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Case Mod - In Progress Project: I.S.A.C - Thermaltake 2020 Case Mod Challenge

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by The_Crapman, 29 Mar 2020.

  1. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Ahoy hoy Modderinos!

    So now we've tested everything works. It's time to break it all down and start modding! :rock::dremel:



    I can't believe how well the case stood up to the pelting I gave it, just shows the quality of the finish on the case. There's a lot of sharp, jagged, pointy edges on those stones and they've really not done much at all. Really going to have to give it some welly to rough it up like I want.
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    The brick on the other hand did manage to leave a mark....
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    ....and a bit of a dent.....
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    ....but nothing that wasn't easily fixable.
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    Now it's time to get serious and bring out the big guns :dremel: :naughty:
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    This will be my home for the next couple of months, best get comfortable.
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    That's all for now folks. Don't worry, there's already PLENTY of damage dealt already for the next update, so stay tuned Crapfans! Same Crap time, same Crap Channel.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2020
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  2. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    :rock:

    @The_Crapman Video subheading: Andy blows on pipe and attempts to wreck a box.
     
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  3. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    :hehe::hehe::hehe::lol::lol::lol:
     
  4. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Ahoy hoy modderinos!

    After my woeful attempt to cause any damage with rather unorthodox methods, it's time to get back to good old fashioned power tools. :dremel:
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    I didn't really have a defined plan for what i wanted or how I was going to do it, just more of an idea of how I wanted it to look. I decided to tackle the back panel first, as that would be taking the brunt of the damage and I could try a few things out. First up I had to get rid of those nice neat grills.
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    The jigsaw cut through them so much easier than I thought it would, so glad I've got it in the toolkit as it would have taken an absolute age with a dremel. The Dremel is good for getting the smaller bits and grindin stuff out though.
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    But in those small places it can get caught up and break discs, which is why safety gear is an absolute must. You may look a bit funny, but losing an eye is not. :nono:
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    I didn't want to make it too perfect, so i left some of the protruding bits and gave it all a quick file to take any sharp rough edges off.
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    Then things took a bit more of a drastic turn. Armed with a couple of hammers, a screwdriver and a chisel, I dented up and scored out this line and put a little gouge in with the Dremel, as though someone had tried to smash their way in. It will be developed further as I go along, build it up a bit at a time.
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    Next up I started putting some wear marks in places that would get a lot of action and likely to get bashed a bit. These bits were done with a grinding stone bit on the Dremel.
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    The edges took a beating from a sanding wheel, as well as some other areas of the panel, wearing off some of the paint to varying degrees.
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    To try and blend those in I thought I'd try a wire wheel, and while it did work to an extent, it mostly just left a mark on the panel, the metal rubbing off on this extremely sturdy paint. Now as luck would have it, it was exactly the kind of grubby look I'd wanted to put in places, give it a dirty man-handled effect.
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    Here you can see someone's dirty fingerprints and wear where the panel would be pinched on along the front edge.
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    I don't entirely know what I was going for on this bit, I was kind of experimenting with different bits and seeing what happened. I did get some nice deep score/scratch mark across the panel bit these 2 bits though.
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    Now the panel is largely finished in terms of damage and relieving it of it's paint. I might give some sections a very light sanding to blend some of it in and there's a little painting and other touches, but overall I like the brutality of it. It should contrast nicely with the clean clinical look I'll be going for in the front chamber.
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    Perhaps most importantly, it still fits and functions as as panel! :clap:
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    Against the clean rear side of the case you can really get an idea of difference and what a hard life that right hand side has had.
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    As have these little troopers, god rest their shanks.
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    That's all for now folks until the next update of more damage and destruction and I attempt to blend in that panel to the rest of the case. So stay tuned Crapfans! Same Crap time, same Crap Channel.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2020
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  5. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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  6. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Hi-diddly-hey modderinos!

