Hello Munky,

If you have been having any issue registering, or logging in please email kyle@themodzoo.com.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused!

Welcome to The Mod Zoo

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

Search the Community: Showing results for tags 'the mod zoo'.

More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Pin Board
    • Announcements
    • Giveaways
  • The Mod Zoo Official Podcasts & Weekly Staff Hangout
    • Official Podcast Episodes
    • Questions and Discussion!
    • Weekly Staff Hangout
  • Tech News
    • Latest Tech News
    • 2015 CES Consumer Electronics Show Coverage
    • 2016 CES - Consumer Electronics Show Coverage
    • 2017 CES - Consumer Electronics Show Coverage
  • Project Central
    • The Mod Zoo Staff
    • Featured Projects
    • Member Worklogs
    • Maker or Non-PC Worklogs
  • TMZ Review Central
    • Reviews
  • PimpRig / PCApex Alumni Community
    • PimpRig / PCApex General Discussion
    • PimpRig / PCApex Member Project Logs
    • PimpRig / PCApex Member Project Archives
  • The Picnic Area
    • General Discussion
    • Drawing Board
    • The Water Park
    • Member Reviews and Unboxings
    • The Machine Shop
    • Modding Guides
    • Repair Guides
    • Overclocking
    • Recomended Ebay sellers
    • Comments & Suggestions
  • Food Court
    • The Mod Zoo Gift Shop
    • MNPCTech
    • Smart Computer Store
    • Spotswood Computer Cases
    • !nverse
    • ZOTAC
    • Bitfenix
    • Mayhems
    • Fractal Design
    • CaseLabs
    • EK Waterblocks
    • ModMyMods
    • WATERCOOL Quality Cooling Equipment
  • The Storage Area
    • Phenoptix
    • DazMode
    • Blade Works
    • Lutro0 Customs
    • Mod Zoo iRacing League
    • Ice Dragon Cooling
    • E22

Found 11 results

  1. Log Completed 9-19-17 Welcome, munkys! It's be a grueling few months what with numerous setbacks with projects, and storms, but an EEL abides I guess. Gotta keep on truckin'. I've been tinkering with some things, and decided I'd distract myself temporarily from the big projects I should already be done with but can't seem to quite get there due to temperatures being unbearable, and lack of desire. I guess a good way of describing trying to push yourself against your will to finish a project you don't want to work on: it's kind of like having a bowel-movement -- you can't force it or you'll be in pain. I was able to snag one of the Team Wolf Zhuque "CIY" 87-key decks really cheap, and decided I'd do something with it to make it my own. Out of box, it's a damn fine piece of keyboard for the price, with a few gripes. Let's get to this! These cheaaaaaap decks come in decent packaging... CIY = Change It Yourself! Basically, you can hot-swap new key switches into the deck without having to disassemble and desolder. Perfect as a switch-tester on the go! Inside the box, they even have a layer of vellum paper to further protect the deck inside from dust, critters, or whatever. Nice. Let's get this deck out on the workbench and take a look at things. I've seen uglier! That logo though.... I can't stand excessive badging, to be honest. I like subtlety when it comes to that kind of thing. That logo has gotta go! Not really a fan of Blues, but I guess they could be worse. These are Gaote Blues. Weird round opening on the switch top instead of the usual rectangular box shape of the stem meeting up with the housing. Doesn't matter; they're gone too, haha. Caps are kinda meh too, but I've seen worse. The Cherry-esque stabilizers (stabs) are interesting though. I like how they snap onto the bar instead of having to fiddle with getting the bar inserted prior and pushing the caps on. This makes more sense in an odd way. I was going to replace them with Cherry stabs, but I may just keep them instead. Kinda cool! All caps pulled, and ready to further breakdown... This key in particular is kind of a pain though.... The Windows key. For some reason, the manufactuer decided the backlighting on it will stay on ALL THE TIME, even if you turn off the backlighting (like I do). I don't get it, lol. Easily fixed though. SMD LEDs; surface-mount diodes. If you're careful with your soldering iron, you can get it off with no damage. One of the things I dislike about this deck is the backlighting. I don't understand why a lot of these manufacturers decide that the 'rainbow' backlighting is acceptable. Just....choose a color. One color. That's it! I don't need a couple rows of red, then