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Case Mod - In Progress BabyShark (10. 10. 2012: It's FINISHED!)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Nutman, 14 Jul 2012.

  1. Nutman

    Nutman Never stuck with stock

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    "BABY SHARK".

    - A casemod by Hotmods.net

    [​IMG]

    Shark Gaming have hired me to do another casemod for them.

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    I previously did "Project F.O.B. T.C." for them (http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=217176) - this time the idea is a fully watercooled miniITX system that packs quite a punch.

    So, without further ado, I present the case for this build. It's the Cubitek Mini-ICE:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, this is the box, but I promise that there's a case inside. ;) Plenty of promotion pics of the case online, so no need for me to flood this worklog with those.

    Now, during the ordering process neither me nor Shark Gaming were sure if we would be able make all pieces of hardware fit in the case - I didn't have the case, but still had to do a little planning before ordering too much.
    Google SketchUp was my choice of weapon for planning before buying. Since no model of the case existed, I had to create my own without really knowing many of the dimensions. Only the exterior dimensions were known to me, so the rest had to be estimated from promition pics and reviews.

    So this stuff was ordered:

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    Yes, that a Geforce GTX690 on that last picture. It fits inside the case and is currently the most powerful graphics card we could get.
    Now, sadly, the EKWB waterblock for the GTX690 is in their new "CSQ" design - certainly not a favourite of mine and hardly of anyone else I've had a chance of talking to about it. But the client said it had to be EKWB, so EKWB it was. Luckily, we managed to get a CPU block of the old design: the EK Supreme LTX. Sadly, it got ordered in the wrong colours (I had asked for Acetal/EN Nickel), but got Acetal/Copper), but I'll live. After all, the CPU block will more or less be hidden behind the PSU.

    Speaking of the PSU, it's a Silverstone Strider Series 600W and I chose it mainly because it's fully modular (= no need to open it for when sleeving the cables) - the blue connectors is a bonus for the colour scheme of this build: black, blue and white (fits the colours of the Shark Gaming logo).

    On to the first bit of modding. The HDD rack had to go - don't need it, but need the space:

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    It was riveted to the case - some rivets were in plain sight and some were hidden:

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    These are the case LEDs:

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    They're sitting in the HDD rack and since that one had to go, I moved the LEDs to the front of the case - I simply removed the small pieces of acrylic that sat behind the LED holes in the front and then I enlarged those holes to fit the LED sockets that held the LEDs in the HDD rack:

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    With that first bit of modding out of the way, let me introduce you to the motherboard for this build - it's the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe. Incredible little motherboard and quite genius how ASUS have mounted the VRM circuit on a vertical PCB:

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    The fans for the project are Promlimatech's Blue Vortex:

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    From pictures found online the colour seemed to match the colours found on the motherboard.
    Let's check:

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    Not too far from what I had hoped for - the fans are a tad darker than the blue colours of the mobo, but again: nothing I can't live with. And in any case, most of the mobo will be hidden under the PSU, so I just have to make the cooling fluid match the fans as good as possible. Which is why I chose Mayhem's Pastel Blueberry cooling fluid and a small bottle of Mayhem's Deep Blue bombdye - in that way I will be able to create the exact colour needed.

    The mesh already sitting in the case is going to get painted white. There's mesh in 2 fan holes in the main case and in 1 fan hole on one of the side panels.

    The patient has been prepped:

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    Some bits of the mesh has been bent inwards to lock the mesh in place, so I'll have to bend it outwards in order to pop up the mesh:

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    There you go:

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    Same treatment for the top and bottom mesh in the case itself:

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    At this point I wanted to take a closer look at the PSU.

    All cables plugged into the PSU are going to get sleeved - and shortened. There's a very limited amount of space inside a miniITX case (go figure?) and Silverstone's modular cables are nicely long, but, sadly, too long for this project. So they'll be cut, shortened, soldered back together and, finally, sleeved (more about that in one of the next updates).

    First, I started to remove the existing "sleeving" from the ATX 24-pins cable. Easy-peasy:

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    There you have it:

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    MUCH too long, so I'll take care of that later.