    I've not been too well over the last week, fortunately not from you know what, but it has meant there hasn't been an awful lot of progress. I haven't been completely idle though. I've done a few test fittings as the odd part has come in and done some detail plans for some of the things that weren't fully fleshed out. I've also had some more destruction equipment turn up, so toward the end of the week I got back to it.
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    First on the agenda was to continue the "ageing process" and try and blend the side panel into the rest of the case. After I'd finished the side panel I was a little concerned that maybe I should have had the panel on and been doing it in-situ, but I needn't have been.
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    Being a bit of a clumsy oaf and having dropped more than my fair share of computers, I know they can get a bit dented and nicked around the bottom edge. What better way to expedite that than the pointy end of a hammer.
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    I had been using my Dremel with the stand just on the floor. It had fallen over a couple of times and wasn't exactly the ideal orientation for free use of the flexible shaft (quieten down :eyebrow:), so I rigged up something a bit more secure that would allow better movement and it helped no end in getting in to it at the right angle (I said quiet in the back! )
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    I want to try and make sure there are nice little touches here and there, things that may not be immediately obvious or possibly hidden from view, but it's those little flourishes that can make all the difference. In particular I want to try and put in little touches of wear where there would be from actual natural use, not just outright destruction. The little HDD access panel at the back seemed like a prime candidate for just such a thing, where the 2 tabs sit into the case.
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    Taking my trusty 'not for wood any more' chisel, I slowly ground down into the paint and I tried to do it with the same kind of small pivoting motions you'd get from moving the panel about.
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    And not forgetting the panel itself of course.
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    I'm not going to be using the fan filter on the bottom of the case and the tabs that stick out to hold it in place are no longer required.
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    They also kept getting caught on stuff and it got annoying so.....


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    There's also something else missing here. Care to guess what?
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    Can you tell what it is yet?
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    You might be thinking I've gone completely nuts at this point and of course you'd be right, but I went mad long before now. Muwah ha ha ha haaaaaaaa! :naughty: Don't worry it'll all make sense eventually. I hope. lol

    Next up for ruination are the door hinges. First up a little sanding, trying to swing round as the door would and make it look like natural wear.
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    Then I took them out so they could spend a little time with Mr Dremel the Destructor. I used this pointy grinding bit to get in the nook of the screw threads on the first one, which was a bad choice as it left a lot of score lines.
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    I switched over to the abrasive wheels for the other side and the other hinge.
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    Of course when I go to put them back in I drop one of the screws, it bounces once then down through the crack in the floorboards of the shed. :duh: So I go in search of a replacement, I've got loads of screws from this and that, one is bound to fit. First stop is the screw tin.
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    I didn't find a screw that matched, but it did appear to be the same thread as a motherboard stand-off, so off to my bag of screws to find an M3.5
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    No luck there either so we turn to the tin of last resorts, where screws go to die, there must be something in here.....
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    Ah. Just whole bunch of junk and tat :rollingeyes: So armed with the remaining screw and a stand-off I went back to check that was indeed the size.
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    Success! So I ordered some nice shiney nickel plated replacements. Probably for the best anyway, black ones would look a little daft once all those rivets have been removed. But that's for another day.....

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    ..... as is this rather large parcel :naughty:

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    That's all for now folks. Will you ever find out what's in the box, or what's happening to the rivets? Stay tuned Crapfans! Same Crap time, same Crap Channel.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2020
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  7. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Dremel sparks in a wooden shed, what's thr worse that can happen? :lol:

    Liking watching the continued destruction dude, I just hope your bodily destruction abates :thumb:
     
  8. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    box of that size :jawdrop:, I really wonder what's inside :idea: profiles ? BTW, nice set of destroying tools :grin:
     
  9. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Yeh I did think after I should have had the extinguisher on standby. :worried: At this point I'm not sure if it was a bug or I just got my meds mixed up, as I seem to be short a couple of the little yellow ones. They don't half mess you about.

    Ooo good guess! There are some coming, 2 types in fact, but this isn't either of them. :p: I always seem to break stuff, so I thought why not do it on purpose :idea:
     
  10. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    An Open Letter To No Work

    Hi-diddly-hey modderinos!

    I just wanted to apologise for the lack of progress and updates, as since the last episode of Project I.S.A.C. I've not been very well. I have nerve damage from a botched hernia operation and subsequent ill-advised treatment, so I have to be a careful with any kind of physical activity. After the last break due to a stomach complaint, I pushed a bit too hard in an effort to try and catch up and ended up aggravating the nerves and have had to take a couple of weeks to let that die down and concentrate on my physio (all 3.5hours a day of it!). Even though I've been feeling a lot better and doing some stuff around the house, just yesterday I was in a lot of pain after 10-15mins of washing up. It's immensely frustrating.

