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Old November 14, 2014, 12:11 AM
Cptn Vortex's Avatar
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Default WIP - Dell Transformation

So I have an old Dell Precision 690 tower and an old T5400 tower... I think I want to build a beast combining the best of both machines. The T5400 has the better Intel 5400 series chipset, but the 690 has a beast of a big case to work with.

Just got started, and already came across a few issues. The T5400 uses a totally different front panel PCB and ribbon cable header than what is on the 690. So I'm going to have to mod the crap out of the PCB holder, the cables, and the case itself. So now I may as well go all out and plan a proper build.

My Goals :

Use the 690 case, but paint/polish to make it look cool
Mod front panel USB header/Audio/Power button to look OEM
Install Side Window (inverted ATX on these)
Paint full case
Remove stock 5.25" bays and install a 4x3.5" HS bay
Room for possible dual CPU Watercooling (need RAD though...)
Weight savings? (This thing weighs a TON.... they dont build them like they used to!)

What I am starting with :



To Put size in perspective, the "dinky" little T5400 is an EATX machine about the size of an Antec Titan. The 690 is close in size to my Coolermaster ATCS 840. But made entirely of steel...


Will update thread as I get around to more modding! Parts on the way :)
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The Vortex H20

Coolermaster ATCS 840 w Window panel
MSI Z77A-GD65
Intel i7 3770K @ 4.6GHZ 1.28v
Galaxy GTX 680 @ 1241MHZ
8GB Mushkin Blackline 1600MHZ 9-9-9-24 1.5v
Asus Xonar Essence STX
OCZ Z-Series GOLD 850W
2 x 128GB Corsair Force GT SATA3 SSD RAID0 :)
Acheiva Shimian Q270 Lite 2560x1440

Benq W500 Pojector.

Watercooling:
EK Supreme HF, EK FC GTX 680 Block, MCR320+Gelid Silent 12 Push/Pull, DD Pump, EK Multioption 100ml Res, EK Coolstream XT 220 RAD Gelid Wings Push/Pull.
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Old November 14, 2014, 07:39 AM
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my work still has a few of those t5400 class computers, heavy, awkward, and...heavy. But it should be an interesting project for you
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Old November 14, 2014, 07:51 PM
Cptn Vortex's Avatar
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Yup. The 690 is even larger and heavier!
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The Vortex H20

Coolermaster ATCS 840 w Window panel
MSI Z77A-GD65
Intel i7 3770K @ 4.6GHZ 1.28v
Galaxy GTX 680 @ 1241MHZ
8GB Mushkin Blackline 1600MHZ 9-9-9-24 1.5v
Asus Xonar Essence STX
OCZ Z-Series GOLD 850W
2 x 128GB Corsair Force GT SATA3 SSD RAID0 :)
Acheiva Shimian Q270 Lite 2560x1440

Benq W500 Pojector.

Watercooling:
EK Supreme HF, EK FC GTX 680 Block, MCR320+Gelid Silent 12 Push/Pull, DD Pump, EK Multioption 100ml Res, EK Coolstream XT 220 RAD Gelid Wings Push/Pull.
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Old November 16, 2014, 06:08 PM
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Looking forward to this build! I always like it when people mod Dell towers :D

Are you going to keep the mobo in there are just mod the case and throw in a different system entirley?
And what are you going to use this build for?
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Thinking about building a server for PLEX...//i5 3570k @ 4.6Ghz
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Old November 16, 2014, 11:16 PM
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I'm just building it for fun really. Planning on starting some of the cutting/modding tomorrow on my day off.

I am swapping the better board from the T5400 into the 690 Chassis. That involves a lot more work than just moving the board over as they have a few small differences that are pretty annoying. I'm toying around the idea of watercooling the CPU's as well but we'll see if I have the budget for that later haha. I'll probably sell it when I am done playing around with it. Also still waiting for my 2nd CPU and RAM to arrive. (Dual Quadcore X5450's and 16GB DDR2 FBDIMM). Should be a fun little build. I've already tested with one cpu and I can Overclock using setfsb. Not ideal, but still fun to play with.
__________________
The Vortex H20

Coolermaster ATCS 840 w Window panel
MSI Z77A-GD65
Intel i7 3770K @ 4.6GHZ 1.28v
Galaxy GTX 680 @ 1241MHZ
8GB Mushkin Blackline 1600MHZ 9-9-9-24 1.5v
Asus Xonar Essence STX
OCZ Z-Series GOLD 850W
2 x 128GB Corsair Force GT SATA3 SSD RAID0 :)
Acheiva Shimian Q270 Lite 2560x1440

Benq W500 Pojector.

Watercooling:
EK Supreme HF, EK FC GTX 680 Block, MCR320+Gelid Silent 12 Push/Pull, DD Pump, EK Multioption 100ml Res, EK Coolstream XT 220 RAD Gelid Wings Push/Pull.
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Old November 17, 2014, 02:09 PM
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Got the machines stripped down pretty far, but still lots to go. I'm amazed at just how much crap Dell manages to cram into these things. Very impressive engineering going on. The 690 is pretty nice as it has a removable motherboard tray, so cable routing should be pretty clean. However, I've run into a few more things that are going to need to be cut/modified. The rear I/O panel is part of the actual chassis/rear panel and not interchangeable, so I'll have to cut it to match the other motherboard. My plan is to also add a 4x3.5" HDD bay in the 3x5.25" optical bays, but for some reason dell also decided to put a steel sheet between optical bays 2 and 3... once again part of the case construction so it will need to be cut out somehow. I did at least get somewhat lucky and it looks like my side panel window I have should fit without interfering with the side panel latching/closing mechanism. Thats a bonus. Now I just need to head over to a buddies place so I can get all my cutting done. My apartment isn't the best place to work on this...