    First, a general principle before getting too deep into a casemodding project: check the hardware!
    I can't emphasize enough how important this is - imagine how much extra work you potentially could save, if you spent 15 minutes testing the hardware prior to modding it.
    Priceless modding advice there, people!

    So I began by installing the memory modules - these are from Shark Gaming themselves.
    Rebranded?

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    Installed - not too happy about the green PCB on those modules, but it'll have to do:

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    The small Intel stock cooler looks massive on a miniITX mobo, hehe:

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    Testing time! Look at all thoose cables - what a mess:

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    The Geforce GTX690 requires 2 8-pins cables. Believe me, I've tested with one 8-pin and one 6-pin. When booting up, the computer says "Please connect all cables to this graphics card", so that won't work.
    However, Silverstone only delivers one PCI-E 6+2 pins cable with this Strider PSU, so I had to connect 2 PCI-E 6-pins cables to this splitter, provided with the GTX690 by Palit:

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    I'll make a secondary PCI-E 6+2 pins cable myself - more on that later....

    Testing went fine - even did some mild overclocking:

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    Then I took the system apart again and installed the CPU block:

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    I had to be a bit careful when tigtening the nuts on the CPU block, to prevent the mobo from warping too much. I had a "EKWB LGA-1155 TRUE Backplate" that I tried to mount, but it simply won't fit this mobo. ASUS had placed some small components in the way on the backside of the mobo, so I couldn't tighten down the backplate. I thought I could modify the backplate, but I risked weakening it, so I chose to use the pre-installed one and just be very careful when tigtening the nuts.

    Installed back in the case:

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    As you can see, there's plenty of room for the GTX690:

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    Finally, as I mentioned earlier, I was going to create an additional PCI-E 6+2 pins cable myself, so I started taking some of the "pre-sleeved" cables apart. Again, as with "Project F.O.B. T.C." I found some additional capacitators soldered to some of the wires. Like I did with "Project F.O.B. T.C." I will also just remove them from these cables before sleeving them:

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    Stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: 10 Oct 2012
  2. krussellusaf

    krussellusaf New Member

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    Can't wait for more. I'll be on the lookout.
     
  3. RustyTool

    RustyTool New Member

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    I guess there gonna be some airbrushed sharks on the case?
     
  4. kicklOp

    kicklOp New Member

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    ...and probably a shark fin on top... ^^
     
  5. Nutman

    Nutman Never stuck with stock

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    That has been done already by another danish casemodder on another project for Shark Gaming, so - no. ;)

    If I could airbrush, maybe. I got one, but just never got time to sit down and LEARN! But there WILL be something "sharky" on the case, yes. ;)

    Thanks. Hopefully, you won't have to wait too long.
     
  6. Nutman

    Nutman Never stuck with stock

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    Small update. I noticed some pics missing in the first post, so here they are.

    I mentioned that I had created the case in Google SketchUp before actually receiving it, in order to be able to decide which parts to go with. Sadly, it turns our that the two EKWB XTC 140 radiators were 5 millimetres too long - they clash with the GTX690. By ****ing 5 millimetres! I was quite devastated, but have sent them back (along with 2 of the 140 mm. fans) for being replaced with 120 mm. equivalents. Unfortunately, this means a delay.
    Oh, and I also forgot to mention that I got the wrong EKWB block for the GTX690. Just like with the CPU block, I had ordered the Acetal/EN Nickel version, but received the Acetal/Copper version. However, the vendor accepted to replace the GTX690, since I hadn't unpacked it as much as I had the CPU block. FIne. But still, this means a delay...

    Now, after receiving the case, I fine-tuned the model in SketchUp (still not too accurate, but much better) and started adding parts to it.

    Here's what it looks like right now:

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  7. Furball Zen

    Furball Zen Shut up and Mod

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    Interesting case, nice job so far :)
     
  8. Shurika

    Shurika Member

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    yeah, another mod by Nutman - I`ll watch!
     
  9. GamerIDGoesHere

    GamerIDGoesHere www.^.com

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    Looks good :thumb: subbed.
    - Dan
     
  10. Nutman

    Nutman Never stuck with stock

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    Yes, it's certainly a "modder's case" - many possibilities for a great casemod.

