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Fan mounting guide – OBT & OBT Mini

Even if the OBT is easy to build, sometimes we just want to check how things should be worked out. Today we focus on installing fans on your Open Benchtable.

Getting ready

To mount your fan, you will need to detach four M3 screws, two brackets and optionnally two washers.

In the middle of your OBT, you fill find your brackets, they are attached with one M3 screw each. Unscrew these to get the brackets off. Washers are securely held with the PCI-E thumbscrews, unscrew the nuts and you will find your washers! You can then find two more M3 screws on the right side of your OBT or in your OBT Screw Kit.

Tip from the team: Washers are optional, they are here to prevent any friction between the two aluminum parts which can leave esthetic marks.

Installation

While fans all have the same mouting point & dimension, not all fans are created equal. Thus we outline the two common way to mount your fans to the brackets.

Case 1: Your fan can fit a screw through its mount

This is the easiest case! First, pass a M3 screw through the corner of your fan. Next, screw it the middle hole of the bracket. Finally, use your spare M3 screws to secure the brackets to the holes which are located on the edge of your Open Benchtable.

Tip from the team: The bracket has two different thicknesses on it to accomodate most configurations possible. Play with the brackets to find the best fitting position.

Case 2: Your fan can’t fit a screw through its mounts

There are two ways to tackle it. You can use third party screws and nuts or use third party extra long M3 screws.

Using screws and nuts

When using screws and nuts, pass the screws through your fan’s mounting point and bracket, then tighten the nuts. Finally, use M3 screws to attach the brackets in the holes located on the edge of the Open Benchtable.

Using extra-long M3 screws

When using extra long M3 screws, pass them through the fan’s mounting points. Next, use the middle hole of the bracket as a nut to attach the screw in it. Finally, use your OBT M3 thumbscrews to secure the brackets to the edge of your OBT.

Connect!

Finish by connecting your fan to your motherboard or fan controller.

Theses are awesomes builds by the community to inspire you.

This conclude our fan assembly guide.

Feel free to share your builds with us!

Noctua VRM Cooling System mounting guide

The OBT community created a lot of different adds on to the benchtable. Most of the community projects are created by enthusiasts on their own but NOCTUA decided to pitch in as well. This post will guide you to install this exclusive VRM cooling bracket!

The installation of the VRM cooling bracket is ultra simple and barely require a guide.

Make one or get your VRM cooling bracket

First, you have to have the bracket (3D print it or purchase it) and the Noctua fans. As we discussed in our post focusing on why and how they came up with this idea, you can 3D print the bracket in any material that you have or you can buy an aluminium version.

Noctua VRM Bracket render
Noctua’s VRM fan bracket

Attach the fans

Attach the fans to the bracket. To mount them, use your prefered way to mount fans, wether it is screws or rubber tighteners.

Secure on your Open Benchtable

Pick two M3 screws, from the right side of the Open Benchtable or from the OBT Screw Kit. Attach the VRM cooling add-on with the M3 screws in the holes located on the edge next to the handle.

OBT Thumb Screw M3

Connect!

Finish by connecting, the two 4-pins wire on any of the fan port of your motherboard.

Your VRM will probably thank you for this add-on!

This concludes our assembly guide for NOCTUA’s 2X 60MM FAN BRACKET.

Feel free to share with us your builds!

Watercooling installation guide

The Open Benchtable is quite straightforward to build as we showed on our step by step assembly guide. But due to the multitude of configurations you can create, we share the teams tips for attaching your watercooling kit. This watercooling installation guide focus on the most popular configurations to build your WC kit on the OBT.

The Open Benchtable is designed to handle any sort of hardware, it allows the users to build computers with a wide variety of component choices. Watercooling kits are no exception. Indeed, the OBT can support large radiator sizes, from 120mm to the giant 420mm ones. The only limit is gravity (almost)!

On the edges of the OBT, holes allow to create pretty much any configuration you could think of! Let’s divide them in three categories:

  • Radiator on top
  • Radiator on the side
  • Exotic mounting

Category 1 : Above the Open Benchtable frame

There are three recommended locations to install your watercooling’s radiator:

  • At the top (PSU/handle area)
  • On the right side
  • At the bottom (storage area)

There is an extra location on the IO side, that we wouldn’t specifically recommend.

