Just wondering: Is it possible to build a working system without a case?
Certainly, but you'd need to make sure the surface is static-free and non-conductive first. I usually test my systems out-of-box to make sure everything works, before I put it all in the case, especially if there's a watercooling setup involved, so I don't see why it shouldn't be possible.
Building a system without a case is certainly possible, provided the table/floor (whatever) is non-conducting, free of static, and most importantly: clean enough to build on (I sorta fried a mobo because of conductive metal-dust on the floor once ). I usually even demonstrate to customers the mobo's they're interested in by constructing a test system on the customer-counter, which is really nothing more than a wooden surface, out-of-chassi.
Building outside the case could sometimes even be recommended, if the case is cramped and has poor air-ventilation.
But note that there are risks involved... such as cats and their so very famously static fur...
Also: older PSU-models require extra grounding. Not really crucial, but I really wouldn't let the PSU be un-grounded. It's easy to ground them, though. Most new PSU's simply have a wire strapped inside the casing to the interior. So I usually put the PSU nearby on a grounded sink, which is well-ambitious enough.
Why would you do that?
I can think of plenty of reasons. Show, fun, curiosity, imagination, etc. etc. etc. o.o
First off, "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera", isn't three reasons, it's a bunch of BS to spout, when you can't think of anything else to say.
I can think of plenty of reasons, because you're to stupid to want a case for your thousand dollars worth of high tech electronics, or too poor to be able to afford one, "et cetera, et cetera, et cetara".
OK,boy, girls, and delinquents of all ages, building electronics, "on the table", so to speak, has been around at least for the fifty years I can remember it. There's even a name for it, "bread boarding". It's normally used to test the viability of a circuit design, certainly not as the finished product. You can use perforated phenolic board, instead of going to the trouble of etching a PCB for the test.
Anyway, when you start knocking out your parents TV with your unshielded junk, creation, post back with pictures of how funny you look with your brand new, pride and joy video card, sticking out of your a**.
Antec has released a line of cases dubbed, "Skeleton", for those whose ego and exhibitionism isn't sated with merely a clear side panel.
Besides, where would you put you CCFL lighting in this caseless wonder? I suppose you could have your little brother hold it over the motherboard, while you're playing WoW.
I do have one question, would you have to buy an anti-static strap for your vacuum cleaner, to get rid of the dust off this monstrosity?
Well, aside from static, leaving it on the floor would get it more dusty and the non-case fans may cause unnecessary vibration.
computer without a case is rly often also used in schools. The school I went to had a working computer built on a chipboard just to show beginners what everything is and what it does. I think that's a good idea
As long as the components are not touched or moved around much, running them outside a case would be okay. Cleaning the exposed components would be a bit tricky, compared to an assembled computer