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Stuffing a Q6600 in a Cooler Master Elite 360

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Specs:
Q6600 G0 @ 3.15
Tuniq Tower 120
EVGA 680i
8 GB OCZ Gold XTC DDR2-800
OCZ-VERTEX 60 GB
WD RAPTOR 150 GB
HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM
GeForce 8600 GT 512 MB

Case:
Cooler Master Elite 360
17x14x6 inches
Much easier to carry then the Centurion 590 which was great, but big.

Goal:
Stuff all the above into a case that's portable enough to transport easily without having to get any new components and still be able to OC to around 3.1 with decent temps. Yes, matx, a smaller heatsink, or water cooling would be easier, but wanted to keep cost as low as possible.


Why I'm posting this:
Even with all the great work log and case posts everyone's done I still found it hard to find a small case that fit an ATX board and looked could keep a OCed Q6600 cool. After contemplating a completely custom case or having to go mATX I came across the Cooler Master Elite 360. Not only did it look like it could be up to the task with a few simple mods but it was on sale for only $25 making it ok to even it if didn't work. After a few fairly simple mods I'm happy to say it's worked out quite well. Hopefully others looking for a similar solution will find this helpful.


So, first task. See if things fit and what mods will be needed. Other than the Tuniq, looking good, but might going to need some holes for fans.



Tuniq sticks out a couple inches. Debating if I care, finding a low profile cooler that'll keep the Q6600 as cool is a pain and don't wanna spend $ on new cooler.


Decided to keep the Tuniq, but now I need to cut a hole in the side panel for it. Hmm, A plexi side panel sure would look nicer.


Power supply needs to suck in air, another hole needed. Wht I learned the first time cutting plexi:
1. Keep the plastic that comes on each side on. It really will protect from scratches.
2. The plexi I used, from big chain hardware store that starts with an L and rhymes with toes was pretty easy to cut, but it's best to go slow and watch for the cut melting back together as you go. It also makes a mess so do it in a garage or something. Also, when using a large drill bit with a saw like Blade (yeah, I'm not really down with the lingo) be careful starting the but as the teeth may grip in and try to spin the sheet of plexi which could be quite bad for you and it if things go wrong.



Ok, now how am I going to attach this side panel? The case has a few screw holes. Back at the hardware store while looking for some screws to fit it I found some magnetic tape, very cool.


I think a completely black case looks nice, so...


The Raptor is a 10k RMP drive, so maybe I should do something to try to help it stay cool. Maybe a drill bit with smaller teeth would have kicked back less.


Time to install things again. Here we see the Vertex, Raptor, and DVD drives. The Vertex is a bit hard to get to, but it all fits.


Things are coming together well. More pics of the rest of the build, installing fans, and how it handles the Q6600 coming soon....
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Everything's back in and fitting ok. Cable management not great, but not we'll see how it does. The order things are installed is quite tricky. For those worried about video card length, yeah long cards likely won't fit, but I'm not worried. This pc is used more for C++ dev work and light 3D CGI apps like Maya so the 8600 though getting a bit old is fine. Also, for anyone curious about drive space being an issue, a Windows Home Server box with 4 TB is handling that nicely.



While I am leaving the power supply vent hole open since the PSU has a fan built in, the Raptors vent won't be left open, it's getting a 120mm fan. You can see where a piece of the plexi chipped when drilling. Drill slowly with low force, it'll feel slow, but it'll go better.



And here's the fan with a grill so nothing crazy happens. You may have noticed I don't mind things sticking outside the case a bit. It doesn't get in the way of carrying the case under one arm and is most likely worth the cooling. Might sound odd, but carrying this thing under one arm while being able to open doors or carry a laptop bag in the other hand was one of the top priorities for this pc. Yes, I know there's quad core laptops, but they're about 4x the price.


