My mission is to create a SL600Mi featuring mITX and full size VGA support. In love with the design and premium material used, but there should be a smaller version of this case.
Ambition: To create the mITX version of SL600M that Cooler Master haven't produced, yet. Hopefully, this project will encourage them to do so.
This project will be built just the way I want it. Design, layout and performance will meet.
- CM SL600M
- ASUS ROG Z390i STRIX
- ASUS ROG RTX2070 STRIX
- ASUS ROG THOR 850W PLATINUM
- Intel Core i7 8086k Limited Edition
- Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 2x16GB
- Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500Gb
- EK-Momentum ROG Strix Z390i D-RGB - Plexi Monoblock
- EK-Vector Strix RTX 2070 RGB Nickel - Plexi
- 2x EK-CoolStream SE 240
- 4x EK-Vardar EVO 120ER Black BB
- Custom made CM-logo D5 Pump top
- Custom made CM-logo Reservoir
- EK-Torque series fittings
01: COMING FROM SOMETHING ELSE
This SL600M has been used by me doing some OC and VRM temps testing together with AORUS, Noctua and EK Waterblocks.
It is now time for this two-stage project to donate the case to something completely different.
I will begin with a tear down of the previous system to get the case all set for proper planning!
With the case totally apart I can start measuring how much to remove and still be able to fit everything I want.
02: CUT IT
The mission is to go down hard in size, but still able to fit 2x 240 mm rads, full size VGA and ATX size PSU. This together with proper air flow and good looking LxH ratio of the external case.
As this is a casemod and rules says 80% of original case to be intact/used in the finished build, I'm doing the shrink using only parts from the case itself.
The most time efficient way would be to make a new frame and the just attach the front and top panel to it. But I'm not going down the easy path this time!
My idea is to keep the edges of the frame and remove a section somwhere in between where most suitable.
This gives me the original frame in a smaller format with same attachments at the edges.
I'm also planning my removal of sections to be able to use original mounting mechanisms for the panels!
The frame itself is made of steel which suits me, angle grinder and later on welding all pieces back together!
04: CUT IT AND WELD IT, LIKE OLD TIMES
More cutting, grinding and welding. Using the actual case parts and making my own smaller ones is a bit tricky but so much fun.
Dirty and rough compared to all usual water cooling and hardware mounting that's mostly going on nowadays.
I'm test assembling all parts while making them to keep myself on track.
This will hopefully help me avoid parts that don't fit when it's time for final assembly.
05: TOP COVER
Front and top covers will require a bunch of work to be fully functional and looking good. Both of them needs to be shortened in steps with the plastic frame, net and aluminium exterior. Lets start off with the top panel. Taking it all apart and most work will go into the plastic frame.
I decided to cut it where there's no mounting clips so I can attach the cut of back part to the shortened front part.
This gives me good attachment to the case metal frame and original looks both front and back!
With the plastic frame glued back together at the right size, the net had to be modified to fit. Pretty easy work but still time consuming!
The two top cover pieces just needs to be cut as they have the same shape from front to back. The removable part of the top uses pins that slide into rubber bushings keeping it at place. I removed these pins and glued them back according to my new bushing placement and voila, smaller top with same design and funtion!
06: FRONT COVER
The front cover is a bit more tricky regarding its shape. This means I'll have to cut it and remove a section from the middle to keep the design.
As I can't weld aluminium I had to go with a different method using chemical metal for the joint. With edges sanded down to a sharp angle I could get as much chemical metal as possible in the joint. This possible to be sanded down to a smooth surface. It will probably be strong enough on its own but attached to the plastic frame it will be solid.
I put chemical metal on both sides to fill the gap. When dried out, this is easy to sand down to a smooth surface before painting.
I haven't yet decided which color use for the aluminium covers but do like the CM black version of SL600M.
Will probably have to try and see what it looks like
But lets jump back to the frame and finish that one shall we!
07: PAINTING THE FRAME
A proper paint job starts with primer!
With the frame welded back together alot smaller than before it was now ready for paint.
I started with metallic primer as some parts were bare metal. Then continued with satin black top coat just as the original paint job.
Frame will now look stock, but smaller!
08: MOTHERBOARD MOUNTS
My motherboard will be mounted horizontal above the ATX size PSU. Instead of going for a tray design I decided to use long spacers.
Much more stylish and an overall more open and clean look.
Making the spacers required a bit of tooling starting off with chromed mounts from a wall shelf system.
All I needed from them was 4 equal lenght rods thick enough for M4 screws.
I used my table-version station drill to get the holes straight and as centered as possible.
