Okay, I lied. This isn't my first mod, nor is it the best I've done. But I feel compelled to post because this case is fantastic... So long as you get one that actually passed quality control. More on that later, but if you're going to buy one, I strongly recommend buying one from somewhere good about taking returns on defective products.
Before I continue, you can read a little bit about me and my interest in modding here.
I've seen three of these cases personally, and fortunately for me, the one that was free of any problems was the red one I purchased for myself. The two questionable quality ones were in the blue variety, purchased by a buddy of mine. For those curious, yeah, we're doing twin builds. Only difference is I don't know if my buddy is going to be as ambitious with actual modifications.
For those wondering what my quality concerns are about this case, please click to read the hidden content below:
EDIT: Somehow I totally fubar'd the formatting of this post. The entire rest of my post is actually in the "hidden content" section. Sorry guys!
Quality concerns out of the way, let's talk about what makes this case GREAT.
You may want to view Bill and Mosquito's review of the Raijintek Styx before reading further as I will be addressing their concerns about the case. They also do a wonderful job of covering most of the essentials about this case. I personally found it to be a great virtual tour of the case before I bought it! I also found that it was the only review (or one of very few?) that addressed the slimline optical drive, which was one of the things that excited me most about the case.
First of all, yes it's a relatively inexpensive aluminum case. It's no Lian Li (yet still in a very similar vein), but so long as you get one free of defects, it's a real satisfying buy! They come in various colors (black, silver, gold, green, red, blue) and each sport that timeless brushed aluminum look. What compelled me to give this case a try in the first place was experience with a knockoff of the Styx's little brother, the Raijintek Metis. Knockoff in question was the Raidmax Atomic, which was identical except for the front panel USB (1x USB 2.0 and 1x USB 3.0 as opposed to dual 3.0) and the fact that they had a three panel window on the case. I liked the small form factor, I thought the full ATX PSU compatibility was pretty genius (even though I opted for a SFX PSU to save space), there was a generous amount of storage options... and it was all around just a fun build. The Styx is no exception.
Case: Red Raijintek Styx (duh)
Fans: 4x Corsair HD120 RGB (54.4 CFM, 18 - 30 dBA)
Motherboard: MSI B350M Mortar Arctic (AM4)
CPU: Undecided as of yet; likely going to be a Raven Ridge Ryzen APU
CPU Cooler: Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 + Corsair HD120 RGB (later on I may replace it with a Deepcool Gamer Storm Captain 240EX White AIO)
GPU: Asus GeForce 1050 Ti
RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR4 3200 (CMR16GX4M2C3200C16W; White version... ideally I'm going to want two kits to max out at 32GB)
HDD: Samsung 960 Evo M.2 2280 1TB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 SSD, plus a bunch of misc 2.5" drives (holy feces this case can fit a ton of those; up to 8 if you're crafty enough)
PSU: Corsair RM850x White (ATX)
WiFi: WTXUP Broadcom BCM94360 802.11ac 1750Mbps + Bluetooth 4.0 PCI-e x1 (native macOS support w/airdrop&handoff support; I dual boot, deal with it lol)
a SATA III card with at least 6 ports (certainly can't squeeze up to 8 2.5" HDDs and an optical drive inside with just the 4 ports on the mobo!)
Lots of 5050 RGB LEDs (I plan to light up the interior as well as give the case some tasty underglow)
After installing the motherboard, the first thing I noticed was the fact that the motherboard orientation is actually upside down! For some people this may be an issue, but I had no complaints about this. Quite the opposite actually, because I quickly realized that 90% of my motherboard's headers were on the top side in this orientation (most other motherboards should be similar). In the second image just above, you can see exactly what I mean. I felt this was going to make my cable management a breeze, as I can easily tuck the cables going to said headers over the top and behind the motherboard tray. If I can convince myself to stop being lazy about it, I may just end up trimming my front panel cables to length and make my cable management that much better.
This case is advertised to support the following: 3x 3.5" HDDs + 2x 2.5" HDDs ---OR--- 1x 3.5" HDD + 4x 2.5" HDDs
So how do you fit 8x 2.5" HDDs in this case you ask? Why, with help of my good friend, Corsair CSSD-BRKT2...
3.5" HDDs are dead to me, honestly. I hardly ever use them because they are nowhere near as versatile nor are they as widely utilized in consumer electronics as 2.5" drives. So with these Corsair 3.5" to dual 2.5" adapters, I never have to deal with them anymore. I could go on and on about how 2.5" drives are superior, but I'll save everyone the sermon. So yes, this is how I'm able to fit 8x 2.5" HDDs in my rig! Now to address Mosquito's concern at 9:38 in the review... As you can see in the image above, while using these Corsair adapters aren't NEARLY as fun as taking a Dremel to it... This configuration (with the adapters) does resolve the issue of right angle connectors not being able to reach your 2.5" drives. I personally believe Raijintek should have made the holes bigger on their bracket to accommodate for right angle connectors from the factory. But whatever, whether you dremel it or do the lame fix with the adapters, it's a pretty easy fix. As you probably already guessed, I went with the lame fix solely for the purpose of expanding the amount of places I can mount a 2.5" drive to.
