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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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A Silverstone FT02- Skyrim Inspired Mod

Overview and Table of Contents
Hey everyone, I'm a big Elder Scrolls fan, so I decided I had to do something Skyrim inspired for my build this year. However, I didn't want to turn it into an over-the-top mod so I decided to go with something more elegant
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I also haven't seen many people do fun FT02 mods, mostly just modding them for water cooling. I find that a shame considering it's such a gorgeous case and so great for air cooling, yet no one wants to use it for that purpose!

So using the original marketing materials as inspiration (see pic below), I decided to go with a black and silver/white themed air build with dragons, lots of dragons, but classy ones
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The build name Aldruin refers to the dragon god who is the final boss of Skyrim's main questline.
More info on him
http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Alduin



Lighting Complete! Front Panel and Glowing Motherboard
1-16-2012


RAMSINK Customization Almost Complete!
11-23-2011


Click to Check out my Extensive LED and Acrylic Light Testing Thread

Has details on how to get the best lighting effects! Also feel free to post there any experiments you want me to try out.

Table of Contents (They're Links, so Just Click to Go to Post)

Overview and Table of Contents


Planning, Parts and Sketchup


Lasers, Sleeving and Other Custom Initial Work


Parts Showcase


Custom Acrylic and LED Lighting


Custom Acrylic and LED Lighting Part 2


USB 3.0 Front Panel Soldering and Sleeving


Gemstones for the Dragons cool.gif


RAMSINK Customization


Off Topic, But Interesting Stuff

Snake Skin Sleeving!eek.gif


Some Amazing Screenshots of Oblivion Modded


Big thanks to FTW PC and Frozen-Q for all the help they gave!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Planning, Parts and Sketchup

I initially did a bunch of planning by Photoshopping some pics, but was introduced to sketchup by smasherbasher (more on this later!) so I decided to play with that instead.

I give you a buncha pics straight from sketchup:
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Hopefully the pretty pictures piqued your interest!

I'll be overclocking GPU's and CPU, but I wanted a build that I can sleep without turning off, so I'm hoping to keep the low load/idle noise level as low as I can.

Here's the full list of parts I'll be using for this build:
Mobo: Gigabyte Z68xp-UD4
CPU: Intel I7-2600k
HSF: Thermalright HR-02 and Nexus D12SL-12
RAM: G Skill Sniper DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24 at 1.25v
Case: FT02- duh!
SSD: Crucial M4 256 GB
HD: 2TB Spinpoint F4 x3 in Raid 5
PSU: Corsair AX750
GPU: MSI Twin Frozr III OC 6950 2gb x2 crossfire
Optical: None
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Front Panel Plans:
Since I won't be using any 5.25" devices, I decided to replace the front panel of the case with an black brushed aluminum laser cut etching of a dragon silhouette of my own design. This cutout would then be placed on top of frosted acrylic and backlite with LED's to provide a (hopefully!) great looking effect.

There would also be cutouts for 2 lamptron vandal resistant switches with white LED's.

Sketchup Closeup
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Initial Design I made in Illustrator
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Side Panel Plans:
Giant Laser Etching of a dragon.
I'm no artist myself, so I did the ole scourge the internet for others work and ran across this gorgeous design
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The side panel design was from Kathryn Valliant over at Deviantart
http://valliantcreations.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=72#/drgzrz

Unfortunately there wasn't any hi res version available and live trace refused to get good results. As a result, I ended up redrawing the whole thing manually in illustrator:sadsmiley

After many hours I got this. Pretty close to the original I think...
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Inside Panel Plans:

Since I wouldn't be using the 5.25" bays, I decided to remove the tool less mounting system and instead cover the entire area with an aluminum panel with a smaller version of the side panel dragon.
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Lighting
I'll be covering the walls of the 5.25" bay in mirror acrylic with LED's on top of them.
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HSF Plans:
Black brushed aluminum cutout to cover the top of the HSF. I temporarily used the chinese character for Dragon as a laser etching on top, but when Skyrim gets out, I figure out how they spell Alduin in Draconian and have that etched there instead (yea, Bethesda apparently created a whole language for Skyrim).

I'll also do cutouts for the tops of the heatpipes to fit through.

The fan will be a Nexus D12SL. I only plan on going ~4.5ghz on the CPU, and the FT02's AP180 fans can deliver a ton of airflow so no need for a loud fan.

The Nexus is pretty much the gold standard for quiet basic fans, plus it's already black and white so less work for me!

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Mobo Lighting Plans:

I wanted to backlight the mobo, but since the FT02 has it's fans on the bottom, I couldn't go the luminous panel false floor route. Instead, I'll be mounting white acrylic on top of frosted acrylic around the edge of the motherboard ~0.5"-0.75" outwards. These strips will then be backlite by LED's under the mobo.