blue, then yellow, etc. Ugh, ugly! If I really felt like going through the trouble, I'd just desolder all the SMDs and replace with a single color (such as orange or something), but it's not worth it to me. I just rarely ever even look at it with backlighting. Basically, this is a work-station keyboard. In fact, I'm typing this log using it! After removing all the switches using the CIY removal tool, a few screws through the top plate and some in the bottom held the hold thing together. I'm going to make the permanent wire a removable one too. I don't like permanently-attached cables! PCB is held on to the top plate with a few screws... Remove those, and you're ready to screw around with the deck some more. Stabs installed on plate. I contemplated removing these and going Cherry, but I think I'm going to keep them. Have to strip these off though for what I'm doing... There's the offending SMD LED. You gotta GO, dude! ...and bye-bye! Moving on, let's start working on that switch-plate and its offending logo. I just attacked it with my mouse-sander, and was careful not to go too deep. Just enough to get rid of the stamped, raised logo. A few minutes later, it's brand-less! I'm ditching the flip-down plastic feet that a majority of keyboards have in favor of some metal standoffs instead. Just have to drill a couple of holes for them. Hahahaha, yeaaaah..... warranty stickers don't warn people like me off -- it attracts us like flies on munky-poo! After drilling holes for standoffs, sanding down, prepping and spray-painting the bottom of the deck orange (I had it left over and had just enough to finish this piece, so why not?), I decided I'd continue with the theme I decided on.... a weathered, lived-in, fallout-shelter kind of thing. I went back to my method I used on my CMC Field Server project.... ...using a small amount of my favorite india ink mixed with rubbing alcohol, and blotted and rubbed on to give it some 'personality' and grime. I also sprayed the top plate with a mixture of dark-grey etching primer and light misting of some black spray-paint, and already began weathering that up as well. I want it to look and feel like it's seen some action. The less-perfect it is, the more perfect it becomes to me! Starting on the weathering for the base frame... a simple paper-towel works great for this initial step. To give it a more personalized touch, I decided I'd add something on the base since it has such a large area! Heh....I said "large area".... Masking off... ...and ready for spray-job. A couple light passes is all it takes. Doesn't have to be blobbed on! I let that set up for a few mins to give it some 'tack'. ...And peel the mask off carefully. Done! I let it cure for about 15 mins or so before attacking it some more. Always sign your work! Tried-n-true trusty 3M Scotchbrite pads work wonders. And done. Ready for the final weathering pass. Unfortunately, those openings there where the plastic flip-down legs used to be are going to show the white internal plastic frame when it's all put back together. I could technically cover those over and hide it all, but it's really not a big deal. I just don't care that much about it. Just a work keyboard! Airbrushed some additional grime and build-up in some areas to give it some more lived-in feel. ..Same on top plate. Need to finish up with that as well... Not too much needed; just 'enough'. I didn't snap pics of it when I did it as I was preoccupied with other things, but I powder-coated matte-clear sealed/top-coated the top and bottom pieces of the deck. It's now permanently weathered and will be really resilient to any further damage. But the best part of a weathered project is, you can beat on it with a hammer and you won't notice much beyond what you've already done to it, haha. I also snipped the stock USB cable and soldered it to a micro-USB Adafruit port and installed it inside the base of the deck. I had to use the rotary tool and needle-files to create a new recessed area on the back of the deck, and I used some epoxy putty to 'soft-install' it. I let it set for a day and cleaned it up a bit more using files, and finally painted over it with black acrylic paint to 'hide' it a bit more. Ultimately, it doesn't matter much as it's on the back side of the deck. I highly suggest reading this individual's guide. A lot of great info there. I did my own little 'spin' on it but that's a great way of doing it! After re-assembling everything, and doing some other additional touch-ups on screws, etc., I was able to begin popping in new switches. I opted for the new Kailh Speed Coppers since I had a bag of them on launch, and they're SMD-compatible. They're interesting switches for sure. I'm more of a linear dude, but these feel really nice. The shorter actuation takes some getting used to, but they're nice. And that's coming from someone who hates Cherry Browns. That's about it for the log. I installed a keycap set that I snagged from overseas. A cheapy, "Carbon-esque" Cherry-profile set that fit theme to me. Nice caps for the price though. Nice and thick. So without further delay, I present the final pics! FINAL PHOTOS
