My PC - Drake

December 04, 2008 @ 10:56

I thought I’d just document some of the stuff I’ve done to my PC. I built it a little over a year ago and it’s the first proper build I’ve done. It was a mid-range PC then and I did very little by ways of customisation. Since then I’ve played about with the appearance a little and I’m planning on upgrading a large amount of the guts after christmas (when hopefully I’ll be a little less skint)
Apologies if some of the photos are sideways, I need to re-upload them…

gz_x1_black.jpg
This is basically a case modding post, so I don’t think what’s running inside is all that important.
I started off with a cheap, plain, simple case. I was told the case I chose was a bad idea because of airflow, but at the time I didn’t listen. It looked cool and I wanted it. Cue stock image of case:

Ok then, so it was boring. The first thing I did was replace the LEDs in the front panel with red ones (several times to get the right brightness and ones that I didn’t burn out with the soldering iron) I like blue. But I’m of the opinion that Black and Red look good together. I also got some cheap Cold Cathode tubes for the inside of my case, it was a bit pathetic considering you can’t see inside (initially) but still. Red glowing case, where can it go wrong? (looking at the photo, I added the tubes before I changed the LEDs… sorry)

img_0139.jpg
Apologies by the way for the messy room… I think I must have been too busy working… or something…
Anyway, the next thing to do on my list was to make a window like all the cool kids have (heh) I purchased a rotary tool, I ordered some clear acrylic online. When it arrived I butchered my side panel, I taped it all up with masking tape, marked out where I wanted it cut and attacked it. It took far too long and I got through a huge amount of cutting blades but I managed it. It was rough but that was ok, I had some files handy for smoothing everything off when I was done. I stuck it on the PC to have a look roughly how it would look. You can also see the huge Coolermaster Sphere CPU fan I stuck in, mainly for aesthetic purposes…

img_0850.jpg
The rest of the window was pretty boring. I cut out the acrylic a bit bigger than the window itself, I fed C-section rubber piping around the edge of the metal and I used some heavy duty double sided tape to hold it. I also cut a circular hole parallel with the CPU fan and mounted a fan grill I found. The next interesting thing I did was the front panel. I started off thinking that maybe the advice I was given was right, I needed more airflow. This would require a huge hole cut in the front of my case… approximately where my power button and flippy down panel with IO board behind it…
I got my hands on some fibreglass and a new power switch (a nice black/red vandal resistant switch) and I then set about butchering the front panel. First a hole was cut for a 120mm fan to fit, an AC Ryan Radgrillz was bought (I know I don’t have water cooling, but it was precisely the grill I wanted) The panel was removed and the lower section remodelled with fibreglass. The IO panel was fixed to the inside of a 3.25” blanking port (with holes laboriously filed out to the right size and shape) the blanking port was then mounted back on the front and the gaps around the edges filled in with fibreglass resin and sanded flush.

img_0905.jpg
Ok, the final thing left was to paint the front. It took several layers of primer (and several attempts to re-sand the fibreglass smooth, it’s amazing how smooth it can look until you spray it) and then several coats of black gloss paint. When it was all done I was very proud of it. There’s a little I’d still like to do with it, the grills could both be painted black I think, the cathode switch moved to a hidden location and replaced with a card reader (again mounted flush, sanded and sprayed) The cathode tubes I’d like to replace with some custom LED lighting… but for now it’s ready. I’ve recently also replaced my monitors and speakers to be more black and shiny (although both need taking apart and having blue LEDs replaced by red) and I’m in the process of replacing my keyboard with a *shudder* Microsoft Sidewinder X6 (it glows red!)

I find “interesting” case modifications that no longer look like PCs any more fun, but it’s not something for me. I like customisation, but in a way that it’s still obvious it’s a PC. If you want my opinion on the ultimate PC case conversion, have a look at the Vulcanus casemod. Anyone have any opinions or links to their own mods that they think I’d like to see? If so, post below please. I’ll finish off with 2 “completed” photos (it’s a constant work in progress, but halted for the moment) Hopefully soon I can document what I’ve done to my laptop over the last 2 years ;)

PICT0005.jpgimg_0956.jpg