(I don't have a fancy custom logo yet, so this will have to do for now)
This project has been worked on for a while now, started way before Project: Wet Rarity
kicked off. but the actual start of the project was an unexpected one...
Intel's Sandybridge had just hit the scene. and having issues with heat with my i7 920 skt1366 system. i was eager to jump to SB quickly. so selling off my i7 920, asus p6tD and ram to a friend. i went and got me an 2500K, a sabertooth p67 and 8gb vengance ram.
then i got an email.
that was a surprise, i just won a £150 motherboard. that would make my new SB build a bit more awesome... it's a skt 1366 board... [EXPLETIVE].
what to do? my friend who purchased my old stuff couldn't afford it, and didn't want it. nobody else i knew would want to buy it, and then spend more cash getting a CPU and ram for it. At the time, i had no access to Bit-tech's marketplace so couldn't sell it there.... i was stuck with it. so i decided to actually build something with it.. but what would be a good theme build to use the board with.
proper military/FPS game style PC's have been done to death before... but something that is obviously gun themed would look out of place anywhere else... what other things could i use a gun themed motherboard... i thought hard about it, but the answer was clearly on the wall.
I am a huge Nerf gun fanatic, buying and modifying them. so could i turn the G1 killer board into a G1 Nerfer... let's see if i can. only thing was, i really didn't fancy having a Nerf yellow case... wait, the new Vortex guns are green, green's a good colour and the G1 had green on it too, and it works well with orange.
But that was still just the board, i had nothing to put it in and use it. Nor did i have the money to buy all new parts. fortunately, i had just gained access to the Bit-tech marketplace. a wretched hive of scum an...... wait, that's not true at all. it's a wonderful place of great deals and an excellent userbase. could i manage to get all the parts i need at low prices?
strike 1 was a lucky find, a Silverstone TJ-07 PLUS a quad 10mm Radiator at a ridiculous price. I immediately purchased that, as the TJ-07 is one of the finest cases around, plus the quad rad would keep a i7 system under control with ease.
later purchases included a i7 930. SSd drives, a laing DDC pump, a EK supreme waterblock and a tube reservoir. ebay filled out 6gb of ram while the only new purchases were for a 650W antec PSU and with a new 560ti going in my main PC, vortex inherited my old GTX 470 and waterblock.
adding it all together, and started modding things. first off, the G1 got a makeover, all the black heatsinks got a coat of orange paint, along with the stock green for a more Nerf-y look. Ram sticks also got painted orange to match.
meanwhile, the TJ-07 took a while before i had the time to start work on it (lots of time at work, couple of anime conventions, bad weather, etc)
The first choice was to flip the motherboard tray. considering that this will probably live on the left side of my desk. i wouldn't get to see much through the case window.. this does of course require a fair bit of modification to the case, along with cutting a new window opening on the other side panel. braided cable extensions will neaten up the cable routing, as all the stock PSU cables can be kept hidden in the lower chamber.
Flipping the board also helps with the watercooling layout, and also exposes the graphics card waterblock. the tj-07 was missing it's roof mesh grill, but i'm going to replace that with some clear perspex for a window. you should be able to see the fluid flowing through the graphics card through the top of the case
I'm disapointed in how the TJ-07 looks like it was designed to invert without modifications, even having screw holes in the correct places. however, it's not as simple as swapping the tray rails. looks like they'll need cutting in order to fit in. however, the only good tool we have here for cutting metal, is a rather fierce angle grinder..
it frankly scares me a bit, so i ask my father nicely to cut down a rail for me. in hindsight, perhaps i shouldn't have jumped to that conclusion quickly. (it's looking like i didn't need to even waste time in doing this)
The case came with 2 pre-drilled holes, fitted with fillports. to keep things simple and clean, i stuck everything on a single loop, so having 2 fill ports seemed a bit daft, but what could i do with a hole i can't fill... hang on, i do have some cold cathodes for this case...
fill the hole with the cathode's power switch. easy access, and hole filling.
Let's talk about this Radiator. no idea who made it, but it's massive! most TJ-07 casemods gut the lower part of the case to fit radiators, and this one juuuuusssttt fits in there.
It came with 4 fan spacers, but after putting in my PSU, could only really use 2 of them. (mostly cause with all 4 in place, it was right up against the PSU body)
I also had a lack of suitable length screws to hold all the fans + shrouds on the radiator. so i used 2 of them, but in order to attach them, i had to remove the corners of the first 2 fans. speaking of which, they're Akasa Black Apache 120mm PWM fans. pretty good airflow to noise, and with the PWM function (all 4 fans are linked to 1 PWM plug via a splitter cable), they adjust their speed automatically via the motherboard.
drilled a new hole in the bottom of the case. but for what?
positioned near the radiator.
attached to the bottom of the radiator is a crystal T-block.
the hole in the floor is in the right position to unscrew a blanking plug in the T block. this will allow me to drain the watercooling system, much like changing the oil on a car.
"why not use a T line and a shutoff valve?" you may ask. Plan to use Mayhems Aurora fluid. in testing however, it was discovered that T lines actually separate the pearl effect, making Aurora useless. hopefully, by sing the T block, it should eliminate the pocket that the pearl effect can get stuck in, yet still allow drainage.
Here's current progress.
You may have noticed the colour, it's not hard to miss, fluorescent green tends to stand out (for some reason, the camera flash makes it look like a metallic coat, i assure you it's not)
there was a pic of it in white primer, but it's stuck on a camera somewhere...
the side panels need painting, when the weather turns good again. should look bold in orange, leaving the grills black. the front panel has 2 Antec 1200 HDD cages/front fans installed (a castoff from Wet Rarity) and will eventually end up orange some day. the internals may stay in black, not decided on that yet..
This Project log may have sporadic updates, compared to Wet Rarity. mostly because since WR is my main PC, it's taking priority. Vortex is a fun project. there's no real deadline for me to finish it, unless Nerf themselves or some other sponsor want me to hurry and finish it. (mind you. i've not actively asked any sponsor or Nerf themselves to help with this in any way. if they come across this themselves and want to contact me, that's fine. i just don't feel right asking them/begging them for stuff/help)