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Found 17 results

  1. Mosquito and I share the do-it-yourself steps in modifying the Fractal Design S2 case with Lambo Door style side panels. These doors have also been described as Butterfly doors or Super car style scissor doors. Mosquito's YouTube channel, https://tinyurl.com/yyggl8lu Mosquito's Website, www.themodsquito.com/ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Links Parts used in Lambo Door PC Case Mod Guide ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Link to Mounting Plate, https://tinyurl.com/y3uty2vh ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Fractal Design Define S2 case, https://amzn.to/2W2wECB ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Cabinet hinges for lambo door pc case mod panels: Qrity 170 degree cabinet hinges, https://amzn.to/2T4jL9h ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Attaching hinges to lambo door pc case mod door panels: 16x 8/32 x 1/2" screws for hinges, https://amzn.to/2TypLw2 16x 8/32 nuts for hinges to panels, https://amzn.to/2TyC2jW ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Red push button releases for lambo door pc case mod panels: Quik-Latch Products QL-25-RD22, https://amzn.to/2Fai0Ue ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Parts for fabricated left side latching post 2x Black PC Thumbscrews, https://tinyurl.com/y2jp23xu 2x 6/32 nuts for attaching bracket, https://amzn.to/2CiTlLf 2x 6/32 washers, https://amzn.to/2VWdEFR ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Tightening the Qrity cabinet hinges for more lift strength: 12x 6/32 x 1-1/8" screws tighten hinge, https://amzn.to/2XUGWX7 12x 6/32 Nylon Lock Nuts, https://amzn.to/2TCU9p8
  2. Hello and welcome to the project logs for: VENOM First i'd like to thank all the wornderful people who helped with this project Cablemod (Link) ASUS Republic of gamers UK (Link) TeamGroup Global (Link) Fractal Design (Link) EK Water Blocks (Link) Cablemod being the main sponsor for this project also paid for nearly everything on this project. the awesome saucy team that they are Specs: Cablemod Pro Edition Cable extensions Cablemod RGB/UV LED Kit Cablemod RGB/UV LED strip 30cm Cablemod green thumb screws Ryzen 7 1700X ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero ASUS ROG Strix 1070 Fractal Design Define R6 Fractal Design 850w PSU Teamgroup Global RAM (Cannot discuss at this time) EKWB Full watercooling EK-Vardar EVO 140ER Black (2000rpm) EK-CoolStream SE 280 EK-FB ASUS C6H RGB Monoblock - Nickel EK-HD Tube 10/12mm 500mm EK-HDC Fitting 12mm G1/4 - Black EK-RES X3 150 EK-XTOP Revo D5 PWM - (incl. pump) EK-CryoFuel Acid Green Premix 900 mL EK-AF Angled 90° G1/4 Black EK-AF Angled 45° G1/4 Black EK-FC1080 GTX Strix - Acetal+Nickel EK-FC1080 GTX Strix Backplate - Black What is VENOM ? Venom is an all green and black build, with a serious twist. using PolyMorph plastic, i'll be re-doing the shroud and panels of the case. Veins will be wrapping themselves around the whole case and internals, these veins will ignite bright green under UV lights. Think of the upside-down in Stranger Things. Imagine those roots/veins as green.. Got it? lol I've got a lot of work ahead of me on this one, i'll also be doing strange things to the tubing, reservoir and fittings. It's actually very hard to describe, but i got all the design images i need up in my brain lol. Photo's Delivery from Cablemod! I had these cables custom made just for this project. These are the Cablemod Pro cables, with Aluminium combs I also asked for some sexy Anodised thumb screws from cablemod And finally, i needed some UV lights for the project. Cablemod sent out RGB/UV kit + extra 30cm strip Delivery from ASUS Republic Of Games UK - Has just arrived! Check out these two beauties! First up is the Crosshair VI Hero! Next up, the Strix 1070 OC 8GB That's all for today folks. Thanks for looking PS. My projects move pretty fast, so although there's ''no work'' so far, it'll come in. There's no ''pixxy dust dreams'' up in here.
