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MSI Aegis - GAMING HAWK

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Hukkel, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

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    Allrighty. After modding a MSI Nightblade for MSI Europe:

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    And a MSI Nightblade for MSI HQ:

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    I have been honoured to be asked by MSI HQ again to do a mod with an All-in-one gaming system. This time with the....MSI Aegis. Or the Aegis X3 as they are now called. The small one that doesn't do SLI.

    I received a bit of help from MSI themselves and a bit of help from Thermaltake to add some small things to it. Other than that I just went apeshit on the Aegis itself. Not too much hardware modding, but loads of chassis modding this time.

    To start it all off I took quite a bit of photos of the chassis and during me taking it apart. The reason for this, is that I was quite intrigued how smart such a system has been put together and how much time they spent trying to make all CMs count and used. I think they did an even better job than with the Nightblade this time. Also design wise.

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    The rear handle is actually meant for easy carying to LAN parties etc. It supports the weight of the entire system.

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    There is a piece of mesh on this side to let the GTX970 in the system have some fresh air for cooling purposes.

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    The PSU is in the bottom and the GPU is placed in front of the motherboard.

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    On both sides of the custom motherboard sits a DDR4 laptop memory stick and on the rear is also a M.2 slot for an SSD.

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    The rear end of the top fits another 2,5 inch HDD/SDD next to the slim loading DVD player.

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    If you remove the DVD player you can insert up to 2 3,5 inch HDDs.

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    The bracket that holds the rear of the GPU in place actually doubles as a bracket for the box-type fan that you also see on reference design gfx cards.

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    Once the fan is removed you can see the laptop style heatsink.

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    This is the hard pcb PCIE extender for the gfx card.

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    And there we finally have the motherboard itself.

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    I carefully removed the HDD rack as well to create some room for modding purposes.

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    And lastly we see that this is the non overclockable version of the Aegis. There is also a version with pre-made OC function, that one runs a mini AIO watercooler. This packs the i7-6700 which is great for gaming anyway.

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    From what I have seen so far and what I have been thinking so far I know that the GPU will have to move. I want the motherboard visible and another cpu cooler to be fitted. How and what I will show in the next updates.
     
  2. OJ46

    Hitman

    Joined: Nov 22, 2015

    Posts: 889

    Location: Wales

    After seeing how good the last 2 builds turned out I'll definitely be following this one closely. Look forward to seeing your skills in action again :D
     
  3. LePhuronn

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2010

    Posts: 1,243

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    I just saw "Hukkel" and subbed, didn't even look at the pictures!

    Gonna love to see that Aegis torn apart :D
     
  4. Vargas

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 15, 2012

    Posts: 1,982

    That's excellent.
     
  5. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

    Thank you very very much. :)

    Thank you that really means a lot!

    Thanks man :)


    I will update tonight.
     
  6. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

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    First work on the Aegis.
    I decided that the GPU in front of the motherboard was not how I wanted it.
    It needed to go to another spot.
    And that spot was on the left side of the case.
    On the outside of the chassis.
    So I needed to run a PCIE extender through a small hole.
    And that I needed to make myself haha.
    Step one of many.

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    This silver needs to be black to not stand out so much.

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    And it is done. One perfectly placed hole for the PCIE extender.
    This will make it possible to fit another cooler on the cpu.

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    I need to do some cablesleeving as well so first I need to get some out of the way.

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  7. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

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    Thankfully MSI donated a different gfx cards for the casemod: MSI GTX 1070 8GB Sea Hawk using an AIO watercooling solution.

    I was thinking about doing a full custom watercooling loop at first, bit because MSI wanted to use the AIO Sea Hawk I decided to also put an AIO watercooler on the CPU. To me it feels like balance to use it for both then.

    Thanks again MSI :)

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    Since the Sea Hawk is is colleboration between MSI and Corsair I asked Corsair if they then also wanted to donate the AIO WC and a few fans. But they said HELL NAW! So I turned to a trusted parter in Thermaltake instead. They were happy to donate me a couple of Red RIING 120mm fans and an AIO to my liking. Awesome Thermaltake! :thumb:

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    Here is a quick look at the boxed goodies.

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  8. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

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    I am planning on making the inside look nice and clean with covers over all kinds of wiring and uneven metal pieces and io silver boxes. But there will always be a couple of wires visible. Plus I always like some nice sleeved cables in sight. Since I want only red accents to be there I will make the inside cables all sleeved black.

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    I am making a new top panel and sidepanels because of the silly ideas I am having. But I want to keep the slimload DVD player since the front of it actually is an important part of the looks and characteristics of the original case. But to mount a new top means that I have a very uneven top panel. Solution; just make the top panel even :) I cut a 10mm thick piece of aluminium to do the job. It will be attached to the chassis and the wing to this. Using multiple m3 screws. This should be strong enough. And plenty of happy drilling and tapping time for Hukky.

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    There we go. Flush and ready to fit the next part.

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  9. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

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    So the general idea of this casemod was to add a touch of "drone" to it. Or quadcopter or whatever you want to call it. I was kinda inspired by some vehicles I saw in videogames. Kinda futuristic and stealth looking. So I created 3 metal pieces; the 1cm thick plate in the previous post and these following 2. The first is the wing that will hold 4 120mm RIING fans and will have a handle on the rear just like the original chassis top did. And the second one is a cover for the rear of the chassis that will make the rear closed and clean, fit theme and also able to fir the gfx card on the right outside of the chassis under that wing.

