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Case Mod - In Progress RE-Define XL - Update 20th November

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Wissel, 15 Aug 2012.

  1. Wissel

    Wissel What's a Dremel?

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    Hi, new here as only found this forum a few weeks ago.

    I couldn't think of a good name so this will have to do.

    I recently built a new PC and I’m just not happy with it so a few things are going to be changing soon. One thing I really don’t like is the general layout of the PC and I cant find a case that I do like the layout of so I thought I’d mod one and do this build log.

    Here is the spec of my current PC:


    Fractal Define XL, Corsair AX 750, Asus Sabertooth X79, I7 3820, 32 GB G.Skill RipJawsZ 2133MHz, 128 GB Crucial M4, 500GB WD Caviar Black (x2), Gainward Phantom GTX 670, GT 620, LG IPS 22” Monitor (x3), LG 22” Monitor (x1), Mackie u402 Firewire Audio, Behringer MS16 Speakers

    Water Cooling:

    XSPC Raystorm CPU Block, XSPC Raystorm GPU Block, XSPC RX 240 Rad, XSPC EX 360 Rad, EK Multi Tube Res

    Here’s a picture of what it currently looks like:

    [​IMG]

    I like most of the components in my build but will make the following changes:

    Add another Gainward Phantom GTX 670
    Replace the 2 500GB drives with a 1TB Caviar Black and a 2TB Caviar Green
    Add XSPC GTX 670 water blocks
    Add the Koolance motherboard blocks for the Sabertooth
    Add 2x Hardware Labs Black ICE Radiator SR1 480 (at 517mm long they fit perfect)
    Get a new Define XL case (the existing case & water cooling bits will house my other PC)
    Bitspower fittings.

    I’ve been at the beech for the last few days (love living in Cornwall) and have been designing all the case mods in a sketch pad. My free hand looks like a 2 year olds (no offence to 2 year olds) so I’m not going to post them here so I only have a quick mock up to show what I would like to achieve. I will post detailed pics of all the mods once I’ve drawn them.

    Here’s the concept:

    [​IMG]

    That’s all for now, will hopefully get the other drawing online in the next few days.

    PS I’m going to have to order several panels cut/milled and powder coated to my specs. I cant find anywhere local to get these done so if anyone can recommend somewhere that’s good I’d really appreciate it (either in thread or message me if it’s a company that shouldn’t be mentioned on here)
     
    Last edited: 20 Nov 2012
    Omoobhs likes this.
  2. Wissel

    Wissel What's a Dremel?

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    RE-Define XL - Update 30th October - Water Loop Complete

    I found a local company to make my panels for me at a good price, here is what they are making:

    [​IMG]

    Once I have these panels I'll cut the fan ducts/IO panel etc and paint, then add the existing Define XL top, bottom, front (modded) and sides (modded).

    Should have them end of next week.
     
    Last edited: 30 Oct 2012
  3. Shurika

    Shurika Minimodder

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    wow, that`s look very interesting! can`t wait for pics of working! I`ll keep an eye on this
     
  4. Blarte

    Blarte Moderate Modder

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    I do not like this project already. Mainly as you have planned it very well and I am looking at your previous work and its going to be very well done.. again making my wonky line cuts even more amature in appearance. Sub'd ... lol
     
  5. KoSoVaR^

    KoSoVaR^ Professional Sleever & Modder

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    Great idea!
    I am subscribing to this one !
     
  6. Wissel

    Wissel What's a Dremel?

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    Ok a small update as a lot of the parts have now arrived.

    [​IMG]

    The new Define XL case, 2x Hardware Labs SR1 480's, a WD Caviar Black 1TB, another GTX 670 and a Lamptron FC9 Fan Controller.

    [​IMG]

    ... along with my new favourite toy, the Dremel 4000 - honestly it is fantastic, but not as fantastic as....

    [​IMG]

    ...Haribo
    Now I feel special
    (the mrs just said I am :()


    So first the case goes on a crash diet


    [​IMG]

    Sides and cage removed

    [​IMG]

    ...then fans and other plastics removed

    [​IMG]

    ...then gutted. Probably should have moved my mouse mat first :rolleyes:

    Now to see if the rad will fit

    [​IMG]

    ....bugger it don't (but will with just a little bit of Dremeling)

    Now for the Fan Controller

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm really surprised by how high quality the Lamptron FC9 is. I almost feel guilty for stripping it down so it works how shown in the OP.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It comes apart really easy and will work great I think.

    All the panels are on order and will be with me next week so that's it for now apart from this quick spoiler

    [​IMG]

    This is the fan grill design being cut into the panels.
     
  7. Wissel

    Wissel What's a Dremel?

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    The new panels won't be with me until next Thursday now (taking a few extra days at the laser cutters) so I thought I'd get on with a job that I've been dreading - wiring.

    I decided it would be a good idea to completely remake most of the cables in this build so they all match and are the right length etc. After spending half a day on this job I'm not so sure it was a good idea as its a pain in the arse.

