Description

For those who read the book, you've already got the answer. Yes, the name is the reference.

I've had ideas of making a "true" custom build on either Diablo II, or Harry Potter. I had to end Diablo II's theme build early because the computer's motherboard I got was DOA, by the time I found out it was too late to return the computer, so I decided to keep the entire tower just in case I would ever need it again. And alas, the Harry Potter's build is here!

I didn't have much choices on parts, because I already have the 2500, the G100M, the motherboard, the memory, and the hard drive on hand. This should've been a build based that all the part decisions had to be based on the parts I have in the first place. I couldn't find a usable graphics card around me that can not only power Windows 10, but also some eSport titled games such as League of Loony, Case Strike: Global Offended, and Overlook, so I asked my cousin if he wants to sell his GT1030, which he's not been using for a while, to me, who said if it is me who's using it, just take it. Best cousin ever.

That only left a case, I don't want this build to be in the same shoe as the Phosphorus, where I had to rush a mid-tower case for a mATX motherboard, and made the entire cable management a nightmare to deal with. I tried to search for a reasonable mATX/Slim case but I had no luck, and finding a mini ITX motherboard for the 1155 platform, at a reasonable price, is basically impossible. There are times where I just want to give up on this build, until I realized that Diablo II's themed PC was still in my closet. So I teared up Diablo II's build, try to fit the 1155 mobo in there, and vola it fits! Even the screw positions are identical. Great!

Now to the modding portion, the case I had originally shipped with a 65 mm exaust fan, which is barely enough for 9.75, and it doesn't have anywhere else to put fans on, I had to make some changes to the case, in order to have a dencent air flow. I first disassembled all of the front panel connections, leaving only the power switch, and the two LEDs for later on, and yes, this PC didn't have a reset button; cut a big hole at the front of the case, sanded everything down, and painted it black. The hole is for two 80mm (could not find any 92mm fans with LED, and 120mm is too large for this case) intake fans, and the plan is to have the side panel having an 120mm exaust fan (haven't been done yet). The front panel will be covered with a piece of acrylic with ventilation and opening for the USB 3.0 expansion bay, so is the side panel. This means I need a fan hub to power all these 3 fans together, I'm going to put anti-vibration material on the fan so they don't make much noise against the acrylic.

Update 1 (Oct. 1st, 2019)

I've finished putting everything in the chasis itself, while I was doing this, I noticed few things that changed my plan a tiny bit. 1. Due to fiancial reasons, aka I'm broke af, I bought the cheapest sfx power supply on Amazon, and because of this, it's not modular. So I had to figure out a place to hold all the wires; this case does not allow any cable management in the back, so where could I hide it? The hard drive bay it is. And what does that mean? I can't have a hard drive at its orignial spot. So there you have it, a gorilla taped hard drive mounted in the case. 2. Also because of #1, there's a hole at the front and I need to cover it up somehow, the plan as of right now is just to paint the front acrylic panel for this section, I'll figure it out once I get to this step in the next few days. 3. The side panel, or the entire panel, of this case, is a top loading - seen in the picture, it will be extremely difficult - even with proper support - to cut a side window, without changing its integrity. Again, this is the problem I have to solve on my days off this week.

I installed Windows 10 on the hard drive and ran Cinebench R15 for benchmarking, as this computer would only run eSport titles at max, and for my own curiosity as well. Though, I do want to install Windows 7 on this machine, with the knowledge of Microsoft will stop security updates on January 14th, 2020. For the most, I haven't used Windows 7 for quite a while, and I really missed the Aero themes; for the minor, I feel like Windows 7 is most fitting for the i5-2500 era... Unless someone knows how to enable Aero on Windows 10...

Update 2 (Oct. 4th, 2019)

Remember how I said I was gonna finish everything during these two days off? Yea, no it's not gonna happen. I had to travel to Toronto on the first day, and by the time I came back I was spent and couldn't do anything, it was kinda late for any cutting. Today I woke up with a cold, felt absolutely awful, but still managed to get some things done. And such an interesting day today...

I went out to a local computer shop for a display adapter for one of my other desktop, mainly aiming for the used 610, 630, 710 & 730, if any of these were new, I'd rather go to CC or ME to buy a new 710 2GB DDR5, BUT! They said that they don't really have anything like that in the back, and asked me if I'd rather take a R7 240, and here comes the hit - quote on quote, this was what they said - "Are you fine with 10 bucks?" Hell, absolutely, f***ing yea! 10 CAD - not USD - for a R7 240, I'll take this kinda deal all day every day please. I guess there'll be a future themed build featuring an i3-2120 and R7 240 from me...

Also, after they confirmed the R7 240 to be 10 bucks, I asked them if they have any Windows 7 license key that I can buy, and I explained to them that I know the security update will be ended very early next year, the store owner didn't bother too much because he knows that I'm all about the themed PC build thingy, and quickly, this guy came back to me, said "So, we're not able to sell a key to you," - probably due to Windows 7 is coming to an end and Microsoft's policy - "do you wanna just take a computer, without the hard drive obviously, which has a Windows 7 key on it? For 10 bucks?" WhhhhaaaAAATTT?! Yes, sure, awesome, thank you, take my money, have a nice day. Mind you it's only an Optiplex 740 desktop with unknown specs, but I feel like this is gonna be another theme build of some sort... shoot me any ideas...

