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Raid Commander -- By KithKhan

This case has some history to it. A friend's dad had old WW2 ammunition cases which he lined with cedar and turned into humidores. The friend then used them for storing random stuff. I got one from him at a white elephant gift exchange and thought it would make a great computer case for a mini-ITX system. Six months later, Raid Commander was born!

Case: Ammunition box, with copper strips for PSU and MOBO retention, and orange rubber feet

Motherboard: ECS H55H-I HDMI Mini ITX

CPU: Intel i5-655k Clarkdale Dual-core

Memory: 2x2Gb Crucial Ballistics Tracer DDR3 1333MHz w/ green LED's, heatsink

PSU: 250W Apevia ITX w/ custom sleeving

SSD: G.SKILL Pheonix Pro 120Gb SATA II MLC

Cooling: 2x Xigmatek XLF-F1253 120mm w/ white LED, orange blades

CoolIT Systems ECO-R120 Advanced Liquid Cooling

DVD: LG Slim black SATA II DVD/CD combo drive

Wireless: Asus PCE-N13 IEEE 802.11b/g/n PCI Express Wireless w/ antenae from an 8dB gain external hookup

Accessories: fan grills, rubber dampeners, power switch, U-channel molding and other accessories mostly from

The little i5 chip's performance coupled with the 2nd generation SSD is really blowing me away. It boots Windows 7 in 14 seconds, loads applications as fast as you can click, and can handle some moderately graphics intensive things like Starcraft 2 with only the on-chip graphics and no dedicated card.

I tried a heavy copper passive heat sink earlier on, since it was only inches from the case fans anyway but this didn't quite cut it. An hour or two of heavy use would eventually bring the CPU temp up to an unacceptable 80*C. With even the wimpy CoolIT liquid cooler, it's now running below 60* on even a Prime95 torture test. I was also able to up the voltage and the clock speed as a result of the better cooling.

The downside to cramming all this in a case is that working on it is a nightmare. I got an external CMOS reset because disassembling the water cooling, case fans, and some of the cabling just to move the jumper on the motherboard got ridiculous. Through trial and error I also figured out that there's only one assembly order where you can get it together, and there's no good way to get every last screw on the copper strips bolted down hard. Luckily, the motherboard is still firmly secured.
Two 120mm fans push-pull, one of which has the radiator for the CPU cooler mounted behind it. Screens, UV-reactive plastic, and both the case and memory LED's really light it up nicely!The huge antennae can pick up wireless networks much better than either of my laptops. You can see the external CMOS reset, lighting control, I/O panel, and Blueray as well as a nice power switch. The case feet are some kind of gasket I got in the plumbing isle.Getting everything to fit, including water cooling, is insane. This was a very challenging build!This was a work-in-progress picture before I got the wireless, power, and other switches installed.
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