MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod

Posted by: waamatt

MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 10/13/06 10:50 AM

Does anyone know what material the MDD/FW800's optical drive chasis is made from? I want to cut mine apart so that it only fits one drive (in the lower portion) so that I can a) provide room for an aftermarket cooling unit for my Radeon 9800 Pro, and b) remove the upper door and throw a big fan behind it to blow a bunch of air across the mid-to-upper region of the case, not to mention across the front of the 9800.

How important is the chasis' design in terms of shielding? Does that sliding pannel on the back of it have to be there?

Ideally, the chasis would still have a top/roof rather than just being a bottom and two sides. So, depending on the material it's made from it'd either have to be welded back on or maybe soldered on with a strong enough soldering iron.

Oh, and another ideal situation is to leave enough of the front of it in tact to keep both mounting holes in use.

If I had time I'd throw together a 3D rendition of it.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 10/13/06 12:42 PM

I'm going to hazard a guess at aluminium. Its not very important as far as I know (it might make a slight difference to the airflow if you have one of the faster ones, but since you are fitting extra cooling anyway, I wouldn't worry). The sliding part can be happily left out with no ill effects. My dual 1.42GHz at work has run fine for months without it.

If it is aluminium, its quite sturdy aluminium.
Posted by: waamatt

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 10/13/06 04:09 PM

So, if a magnet sticks to it, it's not aluminum right? Let's say it's steel.

A hacksaw cuts through it fine, but my dad and I took a Sawzall to it (I think that's how you spell it). Not only were my ears hurting, but trying to keep the thing steady as he cut into it (can you say risky?) was damn near impossible.

The cut's not so straight, but I suppose a few hours of grinding and buffing could make it look straight and clean. We did grind down the edges that were cut and brush (and air blow) all the dust and shavings away.

Ultimately, we only removed a portion of the chassis - the top, back end where a longer AGP card would hang over. The optical drive is in the lower bay, seems to work fine on the 2nd ribbon cable connection (with jumpers set to Cable Select). The upper bay is still usable, but I have no intention of actually using it.

I'm looking for a good fan to put on top of the chassis. Maybe something like an 80mm fan? I don't think a 120mm fan will actually fit without removing the top of that bizarre fence thing where the AirPort card is. What is the deal with that anyway? When the case is closed, you can almost imagine ports could go there, but to what gain? They wouldn't be able to be on the front of the tower or you wouldn't be able to open the case!

Being a fan of SVC's prices and fast delivery times, I'm looking at this card for a slot cooler to go behind my Radeon 9800 Pro: http://svc.com/spectrumfancard.html ... Just FYI.

Anyway... With a section of the chassis removed, the 9800 Pro seems to not feel like overheating. I even put it back to stock speeds (based on a Strangedogs ROM) and after about 10 minutes of use, no artefacts. Even better, after shutting down, I opened the case and the card was noticably cooler than in previous uses. Success! Sort of...

There's still more work to be done on this computer, and at the rate I'm going, it'll take my another 6 months.  roflmao

Right now, using a PCI slot cover with a hole drilled in it, there's a 60mm fan sort of hanging to the side of the PSU blowing air across the back of the graphics card. It's really ghetto looking, but it'll be staying there until the next time I can do some work.

Now that it looks like I should be able to fit an aftermarket cooling unit on he 9800 Pro, does anyone have any suggestions? I'll happily start a new thread if that's preferred.
Posted by: maestro

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 10/13/06 04:25 PM

Its steel.  The whole case is steel.  Put up some pics so we can see what you are moddin.
Posted by: waamatt

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 10/15/06 08:52 PM

This sites cookies don't seem to play nice with WebKit (webkit.org) so sometimes I don't notice that it doesn't actually post my responses.

