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CM Stacker overhaul and false bottom mod

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Hey all,


As requested by Ashlar, this is the final spec of my pc to date. Please read below for upgrade history and my first major mod.


System spec:

Coolermaster stacker 830 with modified mobo tray inc cpu socket access and cable management holes.

False bottom Mod: Housing swiftech dual 120 Radiator, Swiftech mcp 655 12v adjustable pump. 2 x CoolerMaster Silent Blue LED Fan 120mm on rad and 1 x Antec tri cool 120mm Blue LED exhaust fan.

Silicon sealed with sound deadening foam and removable side panel with side intake vent.

Case Fans: front Scythe Karma Bay with CoolerMaster Silent Blue LED Fan 120mm, 4 stack hdd cage with CoolerMaster Silent Blue LED Fan 120mm rear exhaust: CoolerMaster Silent Blue LED Fan 120mm, Top intake CoolerMaster Silent UV Blue Fan 120mm Zalman ZM-MFC2 fan controller.

eVGA 680i motherboard with swiftech GTX cpu waterlock, EK 680i NB waterblock, evga 680i SB fan. 7/16th tubing.

Q6600 SLACR stock 2.4Ghz -current daily 3.2Ghz. Max ever OC 4.01Ghz 3d mark 06 passed at 3.8Ghz.

Ram 4GB (4 X 1GB ) OCZ SLi ready ddr2 1066Mhz with OCZ ram cooler.

GTX 280 Stock (gigabyte + Asus ) running in SLi powered by Gigabyte Odin GT 850W power Supply.


Gotta go will finish updating system spec later.










There comes a time in every Atomican's Life, when he gets ambitious and is not content with the current rig.

Be it noise/ performance ratio. aesthetics functionality or just plain workability.


These was the founding reason for this mod.

In the beginning I had a p4 DDR 400 system with a 6600GT 128MB gfx in a Antec super lanboy case.

I then purchase a Dell 24" monitor not really comprehending the fact that i would have to have a more powerful pc and indeed gfx card to really drive it.


This started a spiral of upgrades which involved me getting a 7600GT 256MB only to be disappointed in the fact that it was only slightly faster than my 6600GT.

The only real option was to go PCI-e as the 7600GT was the fastest agp card at the time.




So I jumped into a asrock core 2 duo system with a 7900GS and then quickly into a and my current eVGA 680i.




The power was ok to play my current fav. battlefield 2142, but another by product of the 680i upgrade, was the incredible amount of heat they produce. being Australia with no air con in my room, I quickly decided that I need a good air cooler and some more powerful fans for my case.




After installing a zalman 9700NT and various other fans, I was happy...


Happy with the fact that the pc was not on the brink of meltdown, but becoming increasingly more frustrated with the fact that the Super Lanboy, a case that I really liked with its nice large side window from in which I could admire my gear, was near impossible to work with.

Far too small for my needs and no more room for the needs of the modding/expansion gaming and hardware monster that was growing within me.......


Enter the Coolermaster stacker 830.


Ever since I had seen this case I just loved the shape and style as well as the seemingly massive internal area and abundance of expansion slots. this was indeed the case for me!


Aesthetically the only thing I could pick on was the fact that it did not have the big side window that I would find myself peering into with admiration so many times in the Super Lanboy.


The need to get a new case had become somewhat urgent, and the release of the Stacker 830 EVO - "the first fully certified SLi ready case" as the disclaimer said on the product info, had me placing an order at scorpion technology as well as an OCZ ram cooler.

When they had to bring out the MASSIVE box on a trolley, I thought with a smile I am never going to need more room. - how wrong I would be!







At first the case was great, plenty of room no trouble there, cooling was good with lots of mesh in almost every conceivable place, and filters where most were required.

With my single 8800 GTS 640 MB I had upgraded to and the 9700NT there was plenty of room and not too many cables to worry about, even though there was no holes in the motherboard tray to run wires neatly behind it and out of the way.


as I added more fans, a fan controller with temp sensors and wattage display, SLi and more hdd's to keep the upgrade monster inside happy, the mass of cables made my case increasingly untidy also impeding airflow.




-Not that I was worried too much about that.

I now had so many damn fans in the efforts to keep my new Q6600, 8800GT's in SLi cool, the noise of the vortex I had created in my once large empty case as well as the rattles of this case was driving me insane.







Removing some of the fans, installing a clear side window to see my gear, and purchasing a water cooling loop of the atomic forums helped to reduce some of this noise, and made the case great to look at once more with the UV lighting and coolant running around.




