Go with the best configuration for you, your ride, and your hardware.
I'm about to start buying all the components for my car pc install... i've looked around and i kinda have an idea where i want everything... and i took my glovebox out and i have a LOT of room in my car... if anyone has seen the mazda3 glove box you know what i mean... my question is i see a lot of people running their motherboards bolted into wood? plastic? fiberglass? what is the benefit of having no case aside from saving some money? is there any downside? because most of the cases i see are just a tad to big for where i want my pc... as long as everything is braced correctly and the motherboard is not touching metal and has proper cooling is this the way to go?
Well having them out in the open would improve cooling, I should think. Thats from a computer only stand point. Not a carputer. Consider, how hot does your glove box get? If you want to mod that, throw a fan in there an run that off your puter, it shouldnt pull too much power. Personally, I would put a case in. There are some good cases on this site that are not all that expensive and quite a few are small. Now why would I case it? Protection, not just from feet, knees, bumps, but also from dust and debris. Youll have a fan spinning in open air, granted, glove box, not much for debris, but who knows? Why take the chance? Its all a matter of what your car can provide and what you prefer.