  2. Our Weekly Hangout with Mod Zoo Munky Staffers, Droug, Bill & Mosquito. We talk about PC hardware and other fun stuff. Don't miss our next hangout by subscribing to our YouTube Channel
  3. Our Weekly Hangout with Mod Zoo Munky Staffers, Droug, Bill & Mosquito. We talk about PC hardware and other fun stuff. Don't miss our next hangout by subscribing to our YouTube Channel
  4. Log Completed 12-31-16 Welcome, munkys! It's been a little while since I've done any projects (last one being LilyPC), and I've been diligently plugging away at the poorly-kept secret project as well as being 'side-tracked' by a new gaming/humor YT channel called "FidnaL4D2?". Hopefully I can finish up a lot of the long-dormant logs that are stinking up my area of the forum here like rotting carrion in the warm, summer FL sun. I'll let that one hang in the air (pun intended) so you can just....think about the mental-image. Moving on. I've decided to distract myself a bit and try to do a homemade mechanical-keyboard deck. Instead of the typical full-deck I'm more of a TKL (tenkeyless) kind of user, but I've decided I'd try to make something a little smaller than that as well. There's a modestly-priced mini mech-deck you can pick up called the Magicforce 68, which comes with Kailh mechanical switches (another MX clone) on it from factory. Not my first choice, to be honest. I'm more of Gateron switch user, so I've decided to pick up just the bare PCB for the keyboard relatively cheap so I can solder on my own switches choice along with my own LED backlight color choice. And to make it even more interesting, I'm making my own custom frame/shell for it. I've decided on wood and acrylic; maple and trans-gray to be specific, with a gray-stain on the wood with clear poly to seal it. Let's get started, shall we? Sexy Gateron reds; linear switches. Generally I tend to use Blacks (or yellows; same weight), but figured I'd try out something a bit lighter this time and see how I feel. A nice bag of 2x3x4mm white LEDs for the switches to light things up. ...And some Costar-style plate-mount stabilizers (or stabs for short). I will have to modify these to work with what I plan to do though. This is what the stock Magicforce 68 deck normally looks like, for comparison: Eh... it's okay I guess. To each their own. The caps are atrocious IMHO, but I didn't even get those with my bare PCB. I plan on giving it more personality specific to my own aesthete's tastes. Spending some time taking care of some design work (and coffee drinking) along with accurate measurements, I've come up with a completely new shell to replace the stock one. I'm not a major fan of the floating keys look (even if my daily driver is a Varmilo 87), so I wanted something with the more 'recessed keys' kind of look. I decided to approach the shell's design utilizing what is referred to as the 'sandwich technique', in which you build up layers of flat material to create 3D structure instead of having two pieces that snap together like any typical keyboard's shell would. What I pictured in my head is a simple, logical shell layering that would allow clearance of the PCB, the keyboard's USB controller, and the switches themselves. Everything will be tied together with recessed screws, threaded inserts, and the top trim will be held on simply with double-sided tape as it's merely for looks. What I'm picturing is a white-glowing frame through the acrylic layer, as well as around the keys themselves (although I probably won't be using backlit caps). PCB is clean and easy to read, unlike many domestic car manuals, or stereo instructions. Here's the game-plan. Breakdown of the layers are all based on measurement requirements for the switch-to-PCB distance as well as spacing to allow custom feet to 'tilt' the deck up a bit as I like my decks with a tilt for typing