Project: OptPrime "Basic Transformer Mods": Begins 10/13


Limp Gawd
Jul 13, 2004
Well the winter months are comming here in Indiana. School has been in session (I go to Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana) for like almost 7 weeks. :rolleyes: So naturally I am getting prepared for a long and boring winter in which I spend many hours infront of a monitor.

So, this being said... Why not pass the time with a project.

That was my setup a year ago... You can see the fugly/nasty Thermaltake Xaser II just sitting there looking like something out of a vin-deasil movie. Bah how far i have come in the past few years. Since that pic I have painted the inside of the case, cut the fan grills out, swapped mobos, switched procs, did some etching, and swapped vid cards, bought new monitors, well basically switched everything except the case.

So onto the revamp of the old. The only thing that will be returning from my old setup will be the core components for now. I plan on keeping my nf-7s for at least the first 2 weeks of this project. My ram, 6800gt, sound card, and opticals will be staying. Everything else will be replaced with faster compnents. :clap:

This case will be all air cooled for now. Reason being IMHO i could either dump 200 bucks in a nice water cooler and MAYBE get 200mhz more out of my proc. Or i could dump 350-400 in board and proc and get the performance boost that I am really looking for. So to me the choice seems simple.

As you guessed from my name I am a huge Transformers nut. Wel not even so much as I am a huge Optimus Prime fan... So most things that involve computers and whatnot for me have my tag on them which is now "OptPrime". So as you can guess this case will be mostly featured around doing a personalized case around my handle.

So where am i at now. Right now i have these specs:
AMD Mobile Barton 2500+ running at 2.6
2 * 512MB Corsair PC-3000C2PT (this stuff is BH-5 So it will be with me until ddr2 time)
ABit NF7-s (the one with the black dimm slots :rolleyes: )
WD800JB 80gb 8mb cache ide
Audigy 2 zs
Thermalright slk900a
Swiftech North Bridge Sink (dont know the model number cause im lazy but you will see pics tonite)
Plextor 8x DVDR
Lite-On 16x DVD Reader
Thermaltake Xaser II (I wish i had never gone through the newb faze :mad: )

These parts are in the mail.
210 bucks off of hardforumSilverstone SST-TJ03
50 bucks used for 2 months from roomate Enermax noisetaker 460
got this for 15 bucks off of hardforum
65 bucks off of hardforum Matrix Orbital MX-412

I will be purchasing over the next few weeks:
120mm high output LED Fan
2 * 4inch ccfls (blue or white)
LED's for doing my own custom case lighting
90nm 939 board, and proc, along with Some thermalright Heatsink
Audigy 2 front live panel to go along with my new sinhiesser hd-555's

Preliminary list of mods:
1) The case doesnt come with a window... so a window mod will be in order... I will be turning to you fools for some help on this one
2) A ducting system for my 6800gt. Hey if you are going to aircool you have to do it right.
3) Considering painting, however it is gonne be tough to convince myself to paint up this $300 beauty
4) A super nice etching done by my woman of who else but Optimus Prime
5) some custom case lighting
6) either a top window or 120mm blow whole instead of the stock 80mm
7) I am thinking about modding my vantec fan controller into the case some how... not quite sure about this one yet.
8)Ne thing else that is feasable that you guys bring to light :p
9) some sleaving to the powersupply and possible fan replacment. Thinking about polishing it as well.

Alright so there is the intro to the project. This one will mostly be super simple. MY DISCLAIMER: THERE IS A VERY GOOD CHANCE THAT I WILL NOT BE DOING NE THING GROUND BREAKING WITH THIS MOD.

I will have some updates in a few hours. Last night I lapped the 6800gt heatsink. I will give an explanation as to why i didnt purchase a nv-silencer as well.

Stay tuned if your completly bored... maybe this will at least give you some thing to look/laugh at. I'm out till I get off work.
Here is a pic of my current workbench... I dont know why i tossed this pic up... guess just something for you to look at.

Here is a pic of the roomate's and my current lab setup in our new house

Last but not least here is a pic of my current rig.

Here is a pic of the etching that is on my current case window... I am designing a new one for the new case.

There won't be any updates for a while cause i am waiting till some parts come in. The case will be here early next week and I will start work as soon as i get it.
Here is a small pictoral update...

Here is the upgrade heatsink from evga...

Here is a pic of the lapping job... I watched the new punisher while i did it. Horrible movie.

Here is the card before the sink was installed...

