1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Planning Mitx watercooled Cube

Discussion in 'Modding' started by tkgclimb, 15 Sep 2010.

  1. tkgclimb

    tkgclimb man it's all harder than it looks

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi,

    I'm planning on doing a small mini itx compter case (from scratch) that is both a perfect cube and watercooled.

    Since I'm trying to make this about as small as possible my cube dimensions are 7" x 7" x (well you get the idea). Here are a few rough sketch ups of it, (note: my sketch up skills suck, as this is the first time I have ever used it, and I don't really know how to do anything).

    I am planning on using 1/8" steel for the material (aluminum is expensive and hard to work with since I'm welding it together), meaning that the inside of the case is limited to 6.75" in all dimensions, (barely enough for a mini itx board). I also want to do a light blue theme (see motherboard) to contrast with the military look of welded steel, i think it will be cool.

    Also remember that this is a plan-if it gets to expensive or I don't have the time (applying to college yippee) it might go on back seat for a while, and I'm sorry if you think I wasted you're time.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Inspiration's for this case are listed at the bottom.

    Anyway here are the sketches (if you would like to know any dimensions just tell me an I'll get them to you)


    [​IMG]

    The rad's a 120mm

    and the little white plates below the motherboard will hold the standoffs and will be attached (most likely welded to the sides of the case).

    If you're wondering how I'm going to get 3/8" watercooling tubes and sleeved wires to the top from the bottom portion with .05" of space, I"m not. I will drill holes (I was planning on one for every wire of the 24pin connector, each sata connection, and each tube) so they will come out show there colors and then go back in.

    [​IMG]

    Notice how a GPU will not fit into the slot on account for pci-e slot being right next to the edge (and hence a side), this will be fixed by a flexible pci-e riser and a low profile gpu will be placed on top of the audio ports.

    Also the rad has been moved to the left since this image was captured

    [​IMG]]

    Just another image, the slim drive will most likely be covered with something (as to not just be plain black) and I haven't decided on where the power button will go.

    Don't worry about the stuff in the background

    [​IMG]

    with a fat 120mm rad (55m thick). I Don't think this will work because the distance from the CPU to the fan (granted it is a 25mm could go slimmer). is about 2.6cm (1") and that's pretty slim even with 90 degree fittings.

    It is possible to go the 140 route (I want to) but it will be very very tight with the gpu.

    The Hardware is not set in stone, but it is budget oriented

    Gigabyte GA-h55n 1156 mitx motherboard
    Intel core i3 530 or 540 (budget)
    Corsair Dominator 2x2gb (I know it's expensive but it looks cool and goes with the blue theme)
    FSP Group FSP270-60LE mini tix/flex atx 80 plus Power supply (fits, and has good amounts on the 12v rails)
    Gpu-either a gt240 or wait and use the IGP until something better comes out (gt 420 or 440)
    Low profile of course (and less than 6.7"
    2.5" hdd, for now at least, I'm hopping to get a 1.8" ssd for a boot drive in the future.

    Water cooling
    Black Ice gt 120
    3/8" Id tubing
    mcp350 (most likely without top because It's the only way it will really fit)
    T-line (I think that's the only way)
    Block-I don't know, something low profile like a
    Swiftech Apogee LP High Performance CPU Waterblock - Low Profile
    or
    EK Supreme HF Universal CPU Liquid Cooling Block

    I know I could use an h50 or something of the sort, but I have three feelings on it
    It's kinda cheeting watercooling
    It doesn't look as good
    I can't cool anything else in the future (not my biggest problem, though it might be possible to throw a block on a gpu)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    Inspirations and Note: I know this design looks a lot like oliverw92's amazing mini me case, his case gave me the inspiration to do this and I tried lots of other designs but it was hard (almost impossible with the 6.75" limitation) and non of them turned out any good, his design was rock solid, so I'm not trying to fix something that isn't broke. Hopefully, I'm making it original enough so I don't offend anyone.

    I also got inspiration from http://www.million-dollar-pc.com/systems-2010/pink-project-janik/037.htm
    and it's builder Janik M. aka Xien16

    Plus many other's (don't worry though if I use an idea in my mod I will give you credit)


    Thanks
     
    Last edited: 23 Sep 2010
  2. Floyd

    Floyd Wire Twister

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    288
    Likes Received:
    1
    Have you looked into PICO PSUs? That would save you a TON of space. You wouldnt be able to run a GPU off of it though. Doesnt look like theres any room for a GPU anywho with the rad fan being so close to the I/O ports.
     
  3. asura

    asura jack of all trades

    Joined:
    22 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    1,747
    Likes Received:
    78
    A black ice and a low profile fan is a no-no, very restrictive to airflow those rads, so they need high static preasure, which comes from thick fast fans; a thin fan just wouldn't cope. You'd be better off squeasing in a 140mm radiator in there if you can, if not then a low fpi rad, mcr, PA, SR-1 whatever fit's best.

    Oh and maybe a slot load drive, that way it's just a neat cut, elegant.
     