purposes. Layering goes: Base (6mm wood) Frame (6mm) wood) Switch plate (6mm acrylic) Tie-down frame (3mm acrylic) Top trim (3mm wood) Normally you would use a 1.5mm metal plate for the switches (distanced enough from the PCB; I think it's usually around 2mm or so, but not sure) to allow use of stabilizers, but I didn't have that option here by going completely-custom, however 6mm acrylic will probably be plenty strong. Thankfully the PCB is very sparse so the plate can literally sit against the PCB without issue. The stock USB control-board's wiring was so short due to the stock frame's plug location being on one end, but with the new frame I wanted the USB connector to be in the middle-back, so I had to de-solder and re-solder new, longer wires crimped and reusing the original PCB connector. This is the layer the controller will reside at on the frame... This is how the controller will sit on its layer of the frame... ...And the switch plate layer surrounding the controller. A shot from the back side... Here are some sequential shots of how the deck will build up... Bottom layer with PCB sitting... USB controller layer... Switch plate layer... Frame-tie layer... And finally, the top fascia trim. On the base, I needed to begin by counter-sinking the holes which will allow me to install screws that really short standoffs will screw on to on the inside of the base, which will allow the PCB itself to sit on top of allowing screws from the top to sandwich it in place. Just like that. Doesn't have to be perfect, and it certainly won't be. It's the bottom anyway, heh heh. A short screw pushed through... ...And a thin, nylon washer on it, followed by the standoff. ...And done. After that, I needed to 'mill' out a recessed area to allow clearance of the dip-switches and USB connector itself on the PCB, as the goal was to make the overall height of the completed deck as svelt as possible. I just used some rotary-tool attachments and worked the wood down enough and cleaned it out for a test-run with the PCB. Again, it doesn't need to be perfect as it will be on the inside bottom hidden by the PCB anyway. ...And cleaned up a bit with some sanding. Seems like it'll work fine. Moving on. For the feet, I didn't want to just use some simple, off-the-shelf stereo equipment feet or even a set of the awesome milled keyboard feet I've seen resellers peddling. Not that any of those are bad; quite the contrary. I simply wanted something that fit the aesthetic of the overall mech-deck, so DIY it is. I designed the deck so it would tilt up a bit to angle the deck to an approx. point where I tend to like a keyboard to be angled at. By accomplishing this I designed the feet so they will be a wedge shape to meet the angle of the keyboard itself as it sits on the desk. Here's what I mean. The new feet. I wanted four of them spread across so it would make the deck stable and strong on the desk. I don't beat the hell out of keyboards; at least, not anymore. But I do prefer them to be strong and stable. I mean, who doesn't? Here's how the feet will meet up with the base. Two screws for each foot spread evenly across the base. It will require me to countersink the screws as well so it will clear the PCB, as there is very little room for error in there. ...And angled shot showing how it will (hopefully) work. ...And an extreme side shot showing it in action. I considered adding rubber bushings or something on them as well as the bottom front of the deck, but I use one of those total-desk mats anyway so no real need for it. Hopefully the finished deck will be heavy enough that it won't skate around though. Guess I'll see, and fix the issue when I get there. Alrighty, until the next update, thanks for wasting your time reading this schlop!
  5. Heads up to those not Facebook-driven (and I applaud you!)-- Coming soon to the Mod Zoo Official Gift Shop: Mod Zoo Commie Posters! The Mod Zoo Commie poster is fiery-pressed (to give it texture) via full color 4:0 printing on 100# gloss book paper stock (long lifespan!) and will be available in approx. 24" x 36" to hang on your shop wall, your bedroom wall, your bedroom ceiling (oh come on....you know someone's going to!) your loft wall, or your bathroom wall (the likeliest of scenarios). Both posters are ready to go as well as stickers (both cutout and regular) for launch (to be determined!; no solid date yet so please be patient!), followed by some other thingies to be announced. Stay tuned! The Munky Army is rising!