And here is the after...

The heatsink was worth about 6 degrees celcius on idle and load temps... not too bad. this means that un-overclocked my card idles at 48 and runs full load at around 58-62

I really didn't want one of those huge nv-silencers... they are too big... too ugly and imho the fact that the fins are alluminum is totally lame considering their 40 dollar price tag. I think that this sink will work nicley... I plan on making a ducting system that draws cold air in from my case door fan directly into the vid card blower fan. should drop the temps even more. I guess we will see with alittle time.
I was sitting in class and I had a sort-of epiphany for what I am going to do with the case window. If you will look at my etching on my current case window, you will notice that it is the autobots "logo". What i was thinking was to actually cut the left half of that into my case window. However I am not going to center it. I am going to have that part run top-to-bottom on the right side of the case panel. For example: the left part of the autobots symbol will be cut into the case panel covering the cd/hd cage part of the case. I am guessing that this will void my need for an etching on this side of the case panel cause it would just be too much eye stimulation.

This makes me think that I should do a window on the motherboard tray side and do an etching on that window. I have a great pic of Optimus Prime knealing that I want to work in here cause it is badass. Ill post that pic tonite and you will see what i am talking about.

also... I need some help finding some transformer toys. I really need a micromachine or hotwheel sized thing of prime so i can put it into the case.... if any of you know of such a thing plz post a link or let me know where yoy saw it.

What do you guys think about that as a concept... I will do some mock up pics tonite so i can better get your ideas.

after drinking a little and being super bored. i hacked this up... plz pay no attention to my complete disregard for perspecitves... my 8th grade art teacher would kill me.

Original pic is from virtual hideout( the review is there and YES I AM HOSTING THIS OFF OF MY OWN SERVER
what you see of the autobots symbol will actually be part of the aluminum side panel... what does not immediatly connect to the side pannel will be attached with two sided tape to the plexi window. Ne who i think this is really going to cover my drive cages well and frame my components really well.

I also aquired more parts today... I have a black audigy 2 livedrive w/remote comming from a guy off of for under 50 bucks. so that was cool.

I got this too of course I am going to work it in some how.

I should be getting some parts real soon. HeHe :p
You know I'll be watching this, OptPrime. I am the one who sold you the case. :p (Which shipped this morning, BTW.)

Can't wait.

(BTW, your pictures didn't load for me last night, nor are they loading for me right now. :confused: )
tnks matt. Is anyone else having problems with the pictures? They are loading fine for me at work and home but i havent checked else where. They are being hosted on a sun cluster on my campus cs school so there might be some routing probs... let me know if this is isolated or not and if it persists

and thanks again matt. btw for any of you wondering matt is an awesome seller an all around good guy.
It's possible that it's just my school won't let me view it. They use webblocking software to block things, and often it blocks sites which shouldn't be blocked.
Actually, I bet your art teacher would be proud. You managed to make a very cool little optical illusion there. The rectangle looks like a trapaziod. :D
As an avid transformers fan (80's man....none of this 3d animal shite) I'm gonna be watching the progress here for sure. I'll pay you back for the great memories with a sneak peak at my modded Lian-Li "Perfect Dark" when it's finished. :cool:
wow cs:source tried to steal my life for a bit there. :p ive escaped for now... Ne way I am still recieving tons of parts by mail. I am ordering some stuff off of newegg and frozencpu and that should be the end of parts purchasing.... I will be buying a 120mm 100cfm Thermaltake LED fan... I will also be picking up one of the blue vantec sleaving kits... and last but not least Some plexi...

I do need some help finding some very lightly tinted plexi or acrylic. I also need some mirrored plexi/acrylic. If anyone knows where I can find these things plz let me know.

Also I need an opinion on the window situation. It was said on this forum and ocforums that some people think i should just cut the autobots symbol in the side panel as the window. The reason that I hadn't initially planned on doing this is because I was thinking that my first design was kinda more artistic. also I like seeing my parts through the windows clearly... in addition I want to have a fan right over my vid card. I was thinking that the autobots symbol would look kinda week with a fan hole right next to it... what do you guys think?
When i got home for lunch the case was sitting in my living room. OMG this thing is amazing. It is by far the nicest case I have ever seen with my own eyes... The construction is impressive to say the least and the alluminum is super thick... I will post some pics tonite.
although I disagree in your opinion on movies, I do share a love of Transformers and hope to see this thing completed and with some more pics. :)
OptPrime said:
I do need some help finding some very lightly tinted plexi or acrylic. I also need some mirrored plexi/acrylic. If anyone knows where I can find these things plz let me know.

