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Project i-Prodigy -> for i-Wife - the journey

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 
Hello Gents,
I am posting the same worklog over at OCAU, and have decided to do so here to, as it might give a few of you extra or different ideas. Please feel free to discuss, and leave comments.

Finally the good ol' Bitfenix Prodigy arrived on our shores, and thus I can commence to fit the bits and pieces, purchased over the last 2 months, to this case.

This system will be a new gaming/daily use setup for my Wife, as I want to get rid of the monstrous Lian-Li P80 with quad-SLI adorning her study-desk. System must be reliable, and will mostly run 24/7, so a quality HDD is a must.

With that in mind, I selected the following components:
1) Motherboard - Asrock Z77E-ITX
2)CPU - i5-3570K
3) RAM - 8GB GSkill Rip Jaws
4)GFX - Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670

5) HDD - WD RE4 1TB Enterprise
6) PSU - Seasonic X660 Gold

7) Feser 240mm Rad
8) 2x 120MM Scythe 1600rpm Fans
9) ApogeeDriveII pump/block combination unit
10) Watercool Heatkiller X3 GTX 680 block and backplate - ordered from TKR 24.06.2012!
post #2 of 121
Thread Starter 
Let the modding commence.

First things first, needed to make sure the spare (and brandnew) Feser 240mm rad I have will fit to the top of the case:


and from below, no problems, all screw-holes line up, easy-peasy - probably the easiest case I had to foit a rad to, ever, hehe.


Just wish I could have made my spare old AC Ryan 2x 120mm rad-grill to fit, pity there is a cutout to make provision for Bitfenix's original top fan-cover.


Ah well, stock will have to do, and at least it provides some sort of dust-filtering....pretty innocuous looking, but will have to do for now....

post #3 of 121
Thread Starter 
Next area of interest would be the PSU - I have to make the Seasonic X660 work in this case, shouldn't be to hard though.


Space between PSU and rear wall of the PSU-cage (approx 20mm):


and then between PSU-cage and bottom drive-bay (approx 10mm):


as mentioned in the Prodigy owners-thread, I have done some testing, and if you bent the Seasonic X660 cables pretty tight at right-angles, you can get the PSU with cables in without any modding, but I prefer modding the rear-plate anyway, will make it pretty easy and simple to add-remove cables without having to take out the PSU - of course, you will need to remove the bottom drive-cage, but no concern for me, a small sacrifice.

Need to remove a few rivets first - these 3 here,


then (only?) 2 at the bottom side,


and then these 2 here, on each side of the case:


So, all-in-all, only 9 rivets to remove, and you have the PSU-cage/ITX mounting-base out for some Dremel-action.

and you end up with this


and this

post #4 of 121
Thread Starter 
Mark the area to be removed, like this - very difficult and involved biggrin.gif


Some of the tools I am using, my trusty Dremel, and cordless Makita drill - makes life very easy when it comes to modding - here with the piece already clamped down:


and please, if you use powertools, especially when using the Dremel, please observe safety precautions, and use Safety Glasses, and earplugs!!


Midway through the cut:


and done


After cleanup with a fine-tooth metal file


and another angle

post #5 of 121
Thread Starter 
Now, to replace the countersunk pop-rivets Bitfenix used to secure the PSU-cage, I used small 3mm metric-fine countersunk screws with SS-nuts and washers


and here you can see some of the nuts/washers


This will allow all the panels and pieces to properly slide over the screws, as there are a few areas where they have to sit flush.....otherwise side-panels won't slide on proper...

and a shot with it fitted and secured


Test-fitting the PSU again, but not expecting any hassles - this shot just for e-peen...hehe


and from a few different angles, to give you an idea what we're working with, and some help should you wish to attempt something similar, as I know the PSU-issue and what would work in this case is a hot topic...




and with the drive-cage fitted too - nice and open, and cable-friendly...

post #6 of 121
Thread Starter 
Time to fit the motherboard, and route some cables to see what goes where, and will it all work....

from the inside:


and from behind


and cables connected, and a few close-ups for you to see how easy the Seasonic X660 modular works with this case - I like smile.gif


with drive-cage fitted




and 22_Cables_2.jpg
post #7 of 121
Thread Starter 
Feedback/comments appreciated, hope the above is of help to you guys.

As mentioned in the first post, I will order the Watercool Heatkiller X3 GTX 680 for the Windforce GTX 670 soon, and next I will install the watercooling setup, and finalise this (for a hopefully quick 'n easy) build.

