Lian Li Q11 Mod

illram

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
1,473
Inspired by josephclemente whose build from years ago I always admired.

My Dan A4 case took over as my primary living room entertainment center PC. I couldn't bear to part with my old trusty Q11 though. It was just such a faithful trooper for so many years, and I still like the looks of it today, so I decided to try and breathe some new life into it. But this case has some problems, which I wanted to address going forward.

1. Ventilation for the GPU and the HDD's sucks.
2. PSU placement sucks.
3. ODD drive.

Even in a clean build, it's mighty cramped and toasty as-is. So, I bought the following components:

i5-7600K
Asus Z270M-ITX/ac
Corsair SF450
Zotac ITX GTX 1080 (pretty excited about this, it's the most powerful short GPU yet)
1TB Crucial MX300 M.2
8GB 2400 MHz Team Elite DDR4 RAM
Rajintek Pallas CPU cooler
2x Noctua fans (1x 120mm, 1x 140mm)

And then went to work on my case solutions:

1. Ventilation:

b2W4pmz.jpg


4.5" hole saw does the trick. That's the bottom of the case. Josephclemente used a nibbler for his case hole, but I lack that sort of patience...

lvMod0O.jpg


Attached some taller feet to allow for that fan to suck in air and added a Noctua 120mm PWM fan.

I went with 1 m.2 for this build, eliminating the need for any SSD or HDD's entirely. The future!

2. PSU placement. The Q11 is designed so the PSU fan acts as a case exhaust. I dislike this solution particularly given the Q11 really has plenty of room, if you use it well, for air to vent out via positive pressure. So this was a 2 part fix: (1) buy a SFX PSU so it takes up less space, and (2) cut another hole in the side to flip the PSU over and isolate the CPU fan and the PSU fan.

s9e9N8T.jpg


My holesaw skills are not great so if you look closely it's a little ugly. But meh. Cut a 3.5" hole directly over the SFX fan in the Corsair SF450 and added some mesh.

Flipping the fan over also gives you more clearance for the CPU cooler and some additional ventilation, if you use the Silverstone SFX to ATX bracket. I could have flipped it over and just relied on the .75" of clearance, rather than drill a hole... but where's the fun in that??

Ai4tDGT.jpg


3. ODD drive. Easy, remove it! Now I have a lot of space at the top of the case. Just had to tape the drive panel back on as that was connected to the metal drive bay. (The big empty slot on the top right.)

Iibb8V9.jpg


Also replaced the front fan with another Noctua 140mm PWM. Front fan is connected to the CPU header via a splitter.

Removing the ODD bay allowed me to fit the Rajintek Pallas, which is a great 68mm tall cooler:

0gY9pn0.jpg


Look at all that room. It's like night and day compared to the rats nest that this case was previously. (I did some organizing beyond this after connecting the GPU PCI-E).

I also replaced the USB 3.0 front panel connector, which was designed to just snake out the back of the case and plug into the rear mobo USB connectors. This was back in the day before mobos were really coming out with USB 3 headers. How did we survive those dark times? Fortunately, Lian Li makes a replacement, proper front panel connector:

Ofldqs3.jpg


Temps (all at stock):
Idle: 27c
Prime 95 26.6: 61c
AIDA64, all tests: CPU 67c, GPU 68c @ 1.063c/1,911MHz,

CPU fan stays at a very quiet 600-750 RPM at load, so plenty of room there. System remains pretty quiet at a low woosh with everything running full tilt in AIDA64. Feeling the vents, hot air is coming out where I want it and cold air is going in where I want it. There is a lot of headroom here for some overclocking.

Overall a huge improvement over my old system which was a tiny hot vacuum cleaner. Success! Now to actually enjoy some games.
 

ReaperX22

Gawd
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
720
Very cool! If I had the balls to ruin my Ncase M1 I'd probably mod it too to open up some airflow.. Though it's nowhere near a hotbox as the Q11 default. XD.

The Rajintek stuff seems really good.. But not available in Australia... Lame.

Your secondary computer is faster than my primary... :p
 

raymondo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
230
Good job! Loved josephs build, too, and made a somewhat similar build like that myself back in the day (though with full ATX PSU).. Used a jigsaw for the bottom hole and it looked more like a potato than a circular but it helped a lot with temperatures.
 
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