Pick up plexi from Home Depot. Pick up rolled window tint (both light and mirrored) from Auto-Zone or Walmart.

Apply the tint to plexi, and, tada, tinted and mirrored plexi. And it looks ok, and is cheaper than real tinted and mirrored plexi.
jmattick said:
Pick up plexi from Home Depot. Pick up rolled window tint (both light and mirrored) from Auto-Zone or Walmart.

Apply the tint to plexi, and, tada, tinted and mirrored plexi. And it looks ok, and is cheaper than real tinted and mirrored plexi.

Exactly what I was thinking of doing originally....then I decided not to have it tinted.....then I found out that one of my friends dad runs a glass shop out of his basement. ;)
Yup those ideas are perfect. It appears I am heading over to the HD today after work... I have another question for you guys. I plan on doing a window etching on one my windows. I am obviously going to experiment with this a little. What is going to be tough is I have to apply the tinting to the outside on this window otherwise the etching will be messed up (the etching obviously has to be on the inside). Is it even possible to apply tinting to the outside of a plexi window and have it look right... and also do you think the etching will show up decently if i light it well?

Ne who i will be starting on the removable motherboard tray tonite. It is going to be simple yet classy. What i am going to be doing is cutting out the tray so that you can see the traces on the board. once that is done i will either add some modders mesh or just leave it so you can see the board cleanly through the window with of course my girlfriends wonderfull etching of the armada optimus prime knealing.

Sorry that I havent posted pics but I have been super busy latley. I ordered 100 bux worth of cooling stuff off of newegg last night... the package included a 100 cfm TT 120mm fan, a 4 inch ccfl, and a blue cable sleeving kit, and some other odds and ends. I will be dropping some cash at home depot and that should be the end of purchasing for now until the 939 stuff comes into play in a few weeks.

The Matrix Orbital LCD should be here on friday or monday... and the sb audigy 2 livedrive should be here sometime next week.
Possible solution to etching and tinting: 2 layers of plexi. One layer as thick as you need, etch the inside to taste, one layer of plexi really thin (1/8" or 1/16" of you can), tint that and place on the inside of the etched piece. Glue together or screw together, depending on how you're mounting the piece.

Course, if you wanna get REALLY trick, put the tinted piece of plext on the outside, and the etched on the inside. That way, you don't see the etch untill you light it up.
ohhhhhhhhh shit son..... that idea wins... ill keep you updated. I am thinking I will use lexan to apply the tinting cause i can get a super thin sheet of that and then use plexi for the actual window...

yo prime, im walking out of door at work, i wish i could have seen the pics, but none of them came through for me. It could be the gay ass websense shit my company has running or it could be you need to do a little ./apachectl start but who knows. Ill be down on saturday to take a look at what you got going on.

oh i guess to stay on topic and stuff uhh I think you should are right to not go with water cooling but you should just take out the bottom few shelfs in your fridge and get some long monitor cables...


P.S. I finally got windows running mostly stable now, mostly
Got the case a couple of days ago.... but was too busy playing source to post pis... So here I'll give you the quick catchup:
Sorry for the crap ass lighting in some of the pics... i dont know what i was thinking.


Mod ME!!!!!!!!!!

The dual front doors are nice. I will be making a custom fan grill for the 120mm up front... I figure with a 2800rpm fan up there some one could loose a finger...

I have never had a removable motherboard tray before... I can aleady tell I won't be able to live without one from here on out. You can see that the guy before me had a hole so he could remove his proc heatsink easily... The hole was done very well, which is a good thing cause I will me incorperating it in my next step.

Overall this case is awesome... Well worth the high pricetag. The construction and finish is impressive... So impressive that I will not be painting it, well at least not yet. There is a possiblity that i may paint the inside but it is unlikley.
Ok so i finally got rolling with this thing. After seeing the case I took a trip out to lowes and picked some stuff up for this project and for an aria that I am going to be working on very soon. Here is the result of that trip.


Haha the file is called a fat bastard.... if my dad heard me say that and was within an arms reach he would smack me and accuse me of being a sissy boy. LoL


got a huge sheet of lucite acrylic... this stuff should be much more impact resistant the the plain ole plexi... and supposedly it is harder to scratch and has better tooling properties... we will see i guess. I am still looking for a way to tint my windows. I think that getting some super thin lexan (kinda like what is used on r/c car bodies would work well with some tinting rc car paint applied to it... Not sure yet though, suggestions?

