I finally finished my PC upgrade! Knowing about the 1080s coming out, I wanted a new build that could support more radiator space and run a little quieter. So I had this vision of a hardline build, and this is how it turned out. It has been about 4 months in the making. On and off weekends.
All the mods in the build I did myself. And at times during the build I just wanted to kick it to the curb. But I pushed through and have settled on a pretty good result. Had to redo a few mods a couple of times, doh! Cost of learning I guess. A lot of trial and error, blood, sweat, and definitely some tears. The custom RBG lighting alone took 3 or 4 nights of soldering and wire joining. Getting the pinouts on the aquaero matched up with the connectors and RGB strips was "fun".
1080's are currently to hyped up right now, so I'm going to wait for things to cool down so I can get standard pricing. I'll update this build most likely at that time.
Most of the parts in this build are taken from my White Widow build. If you would like to see a review of these parts, please check that post out.
Here is a short list of the mods I did to this PC:
Hope you all enjoy!
The goal of this mod was to conceal the fans. When playing around with component orientation, specifically the front radiator, I just loved the look of just the radiator with the fans concealed by the front panel. So naturally I wanted to match this aesthetic with the top radiator.
So I measured the gap between the removable radiator mount tray and the top of the frame. Turns out it was 26mm. Bingo! Had my solution. I had to deal with the following issues:
The metal cut outs in both the frame and radiator trays had extruded edges. I believe these edges help the structural integrity of each piece, but not by much. With them there, the fans would not fit. So these had to go. I first used a Dremel to side cut as far down on the extruded openings as I could. Then I used a grinder and file to get them flush. This didn't effect the radiator tray at all in terms of structure. The top of the frame was a little less, meaning the metal pieces spanning across the top of the frame were a little more flimsy, but still did their job well. I definitely wouldn't recommend cutting them off completely. (which would be easier) Pictured Here
The radiator tray is designed to be removable. With the fans in the voided space, you will not be able to remove the tray. In fact, in order to assemble the radiator and fans, you have to remove the screws on the front and back of the top section of the frame that holds the rails in place. But this is a good thing because you can sandwich the radiator tray in between the fans and radiator, bolt it together, then place the top of the frame over the config, then place the rails back on top of their locations and screw them back on from the sides. Pictured Here
Needed to trim some extra metal to allow for easier installation of wires and water cooling lines. Pictured Here
After all that is assembled, it was just a matter of fitting the entire top assembly back on top of the rest of the frame and screwing it down in the corners. All this is possible because Phanteks rocks when it comes to case design, using screws instead of rivets.
Want to know more about another mod? Specify in the comments and I'll add it here.
I used a variety of tools during this build, some are necessary, some make it easier, some I made myself! Below you will find a table of the tools used and the mods they were used on.
|Drill||Everything||$30 - $120||Corded or Cordless|
|Screw Drivers||Disassembly & Assembly||$$||A phillips screw driver was all I needed|
|Metal Files - Various sizes||I used files to work down any metal that I cut.||$10 - $40||-|
|Drill Bits||Used various sizes to make holes for the pass-throughs, screw tapping, wire holes, etc||$10 - $20||-|
|Step Bit||I used a step bit to enlarge holes to the proper diameter in both the frame and acrylic||$8||step bit|
|Sand Paper||Used to sand down metal and acrylic for pieces that needed to be painted.||$$||-|
|Heat Gun||Used to bend acrylic PSU cover and PETG tubing||$20 - $30||the one I have|
|Dremel||Used to make metal and plastic cuts for all needed applications||$60 - $120||I have this one|
|Dremel Metal Cutting Wheel||A good blade that does wear down is a must||$12||Link|
|Jig Saw||Used this to cut various pieces of metal and plastic||$70||Mine|
|Grinder||Used this to grind down pesky metal, you could use a dremel for this||$50||Mine|
|Speed square||used to aid in making 90 degree bends in hardline||$5||home depot|
|Metal Break||I build this for cheap with materials from home depot, used to bend sheet metal||$35||picture here|
|Screw Tap Set||Used to create threads to secure various mods to the case, this particular thread is used by phanteks and other cases, so it allowed me to keep it all the same. Thread: 6 -32||$9||Link|