After installing all of the above water gear, I found my case very cramped,

And especially after going to a dual slot cooler gfx card, and then SLi.

With the radiator in the front of the case the hdd cage had to be pushed back and therfore left virtually no room around the gfx cards to get my hands in.

the pump being on top of the hdd cage left very little room for the reservoir as well, and the fact that there is no hidden cable system in the 830, meant that even though I tried for neat cables i was pretty much left with this:




I decided enough was enough.

I started surfing for a case that could accomodate my needs, but nothing really grabbed me like the stacker had.

The cases that possessed the right build and layouts for my needs seemed to lack the character that i had really grown fond of in the stacker case.

So i started thinking of ways of how to remove some of the spacve issues and flaws in my current case.


Reluctant as I was I was going to have to get hardcore and hit the case with the dremel and drill for one, but after all we are Atomic! improving on good tech is what we do right?

The other idea that I had was provided by mods I had seen and often thought about from my friend and fellow atomican m4rx, with his original silverstone tj07 he could mount the radiator and all the water cooling gear in the bottom, and have just the pipes coming up into the case.

Why cant I do that I thought, but go one better and make a sealed false bottom?


In a voice like Saruman in Lord of the Rings talking to the orcs, I looked at the case and said. "we have work to do" ( ok I only thought this, but dramatic effect is always more fun :)


So I thought about how I wanted it.

black or silver? I thought black would be best to sort of hide below the case more like a shadow rather than an extension of the case.

Material? well it had to be aluminium, and brushed to match the case and provide a professional look. its a good looking case so I did not want to destroy the look with an eyesore at the base.

So how was I going to brush it? I did not know how, but that same month my atomic mag provided a tutorial on how to brush aluminium! lucky eh?


So I knew what I was going to use and how to brush aluminium, I then needed to work out how to construct it.

Its was going to need to get air in to supply the rad, and it needed to get air out so as not to build up with heat and perform well, but it needed to be quiet and vibration free.

Ok I can do that, but most importantly it needs to support the weight of the case on top!


I fired up CAD and drafted up something to work with.


The actual design did change a bit, but the concept is pretty much identical to this initial thought process.


It was then time to find some aluminium, so I headed to a local place called Elite metals who make various things and were very helpful in the past when i was sourcing exhaust parts to make a rear box for my car.

The had a sheet of aluminium that was perfect, and did not cost too much, so I grabbed it.

upon measuring it up I discovered that it was not quite enough to make the case to the measurements that I wanted. doh!

So I headed back there to see if I could get some more material, and also see if they could cut the material to size for me.

Ian, was very helpful, but alas he did not have any more aluminium, as he mostly works with stainless steel.


I got an appropriate sheet of this, thinking it would be good anyway to make some of the case out of this as it would provide more strength.

Ian was able to cut the sizes perfectly with the guillotine and even offered to use the bench grinder to smooth the edges, and even cut me some angle brackets to screw the case together with.


So I headed home armed with a lot of aluminium and a great sense of time saved. little did I know that the mod would take much longer than I thought, and that stainless steel is really hard to work with.


I set about the task of brushing the metals after cleaning them down after raiding bunnings for some sandpaper ( My choice was course stuff for a deep grooved result as I planned to paint the case and wanted the brushing to show through ).

-I did not have the bench that was shown in the atomic magazine but I made do with a trowel and the kitchen table some clamps and a length of timber.








To finish the look off I used matt black heat paint, the type that you spray car headers and extractors with. it had a silicon additive in it which luckily created a good finish. although I would need to spray the whole case again upon completion.



Continuing, I brushed all the panels, then set about trying to get a start on fitting it together.

The brackets that had been provided where very strong, but very hard to drill through, and I snapped a drill bit almost instantly trying to drill through the stainless steel.


Luckily I had a spare of the same size to persevere with, but this would not do.

So I hit bunnings again and grabbed 2 high tensile steel drill bits.



This did the job, but it took some time to work out the best way to drill the steel even though Ian had advised me that you just pulse the drill and go slow.

I found the best method was to put a bit of weight on it then pulse the drill untill it got right in then you could just drill through. the only thing to be careful of is to not put too much weight on in the very begining, as the drill tip will skate across the surface and the drill area will not be exactly where you want which happened a few times :/


Upon drilling some holes I tried to use the self tapping screws to screw it together, but these just sheered of the threads and got jammed in the hard stainless steel, although they might have been ok for the aluminium.



So it was back to bunnings!

