Elf Prototype

The Elf is a very small Mini-ITX chassis constructed of bamboo. It is nearly as small as a Mini-ITX computer can possibly be. Even at this small size, it achieves excellent cooling efficiency, and can run an Intel Core i3 processor at full load at a low noise level.

Availability (updated 2014)

This was a project of mine back in 2010, originally hosted at least-common.com (defunct domain) that I hoped to turn into a kit-style product. Unfortunately I could never get the design to a point where I felt it was robust enough to sell to other people. It was too finicky to assemble and disassemble. I still have and use mine, though, and I did scratch the itch I originally had: I hated available computer cases and wanted something about the size of a Mac Mini. The Intel NUC has now finally stepped in and shrunken things even smaller. If I was buying a PC today, I might buy a NUC.



Prototype #3

Changes since prototype #2:

Fully Loaded:

Elf prototype #3 built and opened up


Elf prototype #3 schematic

Prototype #2

Changes since prototype #1:


Elf prototype #2 assembled

Running some stress tests:

Elf prototype #2 assembled and running


Elf prototype #2 schematic

Motherboard Compatibility

Compatibility mostly just depends on the CPU being in the corner closest to both the RAM and PCI-E slots. For that reason, the DFI LANParty MI P55-T36 will not fit. As a P55 board, it would be useless anyway, as it does not support onboard video, and the case has no room for a video card.

The following boards should work:

Prototype #1 (Old)

For posterity...


Elf prototype #1 schematic

This prototype didn't quite fit together, but it gives you a glimpse of what's to come:

Semi-assembled Elf prototype


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Title font: Playtime Bold by John Skelton.