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Introduction

So here we are again, starting another modding project! I built my first computer case in June 2009. At that point my only computer experience was an old Dell 2400 and my trusty aluminium iMac (which is still going strong today!) and I had absolutely no idea about how a computer really worked. This is now my 3rd project. Quite a lot considering I didn't even know what 'motherboard' meant this time last year! The first was The Bloo Box: LINK

The second was Project MiniMe - The World's Smallest Watercooled PC:


LINK

Those two projects were both acrylic scratch builds. I made them from the ground up, using a fair amount of CNC work alongside practical techniques.

The two scratch builds were all fun and games, but I kept on feeling after finishing each one that something wasn't quite right. I have finally that realised that they both lack functionality. This is going to be a key element to this new project. My main issue with Bloo Box is how difficult it is to add a hard drive/5.25" drive. With MiniMe, it is actually getting to any components inside! This is to be expected since it is only 20x20x20cm, but it that doesn't validate the issue.

My solution (or experimental solution) for this project is to go effectively go backwards and do a case mod, instead of a scratch build. I came to modding in a different direction to most people - I started with a scratch build, most people start by simple case modding. By going back to the beginning, I plan to teach myself the methods and tricks that make consumer computer cases so functional and easy to use, and then apply them to future scratch builds.

The Plan

I have chosen the Silverstone TJ07 as the case to be modded. Originally I was going to go for a Corsair Obsidian 800D, but I felt that it was not a blank-enough canvas. The cable management is already done, hard drive issues sorted, radiator mounting accounted for. I need to go further back than that. The TJ07 is perfect in that it can adapt to anything I need. It is also one of the slickest looking cases out there!

I found with Project MiniMe that modelling the case accurately in Google SketchUp beforehand really works wonders and solves hundreds of issues that I would have come across when making, saving me money in the long run! I have done the same for this project. I owe credit for a few models such as the TJ07 shell, 5870, Enermax Revolution, RAM and hard drives.



The renders were done in Kerkythea.



Everything is 100% to scale.



Here you can see my pump configuration. The system is running on a single loop with dual Laing DDC 10W pumps connected in series by a white acetal EK Dual DDC Top.



The loop order is:

Dual DDC 10W -> Quad Rad -> GPU 1 -> (GPU 2) -> Southbridge/NF200 -> Triple Rad -> CPU -> MOSFETS -> Northbridge -> RAM -> IandH StealthRes 175

You can also see in this picture the solid floor. This is actually an illuminated floor. I am still deciding on the lighting to be used for this - it is either going to be an EL panel or a CCFL.



The case will be powdercoated gloss white. I am not sure what rad grill I will have on top yet. Most likely it will be a nice solid MNPCTech one.



I want to keep the front really clean. All the drive bay covers are replaced by a single sheet of aluminium. At the top there is a Lamptron FC-5 fan controller. Below that is a stealthed DVD drive. I have taken inspiration from Murdermod here, in that there is a cut out going up the front that operates the open/close button of the drive.



The color scheme for the build is White, Black and Blue. The blue comes from the motherboard and coolant. I'm hoping to use Bitspower Black fittings for the whole build if the budget will allow. It will help emphasise the colour scheme.



Here you can see one of the functional modifications. The front panel is easily removable to allow access to the hard drive bay. This takes 3 3.5" hard drives and 1 2.5" drive. I chose this number so i can have a RAID5 storage setup and an SSD for the operating system. The drive bay is made from acrylic. Each drive mounts on an acrylic tray that friction-fits into slots in the side supports. At the inside-end of the bay are two 80mm fans, one blowing in across two of the drives, one pulling out across the other two. There is a gap allowing the air to pass between the two.



I am still debating whether to have the two rear intakes. They may interfere with the top rad and they also make the back look more cluttered. The rear panel is being replaced with a clean plate (no annoying ugly squares!)

Inspirations

There are loads of things that have inspired be over my short time of modding, too many to mention here. However here are some that have directly influenced this project:

Project PURE - subset7 - LINK
Hulk V2 - dingdong555 - LINK
Dual Loop Phase Cooled Lian Li - RetroGamer1990 - LINK
Purple Rain - mrdbristol - LINK
PC Beto - p0pe - LINK
.:Filtration:. - Skorchio - LINK
Acronym - Achron - LINK
refleXion - Xion X2 - LINK
Silentium - Syrillian - LINK

Components

i7 920
6GB DDR3 Corsair Dominator 1600MHz
MSI Big Bang XPower
2x 5850
4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID10
1x Corsair Extreme 64GB SSD
Enermax Revolution 850W

Watercooling

HWLabs Black Ice Stealth 360
EK Coolstream 480 Rad
2x Laing DDC 10W
EK Dual DDC Top v2 - White
EK Supreme HF with white top
2x EK 5850 Nickel with white top
MIPS Corsair RAM Block
MIPS Motherboard Blocks
IandH StealthRes 175
White 3/4" OD Tubing
Matt Black Compressions

Order will be:

