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Case Mod - In Progress Evolution of a Prodigy from ITX to mATX - 02-10-13

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Pierre3400, 28 Aug 2013.

  1. Pierre3400

    Pierre3400 New Member

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    Hello People,

    Over the past few months I have been building on my Bitfenix Prodigy.

    This is a non sponsored build.

    The story leading up to the modding.


    The Bitfenix was originally bought to just have an ITX build, for playing the off games on, hooked up to the TV.

    When I bought the case, the first setup to go into the case was:
    AsRock B75M ITX
    Intel i5 2400S
    2x 4Gb Kingston 1333mhz
    OCZ Octane 2.0 60Gb
    250Gb Samsung 2.5" 5400Rpm
    OCZ 600watt PSU.
    and the stock Bitfenix fans.

    At the time I had a Gigabyte HD6950 2Gb with Arctic Extreme (did not fit in the case)

    Picture from building, I am sorry, I didnt take any complete closed case pictures back then.
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    This rig was at this point up and running, but not doing much gaming with an i5 2400S, and no graphics card.

    Because of the placement of the CPU on the motherboard, not all fans can be installed, and also have room for a GPU. Therefore I spent some time finding the correct fan, but i soon had one.

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    I soon found an Asus 7870 2Gb card to install, so I could do some gaming.
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    For a while this was where the PC stayed, only changed were upgrade to i5 2500, then to an i7 3770.

    I have been playing around with my old Corsair H70 on my main rig, and found that it was not cutting the cake on cooling my i7 3770K, so I cut it up, and stuffed it into my Prodigy case.

    This was not pretty, but pretty ghetto.

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    I had an old aluminium radiator, this radiator actually came from my very first watercooling set, on my Pentium 4 2,26Ghz. Figured it would cool something.

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    My alphacool fillport/res was bought used, and i didnt have any fittings, so I got a hold of some fitting from an air compressor. Worked 100% fine.

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    Airing the system out.

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    This ghetto system worked really well, kept the 3770 nice and cool at all times, and was a quiet.

    I left this system running for a few months. Did a bunch of gaming, and found that the 7870 was now the loudest piece of hardware, and when playing games, well, it started to annoy me. I cleaned the heatsink, used MX-4 paste, and tried out installing a 200mm front fan, but nothing really worked.

    One day at work I was bored browsing the internet, and came across a Bitfenix Prodigy with an mATX motherboard modded into it. This really sparked my interrest, and I went a month or two where the thought of doing would pop up in my mind, yet I would push it back, because I kept telling myself it wasnt worth it. During this period I had joined a national forum, where I found hardware was swapping hands easy, and there was lots of it, going cheap!

    I put my AsRock B75M ITX up for swap, and soon found a guy with an AsRock B75 Pro3 mATX board, that was willing to do a swap. In my haste I thought it was a different motherboard, so maybe I screwed myself a tiny bit in this deal, but never mind that, I now had an mATX and only one way forward.

    The real project beings.

    The motherboard came, and before even testing it, I stuck my cpu into it, started test fitting, to try and understand the task that lay ahead of me.

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    The case got torn down.

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    The mess! (Sorry for picture quality :( )
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    I started to test fit, I had and old case from which the rear panel was quickly removed.
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    The task was now clear, and the modding could begin for real.

    Getting dirty with tools.

    I drilled out the rivets to remove the rear of the case, and took it to my work, where I have access to a metal shop.

    I soon started cutting and preparing.

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    The motherboard was now in place, with standoffs and everything.
    So all focus now went to the expansion slots.

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    I was very focused on wanting to keep the original mounting holes for the 120mm exhaust fan.
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    My first order of parts for this build arrived.

    Magicool 240mm Slim
    Hardware Labs 140mm
    Corsair CX750M
    EK 2.0 pump
    EK fittings

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    Bought a used EK block (this is a secondary system for me, and this block was cheap)
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    Did my first attempt at sleeving, on the EK pump.
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    The first big day

    My co-worker finally had some time to weld the rear of the case. I know it aint pretty, but anyone that has welded with such thin metal, know its not easy.

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    Sanded the case down a bit and gave it some primer, followed by some white paint.
    In my haste, I had fully forgotten to cut a piece out above slot 1 and 2.

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    The piece was cut out, and case painted once more.

