Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community - View Single Post - [Case Mod] [COMPLETE] December MOTM 2nd Place! - Relic: A BeigeMod First Case Mod

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
Jhereg10
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Texas
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Welcome!

MOTM VOTING RESULTS HERE!

This mod Came in second place in Mod of the Month's December Amateur class! it was a close thing, too. I'd like to give a shoutout to Janac's third-place finish for Cranberry for Cranberry as well. thumb.gif

As you may have noticed, this is my first attempt at case modding, I've put in a lot of hours on taking a 10+ year old beige case I had and attempting to turn it into a great looking case with many modern features.

This log, in many ways, has been about resurrecting the castoffs of days gone by. And in many ways, I owe it all to Overclock.net. I discovered this site after buying my first set of components in years to replace an old store-bought PC and was inspired and blown away by the mods here.

Here's the case I started with.



Isn't she a beauty? One little tidbit in the above photos. Notice there are two 80mm vent holes at the bottom of the front frame? Notice how there are no vents in the plastic bezel that snaps over it? Isn't that just amazing? [/sarcasm] Now I know why that case didn't come with front fans...

Many of the techniques I used (often imperfectly) I learned from seeing what others here had done. And in a real way, this mod is due directly to OCN. Most of the internal components in the mod were purchased directly though the OCN marketplace to build this, my son's first PC, including:
  • GPU Galaxy GTX480 modded with an Antec Kuhler AIO from coachmark2
  • Motherboard GA78LMT-USB3 from lapengu
  • CPU AMD FX6400 from lapengu
  • RAM Crucial Ballistic Sport 2x4 GB from irush
  • PSU Corsair HX520 Semi-Modular from slider46
  • Corsair SP120 Quiet Series Fan, Fan Extensions, and 4 LED Puck from slider46
  • SSD Samsung SSD 830 128gb from crazyg0od33
  • Fan Controller NZXT Sentry Mesh from whodie

So, OCN, I truly could not have done this without you. wink.gif

So let's get to it. What the heck did I do? I resurrected the dead, that's what I did. The following photos are highlights from this log showing what I did to the decade+ year old case. It was a wild ride, and I hope you enjoy it.


Front View:

Original:

Modded:
AppleMark

Highlights: I drilled two 120mm holes for front fans through the front frame and front bezel, heavily modified the shape with PVC pipe, expanding foam, and body filler, added a fan controller and IO box, and mounted new power and reset buttons in the front bays. You may also notice that bumpout on the left there. More about that below.

Frontside Exterior View:

Original:

Modded:
AppleMark

Highlights: Cut a window in the side panel using hole saw and jigsaw, lined it with molding, and installed clear acrylic. You may also notice the new feet and the paint job. More on those below.

Backside Exterior View:

Original:

Modded:
AppleMark

Highlights: Added a bumpout to provide room behind the motherboard and drive cages for wire management. This involved cutting a window, epoxying a trimmed cookie pan over the hole, and a lot of body filler and sanding to get the profile right. The original case had less than 0.5 cm clearance, this expanded the room to more like 4 cm of room.

Rear View:

Original:
AppleMark

Modded:
AppleMark

Highlights: Flipped back panel (along with mobo inside) so PSU is on bottom and drilled out 120mm fan hole.

Top View:

Sorry no original. Here's the modded view:
AppleMark

Highlights: Drilled 120mm fan hole in top and added a grill using hand-painted thumbscrews for mounting the GPU radiator.

Frontside Interior View (Empty):

Original:

Modded:
AppleMark

Highlights: Rotated 3.5" Drive Cage 90 degrees for side-loading. Added front and rear fans. Flipped mobo and mobo brace to put PSU on bottom. Cut hole for CPU cooler bracket in mobo tray. Custom paint job requiring extensive masking on interior.

Backside Interior View (Empty):

Original:
AppleMark

Modded:
AppleMark

Highlights: Added wire management panels made of custom-cut foam board covered in vinyl to sections not covered by mobo tray to hide wiring. See more detail below.

Interior Wiring:

Original:
AppleMark

Modded:
AppleMark

Highlights: Original case had zero space for wire management. Adding the bumpout to the back side panel, adding wire management panels, and rotating the 3.5" drive cage allowed most of the wiring to be hidden from view. Also cut a grommet hole in the side of the 5.25" drive cage.

3.5" Drive Bay:

Original:
AppleMark

Modded:
AppleMark

Highlights: In addition to the custom paint job and rotating the 3.5" drive cage 90 degrees, I also cut multiple windows in the side of the drive cage to allow improved air flow from the front fans.