Both ends was then tapped with M4 to stand stable at the case floor and hold the motherboard floating above the PSU.
09: READY, GET SET..
I'm now leaving the dirty work behind with this case. Frame is painted black again, acrylic interior and exterior parts are cut and ready for some back-painting.
This is where the assembly will start!
Things left to do:
- Install water cooling parts (Monoblock, VGA block, rads, pump, res etc)
- Custom acrylic radiator covers
- Source CPU
- All custom cables
- Finish top and front panels
I decided to buy myself some proper RAM, Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 2x16GB which will be perfect to my theme.
To save some money I stole a Samsung 970 Evo Plus 512Gb from another mod I'm not using at the moment.
10: CUSTOM WATER COOLING PARTS
Custom CM logo shaped acrylic pump top in the making!
I designed this to fit D5 pumps and with the flexibility to use different mounting brackets and orientations.
Custom CM logo shaped acrylic reservoir to go with the D5 pump top. Features 3 ports and the same mounting abilities as the pump top.
One of many tributes to 10th CMWS that's going into this project!
11: ACRYLIC LOVE
Custom CM logo shaped acrylic pump top and reservoir CNC milled out of acrylic.
I absolutely love how they turned out!
The reservoir have a three port pass-through function and will sit in line before the pump.
Hopefully there will we some good looking water movement in there.
I did not add any RGB support by purpose as I don't want any. RAM, monoblock and motherboard will supply enough lights!
Choosing accent color for this legendary CM tribute wasn't that hard.
I've always been a sucker for purple together with black and chrome and as it's Cooler Master signature color, well rock on!
But the thing is, I am not talking about a lot of color. For this time just refering to EK Torque HTC fittings!
13: CUSTOM FLOW
Pump and reservoir mounted in their right spots.
Pump is placed horizontal using an EK D5 bracket attached to the front radiator.
Reservoir will be floating in mid air with support from a three-way fillport at the back and a hard tube at the front.
The pump sits as the lowest part of the water cooling and I use the new EK Torque T-fitting to station a drain port down the bottom of the case.
As you can see, the bottom of the case got a new opal back painted acrylic floor for a deep mirrored finish. And yeah, still got the protection on.
Some more tubes!
Forgot to snap a photo of the dual hard tubes coming from the GPU-block down to the momoblock, but you can see them behind the reservoir.
I'll be running a GPU-CPU parallel loop with inlet and outlet on the other side of the GPU.
This is the flow:
Pump - Front 240 rad - GPU/CPU - Top 240 rad - Reservoir - Returning to pump
Absolutely love how the Nickel mirror backplate will give me multiple custom acrylic parts inside the case!
All black EK Vardars!
Front radiator as inlet and top radiator as exhaust.
Perfect sized PC incoming <3
14: RADIATOR GRILLS - DESIGN
I've been working with a couple of designs for my radiator grills and finished off with these two.
One dedicated to tribute CMWS19, will be mounted to top radiator.
The other one is my signature design that I modify and use for all sizes of radiators. This time a full cover including mounting and the parts sorrunding in/outlet ports.
They will both be laser cut from 2 mm transparent acrylic and then get a very special treatment!
15: RADIATOR GRILLS - LASER CUT
Here they are!
I will peel of the protective film on the backside and then paint them in a very special way.
You could say I'm going RGB on these..
16: RADIATOR GRILLS - RGB
In the world of LED RGB I though I should try something else!
Both grills is painted on the backside with a semi gloss translucent paint with fine holographic glitter particles.
On top of that I applied a second layer with pure black to act as the background for the hologram.
The result is astonishing and all depending on the applied light and angle of view. Without any direct light or very dimmed down the grills appear just plain deep glossy black.
17: QUICK OVERVIEW / PREPARATIONS FOR MAKING CABLES
Pretty much done planning the entire water cooling loop and it's time to make some cables.
But first an overview showing parts and angles that will be harder to view when fully assembled.
With a small case packed with jummy hardware, custom parts and details it's good to have a proper breakdown showing everything.
Monoblock and parallell acrylic hard tubes viewed from above with the top radiator not in place.
And yes, tubes will be cleaned, fittings perfectly aligned etc. before final assembly
A good view of the tubes and my rear mounted fill port. This will allow me to top up the system without taking side panels off.
Majestic Corsair Dominator RGB!
Getting ready to start measuring for cables and choosing the best paths.
I love how rough everything looks with the protective film still on.
Makes the moment of reveal so much better when it's finally ready to be removed.
The last time I'll see it this empty!
It looks kind of roomy on the inside but with everything in there will be approx 10 mm spacing between parts
Good cable management starts with proper planning.
