Puget Custom Pentium-M Rig: A Silent WC System

Complete|Mobile Systems
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The Puget system is built inside a heavily modified Silverstone TJ06. This is a good choice for a water cooled system, because the motherboard is mounted upside-down, which leaves the space usually occupied by the expansion cards at the bottom of the case open to install the extra paraphernalia required by watercooling. Silverstone intended this space to be occupied by the CPU heatsink and an airflow duct, but the size of a CPU waterblock is minimal, and the airflow duct can be easily removed.

The TJ06 is also a good choice because it is large and heavy enough to support the massive radiator that has been installed on the left side of the case. As it is, the case lists slightly to the left, especially when placed on a soft carpeted surface. It would be a good idea to place the radiator close to a wall to prevent it from falling over on it's side if it is accidentally knocked.

The Puget system is truly a test of the maxim that there is beauty in utility. The radiator rises above the top of the case by several centimeters, and is visible from almost every angle. It has its own lopsided aesthetic charm in the way that a Hummer has a certain beauty in its sheer utilitarian size, but it's not something most folks would want visible in their living room.

The external radiator matches Silverstone's brushed aluminum finish.

The only other external sign of modification is the pump monitor that occupies the bottom 5.25" bay. Two LEDs let you know if the pump is working correctly, and give error codes to help diagnose problems. Ordinarily, only the green status LED is lit up to let you know that all is well.

The laser-inscribed captions on the pump status monitor don't photograph well. The top LED is labeled "status", and the bottom "error".

There's nothing too remarkable about the rear of the case. The radiator is fed through two holes that disappear into the side of the case just below the power supply, but the case appears otherwise untouched from this angle.

The radiator dominates the left side of the case. We don't recommend removing the left panel...

One modification only becomes obvious after comparing the case directly to an unmodified TJ06: The large plastic feet have been replaced by smaller (and softer) rubber feet to damp vibration. This modification becomes very obvious when trying to slide the case across a linoleum floor. The softness of the feet combined with the high weight of the case make it nearly impossible to overcome the friction between the feet and the floor. One of the feet became unstuck from the case after trying too hard to slide the case around.

The downside of swapping the feet is the loss of stability. The stock feet on the original TJ06 fold out beyond the side of the case, effectively increasing the size of the base and improving the stability of the unit. This stability is sorely missed, as the asymmetrical weight distribution of the case makes it even more likely to tip over.

Unmodified, the feet of the Silverstone TJ06 fold out beside the case for added stability.

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