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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finished Computer










More finished pics in update #16 and #17

Intro

Couple of weeks ago i was sitting around revising for my exams, when i noticed how bad my rigs were. I have an iMac, which i love, and has good specs, but it is completely unmoddable without voiding the warranty which i do NOT want to do (for anyone thats interested, after its out of warranty, i plan to mod it as much as possible - mobile quad core with upgraded fans etc). The other rig i have is an ancient Dell Dimension 2400 which i upgraded and rehoused into a new case because i broke the case on the old one (oops!).

So i decided there and then i needed to do something about it. I couldn't be fussed with modding my cheap case, so i did some searching and decided to make an acrylic case. My tech skills in terms of making a pretty good if i say so my self - http://oliver.stirk.org/chair1.jpg - and i have the technology workshop at college i can use. So i started to form some ideas!

Rig Components

EDIT: These components have all changed! See the list of stages below for an updated components list

I decided i needed to choose the components to determine what features the case would need. Here is the list:

Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 2.5GHz
Gigabyte GA-P31-ES3G iP31
Corsair 400W CX PSU
Sapphire HD 3650 512MB GDDR4
Maxtor STM3250310AS 250GB SATAII 7200rpm 8MB Cache
Corsair 2GB DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 Xtreme Performance

I am still having doubts about the motherboard. Anyone mind giving me some input on this? I dont want to spend more than £60 on the mobo.

Case Ideas

From the off i have been sure i want to make it out of non-clear acrylic. I have decided on using a dark smoked 5mm acrlic for everything in the case. This stuff is so cool - when there are no lights on inside it, you can't see inside the case, but as soon as you turn on some cathodes the whole stuff lights up.

I have decided on a blue and green theme with hints of orange and red. All my lights are going to be blue or UV and all my cable braid/heatshrink/cable ties and molex connectors are going to be UV green. I am also going to get some red,orange,green and blue UV paint to paint all the edges of my cards and highlight areas of the case etc.

I am not going to watercool it, i think for my first case i should keep it 'simple'. My plan at the moment is to have 2 80mm exhaust fans on the back at the top, a 120mm side case fan, a front bottom 80mm intake and a top HDD bay 80mm intake. These are the fans i have chosen:

120mm AKASA AK-274CB-4BLS Blue UV - 17.5dBA - 38.4 CFM
Hiper 80mm 3 pin Case Fan - Blue LED - 17dBA - 30.47 CFM

In terms of lighting, i am going to get:
4x Blue LED Case Feet
2x 12" Blue CCFL's
2x 12" UV CCFL's
2x 4" Blue CCFL's

Even though the psu is already braided, i have OCD for these things so i'm going to redo the whole thing in UV green braid


Initial Drawings

As all things start out, with a pencil




Getting a bit better now...



Decided it was time to crack out the 3d software (i use Cinema 4D)



And a front view



Unfortunately the parts wont be all those funky colours, i just used them to differentiate parts in the diagram. (hell yeah purple ram
).

I'm lucky enough to have access to a A2 flatbed laser cutter at school. This means i wont have to do much dremelling of holes etc and also the edges will already be perect (
). So here are some first CAD layouts (done in 2D design)

CD/DVD Bay



HDD Bay



Motherboard Layout (exactly to the intel ATX spec
)



And that is where i am at for the moment! I need to buy some components!

Next step is finishing the bay designs and drawing out the screw holes (unfortunately the laser can't tap holes for me
) . Then i need to finalise the case sizes and draw out the panels!

Hope this is an adequate first installment! I will keep track of update posts in this post.

All comments appreciated, especially about fans and motherboards!

Worklog Posts

#1 - Initial Ideas and Intro
#2 - Decided on some components
#3 - Final component list + some orders come
#4 - Cut out PCI/Motherboard i/o panel
#5 - Set up the rig outside of a case to test everything. Sprayed the PCI/motherboard shield.
#6 - Nearly finished CAD designing!
#7 - Deciding on fan grills
#8 - Laser cutting tests
#9 - Massive amount of laser cutting done. Set up rig in case to see what its like
#10 - Set up rig and powered on. Installed OS etc. Quick overclock
#11 - New mobo tray + sanding tests. 22cm fan arrived
#12 - BRIGHT IDEA (read for more info) + a few pics
#13 - Routing, sanding, polishing, plastic pr0n
#14 - More plastic pr0n, starting wiring, cable management, almost-finished photos!
#15 - Solved broken inverters, cable management
#16 - PROJECT COMPLETE! Photos of final assembly + glamour shots in the garden + night shots
#17 - High quality night shots, check out the pc pr0n
#18 - Fixed the CCFL's and added a video!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks, +rep for you
most people i have told that to couldnt stop laughing at me
won't be an update for a couple of days, taking a well earned break and going on holiday tomorrow after my exam
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by nategr8ns View Post
That chair is awesome
. How comfy is it?

