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A Budget Cut and Paint Job - CM Elite 310 - Update: Finished?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
After getting a rotary tool on christmas and being inspired by spiderm0nkey's

Project Viper, I had been meaning to do some modding to my CM 310. And with Summer Holidays, I have been sort of busy catching up with some friends.
__________________________________________________ _______________


But now, most of the catching up and hanging out has finally died down, and I've had time to do some modding!

With my university student budget however, I couldn't really afford extravagant ideas and so I set a realistic set of goals of:
  • - Slightly improve temperatures by improving airflow in the case.
  • - Try to improve cable management (this is probably going to be the hardest thing to do with how the case is designed)
  • - Paint the interior (atleast the bits that are often seen) in Flat Black

Tools and Materials:
  • A Fuller Rotary Tool
  • Kill-Rust black self etching primer
  • Dulux Flat Black
  • Dulux Clear Plastic
  • Plasti-Kote Clear Stone Sealer
  • 3M Blue Masking tape
  • Silverstone Acoustic Foam Material (a cookie to whoever guesses what I will use this for )

I started the modding before I started taking pictures so alot of stages are missing, but the major stages atleast have some photos.

I didn't take any photos of the case before I took it apart, but here is an idea of what it looked like: (This was with my GTS 250 and old CM Power Supply a year or so ago)

Old Old Photo

Here it is when I just got my GTX 470

Final Pictures:



Stock CM Elite 310:



After my Mod


Edited by HSG502 - 2/9/11 at 9:38pm
     
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post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Now onto what has happened:

I planned to cut holes on the motherboard tray for cables to go behind it, cut out the rear fan grille and cut out a hole for a bottom mounted fan to intake air for my rather hot GTX470.

After masking the areas where I was going to cut with masking tape, I marked out where the cuts were to be made.

This is after all of the major cutting was done.


Here is where I did the work. (Just a shot of all my tools really )

A close up of the rear fan grille that I cut out (Sorry if it was out of focus, I didn't notice when I took the photo)

You can just make out the scorch marks where the masking tape didn't quite have contact with the metal.

A close up of the bottom fan hole


Here is what I will be using to secure the fan there:


The extras are for the front fan on the Hard Drives (the store that sold me the case didn't give me the extra bits and pieces =/ and until now I have needed to use odd sized screws)
     
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post #3 of 17
Quote:
Silverstone Acoustic Foam Material (a cookie to whoever guesses what I will use this for )
You'll be using it to make the rig quiet?
Can I have my cookie now?
Looking good so far, keep it up!
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by allikat View Post
You'll be using it to make the rig quiet?
Can I have my cookie now?
Looking good so far, keep it up!
Haha not quite. It will become obvious once I start using it though ( I promise not to forget to take photos)

Anyway, here's some pictures of the case now that it has been painted in the Dulux Flat Black:


Here it is with the case sitting on top of the also painted side panel to give me an idea of how it will look once assembled:


Standing:


PCI-E Slots:



Side Panel (eek the dust really shows on black =/)


I had a bit of leftover paint after the case was finished so I decided to paint my heatsink fans to reduce the amount of blinding light I recieve from them (See old GTX 470 in OP as a reference)

Here is how they turned out:




Here is how I masked off the fins, I thought it turned out alright
     
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Did a bit more work this afternoon, and can provide a few more clues to my intentions on how I'm using that foam:





Hmmm don't those shapes look familiar?

allikat, it can't be that easy to get the cookie, there just won't be any fun in it

I'm planning to go to my friend's house in the next few days to use his air compressor and blow out the powdered paint that I can't get out of the case with a brush and cloth. Then I can move to installing the system back inside it to begin routing cables.

EDIT:
Found some photos I took on my phone:
Some may have seen the sleeved cables on the photo of the HSF, I will now admit I'm too poor (to ship sleeving from the USA) and lazy to sleeve the PSU myself (plus I'm afraid I'll screw something up =/ ).

So thanks to NZXT Extension Cables;


I will be able to to have that sleeved look without the strain on my patience (and wallet which is already feeling considerably lighter at this point).

Here's a nice open bench shot of the hardware (and the cables )

Edited by HSG502 - 2/6/11 at 3:07am
     
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post #6 of 17
nice subed see how this turns out
    
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post #7 of 17
Have you put clear coat on yet? Because it looks kinda rough
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG363 View Post
Have you put clear coat on yet? Because it looks kinda rough
Yes I have. 2 coats, then I thought it was a bit too smooth and shiny (which wasn't what I was going for) so I gave it a light sanding with 400grit sandpaper (though that was just where the clear coat did that which was the motherboard tray and the floor). The other rough bits are bits where I couldn't get a good angle on spraying the paint and the flat black would become like powder which I would sand down.

Though I may try putting a few more coats on and sand it to see if I can still have the matte colour without having it look to rough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liighthead View Post
nice subed see how this turns out
Thanks A big update should be coming up either tomorow or the day after. I noticed a few issues last night.
I got the fan filter I'm planning to use on my intake fans (bottom and front) after I got the screws I was using to secure the fans to the case (I didn't know the store had them when I went in to get the Silverstone Acoustic Foam). Anyway long story short, the screws are too short. I'll try take a few photos of the problem tonight after I come back from helping my friends restore a car

Thanks for reading!
Edited by HSG502 - 2/6/11 at 2:26pm
     
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post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yesterday, I took the case to my friend's house to blast out the powdered paint that I couldn't get rid of and do a bit of work on the fan filter I bought.

Here's the issue:

The filter (which I taped to the bench ready for grinding with my rotary tool) has a dome type thing where the screw goes through. This would put a gap between the floor and the fan which I didn't want so I went ahead and did this:



I did a test fit with the fan and here are the pics (they are a little blurry as I couldn't use the tripod):



Here's photos of the case with the acoustic foam finally installed:




If you haven't yet noticed, I'm using the foam as grommets for the cable management holes I made (to protect the cables from my rough cut work).

Testing out the grommets:


At this point I noticed the I may have made a slight mistake in measuring how much space I needed to put inbetween the motherboard tray and the bottom fan. I began installing the motherboard in hopes that there will be enough space to still have my front panel buttons and USB ports working.

I had to remove the fan to plug the cables in, and stretch them as much as possible, then the fan gave them a squeeze:


Now that is a damn tight fitment.

If anyone has advice wether I should be worried or if I can just leave it like that would be greatly appreciated. I'm not sure if it's bending the motherboard.

I'm contemplating elongating the mount holes so that I can move the fan just a little bit more towards the windowed side panel and give those cables a bit more room to breathe.

Any and all suggestions are welcome.
     
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
While waiting for replies on the question above, I've decided to finish the reassembly in the mean time.

So here are the final pictures:

I wasn't sure which photo gave the best view of the cable management, so here's two of them:



Here's some photos of it running on my desk:





These are closer shots of the heatsink just to compare how much less light is shone at me:



Updated the OP with a comparison shot of a stock CM Elite 310 and this one.
     
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