Okay, 9.75. By the time I started doing my cutting and everything, the sky is fastly turning dark, which left me a little time, and the fact that this is my first TWUE frankstein build, my cut & my paint skills are still not at the 'pro' level, which is kinda the reason I chose to do 9.75 before I started anything else. There are 2 ways of expressing 9 3/4, one is the classic, the other is post-war, when I was going into this build, I prepared myself to do the classic, but had the knowledge that with my skill, it will very likely become post-war, which is alright, I personally like post-war anyway, it felt like everyone in post-war grew to a proper adult, post-war had more punch to me than any other time. I've already screwed up the copper paint by the time I did my second coat, so I confirmed this is gonna go the post-war route, and black thin coat it is. Just to add a bit of post-war flavour to it, symbolizing the spells that casted to the castle wall, walls melted down because of the heat, blood spitted onto the wall and such.

I tried to use the floppy drive bay cover on the Optiplex 740 to cover the hole I was talking about earlier, it's too small, at this point I kinda give up on the covering up the hole by not using paint, I'll just use paint on the acrylic. Speaking of acrylic, I've cut the front piece, the side piece is still uncut because of the paint won't be dry until tomorrow. Now I just need to purchase a drill bit for my dremel (I have a proper drill but it's overkill for acrylic panels) and mount my fans somehow.

Also, I'm switching the 120mm exaust fan out and replacing it with an 140mm fan, just to make the pressure a less bit too positive in this case.

Update 3 (October 20th, 2019)

No I did not forget about this build, I'm currently waiting on a vinyl sticker so I can put on the side panel, and then I only have 2 little things to deal with then I'm done.

Speaking of the side panel, there isn't gonna be a side case fan, because I screwed it up again... The side acrylic I bought, apparently, is not completely transparent! I have an emergency backup plan for this one and that's not having a side fan on this piece, instead I'll just let the CPU fan illuminate the vinyl sticker from the inside... Sigh... this is great fun...

Also, the hole I cut on the side panel is too upwards, again, I thought there's nothing that could go wrong and something went wrong. Plus the semi-transparent acrylic sheet, I have a very ugly illumination of the power supply rack... Which I will cover it up in the final touch up, but man won't that be an hassle.

Semi-Final Phase (October 28th, 2019)

I spent way too long on this build, and there were so many mistakes + hickups I've encountered during this process. Right now, I just want to end it.

Pro tip, do not cut acrylic in the dark, you will lose track. As shown in the pictures... Another pro tip, if you need holes in middle of an acylic sheet, you might as well just saw a big hole, because ANY drill would get stuck, and the tip beforehand also applies.

The vinyls are here. Obviously, if the plan would've go according to itself, I should have at least 1 at the front that has no trouble fitting, or 2 on top of each fan. Now I can only put one, and it still has some clearance issues. And, again, if the plan would've worked, the fans should've been attached by screws, instead of gorilla tape, the front panel should've been attached by magnets, instead of gorilla tape, the top & bottom piece of the front panel should've been one piece, instead of held on using gorilla tape. Gorilla tape really is the best tool I've used.

I guess you can say "it is quite magical that this project is still continuing" or "it's quite magical that you still managed to put everything together" or "wow it would be quite magical if it still works."

With that said, the build is coming to its final phase, which will be done and posted by October 31st, so stay tuned.

Final Phase (October 31st, 2019)

Happy Helloween! Good luck with candy luring tonight, I will go watch Dark Fate so I can stay away from the mess.

Despite lots of hiccups during the project, I still managed to finish it at the end, though a lot of bad designs and many last minute changes, I'm still quite proud of this build. I finished the build with an additional 140mm fan mounted on the VESA mounts to provide some exaust air space. There's some color transition over on the side panel due to different colored fans I used, but it looks kinda cool, you know, completely planned and everything.

The power button and the reset button are still problems, but I'll leave it for later, for now the computer looks awesome and that's all I needed. Now what I need to do is set it up and give you guys a run down, but that's gonna be left to my YouTube channel since I'm trying to revive that little thing. Be sure to check it out @ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ttWPvYC1cAKk093OOXFUg?

Video will come out eventually.

Thus, 9.75, is DONE.

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

this has instantly become the most interesting build on this site for me. Im thrilled to see where this is going. as far as the parts yea its fine. Use what you got i go by the same philosophy (also not the point, critics get wrapped up on the internals with case mods way to much, those are things that can always be adjusted later). I'm not even a huge harry potter fan i just like seeing creative case mods. Ill be happy to read about the progress.

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

Well, I'm hoping to finish everything this week, so there will be lots of updates!

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

i read your updates and i have a couple notes

  1. ". Also because of #1, there's a hole at the front and I need to cover it up somehow," im not sure how "broke" you are but if you could squeeze a couple bucks bondo would be a good option. its pretty cheap at walmart
  2. there are aero themes for windows 10. not sure how to implament them but there are guides on youtube.
  3. you would be suprised what a sandy bridge i5 and a gddr5 1030 can play. that combo can play any game on the market. (granted at the lowest settings). my friend is using that combo and is able to play mhw
  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Bondo would be great.. But use Bondo for that? Emmm...

Okay.

No, I'm not saying it can't play some triple quadruple A games. I'm only saying that the purpose of this computer is only playing eSport titles.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

i wasn't sure how thinley stretched your budget was. otherwise they sell 5 1/4 blanking plates as well. you would probably have to paint it back since most of them sold are beige on ebay. Im not sure if its a 5.25 bay but you could also buy a dvd drive. second hand those are 2 or 3 bucks

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

That's a 3.5" bay....

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't read the book, but I'm currently studying frugal PC builds & this is a fine example. You took your case's color into your own hands & I respect that.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

i love builds like this! you will come to see that budget hardware can still pack a punch. that i5 2500 can handle up to a gtx 770, gtx 960, or 1060 3gb without much bottlenecking.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Those are pretty valid options, except with the case that I'm working with, any full size card will cause space interferance with the side fan I'm putting on, I tried this by using a R9 270 and the one side of the 120 mil fan would touch the side heat pipe and the side panel would not close.