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Case Mod - In Progress Project: LEXA Revival

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by The boy 4rm oz, 11 Jun 2009.

  1. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Hello one and all. Yes I am back modding again but this is only a short rebuild of my original mod "Project: LEXA" (see link in sig for worklog).

    As some of you may know about 3 months after completing LEXA my mobo died on me. I went through a lot of trouble trying to get a new one (DFI majorly screwed me around) and after about another 2 months of waiting I was rewarded a replacement. You can read more about that ordeal here:
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=167033

    However this was not the only problem I faced. I had to remove my water cooling from my case to allow me to get to my mobo so I decided I would clean my blocks so they would be nice and fresh when the time came to rebuild. Lucky I checked my blocks because my Swiftech Apogee GTX CPU block top had already started to corrode, after only 3 months of usage. This really annoyed me but Swiftech were kind enough to offer me either another Alu or Delrin block top as a replacement for free, naturally I took the Delrin top. You can read about this here:
    http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17770

    While my PC was in pieces I got thinking "how can I make LEXA better?". The answer to me was quite simple actually, upgrade some hardware and fix some stuff I wasn't quite happy with in the original mod.

    First thing on the agenda was my RAM. I used to have 4x1GB sticks of G.Skill RAM with the OCZ RAM cooler that I had modded cooling them. The issues with this set up was that generally 4x1GB sticks of RAM usually don't OC as well as 2x2GB sticks. The 4x1GB sticks also ran quite hot forcing me to use the RAM cooler which interfered with my WC. So I said stuff it and decided to order some new RAM.

    Thanks to nevermind1534 I am now the proud owner of a 4GB (2x2GB) OCZ Reaper RAM kit (thanks for sending it over for me buddy ;). So here is the RAM:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And here is a comparison between a Reaper and my old RAM:
    [​IMG]

    The next thing on my upgrade list was a new HDD. My WD 320GB drive was very full so I decided to purchase a new drive to store all my media and games on, this would allow me to use the 320GB drive for my OS until I get around to getting a Raptor or an SSD for my OS drive. This is the HDD I got myself:
    [​IMG]
    Yep that's right, it's a Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB HDD:
    [​IMG]

    Well that's all the upgrades I did for now. I am currently planning on getting rid of my Gen1 Logitech G15 because I can't stand the clacky keys with so much give since I have been using my laptop while LEXA has been down. I am looking at upgrading to the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard, the keys are still backlit which I like but it is missing the quite useless LCD and all those macro keys, it is also much smaller with laptop style keys, perfect for me. I am also intending to eventually upgrade from my 19" LCD to a 24" LCD but cash is a bit tight at the moment, damn recession lol.

    Ok so what else is new you say? Well I decided to replace the stock LEXA window with a fresh piece of plexi, one that is unscratched, had no mold marks and has no fan grill.
    Here is the original window:
    [​IMG]
    Here is an example of the mold marks that I mentioned earlier:
    [​IMG]
    This is the fresh piece of plexi all marked for cutting:
    [​IMG]
    Here is a shot of the window cut out and ready to be drilled:
    [​IMG]
    When screwing the silver plastic window accents back into the side panel I accidentally overtightened one, this lead to a pretty cool piece of detail:
    [​IMG]
    I did this to all 9 screws used to hold the accent pieces on.
    Here is a shot of the now finished window:
    [​IMG]
    And a shot of the installed window accents:
    [​IMG]

    I also removed the rear fan grill and am currently modding the HDD cover panel for use with 2 HDDs.

    Now it's time for the rebuild.

    This time around I chose to ditch my Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II cooler for the North Bridge and stick with the stock DFI one. "Your crazy" you must be thinking lol so I will let the pics speak for themselves:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Yep, the cooler on the left is the Tt Exteme Spirit II and the cooler on the right is the stock DFI cooler with an added 60mm fan, can you guess which one performs better? LOL. The DFI stock cooler can slightly beat the Tt cooler when run passively, with the fan it is much better.

    Just thought I'd throw in a shot of the mobo with the new RAM and CPU block installed:
    [​IMG]
    I think it looks bad ass lol :D.

    Here is all the tech installed the WC loop completed:
    [​IMG]
    Yeah I know the hoses are powdery but I didn't have the cash for new hose and it still looks the same under UV light.
    Here are some more random shots of the loop:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Time for the leak test:
    [​IMG]
    No leaks after testing for 48 hours but I did accidentally over fill my bay res which spilled over the HDDs, they are ok though.

    All wired up and ready to go:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    New side panel installed just for a looksie ;):
    [​IMG]

    The last thing I have to do is modify the HDD cover and LEXA can go back to work, I just need to find a few hours of spare time and we are in business.

    Oh and after I have finished I am gonna need your help with OCing my Q6600, it wont go past 2.69GHz on stock volts and when I crank the volts nothing happens :(, oh well I will cross this bridge when I get there. Until then...

    Happy Modding.
     
  2. DonT-FeaR

    DonT-FeaR I know what a fk'n Dremel is ok.:D

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    this deserves an in person high 5....

    very cool..

    now.. which brother gets ur ram..

    me or him?
     
  3. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Haha, thanks mate.

