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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone and welcome to my first worklog. This will be my first casemod, so I would like to invite you to be as critical in your assessments as possible, as this is the only way for me to improve my modding skills and the overall outcome of this project. This log will be posted exclusively on OCN as I feel the greatest bond with these forums out of the couple I browse.

I will first give a little background information about what has led me to start modding my Lian Li. After this you will be shown a couple of pictures of what the system looked like last week before I took it apart. The first mods are enhancements to the aircooling setup, while the actual casemodding will kick into gear at the start of next week. I expect this project to be completed at around the second week of April.

Background information

I have owned this V1200 for a little over a year now and I am very satisfied with the quality and finish. Before switching to the Lian Li I have been using a Coolermaster ATCS 710, of which I actually own two. I felt that it was unfit to house my Quadcore/SLI system, which made me decide to buy the V1200. It was only until after the purchase that I realized how inflexible the V1200 actually is. It doesn’t allow for easy wire management and there aren’t any windowed sidepanels available through regular retail channels. I was a little hesitant about modding the case to my own liking because I am not very talented with powertools and tend to rush through projects which has it’s obvious consequences for the overall quality. However, I feel that I have a keen eye for esthetics and as long as I stick with the rule of “measure twice, cut once†I might be able to pull this off. It will be a major victory for myself to know that I can actually be productive with my hands instead of my head.
To illustrate how much of a noob I am with powertools: I’m a pretty big guy and I have already broken too many things around the house because of brute force (I really can’t help it!). This has led to a situation where whenever we need a hole drilled somewhere, my girlfriend will be the one drilling with me holding up the vacuum cleaner. Talk about being the b*tch :|.
Browsing around these parts of OCN and the casemodding forums over at HardOCP have brought me to Hiiyah777’s MurderMod worklog and BlueAqua’s MurderMod experience. Those systems have left me in awe about the look and finish. But unfortunately I am just a poor student with a part-time job as a bartender, so I can’t afford an actual MurderMod case. Therefore I will try and replicate some of this awesomeness. I realize that I am setting the bar quite high for a first mod and I hope I am not stepping on Charles’ toes here. If any MM representatives are reading this, please consider this a compliment and I will definitely not try to commercially benefit from your intellectual property. I only want to be as cool as you guys!

Planning

The idea is relatively simple. I own a Lian Li V1200A Plus II, this means it is a silver eATX version of the regular V1000, with a PCI exhaust fan and an optional CPU fan duct included. I am not using this fan duct as I own a TRUE, which doesn’t fit underneath the duct. I will be taking out all of the inner body work, which means drilling out many rivets. All unnecessary holes in these panels will be filled with Motip fine putty for aluminum and sanded down properly after which the panels will be coated in flat black. I will not be painting the outer shell, all 2mm panels will keep their original brushed aluminum look.

The horizontal divider will also see a slight makeover using AC Ryan MeshxPanel to let more air through vertically and get rid of the stock cable routing holes.

The outer shell will be modded with a little more precision. A friend of mine has access to a CNC mill and he will be cutting a hole in the sidepanel to fit a window which stretches from the top of the case to the horizontal divider and from the vertical 5.25†bracket to the back of the case. He will then cut a piece of LEXAN to size and perforate the area around the PCI exhaust fan because my G80s are running very hot when folding without additional cooling.

The LEXAN window and aluminum sidepanel will be milled around the edges for a more secure fit. Here’s a bit of a ghetto Paint elaboration on how this connection will be made:
This is a schematic representation of a transverse cut of the right sidepanel which is in reality 2mm thick. The upper edge of the image represents the inside of the case, while the bottom edge represents the outside of the case. The gray material indicates aluminum, while the light blue indicates LEXAN. As you can see from the schematic representation, both the aluminum panel and the lexan window will be milled down 1mm, for a more secure and seamless connection. The joint will be glued together.
This same principle will be applied to the top window. This is where I am copying MurderMod; I really want to get rid of my current CCFL lighting and allow daylight to come in from the top of the case. The top window will run along the same length as the side window. I currently have no plans to perforate the top window, but this might change depending on the way the LEXAN behaves when heated. I believe LEXAN will hold its shape much better than acryl and it is less prone to scratches.

Other mods include:
  • Resleeving most of my cabling
  • Cutting holes in the motherboard tray for cable routing and easy access to HSF backplates
  • Removing the stock motherboard cooling and fitting aftermarket heatsinks
  • Lapping my TRUE and Q6600, applying the washer mod when putting it back together
  • Painting the optical drive in the same flat black finish, to fit the interior of the case

Kick off

I’ve started working on this project on the 6th of March 2009, when I received my aftermarket motherboard cooling from a Dutch etailer. I will first show a couple of pictures to illustrate my starting point:








(click these images for a larger version)

I have ordered some sleeving from FrozenCPU, which has been shipped on February 27th, but has been sitting at Dutch customs for a week now. Fortunately Highflow.nl doesn’t have to deal with these issues and I received my aftermarket cooling products and MeshxPanel timely to start with the minor mods to the cooling.