  3. CASE: Fractal Design Define R5 (ver. white) MOTHERBOARD: ASRock 970A-G/3.1 GRAPHICS CARD: MSI GTX660 OC PSU: SilentiumPc Vero M1 600W CPU: AMD FX8320 3.5GHz + SilentiumPc Fera 3 HARD DRIVE: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1000 GB MEMORY: 2x HyperX Fury CL10 DDR3 1600 MHz 4GB Sponsored by: Colour Concept Pc: White/Black/Red PSU braids (sleeving) buy in the: Changing a concept (from white to white/black/red): I'm sorry for my english. Feel free to comment and ask questions. To be continued...
  4. Captain CurrySauce & Mosquito take an in depth look at Fractal Design's latest ITX offering. Be on the look out for some of the Munky-DNA in this case. *Note/Full Disclosure: This Case was a review sample sent to us by Fractal Design.
  5. My first water cooling build was a roller coaster of a learning experience to say the least. It seems like every time I'd get a package of parts in the mail I'd realize that I'm missing yet another piece or I'd find some new component that I absolutely had to have. When all was said and done I called my baby GrayGhost. After finishing "him" I began browsing the modding forums and getting the itch to do a case mod. This is my first attempt to mod a case into something that carries my design aesthetic and hopefully keeps a decent build quality although modding with limited tools and space is always a huge obstacle. GrayGhost 1.0 I am a designer by trade so I am planning on building a system that is a bit different and interesting yet manages to remain understated and quiet. Recently the Parvum R1.0 and Corsair 600C have caught my eye because of their inverted motherboard layout. The only problem being money is tight and I told myself I would not buy a new case until after the Broadwell-E processors are released. Until then I dug around I realized I already owned a Define R5 and a Cooler Master Elite 110. I wouldn't have any issues chopping up either of them since they were only collecting dust. Needless to say, due to size restraints, I decided to begin a modding project using the Fractal Design Define R5. Hardware: Case: Fractal Design Define R5 CPU: Intel i7-4770k Mobo: Asus Z97-AR RAM: G.Skill Sniper 16GB 1866 DDR3 (2x8GB) GPU: Asus GTX 970 Strix (x2) SSD: Samsung 950 Pro M.2 512GB SSD: Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB HDD: Western Digital Green 3TB PSU: Corsair AX860 CPU Block: EK Supremacy EVO - nickel GPU Block: EK Full-Cover - nickel (x2) GPU Backplate: EK retention backplate - black (x2) Radiators: Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis 280GTS (x2) Fans: Noctua NF-P14s Redux-1200 PWM - 140mm (x6) Reservoir: Barrow quartz glass - 170mm Pump: EK D5 vario Top: EK-XTOP Revo - Plexi Fittings: EK & Barrow - matte black Tubing: Alphacool HardTube 10/12mm Carbon Coolant: Mayhems X1 - custom mixed color Lighting: Darkside Connect UV LED's & NZXT Hue+
  6. Hello all! :D I have just registered MOD ZOO! The theme for this time is "Cosmic Dust". Yes, change the project title! :lol: I've tried to challenge the new spray painting. It's like a cosmos... B) I'm already getting parts and putting them together. I plan to make a mini-ITX water cooled system. I have wanted to build a mini-ITX water cooled system for quite some time! Special Thanks to the sponsors! Fractal Design MSI nanoxia I wish to express my appreciation!! -System- CASE: Fractal Design CORE500 PSU: Fractal Design Edison M 550W CPU: Core i5-6500(Skylake) MB: MSI Z170I GAMING PRO AC VGA: MSI GTX 970 4GD5T OC V1 RAM: G.Skill DDR4-2400 Dual Channel Ripjaws V Steel Blue 16GB SSD: OCZ Trion 100 SSD 240GB HDD: Seagate ST4000DM000 4TB See you later :D
  7. Hey Mod Munkys! You had better get on this DEAL before it's gone, Fractal Design​ Define S for only $69.99 with FREE SHIPPING!!!! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352054 Watch our Mod Zoo Staff Review,
  8. My Fractal Design Define R5 case mod. n00b's first complete water cooling build. (Short back story) So I had every intention of spending my weekend putting together a build log showing progress made on my first water cooled and modded computer build. ...BUT... Last night I completed the water cooling loop and the system started up with no problem. I was super nervous water would just start gushing everywhere, but the system didn't have any leaks and booted without any issues What's the first thing you do after water cooling your PC? OVERCLOCK! I figured I'd play it safe, since its only a Z97-AR, and used Asus' automatic overclocking utility in the Ai Suite. The system reboots a couple times, which is expected. On the third reboot my computer did not come back on. I instantly had a bad feeling about this, like it was more than just a little Windows 10 quirk. When I tried to turn on my PC again it posted fine, gave me the DEL or F12 to BIOS option (which did not work), and afterwards I got a message saying "Data in the EC or EC cash may be corrupt". WHAT THE HECK?! I checked all of the usual things. I did the routine CMOS jumper, battery, power supply, change ram, unplug non-essentials, blah, blah blah. Nothing has worked. So I got the pleasure of wasting all of my previous work and taking apart my nearly finished system so I can try to fix the motherboard. Waiting for a reply from Asus as to what I should do. I'm hoping they will have an easy fix or will be able to replace my board. I was/am so upset about the situation that I figured posting something will make me feel like I've actually accomplished something. So here are the exterior shots of my case. The design is rather simple. 