Custom desktops tend to go for outrageous aesthetics, with RGB lighting, huge arrays of fans and liquid cooling, and pretty much anything else the builder can dream up. But this project from prolific builder Jeffrey Stephenson turns back the clock, using wood and faux brushed metal to evoke the look of vacuum tube amplifiers from the 1960s. He calls the project the “Clean Slate.”
Housed within the primary wood block is a Micro-ATX motherboard, with the I/O panel facing rear. The various connections and cables are all routed through the base, with the GPU, CPU cooler, and power supply all mounted vertically. Each one is hidden behind a secondary shield with integrated mesh grilles for airflow. Note how the GPU and power supply sit on either side of the central CPU cooler for a balanced look.
Despite the amazing results, the project didn’t require any massive feats of engineering, just some extremely precise woodworking skills with a lot of planning and finishing. You can go through Mr. Stephenson’s build process on his personal site (via Hackaday), or check out his YouTube channel for even more classically-inspired custom PC builds. If you dig the aesthetic, but don’t have dozens of free hours and a woodworking shop, check out the new North case from Fractal Design.