I bought a Gigabyte Brix Gaming computer, which is a pretty strong machine for its size. But it has a major drawback: it is incredibly loud. Thus I have 3D printed a case and replaced the two 40 mm fans with 120 mm ones that are quiet.
My Gigabyte Brix Gaming GB-BXi5G-760 does a very good job when playing games. I couldn’t play on it without in-ear phones as it stands right in front of me on my desk. Using Steam Link and putting the computer somewhere else might have been an option but not all games play well on a TV screen or with the noticable bit of latency.
As I’ve got a 3D printer, I thought that might be a good exercise to dive into CAD. So I tried Autodesk’s Fusion 360 and also visited a course on that. But I hadn’t much success with it. Having a 3D computer graphics software development background I switched over to OpenSCAD, which worked better for me, as I consider myself a software developer. So I tried different designs keeping the original air flow direction.
And here is the result:
You can get the STL-files from Thingiverse.
- 3D printer (for obvious reasons)
- Pliers (to cut and bend the wire hanger)
- A sharp tool to take apart the fan connectors
Bill of Materials
- Black PLA filament
- 2 x 120 mm Fans (I had some spare)
- 2 x 120 mm Grill
- 8 x 4x40 mm countersunk screws
- 1 x Wire Hanger
- 2 x 4-pin JST male connector 1.25 mm pitch these match the connector inside the Brix
- 2 x 3-pin JST connector 2.54 mm pitch for non-PWM fans (these match the connector of my spare fans)
- 4 x Rubber Feet
Links leading to products are just for illustration to give you an idea of what you might need. It is no recommendation or whatsoever.
Disclaimer: Be aware that you will void the warranty and probably damage your computer if you are not careful. So think twice before you do something you might regret. I take no responsibility for any damage or injuries while carying out these steps!
- Unscrew the four (4) long black screws on the bottom plate.
- Remove the bottom plate by carefully lifting it. Depending on your setup there might be a HDD or SSD connected via SATA on the inside of the plate which must be unplugged.
- Unscrew and remove the mSATA SDD (if present).
- Unplug the WiFi and Bluetooth antennas.
- Unscrew the one screw that holds the upper part of the mainboard.
- Remove the back plate by pulling it upwards.
- Remove the 40 mm fans by disconnecting them first from the lower part of the mainboard and then pulling them upwards. They are not glued but sit pretty tight.
- The fans are connected in a very inaccessible place. I had fun plugging in the adapter cable I made for my fans.
- Disassemble the connector on the fan and lead each wire through a hole in the back plate.
- Reassemble the connector afterwards.
- Be careful to do it on the right end of the vent holes.
- If done right, the connectors are at the place where there used to be the 40 mm fans.
- Connect the fans.
- Plug in the upper part of the mainboard. Make sure the inter mainboard connector stands upright and connects both parts.
- Reassemble the computer in reverse order.
- Form a rod that keeps both parts of the case togehter.
- Assemble the Case.
You’re done. Now your Brix should be much quieter.
I upgraded my GreenBox (as I call my Brix) to use PWM fans. That makes the whole thing quieter even still.