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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK guys. I've had the itch for awhile to get a new case but I don't think that'll happen... However, my current case is the corsair R330 case. It's a pretty large full size atx case. I have a z77 itx motherboard with the trusty i5-2500k and a strix gtx970 with 2 h60 coolers with 240 rads. I've got 3 SSDs and a 750w psu. I've got tons of room in the case. I've had thoughts lately that I can cut the size of the case down. I'm wondering how much of a task this will be?

I'm basically taking off about 3-4 inches from the height and another 3-4 inches from the length. What do you guys think?
I don't have a dremel but I could ask for one for Christmas. I do have cutting wheels for metal so I can chop things up quite easily. I would imagine I'd keep the original holes from the riveting and replace them with bolts. Anywhere else I would create a slip connection and attach them with bolts again.

I'm traveling so no pictures yet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I'm back home taking a look at the case... Looks like I'll be taking off 4.5" from the depth and about 3" from the height. It should definitely make a huge difference with my case on the desk. For the most part, it should be very easy to cut the depth down on the case...the height is a different story. I'm most likely going to have to cut the case where the PCIE slots are as to keep the PSU bracket and everything else, should make for some interesting cutting.... Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK..progress update:

Here's what I'm planning:
This is not my case its just a stock image of the case with the PC components in it:

I'm taking the depth of the case in about 4" so it will end up looking something like this when its all done:


Current state:
I really need to fix the Rad openings badly. Without a dremel its been pretty much impossible. I'm planning on getting this fixed once I get the dremel and I'll match up new holes for the mount. I also plan on adding some more sound dampening foam to the sides so it looks way better without those holes...


I'm also planning on fixing up my GPU cooler bracket. It's sagging right now and doesn't look so great, its just a functional piece. I'll make sure that's much better by the time I'm getting things modded. I also need to fix the GPU power cord sleeving and get rid of that nasty red power connector.


Basically I'm getting rid of all 4" or so of the front of the case. I'm keeping the front panel face so I'm drilling out all the rivots to replace once the case is cut down.


I'm also planning on moving the fan controller and all my SSDs to the bottom of the case. Hopefully I can hard mount those and tidy up all those cables too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I cut out the optical drive Bay this morning. All the rivets are out also so it should be quite easy to cut the area for the rad and remount the front after I cut the depth of the case down. I'm currently trying to measure exactly how much I can remove with using the stock cooler for my gpu and my rad. I'm hoping one day to up to a 360 or 420 rad.

Edit:

Here's the pictures. They should be a little better this time around. Got the real camera out...




More to follow! I might scratch what I have currently on the front of the case and opt for an entirely new piece of sheet metal and just cut that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm debating how I'd like to mount the radiator for my gpu. I need some help. I have 2 options.

Option 1:
Leave the radiator exactly where it is and create a new metal front bracket for it. This is by far the easiest solution which would allow me to eventually upgrade the rad to a 360 some day if I wanted. The one downside is that it prevents me from closing the front panel due to expelling the heat. It also would only allow me to reduce the size of the case by about 3.5" deep.


Option 2:
I actually can mount the rad just below the gfx card. This is a pretty cool idea but will require some heavy modifications. I'll need to build a mount for the radiator since it doesn't sit there by itself. This would also give me about 3 additional inches to cut down from the case. So I would really be able to make the case smaller which is the plan but I believe I will have slightly worse temperatures and the graphics card won't be as visible but instead the radiator will be mostly seen. I have a bracket with 2 70mm fans on it that blow air over the graphics card, that bracket will slightly reduce air flow to the rad fans. I might have to modify this bracket also. This will also limit my ability to upgrade to a larger radiator. However it will allow me to put intake fans on the front of the case and keep the front panel closed. With the case all closed, it will likely be the most attractive solution from the outside. It will allow me to take off about an additional 2" from the case, making the total reduction of the case depth ~5".


Let me know what you guys think I should do!!!

I believe I'm going to go with Option 2:
Here's why. I'm going to add a cover to everything. Instead of creating a bracket I'll just make a cover for the PSU, Rad, and cover part of the GPU. This should look sweet in theory... Hopefully my metal working skills are up to task for this. I'll get some galvanized steel and a few clamps for bending it. My plan is to create a cover so the radiator screws into it, then I'll also attach my SSDs to the bottom of it. Overall it should look sweet. I'll probably wrap it in carbon fiber vinyl and the back of it will be covered in sound absorbing foam. Here's a paint picture of my idea...


I'll probably remove the AIO cooler to shorten the hoses some and also clean out, replace the coolant since I haven't done that in almost 2 years. I'll just game on the stock cooler with it for awhile.
 

