View Full Version : Project: *Night Fire* Asus ROG theme case rebuild

10-20-2011, 04:04 PM
Welp, never thought i'd get back into my case modding days, but the excitment of this new Sandy Bridge build along with the cool color theme, Overclock.net club that goes along with mobo and the ROG ASUS community as well, i've been pondering about doing something special with this build and my Antec mini p-180 that just been screaming for something new to be done to it. Its been a reliable and flexible case with me these past few years, as all my previuos Antec cases have been and even to do this day, no matter how much time I spent on Newegg, I just couldn't find a case worthy enough of starting this project on. Thus, I decided it was time to give my now becoming rare and not well known Antec mini-p180 a "rebirth" with my new computer build

After a few weeks of thinking, planning and googling around, I just placed an order with FrozenCpu after all these years of not doing any case projects and will begin this weekend!

Stay tuned for info on the Asus ROG themed project:

*Night Fire*

10-20-2011, 04:04 PM
So, before we begin this little makeover project, lets start with the case itself.


The antec Mini P-180 startead to make its debut around mid 08 and was pretty popular amongst people who wanted a flexible case, but still wanted something that was quiet and noise reducing as well, even with fairly powerful equipment.

After building my "Black Ice" project back nearly 3 years ago this month using a Silverstone SUGO 4 case, my first mATX build after years of the large and mostly unused expansion of ATX sized builds. I went through couple of mATX cases, including the short lived SUGO 5 series case, when I decided to go back to my favorite case maker and go with the Antec mini-p180 which I have used ever since, including my most recent Sandy Bridge upgrade build

Now that my hardware is up to snuff by todays standards for some decent PC gaming, I felt it was time to get my case up to standards as well. Considering I simply couldn't find a new mATX that melt all my high standards that I wanted in a case, I decided to modify my exisiting mini p-180 because, well....thats what case modders do!

The case itself has worked very well the last 3 years with my Core 2 Duo build but has largely remain unchanged except fan removals and swapping with Gentle Typhoons 120mms


For MANY years, i've stuck with the typical and honestly, VERY overused lighting them of blue and white LED"s and such, and this build was no different other then I didn't really exemplify either the colors or lighing in the mini p-180


With my new Sandy Bridge build including my first Asus ROG mobo, the Maximum IV Gene-Z, the color theme of the mobo orginally had me grossed out with the red/black/silver. However, the more I looked at it, the more I was getting used to the idea of maybe taking it to the next time, and just for a change from the years of Blue and white i've been doing in the last several of my case mods


Yes, I think its very overdue time for not only a new case mod but also, a new color theme that i've never had or attempted before. My aging mini p-180 case is just the right blank slate to start off with

I've got a few ideas to make the front stand out a bit more


Yes, the large blowhole need some "contrast" me thinks and I have a simple yet effective idea in me brain....


These very thick and heavy Antec triple layer sound dampening panels do work very well, but after 3 years, they are boring as hell to look it and don't promote any enjoyment of seeing expesnive electronic goodies inside the case, so were gonna fix that...


G.Skills generous donation of goodies after getting my memory with no case sticker help further my idea of what to go with...


And of course the downright sexy and beastly looking combo of the Dark Knight HSF and the new Asus ROG Maximum IV Gene-Z mobo is the main reason and example of what my plans are for the case makeover will consist off.


Even the mobo box and innards themselves are really sexy looking! I justhad to sit and stare at all the goodies I got with this ROG mobo, when I first opened i! Freaking awesome, thanks Asus! It just further inspired me to do something different and unique with this build, within my budget guideline


10-20-2011, 04:05 PM
This back area has been pretty neglected for awhile now, time we did something with it, even just a little, and I have a quick and easy idea!


The primary cooling of the Mini P-180 during its "Black Ice" days has worked ok, but not great and looks boring as hell. Were gonna change that as well on all fronts


Even the drab backside of the case is gonna git a little bit of a facelift. Why not?


Because of the rapidly changing world of PC electronics, computers and even cases themselves along with other finacial obligations, I recently decided to add a new goal to this project. Not only did I wanna give my new computer build a nice and unique place to live in and give my old antec mini p-180 case new lease on life, but I also just didn't wanna shell out a large amount of money in the process. So, i've decided that Project: *Night Fire* will be accomplished in the budget area of only:


So stay tuned!!

10-20-2011, 04:05 PM
Just got back home after a long day on the road and I found one of the best sites a case modder can hope for, a nice box left on my doorstep filled with goodies!



10-20-2011, 04:05 PM
Allright, time for some updated progress, as i've done alot and actually, its already near completion, but here's the progress report:

Need to tear the case down to its essentials so we can do what we want with it


The top fan grill was a bit of a pain to get removed with all the sticky tape, but it finally gave it after fighting with it


Yep, even the boring ASUS DVD/RW drive is gonna get some love as well, sure has beena while since I did a DVD drive!


Were gonna be changing up a few things in the front panel as well, mainly that Blue LED needs to be retired, several years worth of blue HDD activity LED's is enough I think..


10-20-2011, 04:05 PM
Now its time to prep up our few parts for our painting. The quickest and simpliest method in my opion is just a good scuffing up with some sandpaper to give the paint a rough surface to cling too, worked well for me in the past!


At long last, after several case builds and years later of the same thing, im finally doing a new color other then my metallic blue flake from Rustoleum, its time for some sexy red!


Oh yeah, it looks good already!


10-20-2011, 04:06 PM
Now were gonna start working on the biggest and toughest part of the case redo, the side panel window, along with some minor case tweaks i've been wanting to do for awhile


First off, seeings how im gonna be mounting my HDD in the upper 5.25'' drive bay, and I want maximum air flow with twin 120mm intake fans, its time to get rid of the useless and annoying drive bay shelf. Its drill time baby!