At the top (PSU/handle location)

At the Open Benchtable’s edge located above the power supply unit, you will find holes. Attach two brackets using the M3 thumbscrews provided with your OBT. Adjust the brackets to fit your radiator mounting and use the screws provided with your radiator or the OBT screws. 

Tips from the team: Use the widest mounting point on the Open Benchtable to support large radiators.

If you love to use the OBT screws everywhere, consider getting a Open Benchtable Screw Kit.

On the right side

Depending on your motherboard format and GPU size, consider mounting the radiators on the right of the OBT. Adjust the brackets to fit your radiator and you’re good to go!

Tips from the team : This usually works with ATX or smaller motherboards. Consider that any GPU larger than your motherboard frame can conflict with large radiators.

Facing the GPU / storage side

This one makes a lot of sense if your GPU is watercooled. Just above the storage space, there are 4 holes to attach the brackets. Like the PSU/handle side seen earlier, find the holes that fit the best your watercooling system!

On the left side (behind the IO shield)

This setup is not recommended, as it easily blocks the motherboard IO and the GPU connectivity. This option is available on OBT v1 and v1.1.

There are two holes on the OBT edge behind the IO shield to attach your components. However, this mounting space is used mostly in Extreme Overclocking Setup when the GPU is on a different PCI-E slot and for industrial motherboards/testing systems.

Category 2 : Below the Open Benchtable frame

There are four different locations where you can install your radiator when you choose it to be under the OBT frame. There are two recommended layouts and two other locations possible.

Setting the radiator below means that your radiator is below your pump, in some configurations this can lead to bubbles in your loop.

At the top (PSU/handle location)

We wouldn’t really recommend this setup because it can easily obstruct the PSU’s plug. This is a good location for a tiny radiators, pump or VRM Cooling bracket.

Use the brackets to secure the radiator to the frame. Holes are located on the edge just above the PSU. 

On the right side

This position is useful for long radiators, be creative with the brackets and positions.

With a combination of “Bigger-than-ATX” motherboards and large radiators this might not be possible. Nonetheless, this is a great location for long radiators, distro-plates or reservoirs.

At the bottom, facing the storage

In the same fashion as PSU/handle position, you can set your radiator facing the storage. The good part here is that there won’t be any conflicts with airflow nor plugs.

Adjust the bracket spacing based on your needs and component size.

On the left side, (under the IO shield)

You can attach the radiator on the IO side of your rig. This setup works best with thin radiators that use 120mm fans or smaller. This position is not recommended as some radiator size will conflict with the IO of your motherboard or GPU.

This can be used for your radiator or your pump depending on your creativity.

Mounting pumps or reservoirs

All the locations can accommodate watercooling pump, reservoirs or extra add-ons like the OBT Debug Card. Depending on your pump, the brackets are helpful to accommodate a large choice of models.

Build & Share

We love to see the OBT Community members building on the Open Benchtable.

Here are some of the builds to inspire you.

Reach out to Open Benchtable on you favorite social media : IG @openbenchtable, Twitter @openbenchtable, FB /openbenchtable.

Step-By-Step assembly guide – OBT Mini

The Open Benchtable Mini is so simple to assemble that we never really bothered making a step-by-step assembly guide besides the one available in the box.

So, here we are with our detailed, step-by-step assembly and use guide for the Open Benchtable Mini. For the regular size OBT, check out our step-by-step guide for the Open Benchtable.

This guide focuses on the Open Benchtable Mini. The use of mini-ITX motherboards is recommended but there is not “hard limit” and mini-DTX motherboards would fit as well. There is no hard-limit on the CPU cooler or GPU sizes neither.

First, remove the OBT from its packaging. If you choose not to keep it, please consider reusing it for something else or recycle it!

Assembling the feet

To release the feet, start by unscrewing the four screws holding the feet to the structure. Then loosen the PCI-E thumbscrews. The two feet and the PCI-E standoffs should now be released from the main body.

The PCI-E standoffs slide in slightly in the main body to stay secured when packed.

To secure the feet to the main body, use the same screws directly in the two holes on each side of the benchtable as highlighted.

