How to build a wall-mounted PC

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If you’re looking for a new way to show off your PC building skills, a wall-mounted PC can be one of the best ways to show off your build. Wall-mounting a PC can be challenging, ranging from slightly difficult to complicated depending on the style.

Building and wall-mounting a PC is not recommended for beginners or those who are uncomfortable with power tools. It is recommended that you read this entire article before you begin so that you can plan your build ahead of time.

Advice before starting

Plan everything

Before purchasing a single item, plan your build in advance, not just in terms of normal PC build, to make sure the hardware is compatible, but the design and style as well.

Draw out your PC build. You don’t have to be an artist or a blender master. All you need is a way to visualize your PC. This will help you plan your build and identify any issues you might run into.

Plan hardware locations. Even with an open-air case, you’ll need to cool your motherboard down. If you want to use the same fan for your graphics card as well, you can keep them closer together.

Strengthen your baseboard. If your baseboard seems weak, don’t be afraid to reinforce it. Use metal rods or some two-by-fours along the back to help, but don’t place them where you plan to cut or drill holes.

Image via Robin Glauser

Power supply for your PC

If you’re using an enclosure, you can turn on your PC with a simple push of a button. However, when it comes to wall mounting, you need to be a little more creative. If your motherboard doesn’t have a power switch, you can always start it. If you feel a little less daring or don’t want to stand every time, you can buy a power switch online. Builders who feel particularly creative can wire their own.

Image via Bleiou via Amazon

USB ports

If the PC is wall mounted, you may not want to run extra cables through the wall just to connect a mouse. You can place your USB ports on the bottom or on your desk.

Pre-drill your holes

Before you begin installing your hardware, you will need to pre-drill the holes in your base.

  • Design your hardware on construction paper.
  • Use a pen or sharpie to mark where the holes are on the paper.
  • Put the paper on the board.
  • Drill the holes where you marked them on the paper.
Image via Ono Kosuki

Screw sizes

Make sure you have the correct size screw. You don’t want to try and force a large screw into a smaller hole or use a screw size that is too small and drop your graphics card to its death.

cable

Image via Martijn Baudoin

To keep your PC looking as clean as possible, make sure your cables are well managed or completely hidden. There are several possibilities for this.

Behind or in the baseboard

When you build your baseboard you can have a section to hide all of your cables behind your PC. This can be an open section between the plinth and the wall, or even a second skirting board for your cables.

Hidden in sight

You can hide your cables in pipes for a steampunk build, create unique cable runs, or even use RGB cables to give them a unique sheen for a futuristic aesthetic.

Installation in a wall

This is the most complex and permanent solution. You need to create space in the wall for your cables to run. This allows you to mount your PC flush with the wall while allowing airflow behind the PC. Use plywood to build a closet to prevent cables from being lost.

This is best done on drywall. Do not cut into the studs. Instead, drill holes to route cables through.

Design tips

Establish a style guide

When choosing your design, it is best to choose a style. Styles can be steampunk, futuristic, cyberpunk, or anything else that suits your creative vision. From there, you can choose materials and additional designs that you want to add. Choose a color palette that suits your goal.

base

Back wall

The first thing you need to do is figure out where and how to mount your PC. Make sure you have enough wall space to house your entire rig, as well as a solid wall to anchor everything to. If you are going to mount your PC on concrete or brick, you don’t have to worry here.

If you are installing to a standard drywall, you will need to attach your rig to wall studs. The bolts are typically 16 to 24 inches apart. You can use a cheap stud finder or just knock on the wall and watch for the lack of reverb to find a stud.

case

Image via Thermaltake via Amazon

If you are using an enclosure and wall mount, make sure that your mount can support the full weight of the enclosure and the hardware in it. When using a TV mount, keep in mind that TVs are weighted backwards while most PCs are weighted upwards and can cause uneven weight distribution.

materials

Image via JaredKC

If you’re working without a case, you don’t have to worry about buying it, but you need to figure out what to attach everything to. Which material you choose doesn’t matter and is more of an aesthetic choice, but it can affect things like grounding when building a metal enclosure.