3 blow holes with MnPCtech overkill fan grills and the MnPCtech machined side panel. Eventually there will be a digital thermometer display behind the front cover that can be seen through the middle fan grill. Other than that I don't plan on doing much more to the exterior. My aesthetic tends to be rather simple and clean as opposed to the flash computers that will turn heads and I'm OK with that. The rest of the build will come soon. I'm sure it will be right after I get tired of waiting and go to Microcenter for a new motherboard. ------
  9. Welp, it's been long enough since PCB was completed and I think some major bumps are out of my life, time for a new project! My gaming obsession for the last eight or so years has been Dota and one night last year I kicked the idea of this build around with a friend. It's blossomed in my mind since, time to put it into motion. First off, thank you to my generous sponsors for this project: This will be a scratch build I think? I'm making an external frame out of mahogany and using a Fractal Design Node 304 essentially as a motherboard tray. It will save me some time in terms of layout and I happen to have one on hand. The concept will come from Dota 2 of course. While I could focus on a specific character in the game for a theme, I decided instead to base the mod off of a treasure chest. Players in-game win cosmetic items for their characters by obtaining various chests after they play games. What sort of grotesque name is Fresh Meat for a build? It's the catch phrase of one Dota's most loved/hated characters, Pudge, and from a modding perspective there are two reasons: one, it's a new project, fresh meat for me to bite in to, two, there will be cutting. I though this would be a fun theme to play with and would give me lots of design choices as well as making a mod that almost all Dota players could relate to. Without further ado, let's get into it. A log note: The flow of this here log may jump around a bit. I'm a paper and pencil guy when it comes to layout so I don't have any fancy 3D renders to show you. Keeps up the suspense right? You'll just have to trust what I've got cooking in my head to come together in the end. First up was picking material. My dad has some footage of mahogany available, lucky me :D After I had some lumber picked out, it was time to actually do stuff. First up was making a jig for the chest legs. The legs will taper on two sides, from 40mm square on the bottom 25mm at the top. After that tank was put together, you've got to test it, right? Of course, you can't test on the real deal. Here's what the legs will be cut out of once the jig is dialed in. Can't you see a couple legs in there? A look at the test leg to get an idea of what the shape will be. It's a subtle angle. Well unfortunately that's it for the first post. I'll keep collecting junk to stick in this thing, you keep checking back
  10. What's Up Y'all!!? My name is Paul - iamApropos part of AMD's Red Team+ formerly known as AMD Advocates. I wanted to share with y'all my latest build project. But first a little about me. I stream live on twitch.tv in order to help show just what AMD products are capable of while gaming as well as I try my hand in making youtube videos from time to time. I'm very active on twitter and facebook and I'm starting to reach out onto forums such as this one. Bare with me as I learn the ropes. I'm a gamer at heart and I'm very passionate about building computers! This will be the first time I've added modifications to a computer build so I'm excited to share it with you! Thanks to AMD for providing the FX 9590 with closed loop Cooler Master 120XL, 16gb 2x8gb 2133mhz, Radeon Gaming memory, Power Color TurboDuo R9 290X. Thanks to Fractal Design for providing the ARC XL case and Newton R3 1000w power supply. Thanks to MNPCTECH - For providing the AMD fan grill, AMD window decals, red zip ties, red thumb screws, red LED strip! My plans for the build - I plan on removing the front and top metal grills and painting them red. I also plan on getting red / black sleeved extensions for the cables. Putting on AMD window decals, AMD fan grill on the current Radiator, using red zip ties for cable management and red thumb screws for the side panels. I'm planning on also painting the drive cages and PCI expansion slot covers Red too. After Fractal Design sent me the ARC XL and Newton R3 I went a head and did a YT overview video of both parts: ARC XL: http://youtu.be/bzGAMteuLy0?list=UUX999d2_gJqRyiFj1AsLnPA Newton R3: http://youtu.be/SqGDE08EZRk?list=UUX999d2_gJqRyiFj1AsLnPA I did a live unboxing of the R9 290x on twitch and it was uploaded to my youtube channel as well. I'm planning on uploading an overview video onto my youtube channel of the build once all the mods are completed, hopefully by next week Tuesday / Wednesday. Updates will be posted frequently. Here are the current parts before adding any modifications: If you have any questions, suggestions or wanna just talk shop please let me know!