  6. Bass Instinct

    Bass Instinct Hey Monkey's I'm finally getting going on a new build. I had a false start on a Corsair 250 D But life got in the way and I'm not sure I'm man enough to do the things I want to do in a Mini ITX case. The Victim of my affection is a Lian li PC-V359. This is a Micro ATX case, but I will be using a Mini ATX board so I will have a little extra room for cooling gear and I like the square proportions, compared to the Mini version of this case. The case I ordered was Black with black Pillars. The Case I got was Black with Red Pillars, I kinda liked that model too so I'm going to go with it. Funny in the Lian li literature the red is more of a fire engine red, but this anodized red is a much better tone of red - Sold. One of the interesting things about this Case is that the top and all four sides slide in and out of the corner pillars to give easy access it opens up a myriad of options for modding. I had a huge sheet of thick Deep Red Acrylic so the first thing i did was make a replacement top window. I know there are a million red and black builds out there, but that's because it looks good, I'll just have to find a way to keep it from being boring. MnpcTech sent me out a set of their beautiful case feet. These feet were made for this case and improved the look over the factory feet, which weren't bad. These may end up getting painted in the end, but I'll wait on that decision until I see how all the colors are blending. I tapped the Case so I could spin the feet on and off easier, but they come with hardware for easy mounting to anything. Ok I admit it, I just like tapping threads whenever possible. My love to thick material is a painful affair when you do your work with basic hand tools. I just like the depth the thick materials add to the look, But there is a price to be paid! I cut out my basic shapes with a Jig Saw and Dremel and then refine the shapes with files and sanding. Not the easiest way to do things, but My setup allows me to watch movies while I'm filling away. My Initial plan for the front was to stack Aluminum on top of the Red Acrylic with the Acrylic just sticking out a little further than the aluminum. Ok planning is not one of my strong suits. What I hadn't anticipated was that my thick stack of materials took away the distinctive angles of the corner pillars sticking out further than the case front. The pillars really make the look of this case, so this wasn't going to work. At this point I am dropping the Acrylic layer and I beveled the edges of the Aluminum to match the angles of the pillars. I had cut the Aluminum wider around the window and now that I removed the lower layer I will have to adapt it to match up better. I started adding some bling to the Aluminum sheet. This is closer than the picture shows, but it was hard to align the camera up perfectly. Not bad considering the tools used to do this with. I really want a Scroll Saw, but I don't want to buy a cheap one that I'll end up hating. So until then I'll just keep doing what I do. I continue to refine this piece. I plan to put lite Acrylic on the inside of the case behind The ROG Logo and Mesh behind the volume bars. I think this piece will be painted in the end. Here is a size comparison between the Lian li case and a 250D. I had originally bought 2 - 250 D cases, I build this straight build in a day, Most of that was hiding wires. I was going to Mod the second case and then transfer the kit, But life got in the way and I never pulled the trigger on the Mod. The New case is more inspiring to me and there aren't 500 of them that have already been Modded. Anyway It is so good to be back into a build, This one is just for the pleasure of Modding, No time limit, no pressure Thanks for checking out the build.
  7. Wind of Change

    Wind Of Change No it's not what your thinking! While I was doing my last build, Wifey's computer was hanging on by a thread. Considering she endured my obsession, the least I could do was get her good rig up and running. So the two cases, one working and one to mod. My ulterior motive, is that I have everything I need to check fit and measurements. Once I'm done Modding I will transfer all the hardware to the modded case. Apparently all this stuff fits in this case? I trimmed back just a wee bit from cutting edge components. This rig is still total overkill for what she will be doing with it, But I didn't want a wimpy Build either. Trust me this is a very capable Rig! The Mother Board I chose was the Asus Z87I Deluxe which is a more main stream oriented version on the Asus Impact. It has the stand up riser, which makes things a little more complicated when I install the Corsair H100i that I will be using. I figured if i had a clearance problem that the riser would be an issue, It turned out that the USB ports were actually in the way of the tubing from the Rad. So much for just bolting this together! Actually it turned out to be very simple, by modder standards. I opened up all the mounting holes about an 1/8th" and