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Case Mod - In Progress Project: Thor - Rebirth. May 20th. Project Complete

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Carpet3, 25 Aug 2008.

  1. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    [​IMG]

    Hi,

    I have decided recently to spruce up my PC. I had it looking just the way it wanted it a few years ago, but it’s been a bit neglected since then aesthetically talking, started to look a little shabby. Wiring was always an issue with it though.

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    So i’ve got a few things planned for it:

    Water cooling

    Wire management

    Maybe ditch IDE optical drives for SATA drives

    Unify colour scheme (currently has a black creative drive in the middle of silvers ones, not pretty)

    New side panel

    I considered ditching this case, buying a new one and starting again, but I really do love this one so I’ve decided to stick with it and take it as far as I can before I start on my next project.
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2010
  2. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    This is how it looked before the new phase began (except for the buttons)

    The stickers on top are my security tags from the i-Series LANs. Guess i’ll have to take them off.

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    I did a re-wiring job a few weeks before I took these pics. It’s going to get a lot messier though as the mod goes on, the next re-wire is last on the list.

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    I replaced the power switches a while ago, they look a lot better than the standard ones. The don’t have lights around the rim though, thought that might be a bit too much.

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    Another (wonky) photo of the inside.

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    Not completely awful but I do feel it’s in dire need of a make-over. Let the modding begin!
     
  3. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    My first issue (and unfortunately not the last) that I had was that the top panel was riveted to the case, not screwed on. Not to worry, nothing a pointy screwdriver and a drill wont fix.

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    I wasnt really sure how I was going to remove them at first, but my method I decided on in the end seemed the work ok.

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    One pointy screwdriver + hammer…

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    + Drill…

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    =

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    One nice case sized screw hole :)

    I found that from the off the centre bit was very easy to knock out with the screwdriver and then a minimal amount of drilling would free up the rest of the rivet so i could just pull it out.

    I had to do this 4 times (2 both ends) which then allowed the top panel to easily come away

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    Now it was ready to take to the garage and start hacking to pieces

    If you’re interested (and why wouldnt you be!), here’s how the case looks with no top

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  4. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    So with the top panel now free from the case, it was time to move to the garage and make some magic happen (or near disaster as it turned out).

    I only had one panel, no spares and despite looking for some, I couldn't find any on the net either so I had to make sure it didn't screw this up royally.

    Initially I was going to just draw around the radiator and cut that out, but I quickly realised if I did that I wouldn’t have any panel to screw the radiator into (oops). So I measured it all out and drew my template instead, complete with tabs to screw into.

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    I was almost ready to start cutting. I didnt really have many tools suitable for this project, so that morning I had gone to B & Q to pick up a few bits and pieces (cheap clamps, new dremel cutting disks etc).

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    not the greatest clamp in the world but it held it in place, so I guess it did it’s job.

    I must admit, I was a little nervous before doing this. I was never awesome at CDT in school, not awful, but not great either. That coupled with only really having one shot and never really doing anything like this before seemed like a recipe for disaster.

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    Things were going well, i was cutting very very slowly, then all of a sudden the cutting disk snapped, made me jump a little but thankfully not enough to send a huge scratch across the panel.

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    Is it normal for these things to break or did I probably bend it whilst cutting?

    These things aren’t super cheap either so I was a little peeved :)

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    I cut all the corners and tabs out first.

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    I then decided it would probably be best if I drilled the holes before the tabs didn't have much strength.

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    I had then intended to use a jig saw to cut the rest of the panels but the gaps created by the dremel weren’t wide enough so I thought it would be easier to just carry on using the dremel.

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    And eventually it was cut :)

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    The top was looking very dirty by now, but as it turned out, that was the least of my worries. Can you guess what I did wrong?

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    The edges were pretty sharp so I had an excuse to use the new file i had just bought

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    And that was it, it was looking pretty good. The lines were straight, tabs were drilled out, edges were filed down.

    So it was time to check it out with the radiator in place.

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    Then I realised what I’d done. The hole wasn’t wide enough (d’oh!).

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    I made the decision to cut the tabs back, widen the gap ever so slightly and redrill.

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    I was a bit disappointed by this to be honest. It didn’t look as good, although it doesn't matter too much as i’ve got a fancy radiator grill being manufactured so this will cover up this mistake.

