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Asus Motherboard Box Doubles As PC Case

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the two-in-one dept.

Hardware 243

itwbennett writes "Taiwan's Asus has a novel idea to cut down on shipping waste: What if the shipping container became the PC case? That's the idea behind a box the company will begin using to ship one of its Mini ATX motherboards. It holds the motherboard snug for shipping and is constructed so additional components required to make a PC can be added, said Debby Lee, a spokeswoman for the Taipei-based company. An example of the box is showing at this week's Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany."

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Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35361986)

The box is huge

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362000)

That's what he said.

Re:Unfortunately (2)

MiniMax333 (885543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362132)

It's Mini-ITX.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362324)

And that's what she said.

That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (4, Informative)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362004)

But is this safe? I thought you needed to ground the mobo against metal... Still, a pre-mounted mobo that can be moved to a better case when you feel like it? Sign me up!

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362050)

you must not get out much...

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362154)

says the man still sitting in front of his computer.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (4, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362142)

I have run motherboards for the last 20 years without grounding them on a regular basis. It is kind'a safe from that perspective. It is better for the motherboard if it is grounded properly, but most work fine anyway. Same for cards, adapters, drives, etc - very few rely on getting a proper ground from the bracket fixings or the fixing bolts.

I am more worried about the cardboard. Is this one properly treated with a flame retardant? If the MB or any of the components smokes for whatever reason is it going to burn merrily or fizzle out.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362470)

The connectors to the power supply are grounded, and there are ground pins all over the freaking place in the case. It's not as if the thing weren't pretty much grounded anyways. I've seen motherboards run inside cardboard boxes, on top of bubble wrap, packing foam, even on top of a pile of packing peanuts.

What I'm worried about is: what happens if you get one of the usual USA-type drivers from FedEx/UPS who kicks the shit out of your package? The box'll be halfway useless for making a PC anyways then.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362524)

"usual USA-type drivers from FedEx/UPS who kicks the shit out of your package" ...but you have no idea why you always get the crappy service.....

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

glarbl_blarbl (810253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362834)

Because all FedEx/UPS drivers keep a database of people who complain about them on the internet?

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362866)

"usual USA-type drivers from FedEx/UPS who kicks the shit out of your package" ...but you have no idea why you always get the crappy service.....

Why do you assume that what he's saying about them now was said to them at any point in time?

I'll save you the trouble of answering: because you're a fat fucking idiot, that's why.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362168)

Ground is handled by the power connections, which includes a ground pin, and is grounded to the mains. Grounding the power supply to the case is only needed because the case (normally) is metal, and you want to be sure it is at ground.

But is a cardboard box safe for other reasons? Like FIRE?

I've had more than a few PCs get hot enough in certain circumstances where fire is a serious danger, especially in enclosed spaces (shoved under desks), or maybe pushed up against resistive electrical baseboard heaters etc.

This thing just cries out for the Slashdot "What could possibly go wrong" meme.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362254)

The biggest cause of fire is the power supply. I have seen several catch on fire. Fortunately those computers had metal cases which limited the damage. I can't imagine what would have happened if they had cardboard cases, the buildings probably would have burned.

Remember folks, never skimp on your power supply (all the fires I saw were using cheap/crappy power supplies).

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362340)

Exactly.

But I've actually seen Mother Boards light up too, after capacitors blew. I've seen hard drives get so hot they were painful to touch. Mounted in cardboard that can't be good.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362674)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451 [wikipedia.org]

It takes 451 deg F to light paper on fire, probably even higher for cardboard, and the cardboard will probably be treated with something to make it even less likely to catch. That would be some serious sparks to light the case on fire.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362774)

Oh, yeah, what was I thinking. Of course metal clad computers NEVER burn up, so cardboard ones are perfectly safe.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362490)

IF you box gets hot enough to catch this on fire, it would have failed before it got hot enough to set this on fire.

You heard me.
Corrugated cardboard ignites at over 400 C

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (3, Informative)

gewalker (57809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362646)

I have seen the power supplies on running PCs catch on fire -- PC continues to operate while smoke is rolling out of the P/S. This condition does not last long though. The extra fuel of a cardboard case might be enough to get a more interesting fire going.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362686)

I have seen motherboards catch fire, actual fire with flames and smoke. Sure the machine failed, but the metal case sure seems to reduce the risk of that fire spreading. Would this case then have gone up as well?

