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atc95 23rd Jan 2013 19:23

Project: Xbox PC, Easter 2013 (one final problem)
Basically the idea was to use my old xbox 360 elite (made redundant by new pc and 360 slim) into a pc. The main limitation is space as the internal metal cage of the 360 is 275mm x 215mm x 65mm (roughly).

I have now purchased all the parts and they are:

CPU: amd a10 5800k
GPU: Integrated
Mobo: MSI-FM2-A75-IA
RAM: 2x4gb crucial ballistix tactical tracer 1866mhz* replaced by samsung greens
SSD: 240gb sandisk extreme ssd (mounted in xbox hdd mount)
HDD: 500gb laptop hard drive* no room :(
PSU: Be Quiet 350w tfx psu (external to the xbox due to space)
Cooling: H100i with 2x scythe slim slipstream
2x 92mm noctua a9x14 slim fans* replaced by noiseblocker 80x20mm fans

The uses for this pc will be as a portable hybrid between laptop and desktop, the size I originally had in mind was to fit in my messenger bag and the xbox does perfectly.

I chose the h100i as although it is 90 of cooling on a 90 processor, it will keep it cool while gaming and hopefully give me an opportunity to overclock both the cpu and gpu on the apu.

Anyway, so far I have bought all the tools required as this is my first mod (dremel, soldering iron and the essentials)

Step 1. Gut the xbox case (completed 23rd Jan)
Step 2. Drill motherboard screw holes and fit standoffs (completed 26th Jan)
Step 3. Drill blowholes for the h100i and perforate the xbox case for the 92mm intakes (in progress)
Step 4. Solder the motherboard power wire to the xbox power button pcb
Step 5. Create cutouts for the io panel, power wires to come in and holes for ssd mounting (in progress)
Step 6. Mount everything and test it works.
Step 7. Overclock :)

It isn't the biggest mod in the world but it is a good starting point for me.

First of all I gutted the xbox:

Then removed the motherboard:

and now have to put all of this:

into this:

I will be borrowing a proper camera for most of the following updates, currently using my phone. It is just the prep work I have done so far and I hope to do most of the modding over the next weekend or two.

morgansk 23rd Jan 2013 20:45

Having had my 360 open 4 times or so to cure the RROD (and eventually given up), I've no idea how you're going to fit all that stuff inside the case!

atc95 23rd Jan 2013 20:57

The power supply is going to be external and the radiator will be mounted on the outside with the slim fans on the inside, in theory it should all fit.

Ream 23rd Jan 2013 21:21

Will you have the ring of lights working? if so will they be RROD coded?

atc95 23rd Jan 2013 22:06

I have 2x power button wires (far left off parts photo) so the first priority is to get the power button to work and then I will try and use the 2nd one as a power button led, but it will just be the stock green colour as it stands.

Stickeh 23rd Jan 2013 22:48

Interested to see you pull this off, I was thinking of building a very similar spec machine as an xbmc / steam console for the front room

siliconfanatic 23rd Jan 2013 23:03

I'd been watching for this ;) Nice to see you followed through with pouring awesomesause in that xbox :thumb:

RedFlames 24th Jan 2013 14:23

Been thinking of doing something like this for ages, will be interesting to see how you do it...

atc95 24th Jan 2013 19:10

Not much of an update but I have fixed the first problem of the screw holes on the xbox shorting the motherboard by taking a :dremel: to them. Gave me a chance to test the dremel as well, it sounds like a plane taking off!

I have also done a cardboard mock up of the motherboard so I can drill the standoff holes but that isn't really worth a picture.

As it stands I am going to have the motherboard at the top of the xbox (as it stands vertically).

siliconfanatic 24th Jan 2013 22:34

Ill be honest here: The first time i turned on a dremel it was one of the old"you can beat the hell out of me but i will never die." when it when on the lights flickered, it screamed, and the sheer feeling of power i knew not how to wield-scared the bejeesus out of me.

jay2 25th Jan 2013 08:05

thank you for inspiring me :)
I see your Xbox PC and raise you a PS3 PC

damien c 25th Jan 2013 09:00

Looks like a interesting mod, will keep my eye on this as I may do one myself with my Xbox case and build a Lan pc in it lol.

atc95 25th Jan 2013 09:39

Jay2 a ps3 pc would be good, you have more space as well because of the extra depth.

For anyone interested it is.possible to fit a afox low profile 7850 in the Xbox with a ribbon cable but then you can only use a 120mm closed loop like the h60, plus the lp 7850 costs around 200.

I am planning a big update tonight.

atc95 26th Jan 2013 15:26

Ended up being really busy last night and had a few complications with the screwing (mainly me being a dremel noob) but here is the next update.

I got the screw holes for the motherboard in by marking the points from my template on the case:

Then had to fit the standoffs which didn't want to thread on their own regardless of how hard I tried so I came up with a solution:

I then unscrewed the M3 screws again and now the standoffs are in place:

Unfortunately I didn't quite get it all aligned when the board is put in but 3/4 screws match up and the last one is about 1mm out :wallbash:

Anyway the motherboard should fit fine and similar people who have put a pc in an xbox have done it with only 3 standoffs screwed in. Next step was cutting out the io panel as I couldn't test the motherboard fitting without some cutouts because of the built in wifi:

Starting to take shape:

Several cuts later and I have all of the io panel cut out on the internal metal casing, next step is to move onto the plastic.

