Simple Antec 900 Modding

Overall Score

What can one do with about 4 hours and a good assortment of tools? For someone who has no life and about that amount of time, a case mod is a great option.

Here’s What Prompted the Mod:
When my modular PSU finally became unstable, I needed a new PSU, and this time, I wanted one that would last. I looked to PC Power and Cooling, as they have a long track record of reliability and quality. Unfortunately, they also don’t sell modular PSUs. Regardless of this, I ordered a Silencer 750w. Fast forward a few days, and the PSU arrives. I take it out, and lo a behold, it’s got a lot of cables. I mean A LOT. TONS. Realizing that there is no way that this will fit in my case and look good, I started looking at case mods. I found this one.

New PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750w.

There are a LOT of cables. They are also quite long. The Bawls bottle is included as a size reference.

Modding in Action:
I looked for a while online at what others had done with this case, seeing lots of great examples, many of which were quite elaborate or time consuming. I’m lazy, so I took the most efficient route possible: I was going to cut holes to hide the cables. This seemed to be the most effective route, as it greatly improves the appearance of the rig, and isn’t all that difficult. After stripping out all the components and extraneous parts of the case, I started to map out where each hole would go.

Case all stripped down to the barest of minimums.

After quite a bit of planning, I decided on where the holes would be. The simplest way to do this was to put the motherboard into the case, and look at where the connectors were, and plan accordingly. The holes were made using some Greenlee electrician’s punches. These punches are typically used to put extra holes into steel electrical panels. The case being made of identical material, they were ideal. A quick sanding with the rotary hand tool made for a nice smooth surface. I’m not great with a rotary tool, so there are a few imperfections, but oh well; you won’t see them after I paint the case this Summer anyway.

Case complete with newly punched holes. Starting in the upper right, going clockwise, the holes were for this purpose:
*1 ATX Connector, 8 Pin Power, IDE for DVD drive, DVD Power, Top Fan Power
*2 IDE Connectors from Motherboard, SATA for HDDs, Power for HDDs
*3 Power Switch Connector, Reset Switch Connector, HDD Led Connector
*4 All Power Leads from PSU, Power for IDE HDD, IDE for IDE HDD, Power for Cold Cathodes
*5 SATA Cables from Motherboard, USB Header from Motherboard
*6 ~Factory Hole~ Power for Cold Cathodes

One more hole was necessary for proper operation, and I quickly added it. Drilling a hole for the power and reset switches was easy enough, but sanding it smooth with the rotary tool would have been difficult: I used a file.

Close up of the hole for USB header, HDD Led, and Power/Reset switches.

Installation went pretty smoothly. I first put in the SATA connectors and reset/power/HDD connectors, since the holes for them are under the motherboard. After that, everything goes in whatever order works best for you.

SATA and Power/Reset/HDD connectors installed.

An hour or so later, the PSU was installed, along with all of the other cables. The backside of the motherboard tray looks like a mess, but that’s not what people see, is it!

The left side of the case has a bit more clearance, so all of the connectors MUST go over there, except for Molex connectors, which will clear the door if laid flat. The ATX cable is very large, and you may have trouble at first putting on the door, but with a bit of force, it flattens out. Some modders would drill holes and use Zip Ties, but remember, I’m lazy, so I used Painter’s Tape instead; it sticks well, and doesn’t leave residue behind.

Lots of rearranging later, the door fits!

Surprisingly, there is little to no bulge in the side of the case.

Turning the case over, there were very few cables to work with in all actuality. A few visable for drives and the motherboard, but little else. This made for an easy job of hiding the rest. Here it is!

Some pictures of the final setup:

All of the PSU connectors go straight into the area behind the back panel.

A very clean look, if I do say so myself. (And I do! ) There are ways to further improve the look, reversing the drives is one way. I may try this later in the Summer. For those of you wanting to know what it used to look like, here:

^BEFORE PICTURE!^
Keep in mind that that is with a MODULAR PSU. Now try to imagine that with a Silencer 750w.
Great improvent eh?

Plugging it in in the dark yielded some interesting pics:

A bit blurry, but it’s hard to take an accurate picture with this camera. (NOT my FZ-18 )



Conclusion:

The Antec 900 was a good case in the first place; it has great airflow, is easy to work with, and looks good IMO. Modding the case made it just that much better. This was an easy mod overall. All in all, it only took 4 hours of so of real actual work, including planning. It was cheap, only requiring the necessary tools and some tape. Most important of all, however, is that it was effective.

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