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    The case skeleton was reassembled at long last :)

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    The complete case w/ some hardware installed.

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    I had my rads ready for mounting.

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    GPU was test fitted, and went everything fit perfect.

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    I soon purchased an EK waterblock for my 7870, and I was looking on the used market for another Reference 7870 so I could make a Crossfire system.

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    The project hit a slight dead point at this time. First of all, as the keen observer may have noticed or know, the motherboard had the PCI-E 16x slots place in postion 1 and 4, making it impossible to install a GPU in slot number 4 and close the case. So I went on a hunt to replace my current Asrock motherboard.

    I settled on an AsRock H77 Pro4-m, which had 16x slots in postion 1,3 and 4, and the old AsRock motherboard was sold.

    The new motherboard arrived (Brand new)
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    Installed, looked pretty much the same as before.
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    I had now been searching for a Reference 7870 2Gb for a long time, and finally I just snapped.
    Sold the 7870 with the EK block, and started a hunt for a 2x7970/7950 or 680GTX or 670GTX.

    In the mean time, I set up the rig for use, because I was at the point with my other current project (Corsair 600T) where it was time to tear that rig down.

    Since a geek needs a rig, I plugged in 2x 5870 1Gb, and bought some cheap tubing, hooked up the CPU, and the rig was running, but I was not happy with the looks, and it was a real armature job, simply because I was in a rush.

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    The system was now running, and even with crappy tubes, that I had to zip tie down, and zip tie along the tube so they wouldn't collapse in bends, it did run, and did work.

    The setup was at this point:
    AsRock H77 Pro4-M
    i7 3770
    2x Sapphire 5870 1Gb
    OCZ Octane 2.0

    This presented me with a new problem.
    Since I was now using this rig daily, I did play games on it, but the pair of 5870's were not doing a good job. After I read the manual, :duh: my head, I had to admit that I had made yet another fatal error. The H77 did indeed have the PCI-E 16x slots I wanted, but for running CFX, I had to use Slot 1 and 4, and this put me back to the old issue that was my reason for even changing the motherboard in the first place.

    The money I had saved for graphic cards, now had to be spent on yet another motherboard.
    After careful research, I found that the only solution for me would be to get an Asus Maximus V Gene Z77.

    So I did.

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    Now that I had a Z77 chipset, the i7 3770 suddenly was no fun, since it was locked.
    I swapped it for a nice i5 2500K

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    I forgot to take any photos of the new motherboard and so on, but this setup finally had me up and running with correct CFX setup. But this, was far from the end of things.

    The sapphires, are one may have guessed, were not on the silent side, and GPU1, suffered from being starved of air.

    One night I got lucky, and scored myself a cheap Gigabyte 670GTX Windforce 3X, and things started to pick up once more. The rig was running 4,8Ghz stable, and the GPU was working great!

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    I also bought the premade window for the case.

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    The 670GTX is a great GPU, it was fairly quiet and working well for me.
    I had started the hunt for a GPU block, and had come across an EVGA GTX680 Hydro Copper.
    I had been told that the Gigabyte 670GTX used the 680 PCB, and therefore the 680GTX block would fit my GPU. I bought the Hydro Copper at a great price with backplate.

    Now the system was ready for a final overhaul. I ordered a some fittings and PrimoChill Advance LRT tubing, and started a rebuild to full watercooling.

    Before the tear down.

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    Almost empty.

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    Annnnd emtpy, drained and ready for rebuild.
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    The EVGA block.

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    This was NOT a direct fit! The EVGA GTX680, has the power connections stacked on the PCB, while the Gigabyte 670GTX has them side by side.
    With a little modding, of the block, and the a bit of work with the GPU, the 680block was mounted to the 670 PCB.

    I now started to test fit the new tubes.
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    With test fitting complete, I mounted the new clamps (not pretty, but they work)

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    Inside the tube on the outlet of the pump sits a Mayhem 99.99% Silver Coil, with part of the coil on the fitting to that it does not move into the rad and block flow.

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    I added destilled water, and started to air out the system.

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    No leaks.

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    We are ready to rock, after a full night of running to air it out.

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    Shes up and running.

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    Semi Finished

    This is how the system is sitting today. Regarded to be Semi-Finished.

