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Case Mod - In Progress (Project Log): Epitome, BitFenix Prodigy/ATX build [Updated 8/8]

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Fridge Gnome, 13 Jun 2013.

  1. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    [​IMG]

    Hi there Bit-tech, I'm a long time lurker, 1st 2nd 3rd time poster. I've looked and drooled at a lot of great builds here and I finally have the ability to take a project from start to finish that will hopefully rival them. My previous build, BlueShift, went relatively well, however I was limited on time to finish the project, so I wasn't entirely satisfied with the results. This time is different, I've got a backup computer set up and plenty of time to get it done.

    Inspiration:
    I've started liking clean looking builds without all the LEDs and UV reactive stuff, so don't expect many glowy bits here. I also really like the idea of having a full desktop, while still being able to display it on a small desk. That's why I named the build "Epitome", I'm going for both a miniature of sorts, and a "perfection" clean look. I won't lie either, Nikkop's Big Bro' log was also a big inspiration. :idea:


    Here's a general to-do list (I have to keep a few surprises though):

    [X] Motherboard tray for Prodigy.
    [X] Mount for HDD(s).
    [X] Mounts for SLI GTX 770s.
    [X] Find/create PCI-E risers for graphics cards.
    [X] Install motherboard tray and I/O slots in case.
    [ ] Illuminated base panel under graphics cards.
    [ ] Cover up gaps/vents.
    [X] Modify front panel.
    [X] Set up tubing and watercooling setup
    [ ] Sleeving.
    [ ] Wire management.
    [X] Painting.
    [ ] Do super awesome stuff.



    [Reserved]
     
    Last edited: 8 Aug 2014
  2. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    Alright, here's what I've got going on:

    First, an obligatory comparison between the Prodigy and my HAF 932.
    [​IMG]
    The HAF was a great case, but it was almost too roomy for me. It's definitely going to be a challenge to fit everything into the Prodigy, but that's half the fun!

    [​IMG]
    Mmmm, look at all those slots. Too bad I'm not building with some silly mini ITX motherboard :rock: Surprisingly, there wasn't too many rivets to drill to get everything out. Everything except the motherboard/psu tray were screwed in.

    [​IMG]
    That's more like it! I'm encouraged by how much room I still have left around the motherboard, should leave me enough room to put in all the fun stuff I'm hoping to cram in there. I'm re-using the motherboard from my previous computer since it matches my theme just fine and I don't have the money or sponsorship (yet, hopefully) to build from completely new parts.

    That's where I'm at so far, got something new coming in tomorrow, then I should be able to get a few more parts ordered the day after that. Expect a nicer looking thread and some sketches/models in the future too. My backup computer doesn't have quite the same amenities I'm used to.

    Also, I'm working on my photography skills as well, if you have any advice in that department I'd love to hear it.
     
  3. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    My new graphics cards showed up yesterday! Maybe it's just because my last cards were dusty old 460s, but the 770 seems really well built. I got the ACX cooler version. I won't need the air cooler, but it was the same price, so I figured I could sell it or something.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also tore apart the HAF 932 case to salvage the motherboard tray. I'll either be cutting this down to size, or buying a new motherboard tray to install my motherboard in the case vertically.

    [​IMG]

    That's all for now, but I've got the rest of the day off, so I may have another update for you guys tonight.
     
  4. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    I got down to some actual modding today!

    [​IMG]

    After measuring, re-measuring, and then re-re-measuring, I finally got down to work.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Several cracked and shattered discs and burnt fingers later, I realized my old dremel wasn't going to make it at that rate. I also realized I was wasting my time using the little dremel :dremel:

    [​IMG]

    Air power Cheesecake(What?)! It only took a few minutes to finish up the tray with this.

    [​IMG]

    After some (a lot of) filing, the motherboard tray slipped into the case nicely. I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out. Once I get it and the I/O slots bolted down and painted white, I think it's going to look great.

    [​IMG]

    Let me know what you think!
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2013
  5. Nikkop

    Nikkop New Member

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    Nice :) However, I would recommend a jig saw for future use :)
    Much easier and more precision! :)

    *EDIT: Well, I wrote that when I saw you used the dremel. Didn't see you used the larger tool, that one works perfect too!
     
    Last edited: 16 Jun 2013
  6. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    Yay! Update!

    I'm still waiting on a few things to come in before I can start a lot of the major stuff. However, I woke up Sunday morning and realized I had nowhere planned to put my HDD. Naturally, at 6:30 in the morning, I grabbed some scrap metal and fixed that.

    It slipped my mind to take pictures of the actual bending process. There wasn't much to show, just me sweating and banging on metal.

    Anyway, after I got it into shape, I taped it all up, checked the size, and started marking holes.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fits perfectly. One side to go.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I'll admit, I was surprised everything lined up as well as it did.

    I also put a rubber strip on both sides of the HDD to try and keep it a little quieter.
    [​IMG]

    Here is how the mount will fit inside the case, it juuust fits between the PSU and radiator. I'll be getting a double rad later, so the single is just a placeholder.
    [​IMG]


    The mount ended up as my test piece for painting. I'm still trying to decided if I want to paint the case a glossy white, or keep the off-white flat paint.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In my hurry to try out the paint, I forgot to drill holes for the second HDD :wallbash:

    I'm going to put another coat of paint on it as it got a couple marks on it from drilling, but overall it turned out quite nice.
    [​IMG]

    Here it is installed in the case.
    [​IMG]

    That's what I've got for now. Things should pick up once I'm able to check the positions of everything on the fun side of the motherboard.
     