After some thought I decided to go with tapered head bolts with appropriate nuts in the pack, and washers to pull it all together as I drilled larger holes through the brackets to allow for adjustment to get the case edges all ligning up as I wanted them and also to combat some of the drill holes that went slightly off target as I mentioned above.




Unfortunately the only small bolts I could get at the right size for the holes, where rather long, so I would need to trim these down later.

I began to try and start fitting the pieces together so i could work out where I needed to drill and making out the side vent.


I marked the rear exhaust fan location and thought about how to make it look professional like the back of a real pc case or power supply.





I already had some AC Ryan mesh X panel which I used for the side vent, and wen to the $2 shop and bought some frypan splatter guards to use as a filter behind the mesh X as it works great and the holes in the mesh X would still let dust through.

The $2 shop fry pan mesh is readily available and comes in bigger sizes than purpose built 120MM fan filters etc. and can be moulded to any shape really, it can also be cut with scissors. -just be careful it can be a bit sharp round the frayed edges!


I had to overlap multiple pieces to cover the panel of Mesh X, but from the outside this cannot be seen at all.

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g266/che...od/IMG_7966.jpg although I had it backwards in this shot for testing.


I made my way to clark rubber to see what sort of foam I could find for the purpose of sound deadening the case.

I found the perfect stuff, though it was a little expensive. around 1M square was probably $40.

But at least I had plenty in case of mistakes!

here is a shot of the mesh X and foam so you get the idea:



It was starting to take Form!


I used a bigger drill bit to counter sink all the bolts so that they would sit snuggly into the metal and would be hardly visible once the case was painted.


I started to cut the foam to size and installed a fan ( this one was not to be used as it was a noisy bastard! )





As i went along I was happy with the way things were fitting so I finalized the pieces position and tacked it together with some bits of masking tape where there were no brackets yet to see how the outside would look.


I liked the form, but obviously it needed smoothing and a bit of painting!

once I had moved on I had it ready to paint. in the meantime I had decided on using some other brackets from bunnings as they were easier to manage, and also because of the choice of position of the rear fan, I was going to have some trouble fitting the previous brackets.

this led to a little bit of a bulge in the rear of the case as the brackets weren't quite strong enough to pull it right in and make the panels all flush 100%.

oh well you try and learn!

its hardly noticeable and its at the back of the case. the case is still well and truly strong enough to support the stacker case on top, as it can even hold my weight.






It was time to paint and silicon seal the internals!





As It turnes out I used the wrong silicon! I could not work out that after 12 hours in front of the heater, that it had not gone hard so I asked dad and it turns out that the "car windscreen sealant" that i had used and thought would be ok, is supposed to stay soft to allow for windscreen flex.

Again it was back to bunnings to grab some of the correct silicon.

I opted for black house grade window sealant silicon. it was about $5

This did the job and dried reasonably quickly to the touch, and takes about half an hour or so to fully dry according to the directions.

I would probably recommend using this outside though as it was burning my nostrils, and as I needed to dry it in a hurry, I nearly ended up fumigating my housemate as I put it in front of the heater. LOL.


With that done it was time to start seeing how all the pieces were going to fit even though I had measured everything in the beginning to allow for a dual rad on its side, ( a triple can prob fit but would be less workable ) and a 120MM fan to fit upright as well as the swiftech pump.

I did not really bother about allowing for a hdd cage that was in the initial cad mock up as I figured I would be freeing up more of the internals of the case by removing the water cooling, and I have maxed out the sata spots on the mobo anyway with 2 external drives.


As it turns out I had not allowed much room for the pump as the pipe for the outlet is at the top so the bend in the pipe would need to be tight, and I was not sure that a 90 degree bend would fit.

I remedied this with some tube coils I had from previous loops and cut away the foam so that the pump could sit against the metal and cut a section out of the foam for the top tube. the pump comes with a large foam pad at its base already and I thought I would slip a piece of double sided tape at the top of the false bottom where the water tube touches the metal to give it some cushioning, but still allow for the vertical height of the pump and tube.







now that i had checked the fitment of everything it was time to start measuring out how to get the tubes to flow up into the case.

I had already thought this out and measure the length of the GTX 280 in the case, and with the hdd cage moving forward due to the removal of the radiator, there was going to be plenty of room.

Heading to Bursons automotive with a length of 7/16th swiftech tube in hand, I sorced some wiring grommets that were going to be perfect.

I had only factored 2 tubes initially passing through the case and had thought of the power previously but it had slipped my mind at the time. -Luckily I grabbed 2 boxes of grommets contain 2 each in case I was to run more pipes.

( i ended up using 2 for tube and one for power as you will see later)

So I positioned the case of top of the false bottom and worked out where to drill the holes.

