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[Build Log] Jam Packed - InWin A1 Mod

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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[Build Log] Jam Packed - InWin A1 Mod

Hi,

I'm Mosquito, also known as Chris, and I have a problem. I haven't posted a case mod in like 2 years

I'm going to be working on an In-Win A1 case, and this is sort of two worklogs in one. First part is a simple mod, to watercool CPU + GPU in a custom loop with only a simple mod (and some GPU size restrictions).

After that, I am continuing to mod the case, to see how much I can fit in this little case

This video is the first step in that multi-step approach.

I put together this video on a simple mod for installing a custom watercooling loop with minimal modifications



First thing I did was some disassembly to get to the bottom of the case, and then used an old radiator template thing I had to mark some hole locations



And then drilled out those holes. Note, I forgot to tape the case first, so I ended up taping around the locations I marked for the most part, instead of taping and re-marking. Oops



All I had to do was drill 8 holes and it allowed me to mount the fans through the bottom of the case to the radiator




This no longer uses the holes in the bottom plastic frame for mounting the fans. You also wouldn't want to anymore, since there is about a 3/16" (just under 5mm) gap between the fan and the plastic frame. No complaints here, as it helps get the fans a little further away




Next up, a little test install. I'm using a fan/radiator mounting bracket for the pump/res combo




It is worth noting, that fwith my setup I had to go with an SFX power supply. If you had a shorter/smaller/different reservoir arrangement, then you may be able to use the ATX power supply that comes with the case




Next up I did some fiddling with the loop order and tubing runs, and installed my PSU




I threw the PSU cover over it after installing everything (taped in place for now, which is why it's partially crooked in this picture)




Overall, this was a pretty nice compact little build. I'm sure there are people crying out "WITH THAT SMALL OF A GPU YOU COULD HAVE USED A SMALLER CASE", which is true, however, I've also got a 240mm+120mm full custom loop in it




I ran this system for a while, actually used it at an Age of Empires II LAN (An old college group still gets together once or twice a year to play the original version, not the HD or Definitive Editions released on Steam), and as my shop computer for a while.

Temps were pretty good, and the passively cooled PSU never gave me any trouble. Under typical browsing/music/video streaming duties the CPU would generally sit around 33-35c and the GPU around 31-32c. Doing some bench marks or stress-tests would obviously push things a little further. While running Furmark and CPUZ's stress tests simultaneously, I was seeing the CPU around 68-72c and GPU at around 56-60c.

Overall I was quite pleased with this setup, but... it's a little too pedestrian for me, so in the updates to come, I will be taking things a little further, possibly into the realm of pointless ridiculousness, if I can


Thanks for checking this one out

Last edited by Mosquito Mods; 02-10-2020 at 06:01 AM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2020, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Now that we got "the easy" out of the way, let's start to have some more fun [ATTACH=full]69278[/ATTACH]

Time to start tearing some stuff back down





This I/O cover is pretty nice. One mod I was looking at was standing it up and making the top the new front of the case. But I would have had to flip the power button, as the logo would have been upside down and annoying. Luckily, if you were to do that, it's easy to do




Since I'll be cutting stuff up at this point, I'm taking everything off that I can. Always remember to photograph power connections, if you need to remove anything like this




Next up, was the stressful part... I took the top glass panel off. I don't have any pictures of the process, so you'll have to wait until the video is up for that part. Essentially, it was patience, a heat gun, and a couple of screwdrivers, patience, and anxiety [ATTACH=full]69275[/ATTACH] But eventually SUCCESS!




Essentially, there's just a narrow (~1/2" wide) strip of double sided foam tape around the perimeter. I focused on heating up a decent area with the heat gun, and then gently pried up with the screwdriver (often using a gentle twisting of a flat blade with eased edges, to avoid excessive fore). Try not to heat up any particular area too much. I think it took me around 7-8 minutes to get this removed. Of course, if you try this, do so at your own discretion. There's always the possibility you shatter this thing into a kazillion little pieces




Next up, there was this plastic film on the back under the paint, so I removed that just by pulling it off.




