Where to begin? BlakIce is basically the result of around eight monbths of planning, and roughly £500 spent in parts and materials. It is a custom built "Cube" case, featuring a custom layout, designed for minimum size, maximum cooling potential, and maximum free space. It is also hopign to achieve a minimalist appearance, whilst being as complicated as possible. For those of you who didn't read my extensive planning stages, don't worry. Those ideas have now evolved into something that is pretty much completely different. I'm going to re-write the whole "ideas and planning" section of my case design. First off, the challenge. To fit a relativly high-spec PC into a small enclosure, without compromising looks, noise levels, or cooling potential. For cooling, I decided to splash out. Around £350 of the £500 case budget went on watercooling. Everything was chosen with reason. Hydor Seltz L30 - to me, the best option. As much power as an Eheim 1250, but half the size and £20 cheaper. Yes please. Thermochill HE120.2 - I couldn't find a BlackIce Xtreme II anywhere in the UK, so this baby gets the job instead. It's also nice and small. It's gonna get modded (a bit). DangerDen Maze4, Maze4GPU, Z-Chip - your standard cooling affair. The blocks will be modified. Criticool WaterPlant - does the job while looking good and staying small. Again, will be modified. Two Titan 120mm fans - due to lack of Panoflows. Already been modded. Your average assortment of pipes (DD Clearflex 90), 1/2" barbs, 12mm clamps (oops...but they still fit fine)...etc. The PC to go into this box is as follows: Abit AN7 (modded BIOS to make it more overclockable) AMD Athlon XP 2500+ (multiplier unlocked) 1GB PC3200 TwinMos RAM Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (120GB) ATi Radeon 9700pro (eBayed as faulty, then repaired) FSP 350w or Qtec 550W PSU (dunno which ATM) So, that's the kit. By the end of the planning, you will see how I managed to cram it into a 37cm*32cm*25cm box, with plenty of room to spare. Planning It started off as a quick sketch on a piece of file paper after a few beers. I made it up in PTC ProDesktop, and couldn't wait to get started. I even started a project log. I decided to begin as soon as I got a digital camera for my birthday (1st March). On 20th February, I got a job, so decided to watercool. Four months later, and I still hadn't decided on a final layout, had only just got the aluminium in, and decided to get going. Last week, I got of my backside and finished off the CAD. The final version of the CAD (my 6th version of the case) is shown (and nicely labelled) below. Some of the final specifications: All acrylic sides, bolted onto a brushed aluminium frame. Nice socket head screws hold it all together. Completely new wiring job...PSU will be redone. Hopefully, all white cables, heatshrink and braid. Spangly front IO panel/junction box/everything else panel. Got a few surprises planned for this one. Either all tinted or partially frosted effect on the plexi. Maybe a few etched logos, etc. Really compact dimensions...stuff placed to ensure maximum coolage and space. "Stealth" mode disables all fans and lights, putting only the main system fans onto 5V for a totally silent, unnoticable PC. Bulk pack of 100 white LED's have to go somewhere...I hope to use most of them in the case lighting (without going way over the top). I also have some white cathodes that might make an appearance. God knows how many other little things that you will notice as we go along. Ok, enough about the plans...let's get this thing started. A quick apology...I'm gonna cheat and start this log partway through. I didn't want to post the intro, then leave you all for a few weeks while I brushed the aluminium. Instead, I'm gonna shove all the brushing stages in here, making it look like I brushed about 10000mm*19mm of aluminium in about thirty seconds. So, first off, the aluminium. Some L-section alu, 19mm wide, and 2.4m long. A total of 4.8m needed brushing per strip. I needed just over two strips. Here is how it looked when it arrived. Rather rough, and covered in brown stuff. What came next was hours of powersanding, sanding and brushing. I did it in sections, masking each one before moving onto the next. I ended up with around ten metres of this. All masked up and ready for cutting. Now, back to today's work. I clean forgot to take some photos of it marked out...just imagine the above picture with some pencil lines on it. The aluminium was cut using a hacksaw and a mitre block. A vice and some clamps also came in handy. After a few pieces were cut, I test fitted them. I was surprised at how well it fitted together. A few of the pieces assembled (using tape), with a CD and a lightbulb to give an indication of size. After an hour or so, all the pieces are cut, and ready for filing down. I still have not sanded the back of the aluminium. The filing and sanding process was done in three stages: 1) A ******* file brought the aluminium down to the correct length (I cut it a few mm larger than necessary, just to be safe). 2) Needle files smoothed it off (I prefer the triangular one to the flat one, for some strange reason). 3) Sandpaper gave it a nice brushed finish (that you won't see when the case is together, but still looks nice). All done. This process went by surprisingly quickly. Ok, all done for now. The next stage is masking, marking and cutting the acrylic sheet. Expect updates later today (or tomorrow).