Go Back   Hardware Canucks > PC BUILDERS & TWEAKERS CORNER > Case Mods, Worklog & Gallery

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 1, 2010, 10:12 AM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Kelowna BC
Posts: 15

My System Specs

Default HAf Xcited

I am building a new computer system, and have decided to make it interesting by doing some case modifications while I am at it. I am using the Coolermaster HAF X case as my starting point. I like how the case is laid out internally, but want to improve its external appearance.

If things go as planned, I will be building my own top and front panels out of wood and aluminum, and will add matching wood trim to the side panels. Because I will be water cooling everything, the windowed side panel will be modified by having the side fan removed from it.

The heart of this computer will be based on an Intel i7-870 processor, mounted to an EVGA P55 Classified 200 motherboard. The processor will be water cooled for reliability and overclocked for performance. I will probably go with two EVGA GTX 470 video cards, which will be water cooled as well.

I plan on running a 360 mm radiator in the top as well as an additional 120 or 140 mm radiator out back.This should give me adequate cooling for both the CPU and GPU, while keeping things a bit simpler than having two separate loops.

I have the case and main computer parts in hand, but need to order the water cooling components. Once I have those, I will start posting pictures.

Last edited by kendrab; November 2, 2010 at 07:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old November 1, 2010, 10:46 AM
EdHilario's Avatar
Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: http://edhilario.ca in Markham
Posts: 28

My System Specs

Default

Can't wait to see the pics and what you have planned or done. I also have the same case but it hasn't been modified.
__________________
Exterior & Interior Modification & Care
detailing - moidifications - installations - maintenance
http://edhilario.ca | edhilario.ca@gmail.com
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old November 1, 2010, 11:22 PM
AmuseMe's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Lloydminster & Saskatoon
Posts: 1,587
Default

Welcome Kendrab :wave:

I am curious as to why you chose the i7 870 opposed to the i7 860?
__________________
DEAD CA$H
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old November 2, 2010, 04:35 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Kelowna BC
Posts: 15

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmuseMe View Post
Welcome Kendrab :wave:

I am curious as to why you chose the i7 870 opposed to the i7 860?
It came down to getting a sweet deal on the i7-870. I have been getting really good service from a local company, and was able to order an i7-870 from them for only $335.00.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old November 2, 2010, 04:50 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Kelowna BC
Posts: 15

My System Specs

Default

This computer build is a little different than the norm for me. Usually I am in a hurry to get things built, as I sell my last computer before I build the next one. Fortunately, I have an Apple Mac Mini that I use for general web browsing, etc., so I can keep online and do the basic things I need to do with it.

I have an Antec SG-850 Signature Series 850 watt power supply for this project, and have just ordered custom wire sleeving and heat shrink from MDCP-X for it. My sleeving will be alternating purple and light grey, and should look pretty sharp under UV lighting.

I am going shopping for the wood for the case next week. I am looking at a lighter wood as a contrast for the case. I am looking at ash, maple or oak. Hopefully I can find something with some really nice grain to it.

I plan to paint the exterior a dark burgundy with the new airbrush kit I picked up today.
Testors Airbrushes Airbrushes Ultimate Airbrush Set with Compressor
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old November 2, 2010, 09:19 PM
Toyoracer's Avatar
MVP
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Kootenays
Posts: 317
Default

Hello kendrab, interesting plan for the case. For nice grain may I suggest curly maple or bubinga it's a little darker but great grain pattern. You can check it out here
I will be watching your build and good luck.
__________________
Laughing, Loving still Living
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old November 3, 2010, 09:11 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Kelowna BC
Posts: 15

My System Specs

Smile Things are shaping up

Here is a bit of an update. I took my Coolermaster HAF X case apart last night. The toughest thing about taking the computer case apart for me was removing the top 200 mm fan. The mounts are very poorly designed from an access point of view. You can't get a phillips screwdriver on it (not even one of those L shaped screwdrivers), and there is not enough room to use a socket. I guess a small wrench would have worked, but I didn't have the right size, and ended up removing them with a small set of vice grips, which was kind of hard on the screw heads (but I am not reusing them, so it is all good).

The second toughest thing was trying to find one of the little springs that are part of Coolermaster's 5 1/4" quick release mechanism. I looked for an hour and a half before I found it. Be very careful when removing these parts...

Anyway, during the tear down I noticed a few things of interest. I was under the impression that the two bottom hot swap bays were fixed, but that is not true. Based on what I have seen, it appears you can relocate this to any of the other bays, the only thing is you need to use them one above the other.

