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Case Mod - Complete Project: Mini Metis Maximus (ITX X99 watercooled)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Combatus, 6 Oct 2016.

  1. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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    Well hello there. So first things first, here's the short story - see further down for the long version with lots of babble.

    Man sees case, man likes case, man plays with case, man gets ideas, man tries to cram as much as possible into case, water cools it and sprays it.

    I've been working on this one for a while with several concepts but as I'm nearly the final design and now have all the bits I need I figured I'd make a project log. Here's the hardware:

    1. Case: Raijintek Metis
    2. CPU: Intel Core i7-5960X (watercooled)
    3. Motherboard: ASRock X99E-ITX/ac (watercooled)
    4. Memory: Corsair 32GB Vengeance 3,200MHz
    5. SSD: 1TB Samsung 960 Pro (watercooled)
    6. GPU: MSI GTX 1070 6GB Armor (watercooled)
    7. PSU: Corsair 600W SFX with Customised CableMod cable set
      [Watercooling: Bitspower full cover ASRock X99E-ITX/ac waterblock, EK MSI GTX 1070 6GB Armor full cover waterblock, Black Ice SR2 Xtreme+ 140mm rad, Custom-made M.2 waterblock, undecided on fittings, tubing and pump, undoubtedly some form of Mayhems coolant

    Current Status:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Long version:

    If you know me from my various haunts, you’ll probably know that I build dozens of PCs a year, both mods and standard builds for various people and feature articles, so having the time to build one for me is a rarity. It’s even rarer that I get one finished too! However, this time, I’ve been working on something for around a year and as the finish line is in sight, I thought I may as well document it, not least of all to say thanks to everyone that's helped along the way. Small form factor fans will likely find something interesting to see as well.

    First I have to thank the ever lovely Justin – aka MetallicAcid, for the inspiration for this project. His Raijintek Metis case mod - Elegance http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2015/12/24/bit-tech-mod-of-the-year-2015/15 was beautiful but more importantly, I loved how modding friendly this tiny case is. My main rigs are always water-cooled, though, but I love cramming cooling gear into teeny tiny cases, so the challenge was on.

    Initially I looked at using an external water cooling system, and had this as my main rig for a while, using a second Metis to play around with – I did a guide on how to do this in Custom PC magazine too. Thankfully I hit upon an idea early on to move the motherboard tray to the centre of the case. As I’d be water-cooling the CPU, I didn’t need masses of clearance for a heatsink, and this opened up a big space behind the motherboard tray for a radiator, with enough space for air flow, a decent size rad and fan.

    The concept worked and I used it for a front cover feature build for Custom PC magazine earlier this year, where I managed to cram an XSPC Ion pump/res, Core i7 5960X, ASRock X99 ITX board and a GTX 980 Ti – all watercooled, into the Metis. Watercooling UK was kind enough to send over a HW LABS Black Ice SR2 Xtreme+ 140mm rad to use – the biggest 140mm rad I could find short of an Alphacool Monsta. In theory, this probably has the cooling capacity of at least two 140mm 30mm thick rads, which you could easily use to cool an overclocked CPU and GPU. I didn’t get spectacular temperatures but they were decent nonetheless – way better (and quieter) than using a heatsink and air-cooled graphics card. Hopefully with the new GPU, things should be even better.

    So, the core hardware was sorted, except for an upgrade on the GPU front plus some issues over storage and the PSU. The latter was quickly fixed courtesy of Corsair, which provided one of its new 600W SFX PSUs, to which I added a set of customised, shortened cables, courtesy of CableMod’s awesome cable configurator – thanks to CableMod and Corsair for sending over these parts!

    The storage was trickier – I wouldn’t have space for a 2.5in SSD, but that was no issue as the ASRock X99 ITX board has a fully-fledged NVMe M.2 port. However, I needed at least 1TB of storage, and the only drives around with more than 500GB were only 500MB/sec SATA 6Gbps models. Meh. Thankfully Samsung announced its range of 96X-series M.2 SSDs, and OcUK managed to get some exclusive stock of the OEM models – namely the SM961 and PM961. I went for the latter and speeds are incredible.

    Anyway, with the initial concept out the way, enough babble, here's the build, which is around 50% complete so far so plenty more to do. I'd like to say thanks to the following people for their support as well.

    Justin – aka MetallicAcid - for his advice on the Metis and windows etc and for the original inspiration for the build.

    ASRock for showing interest in the project and slinging this fantastic motherboard my way

    Corsair for sponsoring the memory and PSU

    CableMod for working with me on the PSU cables and its excellent configurator

    Raijintek for its continued interest in the project and sending over some Metis cases' to work with and chop up.

    XSPC for sending over the Ion pump/res for the initial concept

    Watercooling UK for supplying the Black Ice SR2 Xtreme+ 140mm rad for the initial concept

    Alphacool for supplying the fittings and tubing for the initial concept

    http://www.globalartsupplies.co.uk for sponsoring the Montana spray paints

    Mnpctech for supplying the case feet and rad grille.

