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Case Mod - In Progress Project: Titan 650, 12th June

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by okapi, 13 May 2008.

  1. okapi

    okapi What's a zebra?

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    This starts from an Antec Titan 650, which is designed as a server case. It will be an eight core dual Xeon number cruncher. The case:

    [​IMG]

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    As I recall, Antec provided no frills fans in the back and side openings and none in the front. I started disassembling this some time ago.

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    Front fascia off:

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    Window cut in the left side panel. Not bad for freehand straight lines for a first time jigsaw user. The window has since been made larger. I wasn't sure whether I wanted the drive enclosures directly visible. Since I've decided to put some effort into painting the chassis the larger window should be OK.

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    Almost completely deriveted and ready for priming:

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    Even at moderate resolution on the web, I think the wonderful factory "pebble finish" can be seen here. Getting rid of this texture will be a priority.

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    Completely deriveted and primed. White primer on the inside, gray on the outside. There's some gray overspray smudges on the inside of the top.

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    I also removed the rear fan grill and cut a 120 mm blowhole in the top with a hole saw. I must say those new bimetallic hole saws on a drill press work very nicely. See below. This is just the hole saw and some very quick sanding with 150 grit. Close to factory made quality:

    [​IMG]

    The main decision to be made now is what to do about the front fascia? I could just leave it as is, sand it smooth and give it a nice paint job, but somehow I don't think that is going to cut it. At the other extreme I could get rid of it completely and replace it with some color-coordinated acrylic. That would mean some changes to the front metalwork since it's too ugly to look at directly. That would mean losing two 92 mm fan mounts. I want those fans in front since this machine will be at 100% CPU 24/7. Maybe switch to 2 × 120 mm and mount directly onto the back of the front acrylic. I'll have to think on that and suggestions are appreciated.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2008
  2. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    they are great cases. keep it clean!

    whats the 8 core monster going to be used for?
     
  3. Oreon_237

    Oreon_237 CHEA BRO!

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    yes what is the 8 core beast being used for?
    that is a clean hole for only a bit of sanding
     
  4. okapi

    okapi What's a zebra?

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    This particular one will be used for SETI@Home.
     
  5. Moriarty

    Moriarty Evil Genius

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    This particular one? How many 8 core machines do you need? Also i've always eyed up server cases and get a modding itch. I look forward to seeing this progress.
     
  6. okapi

    okapi What's a zebra?

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    May 18th update

    It's limited by three things: 1) Buying hardware 2) Paying for electricity 3) Getting rid of heat (related to #2). I have five at the moment. Two or three of them will be the topics of future projects.

    An update:

    Fans, 120 mm (back and top) and 92 mm (front).

    [​IMG]

    MNPCTech grills for the back and top.

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    Black anodized Lian-Li casters, clear acrylic cut to size and drilled for the window. As you can see, I couldn't resist peeling the protective paper back to check for cracks.

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    No problems. They all look like this.

    [​IMG]

    Painting of the inside has mostly been completed. I'm using Duplicolor Chrysler red engine enamel. The paint is behaving quite nicely. The outside of the case will be piano black.

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    I'm waiting on a bunch of fit & finish type stuff - proper screws, lights, switches. Also acrylic for the front. The hardware is already running and should be in the skeleton shortly.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2008
  7. Realiks

    Realiks New Member

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    hmm nice paint. On the picture it looks kind of orange insteade of red. But its nice.
     
  8. MrWizard

    MrWizard New Member

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    This is going to be a really nice looking box man. It's coming together really well so far, I can't wait to see more. ^^
     
  9. okapi

    okapi What's a zebra?

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    May 22nd update

    Thanks guys.

    This is mostly a raw materials update. However, I did manage to paint the MNPCTech grills:

    [​IMG]

    I also painted the supplied screws to fit the color scheme by dropping them into drilled holes in a board first:

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    For attaching the casters, some 4-40 5/16" black oxide pan head screws from McMaster-Carr:

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    For attaching the clear acrylic window, some red, really red, not pink or orange, anodized 8-32 1/2" socket cap screws and locknuts from Fastener Express:

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    Some red cold cathodes sleeved in black by Performance-PCs:

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    I also ordered some plastic tools from Specialized Products Company. These are an Alignment Tool Kit part number 054X700 TK-AT5 and an alignment tool part number 318X805 AT-6241. What they're intended to align, I don't know. Maybe someone can clue me in. I'm going to use them as non-marring tools. Particularly for driving painted screws when I don't want to scratch off the paint. How well they will work for that remains to be seen.

