Modding Log - markkleb's "Project Crossflo"

Introduction, PSU Modding, Lower Case Construction


Overclock3D and its forums are all about community. Our roots are firmly planted in the Overclocking and Modifying scene where our members have continually shown us their technical skills and imagination through their project logs posted on our forums.

Today we'd like to bring to you one of these project logs from modder Mark Klebofski. One of his latest projects is a small form factor, custom designed case with interesting airflow. I asked him to write us an article going through his build...

Making of "CrossFlo"

My thought on building this case was to eliminate the problems associated with SFF cases.

2-Lack of Hardware choices
3-Poor cooling
4-simple design (something everybody could do)

Here is a picture of one of my earlier comps a Qpack showing how it can be over filled with stuff causing very poor airflow.

qpack pic

My thought was to remove the power supply from the top of the case and put it below out of the way thus separating the heat from the motherboard and its components.

By turning the ATX motherboard sideways it allows the same rectangular shape as the Qpack/Microfly. It also allows the airflow to travel form one side to the other thus the name CrossFlo. My thought in using side to side flow was it is more efficient (flows with the axis of the cards) and has a shorter path to go.

Bigger cases have air basically entering from the front and exiting the back, but the air has to go up, over and around obstacles thus making it much less efficient.

silverstone tj09

When airflow is more efficient you need less to do the same amount of work., so the comp becomes quieter as slower speed fans can do the work of high speed ones.

Now to pick out the components that I will build this case around:

Motherboard - DFI LP 590 W/AMD X2 4200
Memory- 2 Gigs of Corsair XMS2 Pro
HDDs- 2 WD 160 GIG sata 2 in Raid0
LiteOn DVD (laptop slot-load version)
PC Power and Cooling 510 power supply
DangerDen dual 80mm Rad
DangerDen DDC pump W/ Petras custom top

It sounds like a lot to fit in a case smaller than a Qpack..

Motherboard tray and bottom half of case

First lets start with the motherboard. To add a little flash and also insulate against electricity I will make the motherboard tray out of plastic. The motherboard will be on one side and the PSU on the other.

To make fewer pieces necessary I am going to make the I/O plate as part of the motherboard tray.
To bend it just use a heat source (torch, hairdryer or heat gun). Keep the heat moving because if it stays in 1 place too long it will melt or BURN.Than I just bend it over the edge of my desk. Working with plastic is pretty easy, just remember to use SHARP tools (no dull cutters or CRACK)

bending plastic bent plastic

I am using Nylon screws and spacers to support the motherboard and PSU. There is less chance of damaging the back of the motherboard .Since I am hinging the motherboard tray and using it to support the motherboard and Hdd I have decided to make a aluminium piece for the front and back to add a little extra support.

mobo tray

mobo tray

Now to bend up a piece of metal to serve as the bottom half. Just bend it over the edge of my desk

bending bottom half

Now just attach the motherboard tray to the bottom half.

riveting motherboard

Power Supply and wiring

Power supplies have a lot of wires coming out of them. I am only going to need about half of them.

psu wiring

Also power supplies are much smaller without their cases. CAUTION DO NOT REMOVE YOUR PSU FROM ITS SHELL UNLESS YOU HAVE A THOROUGH UNDERSTANDING OF ELECTRICITY. Not to mention it instantly voids the warranty.

psu wiring

I will be using 2 HDDs and the Laptop DVD on 1 circuit. The water pump, lighting and fans will be on 1 circuit, then I need the 24 pin, 8 pin and 6 pin for the motherboard plus the wires for the voltage controls of the PSU. This means that all the rest can go. Here is what it looks like after I removed the ones not needed.

psu motherboard wiring

power connections

I like to solder the PSU wires directly to the back of the motherboard. This is a pain in the back-side and also instantly voids the motherboard's warranty, but it eliminates a bunch of extra wire and the possibility of voltage loss through added connections.

I say possibility because while on the chalkboard there is some loss in current every connection you make as long as the connections are good I believe it wont be noticeable.

custom pots pots switch

I also made a custom voltage controller so that I could adjust the voltages of the "pots" (potentiometers)

Water Cooling and HDD Rack

Since the bottom half of my case is 3 ½" tall I am going to use a DangerDen Dual 80mm rad.

80mm rad

Also I am only cooling my CPU so a Huge complicated Water loop is not necessary.
I will draw air in from the right side through the rad and than across the PSU and out the left side. I am also going to cut a 80 mm fan hole on the left side to make sure that air has an easy escape.

cooling setup

I will notch the bottom half of the case where the tubing will pass through and line it with rubber molding so the hoses aren't cut by the metal when the case is opened.

Now to make the brackets for the Hdds and DVD. I am using Aluminum. The front piece will add structure to the bottom half of the case.
I am mounting the HDDs using rubber grommets to help to cut vibration/noise (example from previous build).

mobo tray

I saw one of these fans online and just had to have one.

flash fan

It's a 80mm fan sold by BlueGears and as it rotates it shows the temp of the air passing through. Also it helps to cool off the HDDs as well as adding a little flash to the front.

Read on to see some work on the top and front of the case...
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Most Recent Comments

08-03-2007, 08:02:26

ooo definately better having it there, will attract more attention aswell i expect

a great read, cheers matt/mark

ps. matt, remember the forum link at the endQuote

08-03-2007, 08:11:23

Nice article

Can see someone trying to open their PSU without reading your warning and blowing themselves up tho.Quote

08-03-2007, 08:22:18

Basically: unlucky if they do.

It's not a guide or anything (which we would have even more of a disclaimer on) so tough Quote

08-03-2007, 09:14:57

Mr. Smith
Nice bit of exposure for Mr. Klebofski and a decent insight into modding...

Could there be more of this type of article in the future, leaning more towards the 'how to'?Quote

08-03-2007, 09:36:45

Well yes I was planning on getting a few people to do the same thing as Mark

As far as guides are concerned we do have a fair few, but if we get time then we could perhaps do some more.Quote

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