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

dzimney (1989760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362514)

Or water? I wouldn't go resting my drink on that thing... then again, live dangerously. Even still, it's super awesome. Although, considering the size of the box in the video, I'm not exactly sure how much they're really "[cutting] down on shipping waste." The thing is eventually going in the trash. And by trash I mean Recycling bin.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362550)

But is a cardboard box safe for other reasons? Like FIRE?

I imagine some fire retardant would take care of this. After all, plastic is a petroleum product that is fairly combustible without fire retardant, and there have been no shortage of plastic computer cases through the years.

RF noise could be a problem, but I imagine that a small amount of aluminum foil would take care of that. It won't be any worse than running a PC with the side cover off, or using one of the plastic see-through cases.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

LeperPuppet (1591409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362672)

If you're dumb enough to build such a PC and then install it in a hot, enclosed space where it's more likely to catch fire, then maybe you deserve a burnt PC.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362178)

Not the coolest thing you've seen. Cooling is doubly critical for smaller form mobos, so choosing the correct case for a uATX board is especially important. Definitely don't want Asus's crap case in a PC with a 10" vidcard.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362272)

Uh, I thought TFS said microATX. Make that miniITX... guess it won't be a gamer's PC then.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362410)

Are they paying this guy [afrotechmods.com] royalties?

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

Liquidretro (1590189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362404)

Not exactly You have to use the spacers in a case so you don't ground out the board on the case. If you don't do this the PC will not power on, its a common first time builder mistake. You ground the PC with the power supply and its connection to the wall.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (2)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362424)

It's not unsafe, however without a grounded metal chassis, it will radiate a great deal of RF interference. You could not sell them assembled in this form because they would never pass FCC rules for RFI

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362594)

Tinfoil!
Wrap that box with it instead of making hats.

Re:That is the coolest thing I've seen in years (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362838)

RFI won't be as huge of a deal inside your house - may interfere with other devices you have but I can't imagine power levels being high enough to really be a concern. Folks get used to crappy EMI design these days anyhow. I've had Dell computers whose low-level humming in my headphones would change when I scrolled a page on screen. I'd also be worried about it's ESD susceptibility - if you walk across a carpet and touch a computer in a regular case, at least it has a metal case around it to reduce the impact of that shock on your mainboard.

Interesting justification... (3, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362012)

Giving people the ability to get everything attached to their motherboard for testing reasons until they find a real enclosure.

Re:Interesting justification... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362182)

Which might just end up being NEVER.

interesting (3, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362014)

I suppose it's ok, but the article even mentions that it is for interim use while the buyer shops for the perfect case, thus they will still buy a case. Since this uses *more* material then a normal box I'd say overall the effect is opposite what they claim. As a marketing gimmick it's great though.
-nB

Re:interesting (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362220)

thus they will still buy a case.

Says Who?

College dorm rooms and hacker basements will have these things stacked 4 high in short order.

Re:interesting (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362292)

I'm waiting for the rack mount version, then I expect to see them racked at least 8 high.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362538)

That is what Pizza Boxes are for.

Re:interesting (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362858)

I'm waiting for the rack mount version, then I expect to see them racked at least 8 high.

It's called a stapler. Or duct-tape, if you're on a budget.

Re:interesting (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362504)

Why do you think the motherboard is normally shipped with a case?

No concerns about RFI? (4, Insightful)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362020)

No way that a motherboard in a cardboard box is going to pass the various RF emission tests for FCC or CE certification.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362036)

Yeah, and I'm pretty sure that UL and Insurance Companies who cover the homes and offices that this would be going into would not approve of this, either. Cute idea, pseudo-engineers, now go back to making $50k/year for doing nothing.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362052)

What about fire resistance? Aside from the eye-sore aspect, the potential fire problem would make me wary.

On another note, the new /. posting method doesn't work with IE6. I know, I know.... IE6.... That's the company standard and I know I'm not alone here.

Chrome Frame (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362296)

IE6.... That's the company standard

Then install, or get the company to install, the Google Chrome Frame plug-in on top of IE6. It's a browser helper object for IE that renders pages with Chrome's engine, but only if they opt in with an HTTP header or <meta> element. Other sites get IE6.

