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Computer Case Project For AMD

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February 9, 2008 11:15:05 AM

This is Mnpctech's slated for AMD's display at ceBIT show in Hannover, Germany. 3/4/2008 - 3/9/2008. The case is a Thermaltake SwordM. I wanted to make something that reminded you of a space ship hull door. Reinforced Triangular Patterns with a rotary "airlock" latch. The shell I designed was milled from 1/2" aircraft aluminum on a 2 axis cnc mill. Everything is being chrome plated. Everything in the future is chrome right? ...lol


February 10, 2008 11:11:16 AM

I've done a lot of aluminum polishing with an electric buffer and by hand. Until you've done your own polishing, I can only describe it as extremely tedious work. It numbs your brain, but not in a good way. Theres only a few Modders like myself that have been crazy enough to polish their own aluminum parts, sethnmalice and Paul from coolercases.co.uk. It takes a lot of patience! Last year I polished the 26" tall machined 6061 aircraft aluminum side panels and motherboard tray on this tower by hand. It took me 2.5 weeks of work, on/off otherwise the task drove me out of my mind. If you don't have the proper buffing equip, you can wetsand out any imperfections first before buffing out the finish. I don't have all the pro equip, so the problem with 6061 alum, is it can scratch real easy. Any speck of dirt caught under a sanding block will create havoc in the finish, just like wetsanding a paint finish. Of course, this did happen a few times and you started over. I vowed I'd never do this again and seek a professsional next time I wanted this type of finish. "Project Phenom" presented this challenge again so I made some phone calls and found AAA Metal Finishing.

Yesterday I picked up the first pieces from AAA. On a saturday no less! I've always wanted to learn about chrome, copper, and bronze platting. AAA's owner, Raul gave my son and I a tour of the facility. The building is city block long! He showed us the steps involved in plating metal parts. I noticed one of Raul's clients was BigDog Motorcycles I recognized their logo on handlebars and frame brackets in different stages throughout the building. Before any part can be plated, it must first be Bead blasted and then polished, otherwise you will see any surface imperfections in the final chrome coating. Raul was kind enough to allow me to record some of the steps with my camera. I plan share this footage in the next video update for this project :) 


The first parts to return are the new top panel and factory front bezel trim from the Thermaltake SwordM Case. The factory finish on the bezel was originally anodized silver.











February 10, 2008 11:37:17 PM

WOW is all I can say, I would love a custom case, but partially afraid of the costs. I got a quote once and it was a like 1500 just for the case, safe to say I abandoned that plan. BUt good luck with your case!

:hello: 
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February 11, 2008 12:49:30 AM

.....I wish I could afford one like that to go with my phenom......some time in this lifetime.
February 11, 2008 4:03:22 PM

Thanks for the comments!

Onesy twosy pick-ups will go on for awhile. Raul must plate my parts in between his larger customer production runs.

You'll remember this panel as the new top from the video



February 13, 2008 1:28:09 PM

I'm picking up more chrome plated parts this saturday. I hope they have the side panels finished! I'd really like to get to the re-assembly of this case. Otherwise I should have a new update posted by this Friday. We're painting the SwordM's rear door with Alsa Corp Chrome FX and airbrushing circuit board trails over it that play off the recessed portions in the milled side panels.



February 13, 2008 1:53:57 PM

Wow!!! That looks pretty GREAT! You giving any test cases out?
February 14, 2008 1:55:55 AM

test cases.. I wish!

Photos from tonight's painting session

House of Kolor's "Kosmic Krome" Paint










February 14, 2008 8:00:45 AM

Now I would like one of those!!
Looks incredible, top work there! :D 
February 14, 2008 11:38:17 AM

I like it better in black, makes it look stealthier.

Are you sure you don’t want to give out engineering samples. We could test it to make sure it can stand up to the abuse!
February 15, 2008 9:11:15 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys! spaztic7, I don't have anything to give out. This case is made by Thermaltake.

fyi: HoK Kosmic Krome is very fickle in how it's applied. Best to practice first, it's a bit expensive paint to practice with tho, $68 for 1/2 pint!!!