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that's a cool idea.side mounting the rad..you can easily get a rad stand-
http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l3/g/c637/s1731/list/p1/b189/Phobya-PC_Water_Cooling_Radiator_Accessories-Radiator_Mounts-Page1.html

and just tweak it so it screws on to the back of the inner case...were you want it.or another cool trick..now this is something from my own ideas..make a new custom side panel were it is a two stage panel..basically you split the panel into two sections..still one panel..
but
1-bottom half is solid metal for rad mounting...top half is a plexi window...wich acts as the actual door to open for access:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I did a little work this weekend. Not as much as I wanted since I had a bunch of Christmas parties to attend...
cheers.gif



I tapped the holes for the radiator mounts this weekend. You also can't see it but I taped off the inside of the rad and drew the outline of the radiator. I think I'm going to make a slight change to the cutout shape since I want a clean look for the radiator. I'm debating how I actually want to cut the metal out for the radiator. I have pretty strong scissors that actually can cut the metal pretty easily...I just don't want them to bend the metal. I think cutting out the holes with the rotary cutter will actually be much more difficult to get a clean straight cut... I might try the scissors.

As I was test fitting the metal I became worried the sheet metal could potentially short out my GPU by touching the PCB... to fix this problem I'm taping off the inside of the metal with a few layers of felt tape. This should prevent any metal touching the PCB.

I also plan on wrapping the finished product in a brushed black aluminum vinyl. I believe this is going to provide the best look.


Also, once I finish the radiator mount, then I will cut the case down in size. My plan is to get the case as small as possible, but I also want this radiator cover to screw in from the back to the front of the case so its important I get the final dimensions correct before I cut the case. Lastly, I will also add some fans to the front of the case with a new cover for it since I removed the drive bays. This will provide cool air coming into the case for the GPU and CPU portions of the case since this new metal shroud will almost divide each section of the PC on the inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will have new Arctic Cooling F12 case fans in when I return home from Christmas vacation. I also ordered the black brushed aluminum vinyl today so I will have that hopefully around the 4th to complete the wrap on the new cover for the radiator.

I also have the dremel now so I'm hoping to finish up the rad cover along with covering the front of the case with a new piece of sheet metal. I also plan on cutting out a place for fans and cover that up with the brushed aluminum vinyl.

Should have some progress updates next weekend.
thumb.gif


Edit: I installed the fans this morning. Looks great! Dropped my GPU max temp to 37C and CPU temp maxes at 63C in prime95. Overall very happy with the new rad fans. Can definitely tell they push way more air through the rads than my previous Cooler Master fans. A needed upgrade. Now to see if I can get this dremel to work for cutting the case and rest of the new rad cover! I also ordered black brushed aluminum vinyl. I should have that here next week in time to finish up the rad cover!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok here comes the update everyone has been waiting for...well at least I've been waiting.

I finally got the main part of the case all cut. All I need to do now is cut out the space for the front IO USBs and power buttons... I need to mount that, drill holes for the feet, drill holes to mount the rad cover to the case, and cut the back panel to fit the new case size. Touchup paint, brushed aluminum vinyl on the rad cover and some cable management and I should be golden.








Everything is just a test fit right now. Things will finalize once I have everything drilled and ready! It's looking amazing to me!

Final dimensions are (DxWxH) 15" x 8.25" x 18.25"

The black brushed aluminum vinyl arrives tomorrow so I'll wrap the rad cover this week.

To do for this week:
1. Tap holes for the feet
2. Cover rad with brushed aluminum vinyl
3. Make cuts to the front panel so the side panel fits
4. Tap holes for the front
5. Mount the front IO connections

Overall I should be done in the next few weeks here!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I'm debating another "part 2" mod to my mod... The mod has turned out pretty well. The case isn't entirely back together, meaning I haven't bolted in the front panel and I've got some excess to trim still. However, after taking a good hard look at where my case currently stands I still have a TON of extra room... My idea with these mods is to eliminate all the extra space and leave a case with just what I need...

It's a real shotty pic but here's my 2nd mod prototype:

Basically I'm going to move the rad up over the motherboard instead of below the GPU. Then I'm going to move the PSU up in the top right corner of the case where there's still quite a hole and open space. The PSU fan will suck in air from the case and blow out the side where it will be attached to the case.

I'll keep 3 slots total so I'll be eliminating anywhere from 6-8" of the case height. I should be able to get the total height of the case down to about 10-12"... So overall that would bring my final outside dimensions to:
15"(L) x 8.25"(W) x 11"(H)
Volume would be ~20l which would be much more like a nice little ITX case I'm going for!
 
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