PSU:

Original:

Modded:
AppleMark

Highlights: Sleeved the 24-pin and 8-pin harnesses with paracord and added cable combs. Coiled the old 4-pin harness inside the PSU since it was not needed.

Custom Stuff:

PSU Cover Scratchbuilt:
AppleMark

Highlights: Created a custom PSU cover out of foam board, covered with vinyl. Added a hand-carved, back-lit acrylic logo to the side. The cover directs front fan air flow toward the CPU cooler and hides most of the PSU wiring.

Two-tone paint job, wrapping around the side and top panels:
AppleMarkAppleMark
AppleMark
AppleMark

Highlights: After extensive body filler work and cutting, sanded, primed, filled, and painted a merlot-red enamel. Hand-applied a latex liquid mask in a wraparound pattern, sprayed black satin enamel, and peeled the latex off for a glorious effect.

Wiring Management Panels Scratchbuilt:
AppleMarkAppleMark
AppleMark

Highlights: Panels were custom-fit out of foam board with holes cut for wire access. Black flexible foam was used to make hole grommets and the entire thing covered in vinyl.

And here's why I needed those panels.
AppleMark

Highlights: This could still use some work, but was the best I could do under the time constraint. A combination of zip-tie mounts and clips ensures all the wiring actually fits. Reused the original PSU sleeving, cut a large amount of excess wiring out, and soldered in extensions for some of the fans.

Detail Closeups:
AppleMark

Spent a bit of time hand-painting accents on the IO Box and NZXT Sentry to match the theme.

AppleMark
AppleMark

The tubes for the fans are PVC pipe. Really makes the fans pop.

AppleMark

Example of the wraparound paint pattern.

AppleMark

Hand-painted thumbscrews for the top radiator exhaust.

AppleMark
AppleMark
AppleMark

Feet were special-bought but I added rubber washer spacers to give bit more height.

AppleMark

A few more beauty shots:

AppleMark

AppleMark

Part of my goal here was to avoid, as much as possible, buying actual modding supplies that are specifically for computers, and instead use materials that are commonly available at local stores. If you want to see the details behind all that stuff above, here you go!

Table of Contents:

Lots more photos of stripped down case: (Click to show)

Front Side Off

Both Side Panels Off
AppleMark
Back Side View
AppleMark
Space Behind Mobo Tray

Rear Mobo Tray View

Top Panel Off
AppleMark
Mobo Tray Clearance
AppleMark
Mobo Tray Width and Height
AppleMark
AppleMark
Bare Frame

Lower Drive Bay Section
AppleMark

Key Points of original case:
  • Mid-tower case. Interior dimensions 15x15x7.75 inches (38x38x19.7 cm)
  • All steel construction.
  • Less than 1/2" (1.2 cm) of space behind the mobo tray, but the mobo tray is removable. Mobo tray can't be shifted deeper into the case to give more room behind it (I don't think, could be wrong).
  • Drive bays were all front-to-back but are in two riveted sections.
  • Existing power button sticks and causes computer to restart.
  • Existing front panel plugs (USB 1.0, AC97 audio) are hard to reach and outdated.

My plans were:
  • Rotate the lower internal bay section 90 degrees for better cable management and ability to insert/remove drives easier. May require some creativity since this is not a toolless cage (yet). Leave room between cage and front panel for fans. Cut ventilation holes through cage for airflow from fans.
  • Cut 120mm holes for 2 front fans. Cut 120mm holes for rear fan. Cut 140mm or 200mm blowholes in side panel and/or top.
  • I was at a loss on how to put the PSU on the bottom. But thanks to Bruce B:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BruceB View Post

    Flipped MB
    I now see how it can be done.
  • Cut access holds in Mobo tray for CPU cooler bracket and cable routing. Figure out some way of increasing space behind mobo tray for cable routing, by adding a bumpout on rear sidepanel
  • Cut a window in the front side panel and add acrylic.
  • Rework front with new buttons / indicator lights / and a DIY bay-based control panel. Cut vents for front air intake (Would you believe the current front panel has no air intake path?)
  • Filters on all air inlets
  • New paint job, inside and out. NOT BEIGE. Possibly in blue with gray and black accent colors Looks like it's mostly black with merlot-red accents. wink.gif
  • Add lighting to show all this off.

I call this pretty much mission accomplished!
Jhereg10 is offline