I used mineral spirits and denatured alcohol to clean up any residue (I use mineral spirits and rags first to dissolve and clean up the adhesive and then denatured alcohol to clean up the oily residue from the mineral spirits)




And that's how you de-lid an InWin A1




However, my reason for doing this, was to get a window in the top of the chassis. So the opaque white top wasn't quite going to cut it.
So I covered the thing with Citristrip and let it sit an hour. Didn't do anything, so I covered it again, and let it sit for a couple more hours.





And... nothing. Alright, (no pictures here), take it outside, coat it with Aircraft Remover, paint stripper. This stuff is nasty, but some of the best stuff I could find for stripping hard to dissolve paints. Directions say 10-15 minutes. Tried 15, nothing. Tried again for an hour, nothing. Well alright then.
These were my desperate attempts with a sanding block, and a steel wire wheel. Now we're getting somewhere...





Yeah, no. That was like an hour of sanding and wire wheel work, that's obviously not going to happen lol I'm Assuming this stuff is baked on during manufacture, so it's a little more tough than I am...

So... there will have to a Plan B on that one, I think.... but that's alright, I'll manage



Thanks for checking it out

-Mosquito

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2020, 07:15 AM
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The first version of the build turned out nice. I'm curious to see how wild you can get with this thing. I briefly considered getting an A1, but ultimately went for a d-frame mini.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2020, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Fluxmaven View Post
The first version of the build turned out nice. I'm curious to see how wild you can get with this thing. I briefly considered getting an A1, but ultimately went for a d-frame mini.

Thanks! I wish they had offered the A1 in a no-PSU configuration with SFX, and let people get their own. This is the older version, that came with the 80+ Bronze PSU instead of the new one that comes with a gold. Non modular is annoying, but they did it for the space restrictions I guess.

I had a D-Frame Mini for a little bit too, and that was also quite the fun chassis. Watercooled that one with the help of one of the hdd brackets lol

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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So after getting the glass top off, despite the setback of the paint not being easily removed, it's time to press on anyway...



For those of you more video inclined, I have "Part 1" of the series posted:





Using the original top panel some carpet tape, and a specialized router, I made a couple top panel windows





After routing the pattern, the replacement top panel looks to fit quite well.





This was another one of the "practice" pieces, in tinted acrylic to get an idea for how it would look





The plan at this point, was to mask off the shape for the window, and then paint this top panel to hide the metal underneath, so I'm testing some paint samples here





Planning out the hole I'm going to cut for the top window





Then I cut out that window with the rotary tool and cleaned it up with a hand file





And with the tape removed, this is about what the top window will give us a view to. Reason I only did the window in the back, is because I don't care about seeing the PSU. Plus, I'll need somewhere to hide the rats nest of wires ????





Fast forward a couple months, and I ended up getting a CNC... so I tried out a new idea with the windows




This allowed me to make the panel and the window separately, which will make it easier to paint the panel, and not screw up the window







Next will be working on getting all the hardware I want to cram into this thing to fit effectively...

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Last edited by Mosquito Mods; 04-02-2020 at 04:48 PM.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 05:02 PM
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Looks fantastic man, keep up the stellar work!

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Avacado View Post
Looks fantastic man, keep up the stellar work!
Thanks!

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,



I don't have much of a written/picture update for this one, mainly just working on getting the radiator installed where I want it, and some modifications to accommodate that.



So leaving off on the end of that video, I dove in to some testing to see if a regular 30mm thick radiator would be enough for what I'm trying to do





Event did a bunch of testing using the bottom portion of the A1, to make sure that even with the fans in pull configuration with the base it would be ok.





The good news is, even with that configuration, I was able to run some benchmarks and [email protected] to get some good heat going for a couple of hours, and everything handled it fine. So this at least means that if I go with a slim radiator, it's at least a somewhat viable option for this hardware setup.



Been having a heck of a time with those 760's though, and if I switch to the Vega Nano's I'm not sure if this would be enough radiator for that...

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 05:41 PM
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Good old fashioned build log! Subbed for more.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-11-2020, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Ultra-m-a-n View Post
Good old fashioned build log! Subbed for more.
haha, thanks! I still love the old school project logs

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