Update #4 June 14, 2014
Ok since the internet is being all crappy tonight it gives me a good excuse to work on my desktop so I will just leave this spoiler right here:
Update #5 June 16, 2014
Alright finally managed to get my pc up and running again no thanks to my terrible internet dc’ing all day when I just wanted my drivers . Anyways I did get quite a bit of progress(at least I think it’s a lot of progress) and upgraded some hardware so here we go.
Edit: warning lots of large pics
First off I apologize but I forgot to take pictures of the completed plasti dipped cables and pci cards but here’s what the cards look like in the system. As you can see..or not see they blend in really well with PSU.
I did however remember to take pictures of the sata cables I did since I didn’t like the white on them.
So I thought that the pci-e extensions looked pretty horrid going all the way down and across to behind the mobo tray. I figured it looked much better going straight across to the 5.25″ area so I grouped them up and tied it off then cut a hole in the back of the 5.25″ bays for the cables to pass into the cable management area of the case.
Alright next to address the issue of my hard drives. Since my previous plan failed I spent a good 30 mins while eating my pulled pork sammich thinking of how to mount these bulky hard drives. Well here’s something I thought of and learned why not mount them like all other case manufactures do with cables at the back of the mobo tray. While trying to fit the drive in sideways I learned a hard drive is approximately the same length as a 5.25″ bay is wide, bonus! So I marked things out and had 1 drive per 5.25″ bay allowing for better cooling for the drives and I doubt I will ever need more than 4 hard drives. So first off is cut some slots for the sata data and power cables(picture is blurry because I’m a bad camera man):
Next I needed something to hold the hard drives firmly in place so a short trip to my local Canadian Tire for some aluminum angle stock.
And of course foolish me tried to precisely drill holes with a dremel *facepalm* that failed and I wasted about 6″ of the stock. So I visited my mom’s(<3 you mom) where my drill press was and did a better job of making a bracket oh and I found something to address my front panel audio situation(more on that in another update).
I only had a piece of plexi for the visible bracket since I have plans for a custom bracket once I plan out my WC upgrade. Also the non connector side of the hard drives is resting on the 5.25″ drive bay tabs. So yes they are secure enough since this system isn’t being shipped anywhere.
Now that the drives have been cleaned up it’s time to hide those case badges that yes look horrible but at the time I didn’t have a windowed side panel so they were mostly hidden. I do have some sentimental value to them for some reason so time to hide them. Grabbed some plexi and cut to fit then remember those blue plastic risers from my older post? Well found a use for them and those screws.
If you’re wondering what I used to glue those risers to the plexi it was trusty old J-B Kwik Weld.
This was before I went out and bought the SSDs but here’s how I planned to mount them(logo is far off in the future of the build)
Used up the last of my plasti dip painting that stealth cover the result you may also notice I only have 4 mounting holes. Reason being if I ever plan to go back to a single SSD I won’t have unsightly holes in the stealth cover(points for thinking ahead right?).
In the mean time waiting for that stealth cover to dry I unboxed those SSDs, those sexy sexy SSDs. I would’ve gone with Samsung’s but I’ve heard horror stories of their RMA process for Canadians and I’ve dealt with Kingston once before and it was a fairly easy RMA process if something did happen.
So no one makes the specific extensions I needed, most likely because it’s a very long custom length, so I made my own from some molex adapters and some wire.
Everything done and mounted.
Well that’s all I got for now the next week or 2 is gonna be a little busy for me so I might not have any updates for a bit. Thanks for checking out my build.
Update #6 September 8, 2014
Hey long long long time no see. I apologize for my absence but you know how real life goes. Anyways my b-day is coming up on Tuesday and I decided to give myself a present this weekend which was spending 16 hours tearing apart my computer and rebuilding it again. Best b-day present ever…….I think. I literally just finished putting it together 20 mins ago and I’m currently writing this while on it and I hope it doesn’t mysteriously crash. Though the curing paint smell makes me wary.
So the challenges to overcome this time around:
1: I plan on water cooling and I plan on mounting items on the bottom of the case I run into this issue:
As you can see the PSU filter is accessed from the inside of the case. While this is pretty convenient I wouldn’t be able to access it once the bottom of the case has something which makes me wonder why there was a fan mount there.