  11. Hey guys! A while back I had great talk with the guys from Fractal Design and we agreed to start a mod together! They sent over the Define R2 XL, which for it's low-price is an absolutely fantastic case, even without modding! First of all I'd like to thank the sponsors of this project, before we move on to the modding. Fractal Design, Noiseblocker and Primochill were kind enough to come on board for the build and I can't thank them enough! Without them, this project wouldn't be the same! Fractal supplied the chassis, Noiseblocker sent over an army of E-Loop fans, because why run anything other than the most gorgeous fan in production? :) And Primochill are going to be supplying the watercooling goodies that will keep this beast cool! Here's the final concept for the build (The Primochill D5 CTR Phase II reservoir will be on the back wall) Hardware list: Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme - x79Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-3930K Processor (12M Cache, up to 3.80 GHz)Graphics card(s): KFA2 GTX770 LTD OC "White Edition" Memory: GSkill Ripjaws Z, 32GB @2133MHzPower Supply: EVGA NEX 1500W Supernova (got a great deal, don't judge me, plus planning additional GPUs at some point. :D)SSD: Samsung 250GB 2.5-inch 840 EVO SSDStorage drives: Seagate Barracuda, 2TB @7200PM, 64MB CacheSound card: ASUS ROG Xonar Phoebus SoloCooling will be done via: CPU Block: EK Supremacy, LGA 2011Radiators: EK Coolstream PE-360 (x2)Pumps: 2xD5, still undecided on brand, probably EKFittings: Primochill Revolver Rigid Compression fittingsTubes: Primochill PETG 1/2'' OD Hard-tubingReservoir: Primochill D5 enable CTR "Phase II" (more info later)GPU Block: More info laterHere are some of the glory shots of the products they sent me: Fractal Design Define R2 XL: Noiseblocker E-Loop 120mm fans: Here's my small army of E-Loops! :) The package from Primochill will arrive at a later date, but expect some juicy photos of the goodies as well! :) So, without any further delays, lets move on to the mod of the case! :) The entire chassis is gutted out, and replaced with a fresh, new, 2mm thick Aluminium inner-frame which I whipped up a while-back. Dual 360 radiators (can safely fit push-pull with thicker rads) go in the bottom, HDD's will be mounted in the back in a special sheet-metal bracket. Motherboard is rotated 90 degrees to face the top of the chassis, where I've offset it by 60mm to allow ample room to route the cables behind the custom made I/O cover-slash-PSU mount. The front bezel and feet will be replaced with a sheetmetal version of the first and a new plate that will act as a base for the chassis. Both made from 2mm aluminium. (Still not ordered since money, sadly, doesn't grow on trees...) So, after I finalized my plan, I went and gutted the case. The white material inside is actually a 5mm thick PVC sheet which I had in mind to use before I decided to go all out with aluminium. And here is the actual aluminium frame itself: (more on the cubes in a bit) Sorry for the phone pics but my DSLR wasn't with me when I needed it... I'll retake the photos when I get a chance! :) Now, the cubes are something I got from a buddy of mine, Jim Weist from Clockwerk CaseMods. He is such an inspiration and has been very helpful through the entire process. Big shout out goes to him, so definitely go check out his build! Here are the cubes he shipped to me from the US, he actually sells these and they are rock solid! The frame doesn't budge at all! 3/8'' cubes (9.525mm) tapped at all sides for M3! He'll also be hooking me up with a nice custom reservoir (which you might have spotted at the very top of the chassis, over the CPU) I hope you guys liked the way this is starting off. I'll try to keep the updates coming as fast possible and you guys can expect one by the end of this week the new frame will go inside the chassis! :) Cheers bros!
