You may be wondering how I can be doing a mini-ITX Ryzen build when there hasn’t been a mini-ITX board released yet for the AM4 platform. I’m not, at least not yet…
This piece will focus on the BitFenix Prodigy case I’ve modified in preparation of the actual build with an overkill water cooling system. This is also my first case mod and custom loop water cooling setup, and because that wasn’t difficult enough I decided to do it in a m-ITX case. We’ll see if I bit off more than I can chew.
The first thing I did when I received the case was remove the drive bays. All of them, including the ones that are on the case panel wall. Hopefully I find a motherboard with M.2, otherwise I will have to pull a Linus and use some 2-face tape.
The biggest change I made was replacing side vents with acrylic and repainting both panels to look like red anodized metal. I took the panels to dad’s shop and he cut out the vent while I sandblasted the panels down to bare steel. It was then many coats of paint. I used Dupli-Color Metalcast paint, if you’re wondering.
A week later it was time to wet-sand and polish. I didn’t need to, but someone talked me into it (cough, Crazy), and I ended up ruining the finish on one panel. Back to the shop it went to be reworked. I did eventually get it polished. I’m still not crazy about the finish of the panel, but it’s passable and I didn’t want to paint it a third time.
Now it was time to start figuring out how all the water cooling was going to fit inside the case. On top is an EKWB PE 240 radiator and the front a WE 180 radiator. That was the easy part. Where to mount the pump/reservoir and place the fill and drain ports was the real question.The pump I was able to fit between the front radiator and motherboard tray. Fill port was easy and had zero issue putting that on top. Drain port could have went better. I initially drilled the hole in the wrong side of the case, not the end of the world since no one will look at the bottom of the case but still frustrating. The second hole I wish would have been slightly closer to the edge. The nut that holds port in place is right against a raised bit of the case bottom. It works, but just makes it a pain to tighten down.
It’s now time for the ‘finished’ case reveal, and of course no case would be complete without the MN218 logo!
Now the wait is on for m-ITX boards to arrive on the market. My R7 1800X should arrive next week, along with more EKWB parts now that I think I know how the loop will flow. I still need to order a GPU waterblock, but I’m still undecided on graphics card. I would like to go with an AMD Vega card, but that will depend upon my patience and benchmarks.
More to come, hopefully soon…