2: This is a kill 2 birds with one stone dealio. I almost never use my front panel I/O other than the power button and my headphone jack for splitting the game audio away from my music audio when I record game footage. So many of the cables from the I/O are unused and take up a ton of my cable management space. So I found this from an old comp I had:
It’s a separate front I/O of just the audio ports I truly lucked out that I had this and you can see what else I was planning by the aluminum angle stock I had cut that’s in the pic.
3: The terrible green on the motherboard heatsinks. You can see pictures of this in my previous post and yes they def don’t match the system and while I do plan on upgrading my cpu/mobo it’s not going to be until I get a custom water loop going.
4: Another 2 for 1! Tidy up the cables going to the motherboard even more and fix the terrible reinforcement bends in the mobo tray. As you may have seen in my previous pics my cables have to travel faaaaaaar from the cable management holes to reach my standard ATX motherboard.
5: Start planning for custom water cooling loop to replace 3yr old H100.
1: So somehow I still have to make my PSU filter accessible when I install water cooling items. Why not copy what current cases do and make is accessible from under the case!
First stop Canadian Tire, ahh the store you love to hate or at least I love to hate. I picked up 4ft of U channel aluminum stock for about $6 so not too bad and I’m gonna have a ton extra for other stuff. I also bought a $4 can of flat black spray paint for things.
The PSU filter had some thin risers on it which I trimmed down with a box cutter knife so it would nicely fit in the U channel.
It fits nicely now to cut the aluminum to length.
With some double sided tape magic I got those rails stuck to the bottom of the case. I also has to add a small piece of paper under the case feet mounts to help cover a bit of a gap between the filter and the case, I will have to find a more permanent solution in the future.
You’ll notice that it’s not coming out the back of the case and you’re probably thinking “You idiot! You’re just as bad as the guy who put it inside the case!” Well unfortunately the feet attachments are in the way of me being able to slide out the filter from the back which is probably why they put the filter inside the case in the first place. But I’ll take tipping over the case every once in a while to slide out that filter rather than no filter.
2: Oh those front panel cables I took it off which was easy only 2 screws. Turns out there’s 4 other screws underneath to access everything.
After popping that open I was pleasantly surprised turns out all those thick cables I wanted to get rid of are just extension cables and the PCB of the I/O is separate from the power button PCB. I promptly took those items out and was left with only 3 thin wires coming from the front panel, awesome more cable management room!
I will have to find something to fill this area with though.
Now for moving my headphone jack I used JB Kwik weld to stick those brackets I made to the small unit and cut a spot in the rear of the case. You can see I had a bit of an issue with drilling the holes to mount it. I blame my lack of a drill and drill bits.
That should work.
3: So before I got too far into the case I thought I should deal with the mobo heatsinks first since they will need time to dry.
The less ugly(unfortunately you can still see some green on the MOSFET heatsink since I didn’t want to apply too many coats and missed it):
But wait that rear I/O still looks kinda ugly.
Glad I had the scotch tape there from the other pics. I guess that’ll do.
4: Yup obviously had to cut some holes so i marked up my case and started cutting.
Woah what the heck happened in that last pic? Well I went out and spent a whole $1 on a giant 22″x28″ bristol board sheet what was dark dark grey. Staples calls it black but it isn’t as you can see by the bottom piece which isn’t painted that I cut for a template to make a plexi insert. Anyways I measured my case internals and cut out a mobo tray cover spray painted it and put it in. I like it what do you guys think?
So nothing to do now other than throw everything together so I can use it to post this update.
Yea so my cable management isn’t the best but hey this time I didn’t have to almost stand on my sidepanel to get the thing to close.
Is it getting sexier and sexier or what. Please tell me what you guys think even if it’s bad or suggestions.
5: Alright I’m planning for water cooling(CPU only, GPU block not available) and have come up with a parts list. I’m hoping to be able to afford these items by the end of the year. I’m am new to custom water cooling so I would love suggestions on what you think of my parts selection but please remember I’m planning ahead so I’m wanting this WC loop ready to be able to have 1 maybe 2 GPUs pluged in when I upgrade my cpu, mobo, and gpu someday.
I’ve already test fit the part sizes in my case and they will fit with some kajigering. Mainly moving my bottom 2 hard drives up so my pump can fit underneath(I’m not going to have a fitting on top of the pump like my model shows). I also have about 1″ of space between the top rad and the top of the res if frozencpu’s installation height measurement of 400mm is correct.
Phew that was a long one thanks for checking out my build log.