Thanks all, I didn't know this would spark so much interest....
Here is a brief walk through on how I modded this case,
Remove the pesky PSU bar by drilling through these rivets,
Strip down the case,
The mobo tray and back panel were removed by simply drilling through the rivets on the bottom (not shown), back and front of the case (shown in green),
The back panel and motherboard tray was then removed,
Next, the motherboard tray and back plate are flipped upsided down and installed for a test fit. This could take quite some force. Note the left side rivet holding the 5.25 bays had to be removed. Mark off where holes are to be drilled for future riveting. The case was lightly sanded with 120 grit sanding sponge before being painted.
Interior pieces painted black,
To rerivet the case back together, I used simple pop rivets and a riveting tool like this
. The front left edge of the case required the drilling (green) and riveting (red) of these holes,
Holes were also drilled and riveted along the top edge of the case,
At the back, no new holes had to be drilled, as the three holes on the top and bottom panels align nicely despite the back plate being turned upsided down,
Once riveted, the case, assembled, making sure no metal shards were left over,
Here are some holes that I cut in the motherboard tray for the front panel wires to be routed under the mobo,
Two consecutive drilled holes make a good anchor for twist ties for cable management behind the mobo,
Next, I cut a piece of the motherboard tray so the PSU wires can pass behind the mobo. They are then lined with some 3/16" tubing, slit down the middle,
The computer, almost built,
I did some stress testing last night, this is in dual core mode and using Gigabyte's smart-fan control.
ATi Tool + Prime 95 for 10 min
Now to answer some of your questions,
-- and is the case as structurally sound as before?
Because the case's metal is quite thick and the case's left side wasn't meant to accommodate the mobo tray, the fit and finish isn't as great as the stock case: the side panels take a bit of force to pop on, and the DVD drive is a bit tight to slide in and out on its rails.
Do you noticed a change in the psu noise ?
I didn't do any major testing to know for sure, but my guess is the noise is the same @ idle but its much quieter at load.
Wait, what? You turned the Antec Solo into a reverse ATX?
Mind giving us a bit more details? Was it hard?
No, I like to call it Up-side-down ATX, or UATX
. Its not hard at all, if you can use a drill, I encourage you to try this mod. The only new tool here is the riveter, which is quite simple to use.
Forgive my ignorance, but what are the benefits of flipping the mobo tray and the back panel upside down?
Supposedly better thermal performance for the PSU. If the PSU is on top, heat rises, and it ramps up making more noise.
I appreciate any feedback or questions.