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Case Mod - In Progress Gaming in tight spaces - MAX11Lv3 ***COMPLETE! (11/11/11)***

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by miahallen, 2 Oct 2011.

  1. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

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    [Blog] Gaming in Tight Spaces…..mini-ITX (featuring Gigabyte, Silverstone, and Prolimatech)
    About a year ago, I started a project I dubbed "Gaming in Tight Spaces", where I set about building a powerful gaming rig on a minimal budget based on the mini-ITX platform. The system was a huge success, and the feedback I received was very positive, apparently lots of users were interested in downsizing their system's physical footprint, without sacrificing power.

    Gaming in Tight Spaces v2.0 – MAX11L (featuring Corsair and Gigabyte)
    A few months later, I found that the first version, while nice, wasn't extreme enough to satisfy my developing vision for the project. So I started a major rebuild, where I really pushed the system to a new level of performance with a quad core CPU and GTX 480 graphics card with MAX11L.

    The term MAX11L refers to my goal of cramming as much stuff as possible into 11 liters in volume. The SG05 case used in the projects is 10.78L. But I ran into a major hurdle with the 2nd version, the GTX 480 needed too much power, and the Silverstone ST450SF 450W PSU was not up to the task (which many of you warned me about). Not only that, but I found the 300W stock PSU was a better quality unit, capable of driving the system even better with the HD 5870 graphics card installed. However, without a full size PSU, it didn't seem there was a way to effectively run a power hungry card like the 480.

    But the wheels didn't stop turning, and I've retained my desire to push the concept to the real extremes, which brings us to today.

    MAX11Lv3


    I really wanted to get two things done in the same space as before, I wanted to be able to use a high power graphics card, and I wanted to water cool the CPU & GPU. This means that the most difficult part of this build will be making everything fit, and it will require a lot of modding/fabrication.

    However, I did not have the funding available to complete the project, and if this was going to happen, I needed assistance.

    So, I'm very pleased to announce that Silverstone liked my work on round 1 and 2, and have agreed to supply another case for the project, thanks Silverstone :)

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    But, that wasn't enough. So when a friend of mine asked if I would build him a small gaming machine, I asked if he would be interested in sponsoring this build which would be his when we finish. He agreed with one condition...that he be involved in the build process. How could I refuse? Besides building modding, and overclocking, I also really enjoy sharing my passion for computers with others. So Norbert and I will be working on this project together.

    Here is the parts list:

    Water cooling parts:

    And here is a gallery of the components before we get started.
    The SG06 broken down.

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    The ASRock Z68 motherboard.
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    The Intel Core i7 CPU
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    Corsair Vengence LP memory.
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    The Nexus NX-6000 PSU, this PSU was selected due to its non-standard 125mm depth. Most ATX PSUs at 150mm or longer.

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    The PNY GTX 580.

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    The Intel 160GB X25M SSD.

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    The LITE-ON optical drive.

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    The Scythe fans.

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    The Bitfenix sleeved cables.

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    The Magicool Pro Slim radiator.

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    The Swiftech CPU water block.

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    The Swiftech pump.

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    The Tecnofront Nano reservoir.

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    The Bitspower GPU waterblock.

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    The Bitspower fittings, CoolIT tubing, and Koolance clamps.

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    Last edited: 12 Nov 2011
    Pliqu3011 likes this.
  2. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

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    I knew right away that making all of these components fit into the SG05/06 chassis was not going to be easy. In fact, in the default layout, I think it'd basically be impossible. So I knew we'd have to get creative.

    I started by unriviting the top braces from the chassis.

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    They are important for structural rigidity, but they were the wrong shape to accomidate the 90 degree layout desired without heavy modification. So I decided I would make the motherboard tray & radiator mounts double at replacements for these removed braces.

    Using 3mm thick black acrylic, we cut it down to size.

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    Then using an acrylic bending rig, we heated up the plates at either end...

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    Then bent up each end.

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    Measures up perfectly to the cross braces I removed earlier.

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    Next we tapped holes to mount the motherboard on one side.