    Sure it will all be worth it in the end though :rolleyes:

    I've been ordering little bits and bobs for this job for a while now, here's a bit of a selection of them:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've never touched the cables in a PC before, never soldered wires and never used heatshrink so did a little test piece first:

    [​IMG]

    That went well so decided to start on the fan wires. I want all 4 fans on each 480 rad running of a single header on the fan controller

    [​IMG]

    So fitted the fans and stripped the wires back

    [​IMG]

    The blue wire wont be used so I cut this back out of the way

    [​IMG]

    and started joining the new wires and heatshrinking. When I ordered the wire green was out of stock so using red as the green wire

    [​IMG]

    Then added the braid up to the point of the next wires, melted a section to join the next wire, soldered and heat shrinked again

    [​IMG]

    clamping the braid back made the job easier, as did pulling the wire back from the edge of the fans

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    repeated a few times

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and its done

    [​IMG]

    I finished the new cable with black paracord to match the other new wires and added the 3 pin connector to the end.

    Then the moment of truth - see if it works

    [​IMG]

    BOOM! (in a good way) it works great!

    One set of wires done, only a few million more to do.

    I'm going to spend the weekend getting most of the wires finished and making the LED's up, the final water cooling parts will be here Tuesday (hopefully) so will post another update once the motherboard is bench fitted.
     
  8. Mechh69

    Mechh69 I think we can make that fit

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    Looks like a wonderful project subbed. It kinda hurt my feelings to see that beautiful brand new case loose weight like that but it has to happen some times i guess. Great progress so far i look forward to seeing more.

    best of luck
    Mechh69
     
  9. Wissel

    Wissel What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for the comments, needs must and all that.

    Quick update - well actually just a couple of spoilers :eek:


    Most of the bits are now here but I'm shattered so will do a big update over the weekend. For now here's a few pics:

    [​IMG]
    Motherboard with the new blocks sort of fitted

    [​IMG]
    A few of the new panels (back and fan shrouds)

    [​IMG]
    The new internal panel

    [​IMG]
    ....which thankfully fits :)

    Now to pass out for a while....... byeeeeeee
     
  10. Yaka

    Yaka Modder

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    got the same mobo with the same block:) sadly for the moment i am stuck with my antec p190 which is not the best case for water cooling
     
  11. dr-

    dr- What's a Dremel?

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    Defo a huge undertaking there, with all the modding to fit 2x480mm rads. All the best Wissel!

    I was also looking at your picture of the ASUS Sabertooth X79 - it's one of my favourite mobos but I was always wary of the fact that the military colour highlights would stand out too much - but it seems if you put enough parts in it the colours only come out subtly.
     
  12. Wissel

    Wissel What's a Dremel?

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    Cheers dr- and Yaka

    Another quick update as its now "kind of" together :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just really pleased it all fits together (after a lot of cuts with the dremel).
     
  13. Rrruby

    Rrruby What's a Dremel?

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    Like the idea of grouping fan cables together like that, never seen that before. Looking forward to seeing the end result, lots of kit in that case! :dremel:
     
  14. SilveR_172

    SilveR_172 Minimodder

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    Nice work coming along now !
     
  15. KoSoVaR^

    KoSoVaR^ Professional Sleever & Modder

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    you shouldnt had those fans at the back so close to the motherboards, you should have let some clearance so that eaven a third graphics cardr could be fitted for an example
     
  16. Wissel

    Wissel What's a Dremel?

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    Cheers for the comments guys.

    Yeah it would be nice to have a little more room, its a tight fit though unfortunately.

    This is the first time I've ever modded a PC case (unless you count cutting a window out :eyebrow:) and its quite a steep learning curve. I'm already thinking I should have done a scratch build.

    Still I'm enjoying it and learning loads and I'm optimistic about the finished piece.
     
  17. Wissel

    Wissel What's a Dremel?

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    Started fitting the board today:

    [​IMG]

    This section is nowhere near finished yet by the way and will be very neat when its done (I hope)

    Also most of the fittings are now here so board is now plumbed in:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There will be another acrylic tube going from the VRM block straight down into the bottom chamber and a tube going into the top chamber between the graphics cards.

    [​IMG]

    hopefully the other little fittings will be here middle of the week.

    I'm tempted to paint the Koolance motherboard blocks black to match the ram and swap the Raystorm CPU block for the copper one purely for looks to finish the board off. Would appreciate thoughts on this?
    (...and a great believable story to tell the missus on why I need another block :))
     
    Last edited: 8 Sep 2012
  18. KoSoVaR^

    KoSoVaR^ Professional Sleever & Modder

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    Yeah you are right :)
    Keep on modding get inspiration of other modders and theese thing will fall into place:)

    The new update looks great !
     
  19. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    Thought of changing the SLI bridge for a black one?

    It kinda sticks out like a sore thumb, good looking project though.
     
  20. Wissel

    Wissel What's a Dremel?

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    Cheers for the comments KoSoVaR^

    Thanks CrapBag I'm trying :D

    Yeah I'm going to cover the bridge with black aluminium, also have matt black plugs to replace the black nickel stock ones.

    Has anyone painted over nickel?

    I have some acid etch primer and black enamel paint, would this give a good finish?

    (any tips welcome please)
     

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