Case Cutting To Make The Video Card Fit
by Sandy Sunkada
Building your first computer is always a different experience for everyone. Their is just so much to think about when building a computer. So many different parts to think about getting, trying to get that last part you really want to get that will fit into your budget line, and which name brands to trust and reading all the reviews to see what other people think about the part. Well now I will tell you about my own personal story about my first computer I built in May of 2009.
First thing though is a little bit more about me. I have a job at a chip design company called "Chip Integration Technology Limited" that mainly deals with Designing and fabrication. I live in Karnataka, India and I am currently attending Evening classes to get a BE degree in Manipal University. Ok now that you know a little bit more about me, back to my computer build. Well around I had decided it was time to get a new computer because well i had been always using my parents computer which was some old piece of junk compaq and I felt I deserved better. So now I had to figure out what all I wanted for my computer the tough part.
Well I first had to get my budget down. I first was thinking of only spending about Rs.29000, but after looking at the parts that I could get for Rs.29,000 i figured i was better off going up a little in my price range because of the huge performance gain you will see in the parts. So my final budget ended up being about Rs.35,000, which in today's market is about the minimum you need to be able to play today's latest games at around 60 fps and around max graphics. So now the next thing to do was to figure out what parts i need, which was the toughest part for anyone's first time building because they have to do a lot of research to find out what parts to get and what does this number mean and what does this thing do and so on. Any body who is starting their first build should always research for about a month of the internet before they actually buy all their parts for their build because the worst thing that can happen is you buy a part and you put your build all together and then a week later you find out that their was a better part out for cheaper or even worse that your part does not work for your motherboard. Ok so now what parts did i decide to buy. Well first of all I wanted to make sure that I did not have some giant colossal sized computer that would be a pain to carry around. Most people do not mind how big their computer is because they will not ever be moving it, but my computer i have to take back between my moms house and my dads house every other week. So I knew I wanted as small of a computer as possible. So now the list of parts.
1.Thermaltake LANBOX Lite VF6000BNS Black SECC Gaming Cube Computer Case-- Rs.3871
2.Thermaltake Purepower W0100RU 500W ATX 12V 2.0 Power Supply--Rs.2939
3.GIGABYTE GA-G31M-S2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard--Rs.3184
4.Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3250310NS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive--Rs.3871
5.EVGA 512-P3-N873-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card--Rs.5047
6.SONY 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S203N--Rs.1518
7.Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor--Rs.9800
The parts were quick to arrive I had bought all of them on new egg so they all arrived around the same period of time. Shipping was not that high also and only cost me about $20 total. So now it was on to the next and most important phase of a build and that is putting a computer together with not ruining any of your parts. This step is very crucial and make sure to read all the manuals before you start because even a computer expert can make mistakes. So first impressions when I saw my parts was wow my graphic card is huge (9800 GTX is 10.5in. Long!) and wow look at how big my case is! The case actually does not seem that big now, but at the time I was thinking of something around the size of an Xbox or Ps3 because I had been bringing a game station back and forth for some time now and well my LAN case is probably 2.5 times bigger than my Xbox. Well none of that mattered now and it was time for me to start building my computer. Well my first build went the same as almost everybody's first build goes, you run into problem after problem.
The first problem I ran into was we realized there was no way a 10.5 inch graphic card was going to fit. **Always and I mean always make sure you Graphic Card will fit inside of your case if you are buying a small case, to find how much room you have for a graphic card just read the reviews. Well when we measured out how much room I had for my case it turned out we only had 9.25 inches, so we needed to somehow make an extra 1.25 inches in the case. Well my first thought was to send back the case, but I had a combo purchase with my PSU so I would have had to send back my PSU also. So my next option was to send back the Graphic Card, but that would take to long because I do not have the patience. So the last option was the good old chop shop way to make things work. We decided to try and cut into the Hard Drive Bay to make it work. So we got out the wire cutters and cut a giant chunk of metal out and got rid of a chance for me to buy an extra hard drive, but who needs two hard drives when you have one with 500GB. So we slid the Graphic Card back in their only to realize that now it was still just barely hitting the Hard Drive Bay. So we did what anyone else would do and move the hard drive bay over about two inches spun it around 180° and got out a drill bit. Next we drilled a hole on the bottom of the case and then aligned the hole on the bay with the whole on the button of the case and screwed it together. The hard drive bay sat slid in nicely back into the two slits on the case that originally held the bay. Well with that out of the way the rest seemed to go pretty smoothly, well except that my dad dropped the hard drive once, but it was ok thank god. Also we could not seem to figure out how to get the push-pins to work on the cpu heatsink. It seemed like they were to hard to turn and push. We messed around with it for about 45 minutes till my dad sad screw it and took all 4 apart and lubricated them up with some WD-40 and that did the trick, but it always seemed like one did not want to go through.
The build booted up just fine after everything was put together and the case was closed. The computer runs great and I have seen no slow down what so ever when playing games. It has so far ran Crysis at 30FPS on High Graphic Settings and 50FPS on Medium Graphic Settings, Company of Heroes at 60FPS at highest graphics, Supreme Commander at 60FPS at highest graphics, and World Of Warcraft at 60FPS at Highest Graphics. This computer really excels though at multi-tasking. With the support of the quad core and 4GB of RAM I usually have my VLC Media Player playing music, 3 different browsers with 5 tabs opened on all of them, usually a game on pause in the background, aim up and who knows what else. The craziest part about all of this is i might only see 7-15% CPU usage for this. The computer is amazing so far and i feel like i have made a truly great computer for my first build.