ZOTAC Mod Box

coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
zotac-670-logo.jpg

If this one comes off as good as it currently looks in my head I’ll struggle to hand it over to Zotac once its finished tbh.

A little background.

While out at CeBIT I was shown the new logo and livery for Zotac which to be fair hasn’t changed a great deal but is now more pleasing on the eye by softening the actual logo font but the main difference is the addition of honeycomb effect which can be seen on the large image on the new GTX295 retail box.

I instantly knew what I wanted to do but actually doing it is another matter.
The basic plan is to turn a ATCs 840 into a giant retail Zotac box without all the smaller logos or specific card branding so newer cards can be added as they evolve without having to re-brand the entire case and also to incorporate the Zotac Nitro so the cards can be instantly overclocked on the fly.

The main problem is I can’t airbrush so i'm on the lookout for a professional airbrush artist to take care of the paintwork.

Before I’m able to get the case to the painter its down to me to get the chassis stripped and chopped to mount a GTX240 in the base and also to get the Nitro hard mounted into the alu front section then its all off for powder coating followed by wet sanding to get a nice base for Rick to work his magic.

Anyway a few images for now……….


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Spare-Flair

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
Messages
7,471
Good on you for taking the Nitro out of the shell.

It's kind of ridiculous that they want to release it as a serious modding or gamers device but it ends up looking like some Fischer Price piece of Soap in the orange shell with the curvy molding.
 

GJohn

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 22, 2006
Messages
1,174
Very nice build.

Amazing pictures...mind on telling on the lighting setup to take such good photos?
 

coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
Hey, cheers for all the encouragement even though i've not got a lot to show just yet :)

........and not to get anyone too exited under false pretences as even though its been a long day, all i seemed to accomplish was do the 550miles to pick up the mods that were out at CeBIT and i'm happy to report no damage.

On a brighter note though i have got some new toys to play with in the shape of a new Skulltrail board and a couple of CPU's which i'm over the moon with tbh as they are a bit special, plus the fact i just love Skulltrail.

Anyway, should have some modding to add in a few days.

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coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
After the great success with the Delrin top i7 block using the DD MCP Chipset block i decided to make a couple more for the Skulltrail but this tim i'm using the D-Tek Quick Mount.

I'll get them both finished but may swap the Quick mount for Pro Mount so a back plate can be used but for the time being it should be fine and it doesn't see, to be causing the board to warp too much.

I'll also flame polish them like the i7 ones to make them shiny black once i get them both finished.

Some pictures.........

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coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
And then there were two.........flame grilled and polished.

I like them, just hope they work as well as on i7

skull_block_9.jpg


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coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
First things first......

I got the Skulltrail installed on the bench (well telly room table) to see what's what and glad to report my trusty new CPU blocks work a treat when hooked up to my mini H20 Cosmos.

Unfortunately though i had to pull the PSU from the other Skulltrail machine to get the new one running as neither the CM Real Power 1000 or Tagan 1300 have two 8pin 12v connectors but i've got another Ultimate coming which will sort that out but never-the-less, a bit annoying.

Anyway, the board had an old Alpha BIOS which wouldn't handle Tri-Sli so i grabbed the Intel® Desktop Board D5400XS BIOS Update [XS54010J.86A] which enables Tri-Sli and flashed with that so i'm all good to go for my first venture at 3 cards.

Full Skulltrail - XFX GTX 280 XXX 3-Way SLi /4870X2 CFx article by Zardon of DH

In the mean time i've been messing around with a Zotac GTX9800 and their Nitro basically running bench test just to make sure the Skulltrail is nice and stable which touch wood it seems to be so far so will crank up the volts and see what can be had.

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cnealjr

Gawd
Joined
Aug 27, 2003
Messages
921
Sweet bunch of hardware you have there. Looking forward to following this worklog.
 

AVT

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
4,769
Don't ruin those blocks with the horrendous pushpin mounts!

Use the pro-mount or any other real mounting system.
 

coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
Don't ruin those blocks with the horrendous pushpin mounts!

Use the pro-mount or any other real mounting system.

My thoughts exactly.

Oh, my apologies for using inferior hardware :rolleyes:

Originally Posted by Me
I'll get them both finished but may swap the Quick mount for Pro Mount so a back plate can be used but for the time being it should be fine and it doesn't seem to be causing the board to warp too much.
 

coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
At long last i had a couple of Coolermaster ATCs 840's tune up this morning so its all stations go.

I first got to get the ZOTAC Nitro installed into the front bezel so it was dismantle the Nitro and use the casing as a template for the screen and three white buttons.

Marked it out then drilled pilot holes to feed the fret saw blade through followed by a little filing and bobs you uncle.....sorted

I still got to cut a bit of 3mm plexi and add black out film to it so the whole screen sits flush to the rest of the bezel and disappears when the screen is not illuminated but this is how it looks right now.

I've also got to de-rivet and strip the rest of the chassis and cut the base for the 240 rad then the whole thing is off to powder coat before Rick starts his airbrushing :)

Pictures....


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coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
I'm on a roll.........

Basically couldn't wait till morning to cut the plexi because i wanted to see what it looked like

Cut the plexi to size and used Black Out Privacy film on on side.

Obviously not all mounted but shows how it will end up looking....ish

I'll sleep happy with that thank you very much.

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NJHC

Gawd
Joined
May 22, 2007
Messages
545
I was looking at this last night over @ ES. Great work again.

I have just one question for you. Can you give me a shot and some info on the Fret saw you are using. I have one and am looking for a new one and from the little bit that I can see in the pic yours sparks my interest.

Thanks and keep it up.
 

coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
Wish i had more to show you guys but they say, the hard work is in the preparation and in this case it was.

Decided to make the top grill for this Zotac 840 out of a piece of 4mm sheet of aluminium which will make the whole top section of the case pretty much flush, more in keeping of an actual Zotac retail box which i'm trying to replicate.

Not really much different from the top grill i did on the previous Smackover 840 but this time it was the full width of the case and rather than a curved edge, it was more of a bevel finish to match the front bit.

Anyway, no doubt it wouldn't of taken long on a CNC but i dunno, i just love doing this type of stuff by hand so here it is, all ready to go to powder coat with the rest of the chassis then Honeycomb mesh mounted underneath on its return.

Sorry for loads of pictures that might not really mean that much but to me they kinnda justify a day in the garden doing what i love doing.......and a little Youtube showing power file, draw filing and block sanding to finish :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqAZUQ5T7X0

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Greg-O

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
252
Nice work there man, I am definatly going to be watching this one... :D
 

coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
Just a few finishing touches before everything goes to powder coat tomorrow.

Tapped 6 holes in the top grill and added some threaded bar which will be used with small spacers to mount it to the chassis where i drilled holes (red arrows) so there is a small gap between the chassis and the vent which will help with airflow but the main reason is so it ends up mounted flush with the front bit.

Also de-riveted the hard drive caddy and chopped out a section out so the rad can fit and also cut the base to accept a dual radiator then riveted it back together.

BTW, i'll be using a GTX240 radiator in the base but just used the only 240 i had for pictures.

Pictures....

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coolmiester

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
130
Just been and collected the chassis from the powder coaters and it looks nice in satin black and i'm well happy the way the top grill turned out.

Next up is to wet sand the whole exterior then riveted back together ready for Rick to start working his airbrush magic.

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ekuest

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
6,092
very nice. what did you use to make the beveled edges on that top plate?
 

ekuest

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
6,092
ah ok. never seen one of those before. i guess ill just have to use a belt sander. should work fine.
 
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