The thickness of your baseboard depends on the material used. Whatever you use should be thick enough for your screws to hold up. Remember, the heavier the backboard, the more weight it will hang on the wall.

Metal is by far the strongest material you can use, but it is also the heaviest. Depending on the type of metal you’re using, something softer like copper or aluminum will be easier to pierce through. A metal drill bit will still work for something harder like steel, but it may take a little more work to drill through.

Plastic is the lightest material, so make sure it’s strong enough so that anything can be attached to it. Acrylic might be your best bet. It’s sturdy enough to be pierced without fraying.

Wood is the easiest, easiest and cheapest to get. It needs to be thick enough for your screws to hold your hardware in place, but even an inch or two of plywood or plank is fine.

Hardware layout

Once you’ve set up your baseboard, it’s time to set up your hardware. While there are a few recommended ways to set up your open-air PC, you can do a lot more than you would with a regular case.

However, more freedom doesn’t mean you can put things anywhere. A motherboard will still heat up if you place your GPU over it with a riser cable. You will need to cool both with a fan or liquid cooling.

Don’t forget that it doesn’t have to be a big board. You can have multiple bases, create shelves to store equipment, or expand your computer desk. Remember, the more you add to a single baseboard, the thicker your base should be and the more firmly it needs to be anchored to the wall.

Cut holes and attach hardware

Once you know where your hardware is going, you can start drilling holes for screws and cutting passages for your cables. If you have a sturdy enough material, you can even cut a vent behind the motherboard or something else that could generate heat.

You want to make sure that you have enough room for your cables without bending too much, and that they all fit without being too tight. Be careful not to cut so much space that you weaken your board.

Once your holes have been drilled and your measurements taken, you can begin the installation. Screw down your hardware and make sure it stays in place. You may need to buy additional brackets for things like your graphics card, but that depends on the hardware you’re using.

Laying cables

Once you’ve set up your baseboard, it’s time to run your cables. Cables can be routed directly to the wall outdoors or up through a conduit to hide them. You can even hide them in the wall with a passage panel or behind your PC with a built-in cabinet.

Since you’re not using a regular case, your regular cables may not reach between the hardware, and if you are using multiple boards you will definitely need longer cables. After you’ve laid out your hardware, measure the distance for the cables. Make sure you add a little extra length to get too loose.

You can always hide excess cables, but you don’t want to buy new cables because they are only an inch too short. Plan your build ahead of time to prevent this from happening.

You can try squeezing your hardware closer together, but this may not be possible depending on your anchoring situation. If necessary, you can build smaller boards and place them above your motherboard. However, if you haven’t prepared for it, it can lead to obesity and heat.

If you are using multiple boards, you should connect any cables that run between the boards after you mount them on the wall.

Now is a good time to plug in your PC and make sure everything is working. Troubleshooting while mounting it on the wall is a very demanding task. When the system lights up, you can start assembly.

Additional attachments

Before assembling your PC, you should add additional designs or attachments. Now is the time to position headphone racks or shelves for extra storage space. This is also an ideal time to run your RGB lights or set up your steampunk conduits.

If you are concerned about dust or damage to the base, plexiglass can be placed over the top of your base. It works like normal. Place several supports long enough so that the plexiglass doesn’t touch your hardware, and then secure the glass in place. It is recommended to put a screw in place for easy removal of the glass if a problem arises.

Assembling your PC

Image over Tenbergen

With the PC baseboard built, now is the time to assemble it. There are several ways to mount the PC depending on your wall and how well you want to anchor it.

Screwing your baseboard directly to the wall is a safe way to mount your PC, but you can use standoffs to give your PC more airflow. If you’re worried about support, something as simple as attaching plywood to the wall can put screws anywhere you need it.

You can build a cleat from any material you need. Make a clamp for the wall with a matching edge to the one attached to the PC so it can snap into place and hold. So you can quickly remove your board at any time. Make sure your cleat is placed in a supported area such as a stud or brick as this will support the entire weight of the pc.

Finishing touch

Once your PC is on the wall, now is the time for the finishing touches. Run all of the last cables, connect your monitors and other accessories. Make sure everything turns on properly.


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