I was happy again! You can see the small amount I had to move up the holes. Take note that there are multiple holes and I used the upper set and just a little more. I had heard concern that this type of mother board would block radiator air flow? I didn't find it to be a problem with where I mounted it. I mounted the fans to move air into the case to get the coolest air and keep spinning fans away from any wiring. The H100i is the biggest Rad that will fit in this case without some bigger mods. There is plenty of room in the front for a second rad If you did a custom loop. I was hoping to put a 200 mm fan in the front, which the case is setup for, But with the H100i in place it was a no go. It comes with a 140 mm fan in the front which probably moves just as much air. There really Is room to do a good wiring job on this case. You wouldn't know it from the picture above, but that was in the middle. It has 4 drive cages in the back and I used the spare 2 to hide the wiring. This is a great case to do a custom wiring job on, because all the wires are designed for a full size case. When I do the mod, that will be a must do! I always wanted a set of Corsair GT Ram, I think they are one of the coolest looking Ram designs. I hope this GTX 770 is enough to run FaceBook? As is standard these days, all the intakes have filters on them, 4 in total. A guy on another forum told me I should put some intake filters on the Metallica case? OK - Ya I'll do that right away! After coming off a major Mod, I have to say, just what a pleasure it was to build a case in less than a day. I hit the on button and the fans whirred up fairly loud and then it dropped to almost dead silence. Wifey looked at me confused and asked, Thats it? I was rewarded with zero issues and a straight build that I just love. I might have to sneak a play on this when Wifey Isn't looking He He. I'm going to take this build very casually. I just want to build, for the pleasure of building. I am not in any kind of hurry and I'll work on it when I feel Like it. I need to refine my Ideas and start bringing in some materials. This is totally backwards from Unforgiven, where I had all the materials but no hardware. This time I have all the hardware and very little materials. Lol
  8. Welcome to my review of the Fractal Design Node 304 White. Thank you to Fractal Design and The Mod Zoo for the chance to review this case. I'll start by listing the main specs of the case: Type: Mini-ITX, DTX Desktop Case Material: Aluminum / Steel Dimensions: 9.84" x 8.27" x 14.72" (250 x 210 x 374 mm) Cooling: 2x 92mm or 80mm front fans, and 1x 120mm or 140mm rear cooling fan CPU cooling: Towers up to 165mm PSU: Full size ATX up to 140mm in length Now off to the review. Initial thoughts: Opening the box you can tell Fractal Design put thought into every aspect of this case, even the packaging. The box is heavy cardboard and the foam inserts hold the case very snug. If you were to receive a damaged case it would be due to the shipper running it over with a truck. Fit and finish of the case as a whole is very nice, although In have a couple concerns that I will show you in just a minute. The finish on the case is very nice and uniform and construction is very sturdy. The front panel of the Node is very clean and only sports the blue power LED, and a very small and rather discrete Fractal Design logo. It's very minimal and I commend Fractal for this. Off to the right side are 2 USB 3.0 ports as well as the power button. This is the first complaint I had with this case. The entire outside is a very well done white aluminum and steel case, and then you have a plastic power button. My complaint was that it looks slightly out of place having a different texture and a slightly different color that was hard to catch with my camera. It's a minor complaint that will probably not bother most. Moving on to the bottom you have a very easily removed dust filter for the PSU fan. The filter is pretty sturdy and cleans easily. You also have 4 rubber case feet/no slip pads. They leave a small amount of room under the case to allow for adequate air flow to the PSU. Also used as trim around the bottom of the case and at the bottom of the front panel is the same plastic that was used for the power button, while it doesn't bother me in this application because you can't see it I still know it's there. There is also a white LED in the bottom of the front panel (top left of pic) that is used as the HDD activity light. Front panel removal is extremely easy only needing a light pull at the bottom to take it off. It's held in place by 4 pins one in each corner to access the front cooling fan filters and fan screws if you wish to replace them. With the front panel removed you can see the front fan filter. It is removed by pushing the tabs located on both sides toward the center of the filter. And then can be cleaned using air or water. Just make sure it's dry before use. Remove the filter and you have access to the fan screws. As you can see you have the