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[Build Log] Project Unknown

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Project Unknown
The Project That Lacks A Better Name

The Background Story

Hey all...

Been way to long since I've posted here. I though I'd share my latest build and mod. This is a bit of an older build, but it serves a purpose. Girlfriend got sick of her old MacBook, so that's where I swoop in a and save her (PC Master Race!). I have several machines that I though could fit her, as she wants to do some casual gaming, along with school work and streaming HD video. I have plenty of old 478 machines I could have pawned off to her, but that wouldn't be the right thing to do. I've been digging through piles and piles of old parts (even found my old SoundBlaster 16!), and then got a spark. There is one machine that's been sitting in the corner for weeks, powered on, doing nothing. No OS even! This machine is going to be a challenge, which is why I want to take this on.

The machine consists of a Gigabyte GA-G41MT S2PT v2.1, a Core 2 Quad Q9400, 4GB Crucial Sport RAM, an Intel PRO 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN Card, and a Seagate 160GB HDD. This is all housed in a Rosewill Line M, which is why this is going to be a challenge. I have never really cared for this case, due to lack of cable management. It's pretty roomy for its size which I love. It's also really easy to tote around, which is good because I've carried it to several LAN parties, and it will be seeing more soon. I have some ideas for it now though.

My Plans: Add a video card, better sound card, a Hyper 212 so I can OC, and some paint. She likes the Mac theme, so that means I'm going to have to stick with silver, white and black. That's going to be a little bit of a challenge, because the motherboard is blue, the video card is red and other stuff.

Another issue is getting a video card. I loaned my HD 4350 to someone like a year ago, and I have been asking for it back. I think they disappeared, which blows because I liked that card. The only other cards I have are a 2900 PRO, a 3450, an x300, and a 3670. The 2900 PRO kills all 4 of those cards, and it's not like shes going to play BF4 anyway. Mostly Source games and some other low demand games. I spotted a GTX550 on eBay that was white, PCB and everything, so I'll keep that in mind. So on with the build!
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
The Video Card

So here we go. I'm going to start with the video card. I can't get hands on with the machine until Saturday when the weather clears up. It's currently raining, so I had to run down to the shop and take care of the video card. I have to do the 2900 PRO. I talked to the person I loaned it to, and I'm pretty sure they died. That or they changed their number. Anyway, I'm going to work with what I have. I pulled the card apart today, here is what I have:

This is the piece that hold on that nice heavy copper heatsink, along with the fan and shroud

Here is the shroud itself, smokin'

And the back-plate that holds all this together...

So I worked on the larger piece first, using my dremel, sandpaper, and ScotchBrite to get it sanded down to shiny aluminum. Here she is now...

Finished that piece up, along with the backplate. Took about 24 hours to do both of these by hand. Lastly, I painted them. I'm going to apply a second coat if the weather clears up later today. Rain blows sometimes, but patience is a good thing so it's all good.

Here's the finished painted pieces!

I'm currently working on the blower shroud and fan. I will be applying several coats of paint, because of the plastic. I will upload the rest either later today or tomorrow!

Happy modding smile.gif
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Good News!

The rain has cleared up and I was able to finish the video card. I'm going to pick up the rest of the computer today, so I'll tear it down and get some pictures. So I got some new thermal pads for the card, and thinking of replacing the thermal paste on it because it's cracked and hard on the chip. That and I forgot how seriously hot this card will get. I did some benches and it was able to play games at decent framerates, I played HL2 around 80FPS with high settings. Weird enough, no OC. This card runs way to hot for that. So I'll figure out better cooling config for it. But here it is!

Kinda reminds me of an EVGA card. Anyway, I'll be back soon so I can post pics of the case!
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Got the case semi teared apart. Got a decent amount of work done. So far, the side panel was cut out with a grinder (Thanks Max!). Also, the front bezel was removed, sanded, primed and painted. Next up are the fans, as I'm going to paint the blades white. I removed the drive bay, and am going to figure out the next action on it. Debating whether I should powder coat it, or leave it as is. Either way, it had to be removed. There is still a decent amount of work that needs to be done, but I'll let the pictures do justice.

Here is the area where the front fan goes. I cut out the mesh because it causes extreme turbulence and restricts airflow. Plus I really don't care for the honeycomb mesh. So I removed and got everything sanded.

The front bezel - Also cut out the bigger honeycomb mesh. More airflow is better! Sanded and now it looks much better. Theres a few dings in the front, but I'm sure I can either fill it or figure something out...

Here is the side panel. Got some help from a friend, used a grinder with a cut off wheel to remove it. Also used a dremel to sand and removed some other stuff with a file. I'm going to paint this one soon after some more sanding and clean up.

Front bezel after some paint.... Just need to apply a second coat!

The mesh that goes over the fan cut out was painted white. Looks decent!

Another update will come soon! I am also open to any suggestions!
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