I have received the AC Ryan MeshxPanel (not pictured, it was extremely warped and currently being bent back into shape), a set of ArctiClean thermal surface purifier, Artic Silver Céramique, some more Arctic Silver 5, Thermalright HR-05 IFX and SLI/IFX, the HR-09 Type2 U and S, and an Enzotech C1NB in case I wouldn’t be able to fit the HR-05’s on my motherboard.



Unfortunately the HR-05 SLI/IFX is not as compatible with my P5N32-E SLI as Thermalright claims it to be. I can’t fit it on the northbridge if I want to use a TRUE and a graphicscard in the first PCIe slot, and it doesn’t fit on the southbridge because of some capacitators being in the way. I therefore resorted to fitting just the HR-05 IFX on the northbridge, with the Enzotech low profile chipset heatsink on the southbridge.
I ran into another problem fitting the HR-09’s. If I want to use my TRUE in its original horizontal airflow coordination, the S-type HR-09 will have to be fitted on the mosfets below the socket (above the socket in regular ATX orientation). However, this is made impossible by the horizontal divider in my case, because there is too little room for the HR-09 S to bulge out to. Cutting the divider is not an option because the PSU is still located right beneath this area. I therefore decided to switch the U and S-type heatsinks around and mount the TRUE horizontally for a vertical airflow. Luckily I could still fit two Yate-Loons for a push/pull setup, although it was quite a tight fit with the HR-09 U.

Pictures:











I’ve fitted the lapped Q6600 and TRUE, including the washer mod. But I didn’t take any pictures of the lapping process as the movie was much too interesting. My apologies. Fortunately there are others out here that have documented their lapping for those that wish to see how it should be done.







The HR-05 on the northbridge was too close to the pull fan on the TRUE to close the ziptie on the lower right corner. I took it out again and the push/pull is now only fastened on 3/4 holes.









I’ve put this system back together in a spare ATCS 710 so it can get back to folding, but quickly found out that my southbridge temperature went through the roof. I have Everest 4.5 set up with my G15 keyboard so that it displays essential temperatures and frequencies, and learned that the southbridge had reached 90°C within a minute from bootup (while idle). I turned off the computer to check if the heatsink was actually heating up in order to verify the contact between the heatsink and the chip. Well I burned my fingers, so it is safe to say that the Enzotech C1NB is unfit to cool the southbridge on a 680i motherboard. I’ve ordered another HR-05 IFX from a local vendor which I will be picking up in an hour from now. Unfortunately sending the SLI/IFX back to replace it would have cost the same in shipping as just buying a new one locally.

Right now I am waiting for the shipment from FrozenCPU to be released by customs so I can continue my work. In the meantime I have taken the V1200 further apart so I can start taking out most of the riveting.



My friend will pick up the chassis and sidepanel this week, so expect further updates as time progresses.

I hope you all enjoy this worklog and please feel free to comment on what I am doing because I could seriously use some feedback!

Update index

First post â€" March 9th
Second post - March 10th
Third post - March 14th
Fourth post - March 15th
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I’ve picked up the second HR-05 IFX yesterday and took the motherboard out of the ATCS 710, when I found out that the rubber washers on the HR-05 mounting mechanisms came over the screw heads. This can potentially cause the screw heads to short circuit the motherboard. After taking a close look at the manual I found out that I made no mistakes during the mounting and it was just the system that is at fault.



I took it apart again and used the hard plastic washers that are supposed to be used when mounting the HR-05 with push-pins, to prevent the rubber washer from sliding over the screw head. And right now I have an HR-05 IFX on both the north and southbridge.







I am pretty satisfied with the overall cooling efficiency of this setup. It has dropped my chipset temperatures by about 20°C from stock. The CPU is also a good 10°C cooler than it used to be. And this is in the ATCS 710 which lacks any additional fans right now. I expect these figures to improve once I move back to the V1200.
 

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Wow, this is really we writen! Keep up the good work.

PS. How much was shipping from FrozenCPU? I'm Dutch aswell and I also liked their sleeving kits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Zippit, thanks for showing your interest. To answer your question: shipping to the Netherlands had cost me $38.75, on an order existing of a bunch of cable mesh and some PSU extension cables. The package was cleared by Dutch customs yesterday, which means it probably arrives today or tomorrow. If you decide to order from FrozenCPU, or any international etailer for that matter, don't be surprised if you have to pay the courier for custom duties and Dutch import taxes. The last time I ordered something to be shipped from the US it'd cost me about 20% over the actual figure on the invoice, due to local taxes.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Jbear
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Hi Zippit, thanks for showing your interest. To answer your question: shipping to the Netherlands had cost me $38.75, on an order existing of a bunch of cable mesh and some PSU extension cables. The package was cleared by Dutch customs yesterday, which means it probably arrives today or tomorrow. If you decide to order from FrozenCPU, or any international etailer for that matter, don't be surprised if you have to pay the courier for custom duties and Dutch import taxes. The last time I ordered something to be shipped from the US it'd cost me about 20% over the actual figure on the invoice, due to local taxes.