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    Last but not least, and again really red, not pink or orange, acrylic for the front of the case from Delvie's Plastics:

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    Now that I have 95% of what I need to really get moving on this project, a long holiday weekend is coming up in the states. Which means I won't have a chance to dig into this stuff, unfortunately. :wallbash: Next update in a week or so should be a big one.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2008
  10. nikeunltd

    nikeunltd Epic destruction around machinary

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  11. okapi

    okapi What's a zebra?

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    June 12th update

    Between holidays, hardware problems at my web hosting company and slow-drying coats of paint, it has been a while between updates. It doesn't help when the paint doesn't behave and you have sand it off, recoat, resand, recoat - with at least two days of drying between coats:

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    The final wet sanding of the color coat on the bottom of the case:

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    After all the work, it does make a nice surface though. The camera is actually focused on the reflection, not the panel itself, hence its edges are fuzzy:

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    Here's where the hardware for this case has been living for the past few months. Melamine and bricks for that college dorm room look.

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    The motherboard is happier now.

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    With the drive bays and bottom attached.

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    This didn't make me happy.

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    Most of the assembly was done with 6-32 thread black oxide screws. I had to use rivets here. It was just too small to fit a nut in behind there. Of course futzing around trying to convince myself of this caused some paint damage. The rivets and the damage were all covered by some quick touchup.

    The window:

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    Gotta love those red anodized screws.

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    The fans sleeved nicely:

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    I'll definitely get the back and top fans in tonight. Probably mostly done this weekend except for the acrylic front.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2008
  12. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    You have two skulltrail setups! is that 16 cores?
     
  13. okapi

    okapi What's a zebra?

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    They're not Skulltrails. Skulltrails are dual Xeon boards that can handle Crossfire and SLI graphics. These are simply dual Xeon ASUS server boards. I'm using onboard graphics. I have a Tyan dual Xeon board/system that will handle 2x PCI-Express x16 (but not SLI) which will be the topic of a future project.

    But yes, those two boards in the picture are sixteen cores.
     
  14. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

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    What will you use them for? Looks really nice so far.
     
  15. MrWizard

    MrWizard New Member

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    Even with the minor dings, I'm super impressed by this project. You've obviously done your homework and gotten parts that compliment eachother perfectly.
     
  16. okapi

    okapi What's a zebra?

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    June 12th update #2

    See post #5. This first one has dual 5300 series 2.4 GHz ES Xeons and will be a pure number cruncher. The other board in the pic has dual 5320s. That one will spend its idle CPU cycles crunching plus it will be a fileserver. I'll start the worklog for that one this weekend.

    Thanks a lot man. The minor dings are fixed. Can't avoid 'em, have to fix 'em.

    A minor update:

    The PCBs of the fans were concealed with black adhesive-backed foam. Can't have those PCBs mucking up the color scheme. Before and after:

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    The top fan assembled, running in daylight:

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    Same fan by its own light:

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    Reassembled and crunching away for the evening. It's starting to look appropriately... infernal?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2008
  17. ROB 636

    ROB 636 Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop

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    I tried doing the seti@home. Stopped after a few days because the computer was building heat. 49*C on the CPU most of the day. Whenever I play games like oblivion or BF2 on high quality it never goes above 42*C and idle is around 35*C.

    On your case I like how you alternated the colors on the fan guards and the evil glow of the red fans inside the case in your last picture.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jun 2008
  18. badje

    badje boni

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    You got a nice camera!
    Love that reflection in the panel, looks wonderful.
    To bad of the minor things but you can fix it. I like this
    mod on.:thumb:
     
  19. okapi

    okapi What's a zebra?

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    Thanks. About the CPU temps, or usage. I've been running the project since 2001. Over the years, I've owned many computers. Some have failed for one reason or another - RAM starts generating errors, hard disks die, or whatever. Although I've given away most of my machines to family members as new faster hardware comes along. But in all that time through all those machines, I've never had a CPU fail. The guys that design chips (that have no moving parts) do such a good job that they outlast every other component, regardless of the load on them. So the CPU is never the limiting factor in a computer's lifetime, in my experience. Given that, I figure I might as well run them pedal to the metal 24/7/365. Might as well get my money's worth out of them.
     
  20. ComputerKing

    ComputerKing <img src="http://forums.bit-tech.net/images/smilie

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    man I really can't stop my self to replay you. Your work is completely nice. You took that case to the next level. I fall in love with your fans and grills.

    Your theme is awesome. That orange looks hot. I really can't wait to see more. Show us the work brother. Take care
     
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