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Exorcising my eMachines rig!!

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by imperialreign, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    just grabbed up a case from CompUSA that I'll be starting my build with:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811119129&ATT=11-119-129&CMP=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Cases+(Computer+Cases+-+ATX+Form)-_-Cooler+Master-_-11119129

    grabbed it for $65 in store - so not too bad. I need to look over how I'm wanting to mod in my extra cooling fans my current rig has - I've got 3 60mm and 1 92mm that I'm sure will help this case's cooling even more than what it's capable of.

    Either way, I thought it'd be perfect for my use - not too bad of a deal from a reputable brand.

    Next up - a mobo, GPU cooler and CPU cooler
     
  2. BigJunit New Member

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    That is a nice case, I like the way the front doors open. Not sure about the placement of the PWR and RST buttons though. Would imagin reaching to the top of the case may become a chore over time.

    Still very nie design though and cant argue for the money.
     
  3. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    yeah, I wasn't too sure about the buttons being up top - if I'd like that or not, but my rig sits on the ground, so I figured it'd hopefully be nicer for me instead of having to bend over to turn it on; we'll see . . .

    I'm planning on takin pics as I mod stuff and get the rest of the components together and puttin it all together . . .
     
  4. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    I have a Stacker 830, with the buttons on top. Trust me, you'll love it. So much easier to deal with.
     
  5. theonetruewill New Member

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    Dayum that case is cool.
     
  6. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    Yeah, I saw them at CompUSA. The pictures do them no justice. They really are beautiful cases. Not big enough for my tastes tho. (But I am a bit spoiled in that regard. :roll: )
     
  7. LonGun

    LonGun New Member

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    nice case and congrats on getting rid off the "eSystem" ;)
     
  8. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    it came down to either the CM that I bought, or the Antec 900

    but, the difference in price made up my mind, they wanted $140 for the Antec!

    I prefer big cases, too, but I ain't willing to spend the stupifying prices for a full tower. I only wish my old Gateway server tower was compatible with modern ATX, she stands a good 3 ft off the ground!

    thanks! anything's better than a watered down, semi-idiot-proof Gateway, ain't it :p
     
  9. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    well, I decided to go ahead and get this rgi up-n-runnin instead of waiting around until I can afford a new mobo - sorry, new toy, highly impatient :D

    Anyways, I thought I'd post some pics of this case while I had the opportunity to take some pics. I must say, I'm very much impressed by it, now that everything is all together.

    [​IMG]

    side shot, nice an empty

    [​IMG]

    case front, with the front panel closed

    [​IMG]

    with them open, nice steel mesh trim panel there . . .

    [​IMG]

    rear - even support there for liquid cooling :cool:

    [​IMG]

    top - the power button is really nice - very responsive, and big enough you can find it in the dark!

    Like I said, I'm highly impressed by this case, for how much I spent, and the size of it - mediocre cable management is a breeze, there's a ton of space - installation of components was nice and easy. The front panel is easy to take apart, very study case, even with both side panels off of it. The only gripes I have with the case is that it's fairly heavy for an all aluminum case, the mobo tray is not removable, I'm a little irked by the fact that CM went to the effort to sleeve the USB and Audio cables, but not the power switch or sys LEDs. I'm not 100% thrilled with the HDD, FDD, and OD mounting, as this case uses a plastic "tool-free" methods. I guess I just come from the old-schkool where I prefer to actually have a drives mounted in a solid fashion. Aside from that, it's immensely quiet, even with both front and rear 120mm fans going 100%.

    here's how it's set up for now:

    [​IMG]

    still more to do later - when I replace the mobo, I'm going to sleeve all the LED, PWR switch cables, and fan cables. I plan on drilling the intake and exhaust holes bigger so the fans can move a little more air. I already went and scrapped the CPU duct that comes on the side panel, as is clear I have no need for it; and in it's place I slapped an 80mm fan, and installed a 92mm fan directly underneath that:

    [​IMG]

    I should then be able to get the cable management a bit more under control, and when I finally get away from those damn IDE ribbons . . .

    anyhow, the sys stays much cooler than it did when cramped in that mATX eMachines case; ran F@H CPU and GPU consoles for 15 minutes, after letting 3DM06 run for a good 45 with the GPU clocked up, and I was still a good 3-4C below what it ran before. CPU and mobo won't break 38C under load, and ambient case temps hanging out around 56C. HDD's weigh in at 27C under load.


    $65 well spent, IMHO :D
     
  10. LonGun

    LonGun New Member

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    Yea I agreed. Much improving. Oh and please don't bring the poor eSystem compare with any system (?) on this planet. :p It still have well... a good price and that could be a good (but unsafe) start for novice people or students.
     
  11. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Oh, I can't argue that - the price was the reason I bought one (plus considering that I hadn't had a PC in over 2 years and just needed something to start off with) back in Jan. Cost me $350 for the T5048/E19T5W bundle. Not bad for a decent P4HT CPU on an Intel mobo - but, I gotta get away from it; no user configurability at all.
     