Guess what I actually did some work to the thing. I cut the removable motherboard tray so that you can see the backside of the motherboard. I will be doing a window back there and a super detailed etching of none other than Optimus Prime... most likley the armada edition cause he looks bad arse. I borrowed this mod from FushyuGuru over at I view his work on his lian as a guide for many things so i thank him for this idea.

Here it is from the backside without the case panal on it. The motherboard is just a tester pos with my first overclocking chip in it. 300A baby. Man those were the days.

Here are some sneak peak shots of what i will be workign on tomorow.


Let me know what you guys think of this before i cut into it. The logo will be case metal and will cover up the front bays/drives. This will still leave room for my handle to be etched up where the powersupply is and for a door fan w/ducting for the vid card.

In my opinion, awesome...

Question though. How much did you spend on that sheet of Lucite from the HD? Since I'll be by one on Tuesday, I may have pick a sheet up.
actually my mistake i got it from lowes... it was 24 bucks... they had the cheap stuff for 13 bucks for the same size sheet but in the long run i think this will be worth it.
FYI the pics posting rule is meant for if you're direcly linking to the pics themselves, not to a website that has the pics you're talking about. Linking to a site that has the pics is fine. I asked a mod about this 'cause I was a n00b, saw something shiney, and got confused. :D

I'm interested to see how this turns out as well, but I don't see any of the previous pics in your posts.
I'm having pic problems. Stupid school. (I could write volumes on gripes and moans about the network and the dumbass admin running it, as well as ways to start to improve it. Starting with removing their stupid webblocker software, which blocks sites that shouldn't be.) :mad: :(

If you don't mind, could you perhaps zip up the pics and send them to me on IM every once in a while. ;) I'd really like to see the fate of my previous case. :p
OptPrime, it's looking great...and seeing as I'm a huge TF nut....the logo looks great. Keep at it, I can't wait. :)
This project is coming along very nicely! I can't wait to see the end results of the window.
Well i got a ton of stuff done today. Really i got through all the things that put the case in immediate danger of being screwed up. Cut the windows, filed the down mostly, and found some groovy handles to put on. I just pulled them out of my toolbox and almost crapped my pants.
I will let the pictures speak for themselves (errr i guess i already didn't do that)


Here you can see the case panel cut and layed out on a black background, so the two floating pieces aren't lined up perfectly yet... I think the cutting went really well. I hand filed with a "flat *******" file and then a small single cut file finshing it off with some small jewlers files. I only messed up one part under the nose thing, but i will be filing that out as i have time.


kinda hard for this pic to show you anything about what the final project will be. You can see why i want to tint the windows. The finish on the inside of the case is almost silver and makes the front of the window blend... but that will be fixed later.


Look at the handles btw... The just make this case scream, "Take me to a LAN!" :p
After I cut the motherboard tray I realized with the way this case is put together I have the opportunity to do some thing really neat with this window. I'll leave that for a suprise later, but I'll tell you that it will involve an etching :D


Here you can see how i reinforced the case handles so they wouldn't rip out the top. nothing special just functional stuff.

overall i would say today went well. Hopefully I will be getting some parts soon so i can get this thing into it's later stages.

Lates for now.
OptPrime said:
Here is a pic of my current workbench... I dont know why i tossed this pic up... guess just something for you to look at.

look at all those junkers!!!, you are like me, I never throw out a part, it could be a case or some wires, ya never know when you are going to need the stuff. :)
I have a whole bunch left to do here... I'm not quite sure what comes next. but I would assume that I will finish up the windows in the next few days. I am waiting for some rc/car window tinting paint to come in. Once i get it i will do some testing to see if it messes up the etchings at all. Im not quite sure what the outcome of this is going to be but my hopes are high.

Then it is on to wiring and lighting. I will have the sleave the ps and all the other wires. I also have plans to paint or polish the supply. not quite sure which one yet. Lighting is going to be tough because I have some big plans for that back window. You will see.

Ne who done for tonite. Looking at the case is there anything that you think i shoudl do to it that i am not mentioning. Remember that i am going for a transformer themed case and not a transforming case... LoL
I truely do appreciate mods like this.....especially when they're true to the classics, and coming from someone who appreciates them. Good stuff man, keep the pics comin'. :cool: