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Old 12-16-2008, 06:43 PM   #1
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Default Project: Skulltrail

Its that time again to get a commissioned project up and running for the Coolermaster stand at Multiplay i34 which doesn’t leave much time so expect this one to take shape pretty fast once all the background stuff is out the way.

There are three major sponsors which I’m eternally grateful for and have all supplied some killer hardware so i’ve first of all got to thank those involved for making the mod possible and vow to hopefully do them all justice.

Sponsors Include:
Coolermaster
Intel
Zotac
HWLabs







System Spec:
CM Cosmos S
CM 1100watt PSU
Intel Skulltrail Motherboard
2x Intel QX9775 Quad Core Extreme CPU’s (Socket 771)
2x Zotac 9800GX2’s
4GM RAM

Watercooling:
By me

So, let the games commence







Guess this is a bit of a give away but hey, i like vents







i promise it will get a bit more interesting very soon but in the mean time the Cosmos is stripped and ready for anodising



I didn't get anywhere near as much as what i'd planed today but i did get both vents mounted ready to be stuck in place after the panels are flattened and sent for powder coat to give better finish for paint but no real hurry as the painter is on holiday next week :|

He did drop some of the paint off today which as always is pretty much just like a new car so i'm happy with that.

I dunno, i seemed to spend more time looking at the damn thing today than getting into my usual attack mode but i seem to have more of a game plan so i guess all was not lost :lol:

Oh yeah i borrowed a Cosmos 1000 side panel off my mate Tom so i didn't have to deal with the mesh panel in the Cosmos S which was a big help

















BTW the vents are an aftermarket replacement for a Peugeot 206 here in the UK
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:46 PM   #2
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No laser cutters here...........all done by hand

OK, there's a few imperfections which you wouldn't get with laser but much more fulfilling to know you did it all yourself with a fret saw.

Anyway, as you can see the front of the Cosmos S mesh is being replaced with 5.25 aluminium plates which will be anodised black once all the cut-outs have been finished and have chrome hex bolts.

The top one will hold a 4" TFT - two which are already been cut are for dual reservoirs - middle one will hold fan controllers and the bottom one for both Zotac and Intel logos

Few shots of the finished Zotac logo with frosted white and orange plexi attached to the back which will be lit up from behind once everything is anodised and installed.

.........hope they like it































Time to get a bit work done on the three Coolermaster Aquagate's and the replacement reservoirs

Got all three res's stuck together using my new found friend Poly Weld with FB barbs fitted all seems fine but will be leak testing before final fitting.

And a couple of shots of the new look Aquagate in a standard Cosmos S which i did a while back for testing









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Old 12-16-2008, 06:47 PM   #3
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Admittedly not a lot of case modding going on here at present as the Cosmos chassis is at the anodisers so I thought I would get the system up and running on the bench just to make sure everything was working………………i knew that mini Cosmos waterbox would come in handy one day

Anyway got it all up and running like a dream with the CPU’s being cooled by 2 D-Tek FuZion and a GTX480 so everything’s nice and cool there but Zotac are still to decide whether to run two GX2’s or three GTX280’s so pointless putting the GFX under water just yet though I was tempted to fit the monster EK block that weigh in at 1080g each

That’s about it for now until the chassis returns and the side panels get back!











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Old 12-16-2008, 06:48 PM   #4
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Its a bit of a headache choosing which blocks to go for CPU's and NB due to hose routing but after much head scratching it looks like D-Tek FuZions for CPU's and a DD MC-Chipset block with a modded mounting bracket will be best.

So, decided to make myself a nice little mounting bracket for the MPC-Chipset block.....

Started by scribing the shape onto a 3mm piece of aluminium then took the original MPC mount to mark hole alignment.

Not sure if there's time to get it anodised black or whether i'll just have to paint it but either way it looks OK and fits like a glove











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Old 12-16-2008, 06:49 PM   #5
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Got the side panels back from powder coat today which is a great way of flattening down the standard brushed aluminium and a great flat base for primer so its time to start attaching the vents.

Had to use that 2 part metal stuff to attach a couple of bolts to the back side of the vent to enable it to be screwed down.

I also got hold of this Terotape and Primer which gives the vent a nice cushion to sit on which hopefully eliminates paint cracking when the side panel flexes.

So anyway, this is how it looks and now i've got a night of bodging and wet sanding ahead to blend the vent into the panel then get it into primer ready for paint.

Just did a test fit with the chrome bits on to see what the whole thing looks like in black















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Old 12-16-2008, 06:50 PM   #6
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Sorry to keep boring everyone with this

A long day of filler - sanding - wet sanding - more filler - more wet sanding and not much more tbh but all ready for primer, paint and clear coat so see what tomorrow brings

Oh yeah and i polished the NB block mount













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Old 12-16-2008, 06:51 PM   #7
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Good and bad news today!

Got the panels back from paint today and one turned out fine while the other had a few little reactions which the painter put down to water caught in the vent from wet sanding so its got to be re-done which is a bit of a pain but these things happen i guess.

Here some pictures of the good one.........the other is already being re-sanded.















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Old 12-16-2008, 06:52 PM   #8
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Wish i had more to report tbh but its just been a case of redoing the panel which is in primer again waiting for paint and clear coat then waiting for the chassis to get back from the anodises but after that the plumbing should begin.

I also ordered a Mips Ram Freezer 4 Block for the RAM which should be here in a couple of days.

Sorry, that's about it



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Old 12-16-2008, 06:53 PM   #9
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Again, my apologies for all waiting for the wet stuff to start taking shape but there's not much i can do until the chassis gets back other than to make the black bits blacker and the shiny bits shinier :lol:

So, in keeping with the black / chrome of the vents.........










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Old 12-16-2008, 06:54 PM   #10
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MIPs Ram Freezer 4 turned up first thing this morning so i set about getting it fitted but ran into problems right off the bat :S

Basically once i got the stock heat spreaders off the Hynix HYMP512F72CP8D2-C4/Y5 Ram it soon became apparent that the centre processor was 1.2mm higher than the memory chips either side.

Hmmmm........after much head scratching i decided to shim the memory and as luck would have it i had some cheap aluminium heat spreaders which just so happened were 1.2mm thick and already had thermal pads on them.

So i set about cutting eight of them in total (two for each stick of memory) down to 50mm x 15mm which fit perfect.

Just a case of adding them and a little AS5 to the reverse side of the memory and and assemble as normal.

Leaving the actual RAM hex bolts loose so the four individual memory stick could move from side to side in the slots, the whole unit then fitted straight into the board with no problem at all then the hex bolts tightened up.

All in all a bit fiddly but well worth it as it's one of the best machined blocks i've laid eyes on in a long while.

I'll let MIPs know of the issue with this particular RAM so they could maybe machining some heat spreaders for this memory which would be easy for them to do and make life much easier for anyone else in this situation.

Still not linked hose up yet but its been running fine for the last few hours so all is well but looking forward to see if it actually works.

Also today, my good mate Tom also picked the 2 chassis up this morning and it should be back here Tuesday so i can start getting it re-assembled(mines the black one)

Anyway, a few pictures as usual..........BTW the 3rd but last picture shows the copper/brass version along side the copper/brass nickel plate one i'm using.



























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Old 12-16-2008, 06:56 PM   #11
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Not sure if this is in the shops yet but the nice people at Coolermaster sent me a couple of their new Ultimate UCP 1100W PSU's to play with so got one hooked up to the Skulltrail already and is working a charm............very very quiet

Also Zotac contacted me this morning and have another GX2 being shipped for tomorrow so i can eventually get this HUGE chunk of copper strapped to them (weighing in at 2180g i think they will need some kind of support made)









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Old 12-16-2008, 06:56 PM   #12
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Got the case back from the anodisers this morning in Ikea flat pack form courtesy of Tom so set about re-assembling it which was a lot easier than i first thought looking at all the bits.

So glad i went with anodising rather than paint or powder coat which i did consider at one point as it looks great.

Once that was riveted back together i had to keep going and added the painted surrounds and chrome rails just to see how it was looking.

All in all a pretty productive time as its the first time i've seen it starting to come together and i think i'm liking it already.















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Old 12-16-2008, 06:57 PM   #13
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I'm sure i saw Cyber do something similar but i could be wrong and couldn't find the thread but decided to mod a couple of EK 775 mounting brackets for the back of the motherboard and as there was some hot looking stuff on there thought it best to drill some air holes in just to be on the safe side :thumb:

Once that was done added the mounting hardware and blocks to see how things were looking and looks like the NB block fits a treat though not sure what colour it should be?? - i'm thinking brushed alu might be better in keeping with the RAM Freezer though i'm not counting out black just yet.

Mounted the Board in the case for a test fit with a couple of standard CM Aquagate Max'x and it looks like hose routing is going to be just about perfect though i'm bound to come across some hitches along the way but doesn't look too bad at all as it is.

I had my doubts about all the cables on the PSU but CM have certainly put a lot of thought into it, especially for the Cosmos S as it fits a lot better than i originally thought.

BTW this is all just test fitting for now and a total strip down is imminent but i'm a happy chappy and can go for a pint feeling pretty good with how things are coming together :thumb:























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Old 12-16-2008, 06:58 PM   #14
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Here we go, this is a bit more colour coordinated

Dropped the tops off at powder coaters mid morning and had them back at tea time and am i glad i did tbh as they look real nice.

Also got Eddy to express me a couple of EK-FC9800 GX2 SLI - Nickel-Plated over which are more in keeping with the overall scheme











We had guests up all weekend that just wanted to drink and drink..........which don't make them bad people in my book and i participate best i could but all i really wanted to do was sit and admire how well the case is looking.

Chrome vents match the chrome Cosmos rails like perfect - let me get the paint machine polished tomorrow and i'll try and get some better pictures...

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Old 12-16-2008, 06:59 PM   #15
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In keeping with the black / chrome theme and thanks to Eddy i got a couple of Nickel-Plated EK-FC9800 GX2 SLI Blocks expressed over and set about getting them fitted.

Took about 2 hours in total but time flies when your enjoying yourself - they do look a bit naked without the covers on so after a little trimming i re-used the covers though i'll have to find some way of fixing them properly because there nothing to actually fix them to but i'm sure i'll find a way.

Also had the front bezels anodised (cheers Tom) but they were to dull so had them painted and clear coated which looks much better and got the Aquagate ones fitted though the it was starting to get dark out and the pictures aren't the best but you get the idea.

Oh yeah, the board with all blocks added now weighs in at a staggering 6670g

















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Old 12-16-2008, 07:00 PM   #16
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Taken all of the above on board about the SB being covered by the cards i had to make some serious decisions.

The dilemma has always been that in order to run Skulltrail with two GX2's in a Cosmos they have to use the top two PCi slots due to the PSU location directly below. (see here)

The good news was the reply from Intel that its fine to use the top two PCi slots - the bad news is that in order to do so i would have to remove the card covers so as not to obscure the SB fan too much.

There was no way around it so not much point in dwelling on the "what ifs" so took the covers back off the cards and got them mounted and tbh i'm quite liking being able to see all of the blocks and running the hose through the cards is looking a strong possibility and should look pretty cool if i can pull it off.

Just did a quick bit of hose routing to show how this would look....

Anyone see anything i don't because you start to become blind to the obvious but i think im good to go with that.











