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 Post subject: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Alright, decided I'd post my overall build and progress for grins. This is my first time modding any case and while it might be a little bit rough, I'm pleased with the results thus far.

Anyway, I'm modding the Antec 900 case to accept the H100 all in one liquid cooler right below the top 200mm fan. I'm also painting the entire case black. I'm sick of looking into my rig and seeing nasty grey metal.

Here's the stripped case and all the parts.

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Measurement to cut for the 240 rad housing.

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Cutting the metal. I have to say, very fun stuff. Cut metal with metal... makes you feel manly :)

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Preliminary, rough results.

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Test mount.

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Painting the case skeleton. I used #0000 steel wool to sand the entire case and anything accepting paint.

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Painting the peripherals.

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Second coat applied and drying. Painting is complete.

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What's going inside. One of the reasons I'm doing this project is because it was cheaper than my alternative of building a Bulldozer system from the ground up. Several of the parts have been lifted from my other rigs to construct this one. The GPU is a temporary placeholder until I can get the cash for the two 6950's.

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Part list

The New
8 gigs Gskill 1066 RAM
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD (Just arrived today. Yes!)
Corsair H100
2X AMD 6950 (When they arrive)

The Old
CPU: AMD Phenom II 940 3.0 Ghz. (I'm hopeful I can get to 4 with the H100. We'll see)
Mobo: MSI 790XT G45
PSU: Kingwin Mach 1 1000W
HDD: Western Digital Caviar 500GB 7200RPM
Drive: Lite ON DVD multi drive

Day 2 complete. Reassembly and software installation will happen tonight after the paint has dried. Final shots and benches will also be done tonight. Thanks again for checking it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:53 pm 
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MAXIMUM FAIL!!!!!!

I've had a Maximum de-railment on my project here. The mod turned out sweet. The h1000 fits perfectly and is totally hidden and tucked away in the Antec 900. The paint is superb, the semi glossy black looks much better than the nasty metal color, and everything went back together perfectly.

Here's the bad part.

While reassembling my old system, my main system, the one that this one is supposed to replace, a wire from one of the front 120mm fans got disconnected. Needless to say, when I turned my computer on everything shorted out. Mobo doesn't post, PSU doesn't work. Not sure if my two 4870's still work or if any of my HDD's are any good. So basically, I fried everything.

The new system was moving along really well until I discovered that the MSI 790XT G45 is really a lump of crap disguised as a motherboard. Like so many others, I encountered the famous "HT Sync Flood Error" that seems to be exclusive to the board. It bsods almost every time I try and install a program or game and does not even maintain the stable overclock I had on my older board, the K9a2 Platinum. So, the new system is pretty much crap.

SOLUTION = Cash Injection

1 x ($89.99) HD 1T|WD 7K 32M SATA2 - OEM $89.99

2 x ($289.99) VGA XFX|HD-695X-CDDC HD6950 2G R $579.9

1 x ($174.99) MB MSI 890FXA-GD70 AM3 R $174.99

So it is time to start over. I'll post updates when I can and get some new photos up when I get a stable system back up and running. Oh well, set backs happen right? Still, it sucks major butthole.


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:14 am 
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That really sucks! it was looking nice too!
One thing I thought of though, Did the MB have a good ground to the case? There is a possibility that your MB stand offs didn't have a good ground due to the paint in the case. I just thought I would ask since i have had this issue in the past.


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:23 am 
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Well now that this thread is featured on MaxPC's website, :O :-) hurry up on replacing those parts!

-Six


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:08 am 
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Wiked_smart wrote:
That really sucks! it was looking nice too!
One thing I thought of though, Did the MB have a good ground to the case? There is a possibility that your MB stand offs didn't have a good ground due to the paint in the case. I just thought I would ask since i have had this issue in the past.


Well, it was my old case that had the short, not the modded one. You would think it would be the other way around. I fried all my old stuff, not the components that were in the modded case.

The modded case is beast. Everything came together perfectly, except for the motherboard being a turd. It gave me a bsod and that sync flood error every time I would try and install something.

New parts are on the way and should be in my hands by Tuesday, in the case by Wednesday.


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:43 am 
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H E X E N wrote:
While reassembling my old system, my main system, the one that this one is supposed to replace, a wire from one of the front 120mm fans got disconnected. Needless to say, when I turned my computer on everything shorted out. Mobo doesn't post, PSU doesn't work. Not sure if my two 4870's still work or if any of my HDD's are any good. So basically, I fried everything.


Disconnected as in not plugged in, or disconnected as in bare wire pulled out & touching metal? The first would not cause any shorting, the second could depending on which wire. Since the second scenario is pretty unlikely, I'm going to guess that Wiked_smart is on the right track with the motherboard grounding...