February 15, 2008 12:20:08 PM

Sorry if I got a little annoying there.

Wow, that is really expensive paint, but it did finish great!
February 15, 2008 1:14:18 PM

Want to make me one? :sol:  ;) 
February 17, 2008 10:47:10 AM

Hey gang :hello:  Thank you for posting your comments! I have another update for you.

This is the start of the background design for the rear door mural.. The theme will be a backdrop to airbrushed circuitry trails that are HR GIGER inspired. Biomechanical without the living organism element. The theme behind Project Phenom is SciFi inspired, thats why the side panels look like a spaceship hill door

This Kosmic Krome had to be scuff in order for the paint to adhere. No worries, the reflective effect will return after it's cleared again.





February 18, 2008 11:26:20 AM

Heres the latest update on the rear door progress. The theme behind the Project Phenom's rear door design is futuristic.. Perhaps some strange type of space exploration equipment. Not neccessarily from Earth.









February 18, 2008 12:07:12 PM

shytt man..its soo impressive.. gud work 10/10 ;)  i have one question will u be representing AMD at CeBit?
February 18, 2008 12:25:03 PM

Wow.. I bet if the chopper motorcycle guys saw this as an opportunity to make a little bit extra coin there could be an explosion of new designs and styles. They would show this to the millers with flow jets and we could see some serious stuff. Totally trick MonsterMawd FTW. I would pay for a case like that because its big and heavy. Falcon Northwest would love that case man!
February 18, 2008 1:38:41 PM

dats hell of a job man...i would surely visit Cebit if i had money for the expenses...bt sadly non :( 
February 18, 2008 1:49:01 PM

Thats looks AWSOME!!!
February 18, 2008 1:56:06 PM

That's dam cool, hopefully AMD doesn't sue you for using their logo, they are hurting for cash after all. ;-)
February 18, 2008 1:59:54 PM

wow man, how much time and $$$ do you have put into this so far?
February 19, 2008 9:17:41 AM

Yes, It's slated for AMD's display at ceBIT. Several hundred hours have gone into this project.

Thanks for all of your comments! It's great to hear your feedback. It fuels me to push my work and raise the bar for everyone else. Thank you!

Heres more pics of the door







February 19, 2008 11:50:14 AM

Wow I am very impressed with the results thus far. Have you decided what parts you are going use? Obviously AMD :) 
February 19, 2008 3:58:13 PM

Thanks! still waiting to get specs on the system
February 20, 2008 1:20:32 PM

I'll be mounting Round Modders Mesh on the back side of the openings in the milled side panel doors.

The small steel plates were spot welded onto the mesh, these will serve as AMD badges.



These triangular pieces were spot welded together. They mount inside the large side vents
February 21, 2008 9:36:15 AM

Parts arrive back from AAA PLating.. This is the mock airfoil/heatsink piece for the top panel.







February 21, 2008 12:37:15 PM

Very nice! Will these top pieces get you painting jorb as well?
February 21, 2008 1:12:16 PM

mimart7 said:
Wow I am very impressed with the results thus far. Have you decided what parts you are going use? Obviously AMD :) 

Nawgh, he'll use the new Yorkfield chip in there :kaola:  j/k

Very impressive paint job. Are you using stencils and an airbrush? What did you put over the initial coat to give it that shine? It looks more impressive than the clear coat on my car :D 
February 21, 2008 2:27:32 PM

@ spaztic7, Yes, the recessed portion is matte black.