With this project I have transparent side panels on both sides of the case and no PSU-shroud to hide cables in.
This means all cables will be fully visible. Very nice if they are properly done but requires alot more effort.
The market today offers you a large variety of custom made cables. Pre-sleeved universal extensions and even custom cables for most of the power supplies out there.
This is awesome for everyone who doesn't want or can't make their own cables. But something that that won't work for me in my tiny SL600Mi.
I will go with another solution making my own custom cables.
PSU located underneath the motherboard is not a very common layout. But it makes for a very short 24 pin almost directly down into the PSU.
To manage my cables in a good looking and strategic way I designed my own comb for a 24 pin 180 degree turn and a spaced holder for 8+6 pin GPU cables.
This design will allow the comb use the cables themselves for stability.
It's fun to use alot of different techincs for this project. Mixing oldschool cutting and welding with this kind stuff.
I had to print a couple of prototypes tweaking my tolerance to match cables perfect.
The comb has to be just tight enough to hold everything in place but also allow me to actually pass through the cables.
Testing a bit thinner prototype before final design and better quality.
I decided to make my cables actually by starting with Cablemod extensions in their Carbon sleeve that I love.
The benefit from buying extension and rip apart is that you get one side of the cable to use.
The other side is reaarranged according to my PSU pin out style and crimped with new terminals and connectors.
My style of combination cable comb makes it a bit more complicated as every cable must be checked and made according to the right length inside the case.
The number of cables and a very short 24 pin also makes it nessesary to attach one cable at the time to get the route right.
Time consuming and requires patience when the cables has to be +-5 mm to look perfect together.
But yeah, worth it!
This view almost want me to ditch the top radiator and put a window up here!
19: GETTING CLOSER
A clean floor, what a pleasant view.
Finishing up with all power cables and continuing with some RGB connections. PSU, GPU-block and CPU-monoblock will all be synced to the motherboard.
How much light and wich color to use will be decided when I have the PC up and running.
Cables, pipes and custom covers are all in place!
The moment before panels.
Realized I have some more details to do before I'm fully satisfied.
- The custom reservoir will get a Cooler Master logo covering the plug.
- Case feet will be detached and high gloss polished to follow the finish I got inside.
- PSU will get a custom badge instead of the up side down ROG logo.
- Not in this picture, but panels will get their finish layer of matte black paint.
20: CASE FEET
No way I was about to change the iconic case feet. As panels and feet blend together perfectly I want to keep them.
But silver anodized aluminium does not follow the same finish I got for all other parts.
It's time for some high gloss polish!
Instead of removing the anodizing completely I decided to polish the other parts and keep the anodizing on the inside, creating a two tone dept.
This meant I had to remove it by grinding and sanding instead in a chemical way.
Going through stages of sanding and polishing ending up with that mirror finish I love!
Much more classy and perfect to my Nickel fittings and hologram paintjob on the inside.
21: PANELS & PSU DECORE
Panels completely finished and blacked out. So satisfied with the effect matte black color has on these panels!
Since the original air flow in this case is from bottom to top I had to make sure all intake air can come through the front radiator instead. The original front panel is closed but I've opened up mine at the section hidden behind the front foot. This section will be used to suck air from below through the front panel as a duct. This gives me no visible intake. When mounting the front radiator inwards and fans out, there's actually a good amount of spacing between them and the front panel. Allowing more than enough airflow for 2x 120 mm fans.
The power button will stay silver as a symbol for this casemod. It's actually the only part of this case that's still intact!
A carefull close up will reveal that the ventilation net on the top panel actually follows the same pattern as my logo.
PSU-decoration made of 2 mm acrylic with laser engraved logo and backpainted with hologram paint.
Protective film still on here and will be removed when mounted at the right place.
22: FLUID & FINAL TOUCH
I had prepared with some alternatives regarding fluid for this project.
EK CryoFuel Indigo Violet is a perfect match to their purple Torque accent rings. But it felt like to much neon and aggressive.
Not what I was looking for here.
So I went with mixing my own purple with Mayhems dye and CryoFuel Clear to get this dark deep purple that feels so elegant.
I also love the two tone purple I've now going to get with fluid and accent rings in the fittings. You can actually see the magenta part in the fluid where it breaks the light.
I think this is it! The moment before filling.
I'm all done and ready to fill, configurate and do my final shooting.
That will completely put everything together regarding overall design, shapes, details and inspiration to manufacture a case like this
FINISHED - SL600Mi
After the deadline I actually decided to improve some parts that I don't think is perfect.
The 3D-printed cable comb is now changed to a 4mm thick laser cut acrylic comb which looks 1000% better!