  12. WhiteLotus

    WhiteLotus

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    very nice case, very smart indeed.
     
  13. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    just a little update . . . went ahead and ordered an ASUS P5W-DH Deluxe; all-in-all, I think this board will best suit my needs, and great reviews on it too. I was looking at ASUS' Striker line, but a tid pricy, that and I'd worry about hardware conflicts with nVidia chipsets (I already know my X-Fi doesn't play nice with nVidia hardware). So, this weekend, I plan on picking up a Zalman 9700 from CompUSA, and when the mobo shows up, I'm going to see if I can't OC this friggin P4 until it starts thinking it's a friggin AMD!!

    Anyways, I jumped the gun a bit on my hardware temps . . . with my current setup running 100% all day, I came home to CPU and mobo temps at 45C, not too bad, a bit warm for my tastes, though. Ambient, though was pushing 65C, which I wasn't happy with at all.

    But, bringing the system back down to idle, everything cools down rather quick -soooo, my deduction is that the case can cool quickly, but the stock fans, IMO, aren't pushing enough air to keep the rig as cool as I want under load. So, I went ahead and ordered 2 120mm Evercool fans to replace the stock case fans, rated at 74 CFM, and a Thermaltake PCI slot cooler. From past experience with Evercool fans, they move a ton of air, but they're not by any means silent. Noise don't bother me, though. Hopefully that'll improve sys cooling while under load . . .

    Other projects for this weekend include: rigging up the front panel audio connection to my X-Fi, sleeving the switch and case LED cables, painting the plastic trim on my 3.5" drive black to match the case, drilling the case intake and exhaust holes to a larger diameter, devising some way to rig up my extra 2 60mm Evercool fans . . . planning on keeping busy!
     
  14. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    Not a bad board, just know that it isn't the tops for overclocking. Still very competent at it tho. Very nice feature set as well. The also have great memory performance, just ask Infrared.

    There are some rumors that modded bioses provide much better OC abilities, however. Might be worth looking into.
     
  15. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Mostly, I was pleased with the price, right in my range - everything else that would prob fare better was $300 or better, and most packed an nVidia chipset, and the biggest reasons I'm avoiding that is the ATi GPU and the X-Fi - I HATE hardware conflicts because they're an absolute bitch to get ironed out . . .

    but yeah, I've read some on tweaked BIOSes, I'll defi look into that some more!
     
  16. grunt_408

    grunt_408

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    Hi mate looks like we are building PC at the same time. I went with this board
    Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P.
    Chucked my old gear in this today...http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=38793
     
  17. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    well, the Evercools and the Thermaltake gave me the improvement I wanted - temps before under full load for the CPU, mobo and ambient were 45, 44 and 65C respectively.

    After 6 hours at 100%, CPU, mobo and ambient were 40, 40 and 59C.

    much better, and not as loud as I thought it would be running, I estimate only a few decibels louder than it was before.
     
  18. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    thought I'd make an update here on my rig . . .

    In my quest for the best air cooling I can have for this beast, I decided to fabricate a cooling fan air duct/mount for the front of my case to make use of a couple of 60mm Evercools I had from my old case - this duct draws in cool air from the front panel (which is steel mesh and allows air to flow through) and blows directly onto the CPU and mobo.

    I fashioned this from a coupla of old CD-ROMs I had laying around (besides, who uses x16s anymore?), scrapped the guts and kept the casings.

    So, although this isn't the prettiest fabrication/mod in the world (I'm a stout believer in function over form), here's the finished duct with the fans just itchin' to start spinin':

    [​IMG]

    and here with the top portion of the duct:

    [​IMG]

    here's a shot of the internals through the front of the case (you can clearly see the CPU cooler):

    [​IMG]

    the front of the case with the fan/duct installed:

    [​IMG]

    and the front of the CPU, front panel installed, within everything powered up:

    [​IMG]


    (my rig is starting to sound more and more like a turbine very day!!! :D - actually, this mod doesn't seem to have affected the noise level of the rig at all!!)

    Sooooo . . . wondering how this affected reported temps in my rig? hehe . . . with the CPU being loaded up 100% for the last 3 hours straight, SpeedFan reports CPU: 30C, mobo 31C, and ambient at 44C

    :twitch: . . . . . . . . . . . . :D

    <sniffle> that's so pretty! It just makes me want to cry!! <*sniffle*>
     
  19. grunt_408

    grunt_408

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    Nice work.... The best part is it didnt cost anything!
    You gave me some inspiration for my new rig :)
     
  20. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Well, seeing as how I'm going to be RMAing the mobo, and there's no idea how long my rig will be apart, I guess next weekend I'm going to do a couple of case mods (if I can get my supplies). I'll be painting the interior, prob a metallic purple. And I'm planning on fabricating a window for the side case panel. Not too hard to do, really . . .

    I would just swap the old board in for the time being, but I'm not in the mood for dealing with all the OS tripe that comes along with a massive hardware swap - reactivating windows, possibly having to reinstall the OS, reinstalling all the hardware, swapping the CPU cooler (and wasting good AS5), etc.