Thanks for the great response everybody!, glad to hear I'm on the right track :sol: 
February 22, 2008 8:26:08 AM

The AMD 120mm 3/16" thick plated aircraft aluminum fan grills in the top panel







February 22, 2008 11:06:03 AM

Wow, a bit much with all the AMD logos! But not bad. At least it looks uniform and keeps with the appearance of the rest of the case! You are still rocking it! Keep it up bro!
February 22, 2008 10:46:49 PM

I only hope AMD produces a Phenom worthy of that case, oh how I would love to through this Yorkfield at the wall! Atleast they better, all those AMD insignias could quickly become I's for Intel if AMD doesn't step up, atleast for me.
February 23, 2008 3:37:07 AM

They better GIVE you a phenom 9900 b3, 790fx and two 4870x2's beta's for all the work you've put into this thing.
February 23, 2008 1:02:50 PM

Received an update from my AMD contact. It sounds like I should be expecting some parts to arrive on Monday. "The hardware spec for CeBit highlight will be our Spider Platform with Quad CrossFire (Phenom + 790FX + 2x 3870 X2" I will say that things have changed with every update I get from AMD that I wouldn't be surprised if something else arrived. Still no confirmation if/when I'll receive HDs, Mem, PSU, sound, or Optical drives..

2, 3870s



I wayyy underestimated the time that would be involved in the assemble of the case yesterday. Started late at 4pm and had to call it quits at midnight.. I forgot that all of thread holes in the chrome plated parts had to be re-taped. That along with missing odd-ball screws (4/40 x 1/2") among others, were misplaced or lost. Spent an hour at the local hardware store searching for fasteners.. In any case, heres some of the Bling that awaits assembly

What you're looking at in these pics, flawless chrome plating on the corner of AGP Vent, The left side access panel pieced together temporarily... Note, like the top panel in my last update, the recessed portions of the panel will offset with matte black vinyl. We didn't have time to paint, so the next best solution was matte black vinyl..The mesh will be painted Matte Black, to help offset the chrome, add depth to the reinforced features. Even with all of the Black background, this will be the most "Blinged-Out" computer evar.

Below, you're looking at the assembly of the left AGP vent, 120mm Aerocool fan sandwiched inside, but this fan will ultimately be replaced with Zalman w/ green leds I'm still waiting to arrive..

















February 23, 2008 1:52:48 PM

An astounding bit of work their chap!
Wish I could have one of those! ;) 
Especially as I'm planning a Spider system as well! :) 
February 23, 2008 6:39:19 PM

Man.. that is one monster case. Wonder how much it will weigh when its all done. :ouch: . o O (ya I see the wheels... but still)
February 23, 2008 7:51:17 PM

Just one question... why the preponderance of AMD logos?

Now, before you all shout at me, hear me out... I know the project is to use AMD processors, and you're going to exhibit at the AMD stand etc... but its something more fundamental then that. AMD seems to have been chosen as the raison d'etre of the project and I'm not sure why. I'm not saying they're bad or anything... but for a completely custom case the effect is a bit jarring. Essentially you have an absolutely fantastic piece of work that is unique and personal to you and you alone. But those logos are not yours, and their familiarity takes the uniqueness away from the case and brings it more into a corporate as opposed to a personal space.

I think its a fantastic project, and ultimately a case almost beyond compare. But why use someone elses logos? Why not a design of your own making as the theme?
February 24, 2008 10:52:45 AM

Thank you for the compliments!

vincio, thank you for your feedback. I enjoy hearing it.

Yesterday I spent most of my time sleeving cables/wires with Black sleeving. Tedious work, but I hate messy cabling. I hope whatever PSU arrives is pre-sleeved from the factory. I can't afford the time to perform more sleeving. I also had to make fan wire extensions for 2, exhaust fans in the rear door and
side air intakes. I re-installed the SwordM's pwr/reset which are electroplated chrome plastic and the chrome plated Zalman ZM-MFC1 fan controller beneath the case front I/O panel. Perfect match of switchs. It's gorgeous. I'll take a photo today and post it soon.

The top panel is finished.






Round Modders Mesh Ready for Matte Black Paint


Mounting one of the panel
February 24, 2008 12:37:31 PM

What will happen to the case when the show is over?

