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-   -   ZEUS (Fractal R4 | blue/black | internal UT60 Rad) - by alpenwasser (https://forum.overclock3d.net/showthread.php?t=52715)

alpenwasser 23-04-13 03:40 PM

[COMPLETE] ZEUS (Fractal R4 | blue/black | internal UT60 Rad) - by alpenwasser

Table of Contents
  1. 2013-APR-24: Drilling: The Insane Alternative to Dremelling (Starting the New Back Panel)
  2. 2013-APR-29: Back Panel - First Test Fit
  3. 2013-MAY-06: The PSU Mount
  4. 2013-MAY-20: PSU Sleeving/Modding & HDD Tower
  5. 2013-MAY-21: PSU Sleeving - Continued
  6. 2013-MAY-22: Making a Custom Fan Controller
  7. 2013-MAY-29: Fan Controller & PSU Finished
  8. 2013-MAY-29: Back Panel Progress
  9. 2013-MAY-30: Reservoir Modding
  10. 2013-JUN-23: Complete! (For Now)


For those few who have actually read the entire introductory novella for HELIOS, don't worry,
this won't be nearly as long ;).

The purpose of this rig will be to serve as our new server/HTPC and possibly do some BOINC
computing. It will be placed in our living room in a sideboard, which is why it's not in a bigger

The Name

Zwieback Exceeding Useful Specifications.

Because: Why not? Zwieback is a hilarious word, and in English doubly so :lol:
(I don't know why I think that, I just do.)

Main PC Guts
  • M/B: MSI Z77A-GD65
  • CPU: Intel i7 2600k
  • RAM: TBD
  • GPU: Onboard
  • SSD: Intel 335 60 GB
  • HDD's: 4 x WD RE4 2 TB
  • HDD's: 3 x WD Red 3 TB
  • PSU: BeQuiet 550 W
  • Case: Fractal Design R4 w/ window side panel

One thing missing here is a dedicated audio card. I will be running the optical SPDIF
from the M/B to a Denon AVR-4308. The rig will mainly be used for watching movies,
so it does not require the best of the best with regards to audio. If sound quality does
indeed prove to be lacking (my dad is quite the audiophile, so he will surely inform me
of that), I can always add it later, using a flexible PCI-E riser card (see below for why
that would be necessary).

W/C Parts
  • CPU Block: EK Supreme HF Acetal/Copper
  • Pump: Aquacomputer Aquastream Standard
  • Res: Aquacomputer Aquainlet blue anodized
  • Rad Fans: 3 x SP120 quiet
  • Radiator: Alphacool NexXxos UT60 360 mm


The R4 is quite a roomy case and would have ample room for an internal 360 radiator in
60 mm thickness with some minor modifications to the front. However, since seven
HDD's take up quite a bit of room, that's not an option.

Therefore, I will be replacing the entire back side of the case with a custom panel
modded to fit the radiator (next to the back I/O panel). Since I won't need any add-on
cards, besides possibly an audio card (see above), this should work nicely.


As with HELIOS, I will be hosting the pics on my server, hyperlinking each picture
in my posts to its full resolution version.

To get a custom resolution, for whichever reason, use:


Where w000 and h000 are the desired width and height in pixels (you do need
the preceeding "h" and/or "w" though). It's sufficient to use one of the two. If
you use both, the image will be resized proportionally and the pixel values given
will be treated as maxima.

Tripp 23-04-13 03:50 PM

nice man didnt think you would be starting another project, so soon i look forward to seeing how this turns out

The Orange One 23-04-13 03:52 PM

Looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

alpenwasser 23-04-13 04:01 PM


Originally Posted by Tripp (Post 635955)
nice man didnt think you would be starting another project, so soon i look forward to seeing how this turns out

Haha, yeah I will actually be doing three builds more or less concurrently. However, this one
and the third one will either mostly be parts which I have cannibalized from my previous ZEUS
(see the HELIOS log for a few shots of that) or for which my dad has paid. After all, this one
will be a machine for all residents of our apartment (I paid for the HDD's and the W/C for the
most part though), and the third PC will be dad's new office machine.

So I'm not swimming in money or anything, it's just a general upgrading of our apartment's
IT infrastructure, hence everything more or less at the same time.