  12. Hey guys, decided to give u some pics on my last HTPC project wich is built ONLY on parts i had laying around at home. so the components aren't new but still working perfect. Only thing purchased was the case wich is a Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 case. (inverted) I got this case because it was the cheapest decent looking case in the store, also had possibility to invert this case pretty easily and do some minor tweaking for a sleeker look Anyway i will basically let the picture speak for themselves.
  13. Hello to my Mod Zoo friends!! I would first like to thank everyone for following my last project, Grey Matter! I loved the support and kind words from everyone, it really motivated me throughout the build process. I always couldn't wait to post here to show you guys what I got done, thanks so much! The build is currently entered in the 2013 Cooler Master Contest, wish me luck!! I am trying to keep the ball rolling right into this next build, Black Frost, a Fractal Design Refine R4 case mod! I was originally planning a different mod, but I won this Refine R4 case in a case review giveaway here at the Mod Zoo. I will be posting a review here on the forums under the Fractal Design thread if you are interested in my opinion, the review will be up soon! The case was really nice so I decided not to waste any time and get on it! Thumbs up to Fractal on making a solid case! I am attempting to do something different and make this build a little bit more open concept and the goal is to have everything as neat as possible. Most systems are completely shrouded and the slack from the wires is smashed in a box basically. I want to have everything cut to exact lengths and attempt to minimize all slack. I am going with a black and white color scheme with chrome accents to cut down on full fledged paint job and keep this build clean. Remember to reference this first post for easy links to all the updates on this project! Update 1 : 2/3/2014 : Case Fabrication Update 2 : 2/10/2014 : Interior Panels and Bezel Work PC Components : *TBA - To Be Announced [] CPU : TBA [] MoBo : TBA [] RAM : TBA [] GPU : TBA [] PSU : eVGA 650W SuperNOVA [] SSD : Samsung Evo [] OPT : TBA (possibly none) [x] Case : Fractal Design Refine R4 Water Cooling : [] TBA Key Mods : <> Open concept. <> Chrome copper tubing. <> Solid PSU wires cut to length. <> Hand made acrylic reservoir, possibly another style waterfall. <> More TBA. I am proud and honored to already have picked up a sponsor for this build: Huge thanks to Casefeet.com. They have some super beast mode case feet! I am really happy and excited to have them on board! Checkout the site by clicking the logo! This post will be updated with more information as the build goes on. With all that taken care of, on to the first update! First things first the base of this creation! The Pearl Black Fractal design Refine R4! Here are some photos of the case, taking it to a blank canvas. The blank canvas!:clap: Measured lines to cut the bottom metal out for better air flow for my floor mount radiator Ill be installing. Unpacked these goodies from Casefeet.com! They came thoroughly wrapped and protected! I picked up some 1.5" ID O-rings from McMaster Carr on my way home from work the other day and rolled them onto the case feet into the milled grooved for the black stripe effect. There are other ways to make the effect its up to your imagination! I am still plotting the exact placement for them, I will decide when I cut out the bottom panel. These are the 24" x 36" sheets of acrylic for the build, also from McMaster Carr. ( I love living 20 minutes from there! :D ) I will most likely have to get more but I am starting with two sheets of each color. I started making the cuts to create the floor inside the case. I like working with a flat even floor from the start. It makes for good panel mounting and a nice clean look. I made some 1/2" strips for the floor supports. Then Ill be cementing them to the floor panel after i make my radiator cuts and drill my holes for the panel standoffs. One of my favorite tools here for making precise marks to mount my fence when making router cuts! Every mark its right on the money at all times! Test Fitting of the floor panel resting on its support strips. I had some left over U-channel molding from MNPCtech.com from my last build so I put it to use. I covered it with Rustoleums version of plastic-dip so I could make it white. Then I trimmed out the front area where Ill be making a 240mm radiator mount. Here is a final shot of where I am sitting now, and a shot showing how the PSU will be oriented, and I set in a spare radiator for perspective. The build will actually be using a 240mm rad in that location. Well that is where I left off last night. I would of liked to been further along but I had another little side project and was busy with the holidays. this build may move a little slower at first because I am currently saving money to buy a nice CNC when I get my taxes back. Once I get that, this build will take off and Ill be taking my modding to the next level! I am super stoked for that! Thanks for checking out the build log thus far, stay tuned there is much more to come!!