option of 92mm as installed or 80mm as well. Moving to the back of the case you have the power extension plug in. Mounting holes for a rear 140mm factory installed fan or 120mm fan. There are 2 expansion slots for dual slot GPU's. And lastly in the top right corner from the back (or top left from the front) a 3 position fan speed controller. The speeds are low 5v, medium 7v, and high 12v. After removing the top of the case (done by removing the 4 thumb screws on the back and sliding it back and up) You find a little goody bag inside the case with the mother board standoffs, all the screws for the hard drive trays, and SSD mounts, as well as some zip ties to help with the fun task of cable management in such a small case. There is also a little nut driver or something pictured to the right of the plastic bag. While I never found out it's purpose I figured it was to install the standoffs nice and tight, although they did not fit inside of it. So maybe Fractal Design can shed some light on this. With the top off and taking a look inside this is your view. There are 3 hard drive caddy's that will hold up to 6 (2 per caddy) 3.5" or 2.5" hard drives or SSD's. The caddy's are fairly easily removed by removing the 2 thumb screws at the back of the caddy and the single Phillips screw at the front and sliding it slightly back and pulling up. This brings me to my second complaint. I find it a little annoying to need to find a screw driver to remove the drive caddy when everything up to this point has thumb screws. A possible change in the future here could be making a tab that slides under the back edge of the of the case fronts structure. With that said you will still need to have a screw driver to remove drives from the trays. With thr caddy removed you'll notice it has an extremely nice and durable black powder coat finish. Also there are rubber grommets included to keep vibration from those big 3.5" drives down to a minimum. On the back of the case you will find the fan controller tucked up and out of the way. The controller has 3x 3 pin connectors for fans and a single 4 pin molex connector for power. The layout of the case is a little different due to the compact size of the case. The ITX or DTX board goes in the back while the PSU goes in the bottom front for the case under the drive caddy's. Due to this layout there is an extension cable built into the case to get power to the PSU. I have a small gripe about the length of this cable being to long. As you can see even with my plug in being at the front there is still a lot of cable left over to tuck away. They could have taken an inch or two out of it and been fine. But then again they did have to account for an incredibly high amount of hardware options. Continuing with a system build you'll notice that cable management becomes an issue, this is even more apparent in my case due to the lack of a modular PSU. When using a Modular PSU overall length has to be accounted for. With modular PSU's over 140mm in length you may run into interference concerns with the PSU connectors and large GPU's. As you can see in this build due to the use of a very short 650Ti there are no concerns. Also if long GPU's are to be used the drive caddy inline with the GPU's will need to be removed limiting you to 4 Drives. Although not shown in the picture the cables running under the bottom of the GPU are attached to cable tie points that are punched into the case to help cable management. With the CPU cooler installed you can see again not a lot of room. Fractal Design states tower coolers up to 165mm will fit. But as you can see you need to put a bit of thought into that. Because the width will also play a large role in fitment depending on motherboard layout. Also when using AIO coolers you need to pay attention to the radiator size. This in an Antec 620 using a 120mm radiator depending on the design of the end tanks you may run into clearance issues between the end tank and the top of the case. This radiator had that problem, and had to be layed on it's side. But if running a 140mm AIO cooler and running this configuration you may run into clearance concerns between the radiator and the GPU. But that again will depend a little on the mother board layout. Also I would like to see a dust filter on the back of the case. That way if your using an AIO cooler you can get clean filtered cool air from there as well. Using the back fan for an intake would also help to ensure positive case pressure to lower the potential for dust even more. Final thoughts: Overall I would not hesitate to buy this case, or recommend it to a friend looking to down size from a mid tower. Overall finish and quality are good. And although I had some complaints others may not be bothered by the same things. My complaints were not even close to making have second thoughts about the case. Thank you for looking, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them up and I'll answer them as quickly as possible. Thanks again to Fractal Design and The Mod Zoo.