    In hindsight what i’d do differently would be to measure it up with the fans instead. I did this for the modification and it worked well. So that should be the first and last time I make that mistake.

    Can you tell I haven't done this before? :)
     
  5. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    I picked up my first part whilst at i34. I got an XPSC RS360 radiator from aqua-pcs on the Monday (just before he started packing up). I kept asking pascal about a shroud for it. He looked at me a bit puzzled. And that would be because I meant to ask about a grill, not a shroud, lol.

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    And the other side

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    Second batch of parts

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    And the final bits

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    The CPU block looks really good, cant wait to get it installed!

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    The copper plate was nice and shiny as well

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    So that was everything I needed. Time to start putting it all together.
     
  6. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    So with the parts in hand it was time to give this water cooling malarkey a try (built a few WC systems before but not my own).

    Here’s my Q6600 that I’m about to cool. I went with the ‘line method’ when applying my Arctic MX-2. That seemed a bit alien to me at first, I was too used to putting a blob of thermal material in the centre and then thinning it out over the CPU (only ever had AMD processors for my PCs before this one).

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    First job was to attach the radiator to the panel and get the barbs and tubes fitted.

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    Doesn’t look too bad :)

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    I also forgot to order any fans, so I had to rush out and grab something cheap and nasty. It’ll do for now until I get some fancy low noise ones.

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    Next was to get the CPU block on. I’ve decided i’m probably going to re-do this in the future. I want to get the back plate for it.

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    Then the res/pump was installed and the rest of the tubes attached.

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    Started filling it with the Feser blue

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    Took ages to bleed all the air out

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    I didn't photograph it, but in case you’re wondering, yes I did fire up the water cooling system when i was filling it without turning everything else on.

    Not too bad. Wiring is now a mess again though. Nevermind.

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    And here’s it all installed and working. Didn't have a single leak so that’s a bonus

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    Looking forward to getting that custom radiator grill on. Should look the business then.

    That’s all I’ve got for now. What shall I do next? :)
     
  7. *Alex*

    *Alex* New Member

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    looking good man, get some holes in the mobo tray cut to rout those cables will look so much cleaner.
     
  8. BlackWhizz

    BlackWhizz New Member

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    Make those fancontrolelr and audio panel in your 5,25" bays stealthed.

    Great work btw :)
     
  9. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    I'm thinking of replacing the fan controller with an LCD one. The audio panel is no more.
     
  10. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Nice work dude, only one tip though - fans work best when they pull the air through the rad, not try and push it through. If you're getting a badass grill, would swapping the radiator and fans still look ok?
     
  11. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    It's initially setup to pull air through the radiator, not push it. So obviously it's sucking air into my case.

    I know this isnt ideal, because it's introducing warm air into my case (although it's sucking in colder air from outside over the rad) my main concern with that is the potential dust problems.

    I've set it up as it is for the moment though because I only have 1 fan. Once I get 3 it'll be grill-case-fan-rad. With the air blowing out of the case.
     
  12. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    The two things I never liked about my case were the original buttons (already replaced) and the horrible horrible case feet.

    They're plastic and look really tacky imo.

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    Eurgh.

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    Tacky, tacky, Tacky.

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    I can see why they used them at the time, but they really don't suit the rest of the case.

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    So, I've changed them :)

    I couldn't find anyone who had them in stock so I bought some from ebay. They were a little messy even though they were described as new, they weren't.

    I found some metal cleaner and decided to give it a go. The one on the left has had the cleaner applied on the top, they one on the right had a small spot on the top with it applied.

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    It made a huge difference. Once I'd finished the wheels were all shiny once again, although my hands were covered in black stuff.

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    When I removed the feet I noticed there were 4 small holes around the opening for the feet to attach through.

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    So what turned out to be a more difficult mod (measuring, re-measuring) The two inner holes matched perfectly for where the wheels were to be mounted.

    All I had to do was to drill them a little larger and they'd be good to go.

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    I drilled all eight holes out and mounted the wheels using trusty old nuts and bolts.

    Front

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    Rear

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    All that remains is to cut the bolts back to a shorter length (I've decided to do this when the grill arrives). They are still much shorter than the wheels though so the case can still move around.

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    And that was that. The wheels were on, and rolling around :)

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    Already picking up fibres from my carpet.

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    Rear wheels.