  4. tkgclimb

    tkgclimb man it's all harder than it looks

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah I was thinking about doing pico's (possibly even two pico's) but they are expensive (especially for two) and you're right, will not support a gpu.

    There is room (sorry the picture that shows it the best is older, the rad has since been moved)

    here's a new image with dimensions of width, the height (from the top of the audio ports to the top of the case is 3 9/16")

    [​IMG]

    thanks for your input

    Then only reason I would get a low profile fan would if I got a thick radiator, which would mean I could get a low airflow designed radiator. But thanks for the info, high airflow necessary on a Black ice gt stealth and a GTX extreme. I'll check the fits on those low airflow rads

    Great Idea on the slot drive, If i can find a good one for a reasonable price it will defiantly be a go, thanks a lot for that.:clap:

    Edit: I'll do a draw up with a 140mm and see if it will fit.

    Also here's some of the drives I found

    http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Optiarc-...?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1284572638&sr=1-26
    Cheepest

    http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-SOD01-12-7-interface-Drive/dp/B0025VKQBK

    http://store.mp3car.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=OPT-005

    http://store.mp3car.com/Teac_DV_W28SS_RM3_Slim_Slot_load_DVD_R_RW_RDL_R_p/opt-010.htm

    BUT ebay seems to be the best and cheapest place to get one of these
     
    Last edited: 15 Sep 2010
  5. asura

    asura jack of all trades

    Joined:
    22 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    1,747
    Likes Received:
    78
    Also take a look at something like this or this smaller volume, not sure how the added depth would affect you, just got to try it around and see.
     
  6. tkgclimb

    tkgclimb man it's all harder than it looks

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Those would probably give me more room in the bottom section (or somewhere else if I redesigned it, but since they are dc-dc, I would need an ac-dc converter, which are both expensive and hard to find for that wattage.

    Thanks for your help though
     
  7. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    11,836
    Likes Received:
    1,526
    You are going to want a little space around the edges of the board. For example: the Pico psu on my ITX rig is jammed up against the inner wall even with a 1/8" gap between the board and wall. will the harddrive have the cables running outside too? It won't fit otherwise.
    -That reminds me... We found you can't fold a SATA cable near the connector either. They just break.
    -Need a least 1/2" behind a laptop optical drive for the possible cable converter boards and a full inch for SATA connectors. It might be best to design this bit after you get the drive. They tend to surprise you.
    -Sleeved cables just add extra bulk. go for all white wires or something.;)
     
  8. tkgclimb

    tkgclimb man it's all harder than it looks

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the advice. Yes the sata cables will go outside, as well.

    If I don't use a pico PSU (which I probably wont) I don't think i'll need that 1/8 gap with just a standard 24pin atx connector, right? Not including the cables, because as you said they will go on the outside.

    I'm not really worried about the extra width, i'm going to use the cutter to just put small holes to mark locations and then I'll drill them out (probably around 3/16"holes though). I was going to do a light blue and all white wire mix alternating every one.

    I've got more than an inch and a half on the optical drive, but only 3/8" behind the 2.5" drive. Since that won't need any adapters I can probably get a 90 plug (for sata and power) in and call it good, Or just remember to plug it in before I put the drive in.

    I am starting to draw up the panels so I can get them cut out. Do you guys think it would better to do 2 lines of 28 (24 + 4) individual holes across (excluding sata and WC tubes) or 4 lines of 14 across?

    Also I have to decide which panels to make removable, at first I was going to do the two sides, but then I realized if I was going to lace the wires through one side and up, it would be tied in so to say. So right now I only have one side being removable. The only thing that wouldn't have anything mounted to it would be the back (I could mount the PSU to the floor) or front, the only problem is that if either the back or front was removed the motherboard's little shelf things wouldn't have anywhere to attach to. Unless I removed the back in which I could get a long standoff and mount it the psu, If I made the front removable the forward right mount would have to be something (insulated of course) that sad on top of the optical drive. What do you guys think?

    Thanks for all the help guys
    and sorry for the long post

    PS: As for the 140mm radiators, I've only got like 11/16 inches from the edge of the rad to the edge of the case. And since I can't put the card underneath the radiator (only 2 3/16" height unit the fan about 1/4" in). And since a low profile card is 2.5" at the plug ins (card itself not bracket) I don't think it will work.
     
  9. tkgclimb

    tkgclimb man it's all harder than it looks

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    I just ordered the hardware (so my measurements are more accurate and now I have a foot in the door)
    except wc stuff as that can come later.

    @cheapskate-how would i go about changing the wire colors on the psu wires without sleeving, i'm starting to realize you're right, the extra bulk of sleeving might be a problem? And if anyone would know how thick a regular wire is with single sleeving could you let me know? thanks
     
    Last edited: 19 Sep 2010
  10. tkgclimb

    tkgclimb man it's all harder than it looks

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Okay, one last set of question (well maybe)

    Here are the are the important sides to the cube (the ones with accurate cuts going into them)

    BACK
    [​IMG]
    The little rectangle in the upper right is the pci slot, it's small and not to size so when I get the graphics card fit, I can cut it out to the right dimentsions.