The smallest hole-saw bit I had was only slightly bigger than the grommet but I decided this would be ok, which it was for the purpose, but would have not been sufficient for automotive as it would have let fumes through car fire walls.









With this stage complete, it was time to paint the outside!





And then install the rubber feet that I had purchased for a couple of dollars at the cabinetry section of bunnings. these were adhesive backed and easy to stick on. a great choice for case feet or anything similar.

I chose round ones as it is supposedly best to make it easier to shuffle the case around as sharp edges can get caught on dirt etc. I also wanted low profile ones as the case had lost about 30mm with the removal of the wheels, but had gained about 130mm due to the false bottom so I tried to keep the height to a minimum.

this turned out to be a bit of a poor choice as I find it hard to slip my fingers under the edges of the false bottom to lift it, but at least the height is not too bad. :|




It was then time to add the extra hole for power that I had forgotten before!


I had deburred the detachable side and attached handles that I had also got from the cabinetry section in bunnings for draws etc. these were only a few dollars also.

I experimented with the mesh side panel a bit as well with some moulding as you can see, but this is not 100% complete yet. I will it off at a later stage in the next few weeks, and tidy it up and fix the mesh a bit better to the case side and paint the moulding if I decide to use it etc.

The magnets Idea I had, does not work too well but the side panel is a very tight fit, so the magnets will not be needed unless I decide to shave down the side panel and make it an easier fit so it can be removed more freely, but for the amount of times i will need to remove it I may not bother. the false bottom is 90% complete aesthetically, but 100% functional so it can wait a little before I fix the side.




The grommets were out in this shot but were put in later when I ran the tubing through.


With the false bottom complete to a stage I was happy with, it was time to modify the motherboard tray, to allow for better cable management.

I started with a dremel to create access to the rear of the cpu socket, but decided on a hole saw for the wiring holes, as the dremel was slow going, very dusty and loud at the 10Pm on a weeknight time I was using it at!

The hole saw was sort of dangerous and it can throw the item you are cutting around a bit when it grabs, so be careful if anyone is inexperienced and trying similar things to my mod.


with the holes done, I filed down the edges and used automotive split conduit (commonly avalible at most automotive places like bursons or repco and great for pc wire modding. and cable management to create a nice moulding around the edges,

but I ended up having to remove it as I could not fit the wires through the holes as there were so many.

the conduit round the cpu socket remains though at this point.






Next in line was to install the parts I had ordered, and bought recently in a stroke of luck from OCAU. and from pccg.

from OCAU I luckily found someone selling an EK NB water block and SB fan for the 680i, and ordered some 7/16th swiftech tubing, 4 more CoolerMaster Silent Blue LED Fan 120mm fans in addition to the one I had bought a couple of weeks prior.

some Feser one Purple Coolant after a mixed percentage of votes from my coolant choice poll! and 3 fan grilles, which should have probably been four!

And I received a Karma bay from a friend and fellow Atomican Vormulac.


First up was to clean my CPU waterblock, (I had cleaned the NB block a few weeks ago )

here's one for Nesquick ;)




I used tomato sauce to clean the block then scrubbed it of in the sink, the dish brush i used was probably a bit harsh for the small fins cut into the copper block though, as I bent a few around the edges :(. I don't think this will really affect performance, but I was extra careful to make sure there were none that could have broken off and gone through the loop.



Next step was to was to get rid of the stock Nvidia NB and SB cooling.




No wonder these things run hot! It would help if they would put on a better amount of TIM instead of coating the damn IHS with gunk!



I broke out the Artic Cleaning kit and managed to get these pretty clean.


next up is -Weapons of choice!





The Motherboard installation.




You can probably see in the above shots, that the mounting pins for the EK NB block, have black thumb screws.

They were originally a brass colour, but I like things to be black or silver so I etch primed each and then painted with the same paint as I used on the false bottom.


Into the case was the next step, I had a little trouble sliding the motherboard tray in with the spilt conduit around the holes i had cut, so I had to remove it, and again there was not enough room for it with cables anyway, so i may make an alternative later.

Although the holes were round so no sharp edges.



Finally the time came to mount the case on top of the False bottom I had made, install the grommets and run the piping.










Lights off!






The rear of the case:

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g266/che...od/IMG_8062.jpg Antec tri cool 120mm with 3 speed switch easily accessible with side off.



Finally inside the false bottom.






Ok thats Pretty much it for the mod other than some cable management I need to tend to as I ran out of time. Some paint accents I want to tend to, like painting the edge of the side panel under the perspex window black to make it look neater and hide the slots and screw holes, and pain the screws.

