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I've wanted to try my hand at case modding for quite some time, however had never been able to find a good excuse - my own rig is already (in my opinion) pretty good looking and I didn't have the spare cash to build a second.
Recently, a combination of scrapyard wars 4 and a number of videos by techyescity on YouTube made me consider whether I could build a rig that was super low budget, functional, and looked pretty good.
The final plan was to build a good looking PC with a budget of less than £100 and hopefully sell it at about cost price to recoup the cash and build another. Below is the result.
With a budget of £100 I had no choice but to look second hand.
My first find was an aging but functional Zoostorm tower and 720p monitor which I picked up for £50 on gumtree. The specs were:
My gpu was also picked up on gumtree for £15 - it really isn't too bad of a performer, especially for the money.
I cheated slightly with the network card, as I had this lying about. I also ended up swapping out the 2tb HDD for a spare 320gb.
eBay (especially China) was my friend for the "modding" componants of the build. For paint, I went for the cheapest automotive spray I could find. LEDs and acrylic were equally cheap.
As far as building is concerned, it went surprisingly well. I began with cutting a hole for the window. This gave me the most problems. I initially tried using tin snips, which resulted in a ragged hole and a bent case. My trusty rotary tool helped me tidy up the hole, while a hammer goto it the worst of the dents. I finished up by filing and sanding the rough edges.
Cleaning, sanding and painting was fairly uneventful. I disassembled and hung the parts but was let down somewhat by my spray painting skills which left some blemishes and uneven parts.
The rubber U-channel was stuck on with epoxy. I made some "standoffs" to place around the window on the inside of the case to help sticking it down (achieved with double sided tape and yet more epoxy).
I planned to custom sleeve the power supply cables in white, but after some testing decided I had nowhere near enough patience and instead did a quick "sleeving" job with some electrical tape.
Final step was re-assembly, adding the LEDs and managing cables.
I'm pretty happy with the result and can't wait to have a go at another!