subscribed! I'm also working on an acrylic build, hopefully you have better luck getting the damn stuff. I assume you have access to a computerized cutter (since you're using CAD) or at the very least a table saw.

Nice design work!
its surpsrisingly comfy! its good if u put a small cushion in the very bottom part of the back support. then you can sit forward. its comfy without it, but its not good for typing like that

and yeah my college has one of these:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks guys, and thanks to the guys who gave me rep
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
heh
CNC is so dam useful. gets everything EXACTYLY right.
 

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Very impressive idea.

Although the thought of building a case from ground up for me seems extremely daunting, I also hope to do it one day.


Have you thought about having an LED control panel above the fan controller? Just a bunch of switches, because like you said in the OP that dark smoked acrylic illuminates when you turn on the internal lighting, which might get annoying from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeh i have been thinking about it. I might get some of theses: http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=2363 and set it up so 1 controls sound reactive, 1 controls turning them all on/off, 1 turns uv on/off and 1 turns blue on/off. will have to do a case wiring plan
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks guys

so just a small update today, finalised a few components.

won some ram off ebay, got 4gb of Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066mhz for £32 - someone got it back from a rebate and didnt need it! Bargain!



got asked to fix up a website for someone over the weekend and got £80 for it
so i can now spend more on my mobo and spend more on the cpu. i've changed the gigabyte for a Biostar T Power i45



i also got a second hand Thermaltake Big Typhoon (thanks coffeejunky!)



i've now gathered my funds so i can order some components and check all my CAD drawings ready for laser cutting!
 

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Hmm nice price for the Dominators, wanna swap for XMS2 standard + some cash my end?
Lucky bugger!
And nice to see some talent from the Uk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
nah i'm good
gave me enough bloody stress trying to win them on ebay. someone was using an ebay sniper to try and get them, but i managed to outbid it manually
love it when human reflexes outdo a machine


thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Another update! Finalised the components list:




And ordered it.

Some stuff came today, the RAM, MoBo, sound reactive cathodes, fans, switches, HSF and some molex connectors.

AC Ryan Blackfire 4 (80mm)



And hooked up with a cathode to my old PSU to check it all works



Switch for the cathodes and LED feet (x4)



And my pride and joy, the motherboard + HSF + RAM (no processor yet, should come tomorrow). just fixed the HSF on to see if my northbridge fan would fit on. it doesnt unfortunately! the big typhoon is so huge it blocks the fan mounting point. will have to modify the fan to mount it on the otherside.





It's HUUUUGE



and then some molex connectors



unfortunately one of the cathodes were broken on arrival so they've got to be sent back. and rapid also sent me the wrong vandal switch. they sent me a plain one when i ordered an orange LED one. o well
KustomPC's also missed out a 120mm AC Ryan Kameleon Blackfire4 which is apparently on its way.

Scan order should be here tomorrow with the rest of the core components so maybe tomorrow i can set up the rig on the desk and install drivers etc! Good times! Except i now have no money...
 

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Looking good so far.


Quote:


Originally Posted by nategr8ns
View Post

That chair is awesome
. How comfy is it?

subscribed! I'm also working on an acrylic build, hopefully you have better luck getting the damn stuff. I assume you have access to a computerized cutter (since you're using CAD) or at the very least a table saw.

Nice design work!

Sorry but I couldn't help but notice your avatar. The Impreza is mighty fine.


Carry on \\/
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
i'm having a right headache with CAD atm. trying to get the PCI slots and the motherboard i/o shield dimensions right is killing me. i'm gonna have to make a motherboard tray since pci cards go down deeper than the mobo and the mobo standoffs. Right old pain! Also i'm trying to come up with a system of mounting the mobo plate. i'm using 5mm acrylic which means i cant simply click it in. i'm thinking about making some screw on tabs that put pressure around the edge. or perhaps make a ring out of thin acrylic that is screwed on, kinda like a psu mounting plate.
 
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