    Oh well . . .
     
  21. grunt_408

    grunt_408

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    Aahh well we cant win em all..
    Good luck with the painting.
    What do you use for the edges after cutting holes in your case.
    I cut a hole in the mobo tray for hiding wires in my sidewinder I file off the edges but it needs something put on there to stop it cutting the wires.
    It is raining here ATM so I cant paint the inside of my Sidewinder.
    What happened to your Mobo?:eek:
     
  22. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    meh . . . the temp sensors on the board are faulty. All hardware monitoring is reporting the CPU at 12C at idle, and 22C under load. I prefer to have a better idea of how hot things are, y'know? Not looking forward to RMAing something, and the unknown amount of time until it's back in my hands, but, oh well . . . BTW, have you gotten your HIS back yet?

    If I do decide to fabricate a panel window for my case this upcoming weekend, I'm planning on taking a bunch of pics and making a decent guide out of it - some might find it useful. I might paint the inside of the case, too, depends on my finances are going . . .

    Anyhow, as far as dressing the holes you've cut, there's a few options. Usually, how I deal with cut metal (using a dremel in this instance), you can take a round or egg shaped burr to remove the small shards of metal, and to help round it off - these bits are also good for more precise rounding out and shaping of holes - then, I'll usually take a decent grinding stone bit and go back over it again, helps to smooth everything out even the finish of the cut (although, using a grinding stone on metal will tear up that bit fairly quick). Last, I end up throwing on either a brush bit (type depends on the metal I'm working with), a sanding bit, or a rubberized polisher - it depends on what I'm doing and working with. What you're trying to do is to even and shape the cut so it's not so sharp, and then polish it round - easy way to test if it's smooth enough is to throw on a non-powered latex glove and rub your finger across the edge, if there's still a bur sharp enough to either catch the latex or tear it, it's sharp enough to cut through wire insulation, plus, the latex glove keeps you from having to tear up your own fingers just to check! :) Even after the edge is polished down and all, it's still a smart idea to coat the edge with something. . . I usually use a bit of clear silicone caulk, as it's too thick to run and you can apply a very small bead of it, then spread around by hand as needed, but it can be messy and takes some practice to apply it without making a horrible mess. It takes about 12-24 hours to fully cure, though. Upside, though, if you've made a mess, once it's cured, rubbing on it with just your hand pressure will peel it off.

    Another option, if you don't feel like going to that much effort, would be to pick up some rubber grommets from either an auto parts store or a hardware store. Most auto suppliers carry grommets assortments sized from 1/4" (~6mm) up to 1/2" (~13mm). Hardware stores will carry larger sizes than that. All you need to do from there is to drill a hole the correct size for the grommet - it will usually say on the package what the ID of the hole should be, if not, as a rule of thumb, go about .5-1mm over the ID of the grommet. Then all you need to do is fit the grommet to the hole and you're good to go . . . This is the easiest route, if you haven't already butchered your case too bad.

    Although, if your case is already cut up . . . a handy trick I use in the shop after we've cut something up on a car . . . go to the auto or hardware store and grab yourself some vaccuum hose, usually something fairly small, like 5/32" (~5mm) ID or smaller, take a razor blade, and careefully cut the hose open lengthwise (you're not trying to cut it in half, only in such a way that it can be laid flat - know what I mean?). Once the hose is cut, it will keep it's round, hose-like form, but you can then slide it over the cut metal edge and the hose will keep the metal from cutting things. If you'd like for it to not move around too much, you can run a bead of silicone along the inside of the sliced-open hose, and once the hose has been fit to the metal and the silicone cures, it will help keep the hose from sliding around or sliding back off. You may need to find some way to hold the hose in place until it cures, though.


    Sorry this was long winded, but I hope it helps, man!
     
  23. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Just finished fabricating a window for my cases side panel. Not too bad, I don't think - it turned out decent. No where near the quality of a shelf-bought case or panel, for sure, but not many people can claim they fabricated and installed one themself!

    I'm pleased with it, although there are quite a few spots in the paint that got scratched pretty bad, so I need to try and buff that out with some automotive touch-up paint. It's going to be a pain to re-paint that side panel because of the white rivets that I used (and didn't break the Lexan!!).

    I still need to drill the vent holes for the 92mm fan that was on the side, but I didn't feel like it today - prob this weekend.

    Also for this upcoming weekend: painting the inside of the case!

    (crappy pic, none-the-less; bad lighting :()
    [​IMG]
     
  24. grunt_408

    grunt_408

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    Thanks I will get some grommets.
    My HIS is back from the dead only took three weeks to return to me. They just replaced it.
     
  25. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    I guess 3 weeks ain't to bad - at least they just forked over a new card. Hopefully that replacement HIS will do better this time!

    I'm still waiting on my mobo - been almost 2 weeks now, and still haven't recieved an email or call from ASUS as to its status. Getting antsy, y'know?


    damn, I just took another look at that pic of the fabricated panel window I did, and I sear it makes it look like a haxored job! I've gotta take a different pic with some better lighting!
     

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