  7. soxism

    soxism New Member

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    Awesome progress! Keep the posts coming!

    I like the Placement of the PSU, HHD, but im little concerned about the placement of the Rad for Air flow, id imagine there isnt much space between the Rad and the Mobo Tray?

    How much space do you have between the mobo tray and the front of the case?
     
  8. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    There is actually a little over 2 inches of clearance between the rad and mobo tray, so it should be fine there.

    The front of the tray is a little different, I've got about 3.75 inches between the mobo and the end of the case. About .25in shorter than my gpu is wide. I'll should be ready to explain what I'm doing about that in my next update.
     
  9. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    Got something in the mail today!

    [​IMG]

    Acrylic/Nickel waterblock for the GTX 770 :clap:

    [​IMG]

    Also got in my free EVGA backplate.

    [​IMG]

    I really love that EK made a proper clear acrylic block without those ugly crop circles. I can't wait to have another one of these things to go with it.

    It wasn't without it's problems however. It turns out that the original screws for the backplate are smaller than the ones meant for the waterblock. The head on the bigger screws is also too big to fit into the backplate. I'll have to look around for longer screws, or ones with smaller heads.


    I also got in a PCI-E extender. I figured that would make for boring pictures, so here is what I plan to do with it instead.

    [​IMG]

    Both to save space and to show off the waterblock, I'll be mounting 2 GTX 770s at a roughly 45 degree angle to the motherboard. This adjustment gives me the room I need to run a watercooled SLI setup in such a small case.

    To mount them, I cut 4 slots out from the I/O in the HAF 932.

    [​IMG]

    Here's an angled view of how it will look (With 770s instead of 460s of course).
    [​IMG]

    The main thing holding me back right now is getting the positions for the graphics cards confirmed. The PCI-E cable I have may not work either. It is slightly too large and not flexible enough to stuff into the space I need it to.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to get a small PCI-E extender that doesn't involve me soldering 300 contacts. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.


    I'd also like to thank Bitspower for giving me discounts on their products. It will really help me get the quality I want for this build.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2013
  10. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Interesting. :thumb:

    Question, though: Is you PCI-E cable too long or too short? I'm confused.

    Unless I'm mistaken, which may well be the case, an extender would make the cable or connector longer... :eyebrow:
     
  11. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    By extender, I guess I mean adapter. It doesn't really have to be flexible, I just need an adapter that will let me place the GPUs at a 45 degree angle.

    The PCI-E extender I have now is too large with pcb on both ends and stuffing away all the ribbon cable.
     
  12. soxism

    soxism New Member

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    I had some Hard time finding some too.. Then good old Ebay (http://www.ebay.com/bhp/pci-e-riser) Came through... I havent found any in Mod / PC shops yet...

    45 Degree's seems to be pretty Hard. A simple search and you can find many places offering Many different Risers but, ive never seen an 45 degree.

    Most modders ive seen just used a Short Cable to achieve and non 90* angle.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jul 2013
  13. jeckulz

    jeckulz New Member

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    Keeping an eye on this :)
     
  14. Nikkop

    Nikkop New Member

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    Angling the GPUs may turn out to look great. However, that would automatically disable the rest of the PCI ports, wouldnt it? Its maybe a little sad to only be able to use 2x slots on a ATX motherboard, but then again - Its your personal mod and you do whatever suits your vision! ;)

    Will be interesting and fun to see how our final mods will differ from eachother! :)
     
  15. Yukionno

    Yukionno New Member

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    Just a thought but couldn't you not use something like a flexi pci express x16 dual riser with 7cm cable and mod the cable? These look like the connectors have a removable top and pass through ribbon cable with a Insulation-displacement connector, like the old pata ribbons for ide drives from way back in the dark ages....
     
  16. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    Aww man, if they are IDC, you are my new favorite person. :clap: I've been racking my brain over this.

    On the single adapter they have, it looks like you can even see some ribbon sticking out the other end.

    I just sent them an email asking about it.
     
  17. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    Got my shipment from Bitspower today.

    Shiny!

    [​IMG]

    Pump top, so I won't have to use the big XSPC res. Nice solid chunk of acryllic, I can't wait to get some fluid running in it.

    [​IMG]

    I already had an XSPC RAM block, but I wanted something a little brighter for this build.

    [​IMG]

    I couldn't have all these nice clean components and then use a stock black pump, so I gave the MCP655 a nice coat of glossy white.

    [​IMG]


    Thanks again to Bitspower for helping me with this project!
     
  18. Derick

    Derick Senpai Studios

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    Wow, very interesting!
     
  19. Fridge Gnome

    Fridge Gnome Blue Everywhere

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    Small update :D

    I swear I'm actually going to build a computer!

    But for now, more pictures of packages..
    [​IMG]
    XSPC tubing, another GTX 770 and another EK waterblock

    [​IMG]
    It's nice to have that massive expense out of the way. Unfortunately, the EK block doesn't seem to have come with plugs for the extra holes. :confused:

    And just so I could at least say I did a little actual work, I installed the Bitspower pass-through fittings into the motherboard tray. I torqued the tray a little bit drilling the holes, but I can work it out.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. LegendaryScott

    LegendaryScott Trying to live up to the name

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    Coming along nicely mate.

    did you manage to figure out your GPU connector problem?
     

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