    Thanks! Did you follow my other builds, too? I'm honoured!

    Thank you. More nice things to come, I promise. ;)
     
  11. xSoMBrAx

    xSoMBrAx Member

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    You are quite busy Nutman!
    I'm following this one too :)

    GTX 690 :O :O
     
  12. Nutman

    Nutman Never stuck with stock

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    Yes, GTX690 Fooor thheeee win, I guess. I'm an AMD man myself, but it's quite exciting holding the worlds most powerful graphics card in your hands, hehe. It's not one I would ever be able to afford myself (or, yes - I COULD, but I never WOULD), so it's fun and humbling to get to play with hardware of this magnitude.
     
  13. Hanoken

    Hanoken O.O

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    I'm just amazed by the size difference of the mb and the 690 O.O my god.... Actually, if you had the 670 then the size of the 670 PCB and the mb would look... More sane XD but I'm subbing this for the awesome work :D keeping an eye on this one alright... Good luck mate ;)
     
  14. janslove

    janslove New Member

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    I think I'll be on the lookout.
     
  15. Shurika

    Shurika Member

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    Of course I did! I also watch your videos - they`re great inspiration for my modding! Especialy liked your way of sleeving cables - very good results:thumb::rock:
     
  16. maestro0428

    maestro0428 Master Modder

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    Nice video card! You need to figure out how to show that off. Its a beautiful piece of engineering!
     
  17. Lehani

    Lehani New Member

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    Nice done my friend :) i follow yo closely ;) love your work :)
     
  18. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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    My son loves SHARKS, so we'll both be watching this one :thumb:

    and good to see some lovin for prolimatech, the little company is growing, thanks to us enthusiasts!
     
  19. Nutman

    Nutman Never stuck with stock

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    Hehe, the client wants an insane build, so they match perfectly. :D

    Thanks! :thumb:

    Ooooh, thanks. I'll try to add more good videos.

    I've figured out a way - more on that later (but not in this update, sadly...)

    Thanks, Morten. ;)

    Thanks, Bill. Those Prolimatech Blue Vortex fans fit this project very nicely.

    Hope I won't disappoint your son! :worried:

    --------------------------------------------------------

    Alright, got a liiiiiiiittle time for updating this worklog, so thought I'd have a quick go at it...

    I've shortened the ATX 24-pin cable. It was just waaaaaay too long for a small miniITX build like this...

    First, I measured the exact length needed - then, I cut off the excess wire and stripped 1-2 mm. off of each end. I even remembered to count 2 mm. into the equation, as the 2 ends will be pushed into each other, making the entire shortened wire 2 mm. shorter then when it was just cut. How about that? ;)
    Setting up a strong clamp on top of a ruler which lies on top of a cutting board works great for me when trying to get the wires to all come out with the exact same length:

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    Pushing the wire ends into each other and solder (don't use too much solder, as that will give the finished wire a too thick bump where it was soldered):

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    Apply heat shrink - done:

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    Testing the finished cable - all looks good:

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    Testing the lenght. Now, THAT'S more like it:

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    The cables will be sleeved, so bought some Shakmods sleeving, sold directly from modpc.co.uk - very nice stuff!

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    It's 4 mm. sleeving and the heat shrink supplied fits JUST over the sleeving, paving the way for a good end result:

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    However, the blue sleeving I had ordered was just TOO blue, so ordered some light blue instead. Pictures of that in an upcoming post...

    I had ordered a Startech Slim Optical & 3.5in Hard Drive Mount from kustompcs.co.uk. It would allow me to mount a 3.5" device (you'll see in a later update what I'll put into the 3.5" bay) under a slimline Bluray drive.
    The slimline Bluray drive was requested by the client - and the client even found a slot-in version for a quite reasonable price.
    However, that low price came at a....well, price:

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    It's like something has been put on top of that drive at some point. Even the metal was slightly bent. I could fix that, but, sadly, the front bezel is permanently bent and I'll have to RMA the drive. Sigh....