Attaching the PSU

The OBT Mini is compatible with the SFX and SFX-L PSU form-factor.

Note that the screws used for holding the PSU are 6#32 when everything else on the OBT uses M3.

All of the screws are located at the bottom of the OBT Mini. The 6#32 screws can be found on the left side, while spare M3 screws are on the right side.

Attach the PSU to the feet located under the handle. The PSU can be attached with the fan facing up or down, but it is recommended to use your PSU with the fan facing up. 

Attaching the CPU/Cooler/RAM

At this stage, you should mount the CPU, the cooler and the ram to your motherboard.

Tips from the team: In case you use watercooling radiators or large All-In-One Watercooling kits in a non-conventional approach (see the last step): This is a good time to hook them up to the table for good. We have a blog post with detailed instructions on how to proceed.

Tips from the team: Brackets can be used in multiple scenarios depending on how you orient them. This helps fit radiators mounting using the 120mm to 140mm (fan-size).

A new generation of brackets on the Open Benchtable Mini

Securing the motherboard

Now, let’s get our motherboard on the OBT Mini!

You need the standoffs located on the feet. If you take a look at them, you will notice that they are of two different types.

Four of them are the usual screw standoffs that help you secure the motherboard in place. The other four are our fast mounting push-pin standoffs. You can use whichever type suits your needs best.

If you’re still not convinced on how to proceed, we got you covered on our blog!


Tips from the team: we usually go for two conventional standoffs in diagonal and two push-pin standoffs on the other diagonal.

Securing the GPU

For each PCI-E holder that was securing the feet at our first step, you will need a screw-type standoff (from the step above).

Attach the PCI-E thumbscrews into the standoff, screw into the main body and remove the nuts from the top screw.

Insert your GPU into the PCI-E slot, the thumbscrews should line up with the GPU mounting. Once done, tighten the nuts onto the top of the PCI-E standoffs.

Tips from the team: For single slot graphic cards, you can use one PCI-E standoff, and keep the second one stored.

Our dedicated post will guide you through an even more detailed way to secure your GPU!

Attach storage

You can easily attach up to two storage devices at the bottom part of the OBT. The Open Benchtable supports 2.5″ SSD or HDD on both 7mm and 9.5mm z-height (thickness).

Use the thumbscrews provided with the Open Benchtable to secure them in place.

We recently published an article taht features a video on how to mount the drives!

Assembling accessories

If you need to add extra coolers or accessories to your set-up, use the included brackets. These are located at the center of the benchtable. Screw them at the top of your OBT and then mount your accessory or cooler onto it. The brackets can also be used to accommodate all-in-one and custom watercooling. More advanced information is available on our How-To section  

If you are interested in mounting Noctua’s VRM Cooling System, we got you covered on our blog.

Cable management

The end is near! Lay the cables on your OBT and everything should be working!

Tips from the team: Use cable ties and make use of the space between the motherboard and the OBT to route/attach/guide your cables nicely.

Inspire yourself with some builds from the community.

This concludes our Open Benchtable assembly guide.

Feel free to share your builds!

A New Mini Member of the Family: OBT BC1-Mini

The Open Benchtable family is about to add a new sibling; the OBT-Mini is taking shape and here is what you need to know about it.

About two years ago the idea to create a lightweight, versatile and portable bench bed took place with the collaboration of Streacom, HWBOT and OverClocking-TV. The following year at Computex the project got a release date; before the end of the summer. After a fast sell out of the first batch of limited Community Edition tables, we recently announced that a new batch is now shipping in silver, black and red colors.

The team is not stopping there and is working on a Mini-ITX sized version based on the successful design of the OBT (also known as BC1). Requests came from user groups in the Small Form Factor Community (SFF) for a small sized bench bed and open air solution. This triggered the creativity of the Open Benchtable design team.

This is our current vision of a Mini-ITX bench bed :

A Mini-ITX Open Benchtable – Tell Us What You Think

These are early pictures of the OBT Mini (BC1 Mini) prototype, which means it is the best time for you to give your feedback on the forum. As of now release date and pricing are unknown.

Want the Open Benchtable for your Micro-ATX, Full-size ATX and big motherboard ? The new batch in red, silver and black are shipping right now (while supply last)!