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mark84

Modding a Silverstone SG05 case to fit more drives

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So, it all started in this thread. I could've continued that but thought it'd better serve the community if I wrote up a bit of a how-to as well.

Basically I wanted to down size my current file server both in the physical sense and in the power requirements sense.

 

Once I was certain I was going mini ITX and realising that not many/any ITX cases supported more than 2x 3.5" HDDs I decided I had to make my own >.>

I did come across this case, but that's apparently not due out for another few months, think Q3-Q4 2010 in Aus.

 

BTW, I only need 2x 3.5" atm but I wanted more for future expansion.

 

 

The Idea

So, looking around the net wondering what I could do. I already had my eyes on the Silverstone SG05

 

I liked the size of it and the fact that it had a quiet 120mm fan in the front. Only problem was that it had just 1x 3.5" drive mount bay.

 

That's when I came across one of these on ebay and my eyes lit up as a cunning plan started to form in my mind.

Having seen how much room the SFX PSU that comes with the case takes up, I wondered if I could remove the SFX PSU, use the pico PSU to power the computer and attach a drive cage where the SFX PSU went?

 

After searching the net for measurements on parts and measuring pictures on the screen with a ruler I found something that would likely work. That with the included factory bay will give you a total of 4x 3.5" bays, 1x 2.5" bay and 1x slim ODD bay.

 

The Build

Parts

Here's a list of the hardware I went with for the final build:

  • Silverstone SG05 case (You could go the SG06 if you want an even quieter build. Front bezel muffles the fan acoustics)
  • PICOPSU-150-XT (the XT comes with a 24-pin ATX connector. The lesser ones appear to only have 20-pin connectors)
  • Lian Li EX-23NB Internal HDD Kit (went this for the rubber grommets for vibration dampening and the front grill which I use in the mod)
  • Asus AT3IONT-I MiniITX mobo (you could go the deluxe version which has an in-built 65W PSU, but I wanted my PSU separate for possible future upgrades)
  • 2x Samsung EcoGreen F3 2TB HD203WI (most review sites show they're better in most respects than the WD Green drives)
  • A-RAM Ultra II Series 50GB SSD (for OS drive. Fits into the 2.5" bay)
  • G.Skill F3-10600CL9S-2GBNT (1x2GB) DDR3
  • Panasonic UJ235A Slot-in SATA Blu-ray 4X burner (a bit of over kill, but I like my tech >.>)

Putting it together

I should've taken some pics of the actual modding process, but I was to carried away with making it work to worry about that lol. So I'll explain as best I can what you have to do and give some end result pics.

Some tools you'll require:

- Pop rivet gun and pop rivets

- Tin snips (for cutting the grill to shape)

- Rubber mallet or a regular hammer and some TLC (for bending/flattening metal parts)

- A smallish screw and nut (to attach the drive bay to the rear of the case)

- Two self tapping screws with flat counter sunk heads (to re attach the PSU retention )bracket

- Drill with various size drill bits

 

1. Take out the factory PSU from the case.

As easy as that sounds there's one more step than usual apart from just unscrew from the rear of the case. There's also a retention bracket that holds the PSU up that spans across the width of the case and sits on top of the frame work. You can see it here sitting on top of the PSU. Un screw both ends of the bracket first and remove it before going for the rear of the case PSU screws. Dismantled pic.

 

2. Prep the case.

To fit the 3 drive mount bay we need to bend some of the metal parts of the case. Namely, the PSU retention bracket mentioned in step 1 and a lip which the PSU sits on at the rear of the case.

Start with the PSU bracket and flatten the "hook" part that the PSU sits on out with the hammer/mallet so that it goes straight down from the top of the case/bracket. This will attach to one side of the drive bays.

Next bend the lip at the bottom of the hole where the SFX PSU sits at the rear of the case so that it's vertical and doesn't interfere with where we'll mount the drive bay.

 

3. Prep the drive bay kit.

We'll use two parts of the EX-23 kit, the part that you actually mount the drives into and the front honey comb perforated grill. I'll get to the grill later. For now we'll just dismantle the kit.

Using a drill, drill out the 4 pop rivets holding the 3.5" drive bay part to the 5.25" bay adapter/base plate. This allows the drive bay bit to separate.

Next unscrew the screws holding the front grill to the 5.25" bay adapter base plate. Then drill out the 4 pop rivets also holding the grill to the 5.25" plate. Grill should now come loose. Put it to the the side for the moment.

Go back to the drive cage. Where you drilled out the pop rivets we need to bend that lip area so that it's flat and in line with the vertical walls of the drive bay. This allows the drive bays to sit right up agaisnt the PSU retention bracket and rear of the case.