    Full Specs:
    Asus Maximus V Gene
    Intel i5 2500K @ 4,8Ghz
    Kingston HyperX low profil DDR3 1866Mhz 2x2Gb
    Gigabyte GTX670 Windforce 3x 2Gb
    OCZ Octane 2.0 Sata2 60Gb
    Seagate 120Gb HDD
    Corsair CX750M

    Cooling:
    Magicool 240 Slim Radiator
    Hardware Labs 140 Radiator
    2x Noiseblocker BlackSilent Pro 120mm
    1x Enermax Cluster UCCL14 140mm
    EKWB Supreme LX CPU Block
    EKWB 12mm (1/2") G1/4 High-Flow Fittings
    EKWB PSC Adapter 90° G1/4 Nickel
    EKWB DCP 2.2 Pump
    EVGA GTX680 Hydro Copper (Modded to fit 670)
    PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT White
    Swiftech MCRES Micro Rev2 Reservoir

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    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/7024926

    Future and reason why this build is not complete.

    As you all can see, I currently only have 1 GPU, which makes this build completely stupid, since all this is possible with and ITX board. Due to money shortage, and a separate project, my funds are tied up there at the moment.

    Once I have funds, I will be looking for a second 670GTX, which will also be watercooled of course.

    Apart from the, I am currently waiting for a mount, to mount the SSD and HDD, plus I will replacing the front panel with a Mesh type.

    I will update the progress as it happens.

    For now, thank you for reading threw the project, I hope you enjoyed my journey with my Prodigy.

    If you have questions or comments, I will be happy to answer.
     
    Last edited: 2 Oct 2013
  2. Pierre3400

    Pierre3400 New Member

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    Today I installed an LED strip in the top above the window.

    With flash:
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    Without flash:
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    Still waiting for my HDD/SSD mount to arrive.
     
  3. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

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    Very clean work on the rear of the case :dremel:
     
  4. Pierre3400

    Pierre3400 New Member

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    Thank you.

    Small written update.

    I have bought some new parts for the case.

    Mesh front, that needs to be painted white.
    Bitfenix Recon white fan controller.
    3x Gentle Typhoons to replace the current noiseblockers. (2 on top rad and one for rear exhaust)
    A bunch of fittings, yes its getting redone just once more :)
    Phobya xtreme 200 v.2
    4x Arctic Cooling F9 <-- Custom mount will be laser cut so they can fit on the Phobya.
    500Gb 2,5 HDD 7200Rpm to replace the other HDD.
    Custom mount for the HDD/SSD.

    Some of these parts have arrived, some are on the way.

    Stay tuned :)
     
  5. Pierre3400

    Pierre3400 New Member

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    Some of the parts arrived, and some have already been modded.

    Heres a picture of some of the parts.
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    Painted the new front panel.
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    Put it back together did a fast test fit.
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    And the front done.
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    Also got fans, not all are for my Prodigy ;)
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    Updates with full rebuild coming up. I need to get a lasercut part for the 200mm rad to mount 4x 92mm fans.

    Comments welcome.
     
    Last edited: 14 Sep 2013
  6. flame696

    flame696 Terminating People Since 1980....

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    That is some great work can't wait for more
     
  7. Pierre3400

    Pierre3400 New Member

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    Update - Its been a while.

    Its been sometime without an update.

    I have spent my time buying stuff, and having things made.

    During this little break, i have changed the blue LEDS on the side, to white LEDS, much much happier now!

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    Other than that, just things have come in.

    Phobya 200mm Rad
    4x 92mm Arctic cooling fans, F7 i think?
    Laing DDC-1T pump with acrylic top
    New slim black clamps for the tubes.
    and my fully custom lasercut fan shroud for the 200mm rad to fit 4x92mm.

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    HDD is also installed the rig now, nothing fancy, 500Gb 7200rpm HGST drive.

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    I am hoping for the last fittings to arrive from the UK this week, and start the rebuild this weekend. :thumb:

    Stay tuned for more.
     
  8. hpatto17

    hpatto17 New Member

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    Amazing build ..I saw this yesterday and had to try! So I did. The first thing I did was tape up all the stand offs and sit the board in there and I noticed the bottom pcie lane lined up perfectly and the only thing covered was the ps2 ports on the board and I can run the lowest lane in x16 so worked out fine! So I started test fitting things and found the hdd cage fits under the board with about 1cm to spare.
     

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