Welcome everyone to a new log and let me introduce the willing participant,the InWin D Frame MINI!
After the S3,which is far too large for a LAN box like originally planned,I wanted a smaller footprint and something a bit more aesthetically pleasing,so,after seeing this gorgeous case at Computex,I made some inquiries at InWin and here is the result!
Some of you may have seen this case about and,if you follow any of my forum witterings,probably know already that I had this coming.
The case is a tubular spaceframe design made with Alu tube and,quite frankly,a mobo tray that is a structural grade piece of kit! The tempered glass is a lovely thing to see and is common place on all the high end InWin chassis.
Shall we have a walk round the case then?
You have never seen a mobo tray that thick,guarantee it!
You can have the PSU either way,up or down.
Massively thick HDD and SSD mounts.
Backside of the tray.
The whole tray is decluttered,this ITX case has ambition....
This mod is changing the standard ITX flavour into mATX!
As you can see,you get a substantial case for you money,the anodized frame is nice and well finished and no skimping on materials,Im looking forward to working on it......
First thing is to strip the anodizing ready for some lovely paint,I know I just praised the coating quality and it seems like it would be a waste to strip it but it will be worth it!
The paint I will be using for the frame is....
Also,sadly,that mobo tray is also going for a 25mm sandwich tray that will carry all the cabling,most of the watercooling routing and an integrated reservoir.
As always,the aim is a clean looking build,no faff or fluff but details to keep you entertained!
LET THE BUILD COMMENCE!!
Magoo insists that he is project lead on this.......He isnt but you know....he thinks he is.....
Normally Im waiting for hardware but not this time.ASUS provided the Gryphon z97,a modders favorite for very obvious reasons and I have a pair of cards with tidy Watercool blocks ready to go. I rounded of the waterblocks with a MIPS Iceforce HF,an awesome block which sadly isnt available easily now since MIPS closed their doors. A major loss to the watercooling world...
The thickest hold down you will ever see!
You just dont see a finish like the finish you get with MIPS....
On to another of my favorite block makers,this time the German outfit,Watercool.
This weekend has consisted mainly of chemical burns and dust inhalation!My favorite!!
I made a short video on how to strip the anodizing layer off too.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvE8...ature=youtu.be
But we all know you like pictures....
This will stay as a primer until I have finished with the mobo tray work,all the in-out of the board for test fits could damage the paint....I may gun the white base coat on if I get ahead and am feeling confident.
So as I said yesterday,I was shrouding the PSU bay with modders mesh,in this instance,the 2mm hole variety. This should clean up the visible wiring while adding contrast and texture. Eventually,this will be in black/silver marble while the actual frame is Lumo yellow. The Enermax isnt staying,its just for show,the PSU is undecided as yet...A Leadex or a BeQuiet will be taking that role up.
Once the PSU is painted as well,the depth effect should be nice...maybe a couple of LED's in each corner on the inside to light up the PSU would look good.
Thanks again for looking,next up is the mobo tray.
Today was paint day!
I started with the 2 SSD's. Corsair 120 and 240 Force GT SSD's recycled from my SR2,good drives that could never reach full speed in their previous home so I gave them new lease of life in LUMO instead.
The frame is done also,I will be doing pics for that tomorrow but in the meantime...
And the graphics for the SSD's are done. I kept it very simple,using the existing Force GT logo and cutting a LUMO logo into it with a pinstripe....the pinstripe was a total bitch but it needed something to break up the yellow expanse.
These will be inset in to the mobo tray flush with the outer skin,you will not seen any cabling going to them. As the tray is black/silver marble,these are painted as accent pieces.
While I had a bit of spare time from marbling the mobo cover,I decided to take a few shots of the frame for the few that cant wait,this is just the first of many coats....
I should really save these till later but Im really happy how the marble came out!
This is still very much WIP,the recesses need to be airbrushed in black and the slots need some plastidip action....but.....its looking good!
The naked z97 Gryphon,I quite like the look of it naked,its a hidden gem.
And with the armour,yes its armour goddamn it,im British!
The slots tho......no good. They need to be colour changed,brown is not the way forward!
Seeing as no one will see the back,I had a little fun....
To tidy up the edge of the card PCB I used 1.5mm Vinyl,easily removed it the card requires RMA!
And finally,I welcome E22 to this build! Nate has supplied me with my usual Ultraclear again,It is my usual for a very good reason...
Clear as glass and the tolerances are exceptional.
Thanks for watching the build up of the board,next up is the PSU,Be Quiet have sent me a Dark pro 850 and Silent wings fans which will be getting the full service....once I figure out how to pop them open...
I got the RAM today,a total bargain of Amazon!
4x4Gb of Crucial Ballistix 1600 (Remember this is a gaming PC),I know these sticks can hit firstname.lastname@example.org with some tweaking so I think I had a result!
Obviously,the stickers are staying till I test them,I am normally lucky with hardware but RAM....well.....you know....
If only both sides were like this......
Now,because the branding is discreet,im in a quandary...Do i marble DIMMS or just leave them vanilla?
My head says yes..and some stripes in the recesses to boot but the black chunky HS look is hard to ignore....
The tray has arrived from E22,this is a sacrificial tray mainly for checking the clearances and the hole positions are correct. thankfully they are but I realized I can move the mobo 5mm forward and 10mm up,making more space for the rads/fans.
The mobo is hard up against the PSU bay,only 4mm clearance.
The GPU's are just resting in there until the 11m standoffs arrive and I can use the pillars that Kier thoughtfully sent me from his banchetto.
My camera definitely doesnt like the fluro paint at all!
And its my pleasure to thank the great folks @ Be Quiet for providing the fans and PSU for this rig!
After using their Powerzone range of PSU's,I decided I would like to use them again for this rig,this time I selected the Dark Power PSU of the 850w variety.
Now,I can see many folks asking why did I go with a semi modular unit,This unit only has the 24pin hardwired and,seeing as im stripping it for paint,its no hardship for me to sleeve.
Anyway,to the pics.
Fans,normally I would of gone straight to Alpenfohn but this time,because the PSU fan will be visible,I went with Be Quiet Silent Wings PWM so they all match up.
Nice rubberized corner mounts...or there are single side flush mounts.
A very solid feeling fan,I am impressed,much more solid feeling than my usual choices with a nice weight,rubberized rings around the intake/output for noise dampening when up hard against the case,a very nice touch!
And the PSU!
This was exciting for me,I have seen this PSU before but not in the flesh,I was very pleasantly surprised with the build quality of this unit,from the paint to the packaging,all very clean and fuss free.
A little gadget for switching from multi to single rail.
Its almost a sorry thing to strip it for paint,I originally thought the side panels were stickered up but they are not,the logo plates are a knurled finish on black and look great so im masking them off and keeping them.
The fans.....are a secret for now,I am puzzled on how to get the fan hubs off,I may have to mask the gaps and spray the whole fan.
Chime in if you know how to get the hub off without a hammer!
To Be Continued >> D Frame Mini II - LUMO