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:15 am 
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chaosdsm wrote:
Disconnected as in not plugged in, or disconnected as in bare wire pulled out & touching metal? The first would not cause any shorting, the second could depending on which wire. Since the second scenario is pretty unlikely, I'm going to guess that Wiked_smart is on the right track with the motherboard grounding...


No, disconnected as in the wire came undone from its soldering point. It was the hot wire, the red wire, so when I turned on my rig it made contact with the case aluminum, sparked, and killed everything. I then watched as smoke crept out of the top of the case. It makes quite a lovely smell.

Thing is, I don't recall ever really stressing those wires. All the fan wires were routed and taped to the back side of the motherboard tray. Guess from all the upgrades, various builds and wire routing sessions it just gave way and came undone.

Lesson: Be VERY careful with your wires. You can beat the crap out of your PSU cables, but those fan wires are just so small and dainty.


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:44 am 
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Alright, sorry for such a long wait, but it has been one delay after another. Still, the build goes on.

Here is a shot of the cooler attached to the mobo and CPU. (Old parts, crap mobo)

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And here it is all assembled, before I realized the motherboard sucked. The H100 is entirely cooled by the top 200mm fan, no push pull.

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And then... DISASTER!

Here is me installing all the old components into an un-modded 900.

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And here is where it all went wrong.

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Although, there is a bit of good news here. My secondary storage hard drive was spared annihilation. All my music and videos are still intact, and the drive was recognized right away in the new build.

Here is a shot in the heat of battle. The only computer that works is that one the Antec case is sitting on. It's a Chaintech VNF4 Ultra board and an Athlon X2. Hooray for the golden oldies.

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While waiting for all my new stuff to arrive from the egg, I decided I'd do as much as I could without the new parts. The OCZ SSD drive bay adapter had to be drilled to 1/8" for the screws to fit.

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And here is a bit of the wire routing, just to give a bit more space to the actual interior. Duct tape rules.

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More wire routing. Despite the conventional wisdom that this case is terrible for wire routing, you really can make it look pretty slick, it just takes a hell of a lot longer, probably more time than it should. I decided to move the upper HDD cage assembly up one expansion slot, meaning there's an open space between the two HDD cage assemblies. This did a number of things for me. It allowed me to separate all the power connectors into groups; all the four pin molex on the bottom, and all the sata connectors on top, shown here.

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It gives the case better airflow overall. This also moves the top 120mm fan closer to the H100 RAD, increasing cooling performance. And finally, it creates a nice void to stuff wires into. That 5 LED light I took and stuck onto the side of the radiator, pointing down into the case. It really is pretty nice looking because the light get's caught between the blue ram and the blue MOSFETS.

Here's all the new parts I ordered, as well as some old ones. The Kingwin is really a 1000W, I just grabbed the wrong box. I also went out to my local Micro Center (they should be everywhere!) and grabbed a Phenom II 965 because, why not!? For $115, you can't beat it. Gotta love the Sidewinder too.

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Here's another shot of the installed H100 with the new parts.

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And a shot of everything up and together.

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And then trouble strikes again.

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My relationship with MSI boards is really a love hate one. They take some work to get off the ground, but when they do, they soar. Several things went awry during the set up. The dreaded FF code plagued me for a while until I seated the RAM in dimms 3 and 4. Then I discovered that the board was reading all 8 gigs but said that only 4 were useable. Then I discovered that the 8 pin power extension cable was a PCI-E cable and not a 12V+ cable. Bad, bad, bad. So, I reseated both dimms, the CPU and removed the 8 pin extension cable and just plugged the PSU directly into the mobo. There is now a wire running clear up the middle of the case. A 12V+ cable will be bought eventually.

But, everything is up and running flawlessly. Just did a slow burn and left my PC on for 24 hours, no probs. Ran memtest, no errors. Ran Prime for 2 hours, no errors. The H100 is a dream. I'll never go back to an air cooler again. Average idle temp hovers around 30 c, while full load gets up to about 57-58 c. Right now, with a few windows open and programs installing, it's at 41 c. Can't wait to see if I can get this 965 up to 4 ghz.

Final shots will be posted in a day or two. Thanks again for looking.

Parts List

MSI 890FX GD70 Mainboard
AMD Phenom II 965 Black @ 3.4
Corsair H100
Gskill Ripjaws X Series 1600 DDR3 Ram 8 gigs
2X XFX HD 6950 in CFX
OCZ Vertex III 120gb SSD
Western Digital 500 gb HD
Kingwin Mach 1 1000W PSU
LiteOn DVD multi drive

(The western digital terabyte drive I ordered arrived DOA, which I find really odd. Along with all the 1066 Gskill RAM, this is yet another item I have to RMA to the egg. Sucks.)