  14. Table of Contents (Note: I'll be using the original post dates to allow you to get a better impression of the build's progress.) 01. - 2013-APR-30: Why Dremel When You Can Drill? 02. - 2013-MAY-01: Progress On Back Panel - First Fitting 03. - 2013-MAY-06: The PSU Mount 04. - 2013-MAY-20: Modding/Sleeving the PSU & The HDD Tower 05. - 2013-MAY-21: PSU Sleeving - Continued 06. - 2013-MAY-22: Making a Custom Fan Controller 07. - 2013-MAY-29: Fan Controller & PSU Finished 08. - 2013-MAY-29: Back Panel - Progress 09. - 2013-MAY-30: Reservoir Modding 10. - 2013-JUN-23: Complete (For Now) 11. - 2013-OCT-20: Small Addendum On the Aquainlet Reservoir Prologue Hello everyone! suggested I join this place and post some of my work, and he tends to give some good advice in my experience, so I thought I better follow it (we share a crippling addiction to copper). I have also been following MNPCTech on Youtube for quite a while. And what better way to introduce myself than a build log.... :D This is a build I did in spring 2013. Its eventual purpose will be to serve as our HTPC, a file and media server and it will do some computing for BOINC. Until my other build is up and running, it is currently serving as my personal rig though. Some of you may be familiar with it. The basic concept: Replace the back panel of the R4 with a custom one in order to fit a 360 radiator back there (couldn't do it in the front: HDDs). Also, the PSU has been relocated to the front. The End Result I hope this image size works for you guys, otherwise please let me know and I can switch to a different resolution. (click image for full res) The Name Zwieback Exceeding Useful Specifications. Because: Why not? Zwieback is a hilarious word IMO, and in English doubly so (I don't know why I think that, I just do.) I have been naming my rigs after Greek deities ever since I played the original Deus Ex (still love that game). I also might have a slight weakness for Greek mythology in general... Main PC Guts M/B: MSI Z77A-GD65CPU: Intel i7 2600kRAM: TBDGPU: OnboardSSD: Intel 335 60 GBHDD's: 4 x WD RE4 2 TBHDD's: 3 x WD Red 3 TBPSU: BeQuiet 550 WCase: Fractal Design R4 w/ window side panelW/C PartsCPU Block: EK Supreme HF Acetal/CopperPump: Aquacomputer Aquastream StandardRes: Aquacomputer Aquainlet blue anodizedRad Fans: 3 x SP120 quietRadiator: Alphacool NexXxos UT60 360 mmAlright then, let's get to it! :)
  15. Hey everyone. First off I have no experience with doing case modeling/renderings or any of that. And unfortunately I don't have time right now to sit down and learn. One of these days I will get to it though. Now to the reason for the post. If someone that can do renderings has some time I'd really appreciate some help if possible. I'd like to do a rendering of a Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 with a full mesh front panel that matches the top panel. And if possible one in White with green mesh, and another green with white mesh. The green I'm going for would be as close to Mayhem's X1 UV Emerald Green. If no one has the time to mess with it I understand, I'll just have to come back to the idea at a later date. But if someone can mess with it please let me know, I'd be really grateful.