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    And that was that. No more dragging my case around like a pauper for me :)
     
  13. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    hello hello, what's this? :)

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    It's the CPU waterblock backplate and a new XSPC FC 4870 water block :D

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    CPU Block backplate

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    XSPC 4870 full cover water block

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    I decided to tackle the CPU backplate first of all, this was pretty straight forward.

    I removed the CPU block and the CPU pulled the motherboard out of the case.

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    I mounted the backplate onto the board. Cleaned the CPU and the block and then reseated the block. This should put a lot less strain on the motherboard (no bad thing)

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    Next up was the more interesting part of this stage. The 4870 block. First job was to remove the existing cooler from the card.

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    I must say the instructions from XSPC we're very good. Removing the cooler was a straight forward affair, just unscrew the screws from the back of the card, unplug the fan and away it comes.

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    As expected, there was a the usual gunk on the processor and ram modules.

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    I cleaned all this off using articlean (awesome stuff btw).

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    Once that was done I applied Artic MX-2 to the GPU and the RAM, The VITEC chips had pads supplied for them with the card.

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    With that the card was ready. Now it was time to set the block up.

    First decision to make was how the tubing was going to go, this was pretty obvious in my case.

    I screwed the terminators into one side of the block.

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    And then screwed the barbs into the other side.

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    The block was then mounted onto the card and screwed on.

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    The card was then put back into my PC for leak testing.

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    I filled the loop back up and off it went :D

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    I didnt get any pictures of it, but unfourtunately I did have a leak. It wasn't too bad though and was easily fixed. One of the barbs hadn't been tightened enough. All is good now.

    Before I fitted the block my card ran at just over 80c under load. Now it runs at 40c under load. And this is still with only one fan on the rad.

    My new grill should be with me in the next day or two so i'll do another update (and cut down the bolts on the wheels) once that's done.
     
  14. th3ory

    th3ory New Member

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    looking pretty good so far, im gona watch this as i have a 75 in pieces right now gathering dust waiting to be modded
     
  15. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    So, the part I've been waiting for ages to get uploaded is finally here :) the more straight forward things are out of the way (water cooling system) and now it's time for some actual modding to take place.

    So here we go :) 3 new fans turned up to replace my single 120mm fan that running on the rad.

    I ordered 3 x Noctua NF-S12 120mm fans. Honestly they are brilliant, you really can't hear them! :)
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    The one thing I didn't like about them though was the colour. I thought they were pretty horrendous :) So I painted them to match the rest of the project.
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    So this was my rad hole from the previous installation
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    And it was time to sort that out. After changing my mind a lot and messing about, my new custom grill was cut and sent to me. I ordered it from chilledpc.co.uk and I can honestly say I wouldn't hesitate to order anything from Tom at all. He was absolutely brilliant with me, and didn't seem to mind my constant hassling :clap:

    It was well packaged.
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    Arrived in prefect condition and looked even better than I'd hoped. So here it is, my super mega awesome rad grill :naughty:
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    Pretty sweet I think! It has it painted black to contrast with the case and anodised. It came out brilliantly.
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    I got some hexx mesh and started to cut a piece of that off to size. to fit the grill.
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    With the mesh cut to size it was time to add the fans
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    Time for some glamour shots i think :cooldude:

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  16. DeltaFX

    DeltaFX New Member

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    You placed them as intake fans ? Curious.
     
  17. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    It was for aesthetic purposes. It didn't look right as extraction fans.

    I might turn them around at a later date, the temps are fine though. Dust would be my concern.
     
  18. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Silver Noctua's, they look great. Yu probably would get better temps turning the fans around but it looks cool as is. I can't talk lol, I have my 240mm radiator on the floor of my case sucking are in to the case lol.
     
  19. Carpet3

    Carpet3 Member

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    lol, thanks. It's nice to get some feedback. Good or bad! :)

    The temps are fine for me tbh. I have no intention of doing anything more than a mild overclock. The point of the water cooling was to reduce the noice of the PC, which so far has worked brilliantly.
     
  20. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    Cool! I like how you painted those fans. I hae two P12s and also want to paint it. Did you take the fans apart before painting them or just cover frame and paint silver then other way around and frame?
    What are the temps now? Before you had your card 40 under load with just 1 fan on rad. What is the idle/load temp of your card and CPU now with 3 Nocutas?
     
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