Pumps -> 480 -> GPU 1 -> GPU2 -> NB/Fets -> CPU -> RAM -> 360 -> Res

Partners



Updates

Here are links to all the updates:
  • Update #1 - 07/03/2010 - First Cuts - LINK
  • Update #2 - 08/03/2010 - Motherboard photos - LINK
  • Update #3 - 11/03/2010 - Making the hard drive bay - LINK
  • Update #4 - 20/03/2010 - Nickel party! - LINK
  • Update #5 - 27/03/2010 - Bottom compartment work - LINK
  • Update #6 - 29/03/2010 - Motherboard Blocks - LINK
  • Update #7 - 2/04/2010 - Illuminated floor creation - LINK
  • Update #8 - 13/04/2010 - Mounted rad stand and new feet - LINK
  • Update #9 - 15/04/2010 - Arrival of some watercooling stuff - LINK
  • Update #10 - 16/04/2010 - Mounted MNPCTech rad grill and top rad - LINK
  • Update #11 - 19/04/2010 - New RAM cooler tops - LINK
  • Update #12 - 21/04/2010 - Flush smoked acrylic window - LINK
  • Update #13 - 06/05/2010 - This project is interrupted by the attack of the BP Dragon! - LINK
  • Update #14 - 24/05/2010 - New hard drive trays, custom faceplate - LINK
  • Update #15 - 06/06/2010 - Motherboard tray finished - LINK
  • Update #16 - 06/06/2010 - JB Welding mistakes, revised hard drive bay - LINK
  • Update #17 - 18/06/2010 - JB Weld sanded, sleeving spaghetti! - LINK
  • Update #18 - 20/07/2010 - Moved house, new acrylic floor, fittings in the floor - LINK
  • Update #19 - 23/07/2010 - MSI Big Bang Xpower arrives! - LINK
  • Update #20 - 27/07/2010 - murderMod time! - LINK
  • Update #21 - 28/07/2010 - Pump + CD drive painting, PSU raping! - LINK
  • Update #22 - 29/07/2010 - Drive bay covers, pump mount, PSU work - LINK
  • Update #23 - 06/08/2010 - Waterblocks mounted! - LINK
  • Update #24 - 10/08/2010 - PSU plate, drain port, cable management - LINK
  • Update #25 - 16/08/2010 - LEDs! - LINK
  • Update #26 - 06/09/2010 - Prepping for powdercoating - LINK
  • Update #27 - 18/09/2010 - Dyeing the connectors, first case assembly - LINK
  • Update #28 - 22/09-2010 - Cable management, putting things together - LINK
  • Update #29 - 18/06/2011 - I'm back! - LINK
  • Update #30 - 23/06/2011 - Semi-final photos - LINK
 

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Starting to become a BOFH
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Looks badass already.

Subbed.

 

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Premium Member
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11,201 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks
I hope i can do it justice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update #1 - 07/03/2010



Here is the case! The mighty TJ07! Weighing in at 17KG and packed in a box twice width and 1.5x its height/depth, it is a monster! I had to carry it back about a mile from where it was dropped off on my own!



Some of you may be wondering why parts are black already. I got the case second hand from Bisley_Bob (along with an awesome hose cutter
) and he had painted it black inside already. The paint job is a bit scratched now though.



I dislike the front bezels alot.



Power button is awesome though!



I plan to change the window a bit. I have a few ideas i want to try, these will be shown in due course




You can't get enough TJ07.



After i got it home i stripped it down to what i would be using (removed hard drive bays, fans etc).



Bought a new tool for the project - a Dremel 300 with flexible shaft extension. Most people will be surprised to know this is my first rotary tool!



Top notch build quality.



The first issue I sorted out was cable management. There is a distinct lack of it in the TJ07.



This cut allows cables to be taken up behind the motherboard tray from the PSU area.



At this point, I plan to only do a few cuts in the actual motherboard tray. I am still working on a few ideas this.



To accommodate the illuminated floor, the midplate needs to be opened up completely. Unfortunately i managed to break my favourite cutting disk




Ended up using the ones that run out really quickly until I could get some new ones.



First part cut out.



Before finishing the edges.



After finishing!



I just need to get some emery paper and some wet and dry to make the edges perfect.



This is how the case stands at the moment.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the comments guys
OCN always gives the most support for modders!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:


Originally Posted by nepas
View Post

1.who do you think you are?Doctor Who?Since when could you time travel?
2.dibs on those bezels

3.Sub'ed

Rofl
Lol i'll go fix

Quote:


Originally Posted by Bisley_Bob
View Post

Awesome stuff, well excited to see what becomes of my faithful case!

I hope i do it justice!

Quote:


Originally Posted by CattleRustler
View Post

looks sick.
go


Thanks


Quote:


Originally Posted by mugan23
View Post

I luv that case after your done can u has
??

Yeh i can have it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update #2 - 08/03/2010

I already have the motherboard for the project, it is an MSI Eclipse Plus x58 board. It is basically MSI's version of the EVGA Classified (the one with an NF200 chip on), and in my opinion the MSI one looks way better (not a huge fan of the red/black thing).

Loads of people have heard of the MSI Eclipse, but barely anyone knows about the Eclipse Plus. It is a bit of a strange situation. If you google it, it is on MSI's website, there are loads of reviews of it, but there is NOWHERE to buy one. Not a single etailer has one, none appear on ebay. I managed to get one from a guy on overclock.net who was selling it off (was a bargain - £200!).

The board will be watercooled, as seen in the renders. The board came from the guy i bought it from with custom made waterblocks by Duniek. At the moment they are acrylic and copper. The copper has dulled and looks a bit horrible now, so it will be nickel plated. I am also working on getting some white acetal replacement tops machined for it to better fit the build. If i can't, it isn't a tragedy, and may add some aesthetic appeal as you will see the blue coolant!



The board fits the standard ATX spec.



I really like the heatsink design on the board, shame they will be coming off! Under this heatsink lies the NF200 chip and the ICH10R



The board sports 4 PCI-E x16 slots, 1x PCI-E x1 and 1x PCI. It can run x16 x16 x16 x4 on the 4 slots (x8 isn't possible on the last unless you don't use a sound card - msi supply an X-Fi soundcard).



More of the lovely heatsink design.



The onboard controls are a really nice touch. They have gone all out on this - there is a button for everything!



Random shot




A nice addition is the POST code display on the back. Not sure whether it warrants the removal of onboard sound, however.



MSI really have done a great job on the colour scheme!

My i7 920 also arrived today from the US.
 

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