Originally Posted by The Orange One (Post 635957)
Looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

Thanks! :)

pcjunkie429 23-04-13 07:15 PM

Subbed. The rear-mounted 360 rad mod sounds interesting. Can't wait to see how this turns out. :notworthy: :lol: :boink:

Cheers, AW. :beerchug: :downit:

UkGouki 23-04-13 07:54 PM

subbed looking forward to the pics and the inevitable updates of awesome hardware :D

Volume 23-04-13 08:15 PM

I'm looking forward to this! Subbed

alpenwasser 23-04-13 10:58 PM

Starting the New Back Panel: Drilling for Insanity
Starting the New Back Panel

The Case

I'm sure all of you have seen an R4 before, so I won't be posting pics of it in its stock form.
Here it is after removal of the back panel.


The Back Panel

The old back panel out of its natural habitat.



A few rivets had to be sacrificed for the greater good :)


Paint Jobs

Ah yes, the happy coincidence of this build :)
The new back panel will be made from the Caselabs SMH10's bottom plate. I have replaced
the stock bottom plate in my SMH10 for HELIOS with a meshed version, so this one is no
longer needed. It has the perfect width for this and is high enough (the unneeded height will
be cut off, naturally).

Besides the good dimensional fit, the Caselabs bottom panel also has a very nice powdercoat
job that matches the R4's very nicely. Not that this will ever be seen (placed in a sideboard),
but it's still nice to have this matching.



As mentioned above, perfect width.



Low adhesion tape. Sadly it is not available here in a wider version, but this will do nicely.



Starting the tape job at the edges.



And the corners.


First Tape Layer

The first tape layer completed. Over this will come a second layer since this one alone does
not provide very good protection against mechanical damage during drilling work.


Second Tape Layer

The second layer serves as the main protection from mechanical damage.


Radiator - Corner Bolts

First I drilled the corner holes for bolting the radiator to the panel.


Mesh Pattern

Here it is: The masochist inside me has spoken :lol:
Instead of going the usual route of just dremelling (or jig-sawing) out the opening for the radiator,
I've decided to go a different path and "simply" make the relevant part of the new panel into
mesh by drilling lots and lots and lots and lots of wholes. :crazy:

I made a pattern which I printed onto sheets of paper and then taped onto the panel. This
served as a reference for drilling the wholes.

For those interested: Pattern Link (pdf)

For different spacings you can easily scale the pdf up or down.

Anyway, on to the work:



Since the radiator is longer than a sheet of A4, I needed to compose the pattern from several
sheets of paper (well, two).


Red Zone

The red zone denotes where I should not drill :lol:


Drilling - Start

I soon realized that I would have to overlay the entire paper with a protective sheet of adhesive
tape. It just tore up too easily. Should have used adhesive paper.


Nooo! :cussing:

Right before the finishing line of phase 1, the drill bit broke! Aaargh!


Phase 1 Complete

After about four hours of drilling (ouch, my wrist :( ):


Phase 1 Complete - Naked

And without the tape. Clearly I have made some mistakes, but it's not screwed up too badly.
Since nobody will ever get to see this anyway once the rig is in service, it doesn't matter
that much if it's not perfect (although my pride would certainly have liked that :lol: ).

I have not yet counted the wholes. The bigger and smaller wholes are from where I had to
improvise due to the best suited drill bit breaking.


What's Next
  • Making the entire mesh to the correct hole size and fixing mistakes where possible.
  • Deburring those holes.
  • Painting them black.
  • Making the mounting rails for fixing the new panel to the actual case structure.

That's it for today, I have to go hold my wrist into some warm chamomile solution :lol:

pcjunkie429 23-04-13 11:22 PM

IMO, that would've came out better if you'd just cut the big hole for the rad out, then put some modder's mesh or a rad grill behind it. Like you said, no one will see it anyway, but you still would prefer it to look good. :).

alpenwasser 24-04-13 12:06 AM


Originally Posted by pcjunkie429 (Post 636056)
IMO, that would've came out better if you'd just cut the big hole for the rad out, then put some modder's mesh or a rad grill behind it. Like you said, no one will see it anyway, but you still would prefer it to look good. :).

Haha, but that would have been too easy :lol:

Seriously though, it will look a lot better when it's finished, I promise. Some of the holes will
still be slightly off, but it will be a lot more difficult to tell because they will be painted black
on their edges and their inside surfaces, and the radiator on the other side will also be black.
Also, I will give them a nice cleaning and deburring. At the moment they just really stand out
because of the naked alu and the white background behind the plate.

But I thought I'd post some progress pics along the way to give a better impression of the
working process. After all, it's sort of anticlimactic to just see the end result imho. Besides,
I can always dremel the whole thing out if I'm not happy with the end result, that option has
not gone out the window yet. But I wanted to give this a serious try because I really like the
idea of having the mesh integrated into the panel's structure (that's just the mechanical
engineer inside me :lol: ).

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