Here's a few pics of the stripped case. Lots of room now with the PSU removed and the HDD cages. The PSU is being swapped out with a 850W Dell unit from the T5400. These boards are funky and use a 24 Pin and 20 Pin mobo headers, so my PSU choices are pretty limited.


Here's the front panel headers that are going to be a pain in the ass... I've been looking at the FP ribbon cables and it looks like I MIGHT be able to use the 690 panel with the T5400 board, but I wont have any front panel audio or Firewire (whatever...). I'll have to test first before I start my cutting.


I've got a long way to go!
__________________
The Vortex H20

Coolermaster ATCS 840 w Window panel
MSI Z77A-GD65
Intel i7 3770K @ 4.6GHZ 1.28v
Galaxy GTX 680 @ 1241MHZ
8GB Mushkin Blackline 1600MHZ 9-9-9-24 1.5v
Asus Xonar Essence STX
OCZ Z-Series GOLD 850W
2 x 128GB Corsair Force GT SATA3 SSD RAID0 :)
Acheiva Shimian Q270 Lite 2560x1440

Benq W500 Pojector.

Watercooling:
EK Supreme HF, EK FC GTX 680 Block, MCR320+Gelid Silent 12 Push/Pull, DD Pump, EK Multioption 100ml Res, EK Coolstream XT 220 RAD Gelid Wings Push/Pull.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old November 17, 2014, 09:56 PM
Cptn Vortex's Avatar
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Front panel module is gonna need to be modded. Pinouts are completely different. Ah well! Just means more to cut.
__________________
The Vortex H20

Coolermaster ATCS 840 w Window panel
MSI Z77A-GD65
Intel i7 3770K @ 4.6GHZ 1.28v
Galaxy GTX 680 @ 1241MHZ
8GB Mushkin Blackline 1600MHZ 9-9-9-24 1.5v
Asus Xonar Essence STX
OCZ Z-Series GOLD 850W
2 x 128GB Corsair Force GT SATA3 SSD RAID0 :)
Acheiva Shimian Q270 Lite 2560x1440

Benq W500 Pojector.

Watercooling:
EK Supreme HF, EK FC GTX 680 Block, MCR320+Gelid Silent 12 Push/Pull, DD Pump, EK Multioption 100ml Res, EK Coolstream XT 220 RAD Gelid Wings Push/Pull.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old November 19, 2014, 04:53 AM
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You could maybe cut out some sort of 3.5" bay and buy something with front panel audio connectors, usb 3.0 and so on. That way if you get a usb 3.0 card too you wouldn't have to go with usb 2.0
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Thinking about building a server for PLEX...//i5 3570k @ 4.6Ghz
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old November 19, 2014, 08:31 PM
Cptn Vortex's Avatar
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True but even the front panel audio header on the motherboard is proprietary and no pin out info can be found anywhere lol. I think most of my cutting and painting will take place on Sunday fingers crossed. Ram and CPU should arrive pretty soon too!
__________________
The Vortex H20

Coolermaster ATCS 840 w Window panel
MSI Z77A-GD65
Intel i7 3770K @ 4.6GHZ 1.28v
Galaxy GTX 680 @ 1241MHZ
8GB Mushkin Blackline 1600MHZ 9-9-9-24 1.5v
Asus Xonar Essence STX
OCZ Z-Series GOLD 850W
2 x 128GB Corsair Force GT SATA3 SSD RAID0 :)
Acheiva Shimian Q270 Lite 2560x1440

Benq W500 Pojector.

Watercooling:
EK Supreme HF, EK FC GTX 680 Block, MCR320+Gelid Silent 12 Push/Pull, DD Pump, EK Multioption 100ml Res, EK Coolstream XT 220 RAD Gelid Wings Push/Pull.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old November 21, 2014, 08:29 PM
Cptn Vortex's Avatar
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Woot ram arrived! CPU eta is Monday. Here's hoping I can get some work done on it this weekend!
__________________
The Vortex H20

Coolermaster ATCS 840 w Window panel
MSI Z77A-GD65
Intel i7 3770K @ 4.6GHZ 1.28v
Galaxy GTX 680 @ 1241MHZ
8GB Mushkin Blackline 1600MHZ 9-9-9-24 1.5v
Asus Xonar Essence STX
OCZ Z-Series GOLD 850W
2 x 128GB Corsair Force GT SATA3 SSD RAID0 :)
Acheiva Shimian Q270 Lite 2560x1440

Benq W500 Pojector.

Watercooling:
EK Supreme HF, EK FC GTX 680 Block, MCR320+Gelid Silent 12 Push/Pull, DD Pump, EK Multioption 100ml Res, EK Coolstream XT 220 RAD Gelid Wings Push/Pull.
Reply With Quote
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