Re:Chrome Frame (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362448)

Chrome Frame inside of IE6 is kind of like building a computer case inside of a cardboard box.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

Tijok (1637233) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362414)

Actually both of these concerns have been addressed when companies like Recompute made cardboard computers.
What it basically boils down to is two things:

1. The burning temperature of cardboard is much higher than any temperature a computer could reach (within reason).
2. EMF/RFI concerns are really low nowadays, especially in low-power systems like these. Think back to all of those acryllic cases. Computers just don't have the right hardware (power and frequency outputs) to end up putting out that specific type of EMF.

I've included a link the the mentioned computer manufacturer for nostalgia's sake.
http://www.sustainable-computer.com/faq.php [sustainable-computer.com]

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362762)

1. I have seen motherboards go up, real flames. Sure it was not working any more, but that does not mean there is no risk to th user from the FIRE.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (2)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362454)

You have access to the machine. It is your duty as a nerd to root the machine. None of this sissy nonsense.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362512)

TFB. I guess you shouldn't be surfing the internet from work? OTOH, what should I expected from someone who thinks their computer could get over 400C?

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362876)

You don't think a burning motherboard could get that hot?
You don't believe that a PSU with flames coming out of it is that hot?

Re:No concerns about RFI? (2)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362710)

On another note, the new /. posting method doesn't work with IE6. I know, I know.... IE6.... That's the company standard and I know I'm not alone here.

Which is one of the reasons Google decided to have Chrome install itself to the user profile; it doesn't require administrator access or installation privileges.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362288)

The thing is, that Joe Hacker need not comply with those. They pretty much kick in only when a device is offered for sale, and
certifications are summarily ignored in the home builder market in any event.

Fire safety is a bigger issue. But I don't know of any regulations that would prevent them from selling this
as long as they don't sell it as w working PC. Its a loop hole, and they know it.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362406)

The thing is, that Joe Hacker need not comply with those. They pretty much kick in only when a device is offered for sale, and
certifications are summarily ignored in the home builder market in any event.

Actually, Joe Hacker may have to care - if his computer emits enough RFI that a licensed user complains about it. The FCC will force the owner of said equipment to make it compliant (at owner's expense), whilst not operating said equipment until it is fixed. (And I'm not sure, but the FCC might also bill the owner for the costs of doing the interference search)

And the fines can be pretty large (much more than the $100 to get a decent low-end case will cost).

So all you really need to do is ensure your computer and the parts within are all clocked at speeds in the ISM bands and you should be safe... Or line the box with grounded aluminum foil.

Though, a more practical reason to not use this, besides any potential fire risk is if you have any sort of beverage near your PC. A small accident could easily cause the case to lose integrity and have parts touch each other. Invite your friends, have one of them spill their beer all over your PC and watch the power supply or hard drive fall from their locations. fun!

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362308)

I have my computer running out of a desk drawer. The neither the FCC or CE has bothered me

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362378)

yea, I'm a douche i meant "Neither the" not "The neither the"

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362352)

No way that running a metal case with the side off, like all of my computers, is going to pass the various RF emission tests either. Fortunately, they don't have to, and since Asus isn't selling a working computer inside a cardboard case, neither do they.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (3, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362432)

No way that a motherboard in a cardboard box is going to pass the various RF emission tests for FCC or CE certification.

1) Fortunately they are selling the Motherboard, not the entire PC (the PC assemblers would have to pass the FCC or CE certs).

2) The FCC or CE (and possibly NFPA) would really flip out if they saw my "computer room" which has several computers sans cases mounted across 4x8 plexiglass sheets. They're so much easier to upgrade & clean, they're more functional than paintings/posters (and more aesthetic (to me) ). Wallputers give the room a cosy, cyber-punk feel...

Who needs cases? Also: the cardboard case is fairly bulky, ugh.

P.S. I use Synergy [synergy-foss.org] for my Multi-screen/Multi OS/Multi Computer command and control center.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (3, Insightful)

basotl (808388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362910)

Okay where is the link to the picture of your set up? I'm a sucker for checking out alternate mods and mounts.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

Dracolytch (714699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362472)

You could always line it with material similar to microwave food heating sleeves / some kind of foil. That may make a significant impact.

As for heat: Paper burns at what... 451? I don't think we have a huge problem here. Most PCs will self-preserve shutdown waaaaaay before that. The only time you have a potential problem is for a bad build/short causing a component to go up in flames, taking the rest of the box/case.

