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[Plan] Beautiful in Black

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
The problem I've got with my system right now is not that it's slow. It's not slow in any way at all. Sure, I haven't overclocked it yet, but I do intend to. In the mean time, we're going to make the case and other hardware as best as possible in the mean time. That means: Case Mod Project!

The object behind this mind is to make my computer as silent as possible and as beautiful as possible - both on the inside and on the outside. Of course, they say - here I will use a common cliche, which you really should avoid, because they do not make you sound any more intelligent - beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In my case, beauty is simplicity: straight lines, no unneeded components, a single color dominating the whole outside, and no extravagant lights. That said, here's the case I'm working with:



It is the Lian-Li PC-A05B. Overall a very beautiful case, so much of my work is already done. but it needs some work. The first, and most easily fixed, issue is with the power supply I have right now, the OCZ StealthXStream 600W:



It is a very capable power supply, but it won't fit in with the idea of my project, because it is not modular. What a shame. Luckily, this power supply should arrive on my doorstep today (if it doesn't, I will be talking with Canada Post about their shipping practices to the United States.) Look at all the modular cables:



The modular cabling will no doubt eliminate most of the cable clutter in my case. However, there are a couple of other things I want to do to reduce cable clutter:
  • Cut some holes on the motherboard tray, both under where the motherboard will be and around the edges of the motherboard. I'll route the cables through them directly to the connectors, so the cables don't have to appear in plain sight.
  • Sleeve any of the cables that aren't sleeved currently. This includes the front panel LED and switch cables as well as one of the fan cables. While the cables themselves will be visible, they will look better and blend in better with the rest of the case.
  • Install black right-angled SATA cables. These will not only blend better with the case, but also improve cable routing.
Removing the cable clutter will also improve airflow in the case, which can decrease temperatures and increase life of the CPU and other components. Speaking of decreased temperatures, I also plan on lapping both the CPU and my heatsink, the Tuniq Tower, in order to increase contact between the two and decrease temperatures.

Now, to keep it quiet, I'm going to replace both case fans with quieter fans. So far I'm looking at the Scythe S-Flex SFF21F fans. They move a good bit of air and are practically silent. Unfortunately, this will likely increase the relative sound of my graphics card, the Sapphire Radeon HD3870. What I'm going to do in this situation is buy a new VGA cooler and install it. This VGA cooler, actually:



This fella is the Thermalright HR-03 GT. Compatible with the HD 3870, it's much better than the stock solution, as you might be able to tell from the image. However, I don't really want to deal with a fanless cooler, so I'm going to get a 92mm fan to go with it. This one, to be precise:



According to Newegg, the exact name of this fan is "Scythe Minebea NMB Silent IC." I don't think it's actually made by Scythe, but it's quiet and therefore it fits in with what I need in a fan. The rest of the things to change with this are minor, so minor in fact that I'm just going to list them without any sort of picture or elongated description at all... actually, I think I'm still going to do the elongated description:
  • Dim the incredibly bright front-panel LED's. Both of them are extremely bright and bleed through the sides, so I'm going to cover them with some sort of filter to dim the light. In addition, I'm going to create a small barrier between the LED and the vents at the front of the case to make sure the light doesn't bleed through the vents.
  • Repair the I/O shield. It has these little tabs in some sections which make the whole thing look ugly. I'm going to remove those tabs.
  • Stealth the DVD drive. Right now it looks ugly compared to the rest of the front. I'm going to buy one of those Lian-Li drive bay covers and modify it to fit the case.
  • Remove the hard drive cage. I'm going to remove it to increase airflow in the case. I'm going to suspend the hard drive with elastic in one of the 5.25" bays to remove vibrations that might occur. This will keep the hard drive very quiet.
  • Remove the mounts for the PC speaker and tied-up cables. There's no point in having them if they aren't going to be used.
  • Apply sound dampening foam to the insides of case. It makes it look better as well as dulls some of the vibrations to make it sound quieter and better.
Your comments are most welcome. I plan on having a list of things to order within the next day or two, and then it'll be onto the project itself. I may add more small things to this post in the mean time.
Edited by mentholmoose - 6/6/08 at 1:46pm
Macbook
(17 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel P8600 @ 2.4Ghz Geforce 9400M 6GB Crucial DDR3-1066 OCZ Vertex 2 128GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSOS
External 1TB Broken and Making Funny Noises OS X Lion Windows 8 Preview 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
13.3" 1280x800 Dell 2407WFP-HC Backlit Lithium-Polymer Battery 
CaseMouseAudio
Unibody Multi-Touch Trackpad JVC Marshmallow's 
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Macbook
(17 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel P8600 @ 2.4Ghz Geforce 9400M 6GB Crucial DDR3-1066 OCZ Vertex 2 128GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSOS
External 1TB Broken and Making Funny Noises OS X Lion Windows 8 Preview 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
13.3" 1280x800 Dell 2407WFP-HC Backlit Lithium-Polymer Battery 
CaseMouseAudio
Unibody Multi-Touch Trackpad JVC Marshmallow's 
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post #2 of 5
Sounds like a plan, looking forward to more!
Bubba
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ MSI K9A Platinum Sapphire Toxic 3870's 2 Gig Supertalent 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160g 2 750g Windows XP SP3 Samsung 32" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Micro Innovations Antec SmartPower 2.0 500w Gigabite 570 Wacom Tablet 
Mouse Pad
Wacom Tablet 
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Bubba
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ MSI K9A Platinum Sapphire Toxic 3870's 2 Gig Supertalent 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160g 2 750g Windows XP SP3 Samsung 32" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Micro Innovations Antec SmartPower 2.0 500w Gigabite 570 Wacom Tablet 
Mouse Pad
Wacom Tablet 
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post #3 of 5
Whoop whoop, time to subscribe!
post #4 of 5
Very cool. I like the simplicity that you are using with this project. I personally would add lights but you want something silent and hidden so go for it!

Can't wait to see more!

~B~
2010 MBP 15"
(13 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
INTEL CORE i5 520M nVIDIA GEFORCE GT 330M 8GB DDR3 @ 1066MHz SEAGATE MOMENTUS XT 500GB 
Optical DriveMonitor
SUPERDRIVE 15.4" @ 1440x900 
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2010 MBP 15"
(13 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
INTEL CORE i5 520M nVIDIA GEFORCE GT 330M 8GB DDR3 @ 1066MHz SEAGATE MOMENTUS XT 500GB 
Optical DriveMonitor
SUPERDRIVE 15.4" @ 1440x900 
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the interest; I'm going to start ordering parts tomorrow. In the mean time, here is a tantalizing picture of the inside of the system pre-mod:

Macbook
(17 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel P8600 @ 2.4Ghz Geforce 9400M 6GB Crucial DDR3-1066 OCZ Vertex 2 128GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSOS
External 1TB Broken and Making Funny Noises OS X Lion Windows 8 Preview 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
13.3" 1280x800 Dell 2407WFP-HC Backlit Lithium-Polymer Battery 
CaseMouseAudio
Unibody Multi-Touch Trackpad JVC Marshmallow's 
  hide details  
Reply
Macbook
(17 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel P8600 @ 2.4Ghz Geforce 9400M 6GB Crucial DDR3-1066 OCZ Vertex 2 128GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSOS
External 1TB Broken and Making Funny Noises OS X Lion Windows 8 Preview 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
13.3" 1280x800 Dell 2407WFP-HC Backlit Lithium-Polymer Battery 
CaseMouseAudio
Unibody Multi-Touch Trackpad JVC Marshmallow's 
  hide details  
Reply
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