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-   -   Time Sync. (https://forum.overclock3d.net/showthread.php?t=89670)

AlienALX 29-08-18 01:20 PM

Time Sync.

In all senses.

OK so I have not raised a screwdriver to a PC in anger for over a year. I have also not bought a single PC component for the same length of time.

Those of you who know me will know I have four rigs. Old skool (2004 AW A51) Dianoga (2006 A51 ALX) Riff Tamson (2008 A51 ALX) and "The Triad" (2014 A51).

Now as you guys know I have a 14 core CPU (Intel BE) on a MSI X99 board with 16gb ram etc. My Titan XP is under water, and the CPU is cooled by a 120mm basic AIO. Now this was fine until recently, when I noticed a few apps taking advantage of the cores. Then? it started getting very angry and very hot. Given this is not going to get better in the future (only worse) I was kind of at a brick wall when it comes to modding. There is absolutely no way at all I can possibly fit another loop in the rig, nor plumb the CPU into the existing one for the GPU (which I would not do either as it wouldn't be enough) and so that means I need to move into a "new" or "bigger" case in order to fit more water cooling.

Once upon a time this case looked like this.


Once, many moons ago. I hot wired it to get it to run on a standard PSU, which it still does thankfully.

Now? the idea is to take it down into every part, cut, grind and drill to gut it to a shell, then build into it after having it painted or powder coated.

Now obviously I need to be realistic here. This is not a overnight or one week mod. There are at least 50 parts to this case and I have never gone that deep into it before. I am not fooling myself that this will happen quickly, especially as I want the inner shell painted or powder coated black. This is serious, serious, once in a lifetime amount of work.

Thankfully these came up cheap.


So I will not have to buy a new PSU. I can simply hide all of the blue cables :)

More to come as and when.

Dicehunter 29-08-18 02:17 PM

You could always have an external rad/pump/res for the CPU, Make 2 hose holes at the rear of the case and have a HUGE radiator.

Just an idea :)

Something like the Alphacool Eiswand -

AlienALX 29-08-18 03:02 PM

"Where we're going we don't need roads".

I'm all sorted dude, apart from the fans. I will order them once it has been gutted and I know how many I will need. For now I got a pump and top.

18w DDC, capable of pushing the entire loop with cooling.


A nice plain top to go with my BP res.


And everything else apart from the fans. I want plain black fans, no LEDs at all (the case does that itself and I don't want any clashes).


I already have -

The same rad running on the GPU. I will be putting one in the roof, one in the front (once it's been all cut out and emptied). I already have lots of red and black BP fittings, but just to make sure I will have more than I need I am going to tear down the old skool rig because I don't use it. It has lots of the same red fittings in. I also have a AC Poweradjust (with the software license) as well as an AC splitty for fans and pumps and etc. I have lots of gear to throw at this tbh.

I am now going to strip as much as I can and see how that goes. I need to start planning on drilling out all of the rivets etc.

AlienALX 29-08-18 03:54 PM

This thing is so complex it is utterly terrifying. I will be lucky if it ever works again lol.

So I started work. As you can see I am labelling everything. I will need to, there is plenty of it ffs.


Just the basic wiring, old floor and two side panels removed.


What I am dealing with, and this is just scratching the surface FFS.


The control board, it is as big as an ITX board only longer.


People have often said to me over the years that Alienware are a rip off, and you get conned. OK, this case did cost about 800 over the price of any other rig but let me explain why. You see this black plastic cage I have removed here?


This is how many screws hold it on.


Now look at the HDD sliders.


There are eight screws holding each one on. There are 6 bays.. This is gonna take a while...

Seriously though, this will be the hardest mod I have ever done, ever. By the time I had this out I almost wanted to cry.


And the ever growing mound.. I'ma need a bloody big old box !


And the front finally off. The ribbon is hanging out, I will need to fix that.


Bartacus 29-08-18 03:57 PM

I hope you're labeling those piles of screws bud, LOL! You are a serious sadomasochist! Most of use would have just dropped some quid on a cheap ATX case to tear apart, YOU have to go Alienware, LOL! Those are some mind-blindingly-intricate internals! Love that you're doing it though, can't wait to see it all come together, over time of course. :)

AlienALX 29-08-18 04:16 PM


Originally Posted by Bartacus (Post 990691)
I hope you're labeling those piles of screws bud, LOL! You are a serious sadomasochist! Most of use would have just dropped some quid on a cheap ATX case to tear apart, YOU have to go Alienware, LOL! Those are some mind-blindingly-intricate internals! Love that you're doing it though, can't wait to see it all come together, over time of course. :)

Seriously it is truly terrifying. I just removed the front IO and power switch, that took me about 30 mins. The Esata cable broke, but it wasn't connected to anything any way. I guess I tucked that years ago and forgot about it lmao.

Progress is very slow, given I am labelling everything. I do not know if I will reinstate the hard drives as they were, or, just hide a couple somewhere. We'll see. The front IO needs serious work though, and needs all new wires soldering to it really. They will also need braiding, which is basically a whole day just doing that. I don't mind too much though, it will be worth it. I just pray that when time comes to move it you can still lift it, as it's 40kg empty.

I should be able to drill out the bays tomorrow. I am trying to take it slow, and not rush it.

Bartacus 29-08-18 04:57 PM

P.S. I love how the build name is just dripping with irony. Time sink indeed, LOL!

AlienALX 29-08-18 05:24 PM

haha yeah. I was under no illusions, tbh. It took me around 40 hours to build it for my ex, and that was just working with the case.

This is another hour or so in. I am finally getting my head around it. Thing is? no manual, so removing the two lower panels from the case with the RGB in was a real nightmare.


It's everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. All over the desk in the pic, all over the floor, and half of the wiring is still in it.

It has two blower fans for the HDD bays I didn't even know it had lmao. Oh, and when I took the bottom panels off they took a 9 year old dust bunny crap all over my carpet, as well as me realising that I had a water leak and there was red coolant everywhere.

AlienALX 29-08-18 08:54 PM

Well I had a bit of a result. The hard drive cages are only held in with four screws each, the other four are for the mech and you don't remove them. The nice thing is I don't have to put them all back in, which I probably won't. The days of me needing 6 hard drive cages are long gone.

I drew a pattern and numbered each drive on the pic, then numbered each cage and removed them. If they go back they need to go back in the same order, as they are each different (cable lengths, where they route etc).

After a whole load more faff trying to remove the back plastic cover/IO lights I got that out (it just fell off ffs after hours of trying to figure it out) and I now have a raw shell.

Couple of things are becoming apparent. If I want it powdered I would need to de-rivet the entire thing and then pray I can remember how it all goes back (not going to happen) or I can arse-spray it and it will look like total poop, or, I can paint it by hand. I know that doesn't sound very good but it is the best option, if I ever want it back together in one piece. I think I am going to use a hammered finish so that you don't see any brush marks, like this.


Regardless of that I still need to do a crap ton of metal work first, so I can think more about that later. Next step is getting out all of the crap I don't want, then giving it a bath.

Warchild 30-08-18 09:35 AM

Buy an airbrush and compressor and use some enamel paint. Slow but great finish.

And since you have it apart. I would also spray that repulsive chassis light grey. Best time to do it is now.


Make sure you use a decoupler for that pump. if you plan to have it hidden, I highly recommend a shoggy sandwich. Regardless of pump speed, anything over 40% pwm and it will whine. It still trumps the D5 pump in my opinion but for noise, its not the best. 22 PSI max pressure with around 5GPM though, means it can handle almost anything you throw at it.

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