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[Build Log] The End of the Beginning

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
[Build Log] The End of the Beginning

Well guys, let me introduce myself, my name is Zac, I am a high school student and have been into computers for a while now. Furthermore, I have a really handy man type dad who taught me a lot of things and likes to fix and create things himself when he can. Growing up in this environment, I was naturally drawn to PCs and am now at the point where I only have a few more months before I go off to university. Seeing as there is little time left, I wanted to do one real full blown project with my dad before I leave for school. I have been thinking about creating a big project for a while but haven't really had an idea of what I wanted done, or the funds required to really do a good job. Thanks to all the wonderful projects on Overclock.net, and some outside inspiration, I now have some vision of what I want to do with my case. Finally, I will have some questions, (and already do!) on how to go about bringing my vision to life, that is where all of you guys with much more modding experience than I come in, if you think you have a solution to any of my problems, please PM me, or post here so that I can check 'em out, I am very open to suggestions! Now, let's get on to the plan!

The Plan:
I plan to build inside a TJ07 that I acquired used last Summer. This build should house some pretty high end components upon the release of Ivy, and Kepler, but for now I will simply be preparing the case. The things that I want to do to the case are as follows:
- Mount a 360 radiator in the top of the case [Mounted flush with the top]
- I was thinking of getting a 360 radiator grill from Phobya and then enlarging the hole on the top of the case so that it is slightly smaller than the grill. From there, I would cut 2mm into the top of the case, around the hole, so that the panel would just sit right on top. This would give me the desired flush look that I am looking for I think, I just don't know how I would go about getting the 2mm cut in, and then how I should secure it afterward. Do you guys have any ideas?
- Install a large window into the side panel of the case [Mounted flush with the panel]
- What would be the best way of making the edges of the acrylic thinner than the body so that the piece will just sit into the side panel? Also, how should I secure it to the panel, nuts and bolts? Will these crack the acrylic?
- Change the acrylic behind the Murdermod faceplate that came with the case
- Invert the motherboard tray [Already done]
- Send the case off for powdercoating [Will do at the end, after all cuts are done]
- Will my measurements need to be changed to compensate for the thickness of the powdercoat?
- Cut a hole in the front panel to accommodate for a bigger reset switch
- Does anyone know what the little knob that fits over the switch is called? I will need to get another one to slide over the reset switch so that I can access it easily.
- Finally, I do plan on making this build as clean, and visually appealing as my limited skills will allow. I also want to install some lighting and do some major sleeving (maybe even changing the cables length to my needs) to really give the build the clean look I want to achieve.
- Does anyone have any recommendations on where I should get my lighting from? I am not looking for something that is blindingly bright, just something to showcase the inside once I install everything. I'd also like something that gives off more of a glow, than a point source, once again to make it easy on the eyes.

The Components:
*Disclaimer: These are up for debate, and can change at any time, I will be updating this as new information is released.
- CPU: Intel i7 3770k
- Motherboard: Either a Z77 motherboard if the features look appealing, or a Z68/P67 if not
- Graphics Card: Probably either a 7970 or a 680 depending on budget and performance when the time comes
- HDD: Nothing special, probably a WD 3TB Green
- SSD: Don't know yet, whatever's reliable and has the best value probably
- RAM: No idea yet, same as the SSD
- Power Supply: Probably the Corsair AX850, I want something modular, and something quality
- Cooling: I'll probably be cooling the CPU with the EK Supreme HF (as I already have one), and the GPU with whatever suits my needs best when I have to choose. Radiator wise, I'll mount a 480 in the bottom, with push/pull for half of it, and just pull for the other half, I'll also use a slim 360 in the top. Both of these will probably be cooled by AP-15s. The pump will be the MCP655 (as I have one), and the reservoir is still up for debate, I am enticed to go with a cylindrical reservoir, but a bay would be fine too.
- Any ideas what radiator would work best for up top? I know that there are severe height limitations, but haven't done the measuring yet, as I haven't installed the grill, fans, or motherboard.

Final Thoughts:
This WILL be a long project, but I hope to get it done before I leave for a trip this Summer, and if it doesn't get done by then, then definitely before the end of the Summer (as I probably won't have the time, tools, or space to finish it in university). I will start ASAP and will try to post pictures as often as possible, (they probably won't be too high of a quality though, as I have no experience with photography) but I don't want to rush the build too much! I want to get some good father-son bonding time in, and want to do a great job with this! I hope you guys will join me for the ride, and I look forward to having a much larger crowd to bounce ideas with than just my dad and I! Feel free to leave feedback/suggestions/criticism/etc.!

TL;DR: Big build, need help, should be fun!
Edited by Zachariah - 3/18/12 at 7:47pm
post #2 of 3
for an SSD, I recommend the 120 gig Mushkin. right now on newegg its going for like 125 bucks. and the speeds are amazing. it is also a SATA lll

you cant beat that.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by LetterKilled View Post

for an SSD, I recommend the 120 gig Mushkin. right now on newegg its going for like 125 bucks. and the speeds are amazing. it is also a SATA lll
you cant beat that.

Thanks for the heads up, I'm not gonna be shopping around for parts right now though, mainly wanna work on the case, and then buy everything once it is ready for it (unless I can find an unbeatable deal on something).

Also, got my order in on the radiator grill so hopefully soon I can start working on the case. Since I was gonna have to pay shipping anyway, I decided to also order the AP-15s, it should help give me a better idea of the space I'm working with too, so that's a bonus (and at 15 bucks a piece, I couldn't pass it up!).

Should have some pictures up in a few days, really busy with school.
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