  16. Definition: Server After going to the Midwest Modders Meetup a few weeks ago, I got bitten by the modding bug again. I finally decided to get around to moving my fileserver duties away from my dual socket 604 Xeon motherboard, and onto something a little less power hungry. I wanted to get it as small as I could, but still accommodating the pair of 4-bay hotswap cages I have had for several months (was slowly buying parts to redo the server). Seeing as how my woodworking skills are probably better than my case modding skills, I was thinking about doing another wood build for the server. But then I decided that having a wood server would get heavy in a hurry. I also knew that I wouldn't be able to build it any smaller than a mATX case I could buy. So, I started hunting for suitable cases. I thought about going with a standard ATX mid tower, with 6+ 5.25" bays I could just mount the drives in, but I wanted to go with a mATX board at largest for this, so there would have been too much wasted space in that. Then I started looking at the mATX towers. Ended up settling on either the Fractal Design Define Mini, or the Arc Mini. They're the same layout, just different panels and front bezel. I ended up deciding on the Define Mini. I like the front door, and how it will hide the hotswap bays, and the activity lights associated with it. When MicroCenter had a sale on all cases, I went down there and picked one up, and got to work. I wasn't very good with taking pictures of the case before, I was too excited to tear it apart and get to work. I will be putting the hotswap bays in the front where the 120mm fans were, and where the doors that covered them used to be. In order to pull this off, I had to widen the openings by about 1/16" or so (it was too tight at the top and bottom). Again, not so good with the pictures, but I assure you, it was just a bunch of filing plastic. Eventually the two bays would fit in the opening. Then I turned my attention to the side panel. I wanted to put a window in it because 1.) I hadn't done a window mod yet, and 2.) Why not? Started the slow process of removing the Fractal Design sound deadening foam, stuff. It wasn't quick, but it did work. All in all, it wasn't too bad. I mean, wasn't easy, but not too bad. I used my pocket knife to slowly separate the foam from the side panel, while pulling the foam away. A word of advise for anyone attempting to do this in the future. Don't try to fold the foam back over itself while pulling it off. It'll just break the foam (it's dense) and then peel off the fabric backing. Instead, pull up and away. This sounds counter intuitive, but it helps lift the foam off the panel while not breaking the foam. Using the knife helps release the adhesive. In the last picture, you can see I left a few scratches at first, until I got the hang of it. The long scuffs show where I was running the knife along the edge where the foam was still stuck to the panel. After that, it was time to do something about the front of the case. These 120mm fan openings aren't large enough for a 5.25" device. So I marked it out as best I could, from the front bezel I already widened. I also laid out where I wanted to make the window on the side panel. At this point, it was time to make some cuts. Only issue I had, however, is that I live in an apartment, with no garage of my own. And my dremel and jigsaw are at my parents' house (not that far away, but still an issue). So I would have to wait until I got a chance to get there. Enter Bill, at MNPCTech. I was asking some "how best to" questions regarding the bulge from the fan mount in the panel, when he invited me down to help me out. So I took the opportunity during a break in the snow storm to head down there and get this stuff done. He gave me some pointers, and helped me cut the window out of the panel. The radii I had laid out pushed the limits of the jigsaw blades abilities, but Bill made it happen. Note to self: gold dollar coins aren't a large enough radius for a jig saw. While Bill was helping file the edges of the window, I set about cutting the front of the case. Another note to self, make sure to start with the dremel cut on the end that allows me to cut on the right hand side of my line. I didn't, and as a result couldn't see the line next to the blade while I was cutting. It's ok, though, as it worked out alright, and was still pretty straight. It also didn't matter too much, since it wouldn't be seen anyway. Filed it down, and test fit the hot swap bays. All was good. Then we installed the window with some U-Channel, and 4010 tape. I was too focused on what we were doing, and "in the moment" that I didn't take any pictures of the process. But here are the pictures after getting the case home Test fitting the hotswap bays: I must say, they do look pretty good up front, too. The reason for the size and location of the window, is because I didn't feel the need to have the window show the sides of the hot swap bays (pretty boring, really), and no real point in showing the side of the power supply, or the cables coming off of it either. So this window will do what I want nicely. And I will even be using the fan acoustic covers that came in the 2 fan holes from Fractal Design. I'm going to use them to support the hot swap bays. Being foam, it should help reduce vibrations to the bottom of the case, and also brings the back of the bays up to the same height as the front of the case. They're not attached to the case yet, just sitting there at the moment. I understand I typed quite a bit, so if you made it this far, thanks for checking it out. Hope to have another update, with more progress, soon. Thanks again, Bill, for giving me some pointers and helping me out.
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