    I’ll start with the initial concept. Basically I bunged all the gear into the case and worked out that with a bit of jiggling it would fit. That’s only a 120mm rad in there – 180mm was to big, at least with a full size GPU, but XSPCs Ion pump/res looked like a good choice.
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    The Metis is simple to dismantle – no rivets! Yay!
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    Thing of beauty. I currently own two boards – this one and the Maximus VII Impact for my current main rig. The two best mini-ITX boards so far imho. And when Bitspower released its dedicated waterblock for the ASRock, that settled it – X99 it is.
    [​IMG]
    The block was simple to install, a single plate cooling the VRMs and PCH plus a standard CPU waterblock. On top of this sits a pass-through section, I did think about not using this as I could have shifted over the motherboard tray a bit more, but it looks too damn awesome.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    To shift the motherboard tray I just lined up the block with a fitting then marked out the new position of the tray. Of course I’d have to shift the rear panel and PCI slots as well but no pain no gain…
    [​IMG]
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    The motherboard tray needed trimming too to make way for the bits in the front of the case.
    Tada! Its screwed to the base and will be fixed to the rear panel too.
    [​IMG]
    The GPU mount is a bit crude – I just lopped out a section and remounted it in the new position, adding a splash of filler and respraying though.
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    The initial build used a GTX 960, but eventually used a GTX 980 Ti.
    [​IMG]

    More soon!
     
    Last edited: 5 Feb 2017
  2. l3p

    l3p www.^.nl

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    Awesome! Can't wait for moarrr
     
  3. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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    Thanks very much sir :) I played it safe this time and got most of the build done before I started a log, just to make sure I actually finish the log this time ;) This should mean rapid progress!
     
  4. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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    Temporary GTX 980 Ti in the build on loan for the cover feature build of Custom PC.

    [​IMG]

    Black Ice SR2 Xtreme+ 140mm rad with a Noctua NF-A14 fan. I may swap this out for something with LEDs :)

    [​IMG]

    Rad in place. There's about 15mm between the fan and the motherboard tray but I'll be cutting out a big hole in the latter to give a good inch of clearance, with the exhaust coming out a hole in the side panel.

    Also fitted a drain port at the back. Still a bit rough and ready but the PSUs in too so you can see where everything's going to go.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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    Shielded PCI-E riser and the GPU is supported by a neoprene pad that sits on top of the motherboard tray. Will likely 3D print something for the final build.

    [​IMG]

    The radiator exhaust was just a whole cut in the side covered with a mesh grille. Got something much sexier for the final build though!

    [​IMG]

    And that was the first concept build with internal watercooling. The temperatures weren't what you'd get with a 480mm rad but they were still pretty good. It's mainly to get the heat straight out of the case and keep the noise down. Hopefully the 1070 will draw less power than the 980 Ti too.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. David

    David RIP Tel

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    Wow, how many shoehorns did you break, squeezing that lot in there?!

    Very smart looking build, Ant, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 6 Oct 2016
  7. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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    Ha ha! Check your local Clarks - they're probably out of stock ;) Thanks mate.
     
  8. p0Pe

    p0Pe gief cake?

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    Haha this is great Antony! I really like how much you managed to put in there, and love the fillport location.
     
  9. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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    Thanks Mr p0Pe!

    A huge thanks to http://www.globalartsupplies.co.uk for sending over a bunch of Montana paints. I've used them a few times before and they're superb. I can also highly recommend their Nitril gloves if your painting too. Saves your paintwork from greasy finger marks and your fingers from paint!

    [​IMG]

    The main paint colour is Ultramarine if anyone's interested. Looks stunning under a few coats of clear.

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    The roof will have a window to look down on the GPU, which will have the waterblock facing upwards.

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    Also masked off the polished bevelled edge of the front section - I kind like it plus it a blue/chrome theme so it would fit in perfectly.

    [​IMG]

    I filled in a few scrapes then added some white primer then as per usual, sand, prime, sand prime, bla bla bla.

    Then the colour coat - helped considerably by the lovely warm weather we had here in the UK in August.

    [​IMG]

    Then a little something Global Art Supplies recommended I tried - marble effect. I have to say that this stuff as amazing. So easy to apply and I love the way it knits together.

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    YUM!!!

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    A little bit of a buff with Meguiars Ultimate compound and she's super shiny!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 5 Feb 2017
  10. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    This is wicked. Really like the paint too, I wouldn't use anything else now for rattle can work tbh. Montana Cheesecake. Good job on cramming the hardware in too, it's testament to your skill and how well made this case is (I just used one for a stereo head unit).
     
  11. Hukkel

    Hukkel James' minion

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    I really like the paintjob on it.
     
  12. David

    David RIP Tel

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    +1

    It's lovely.
     
  13. jojoharalds

    jojoharalds Member

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    THIS IS SEXY AS F***
    WOW Job well done!!!
     
  14. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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    Very nice layout, and I WANT that paint!
     
  15. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    This is going to sound really funny but don't you get Montana in the states?

    It's celly so can take some time to set up but when it comes to rattle cans they have it nailed.

    Edit. Oo, just noticed Gold brand is Acrylic. Was a bit too shiny for me though I love my flats.
     
  16. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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    I know right? I've used all sorts - Plastikote (not bad) and half a dozen others. But Montana is not only cheaper than most - here at least, but I was blown away by the finish. Done outdoors too with basic equipment, although admittedly I have been using rattles for about 20 years so have a bit of experience :)
     
  17. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    What's absolutely hilarious is that it was developed for graphiti artists :D

    I remember going to their site after I first used Power Green and yeah, all about graphiti and supplies for haha.

    Paint in the UK isn't so hot tbh. Our colonial cousins usually have much better options (you can even get HOK in rattle cans over there !) but Montana is amazing paint :)
     
  18. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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    OMG seriously? I've seen their paint pots for airbrushing and the colours are stunning.
     
  19. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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    Thanks!
     
  20. B NEGATIVE

    B NEGATIVE All Hail Kim Jong Magoo!

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    You and Justin should just get a room..


    Jesus...



    Still,Justin is not adverse to a bit of manlove....

    Also,paint is great in the UK,if you know where to look....
     

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