Thats pretty messed up! Next time you order... send me a message and we'll split the shipping costs!


But I won't be spending anything anytime soon... I just bought a GTX280 and I'm good with what I have... maybe some cosmetic later on when I paid my debts to everyone I still owe money.


It sucks being a student.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:


Originally Posted by Zippit
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Thats pretty messed up! Next time you order... send me a message and we'll split the shipping costs!


But I won't be spending anything anytime soon... I just bought a GTX280 and I'm good with what I have... maybe some cosmetic later on when I paid my debts to everyone I still owe money.


It sucks being a student.

I just got word on the extra charges over the items I ordered from FrozenCPU and they amount €26.37 over an original order of $71.75 + $38.75 S/H. A 23% cost increase.

I'm a poor student too
; which school do you attend? I'm a Business Administration Master student at the University of Twente.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Jbear
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I just got word on the extra charges over the items I ordered from FrozenCPU and they amount €26.37 over an original order of $71.75 + $38.75 S/H. A 23% cost increase.

I'm a poor student too
; which school do you attend? I'm a Business Administration Master student at the University of Twente.

I'm doing ICT4 in Hoofddorp.

Why did you get extra costs?

Ah well... once I'm done in a few months I'm earning 3000+ euro a month and I'm still living with my parents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:


Originally Posted by Zippit
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I'm doing ICT4 in Hoofddorp.

Why did you get extra costs?

Ah well... once I'm done in a few months I'm earning 3000+ euro a month and I'm still living with my parents.


There was no cost specification, but it basically comes down to import duties and added value taxes (BTW). The strange thing however is that they calculate these taxes over the costprice + handling fee. So whenever you order something from abroad you're paying importduties over the shipping costs.

huzzah!
 

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Yummy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hellraiser1981 View Post
Sub'd! can wait to see whats next, keep up the good work

Thanks for having so much faith in me! I will do whatever I can to live up to the expectations.

Quote:

Originally Posted by clbkdaz View Post
Excellent...

Welcome to the wonderful world of Case MODDING. We look forward to seeing the progress on this.
Thanks for the support!

Quote:

Originally Posted by CallmeRoth View Post
All that Thermalright is just badass.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Swiftes View Post
Yummy!
Yes it looks pretty awesome in person, although I would have preferred the TRUE to be mounted vertically instead of horizontally. Nevertheless, all this nickled copper makes me excited. Plus the fact that I am in the room where I lapped the TRUE and Q6600, which isn't that well ventilated... I'm breathing copper and nickle baby yeah!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Today I've received my order from FrozenCPU and was quite disappointed with what they shipped me. Especially considering the total price of it all.

I've ordered:
  • 5.25" Lian Li Bay Cover (1)
  • Black 1/4" Cable Sleeve (10)
  • Black 1/8" Cable Sleeve (10)
  • Universal Molex Removal Tool (1)
  • 12" 24-pin ATX Extension Cable (1)
  • 12" 6-pin PCIe Extension Cable (2)
  • 12" 8-pin EPS Extension Cable (1)
for a total (including handling, shipping and importing duties) of: €112.79 ($144). That's alot of money.

The universal molex removal tool is worthless when trying to remove the pins from an ATX 24 pin connector. But this could well be caused by my lack of knowledge on this product prior to purchasing it.

I've received far too little cable sleeving, which may also be caused by the fact that there is not enough information on this product on the website. There's no indication on the product's length, so I just assumed it was 3m, like it usually is over here (pre-packaged by AC Ryan). I ordered 10 units and instead of 10 packages I got 10 feet of mesh. That will not do obviously.

And I am a bit worried about the 24 pin ATX extension cable. Instead of the pictured item (see below), I received a partially meshed product. After taking off the mesh, to individually mesh each cable I also found out that alot of wires were crossing over instead of direct leads to the extension connector. I'm a bit puzzled by this and I'm wondering what I should do here. Is this the result of a poor sleeving job or are the wires supposed to cross over - on an extension cable.

Here's a picture of what I expected the product to look like:



And instead of clear direct connections between corresponding pins, the wires on mine are crossing over here and there, some quite rigorously even.

Can anyone give me advice on this matter? Should I leave it like this or straighten out the cables and rearrange the entire extension plug?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for checking that out.

Even though the cables were crossed over, the colour-coordination was correct. And according to this site it shouldn't be an issue, as long as the right colours are in the right slot.

I've finished sleeving the extension cable and in doing so I might have mixed up pin 7 and 19. Both are black, so both are ground-cables. Can anyone confirm my interpretation that as long as the colours match with the supposed pin layout there shouldnt be an issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
good idea.

I just noticed we have awfully similar PCs. Why don't you start folding on it? I pull around 10k ppd if I were to run mine 24/7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Over the past two days I've got some cable sleeving done. I've done a 24-pin ATX extension plug, 8-pin extension plug and two 6-pin PCIe wires. Here's the result:





I'm quite happy with the overall look.

Oh and it's my birthday so cookies for you all!
 
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