For the motherboard lighting panel, my idea was to attached a 1/8" layer of white acrylic above a 1/8" layer of mirror acrylic and attach that to the motherboard tray.
A LED strip would them be placed inside the acrylic rectangle and used to light give an under motherboard glow.

Basic idea of the mod
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Idea in sketchup
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PSU Plans:

Corsair AX750 powdercoated white, with dragon cutout on the top.
Sleeved black and white with custom cables.

The idea here is to minimize cabling. I'll be using 3 HD's and 1 SSD so I wanted a custom cable with 5 SATA connectors. I'd also need 2 molex connectors. 1 for LEDs and 1 for the fans, so a second customized cable there.
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Random other stuff:
I didn't like the side view of the fans, it broke up the clean look of the system, so I decided to cover them up with a strip of black brushed aluminum.

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I'll also be doing a custom fan grill. Haven't decided if I'll go with a dragon design or Alduin in Draconian yet, but we'll see!

In anyone wants my sketchup models to play around with I've provided Dl links for the FT02 case, GA Z68Xp-UD4 mobo, HR-02 heatsink and ap181 fan on the official sketchup thread on pages 53 and 54. I'll get a stand alone version of the FT02 up there eventually!

http://www.overclock.net/case-mods-general-discussion/672357-official-ocn-google-sketchup-thread-53.html
http://www.overclock.net/case-mods-general-discussion/672357-official-ocn-google-sketchup-thread-54.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lasers, Sleeving and Other Custom Initial Work

I live in NYC and while I love the place, the downside is that we don't exactly have garages or space for home workshops
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Hence I don't exactly have a laser cutter or CNC mill handy.

Since my idea's would be a bit difficult to pull off with a hammer and dremel, I decided to take a play from the guys on Wall Street and outsource, but to the US, because unlike them, I support my country and small businesses!

So that brings me to SmasherBasher and FTW PC. Those guys are great and I really can't think of any flaw with the quality of service and customer support they provide. This build has been in the works since June and Adam (Smasherbasher) has been helping me every step of the way. In fact, he's the one who introduced me to sketchup, which has been a great tool in planning this.

So I hired them to take care of the laser cutting and milling.
This was also right around the time that they started shipping FTW sleeving, so I decided to let them go ahead and do the PSU modding as well.

In fact, Adam's posted a buncha some pics and video of his work so far on the FTW vendor sub forum here.
http://www.overclock.net/ftw-pc/1065177-worklog-silverstone-ft-02-a.html

I've lifted a few of his photos of the stock case to repost here for you guys!
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Unfortunately over the course of modding it turns out aluminum doesn't play too well with mills and laser cutters, so we had to use black acrylic instead for some of the components.
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Smasher also took some WIP pics of the PSU modding so I thought I'd share em as well!

PSU testing. Love how he's making sure it works AFTER he voids the warranty
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Hi Corsair support, yea so um, the PSU kinda fell apart into a million pieces... can I RMA it?
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After Powder Coating
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I finally got everything last weekend and I gotta say, everything came out really well!

Anyway, less text more pics.
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I also designed a new more mod appropriate label for the PSU
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I also picked up some of their sleeving to do the rest of the cables. Can't let them hog all the fun after all:D
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Here's a teaser of what came in last night. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to do anything with it yet, but soon!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Parts Showcase

Got around to unpacking stuff tonight!

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4

I gotta say this really is a gorgeous looking board with the added benefit that it isn't colored like a lego set!

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I think they cheated me out of a heatpipe there
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HSF: Thermalright HR-02

The machining on this thing is very precise and frankly combined with the beautiful finish was worth every penny of th $60 I spent on it!
Too bad I already got fingerprints everythwere.

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RAMSINKS

As others have noted, yea, they're huge^^. Completely pointless especially since I've got 1.25v RAM, but they're really here to stand around and look pretty!

The silver part and Arctic Pro logo are gonna go though. Plus, they're gonna have to become white!
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SSD and HD's
256 GB Crucial M4 and 3 2TB spinpoint F4's.

For those that don't know, a french company recently posted RMA return rates on SSD manf.

SSD return rates
- Intel 0.1% (formerly 0.3%)
- Crucial 0.8% (formerly 1.9%)
- Corsair 2.9% (formerly 2.7%)
- OCZ 4.2% (formerly 3.5%)

Top 5 Returned SSD's
- 9.14% 240 GB OCZ Vertex 2
- 8.61% 120 GB OCZ Agility 2
- 7.27% 40GB OCZ Agility 2
- 6.20% 60GB OCZ Agility 2
- 5.83% 80 GB Corsair Force

It's all sandforce.
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Glad I didn't go with them!
Details over on this thread
http://www.overclock.net/hardware-news/1152354-hardware-fr-rma-rate-per-brand.html

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LEDS: 1 is an NZXT 2M sleeved white LED kit and the other is a Bitfenix Alchemy 30 LED 60CM strip. I'll be playing with these and perhaps more LEDs to get the best lighting effects!

