mod, but my estranged brother last had it, and probably doesn't realize the value of what he has, so he may have discarded the whole enchilada. I won't go into detail about the various features besides the window, but I consider it a terrible loss.

So whaddya all think of my Compaq ProLiant mod? Is it cool? :p

Working with sheet metal as a noob tends to get bloody.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,920
1,028
126
Working with sheet metal as a noob tends to get bloody.
A profound "yes" to that. You have to watch out for those spiral-shaped metal trimmings, and the cuts leave very sharp edges. It takes some patience.

While I mourn the unnecessary loss of my ProLiant mod, the reason I was all goo-gah about my Coolermaster Stacker 832's in another thread derives from the extensive ventilation features that pre-empt much sheet-metal work. In fact, I've never so much as cut into any part of those cases. With the Stacker, one can simply block off the vents or use other means to seal the case when some of the features don't lend themselves to the case-preparation strategy.

Still, there was once a sort of renaissance of case-modding, evident here at Anandtech and in its archives. Veteran members will look at the little scars on their fingers and exclaim "I remember those days!"
 
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