January 16, 2012


My current hardware is as follows:
AMD Phenom 2x4 940
Cooler Master heatsink.
2 Radeon 4850 cards (upgrade coming in mail soon- to 6990)
Microsoft Sidewinder x4 keyboard
Gigabyte gm m8000 mouse (with aluminum razer gaming pad)
custom built case, also working on a new case for next major upgrade at the end of the year in which I'll be giving away old hardware except the new graphics card.
3 1TB drives, two from WD, and one from SG
1 external 500GB drive from Cavalry
1 80GB WD drive I use for top secret materials, ultra encrypted and very well hidden, if you don't know how to get to it you'd never know it was there other than obviously physically looking at it.
4GB DDR2 from OCZ
OCZ 900w PSU
Asus 25.5" monitor
Hand Scanner custom built
Brother Printer, monochrome laser, stripped
Linksys wifi card
Asus and Lite On DVD drives

The custom case I'm currently using is a lan party themed one. I used my amazing skills with metal to make a custom sized beer keg, the mobo sits horizontally in the middle along with all other vital hardware, suspended from vibration while also being fixed in place was quite the challenge. Below it is the printer I stripped down and re-engineered to fit and stay in place, with a push to release paper tray and a slot to feed out printed materials. On the side is an attached scanner that can receive and feed paper in then back out to scan, or can be detached to manually scan documents, but because of this obscure nature custom drivers had to be made to ensure smooth scanning, I won't offer any support for it to whoever gets it, it's a novelty item that's given me a lot of headache, and has only been worth it the couple times I've needed to scan a magazine or book and didn't want that distortion by the binding.

It also includes a push to release then partial manual pull up lit that lifts the hardware from the case, above the mobo theres a storage area for all kinds of things and an upside down spindle with spinning hook that sounded good at the time but I now realize how stupid it really was. Once you pull the lid upwards there's 4 short range hydraulic legs that'll hold it in place anywhere you let go, that was quite the feet to make it so it doesn't lower from its own weight even when things are in the tray and not push up either.
The lid as part of the push to release has a twist action to make sure it locks in place for travel, something to make sure and put back when you're done.
Next to the hydralics are green LED lights which automatically come on when the lid is open, but have a switch that can be turned off inside. I used to have colored NOS spray tubes that would go off when it's opened, it had an amazing look, but sadly I wasn't able to get any replacements of the small size I had once they ran out, tubes are still in place, just empty. Case is painted yellow hexagons with red lines.

End of this year: my budget will be for around 3500$ I'll be getting new mobo, cpu, ram, SSD (ocz vertex if it stays on top, the vertex 3 is kicking butt right now.) PSU, heatsink, monitor, and depending on who I give the old hardware to if they prefer their own keyboard and mouse I'll keep what I have or order extras, the mouse has a gold upgrade with a few extra profiles etc that I'd like and the keyboard is the best I've ever had. I'll probably use one of the wifi cards I already have, since I got several rosewill and linksys wifi cards just sitting around

With the new system I'll be having at least 8GB of DDR3, probably fewer drives but larger spaces, a couple 3TB drives and downgrade my 80GB to a 32GB flash drive or two.
new monitor will either be oled 3d larger than 30", and or a projector, may or may not order another card to crossfire, if budget allows I may get a second screen as well because I generally do like dual screen setups though that may prove difficult with the idea I have in mind
if the opportunity arises I may spend a little extra to get a FusionIO drive, hopefully by then it'll be able to run as the root drive and put my OS on there, if not I'll still be getting another SSD
I'll probably grab a decent sound card, the built in ones are always garbage but DFI made one that was sufferable, and if there's change left in the budget I'll go after a video recorder

The custom case will have a control box that uses rg6 cable and BNC connectors to connect to and from the case where all the wires will be mounted appropriately. It'll control power on/off, fan speeds, cmos switch, a multimedia bay for sd cards, extra flash drives, misc. 

It'll be a kind of translucent fiberglass or acrylic depending on which test turns out better, the idea is that from the outside you can't see anything really on the inside till the LED lights are on then it's much clearer in addition to casting shadows. More specifically if you hold PCB up to a light you can see the patterns on the other side, that's what I'm going for, in addition of course to having a different pattern on the outside.
The disc drive will be a slimline autoloading bluray drive, no trays or anything
Liquid cooled with a non conductive specialty fluid, that actually seems a lot like anti-freeze....
The reservoir will be a miniature version of the case and will be on the front panel, the disc loader will be on the side, the whole case is a kind of X shape.
The radiators will likely be 2 Danger Den 3 120mm fan types and be positioned on either side along the bottom.
Not my first trip with liquid cooling but I don't do it often either.
the mobo will likely be laid out diagonally with a sliding tray out, but if not then it'll definitely be horizontal, still with a sliding tray which will likely be hydraulics instead of the standard sliders or balls not only because of the smooth non hitching and quiet action but also because it's less likely to warp or bend under extreme circumstances and I'm thinking similar to the previous case of having everything on a frame that comes out seperate from most of the rest of the case.
There may be a secondary opening using simply clamps and hinges for the diagonal half over the mobo where the pumps will be
I'm also devising a system to keep as much of the cords as I can simply entirely out of the way, I'll likely be doing a lot of cutting and applying my own heat shrink wrapping to a lot of the cords, maybe even some plastic melting depending on how detail oriented I am at the time.
if I can manage, the primary color instead of a grey for your standard translucency I'll try to go for green as the actual material color, on the inside right now I'm thinking I can manipulate a certain kind of LED bar into emitting green from the inside in addition to UV and I could use UV paint on the inside to get the shadow effect I'm going for

I'm not including a scanner or printer or a majority of other junk like last time, but I will likely be trying new extremes. I'm going to try and built storage areas inside for the keyboard, mouse, and pad, and likely have a system to fold out the monitor. The idea is that I can fold the monitor inside the case and have a protective cover over it that can easily be replaced if it gets damaged or dirty so much that it can't be fixed.
Carrying handles on the top

If you have any suggestions, ideas, or questions feel free to ask in the comments, I won't be doing pictures until it's done though, at which time I'll be presenting a project log which includes detailed pictures of every step of the process.


  1. I'd love to do what you're doing atm,
    For my next pc, im definately going to do this.

  2. $3500 will be one hell of a computer. I currently have a Mini-ITX gaming pc, so it's easily portable. The entire case is 13" x 8.66" x 5.12", which is amazing. Inside it I have an i3 550, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 64GB SSD, and a 2GB low profile video card.

  3. @Fortress the hardware budget is probably only around 1.5 to 2k the rest is for the monitor/s / projector/s

    Aiming for oled because of thinness mostly, if that proves too expensive a projector could easily be fitted into the case and a screen rigged appropriately but I'd have to re-design to account for all that extra heat

    of course I could have it seperate like I do now, but the idea was to have an all in one ready to go at a moments notice system, think of it like that line from heat "60 seconds or less" if I needed to I could just pick it up and my burn bag and start running (not that I'd ever have a reason to)

    right now it's just a hassle to unhook the periphs every time then carry them around seperate, with the weight of the case I always have to make two trips

    part of the reason I was thinking fiberglass this time, no static worries, very durable and can hold a lot of weight and weighs almost nothing itself not to mention easier to work with than metal if you take the time to do it right the first time

  4. WOW! fantastic setup you got there. I think we're all jealous! haha

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