Another thing: The internal hard drive rack is a very sturdy piece, and it has two strong metal rods that reinforce it below where the top three hard drive caddy's mount. It appears possible to cut this rack just below the reinforcing rods, leaving a space just over 11 cm deep, which could be used quite easily to fit a 240 mm radiator and fans in the bottom of the case. The top part of the hard drive rack rivets to the 5 1/4" bay enclosure in four spots, so it is quite solidly mounted anyway. This seems to be a very reasonable way to fit a second radiator into this case without interfering with the 5 1/4" bay area.

In regards to the front panel modifications, it will be possible to keep the inner most "frame" of the front panel intact. That is good news, as it will allow me to continue using the stock 5 1/4" mesh plates and retaining mechanism. It will also make it easier to reuse the original I/O panel.

Last edited by kendrab; November 3, 2010 at 09:16 PM. Reason: Clarification
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old November 3, 2010, 09:28 PM
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 151
Default

piiiiics
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old November 3, 2010, 11:32 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Kelowna BC
Posts: 15

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toyoracer View Post
Hello kendrab, interesting plan for the case. For nice grain may I suggest curly maple or bubinga it's a little darker but great grain pattern. You can check it out here
I will be watching your build and good luck.
It is funny how quickly a plan can evolve. I had originally planned to keep the interior black, and was just going to paint the side panels. However, I have decided to modify the interior of the case so I can fit a 240 mm radiator and fans on the floor. This will require a full case disassembly, and a moderate amount of cutting, so I will need to repaint everything.

So, instead of keeping the interior black and painting the side panels a burgundy colour (with lighter wood trim), I have decided to go all out, and paint the inside and outside of the case White Chocolate Pearl (2008 Lincoln colour) and use Purpleheart wood for the trim pieces. The paint is a cream white colour, and the wood is quite purple. It is basically a reverse of my burgundy paint idea with light wood trim.

You can see the wood at the following link: Specialty Hardwoods including: Padauk, Spanish cedar, pau ferro, zebrawood and more

I apologize for not having any pictures yet, but should have something up in the next week or so.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old November 7, 2010, 02:16 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Kelowna BC
Posts: 15

My System Specs

Smile My Plans for Mounting a 240 mm radiator in the bottom of my case work

I took the hard drive cage out of my case, so I can plan for my 240 mm radiator install. The cage is pretty easy to remove. There are two rows of three rivets to be removed at the bottom of the case, and there are four rivets that attach the top of the hard drive cage to the bottom of the 5 1/4" drive bays. It is a tight fit, but the HD cage can slide out towards the back of the case (you need to angle it down a bit as you pull it back).

The original height of the HD cage is 24 cm. There are two tubular reinforcing rods that go across at about 12.3 cm from the top. What I am going to do is cut the HD cage 13 cm from the top. This will leave 11cm of room below the HD cage to mount a radiator and fans.

What I give up in order to mount my 240 mm radiator and fans do is the bottom two hard drive caddy mounts, so I are left with three hard drives internally instead of 5. But I still have the two hot swap hard drive trays to work with, so I can still have up to five hard drives in all.

With the front fan in place, I have 48.5 cm (19") from the back of the front fan to the back of the case. My Antec SG-850 SIgnature Series power supply body is 18 cm long. This leaves me 30 cm of length for a radiator. I have decided to use an XSPC RX 240 radiator, and it is 280 mm long x 125 mm high x 63 mm deep. This leaves me just under 2 cm for the wiring connectors, which is a bit tight. I can get another 1.2 cm by replacing the original front fan with a 120mm x 25 mm version, which appears to be the best solution. This leaves me 3 cm of room to connect my cables to this modular power supply, which is just enough.

A note about fans: If you follow my modifications, and want to keep the fans inside the case, you are going to be limited to fans no wider than 40 mm. I had been considering using TFC Triebwerk TK-121 120 mm x 55 mm fans for this radiator, but they are too thick. Still there are lots of good 38 mm fans out there.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Tags
haf x , i7-870 , water cooled , wood

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HAF X Stensby Cases 27 June 28, 2010 03:21 PM
My HAF X has arrived! Smoothie Cases 11 June 22, 2010 11:11 PM
CM HAF-X @ NCIX!!! jcmaz Cases 15 June 17, 2010 09:11 AM
HAF Reborn Lpfan4ever Case Mods, Worklog & Gallery 18 June 21, 2009 10:49 PM
Operation HAF Baked! Cooler Master HAF 932 Lithotech Case Mods, Worklog & Gallery 42 December 17, 2008 09:22 AM