    I'm not after any sympathy, so put the violins away, just a little understanding that whilst I'll do my best to bring you an update and some meaningful progress each week, there may be times when I have to down Dremel and look after myself.

    There should be a little update video being pushed out by Thermaltake tomorrow, be sure to keep an eye out for that. For now I'll begetting on with a few little bits and pieces of 'lighter' work, so stay tuned Crapfans! Same Crap time, same Crap Channel.
     
    Last edited: 10 May 2020
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  11. Jeff Hine

    Jeff Hine Nothing special

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    Until & unless you know the date of the competition, the timeline is imposed by yourself... your health is more of a concern that the competition (as great an honour as it is, to be chosen).

    You need to be able to work (as a person) to be able to finish... even if the competition is next year, so take time to recover to a state that is the best compromise for your sanity & the ability to get this finished.
     
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  12. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I've done stainless grinding on a shag throw rug. He'll be fine. I think TT's reaction to your videos of hacking would be very entertaining.
     
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  13. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    @The_Crapman Don't worry dude, sounds like you're well on track and even if you weren't your health comes first.

    Oh and:
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    :happy:

    Seriously though mate, I know it's frustrating but try and calm the mind and you'll recover quicker. :thumb:
     
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  14. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    I think for me it's more
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  15. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Also, You organize like my mom. If I had a dollar for every time I found pliers/tools in an old ziploc bag of junk, I'd change tax brackets.
    If you were working from that tiny stool, I can see why your back is messed up. You need a work position similar to your favorite couch.
     
  16. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Well you gotta have a system (according to Harry Hill anyway), even if that system is bonkers. My house may be a bit of a mess but i know where everything is. lol

    It's not my back that hurts it's my groin. That stool allows me to sit with my legs at more of an obtuse angle which is more comfortable for me, but I can't work for particularly long periods either way. And full on reclining isn't particularly conducive to this kind of thing, but I did do the sleeving for my brother's rig while on the sofa. Might have to rig up a lap table for soldering when that comes around.
     
  17. Defyant Mods

    Defyant Mods Well-Known Member

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    Mods like this are really cool and you must be having a lotta fun making it, Love your tools too man :rock: Glad my neighbour dosn't have a security cam that high up..... the things he'd see in my yard.... :p
     
  18. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Got a link mate? Can't seem to find it anywhere.

    #Userinterneterror
     
  19. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Blimey you got quite an eye to spot that! I pretty sure that camera isn't operational. At least I HOPE it's not operational :worried:

    It has been great fun to ruin a case when normally you're doing everything possible not to damage it. Still plenty more ruination to come too :naughty:

    No it hasn't gone out yet. I presumed it was going out yesterday as updates have gone out on a Monday previously and since I had a deadline of Friday, figured it would be the following Monday. Think Adam is mega busy at the minute, builds and such coming out the wazoo.
     
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  20. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Ahoy hoy mod fans!

    While I was waiting for the rest of the parts to turn up before I could do anything further on the case, I set my sights on some of the internals that could do with some tweaking.
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    I needed to brighten the motherboard up as the main chamber of the case will have a bare metal finish and it would look like a black hole in amongst all the bright shiney metal. I've also never been much of a fan of modern motherboard heatsinks. I loved the fin-stacked heat-piped up solutions of yore and I'd even kept the one's off the Striker II NSE/Extreme boards for the ages after I'd binned the boards, but lost them in a move. :sigh: What I did have was some Thermalright MOFSET heatsinks and a beefy Supermicro 1U copper cpu heatsink that I could use instead of or in combination with the existing ones
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    Time to get this board stripped down.
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    The CPU heatsink's mounting holes lined up perfectly with the mounting holes for the cover, almost like it was made to live there.
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    Not sure it's supposed to come out like that :eeek:
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    Was very lucky not to strip any pins out of the CPU. Can just imagine how well that conversation would have gone down with Thermaltake :hehe: After that heart exploding moment I gave the CPU, block and board a bit of a cleansing.
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    This was the kind of setup I was looking at doing. I plan on milling a flat channel into the boards original heatsinks and using thermal glue to attach the Thermalright MOFSET heatsinks to them, rather than on there own. MOFSET sizes have grown a bit since these were made! There may be a bit of a fitting issue for the one on the left side MOFSET bank as it clashes a little with the IO shield. I'd rather keep that intact if possible.
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    Those original heatsinks would still be too dark as is though, so we'll have to do something about that gun metal grey anodising. First off taking the fan off the chipset cooler, stripping the thermal pads (after measuring the sizes for their replacement) and giving them a good clean with TIM cleaner to remove the grease from the thermal pads, before they go for a little dip.....
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    ... in some of this horrid stuff. Also know as Sodium Hydroxide.
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    I'd picked up these old sweet containers to bathe the parts in and then rinse. Sadly I didn't get to eat the contents first, but given my ever increasing waistline that's probably for the best.
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    I'd given them a good clean several times over and then a thorough rinse as I didn't want any contaminants in there that may react with the Sodium Hydroxide.