I'd absolutely love a case like that, although blue LEDs not green, thanks! ;) 
February 26, 2008 11:01:59 AM

dunno for sure, probally tour over the coming year at trade shows

Machined and Chrome plated "AMD logo" Side Rotary access panel handle


As I mentioned earlier, I wanted you to see the chrome plated bezel I/O port and zalman aluminum face plate up close. :thumb:
February 27, 2008 10:19:38 AM

AMD is shipping a 30" panel (crossfire ready) to meet up with the system at CeBIT.

Goodies arrive! compliments of AMD yesterday.

Phenom 2.6


2GB PC2-8000 memory


2x 3870 HD X2 ATI Radeon




1x 3870 weighs in at 2-1/4pds!


Gigabyte MA790FX


Gigabyte MA790FX
a b ) Power supply
February 27, 2008 10:53:51 AM

Nice JOB!!!! Will you show us the final build all put together? Are you going to have benchies for us too?

Edit: almost forgot to ask if your going to have a booth babe standing next to it?
February 27, 2008 11:05:12 AM

this is very oooooooo now!

is that a b3 phenom?
a c 121 ) Power supply
a b À AMD
February 27, 2008 11:09:18 AM

Why would he need a booth babe? They serve the purpose of attracting attention to the exhibit. What might possibly do a better job of that than this amazing case?
People will be interested, so I hope you can include a posterboard with a timeline of its construction, so people can appreciate the amount of work involved.
February 27, 2008 11:15:20 AM

Wow that thing looks amazing. You'll have to post some actual pictures at CeBIT when it's all said and done.
a b ) Power supply
February 27, 2008 11:39:38 AM

Onus said:
Why would he need a booth babe? They serve the purpose of attracting attention to the exhibit. What might possibly do a better job of that than this amazing case?
People will be interested, so I hope you can include a posterboard with a timeline of its construction, so people can appreciate the amount of work involved.

What more could a guy ask for? Good looking gal next to a dream of a system? I know that the babe is just window dressing, but it's nice to dream, right?
February 27, 2008 12:29:48 PM

Very nice (internally now :) ), that's pretty much what I'm planning to build although in a CM-690 case... ;) 
March 1, 2008 1:00:16 PM

Sorry for the long interlude since my last update.

My wife's family is in the middle of a crysis that started Tuesday. I've been comforting her through this, so getting online wasn't a priority over the last few days.

Carlos did arrive Wed afternoon to install the system. Carlos and I had Davanni's Hoagies for dinner around 6:30pm. Carlos is diabetic and had a severe reaction to the Mayo. He experienced severe food poisoning throughout the evening. He also arrived from Sunny Miami to a Frigid Minnesota to perform this work under a massive deadline. The man deserves a medal!

AMD sent us the PCP&C Silencer 750W PSU. This PSU doesn't have modular connectors, I modified the SwordM in manner that it's entire shell now opens up, this leaves very little space to hide your cables, so cabling this system to hide everything is was a real challenge. This endeavor proved to be a major time drain. After everything was installed we fired up the system and couldn't get any video output. We troubleshooted into the early morning. Remember that Carlos is still contending with food poisoning and I'm getting reports from my wife about her situation. We also lacked the alternative hardware to test in the system loop to pin point the trouble area. We were both mentally drained at this point. I told Carlos to email AMD we were having problems and would miss Thursday's shipping window for CeBit in Hannover, Germany next week. I brought Carlos back to the hotel so he could find rest before his 5am wake-up call to prepare for flight home. AMD responded that they could slate it for WCG in Colonge, Germany

Last night I was able to get back to the shop with Tom (Owlbot), uninstall the system, break it down into it's most basic config on the workbench and re-install everything with clear heads.. It POSTED! and everything is working now.

I emailed my AMD contact this morning to see if it's not too late to ship this over to CeBit on Monday. I have no idea if he reads his company email on the weekends. It would miss CeBit's opening days, but maybe make it time for the peek weekend crowd.

I haven't had a chance to take decent pics. Bare with me through this situation, it will be worth the wait!
!