    I was thinking of swapping my RAM for my brothers when I mod his case as my ram has better timings. I was also thinking of making a small low powered XP gaming box so I can play my old favorites like Thief and BF1942 smoothly, they don't seem to want to work right on 64bit Vista. If all else fails I was going to sell the RAM, those 2 kits cost me about $340AUD lol but I would sell them for $35AUD each, so if it comes to that your are more than welcome to take first pick lol.
     
  4. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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    Good to see Lexa still looks awesome and runnin nice again.

    man, those OCZ coolers look wild :D
     
  5. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Thanks Bill :D. Even under full load and with no airflow the RAM isn't even warm to touch, those heatpipes do an amazing job at keeping the RAM cool, I recommend Reapers to anyone.
     
  6. TonyL

    TonyL modding on welfare

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    have another look at your hdd pics then lol :p
     
  7. Picarro

    Picarro New Member

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    I have Reapers myself, and they work brilliantly, the only problem I have found is the fact that I cannot have more than 2x2gb, since 2 more blocks would interfere with my CPU cooler :(
     
  8. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    What's wrong with my HDD pics lol? Yeah I know I forgot to blur the serials on the first pic but it doesn't really matter.

    Yeah I love 'em. I don't have a problem with installing them with my CPU cooler as I am water cooled but I would only me able to get 1 more Reaper in max because of my fillport/res orientation. I could add another 2 standard sized sticks and have 8GB lol.

    Just a small text update. I still can't decide whether or not to keep my G15. I use my laptop for all my typing work and will only bench and game on my desktop so the keyboard wouldn't be used that much. I prefer the wider spacing between keys for gaming but I love the really light keys of the laptop keyboards so I dunno. I am going to go take a look at the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard during the week, hopefully it is my happy medium.

    As soon as I get around to it I will also be replacing the fan on my rear exhaust/120mm radiator. It is one of those old Thermaltake Smart Cools and is horrendously loud even under volted to 10 volts, I will be replacing it with an Antec Tri-Cool, I already use them on my 240mm rad and love em. Something I found interesting though is my CPU temp is only 2c hotter with the 120mm rad fan turned off than with it turned on.

    I am also contemplating of making LEXA dual boot Vista Home Premium 64bit and XP Pro 32bit. This way I wouldn't have to waste money on making a low end XP box and I wouldn't need a KVM switch lol.

    Well that's about it for now. I haven't had a chance to touch the HDD cover yet due to the fact that I have been studying for an exam on Monday. My next exam is on the 23rd of June so I can give up a day to redo the plexi piece and get everything back together for another final shoot. The weather has been horrible were the past week so a final photo shoot may be some time off. Until then...

    Happy Modding.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2009
  9. TonyL

    TonyL modding on welfare

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    carry on then, nothing to see here :sigh:
     
  10. blackflag

    blackflag I Kill Dremels

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    The project is never really done, amirite? :D

    :thumb: to the changes
     
  11. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    @ Tony - ROFL

    @ blackflag - Yep, your right lol, can't get enough, thanks mate. This mod has taught me so much about modding in general and there are a lot of other things I wanted to try but am limited by money, time and space in the case lol. I am planning on doing another LEXA mod, hopefully at the end of this year or next year, depending if I can snag a few sponsors ;).
     
  12. Picarro

    Picarro New Member

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    It would be much more fun to be son of some rich jerk, since you could afford all kinds of cool stuff for casemodding :D
     
  13. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Yep it would be awesome but sadly I'm not :(. No one else in my family takes an interest in modding, except my brother (slightly). It is good though, when a family member has any trouble or needs a PC I build it (charging a slight commission fee of course ;)), that's how I get my cash to mod lol.
     
  14. DonT-FeaR

    DonT-FeaR I know what a fk'n Dremel is ok.:D

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    haha...

    remember you have 2 brothers..

    ur biological one

    and me :)

    lol
     
  15. Picarro

    Picarro New Member

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    My family mostly consists of people +60, and then the odd cousin/nephew, and none of the +60 ones want a beast as their computer.. :(
     
  16. MIGUI

    MIGUI New Member

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    Good to see Lexa still looks awesome. :thumb:
     
  17. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Thanks a lot MIGUI :thumb:.
     
  18. TonyL

    TonyL modding on welfare

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    where'd you get your plexi/acrylic/cheese from? and whats the thickness?
     
  19. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Which plexi you talking about? The stuff I used on the window or the green plexi in the case?

    The plexi I used for the window I ordered from GAMMods (www.gammods.com.au). For a 500x500mm sheet of 3mm plexi it cost about $15 with another $15 postage, so to make it worth while I brought some cable sleeve while I was at it lol. Here is a link to what I got:
    http://www.gammods.com.au/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7_19_55&products_id=228
    I could have got it locally in Adelaide and saved on the postage but I would have had to find the right place and go get it which I don't have time for. Creig (owner of GAMMods) is a great guy and has helped me out before so I try to do business with him when I can, plus he ships to PO Boxes ;).

    The plexi I used in the case I snagged from school, all offcuts, 3mm thick.
     
  20. subset7

    subset7 Spanking the Monkey

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    Your Lexa looks even better after the revamp :thumb:,i'd send you some new clear tubing if I had it but i've only got white left :eek:
     

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