    From 3mm aluminium with the tips bent down.

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    From 1 mm steel and free rust!

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    Making the wing fit the 1cm thick aluminium plate. Meaning a lot of holes drilling and a lot of manual tapping the holes to M3. It needs to be a strong fit as you need to be able to pick up the chassis completely by it without tearing it in 2 pieces.

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  10. subbytna

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 22, 2008

    Posts: 5,762

    Location: ...in a house

    Subbed, this looks great
     
  11. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

    Thank you :)
     
  12. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

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    Onwards with the sidepanel where the first GPU will be mounted.
    I sawed it from a piece of restmetal I had. I want the GPU to be mounted sturdy since it will be travelling.

    I made a holding bracket from a piece of aluminium L-strip I had laying around. Made a bit of a shape into it. Perfect width to direct screw the PCIE riser cable to it.

    I mounted the old GTX970 into the rear to see where it was supposed to end up.

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    And here I had painted the holding bracket and put some vinyl over the sidepanel. Also made a few holes for the GPU 8-pin cable.

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  13. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

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    Next up is making some panels on the inside of the build to mask everything I don't want people to see and to be able to fit the 120mm AIO radiator and fan.

    I also put in a L-piece of aluminium to fit a plexiglass part to. But most parts were fitted to standoffs.

    All of the plexiglass was hand drawn, hand sawed and hand bent using mah ghetto bending wire. No lasercutting involved this time.

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  14. subbytna

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 22, 2008

    Posts: 5,762

    Location: ...in a house

    Good job squire. Nice regular updates too that soothe my soul...none of this 3 weeks for an update crap :p
     
  15. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

    Thank you very much :)

    I guess another update it is then :)

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    So I painted the top panel. On request the system needed to be black and red.
    I thought it would be cool to make all panels some shade of black (using different ones) and all edges red as accent.

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    My friend Ian 3D-printed 4 rings for the top of the fans to create a bit more depth on the fans / turbines. I also painted these the same matt black colour as making these rings another shade of black would make them stand out way too much.

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    I drew up some pieces that resembled the front of the chassis. I wanted to have those shapes and colours go onwards on the top of the chassis from front to back.

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    But we made a boo on the sizing when we lasercut them so they are too small. urghhhhh Need to get them done again.

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  16. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

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    Onwards with the building.

    First some more testfitting to see how it would all look when fitted.

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    I also painted the rear cover and bracket for the chassis.

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    Since Thermaltake was helping out with the fans and the AIO I thought it would feel weird to have the Corsair logo over it. So I made my very own MSI GTX 1070 SEA HAWK TT edition. I put 2 different shades of black vinyl over the cover, I changed the 120mm fan to a TT Riing fan and I covered all Corsair logos and changed them to TT Premium logos.

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  17. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

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    Time to start fitting some stuff. I have been doing pre-work for too long already.

    Panel, top and pcie extender fitted.

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    Rear bracket and cover fitted.

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    Gfx card fitted.

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    I made a tiny 8 pin PCIE extender cable so it would look pwettie on the outside of the system. Works perfectly and fits in with the theme very nicely :)

    You can also see the molex to 6 times 3 pin fan for all fans and the LED strip.

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  18. Hukkel

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2012

    Posts: 590

    Location: Netherlands

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    Pretty sure this is the last update before the showing of the final photos.

    I have been working on the plexiglass covers. Getting the covers covered (CWUTIDIDTHARHUHUHUHU).
    I mostly painted the edge of the covers red and then covering them with either brushed black aluminium or carbon fibre or plain black vinyl :)

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    Only holes for the needed cables. The original system has 4 SATA connectors. I am only using 1 (DVD player) but they are paired in 2 so I removed the unneeded ones that are for the HDD cages and extra SSDs etc.

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    Cover for the IO ports are done. EEEwwwwww airbubbles. Gonna have to do something about that. What you cannot see now is how the side of it has an illuminated Aegis logo on it.

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    Unless you professionally spray with hardeners in it the paint chips sooo easy. Screwing in a few Fan screws and around the hole bits flying off everywhere. I am glad they will be covered by the 3D printed rings for over the fans.

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    All fans and rings fitted. This is starting to look just as I hoped it would.

    Please pay attention also to the other sidecovers with the red accents on the sides. Plus I added some more red accents with red matt chrome vinyl Just to highlight the shape of the case.

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    Fan testing and LED strip testing. And complete system testing.

    All working first bootup and even the system ran fine on first boot.
    Sometimes I amaze myself :p

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    Next up: last cover for the rightmost PCB that still showed.
    I forgot to take more pictures after this. Dumbass. So you will see it with the final pictures next time.

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    And added some more decals to the system I wanted on there from the beginning.

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    And all the plexiglass parts this time in the correct sizing.

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  19. LePhuronn

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2010

    Posts: 1,243

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    Stunning, can't wait for the final shoot!
     
  20. Deus Ex

    Hitman

    Joined: Aug 22, 2013

    Posts: 816

    Location: North East

    Nice!
     


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