Fix the side intake of the false bottom and fix the cut edge, I still need to experiment with some moulding.

and some other small touches.


I also need to swap the pipes on the reservoir, as I had a leak and at 3am when i was doing fixing it, I was so tired, I must have crossed them over.

Its still working but I need to tend to it promptly, but it can stay for now. I will get onto that within a week or so.


I will update this a little more with pics and stuff later, but that is pretty much it until my next major mod!


Hope you enjoyed reading and hopefully felt a litttle like you have shared the experience, or have gained some enthusiasm to try a mod yourself.

On that note, I will be happy to answer any questions and offer advise where I can, as I am sure plenty of other atomican's will be very approachable as well.









Stay tuned for the next installment hopefully tomorrow or later tonight.



Edited by cheozuka

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Epic mod, has it achieved the results you wanted?


I cant help but think it would have been easier to get a modular PSU and stick the rad out the back of the case though man.

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The results seem good so far, the temps are a tiny bit lower than before, but now the NB is intergrated in the loop. Also the loop is much longer so it should therefore not cool quite as well.

The case is much more room inside also, so its been pretty good all in all.

the sound deadening and silicon sealing seem to have been very effective so i can recommend this for cases that have a few gaps.


The PSu is modular! LOL except I use 90% of the cables for it :| so its a mass of cables!

http://www.giga-byte.com/Products/PowerSup...DIN%20GT%20800W that's the model anyway.


A rad out the back would be easier, but I would still have to house the pump etc inside the case, also I sort of like the cooling to be hidden.

I don't know why I just do.


I look forward to giving the final update to thread tomorrow, and add some more pics to show you the finished result :)

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Great work, Cheo!


I can confirm it looks pretty wicked in the metal-flesh. :)


Can I suggest maybe putting a list of the whole rig's final specs at the top of the page?






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Looks great cheozuka!


All that hard work has paid of and you now have a silent cool beast!


Whats next?

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nice mod

makes me want to go try find another heatercore at the wreckers and squeeze it into my stacker and have another attempt at a side fan (maybe a little smaller this time)

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dude this is purely awesome, so glad i voted for purple coolant as it looks so awesome! great job mate!!!

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Alex tt- I had not planned on cooling the vid cards, as I tend to upgrade these fairly frequently as IMO they are the fastest devaluing pc part, and the cost of watercooling blocks is generally quite expensive for the full cover type.

Also I would probably need to upgrade the loop with a bigger rad or seperate loop ideally for optimum performance.

With the case free of obstruction and plenty of intake fans the gfx run reasonably cool and I ramp up the fans for gaming as I am not worried about the noise whilst gaming. they are nice and quiet whilst using pc for media and surfing though, and although the case is still a little noisey Its MUCH quieter now and still has very good if not better cooling performance than before.

So i am very happy.


espionage- yeah the rad out the back is a common mod, and manufacturers of cases even build their cases with grommets in the back to accommodate this, my case does not have these grommets unfortunately.

Aside from that I have just never liked the idea of having the rad hanging of the back of my case and instead prefer to have it hidden. -just a personal choice, the other issue is dust. the side vent in the false bottom is totally filtered meaning I can keep most of the dust out of the rad, keep performance up and making it easier to clean as well as being a bit quieter being housed.

Also the pump being in the bottom gives a little more room inside the case.


Thanks for the positive comments guys! much appreciated.

-sorry for late reply



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Holy Shyte Cheo, that is one big thread bro.


Thats some serious work you have done, I see what your talking about when you mentioned it at the Atomic show





Hawkeye, JR - this has to be "POST OF THE MONTH" with the amount of work put in. Damn fine.

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Thanks guys, its been great all the support!

Spose I have to mod something else now! :P


Lately I have been running at 3.55Ghz daily and the cooling has not broken a sweat, whilst its still much quieter than before.


I am thinking for the next overhaul of getting into the internals with some more cable management and perhaps a little paint.

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Hawkeye, JR - this has to be "POST OF THE MONTH" with the amount of work put in. Damn fine.


Too late, it needed to be nominated for the month it was posted.


But I reckon getting front page hightlights is even better!

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Thanks guys!

Post of the month would have been great, but I am more than happy with where it has gone!

Hey laz! let me know when your going to mod the stacker :P I would love to see what you can do!


This mod has actually reduced a Lot of the rattles the case once had, but I still have to attend to a couple more. I will probably try and find some thin material to line around the inside of the case side panels to give them some vibration dampening.

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