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362740)

That's OK, it's not going to get those tests. And anyone who wants to use it anyway can just wrap it in tinfoil and then wrap it in shrink wrap, then re-poke the holes. Maybe there's some solution slicker than shrink wrap, but it came to mind immediately. I have some black UV-resistant stuff around here somewhere...

Re:No concerns about RFI? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362912)

Actually, there are metallized films that would serve just as well as a metal case in terms of blocking RF. If they're laminated onto one of the board layers or in lieu of fluting, it would probably do it.

That box is damned ugly, and it wouldn't take much effort or cost to make it look a little less like some crappy cardboard box someone didn't want.

Box in a box (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362032)

Now we need to pack the box in another box to protect it during shipping/

Given the state most packages I receive come in this seems somewhat impractical.

Also.. who orders a motherboard before the case? That seems kind of backwards to me.

I tend to order the case, power supply, and various fans/controllers/anything else I’m cramming into it first as I tend to do a little light modding. This gives me time to play without the “just want to get it running” jitters. Also I don’t like having too much stuff floating around “out there” makes me nervous. I usually order things in batches.. and wait for each batch to arrive before ordering the next.

Re:Box in a box (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362508)

Now we need to pack the box in another box to protect it during shipping

In my experiance the "retail boxes" for motherboards are not designed for shipping without further protection. Most customers probablly buy more than just a motherboard anyway. So whether you buy this or a standard motherboard if you buy online you will probablly get a box in a box.

IMO this is a gimmick, a bit wasteful but probably less so than many other gimmicks that are used to sell products.

Re:Box in a box (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362582)

Also.. who orders a motherboard before the case? That seems kind of backwards to me.

.

That would be me... My selection process is:
1) processor
2) motherboard (supported RAM, PCIx slots)
3) number USB2/3
4) video
5) power supply
6) case

At any one time I have four or five systems running compute-intensive operations.. Cases don't matter so much.. They're there really just to hold the pieces together and keep them cool.. My main concern for a case is that the baffles move air properly and that they are built to appropriate tolerances so my pieces fit.

Re:Box in a box (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362770)

How do you operate without RAM or storage? :) I always bring that stuff forward, then end up building another PC when I upgrade them... except that has become impossible with RAM lately. I went SDR, DDR, DDR2, and now DDR3 in sequence, so I had to keep buying.

Re:Box in a box (2)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362748)

I have never understood the point of buying a PC in batches. Even for a complete twit, it takes less than a day to assemble your first PC. For most tech-minded people, it's an hour or two. My current rig is an epeen showpiece, with peltiers, water, dual Xeons and SLI graphics, and it took maybe 4 hours to put together, including all the drilling and dremeling to make things fit. If you can't restrain your "get it running jitters" for a few hours without jumping out of your skin, um... well then I'm glad I'm not you :)

At the very end of the spectrum, I used to have clients that would come in every payday and buy one component. Two or three months later they'd finally have a working PC. I don't know what annoyed me more, the fact that a gainfully employed person couldn't let that same $1000 accrue in the bank, or having to listen to them mentally masturbate over their future PC every week. Every. Goddamned. Week. Fuck. Off. Kid.

I dunno, maybe because for me it's work, not play, I prefer to do things as efficiently as possible. Play begins once I pop in an OS disc.

Fire hazard, no RFI shielding, wasteful packaging. (1)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362058)

I'm sure you could design and build a PC case out of some inexpensive non-metal/plastic material, but this one just seems wrong in pretty much every possible way.

G.

Not usable at all (0)

ubuntufan (2007424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362066)

How a paper box like that could hold hard-disks, cd-writers, etc? I rather use a wood box [goo.gl] that this one

Re:Not usable at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362238)

You sir, are an asshole.

Re:Not usable at all (0)

ubuntufan1 (2007426) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362304)

Thanks, what a relief. One guy once told me that I am an asshole and a dick. Now I can't be both an same time, no? So what a relief knowing that I am just an asshole

Dicks fuck assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362426)

Please go fuck yourself in the asshole. Dick!

RF interference (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362070)

OK, I have often thought making an ad-hoc case for a mini-itx board with no cards would be easy (think a small sheet of plywood, some glue, blocks, and some of those brass-coloured screw-posts), but I've been worried about the RF interference the system would put out. This cardboard solution seems to provide nothing at all for shielding.

How much RF do these motherboards put out? What would it interfere with? What do you need to surround the thing with to block those wavelengths? Would chicken wire do? Is it necessary at all?

Anybody have a good answer to these questions?

Thanks

Re:RF interference (2)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362210)

You shouldn't be worried about the RF that is coming out of the board, you should be worried about what is giong INto the board. RF interference can cause random problems, like unexplained crashing, but I haven't ever had any issues with it. You can assemble a computer and just have the loose pieces laying on a table, and the computer will run fine. In practice, comptuers are pretty resiliant to RF.

Re:RF interference (1)

ko7 (1990064) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362332)

Modern motherboards release a TON of RF energy, and not just from the digital 'clocked' circuitry. Motherboards have on-board switching power supplies to run the processor, and these produce harmonically rich hash also. As, posted earlier, there is no way a cardboard box without a metallic liner could pass regulatory standards for emission and interference to nearby equipment, not in a commercial setting, even more so in the more strict residential setting.

Chicken wire would not provide adequate shielding of the high frequency energy, either. For one thing, the size of the openings is too large. I can't believe this is a serious idea without at least a continuous foil liner in place, inside the box.

No RF shielding (0)

steveha (103154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362076)

This cardboard box would have no RF shielding at all, unless ASUS spent a lot of money to build in a Faraday cage or something, which I highly doubt.

How much radio frequency noise does a modern PC generate? Does it interfere with any common devices such as an FM radio or an HDTV running off an antenna? (We don't have analog TV to worry about anymore, at least.)

Does anyone other than amateur radio enthusiasts care about this? Do even the amateur radio guys care?

Does the FCC still require certification of new PCs to not leak RF noise? Does the FCC not care about PC cases with a big clear window, or would they like to ban those and they can't somehow?

steveha

Re:No RF shielding (3, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362242)

It depends funnily enough.

Try running your PC at different HZ for the OS-es that support it (hint - BSD). You get some very interesting results with unusual HZ like 2000-3000 and when using ACPI timers. Very unusual. In fact so unusual that if you are running the MB "bare" on a desktop with no EM shielding and have audio kit nearby you may want to stick some earplugs in your ears first.

Tested with a Via EPIA motherboard by the way. I needed high HZ and spent half a day swearing until I found a frequency which was good enough and did not wreak havoc around the kit.

Re:No RF shielding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362486)

In actual practice, in my experience, it isn't important. I have at least three computers at home (2000 sq ft / 2 story house) running without a case, or with covers off. I listen to FM radio and watch over-the-air HD tv. I've never noticed any interference. I am an amateur radio guy, but don't have test equipment to monitor this.
I'm also a wireless ISP, and have a 2.4GHz connection to my house from a tower a mile away. Just not an problem.

On the plus side, my nearest neighbor is 400' away (then ~1200' to others).

If there is ever a problem I'll quit doing it. But I've been running stuff in the open for twenty years without issues.

Re:No RF shielding (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362598)

Wrap your box in aluminum foil -- use for the leftover tin foil hat material.

Why can't I keep running it? (2)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362088)

If I keep the boxes dry, U-Haul boxes can last for 10 years in storage. Why wouldn't this thing last for 2-3 years or however long a PC lasts? This would be great for datacenters and stuff where all you need is processing power. Just pop out the box, fill with RAM and CPU, hook up to a 12/5V power tree, network and stack it in a rack. The flashpoint of cardboard is high enough that I don't think it will be a problem.

Re:Why can't I keep running it? (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362302)

Sure 10 years in dry conditions and probably at 70 degrees. Though the flash point of cardboard probably won't be reached, I would imagine that the operating temperature will be closer to 90 - 95 degree Fahrenheit. I don't know this factually, but I would imagine that a 33% increase of heat over a long period of time would cause an increased rate at which the boxes breakdown.

Just to say that thier estimate may not be quite as inaccurate as you estimate...

Re:Why can't I keep running it? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362592)

because storage is protected from the general humidity. You livingroom is not, usually.

Modern cloud datacenters just have all the parts laid out on a rubber mat. Cheaper to cool, easy to maintain.

This is probably more functional (2)

craash420 (884493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362104)

than the spent Budweiser case I've been using.

Knew it! (4, Funny)

Octopuscabbage (1932234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362108)

.I knew my cardboard box fort making skills would come in handy some day!