    That Startech drive thingy wasn't flawless, either... or I don't know what type of screws are used for mounting slimline optical drives normally.
    The heads of ANY screw I could find in my household was simply too wide to be used for mounting the Bluray drive on the Startech drive... eh, thing...
    So, I had to break out the Dremel and make room for the screw heads - job well done:

    [​IMG]

    Now, remember the 3D drawings from the previous update? You couldn't really tell how I planned to mount the radiators like that. But I'll tell y'all now: a home-made radiator holder had to be constructed from scratch. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself here. First, allow me to show you the rads, and also the GPU block. Remember that the vendor sent me the wrong GPU block (Acetal/Copper) initially? Well, here's the right version (Acetal/Nickel):

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    I made the 3D drawings earlier, to be able to tell if there was room for all stuff that goes into this thing, when all was put together. And I thought I HAD measured everything correctly before ordering, so I ordered a couple of EK-Coolstream 140 RAD XTC radiators.

    But, obviously, I had miscalculated something. Those radiators were 3 mm. too long and conflicted with the GTX690. :(
    So I had to send them back to the vendor and have them exchanged for the 120 mm. version instead. Lower cooling capacity, but I guess it still won't be too bad. If only I had ordered thick HWLabs GTX140 instead (those being 171 mm. long, while the EK-Coolstream 140 RAD XTC ones are 177 mm. long), I wouldn't have had that problem. But the HWLabs GTX140 is almost 80% more expensive than the EK-Coolstream 140 RAD XTC , so... EK-Coolstream 120 RAD XTC it is!

    Ok, enough talking. Here's the home-made radiator holder:

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    Riveted together for test mounting the rads - it holds them very well:

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    And the holes for the inlets and outlets even seem to line up reasonably OK:

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    I put the whole module into the case, to see what it looked like:

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    Plenty of room, eh...right? Hmmm...:

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    Since I exchanged the radiators, I also had to exhange the fans. Here's how the Prolimatech fans look on the radiators:

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    I like it.

    I also like how my measurements seems to hold up - the radiator holder is exactly 78 mm. wide and that was what I went for. The fans sit slightly inside where the side panels will sit - there's about 2 mm. space between the sidepanel and the fans. What I will be using those 2 mm.'s for, I'll be showing you in an upcoming update.

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    Will paint the radiator holder black later, but had to mount it into the case first to measure where to cut holes in the side panels for the rad grills. I had ordered some MNPCTech 120 mm Aluminum Billet grills (anodized black) and I used a bit of painter's tape on those for marking their centre - and then I simply lined them up with the lines I had already drawn on the masked off side panels, and drew where I had to cut:

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    Next time, I'll show you how I cut those side panels....

    Last thing I'll be showing you this time is the mounting of the GPU block.

    Those of you who know me and have been following me on Bit-tech and over at my Facebook page KNOW that I really don't like the new CSQ design from EKWB. Not going into details here, though. I've said many times (maybe too many?) where I stand at this, so no need to repaet it here.
    But I can always take some pretty pictures of it, which is what I've tried here.

    First, the card itself - ready be be transformed...

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    Couple o' shots of the backside of the GTX690 block:

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    And the (lego?) top:

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    After removing the original cooler, these 2 holes are left "screw-less":

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    We can't have that. Looks unfinished, so I tried to find some black countersunk screws to fill out those holes. Could find any countersunk ones, so settled for regular black ones:

    [​IMG]

    However, as I mounted the card back into the case, I found that those regular screws didn't allow for the card to sit flush with the PCI bracket, so I exchanged them for some regular, metallic countersunk ones. Looks OK, I guess...

    Enough babbling. Here's how the card looks after mounting the GPU block:

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    Hope the you enjoyed this update. My vacation's coming up and I won't be able to post an update for quite some time. Back in mid september where I hope to be able to conclude this build!

    See you soon!
     
    Last edited: 11 Aug 2012
  20. KoSoVaR^

    KoSoVaR^ Professional Sleever & Modder

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    Looks soo nice with that waterblock on there :D!
    I would rather see recrimped cables as the 4mm shaksleeve wil bump out a bit where you applied the heatshrink over the insulation layer of the wire it self.

    But keep on modding brow !
     

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