The catalyst for this build
It started when I was going to buy some kit online and saw there was a special offer on the Kraken x60 water cooling set up and thought "yep, okay I'll just tick the box that says "buy".
The Kraken hasn't been around for long and it is an integrated water cooler based around 2 x 140mm fans and a 280mm radiator. It has had some reasonable reviews, but I've seen no reports yet of one in a hack. Fitment in a G5 is not a logical one as though you might be able to front mount it I don't like the idea of exhausting hot air into the case. It certainly won't rear mount, so that leaves top or bottom.
The donor case
In my day to day stuff with the laser hive I end up messing around with a lot of cases, usually doing half a build to see if something fits and then ending up with lots of hacked around cases littering house and workshop.
The case I have decided to do this mod "for me" with is a broken case. It started as one that someone sent to me for me to do a conversion on, but it arrived with the familiar bent leg (thank you white van man).
I tried to bend it back and made a reasonable job of it, but really didn't want to be modding a damaged case for someone else, so I swapped the case out for one I had here and did the customer mod based on a good case - and then kept the damaged one here as one of my guinea pig cases.
The guinea pig case I ripped apart and converted it to do a test fit on one of my ATX kits, and then ripped it apart again. So now it was not just broken, but had a large hole in the back already.
What kind of build?
The impulse buy of the X60 though got me thinking about sticking the radiator on the roof of a G5, so I thought now was the time to try that out on the guinea pig case.
But there was no point in just having a roof mount for a radiator if it wasn't part of a full build was there?
A 280 radiator on the roof seems pointless without the case being able to take a full ATX tray. So it had to be ATX (if only to fill the large hole already in the case back).
I wanted plenty of disk storage, and also needed to do a little development work on my 7 disk hot swap enclosure so using that on this build seemed logical.
My only option with a radiator on the roof and my using the hot swapper is to put the PSU in the G5 PSU case.
I also wanted to keep a DVD drive. The 280 radiator though, wherever I put it, would not give room for a full size DVD, so I decided I'd need a slot loader.
Unfortunately the depth of the radiator and the fans and the whole length of it - even if I put it to the back of the case - would not give room for a slot loader to spit disks from the original DVD area so I needed a re-think on that too.
The final configuration then and now decided on is to put the slot loading DVD at around the top shelf level and, to use the space above it to fit a fan controller. Not just any fan controller though - the Lamptron FC10 with Nixie tube display that Graeme at Kustom PCs had just told me had come into stock after having been a virtual product for months and months. This controller set me back a fair amount, but it just looks so awesome that it almost deserves to have the mod themed around it.
I can hopefully work on having a ATX board, graphics card and processor somewhere along the line (!) - as this build deserves to live. More than that, this case really should have some serious hardware to justify the Kraken cooler.
Next post will be the first case cuts.
Things to decide though (and I really haven't decided yet!) is whether to go black and white, black and silver or conventional. And, as I am prototyping almost everything I do in acrylic, whether to stick with some or all of my acrylic parts or translate everything into aluminium.....