    TOP
    [​IMG]
    The little lines off the fan mounts (thats where the mounts for most 120mm rads are right?) are to display the total size of the radiator.

    RIGHT
    [​IMG]
    This is where are the cables are going to come up. the line in the middle represents the motherboard. The top and bottom cables are .5" away from it, should I go more?. Also the sata slots are wider than normal because I have to have .25" wide and .625" long to fit the heads of the cables through, even though the actually cable is much shorter. Meaning a cable with be flopping around in a big slot, any ideas? Should I add 12 more little holes (2x6) for a pci-express power cable, will a shorter lowprofile card every need one?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: 19 Sep 2010
  11. Boscoe

    Boscoe Electronics extraordinaire.

    Joined:
    5 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    1,108
    Likes Received:
    50
    You do realise a mini-itx board is 7.1" x 7.1" so a case that is 7" cubed is immpossible including room along the edges of the mobo and the thinkness of your material. Have you thought about cable routing, tubing pumps HDD mounts barb length. I want to make exactly the same thing but 8" cubed but as my shed is getting a revamp atm it's not possible so you've beaten me!

    Good luck!

    EDIT: By your drawings it's just not happening! I think you'll have to go bigger if you want this to look good!
     
  12. capnPedro

    capnPedro Hacker. Maker. Engineer.

    Joined:
    11 Apr 2007
    Posts:
    4,381
    Likes Received:
    241
     
  13. tkgclimb

    tkgclimb man it's all harder than it looks

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm pretty sure mini-itx is a 17cmx17cm board or 6.7", like pedro stated above. (see page 8 of this pdf http://www.formfactors.org/developer/specs/mini_itx_spec_V1_1.pdf )

    anyway even with it being smaller, you're right the cables won't fit, that's why there going on the outside, as you noticed.

    I would love to know why you don't think it's going to look good, maybe I can think of a fix.
     
  14. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

    Joined:
    5 Sep 2010
    Posts:
    205
    Likes Received:
    16
    So the tubes will have to go outside the case to get from the pump to the rad/block?

    edit - Oh wait....I misunderstood the last few images (showing the routing holes for power/tubes etc...). So what's the point of a perfect cube if so much stuff has to be external?

    I'd prefer to do an 8x8x8 to make everything fit and give yourself more room for more powerful stuff....it's still be really small....but that's just my opinion....if you can pull this off it'll be pretty cool :)
     
  15. tkgclimb

    tkgclimb man it's all harder than it looks

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah you're right it won't be a perfect cube, which I guess isn't such I big issue for me. I was thinking about how do do a perfect cube, (the motherboard couldn't separate anything) and while I had a design for it, it wasn't nearly as good. Then I thought hey routing on the outside could look really good.

    If I were to build another one I would do different dimensions so I could fit a big powerful gpu in there but that's for next time. (also I've started to play less and less games so not much of an issue).

    I hope you're right about it being cool if I can pull it off (and I hope I can pull it off), thanks for the encouragement.


    As for design goes, I've decided that I can slim down the sata connectors by sanding away excess plastic, giving me four slots. I've ditched the 6pin pci-e because I don't think I'll need or my psu can supply it (unless anyone thinks otherwise). I've moved the Holes a little farther apart and from the sides so the wires can fit better. And I've decided to do white/light blue small sleeving, white sata sleeving, and all black heatshrink. Let me know if you have any ideas. Hopefully cutting will begin on Thursday (welding I don't know), and then I can start a project log :).
     
  16. Boscoe

    Boscoe Electronics extraordinaire.

    Joined:
    5 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    1,108
    Likes Received:
    50
    Fair enough I had it in my head as 7.1 but I think I confused it from 17cm.

    If you went through every combination of layouts yo'll find having the mobo against the sides as in on the bottom you won't have to worry about getting cables around the edge, it may not look as good inside but who cares it'll be smaller and easier, you may want to have a look at a m-atx psu for different dimensions.

    Just a thought.

    EDIT - I will be making my version of this once I have my workshop back!
     
  17. tkgclimb

    tkgclimb man it's all harder than it looks

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    It's Okay we all mix up numbers.

    I did a quick (during lunch break) sketchup of a computer with the motherboard against the sides, while still staying in the dimensions, (shorter ram and/or a skinnier width ways rad is necessary)
    [​IMG]

    I know this is the only way (mobo on side) to not have cables on the outside, but I kinda like the idea, it's something newish at least. It's an experiment. I actually rearranged the routing holes, now the sata cables will go on top (or below) of the wc tubes instead of next to.
    here's a picture of the modified side, tell me which you like better
    [​IMG]

    Also any thoughts on cable's? I was gonna do a 24pin and 4pin extension cable that routes through the sides to the top so If my psu dies all that sleeving doesn't go to waste (and for accessibility purposes). But what color connectors should I do, cheep see through white (I can't find any matte) or matte black, (but it wouldn't really go with the white and blue wires especially when connection to the white motherboard)?

    Thanks for chiming in.
     
    Last edited: 22 Sep 2010

Share This Page