Unintentional RF Radiation, and Shielding (0)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362116)

Providers of the mod-boxes with big windows, transparent boxes, etc. get around the requirement for FCC certification for their devices because they don't sell them with the CPU. But the reality is that boxes that aren't RF shielded are tremendous radio interference generators, due to all of the ultra-high-frequency switching transients from the electronics within them. Thus, most nations regulate the interference generated by electronic products. A box like this, to be a good RF citizen, would need some foil or other shielding material, and careful limitation of the size of openings.

Still a waste (1)

Primegraffix (1999408) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362120)

"It will last about a year" so...you're going to end up throwing it out anyways? Just recycle the box and be done with it. No PC enthusiast is going to use a cardboard box for a case.

Re:Still a waste (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362790)

I used to have two PCs (an XT and an AT) and their power supplies zip-tied into a plastic milk crate. A cardboard box with proper punchouts has a certain class compared to that, except that I had two computers in one "case". Plenty of airflow, too. Actually, now that I think of it, the power supplies were held in with bungee cords.

Fire ? (1)

Altesse (698587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362194)

What about fire hazard ?

Considering I've seen in my long life a couple motherboards spitting sparks and smoking...

been there, done that (2)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362226)

I once built a "stealth" computer with an old ATX motherboard in a FedEx shipping box. It's more of a sit-in-the-corner novelty than a useful machine, though.

Asus... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362228)

Not only do you get a crappy motherboard, but now you get a crappy case to go with it!

Wait... (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362282)

They don't already?!

I've had my computer, "Cardboardbox," up and running for 3 years now!

It even started out running in the MSI box it came in with a couple modifications (i.e. Duct Tape) to the box.

I'm overclocking the SHIT out of that thing! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362286)

I'm going to light that carboard box up faster than Charlie Sheen on a triple-barreled crack pipe.

Re:I'm overclocking the SHIT out of that thing! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362610)

No you're not.

No Thanks (2)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362316)

The Motherboard box is where you keep all the bits and bobs.
Driver CDs, anti-static bags for the major components, warranty info, mobo manual, display/keyboard adapters, the original I/O port shield that came with the case, extra screws, case badges, excess modular power supply cables, receipts / packing slips, initial full image backup, etc.

If I bought this computer, I'd need another box to store those things.

Re:No Thanks (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362624)

You keep all that? Really?

Will it be waxed or laminated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362356)

If it isn't waxed or laminated then how well is it going to stand up to hand lotion and spooge?

Shipping container as a PC case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362420)

Nothing new. Sun had this some time ago for a whole datacenter. http://www.sun.com/service/sunmd/

Doesn't beat a Papa Johns Box! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362430)

True Story: back in the early 90s, my roommates and I (geeks, all of us) needed a print server in the apartment. We had all the hardware necessary except a case. Since this was going to be a semi-permanent server, just running the motherboard sitting on the kitchen counter wasn't going to cut it, we needed something a bit more solid.

Somebody (Brian? Richard?) had the idea to put the motherboard in a discarded Papa Johns pizza box, close the lid over it and cut slots for cards to stick in. We plopped the power supply on top and it ran for months. No joke. A bonus was great was that we were already calling our systems "boxes", so we didn't have to fiddle with the intra-'partment nomenclature.

I think the poor thing died when Brian hosed the place down with the fire extinguisher. I mean the second time he did it, not the first.

I never thought the idea was commercially viable, but it seems were ahead of our time.

Pets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362600)

Hamster, gerbil and rabbit owners beware.

Not mini ATX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362752)

Just to be clear, that looks like a mini ITX motherboard.

Not New (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35362800)

My Gigabyte GA-8GPNXP from 2005 was shipped in a box that was designed with cutouts for drives so you could test run a rig without a case.

Real men don't need cases (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362872)

I had a spare PC, sans-chassis, that lived on my desk just under the monitor riser for about a year. The mobo box was cut up into hard drive standoffs and fan shrouds, and the PCI cards were held up with a strip of slotted foam.

Bestest damn VM server I ever had :)

Wasteful AND Dangerous ... I like it! (1)

harmic (856749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35362902)

This just looks like a house fire waiting to happen .... Even if it doesn't actually catch fire I give it 2 weeks before the box dries out to the point that it starts falling apart. Add to that, they are shipping what looks like at least twice as much cardboard as would normally be needed to ship a motherboard on the off chance that someone will need to wire it up the instance it arrives ... what maybe 10% of these will actually get used as temporary PC cases.
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