Now then, with my mini review out of the way, let's get to the actual modding, shall we?
I'm going to be honest, there isn't a whole lot of cutting and grinding happening with this case. I appreciate it enough as it is, but I do want to fix up some annoyances... And because it's mostly satisfactory as it is, I'm going to be focusing on minor details and RGB lighting. In addition to interior lighting, I will be doing underglow lighting on this rig as well. It's basically a must after seeing how my BitFenix Prodigy turned out (it had underglow AND overglow... I'll get around to posting pics of it later. It seriously looks wicked cool)...
Since I currently have pretty limited income, it's going to take a few months (at worst) to get all the components I want inside. But that's not all so bad.. gives me ample time to design the lighting effects I want, as well as what little cutting and grinding I have planned.
Speaking of, the first order of business was to get rid of that pesky honeycomb mesh from the rear exhaust fan hole. Back in the day (we're talking socket 939... yeah..), overclocking was my jam. This mod, simple as it is, is always the first bit of cutting that I do to my cases (if I cut at all). I do this to increase case airflow (sometimes it can drop your temps by a degree or two) as well as to reduce noise. I do plan on attaching a fan filter to it though (and maybe a less restrictive grill), but less mesh the better. So anyway, let's get to it.
I opted to save my cutting wheel some wear and took some pliers to the case after the initial cut to get me started. Not to mention that at the time, I had to keep the noise to a minimum as well...
I took a break here and opted to smooth out the edges another day. In the past I used the cutting wheel exclusively to make my cuts, but this time around I decided to use a grinding bit to smooth out my edges and give it a professional look. I cannot emphasize enough how satisfying it was when I finished touching up with the grinding bit. I never imagined I would be able to make a cut on this level of professionalism, but I certainly proved myself wrong. Which really just goes to show you that when you use the right Dremel bit for the job, you can and will greatly improve your results!
Seriously, you don't want to see my previous cuts. They were atrocious in comparison.
After this, all I had left to do was to dull down the edges with a file. Unfortunately I didn't have one. The buddy of mine who is building the blue Styx introduced me to Harbor Freight Tools... $88 later, I had diamond grit precision files, one rounded/flat file, and a heap of other tools that I might need.. You know, just in case ;). Finally got a rivet gun (this case has no rivets at all, just thinking of future endeavors), articulating vice, metal/nylon brushes, magnetic pickup tools, dead blow hammer, ratcheting bar clamps <3, tin snips and WORK GLOVES lol. It's about time I started to wear protective gear!
After getting the edges of the hole dulled down, I did what I hoped I wouldn't have to: tear down the case completely and clean out allll the metal flakes . As you probably saw in my pictures, I tried to mask off the inside of the case by taping a garbage bag to the outer edges of the 120mm fan hole. What I didn't account for was metal flakes getting tossed through the IO shield and other holes on the back panel. In retrospect I should have just torn down the case from the beginning (as it was honestly pretty easy; again, no rivets! which I actually like quite a bit)... With just the back panel separated from the rest of the case... Yep, that would have been the least messy way to get the cut done. Live and learn.
One of the first things I did when disassembling the case was removing the front panel button, USB ports and audio ports. Basically because there were flakes everywhere and that just seemed like the logical place to start. Well... This highlighted a small problem some owners of this case may also experience...
As you can see, that screw is SNUG up against the USB port... and that's AFTER I trimmed some rubber off of it! Unfortunately the screw was a little bit stripped from the factory, but fortunately the screw is still in good enough condition to be used...
Just to be safe, I trimmed up the other side as well. Then I took a closer look at the front panel button...
As you can see, the power button LED is likely not replaceable without replacing the entire button... Not a problem for me though, because I actually like the white LED.
I took off the last remaining screws, gave everything a thorough wipe down with a microfiber cloth, then put everything back together.
If you're still reading, thanks for being patient with me. I know I tend to write a little more than the average person might anyway, lol. Next order of operation is laying out my 5050 RGB LEDs, then wiring them all together! I won't be getting to that for a while though, as my Scotch mounting tape won't arrive until Feb 5th thanks to Amazon Subscribe & Save... The things I do to save a little bit of cash... Sheesh.
Anyway, thanks for reading! I know the mods I'm doing are like child's play, but this is only the second time I've seriously committed to modifying a PC case of mine... And aside from that, cutting into the aluminum itself just feels wrong.. but I may cut the aluminum mesh out of the bottom fan, just currently undecided.
Until next time...