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Case Mod - In Progress Thermaltake S300 Snow Edition build

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by zogthegreat, 14 May 2020.

  1. zogthegreat

    zogthegreat What's a Dremel?

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    Hi everyone!

    So I've been planning a build for the last year and I've slowly purchased "most" of what I will need to do the build. I ordered a Thermaltake S300 Snow Edition from NewEgg Canada for $120.00 CDN. The build quality is phenomenal for such an inexpensive case! Since there are numerous reviews, I won't take time here to go into the details, but this is a really nice case! I will be doing a water cooled set up on this build.

    OK, so here is what is going into the box:

    MSI Z270-A Pro motherboard
    i5 6600K CPU
    Zotac RTX 2060
    16gb Team Group DDR4 2133
    512gb NVME SSD (mounted on the board)
    3 x's 1TB 2.5 HDD's
    Corsair HX1050 PSU

    I'm planning to upgrade to a B550 setup with a Ryzen 3 CPU when all of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales start this year. Until then, this gear works "adequately" i.e. it get's the job done, but it kinda sucks for gaming.

    So, before everyone starts screaming about it, I'll address the elephant in the room.

    Yes, I know!

    I do not need water cooling for the hardware I have! I understand this, but I want a water cooling set up anyway!

    I understand that the RTX 2060 absolutely does not need a waterblock, (in fact, it barley needs the fans on it!)! It doesn't change the fact that I want to have a waterblock on my card!

    Deal with it!!! :jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop:

    So let's get into it. Here's my new case:

    [​IMG]

    Ain't she a beauty?! :clap:

    This will be a long build due to the fact that this computer is my daily driver, so any major mod's will have to be planned out in advanced to minimize system downtime. I'm lucky enough to have a friend who is both a graphic designer and and he also does industrial design. (he's a Mac user, but I forgive him for that! :naughty:).

    Right now I'm thinking of running 2 loops, one for the motherboard and one for the GPU. I have a rather gorgeous XSPC TX360 white radiator:

    [​IMG]

    I managed to snag this as a "open box" on an eBay auction for $30 USD! I shop on eBay quite a lot and I often bid on on "open box" items. Usually when it's listed as open box, there is some use to the item. Not in this case! This thing is pristine, with the factory packaging and plastic inserts still in the radiator! I guess that someone was planning to use this in a build and changed their mind. All I know is that I have a huge grin on my face every time I look at this beauty!

    Right now I'm thinking to either put my pumps and reservoirs like this:

    [​IMG]

    Or maybe something like this:

    [​IMG]

    White with black will make this build a challenge. It will be real easy to end up with a really boring case if I don't get creative about this build.

    So, let's get started, shall we?
     
  2. zogthegreat

    zogthegreat What's a Dremel?

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    So I'll start with the video card, because... well, you will see!

    I got the Zotac RTX2060 "Gaming" 6gb because it was what I could afford. This card was $500 CDN and the cheapest RTX 2070 was $1000 + CDN, so... yeah.

    However.... sometimes you end up getting a case of the stupids. Par exemple:

    [​IMG]

    (sigh) Yes, that is the heating element from my stove melted into the fan and shroud of my 3 day old GPU! :wallbash::wallbash::wallbash:

    I was draining my loop and put my card on the stove next to the sink. Unfortunately, I forgot that I had turned off the stove 5 mins earlier. Stupid, stupid, stupid! "Fortunately", I had put it face down, if I had put the circuit board side down, I would have ended up with a nice expensive paper weight! So, the real reason that I'm adding a water block is that at times I lack the common sense of a squirrel!

    Since there aren't any blocks that are made for my card, I had to find one with the same PCB layout. I emailed every waterblock manufacture that I could and only Bitspower and Bykski had a block that matched my PCB. It turn out that the Zotac Gaming GTX1660 Twin Fan has the same PCB layout as my RTX2060. I decided to go with the Bykski N-ST1660TWIN-X waterblock:

    [​IMG]

    (sigh) However.... when I received the block, there was a problem. The block fit perfectly except that I was about 1mm from touching the GPU die, memory and VRM's. The mounting screw holes were 2mm high and this prevented proper contact. These mounts were threaded in and I contacted Bykski about some shorter ones, but unfortunately, they didn't have any. So I ordered a piece of 1/16", (1.58mm), copper plate and cut out some shims.

    [​IMG]

    I then used the thermal pads that came with the block to cover the GPU die, memory and VRM's:

    [​IMG]

    Then I put on the copper shims and covered the copper with Artic MX4 to give a better interface between the copper and the block:

    [​IMG]

    After that, I assembled the card with the block:

    [​IMG]

    Right now I need to decide what to do about the back plate, as it sticks out on the end. I could cut it, but I'm also thinking that I would be a good place to put some type of LCD display for temperatures, (I'm doing a vertical mount). Or I can just trim it down. Thought on this are appreciated!
     
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  3. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    Sorry for your mishap with the GPU, luckilly it damaged only the fan shroud :happy:, ....smart to craft copper shims to adjust your incompatible water-block, now it's just an old story :grin:
     
  4. ivory2k19

    ivory2k19 Minimodder

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    Sorry but i can not see the pics?
     
