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  1. ---------------------- As I've watched and learned I've gotten a bit braver and planned a second project that's a bit more invasive than the pimping that I gave my personal box. This one is going to involve some serious restructuring of the case itself as well as a theme applied after. More about the theme later. The PC itself is an unknown box that I got. I've outfitted it with some old hardware for my son to do some light gaming on. The inside itself is pretty nasty. There's an old P5K motherboard & 8800 GTX video card in it. Both actually run pretty decently. Also there are some noisy, nasty 80mm fans in there that need to go. The first item I'm tackling is the CPU heatsink fan. This is a budget build that I'm hoping to spend around $150 on, so I'm not looking to run out and pick up much for internal parts. I have an old 80mm to 120mm fan converter in the closet I'm going to see if I can use to change the fan on it. The idea is pretty straightforward. Take the mount for the 80mm and inset it into the converter. Found a set of hand files for $14 the other day - woot! No more clothespin/sandpaper franken-tool for this guy. I also discovered a workbench in my garage. This is going to be a WAY better place to cut plastic than the bezel I cut in the house last time. (Rotary tools & plastic can really stink up the place.) Some light dremeling & filing later and I had some notches in the converter. And the old fan mount slid right into place. Hmm... might want to dust once in a while. Just another shot of the fit from the other side. From there I just clipped out the old 80mm fan. And I think I'm on my way. Then I snugged up the two with some cable ties. Plopped it back onto the heatsink and it's good to go. Re-installed the heatsink on the cpu. And then clipped off the extra plastic. Popped down to the local computer shop and snagged some PWM fans. Didn't notice at the time that I got some rev 1 & rev 2. They're nice cheap fans (about $7 each) and the white will fit with the motif. I did fire up the machine with this new fan in place. It keeps the cpu at a comfortable 45°C to 50°C. Though running Prime95 it still cranks way up to about 80°C. Between that and the 8800 GTX this may be a box to cut my teeth on water cooling at some point. Now to carve out the drive bays. I only have a single HDD in this box and don't need a CD-Rom in it. I have an external if I need to run a disc on it. With the bays gone much of the gutting is done now. Now I can work on building out the framework of the design. Here's a sneak peek at where I'm going with it. I have some pipe for 'creative' cable management. This is just some plumbing pipe with notches in the back. The wires are a little snug right now so I'll need to grab some 24-pin & 6-pin extensions. That's really the first hint to the theme of the box. I won't say yet where I'm going with it. It'll be interesting to see what people guess that I'm doing here.
  2. This project will be driven around the build if a NAS box. Since I'm moving my personal machine to the Downtown mod I want to free up a couple of things. Part of it will be setting up backup and network storage for the family and will also take care of the little web server / email server that I run at home. Since I don't feel like I'm done yet with the model-making style of case mod I'm driving this project that direction as well. Throughout the building of Downtown I researched some different architectural styles and found Gothic & Romanesque to be quite really intriguing. Think: Gothic Library. :)
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