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The NZXT kit actually has a control board that fits into a PCIE slot. Pretty impressive actually!
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That's all for now! Waiting on some more parts to get in!

11/3/2011


Couple more things came in, and I realized I never posted a photo of the CPU...oops.

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Nexus Fan's

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Now what are these?
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Update With Them Here


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Custom Acrylic and LED Lighting

10/28/2011
Update for you guys!
Got around to testing the front panel LED's today!

That NZXT sleeved LED kit looks really blue for some reason compared to the Bitfenix. The difference is a lot more prominent in photos, it's not actually that bad in reality.

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So this is what the Front Panel looks like
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Now lite up with the NZXT kit
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vs the Bitfenix Kit
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Pretty big difference huh?

After that, I adjusted the positioning a bit and got this:
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Exactly the effect I was looking for!

11/2/2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triedge1991;15493596
If you put some kind of foil or another reflective surface behind the LEDs you may be able to get the glow even better.
Small Update for you guys. I took triedge1991's suggestion and stuck some aluminum foil behind the LED's as a test.

It didn't show up much in a dark room test, but with the light's on there is definitely a subtle but distinct improvement!

No Foil
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Foil
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Not 100% sure how I'll end up implementing this. Perhaps a mirrored acrylic panel behind the LED's.

Anyway, big thanks for the suggestion! If anyone else has any suggestions or things they'd like me to try out, let me know! I could always use more excuses to try new things out
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11-23-2011
BIG UPDATE TIME!!! 11-23-2011

Turns out the site upgrades broke links and got rid of all my pic resizing So I had to go through each post and fix everything.
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Still, things are once again neatly organized with decently sized pics again!

Mod wise acrylic came in!
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To finish up the front panel and 5.25" bay lighting, I decided to go with design 2.
Quote:
The second option would be to have the walls of the 5.25" bay be covered in mirror acrylic and the LED's on top of them.
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So I took the acrylic and after some cutting, drilling and mounting, I turned this
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and this
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Into THIS
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Boy do those acrylic mirrors make a HUGE difference. It's almost too bright now lol.

Added a white acrylic panel on the inside to finish it.
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Final Result
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Look's like I'll have to fix the light bleed through in the front panel, but besides that, done with that part and on to the mobo lighting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Custom LED and Acrylic Lighting Part 2
Glowing Motherboard Lighting Complete 1-16-2012

Big Update! After weeks of testing and waiting on acrylic, I've finally gotten the motherboard lighting perfected.

See all the testing I've been doing on this thread!
Click!


You can see the above thread for details, but I basically made a few LED strips that glow beautifully, even under bright studio lighting!
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For those of you who haven't worked with acrylic before, it's actually a bit different than other materials. Instead of using say a band saw to cut sheet, you actually score and snap. Come out as a much cleaner and nicer cut.

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Still need to do some sanding though!
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Attaching acrylic sheets to each other is also different. Instead used glue or screws you actually use acetone based compound like weld on to break the molecules on the surface and bind two pieces of acrylic on the molecular level. Pretty cool chemistry stuff
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Now the problem is that you literally have to pour the liquid stuff in between two sheets of acrylic you're holding together and fill up the space in between. Much harder than it seems since the stuff binds in seconds! I had several fail strips as a result
Notice the dark spots circles below. Those are air bubbles
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After drilling holes into the LED strips for the motherboard standoffs, I mounted them onto the case. I turned the strips with air bubbles into rectangular pieces to mount the LED's to.

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Overall, very happy with the end result. The left and right bottom corners are a bit darker than the rest, but not too much I can do there.

Interior Lighting Complete! Final Pics

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I also got around to finishing the front panel. Fixed the light leakage from before and added some text. See the upcoming RAM sink update for the technique I used to get the text.
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Final Pics

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
11/4/2011
Gemstone Eyes

Update time!
Those crystals from yesterday are Alabandine Rubies aka Almandine Garnets, and they're gonna be the eyes of the dragons. Let me know what you think
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Side Panel Dragon
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Interior Dragon
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Front Panel Dragon
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Initial Front Panel Design in Illustrator for comparison

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Those ram sinks are huge lol. GL with the build.
 

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Looks great! Can't wait to see this thing assembled.

Oh, and subbed
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OOohh....
So many puppies and kitties. FINALLY A SNAKE.
This is going to be an epic build, I'm looking forward to Skyrim too
smile.gif
 

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OOohh....
So many puppies and kitties. FINALLY A SNAKE.
This is going to be an epic build, I'm looking forward to Skyrim too
smile.gif
 
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