My dad was sort of ashamed of the cut we made in the chassis, so I don't know if he wants a pic of it on its own, but a new interior shot of the case might be cool. I won't have a  digital camera at hand for a few more days.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 12/10/06 05:53 AM

It's a aloy. The sawzal was overkill. Should of used a metal cutting wheel from a air compressor or a grinder. I tryed making a drive cage for my B&W case. I used a cage from a old PC AT case and did a little modifing to it and used pop rivits to hold it in place and trimed the case a bit and took out the center shelf so two drives could fit in perfectly. Went to test it out with the logicboard and the heatsink was hitting the drive when I tryed to close it. Also the side window was off center so I scraped it.
Posted by: zenstate

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 12/10/06 04:05 PM

try putting a pci slot fan in the top pci slot.  heat rises anyway and one of these will blow a lot more of it out of the inside.

found one on ebay:  http://cgi.ebay.com/PCI-Exhaust-Extracto...3QQcmdZViewItem

I want to add one to my mdd.  I read an article on xlr8yourmac that one of these lowered and mdd from 59-60c like mine down to 54-56.
Posted by: zenstate

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 12/10/06 05:50 PM

I want to buy one from the same auction for myself.  the seller has 20.  my hope is that it will help quiet down the psu and cpu fan.  everyone who speaks of experience with these pci fans say they are pretty quiet.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 12/12/06 05:39 AM

I've had a few that are loud as heck. Just look for one that pushes 24 to 40 CFM. Higher you go the louder it is.
Posted by: maestro

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 12/13/06 07:59 PM

PCI slot fans will help an yes they can be noisy.  They also dont last very long as many of them are cheaply made.  Stick with a quality brand and you should be fine.  You can always use a fan controller for it too.

MDD cases are just a restrictive design.  Apple did some great engineering that most people never even talk about.  Fact is though, it just runs too hot.  Mine (Killer Bee mod) is in a Lian-li case with all hi end fans with a controller and runs at 100% cpu use day in and day out (always folding 2 proteins for Folding@home).  It never goes above 45 C.  Right now its at 42.8 C.  A bigger case is the way to go if you want to quiet it and cool it down.  Plus its fun to do.

By the way, everyone learns sometime and I have made some bad cuts myself.  Post your pics and we can help you with what you are doing! shocked
Posted by: zenstate

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 12/13/06 09:34 PM

Originally Posted By: "maestro "

PCI slot fans will help an yes they can be noisy.  They also dont last very long as many of them are cheaply made.  Stick with a quality brand and you should be fine.  You can always use a fan controller for it too.

MDD cases are just a restrictive design.  Apple did some great engineering that most people never even talk about.  Fact is though, it just runs too hot.  Mine (Killer Bee mod) is in a Lian-li case with all hi end fans with a controller and runs at 100% cpu use day in and day out (always folding 2 proteins for Folding@home).  It never goes above 45 C.  Right now its at 42.8 C.  A bigger case is the way to go if you want to quiet it and cool it down.  Plus its fun to do.

By the way, everyone learns sometime and I have made some bad cuts myself.  Post your pics and we can help you with what you are doing! shocked


42.8???  DAMN!  my MDD never goes below 56C

think I can at least get low 50's with a pci fan?
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 12/14/06 05:48 AM

There are fans you can buy that mount ontop of the add-in card slots, so you can still add in some cards without losing a spot. Heres a idea for ya. Build a air duct for it. Make it out of cardboard or foam and make it suck air from the add-in card slots to the CPU. Have a 80mm fan on the PCI slot side go at say 40+ CFM and on the CPU side make it go 24 CFM. I had a compaq that was like this (stock) but the 80mm fan was on the powersupply and sucked air from the powersupply to the heatsink on the CPU. It was a dumb idea what compaq did but it should be alright my way.
Posted by: maestro

Re: MDD Optical Drive Chasis Mod - 12/14/06 06:26 AM

Several things can lower temps...Copper Heatsink, polishing heatsink base, Arctic Silver, better fans with fan control, vents, etc. etc.

A pci slot fan will help.  A fan or fans behind the cpus to suck air out will probably help more than anything else in a standard case.