As it sits now, I have it running on air, making sure everything is working as it should, and running on Win 7 Ultimate 32.

Will load drivers later tonight, and start setting up al the applications for the Missus, with only the watercooling and tidying-up remaining for next weekend.

I will post several more pics, no worries.
post #8 of 121
Thread Starter 
1) Been tossing a few ideas, i.e how to deal with cable-clutter in the rather confined space we are dealing with here.

I still have a fair bit of the spaghetti-noodle high-temp, super flexible silicone wire around, and is actually considering redoing the PSU cables for this setup.

This will allow me to properly route the cables, and tailor them to the exact lenghts required - yeah, overkill, I know, some people do it with rads and fans, so we all have our weaknesses.

Need to order a few more good quality ATX pins, should get this finalised in the next 2 weeks.

2) Optical drive: By mounting a 240mm Rad in the top, you are effectively eliminating the 5.25" opticaldrive-bay. Due to the Wife having needs for an optical drive, I will most likely fit a slot-load slimline drive - I have a new Panasonic spare floating around here, which I am willing to donate to a good cause.

3) While I have indicated I was pretty impressed by the quality of this case, for the $99, it's not all moonshine and roses - one area neglected in the quality-department, are the USB-3 ports in the sidepanel.

One idea I have is to replace that side-panel with the same as used on the other side of this case, and relocate the switches/ports to the front - this will also allow me to mount the optical slotload proper, as well as redo the USB-3 ports, by fitting better quality ones.

4) Pump/fan control, or not? Considering the Aquaero 5 LT, to handle the fans on the rad, and exhaust of the case, as well as the APD-II pump. This will make for a truly silent system when running in desktop/2D-mode, and allow proper control of water-temps when gaming...

5) Will most likely mod one of my existing MCP355 pumps - I have another series-setup, tied to a Watercool Heatkiller top (no comments here:) ), and will use one pump for this built, another for Macho-Mini, which will shortly relocate to the Fractal Design R2 mini case.

I have 2x of the newly released Swiftech APD-II's, one for each built.

Of course, I need to modify the standard MCP355's, by removing the default mounting-tabs, but that is an easy process.

Will probably post a few pics later today.

Appreciate your ideas/comments, but keep it on the modding, please, no further comments about 32-bit vs 64-bit OS, or SSD vs HDD etc.

ps: It seems it doesn't matter how well you plan, and how resolute you are to do a quick and easy setup for the Wife - already past the point of no return to what mods are planned for this setup :lol:
post #9 of 121
Thread Starter 
An update with the ApogeeDrive II - you can order these in 2 flavors from Swiftech's website, with-, or without the pump.

Seeing I had dual pumps left over from a previous built, I ordered 2 kits without pumps.

I had this nifty setup lying around, which was used in my HP Blackbird setup earlier, but I refitted that system with a Koolance RP401X2, with dual-pumps, due to optimising the loop, as well as freeing addtional space, and generally tyding up the internal apearance.


Years ago, I fitted them with these nifty little Heatsinks from someone over at XS, but, other than e-peen,it is debatable if they actually do anything - my experience with these pumps is that they run rather cool, may not be the same for everyone


Stripping it down


and further


to get to this bit, as I have to remove the mounting-lugs - ok, strcktly speaking, not necessary to remove these, as it will still allow you to mount it on the APD-II, but it may not be in the orientation wrt the cables you may want...

Underneath this sticker, there is the original manufacturer information, it is a Laing DDC 3.2pump, rebranded by Swiftech...


a Few quick pics of the bare APD-II, as received from the Supplier


and another


and the bottom

post #10 of 121
Thread Starter 
Test-fitting the pump internals, no worries there


and here


and a last one


Now, removed the mounting-lugs, and redone the original pump-wiring with the spaghetti-noodles, nice, soft and very flexible - pump mounted here sans cooling-heatsink and thermal material


and here, heatsink and TIM fitted - did not come out to bad, I reckon


and a last one for the day - take note, due to my adversion to bling, I will remove the LED that's supposed to light up the Swiftech Logo in the center of the heatsink - will do they prior to fitting it to the motherboard.


I have also placed the order for the Watercool Heatkiller X3 GTX680 GPU block, and backplate, should have it during this week, and will finalise the waterloop on the coming weekend.

Was considering keeping the stock aircooling on the GFX card, but, decided to go WC on it too, will give that bit more headroom during hot summer-days.

More to come.

ps: Excuse the quality of the photos, not a professional photographer.
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