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:29 am 
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Final Shots

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Finally done. It took a lot longer than I expected, and cost me a hell of a lot more than I originally intended, but it's finished. And it was worth it. I would have liked to save more of my older computer but it just wasn't in the cards. All in all though I am thoroughly satisfied with the finished product. The H100 modification works extremely well. I currently have the 965 clocked at 3.8ghz @ 1.4250V and the temps keep dropping for some reason, not that I'm complaining. Ran prime for 45 minutes and it never exceeded 55 c. Guess the Arctic Silver is locking down.

When I push it above 4.0ghz @1.5V it just starts getting too hot. The lack of the 120 mm fans on the RAD start to show. Max load temp got to 64 c after about 15 minutes of Prime. Needless to say, I clocked it back down to 3.8 and it's holding steady. Never gets above 55 max.

To anyone reading that's interested in doing something similar: Just build it. If I can do this, you can too. I ran into about the worst possible luck and everything still came together in the end. It really is a joy to see it up and running.

Oh yeah, one last thing. The first game I install on any new rig.

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Runs absolutely beautifully. 1920x1080 maxed.

Cheers guys. :D See you in game.


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:08 pm 
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My first mod: Since your such an AVID Love/Hate with MSI, I too am on RMA #3 on 890 FXA GD 65

Here's my specs and I'll post my youtube video

MSI 890FXA GD65
16 GB Komputerbay PC3 16800 2000 Mhz RAM
Kingston Hyper X RAM Cooler.
AM3 1100 T Black Edition
His ICE Q 5670 Turbo (Which I'm place holding with in lieu of 6970's)
EMU 1212m PCI e sound card
Antec VFD Elite with remote and custom mount
Teac 24x Slim Slot Load DVD Combo (et al.) no Blu Ray I'm afraid.
ATI TV Wonder DCCT (Someday I'll Ceton)
3x WD Green 32 MB 1 TB SATA 2 (Gonna RAID 0 these on next build, should up my WEI to around 7)
3 80MM Cooler Master Fans
NZXT Sentry Fan Monitor Control.
Ultra X3 1000 watt PSU
Windows 7 Ultimate Steve Ballmer Signature Edition. Simply I get 5.9 on Windows Experience Index Now
Cooler Master Elite 430 Case

Here is the finished Product: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KiZ9vVF5FI

I've had it stable at 4.2 with 2Ghz FSB HT And RAM. Ran the linpack OCCT 3.x for a good 6 minutes before it shut down.
Haven't tried Prime, it's 2-3 days stable at 4 Ghz RAM @ 2 Ghz

In some ways it reminds me of an Al Jaffee cartoon, make power steering from your automatic transmission type cartoons. I made 3 5.25 drive bays, and lost 3. But a label up eject to see what you were watching last night as you pop that first beer...It's the height of laziness.

48x CD writes are useable with 16GB BTW. I've had 0 failures so far, apperently the buffer under works well when Windows can load 900 copies into the RAM at once, which I simply adore.


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Finished product looks pretty nice! I would suggest adding those 120mm fans back on the rad though as your big 200mm will not move air through the rad very well. To get good results with the rad you need some good pressure or a good seal if your doing a pull config. Im surprised that you were getting that good of temps actually. Nice work though!


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 Post subject: Re: Antec 900 Mod (Fitting a Corsair H100)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:03 am 
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magnumsrule wrote:
Finished product looks pretty nice! I would suggest adding those 120mm fans back on the rad though as your big 200mm will not move air through the rad very well. To get good results with the rad you need some good pressure or a good seal if your doing a pull config. Im surprised that you were getting that good of temps actually. Nice work though!


Thanks man, I appreciate it!

The H100 is sort of interesting actually. I find it has a much larger mid range than any air cooler I've owned. It idles anywhere between 28 - 41c just doing piddly stuff like surfing or watching movies. However, it does have an extremely solid upper limit. A brick wall is put up at 54c and is never exceeded. Overnight Prime, 4 hour gaming sessions... nothing brings it past 54c.

I bumped that top 200mm fan up to the medium setting, and it does move a decent amount of air. I can definitely feel the heat being poured out the top, so it does work as I intended it to, albeit, not 100%. I still may yet install those two 120's and see what can be accomplished. The whole reason I left them out, and why I got the H100 in the first place, was to reduce noise, and it works. The loudest thing in my case right now is my 7200 HDD.

What I'd really like to do is reverse the 200mm fan and make it an intake. The RAD would then receive cool air from the outside and vent the hot air right out the rear 120mm fan. That means another disassemble and reassemble process though, which I'm reluctant to do.


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