Introduction to my PC build
22 January 2014 Corsair Asus Intel

I’ve built some PCs before but those projects have really been a case of buying the right parts and bolting them together. My current build is going to be a little different though. I want to learn some new skills and produce something practically and hopefully cool.

The parts going into this build are all recycled from old PCs so don’t expect the latest and greatest hardware. The focus of the project is the case mods. Here’s the basic parts going into the build:

All this is currently in another enclosure and running Windows 7. Once this new case is ready the components will be transferred into it. The only new component I might invest in would be a better GPU because the one that’s in there are the moment is fairly rubbish.

Here’s the general plan:

Case Mods

The major work on this build will be based around modding the case. At the very least the case will get some additional fans and an custom acrylic side panel. I’m probably going to do more though and pick a theme for the case. Not sure at the moment what that would be but as I’m no artist it would have to be something which has a large body of work that I can use. I’m not using this but for example I saw a build recently which was based on Half Life 3. The builder used the graphic and artistic design from the game to produce a case that was in keeping with that game. I’m going to try and pick something along the same lines.

Custom Paint

Once the case mods are completed I’m going to fully disassemble the case and respray inside and out. At the moment I don’t know what colour but that decision will be base on the theme that I pick. I’ll have to wait until later on in the year when the weather improves though, as it’s too cold for painting currently.

Watercooling

One of the critical components of the build is the addition of a CPU watercooling loop. I may build in enough capacity to cool a CPU or 2 also but in this initial iteration only the CPU is required. This isn’t a gaming PC (I have a Corsair Air 540 surrounding my gaming rig - such a nice bit of kit) and the current GPU isn’t worth cooling. I havn’t decided on whether to go for a bayres or tubular reservoir yet. That decision will have to wait until I’ve decided on a theme. It will also depend on the theme because watercooling can be quite dramatic if done in keeping with the rest of the case. I’m not building a stealth watercooling rig, this is going to be fairly in your face.

Another thing I’m keen to put in is hard acrylic pipework. I don’t like tubes very much and I like the clean lines of hard pipes. I might avoid the current trend of 90 degree bends and see whether I can come up with something more creative.

Lighting

I’m going to build some custom lighting for the case. I want to create this myself rather than just buying something off the shelf. That’s going to mean lots of soldering, heat shrink and wiring.

Sleeving

All cables within the case are going to be sleeved and where possible custom made to exactly fit the purpose. The colour choice will be critical as will the general look of the cable bundles.

Cable Management

Another aspect I want to focus on is how those neatly sleeved cables are managed. I have this idea for making a feature of the wiring rather than hiding it away. I’m going to find a custom way of routing the cable where I want them and almost turning them into “hard cables”. I don’t want natural curves in the wiring, I want to exactly place the cables and have them stay put.

Dust Management

A feature I’m going to pay close attention to is the management of dust within the case. Filters are going to be used throughout to ensure that the components inside stay dust free. I want to be able to run the PC for long periods of time so it’s important to plan for keeping on top of the dust accumilation.

That’s about it for now. I shall post up ideas, plans, parts and progress as the project unfolds.