  5. zogthegreat

    zogthegreat What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah, this is just a copy of the old nVidia GPU mod for laptops. But sometimes old tricks are the best!

    I managed to get some work done last night on the vertical mount adapters. The vertical mount brackets are nice, but, the mounting inserts are a little strange. I don't know if ThermalTake want's you to use some type of proprietary PCI-E extension cable or if some engineer just messed up, but a standard PCI-E cable doesn't fit properly:

    [​IMG]

    I could have just drilled new holes on the bracket, but the I would have to fill the old holes and repaint the bracket. Instead I used one of the back expansion slot covers and some black hot glue to fix the problem:

    [​IMG]


    I trimmed up the excess hot glue and then mounted the bracket with a Perc H310 RAID card so that I would have space to reach behind the card and make adjustments if necessary.

    [​IMG]


    The nice thing about using hot glue is that if something is off, you can use a hair dryer to loosen the glue and adjust things. Finally, I mounted my video card to test the fit:

    [​IMG]


    I'm happy with how it looks. I'm trying to reach ThermalTake about purchasing some more mounting brackets. With the vertical mount on this case, I can install my Asus PCE-AC68 WiFI card, along with a USB 3.0 PCI-E card that I use with this board. I'm also considering using my PERC H310 for the three 1TB drives. Since I will have a backup server running, I can setup the RAID as a JBOD or RAID 5 so that I have one volume instead of 3. I can "hide" the PERC card behind the video card.

    I'm also considering mounting my Asus WiFi card in front of my video card. I would have to do something about the color of the PCB and rather massive heatsink, but it might llok good if I do it properly:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2020
  6. zogthegreat

    zogthegreat What's a Dremel?

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    @ivory2k19. Yeah, I'm noticing that also. Not sure what's going on. They load with Chrome, but not with Firefox or Edge.

    (EDIT) Reloading Chrome seems to drop the images. Trying to fix it now!
     
  7. zogthegreat

    zogthegreat What's a Dremel?

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    Not really sure what going on, I had some problems loading bit-tech.net yesterday, so I'm not sure if the problem is on my end or bit-tech's. The images load fine on my website. I'm going to reach out to a moderator and see if they have any suggestions.


    (EDIT) I committed a faux pas and posted my work on another modding site that I frequent and the pictures are loading fine there, so I have to assume that it's bit-tech that's having a problem. Does anyone know how to reach a site moderator?
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2020
  8. ciaognep

    ciaognep Minimodder

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    Yes me too..
     
  9. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    I use firefox, and I can see all the pictures, so I don't think it's the site's fault...:blah:
     
  10. zogthegreat

    zogthegreat What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah, they seem to be loading on Chrome now also.
     
  11. TempeMod

    TempeMod What's a Dremel?

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    For the backplate you may try to made a custom one, instead of cutting it
     
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  12. zogthegreat

    zogthegreat What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for the suggestion TempeMod. I actually hadn't thought of doing something like that!
     
  13. ivory2k19

    ivory2k19 Minimodder

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    I also had this problem so I edited the posts and added the images again and now it works... i hope :grin:
     
  14. zogthegreat

    zogthegreat What's a Dremel?

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    My second radiator, (for my graphics card loop), is a well used and very banged and battered Swiftech MCR220 XP

    [​IMG]

    I've had this radiator for at least 8 years and it still works great. However, it's definitely time for a spruce up. I straightened the bent fins, (hard drive fell on it!), with a tiny screw driver and razor knife tip and then I hit the fins with black enamel. I covered the fins and sanded it down with some 320 grit and taped up two old barbs to cover the inlets. Then I sprayed it with some self etching primer:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I changed the barbs for stop plugs to prevent water getting into the radiator while I'm wet sanding. I did about 7 coats of primer, wet sanding with 400 grit at the 3rd coat and the last coat.

    OK, this part is somewhat stupid, however....

    (sigh) There was a dent in the corner of the radiator. O the side that will be unseen and nobody will ever notice.

    But when I know that something can be fixed and I don't do, well, I don't know if it's mid age OCD or there is some other problem with my head, I just had to fix it. Now the simple way would be some automotive spotting putty, but I don't have any handy and I really don't want to stand in line for 45 minutes just to get a $3.00 tube of putty, so I went old school and fixed it with a mini butane torch and solder:

    [​IMG]

    I used a rotary tool with a 120 grit drum to reshape the corner. If you try something like this, be sure to use some flux so that the solder will attach to the brass, (or whatever metal that your fixing). Also be sure to clean all of the flux off with alcohol or your primer/paint won't stick to the area.

    Then I use some white enamel to finish the job. I did the same thing, 3 coats, wet sand, then 4 more coats and wet sand a last time with 600 grit:

    [​IMG]

    And of course I can only find one of the two Arctic F12's for this part of the project! I know I have one more and I just can't find it right now!

    [​IMG]

    In general, I'm happy with the results, The radiator looks much nicer and now matches my XSPC TX360.

    Now where the bleepity bleep is that other bleeping fan?
     

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