  9. Jesse takes a look at the all new Cooler Master N200 MATX case, available for only $49.99 will it be able to provide the right features? Cooler Master’s latest case offering is a mini tower packed with a lot of punch. Just a quick look at the case and one can see the simplistic approach taken by cooler master here. I’m a big fan of simple cases as they provide for the most usability for any kind of user. Cooler Master was able to add support for a 240mm radiator in the front right out of the box allowing the use of 240mm CPU coolers such as the Corsair H100i. The case comes with two 120mm fans. 1 in the front as intake and 1 in the rear as an exhaust, and if that was not enough for a case this size they also included spots to add a 140mm or a 120mm fan on the top and a 120mm in the side panel. The case allows users to add up-to four 2.5” SSD/HDDs and three 3.5” HDDs, the case also features a 5.25” drive bay for optical drives and fan controllers, and a 3.5” bay for when you are feeling a little “Old School”. You would need to remove the 3.5” bay if you want to place a 240 radiator in the front. If water cooling is not your thing you will be glad to know the case supports air coolers up to 160mm tall, and the front mesh panel with two 120mm fans will ensure airflow over all your components. The case’s interior is designed in a very smart away and maximizes the space and allows the users the option to try out a few unique ways of placing the drives in the case. The case has space for any of the newest and largest graphic cards like the GTX 690, GTX TITAN, and AMD HD 7990 (SLI or CrossFire). The case supports mATX and ITX motherboards allowing for some powerful gaming / LAN setups. Cooler Master N200 dimensions (L) 445 x (H) 378 x (D) 202mm / (L) 17.52 x (H) 14.9 x (W) 7.95 inch Edgy asymmetrical design with full mesh on the front panelMini tower with great expandability that supports up to three 3.5" HDD and four 2.5" SSDSupports a 240mm liquid cooling radiator in the frontSupports high-end graphics cards with a length of up to 355mm/14inchSupports air CPU cooler heights up to 160mm/6.3inchSupports SuperSpeed USB 3.0Removable dust filter under the PSU for easy maintenanceYou can see and read more details on the Cooler Master N200 Product Page Before I get into more details I would like to thank Bill Owen and Cooler Master for the opportunity to review this case. Page 1 of 3 123 → Last » Click here to view the article
  10. Unforgiven - The Metallica Build

    Proudly sponsored by This Is a corporative Build By Mike - Onevoicewild and Sam - Do Until Loopy My original plan was to build a large case, I felt so cramped in my 800D. Dx I can see Confusis rolling his eyes now :o Actually I have a thing for big cases and big fans. Originally I was looking at a Lian Li PC-D8000 with a heavily modified front fascia and interior. This is only important because it will probably determine some of the components that will be used on the Metallica build as two special grills were ordered and paid for before we switched to the Corsair case. Now anyone with any common sense would Mod a case that they could actually get! Lack of common sense has never stopped me before, besides modding Imaginary cases is funner - Ya right Mod your own PC with supplies from Mnpctech! http://www.mnpctech.com Mnpctech also offers 240mm version of the Overkill Nautilus grill, http://mnpctech.com/pc-computer-alphacool-ek-bitspower-hardwarelabs-heatkiller-liquid-cooling/mnpctech-overkill-240-nautilus-fan-and-radiator-grill.html Mnpctech also offers 360mm version of the Overkill Open Ring grill, http://mnpctech.com/pc-computer-alphacool-ek-bitspower-hardwarelabs-heatkiller-liquid-cooling/mnpctech-overkill-360-open-ring-fan-and-radiator-grill.html I want to give a special thanks to MNPCTECH for making some Very special OverKill grills for this build. The plan is to use two 200mm fans and Nautilus grills on the front and a quad ring Overkill grill in the side. To my knowledge this is the first time that Bill has made a 200mm Nautilus or a quad ring grill. I'll get this out of the way now, I am an MNPCTECH fan boy! What can I say I dig this stuff. The Mod Zoo had a new member at that time named Do Until Loopy actual name is Sam in the UK. He had posted to do free 3D rendering so he could get practice on Solid works software. After several days of no one jumping on it I contacted him. After talking we decided to look into doing a render from my basic ideas on the upcoming Corsair 900D. In my naïve view of what this was, I thought he would build a box and stick a couple of grills on it so I could see what it looked like. Wow did I underestimate what Sam could do. He basically built the whole computer, inside and out Including the parts. Most of you have seen some of the pictures. What went on behind the scene was 100 messages sorting out some of my crazy Ideas, a friendship built and my amazement at how much work Sam put into this for someone he didn't even Know. Sam has my total respect. The only thing I can do to pay Sam back it to build our Brain child. Ohh God I gotta build this thing! Sam's brain works like a physician with exact precision, I'm more like a lumber jack with an Ax and a Chain Saw, mixed with the stubbornness of a bull. I do most of my work by hand, Not because it's some sort of higher Art form! That is a bunch of bull. I just have to balance the costs of what new tools I can afford and still be able to buy Parts to use them on, Plus right now I have more time than money. Now lets Get to the good part and let Sam show you some of the renderings and then I'll fill in on the current progress on our Imaginary case.
  11. Win With Mayhems

    Disciples of the Grand Monkey Our good friends at Mayhems have very kindly launched a giveaway in the vendor section Entry is so simple a Dell engineer could do it, check out the awesomeness HERE