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Old 12-16-2008, 07:02 PM   #17
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Right, i think i can move on now and finally put the GFX card issue to bed :lol:

Well, one last thing........just made some nice little spacers to replace the plastic ones that kept popping out and now keep the cards much more stable and parallel







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Old 12-16-2008, 07:02 PM   #18
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Awesome. simply amazing.
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My system:
QX6700 - Asus Striker Extreme - 4 gig Corsair Dominator (Quad2x4096-8500c5df) - Dual Ultra X3 600 - SB X-Fi Fatality PCI-E Pro - 2 x WD Raptor 74g (raid 1) - 2 x WD WD2500YS (raid 0)
Loop 1 QX6700 (D-Tek v2/Quad Plate), XSPC Res top/3.2 DDC, pa120.3 Loop 2 Dual BFG 8800 GTX oc2 (EK 8800GTX nickel), XSPC Res top/3.2 DDC, pa120.3
DD Fatboy fittings - 1/2" x 3/4" R3400 Black Tygon
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:03 PM   #19
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I've been in touch with Coolermaster and they are going to do there best to get me a set of Black quick release buttons over so fingers crossed on that one.

Anyway, i wanted to make all the front bezels easily removable (well apart from the Aquagate ones as they are part of the actual units) so i chopped up the original Cosmos bezels and after a bit of filing / sanding, stuck the little end bits on with Devcon Plastic Steel Putty which worked out pretty well and amazingly they all line up give the front end exactly what i was looking for so i'm happy with the outcome.

Still have to get the plexi and lighting in for the Zotac logo.....























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Old 12-16-2008, 07:04 PM   #20
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Hey cheers for following the show and my apologies for not responding to each individual post every time even though i take all on board and appreciate every one but i'd rather wait till i have a valid update to justify the post instead of a load of "thank you" posts to falsely keep the thread alive imo.

Anyway, best get one of the sponsors names up in lights as they donated a couple of GX2's

Its not the finished article but got a couple of clear LED's behind the Zotac bezel just to see how it looked with the plexi in place which i hope they are happy with.....





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Old 12-16-2008, 07:05 PM   #21
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I was just going through the hose routing in my head and it soon became apparent that it just wasn't going to work with the barb position on the Aquagate's so decided to make a new back plate and mount the inlet barb on the other side which will make hose routing much easier..........once the hose goes in you will see more clearly but just thought i'd post how it looks as it fills all the gaps for the fans etc and basically looks a lot cleaner.

Just got to do the other one now!


looking at the pictures the outlet is bottom left and inlet is top right




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Old 12-16-2008, 07:08 PM   #22
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Thought i'd post some random pictures of the case of how it will end up looking minus the green / blue fluids.........just wish i could capture better how nice the paint turned out







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Old 12-16-2008, 07:09 PM   #23
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Slight problem - me and Willie at HWLabs got our wires crossed and i ended up with chrome GTX240 and GTX360 when i actually needed an X-Flow GTX360 for the top but as there was no time to get one over i ended up using a black X-Flow GTStealth.

I'm also still waiting on the Intel logo for the front bezel and the black quick release buttons from Coolermaster, both of which should be here tomorrow so i'll get those fitted as and when but should be well on schedule for Multiplay i34 on Friday.

Still can't get the 4" TFT working using an Apple DVI to s-video dongle but i still got a few days to try and get that sorted one way or another!!!

Apart from that, i got both loops routed and filled with both Aquagates taking care of things no problem and everything's running nice and cool

Few other minor little bits and pieces but i got to admit i'm more than happy with the outcome both inside and out





















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Old 12-16-2008, 07:11 PM   #24
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Anyway, those kind people at Coolermaster had be some black quick release buttons shipped over Fed-Ex priority from China and i got to admit they look much better so a massive thanks to them for that





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Old 12-16-2008, 07:13 PM   #25
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Just using the last few hours to put down the last final touches

Made a little light diffuser out of mirrored plexi to sit behind the Zotac logo which holds a 4" white cathode and gives a much more even light glow.

Then onto probably the most fiddly job of the whole build...........sanding and polishing the Intel logo. The thing is so small it took ages but i got to admit looks the business.

Still needs fixing on and a final polish it but this is how its looking....













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