Later today I am going to try and make the fan cutouts for the radiator but I cannot decide whether to mount the slim fans on the inside or the outside, or alternatively just use the stock corsair fans mounted on the outside, it will make it more bulky but means the scythe fans have a much lower static pressure.

Should be able to fit another update or two in this weekend and thanks to everyone who has viewed and replied so far!

atc95 26th Jan 2013 20:17

I have now cut the 2x 120mm blowholes for the h100i with space on one side for the tubing, it is a squeeze on the xbox but hopefully it should still stand fine, if not I might need to acquire some case feet.

The different heights of the metal support were a complete pain:

The 1st fan hole is bang on 120mm but I made the 2nd one a little bit smaller as otherwise there would be no support in the middle and the case needs some structure if I am going to be moving it around.

I then drilled the screw holes for the radiator, they are all more or less lined up :worried::

Cutouts for the tubing made:

and it fits! I will need to get a radiator grill at some point to stop the fins from getting damaged but for now it is fine.

This is what the metal and plastic parts of the side now look like:

and the next part (tomorrow) will be to attach the fans and finish the cutouts on the metal for wiring and the intake fans. Also the next job is to solder the power lead to the xbox power button pcb:

Darkwisdom 27th Jan 2013 10:21

A good idea but I think you're starting to lose the main look of it all. After all, it's all fine modding an xbox case into a pc, but those holes for a radiator look ghastly. I would've used a Corsair H55, that has a slimline radiator.

I like the idea but I really think you have to be careful about adjustments to the case or you'll risk losing the main theme.

atc95 27th Jan 2013 10:29

I agree, it does ruin the aesthetics slightly but it is the only way to get decent cooling on the xbox. It is the only major mod I am making to the visible parts of the case but it should still look xbox like. There is no way to fit a radiator and fans inside so this is the compromise.

atc95 27th Jan 2013 19:28

Have successfully mounted the radiator with the scythe fans on the side panel of the xbox (pictures to follow when I upload them all from the camera).

I have now hit a major problem of the ez twist nose cap on the dremel locking onto the dremel and not coming undone to change accessories so have to wait until that is fixed to continue (hopefully with wd40). It is supposedly a common problem and I was midway through cutting the 60mm fan intake as the 92mm fans are too big and needed to change to the circle cutter and it locked out

Hopefully it will be fixed soon :(

atc95 9th Feb 2013 19:31

It's been a while but my dremel is off for repair so thought I would fill in the progress (albeit small) since my last update.

I closed up the xbox again to get an idea of the final look and I don't think the radiator is that intruding plus it matches the matte black of the xbox.

Mounted the fans onto the radiator and tried with and without the metal on the underside:

I also finally got round to soldering the power wire onto the tact switch from the xbox pcb:

Since then I have ordered fan guards for the intakes and radiator (mainly for protection purposes) and after fitting the motherboard in have purchased 80mm fans as the 92mm ones are too big by literally a mm to fit in flush against the xbox (these may be in the marketplace soon ;))

Also encountered a couple of problems, first of all the slot for the disc drive on the front of the xbox needs to be filled, my first thought was mesh but then I found this:

Gives me some sort of front panel and will fill the hole nicely, I am not yet sure whether it will fit without a trimming or not :dremel:.

That's it for now, estimated return of the dremel is friday 15th so will be hopefully finishing within the week of it's return!

atc95 19th Mar 2013 19:21

Big update, it is nearly finished now:

I finally got round to getting a new dremel last week, cost of repair on old one was higher than getting a brand new one, yep logic of bosch right there. Anyway, last time I was struggling to cut through the metal for the 80mm intakes, one hour with a hole saw later and all the fan holes are done:

I then decided to cut out the io panel properly in the metal as well as the plastic:

About to fit the motherboard in and needed to realign one of the standoffs to get it to line up flush with the io panel, wouldn't tighten in place as so close to old hole but a washer fixed that problem:

Motherboard in :rock::

Now to screw in the fan / fan grills for the 2x 80mm intakes:

^ Not the greatest look and the grill is a little out of line with the hole but better that than losing a finger, also this side isn't visible in my current configuration.

Cut out the hole for the ssd wires:

and now to assemble, extreme cable management (or lack of) coming up:

Final look before I close it up, I rotated the h100i waterblock around as it made closing the thing without the tubing blocking all the airflow a lot easier:

That is it for this weekend, I still have to sort out the power button as the pcb isn't working atm, it shorts out after about 10 seconds of turning on. Also the drive cage for the xbox doesn't clip in at the moment which I think is due to the bulk of the wires plugged into it so I am going to strip the outer insulation off the sata power cable to see if that helps. Another fault is the usb 3.0 front panel pictured in my last post has been trimmed down to fit in line with the old odd slot but the case won't close with it in place at the moment so working on a solution to get some sort of front panel. Apart from that it is great!

Currently it is playing bl2 with most of the eye candy at between 30 and 40fps on my desk and this is on stock. I haven't delved into overclocking yet but will do!

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