 

4. Attach the PSU retention bracket to the drive bays.

This will hold up one side of the drive bays. Using your hands put the drive cage into the case and put the PSU retention bracket in next to it and size up where you need to attach the bracket to the cage. Move the cage to far towards the expansion brackets and you'll interfere with expansion cards, too far the other way and you won't be able to drop/lift the cage bracket in/out of the case to easily. Once you've got where they need to attach, drill two holes along the horizontal plane through the bracket and the cage for your pop rivets. Then use your pop rivets to secure them together making sure the flat side of the rivets are on the inside on the cage (thus won't interfere with HDDs). Also note the cage should be in the same orientation that it was in the original kit (ie in an "n" shape not a "u" shape) we use the lips we flattened out to mount to the rear of the case.

 

Here's how mine turned out

Posted Image

 

5. Make cage attach points

With your cage assembly looking like the pic above drop it into the case and push it to the rear. Best you at least mount a HDD in the lower bay as the metal will flex a bit and mess with your measurements.

From the rear of the case drill a hole that your nut + screw will go into and secure the cage to the rear of the case. Drill the hole into the lip that you straightened out. Should give you a little bit of room to move below the bottom HDD. You could drill two holes if you want for a more secure mount but I found one to be ok, plus makes it less of a hassle when pulling the cage out. With the hole(s) drilled put your screw(s) in and tighten up the nut(s).

Now we need to attach the PSU retention bracket arms to the skeleton of the case. You'll notice the pre drilled factory holes no longer line up. This is the fiddly bit. We need to drill holes into the case through the holes already in the bracket arms and using the self tapping screws secure the cage into place. Make sure you use counter sunk screws so they lie as flat as possible against the case skeleton as the case lid sits directly on top of them. Start with small drill bits and work your way up in size, after each drill bit try and screw in the screw. If it doesn't "bight", drill a bigger hole until it does and you can screw the screw in. Do one side first, then once you've done the first the second you can just use the drill bit you just used. Cage mounted!

 

Posted Image

 

6. Plugging the hole.

With the cage mounted we're left with a PSU size hole in the rear of the case which is ugly. Here's where the grill comes into play. We'll mount the grill over the hole to make it easier on the eyes and provide a bit of EMF suppression to the HDDs in the bay.

Get the grill and with tin snips cut off the two arms that attached it to the 5.25" base plate. I found I could leave a several mm border around the honey comb like perforations which makes it look nice. Rather than just cutting it to the size of the PSU mount hole.

Put the grill over the PSU hole and you'll notice that the holes in the grill match up with the holes for mounting the PSU. Whatdoya know pre made holes for us!

Before we attach it, line the grill up and look where your screw + nut is that secures the cage to the rear of the case. Using tin snips make a cut out for the screw so you can get to the screw once the grill is attached.

Take the cage out of the case if it isn't already and line up the grills top left most hole with the PSU top left mount hole. Then using pop rivets secure the grill into the four PSU mount holes. You might need to drill bigger holes depending on your rivets shaft diameter. You need to use the top left hole of the grill as mounting it any higher or to the left will interfere with the lips on the cover of the case when you put it back on.

 

End result should look like this

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

Note I've taken the factory 3.5" mount bay out to allow max air flow as I don't need the bay at this stage

 

7. Assemble the PC

Put the drives you want into the cage, then install the itx mobo first along with the RAM and pico PSU. Easier when you have vertical space to leverage stuff into place. Once that's done insert the drive cage and secure it into place.

 

Using a spare expansion slot bracket, drill out a hole and attach the pico PSU's DC plug to it and install in the outer most expansion slot

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Then proceed to cable up and install the rest of the drives, fan, case buttons/USB connectors etc.

 

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/era...04052010035.jpg

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/era...04052010037.jpg

 

Then put the case top on and you're done!

 

Finished result pics and results

 

Posted Image

 

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/era...04052010042.jpg

 

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/era...04052010041.jpg

 

My N97 camera isn't great at picking up the colours but I also installed some coloured LEDs for some extra sexy

 

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/era...04052010043.jpg

Posted Image

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/era...04052010046.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/era...04052010048.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/era...04052010050.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/era...04052010051.jpg

 

I'll post some pics when I switch out the computers and give a size comparison shot etc

 

As for power results:

 

Current file server which is also used for F@H (Q9550, 8800GT, 2x 1TB, 1x 120GB etc)

Idle: 143W

CPU load: 222W

GPU load: 224W

Full stress: 430W

 

New server (with 2x HDDs, 1x SSD, and LEDs installed etc)

Idle: 38W

CPU load: 41W

GPU load: 48W

Full stress: 53W

 

CPU load whilst overclocked pulled about 53W.

 

:D

Edited by mark84

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"Too many textorz!!!"

 

/bsod's

/resets

 

"Too many text... uh oh"

 

edit: Nah... I'll read it later.

Edited by SceptreCore

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Nice build man.

 

Will never understand why people run folding though, no one gets my free processing power without paying me for it :P

Edited by nesquick

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Looking good man.

Edited by mudg3

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