    You'll have to forgive me for the lack of pictures of the process, I was dolled up to the 9's in PPE (including a waterproof coat with a bin bag over it, was quite a sight) and didn't fancy getting my phone out whilst in the middle of it all. I placed the 3 tubs in the bath, seemed like a good place to do it as there's good ventilation in the bathroom and if things go south it can turn the taps on and ditch it down the drain quick. With the drain on my left, I used the left most container to have the solution in. I filled the other 2 with water as a 2 stage rinsing set up. I put 1 litre of water into the other and added 50g of sodium hydroxide crystals in gradually, in about 5 or 6 stages, mixing thoroughly with a toothbrush I had to scrub the pieces as the anodising came off. I used cold water to control/slow the reaction a bit so I could leave the pieces in long enough to get all the anodising off, without it just eating the aluminium away

    I put the large MOFSET cooler in first as I figured it could probably do with going in when it was fresh. It took a little while to get going and do anything, but sure enough bubbles started to come. I turned it over a few times, giving a little whirl in the fluid and you could see the colour fall off it. I then started giving it a helping hand with the toothbrush, especially in the little gaps. When the anodising had all come off I pulled it out and gave it a gentle shake, dropped it into the next tub with the clean water in, gave it a good whirl in there and and gentle clean with a second tooth brush, then into the third container for more fresh water, before finally putting it on some kitchen towels I'd set to the side to dry off. I then repeated the process with the rest of the pieces.

    The end result was better than I ever could have imagined :jawdrop:
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    The Aluminium on the newly stripped heatsinks is so bright, almost white. Look how it contrasts here to a peice of Aluminium sheet that I've had for a few years.
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    And they look so good on the motherboard too! Super chuffed with the result. At least 3 chufty badges!
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    Sadly the copper cpu block isn't going to fit, although given it's gargantuan size it shouldn't be all that surprising. I could have had a go at cutting off a corner here and there to get it to fit, but I don't think I've got the tools for the job and I'd probably end up ruining it. In all honesty with the amount of silver that's going to be around, the copper would probably look out of place anyway. Best to keep that for another day.
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    I had a little test fit with the MOFSET heatsinks, either just sat on or with the help of an old thermal pad. Still not convinced that one on the left if going to fit without interfering with the IO shield.
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    Thought I could maybe switch that one to the lower M.2 slot cooler. :idea:
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    In all honesty I'm not entirely convinced. Now I've got the stock heatsinks stripped, they look pretty dam cool. I have to be 100% sure as if I commit to it and it doesn't look good with the heatsinks on, I'll have wrecked the originals, so there's no going back. That can go on the back burner for now. There's a lot to be done still and I can always come beck to it later. It does look pretty dam sweet as is though.

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    We got some new parts! :clap:
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    Huge thanks to the guys at Scan (and DPD) for getting these over to us.:thumb:
    Lots of fittings and adapters, a couple of litres of coolant, some 1m tubes for longer runs and backup for the inevitable cock-ups, a nice thick rad and 9 of Thermaltake's new Riing Quad fans which I'm looking forward to getting snazzy with the NeonMaker software. I am NOT looking forward to the cable/sleeving job of those 9 RGB fans :waah:

    Now putting heatsinks to one side, I'm still not done with the motherboard and whilst I have done some more stuff, it's not finished and I don't want to put it out half baked. I had hoped to finish it today but after 3 days of working on it on and off, this morning my body said no. :nono: This seemed like a good place as any for a little update though, I hope you all enjoyed the show. For now I'll leave you with one last shot of those heatsinks in all their glittery glory. Hopefully I'll have another update for you later this week, so stay tuned crap fans! Same Crap Time, same Crap channel.

    [​IMG]
     
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