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Adding a side panel window: how tough is it?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm getting a water-cooled rig together, and I want a case that has a nice, big window to show off all the money I'm gonna end up throwing into the PC.

I'm currently looking at either the Fractal Design "Mini" or "Midi" (both are fairly similar, just different in size). They have everything I want for my build, BUT no side windows.

My question is, how much would it cost to add a side window? How hard would it be?
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HAL9000
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"Not Quite White"
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Skynet
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post #2 of 4
What metal cutting tools do you have at your disposal? Jigsaw, Dremel, angle grinder, etc? You can order the window kits from several places (FrozenCPU, Performance-PCs, etc.). The challenge is usually cutting out the metal for the window. Cutting it out with a jig saw is pretty simple if you have a nice firm block you can clamp the side panel too. Dremel is easy, but it takes awhile to get through. The right angle grinder is quick but messy.

A few tips: Remember to file down/debur all of your edges after sawing/cutting so you dont scratch the acrylic or bleed all over the place. Lay down masking tape over the side panel to protect the paint finish and draw out your cuts.

Good luck! thumb.gif
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post #3 of 4
I added a window to my Antec 300 and it was very straight forward.

I bought a piece of plexi with a fan hole already cut out on Frozencpu.com for ~$13.00

Then I bought this mounting tape at Home Depot: http://www.mnpctech.com/scotch_4010_tape_of_the_casemod_gods.html

I used painters tape to tape the inside of the case panel I was going to cut, I outlined where my window was going to be on the tape with a marker.

I used my Dremel tool and about 4-5 cutting disks(don't remember which, I'll find out). I took my time and the cut came out near perfect.

I used some vacuum tubing for cars and cut a slit in it to made the surround for the window but you can also use:

http://www.mnpctech.com/UChannel.html

Sorry I don't have a good picture of it anymore: 450
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help! This is great. Now I'm not nearly as restricted by case choice.
HAL9000
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Skynet
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel i7-4790k MSI Z87 MPower Max AC EVGA GTX 780 Superclocked ACX EVGA GTX 780 Superclocked ACX 
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Plextor M5 Extreme Wester Digital Blue 500GB ARCTIC Freezer 13 Limited Edition Windows 10 Home 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
QNIX QX2710 Evolution II 1440p CM Storm Quickfire TK - Cherry MX Red Seasonic X650 650 Watt Gold Modular Antec P-100 
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Logitech G700 Schiit Modi DAC Schiit Magni II Uber Headphone Amp / Pre-Amp SMSL SA-50 Amp 
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Corsair Force GT 120gb Samsung 200gb 7200RPM SATA II ASUS 24X CD DVD RW XSPC Rasa RS240 with Primochill Tubing 
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Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Sceptre 21.5" 1080p Microsoft Sidewinder x4 Raidmax RX-850AE 850 Watt GOLD Modular 
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HAL9000
(18 items)
 
"Not Quite White"
(11 items)
 
Skynet
(15 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel i7-4790k MSI Z87 MPower Max AC EVGA GTX 780 Superclocked ACX EVGA GTX 780 Superclocked ACX 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Plextor M5 Extreme Wester Digital Blue 500GB ARCTIC Freezer 13 Limited Edition Windows 10 Home 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
QNIX QX2710 Evolution II 1440p CM Storm Quickfire TK - Cherry MX Red Seasonic X650 650 Watt Gold Modular Antec P-100 
MouseAudioAudioAudio
Logitech G700 Schiit Modi DAC Schiit Magni II Uber Headphone Amp / Pre-Amp SMSL SA-50 Amp 
AudioAudio
Micca MB42x Bookshelf Speakers Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 Ohm 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 2500K ASRock Extreme Gen3 P67 XFX Radeon HD 6950 2gb 16GB Corsair XMS3 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair Force GT 120gb Samsung 200gb 7200RPM SATA II ASUS 24X CD DVD RW XSPC Rasa RS240 with Primochill Tubing 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Sceptre 21.5" 1080p Microsoft Sidewinder x4 Raidmax RX-850AE 850 Watt GOLD Modular 
CaseMouseAudio
Cooler Master 690II Advanced Logitech MX-315 Logitech Z-623 200 Watt 2.1 
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