That's all for now. Coming soon will be a report on temps but right now I can say overclocked to 3.15 with a room temp of 24C (75F) the Q6600 is under 60C full load which should be just fine.
Edited by ggray - 8/10/09 at 10:42pm
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Reserved for more
post #4 of 13
That case is tiny must have bad airflow, upgrade to a CM690. What kind of temps are you getting?
Lateralus
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Lateralus
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post #5 of 13
Nice work. That's a tight fit. I'm going to be getting this exact case for my HTPC builde because it's small and fits ATX!!
The Beast
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The Beast
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was kinda shocked to find the temps not bad at all. CPU around 40 idle and at most 60 load. GPU 55. Raptor around 35.I'll follow up with result from various fan combinations.

I'm not sure how good the airflow really is other than with two 120mm fans, two 80mm fans, the PSU having a large fan, and the Tuniq being rather nuts, there at least probably is more air flow then many other small cases. Really wish I had a fog machine or something to analyze the airflow and determine if the top and bottom fans should be intake or out, but overall I'm happy with it.

Noise is too much for HTPC use, but I'm using it as a semi mobile workstation so that's not a problem.

Not having to buy any more then a new case was a main factor in this build so things like mATX and cube cases was ruled out early. Total cost to move this pc from a Centurion 590 to this was about $40 ($25 case + $15 plexi).

Happy to hear others are looking into this case. I hope seeing this rather ridiculous little mod has helped you judge how well your components will fit.
post #7 of 13
Looks awesome. You can get the most out of the case (which has excellent airflow by the way) if you follow this other tutorial I found to add another hard drive to it. http://michaelmiller.co.cc has the tut.

What kind of paint did you use to paint the inner-metal casing?
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks. The only changes I've made are that it's now populated with an OCZ Vertex 60, and two WD 1Tb Blacks. Temps have been ok, CPU < 60 full load with CPU fan on max which is a bit loud. Water would likely be better, but it makes a trip in the car 2x a week so not sure about that.

The paint is Rust-Oleum All-Surface flat black. It's been fine so far, but a few tips:
1. Once it's dry blow some air at it to get rid of any paint dust/flakes
2. Don't spray too close or too much at once to avoid drips.
3. The paint might scratch off when installing drives. Another time to blow the dust out.

One other thought for anyone considering this case. Like most cases of this size, making just about any change other than hard drives requires removing the power supply and video card, and things need to be done in a specific order. It's not a big deal if you're not changing things around often.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
The heat sink sticking out the side and weighing a lot had me a bit worried since this case is moved around quite a bit, and I came across the Corsair H50, so toss in a few other changes and this little 360 now contains:

Q6600 G0 @ 3.15
Corsair H50
EVGA 680i
8 GB OCZ Gold XTC DDR2-800
(2) OCZ-VERTEX 60 GB
WD Caviar Black 1TB
WD Caviar Green 1TB
HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM
ATI Firepro V3700

Fitting it all in really was a pain, but as I said before, the goal's been a portable ATX rig since I'm not interesting in replacing the mobu at this time to go mATX.

Switching to the H50 required taking out just about everything, but that's the norm for doing just about anything with this setup:


H50 installed:


The first Vertex is in the lowest part of the hard drive bay, the WD green is above it, the DVD drive above that (with the case horizontal), the WD Black above all of them (with the case vertical). So, where to put the second Vertex...


just fits...




PSU in:


Closed up with a new side panel:


Now you can see where the rad ended up. Excuse the absurd hole to the left, it's for the H50s tubes, but it also had to be quite large so I could fit the pump/block back into the case. Remember the H50 is a closed unit.




After all this I was very curious what the temps would be and pleasantly surprised. After a quick test:
Idle: 27-35
Load: 45-54
The fan mounted to the plexi blows onto the cpu and the H50 fan is blowing out the top. The plexi fan helps a lot, 5 to 10 degrees lower with it.

I'm also happy the rig is now a lot quieter as I used to have the Tuniq Tower 120 on max to keep temps in check.
post #10 of 13
Wow now that case is tiny + Rep for making it all fit
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