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430 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys! Untitled sleeper beige case mod anyone?
I got an old mATX case from an old stock at work. This used to be an HP Brios, running a Pentium II; it was Windows NT an 98 ready

I'm posting about what I'd like to do with that case, because I need advices, even before considering doin anything. After all, I've never modified a case before...
If you encourage me/ give me advices/ tell me it's doable without too much sacrifice, I might actually make a builg log full of potatoes

Discovering and assessing the case

Let's review the case
I've found it at my work place. It belonged to the trash before a fellow teacher took it from its grave to make basic experiments with his students.

First: this is a BEIGE case. It was pretty dirty. And. It. Is. Pure. Steel. Now, I've stripped it of all its guts. What did I find…
There are two "recent" CD drivers. And there's A FLOPPY DRIVE. And of course there's a hard drive...

An old Seagate HDD, with its rubber case and a w00ping 8gb...

A LiteOn PSU, which is rated 90W…

THAT CASE CAN HOUSE SFX PSU!! Look! an SilverStone SFX 450W can get in!

Some 128mo Kingston RAM, I can't even remember what format it is

An Ethernet card, 10/100mo capable, for your crazy Counter Strike Beta 4 lan parties

BEHOLD, THE MAGNIFICIENT BOARD! Look at that, erh, daughterboard, housing the, erh, CPU!

Removing those parts brought back a lot of memory. My fist computer was a Compaq Presario, with a Pentium MMX. I mean, look at this ISA port! And those IDE connectors!

That's when I started to remember building something in this 20th century case might not be the good idea it looked at first.


What I was planning
First, I would like to air cool this rig (maybe a custom watercooling loop would be better, but I have no experience with liquid cooling). So we have to assess the potential issues…
But first, what I was imagining:

  • Make two 120mm intakes, in the bottom, with threaded holes ready for 120mm fans - in case of… And filter that intake. It would be to make the GPU breath. I was thinking about leaving that steel bar, so it would force the GPU airflow to the back, but maybe this is a bad idea?
  • Make two OR THREE 120mm intake at the front of the case, behind the plastic panel. I know I would have to get rid of the floppy drive, which is a pain. Don't mind getting rid of the CD drivers, as long as I can find beige caches to keep the visual integrity of the case… I know… airflow restriction…
  • I want to use an ATX psu, so the motherboard can breathe. You can see here an atx psu fitting in the upper chamber. I would have to cut an exhaust + make threads to fix the psu
Now, the reality check. There is a LOT of issues.
There is no exhaust fan, so I was thinking I could just cut the back panel and fix an exhaust fan. But… only 3 of 4 attach points would work. Is it going to be an issue? Another solution would be to only count on the CPU cooler to exhaust hot air...

Now, the worst part. As you can see, there's only a 80mm intake on the front, which is incredibly restrictive… Actually, the fresh air only comes from the back of the front plastic panel.

[I was checking if making holes for two 120mm fans would be an issue. It will: the front panel IO almost lies against the steel cage, so slapping a fan on it without finding a way to mount it further (15mm) would make that mod useless

Actually, it's such a mess to plan anything I was considering throwing that case and get another one, which was an ATX beige case, but… where's the fun? Also, if nothing can be made about air cooling with that case, I might put it aside for now, and plan some sort of watercooling, with an SFX PSU, and the radiator exhausting on the top (would ruin the "sleeper" effect), taking air from the front (would be too restrictive, I guess), or even from the bottom of the case...

So… Do you have any idea that could help me not throwing that case?
Oh, by the way, did I tell you I have no manual skills at all, and that I'll work at my parent's house as they have room and tools?

430 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Aww, yes, the specs I would like to cram in :

- ASUS z97i-pro C2 itx mobo
- xeon E3 1231v3
- Noctua NH-U12s
- A GTX 980, probably an EVGA SC+ I'll swap with my brother - I got a Strix 980, but it probably won't get in the case (maybe there's just 1 or 2mm clearance)
- SeaSonic SM-550, or a Cooler Master V750 modular PSU.

Someone in the Beige mod thread said cable management would be a pain. I agree



My old EVGA 770, a dead gigabyte board, a ThermalRight Cooler...

So... A better idea of the air managment I'd like to do? Just imagine the USV14 on the front is a 120mm fan opening, with a filter on it; now go behind the steel... Good, imagine a bracket of some sort, which would hold a 120mm fan 15mm behind the filter...
Is it a good idea to get a better airflow, instead of just slap a fan right behind the front pannel?

430 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Ideas for hiding a beast under a 1999 case

I got a few ideas if anyone is interested. Would love reactions

The restrictions this case shows made me think a lot, and I actually don't really see the point about not going fully watercooled if I mod this case, even temporarily... The other issue is I'm short of money atm so I really don't think this would-be-project would become an actual project...
I mean GOD those EKWB blocks are expensive! And those bay/tower pump combos...
Anyone got cheaper-but-quality recommendation?

Feel free to comment/ rant!

1. 2x 120mm custom watercooling

So there is a 120mm slim radiator in the back (A) with a thicker 120mm radiator in the front (B). I would put a dual slot bay reservoir, even if it would ruin the "sleeper" look...

2. 2x120mm + 1x 240mm watercooling

Same as first suggestion, but with a superslim radiator (E) and 15mm thick fans (D) on the bottom of the case (I would add feet so it wouldn't starve). I've found some Ncase M1 builds, like @tekm NCTEKM1 build which use a DarkSide 25mm radiator. Here it wouldn't be the most efficient watercooled build, but DAMN it would make it look awesome
(with the panel removed ofc)

3. 2x 240mm watercooling (no monsta

Mmh, why not combine that really slim radiator with something beefier, like a 60mm thick 240mm radiator on the top of the case?
I already see new issues : I would have to find a place for a pump+reservoir combo, and make new - and visible - vents on the top, which would change the "sleeper" appearance...

4. All aircooled

This is the most potent idea I've got for a totally cooled sleeper build. Main advantages : would keep the original appearance. Disadvantage : the front intakes are restricted (as the watercooling projects actually)

SO what do you think? Can someone with little money, no manual skills and little time do anything approaching his wildest dreams?
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