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    Obviously, the stock rear panel isn't going to work either. So we cut it out.

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    Here is the result.

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    At this point, both new side panels have been cut, the opposite side will be used to mount the radiator. Both panels will be attached to the chassis with the original mounting points, although we have not decided whether to rivet or screw them in (any opinions?).

    We have a guy from OCN lazer cutting some acrylic to replace the rear panel at this time.
    Much, much more to come, stay tuned :)
     
    Last edited: 3 Oct 2011
  3. L1U

    L1U Member

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    got no idea on how you'll fit all that goodies in such small space^^

    the radiator is supposed to be inside the case or external?

    good luck with this new project!
     
  4. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

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    Internal, but the GPU block will not be fully internal :D
     
  5. HobbieZones.com

    HobbieZones.com New Member

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    Looking GOOD.

    But dont ya want some more room like 2 or 3 more FEET each way ? :naughty:
     
  6. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

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  7. Device Unknown

    Device Unknown New Member

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    If I see another gadget, toy ,creature, or doll in every picture of someone's work log, I'm going to hurl.
     
  8. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

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    Um....I don't have a gadget, toy, creature, or doll in my worklog pictures :eyebrow:

    I have a keychain that Gigabyte gave me for winning the GOOC 2009 North American qualifier. It's in all the photos I've taken for worklogs, articles, and reviews (there are quite a few) :thumb:
     
  9. Warsmith

    Warsmith Enginseer

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    .
     
    Last edited: 3 Oct 2011
  10. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

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    Yes it is...photos with a watermark don't necessarily belong to you until after you apply the watermark ;)

    But please, lets stay on topic :thumb:
     
  11. peteski

    peteski long live the pc

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    nice start miahallen i like the idea and it will be intresting to see how you get so much in so little space

    subscribed :rock:
     
  12. Lance

    Lance Ender of discussions.

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    Ohhh this looks very interesting.

    I've been wanting a mini ITX build for a while now.
     
  13. TheLegendJoe

    TheLegendJoe Syntax error

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    This should be good, I'm looking forward to reading through this :D
     
  14. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

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    Today we mounted the GPU water block. The BitsPower block is very unique, it has its in/output situated on the edge (instead of the faces) of the block.

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    Next we traced and cut a water block template...

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    ...and applied that to the bottom of the case.

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    Then Mr Dremel got busy.

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    Notched the front panel as well to allow for the extra 3-4mm of clearance needed for this GPU.

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    We also cut out the rear panel for the I/O area, but I missed taking an after shot of it.

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    Next we took the opposite side plexi wall and cut it up for the radiator mounting.

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    Mounted up and ready to go in.

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    I also drilled holes and tapped the plexi trays to allow them to mount as stressed members in the case. So they will become part of the chassis for rigidity.

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    That's it for now, over the next week, I'm hoping to fined enough time to rewire the PSU and replace its fan, then I can move onto putting everything together. :)
     
  15. KidMod-Southpaw

    KidMod-Southpaw Super Spamming Saiyan

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    The mounting solution for the waterblock is really cool! That sure is a way to save space.
    Really liking this so far, will keep my eye on it.
     
  16. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    This ones off to a cracking start, there's not much left of the original case, going to be following this one. Nice work dude.
     
  17. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

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    Thanks guys....this one is a real challenge, but should be very cool if it all works out how I'm hoping :)
     
  18. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

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    I swapped fans in the PSU

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    And rewired the PSU...

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    ...with custom length cables.

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    Then mounted the fans & PSU cover to the radiator.

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    Then attempted to test fit all the major components...

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    The only issue with the first test fit was an edge I need to cut a bit further on marked here.

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    That's it for today :)
     
  19. imersa

    imersa Parvum Princess

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    I've recently dropped my SR-2 to downgrade and gather parts for an mATX rig.
    Now it just feels big and goofy. Time for a smaller rethink perhaps... :/
    Stunning build man!
     
  20. Blarte

    Blarte Moderate Modder

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    ingenius use of a PSU to also run air through the rad !
     

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