Can I move my Acer Aspire's motherboard, cup & heatsink into a different case?

Hi Acer community. I'd like to know the fillowing:

Can I move the guts (motherboard, i5 cpu, and heatsink, of my Acer Aspire XC TC-885-ACCFLi5 into a new case?

I'm asking for a number of reasons. My current Acer Aspire's case ... 

1) ... Has zero 5.25" and 3.5" bays. I know is has that teeny little optical DVD drive, but its pretty much worthless since everything I do is either backed up to the cloud or backed up onto a flash-drive. Even if I did take it out, it's such a small space nothing would be able to take its place really.

2) ... Has very poor ventilation. I've upgraded my heatsink and thermal paste already and also installed 4 additional 92mm fans and I still worry about overheating. I work with Linux exclusively and sometimes when I'm compiling after writing my code I check on the temperature with 'xsensors' and the cpu can get pretty hot. I'd really like to be able to have a larger case that I can install larger and more powerful fans that will both blow out the hot air and suck in the cool.

3) ... Has only 1 PCI and PCIE slot each. With a larger case I could add additional PCI/PCIE slots by expanding each of them like a Hydra. I'd lose 1 slot but gain 2 or 3 additional ones. There just isn't any room for anything like that in the current case.

4) ... Is lacking something that ties this reason into both #1 and #2 on my list. I'd really like to have a 5.25" bay where I can install a 'Fan Controller Dashboard', so I can manually keep the larger, powerful, and probably louder fans at a lower rpm when I'm not doing anything that requires more cpu power and makes everything hotter. When I'm compiling I'd be able to crank them up and ensure that the airflow keeps kicking the hot air out and bringing the cool air in.

5) ... Has very little real estate as I've said before. I'd love to be able to install a backup SSD/HDD, that my Linux distro would automatically backup to, much like Apple's TimeMachine. But, sadly, there's no room due to the current configuration of everything that's in there now. I know that the shelf-thing that the HDD is screwed into could hold a second, but it's being used by one of my fans in order to keep the HDD nice and cool as well. 

And that's about it for the reasons why I've asked the question: Can I move my motherboard, cpu and heatsink into a new case that would allow me to have a cooler, more efficient desktop?

If the answer is 'No', I completely understand. In that case I'll just have to do the save up to get a new, larger computer. I'll just be pretty sad that I couldn't make the switch to a larger case with the great computer I already have.

Thanks for taking the time to read this over and share your opinions with me. I hope to learn a thing or two from you guys/gals. And maybe... Just maybe... You'll tell me it can be done! ... And if it is possible I would absolutely love to learn how I could go about swapping cases because I truly have no clue how I would go about doing that.

Don't get me wrong, even though I've been kvetching about the case, I really do love every other aspect of my Aspire! If I didn't, I wouldn't be asking about moving everything into a new case and instead just save up the money to buy a computer with similar specs but with a larger case that can do everything that I wish my Acer could. If it is possible to change cases please share with me how I would go about doing so!

Looking forward to getting some of your input! Thanks again! 

Best Answer

  • billseybillsey ACE Posts: 13,694 Trailblazer
    Accepted Answer
    Of course you can move the guts to a different case. It won't help with all your issues though.
    1. You actually have two 3.5" bays. The mounting holes are there to place two drives on that front plate.
    2. I think it likely that rather than poor ventilation you either have expectation for lower temperatures than the system was designed for, or the chipset drivers you are using aren't very optimal. Typical running temperatures are between 35-60C, when everything is working hard you will see numbers closer to 90C.
    3. The motherboard has only those two slots, a bigger case doesn't give you more slots, that requires a different motherboard.
    4. Yup, a 5.25" bay will require a different case. Note that you'll likely lose the front connectors since that DTX motherboard has the bit sticking out to mate with the standard case for those ports. You might be able to cobble something up to extend those ports to be external in a different case though.
    The key to doing a case upgrade is finding something that gives you everything you want without being as expensive as a new system. The TC885 was designed to fit the bill for the great majority of users, who leave the hardware alone until they outgrow, then they buy a new system.
    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.

FAQ & Answers

  • billseybillsey ACE Posts: 13,694 Trailblazer
    Accepted Answer
    Of course you can move the guts to a different case. It won't help with all your issues though.
    1. You actually have two 3.5" bays. The mounting holes are there to place two drives on that front plate.
    2. I think it likely that rather than poor ventilation you either have expectation for lower temperatures than the system was designed for, or the chipset drivers you are using aren't very optimal. Typical running temperatures are between 35-60C, when everything is working hard you will see numbers closer to 90C.
    3. The motherboard has only those two slots, a bigger case doesn't give you more slots, that requires a different motherboard.
    4. Yup, a 5.25" bay will require a different case. Note that you'll likely lose the front connectors since that DTX motherboard has the bit sticking out to mate with the standard case for those ports. You might be able to cobble something up to extend those ports to be external in a different case though.
    The key to doing a case upgrade is finding something that gives you everything you want without being as expensive as a new system. The TC885 was designed to fit the bill for the great majority of users, who leave the hardware alone until they outgrow, then they buy a new system.
    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • KoesherbaconKoesherbacon Member Posts: 3 New User
    You know that's very helpful. I guess I was making myself anxious over something that isn't really a big problem. Sounds like this Aspire still has plenty of life left in her and I'm worrying of overheating, but it isn't really what's happening. Unless I've misunderstood, I'll just hang in there and when the computer gets a little too worse for wear, that's when I should just get a jew one and restore some backups onto it. For now I should just keep budgeting with my wife for a new one down the road.

    Thanks! 
  • billseybillsey ACE Posts: 13,694 Trailblazer
    I run  utility in the background that displays my temperatures in the taskbar. My CPU core temps at this moment are 37, 37, 39 and 38C. Just do the same thing and wait for the eventual creep up they'll do as dust builds up on fan blades. That will let you know when it's time to get out the vacuum. :)
    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
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