Poor little shelf and its rivets never stood a chance...


Ahhhhh, i've been wanting to do that for years, MUCH better! Also removed the plastic drive bay guide rail on top as well, no more air impedence here folks!


10-20-2011, 04:06 PM
Now its time we start on the hardest part, getting the window installed correctly THE FIRST TIME because there is no second chance with these suckers. This is a 10'' x 10'' window kit from Frozencpu.com that fit the bill just perfect for my needs.

To protect the rather fragile outer aluminum siding during measuing, handling and especially cutting the window, I covered the entire panel in painters tape. Cheap, easily removable and it works.


When your dealing with nearly any case modding, especially windows, I cannot stress enough. MEASURE ONCE, MEASURE TWICE, MEASURE THREE TIMES and then....maybe cut!



With the rest of the panel covered in tape to prevent scratching during cutting, its time to cross the point of no return. We start with a small incision with the best tool for case modding, the good old dremel.


From this point forward, to save time, excessive mess and because I prefer it for my case cutting for the past several years, I'm switching to a jigsaw with new, medium teeth blades to cut the rest of the window


10-20-2011, 04:08 PM
With some help from my father with the shop vac to clean up the shavings that this is gonna create while I cut, its time to do this! *drum roll*


A few minutes later, it is done! Phew...glad thats over with!


Because this is an Antec mini-p180, the side panels are a 3 layered designed to muffle noise from within the case with two layers of aluminum and a thick and soft plastic between them. Because the window kit is designed to be installed in basic cold rolled steel cases, I needed to thin the window cutout


With the inner layer of aluminum removed, by far the messiest part is now here, I have to take the dremel and remove ALOT of the plastic paneling so the window molding is able to fit around the case panel. This took awhile and smelled horrible with hot melting plasting flying everywhere


10-20-2011, 04:10 PM
With the messiest and longest part of the window prepping done and cleaned up, now we can move on to the trickiest part of installing these windows, getting the molding and window installed and NOT scratch the bezesus out of the window in the process

This step basically requires alot of finger work, grunting, elbow grease and patience, especially since the panel is still pretty thick even after all the dremeling


With the molding forced into place, now we need to insert the window. This by far is the best way to make you fingers sore and red, installing one of these damn things.


Again, more grunting, painful finger work, elbow grease, fumbling and some cursing is required at this step


But at last, we are successfull and the window has been installed with nary a scratch! Damn, that looks freaking sweet with the case! The molding will get cleaned and armor all'ed to have a nicer appearance near the end of the project, but the hardest part is finally done with! Not many Antec mini p-180's out there with a sexy window to look inside, no siree!



We've also completed our painting! That metallic flake red sure looks sexy! Best to let it cure and dry over night, i'm tired and my fingers hurt like hell anyway. Its been a busy, and productive case modding day!


10-20-2011, 04:11 PM
Now its time for a few more case modifications. Nothing major, just some little changes :D

Because with with my new Sandy bridge build, I now had access to USB 3.0 for future needs. As such, I felt I was no longer going to use the front E-Sata port. Along with that, I've never, ever used front panel audio connections either. I also wanted to reduce the amount of cabling in my case and make it easier to look clean, so I snipped the cables


After years and years of blue HDD activity LED's, I was really ready for a change of pace, not to mention the blue just wasn't gonna go with the Asus ROG color theme. Once again, time to dust off an old and long since unused case modding too, the soldering gun!


Antec's cases over the years have made it childs play to remove and swap out case LED's


Time for some sexy red LED action!


A little prep work in the wiring, some stripping, some soldering, a little glue here and there....


And wallah! No more ocean blue LED, its now a passionate and naughty red!


Now thats what i'm talking about!


10-20-2011, 04:11 PM
Allright, accomplished some more work on it recently so lets continue!

Time to get this baby rebuilt and running!


In an effort to help balance the cases airflow as I wanted to have "positive" pressure and not negative for best cooling effects, I tried to try to 5v mod the upper 200mm Antec Big Boy fan. Unfortuantly, 5v doesn't even get the fan spinning at all, no matter what I tried. With the 200mm van even on the lowest setting at 12v, it still exhausts more air then the twin 120mm coolermasters can provide thus, I'm still suffering from a "negative" air pressure effect and my initial temps are showing it. Grr.........lame. For now, I have no choice but to leave the 200mm top exhaust fan until I figure out my cooling problem...


Dunno in the end if I i'll have the big top fan fan running or not, but least it it looks good now!


Now that is one sexy looking ROG themed DVD drive if I do say so myself!


10-20-2011, 04:11 PM
As I'm sure some of you may have wondered "With all the drive bays gone, weres the HDD gonna go?" Well, i've got a solution and here it is!

Because the WDD Black Caviers arn't known to be quiet drives, I wanted to be sure the drive stayed quiet as possible. In the cases "Black Ice" days, I created a HDD suspension system in the drive bay to help isolate HDD seeking and motor noises and it worked pretty well



However, with all the drive bays now useless after the case modding, I went for "Plan B" for quieting the HDD down. I still had plenty of leftover silicon HDD grommets included with the case, so I decided to use those for once, but in a different way!


Using some very stick doublesided tape, I carefully applied it to several section of the lower HDD area and stuck the silicon holders in place. After that, it was a simple matter of installing the HDD in the upper 5.25'' drive bay. Simple, effective and it works pretty dang well!



Now its time for some wiring cleaning up. The Coolermaster wiring was a nice silver color, so I decided to leave that alone, but I wanted the wiring to look clean and sharp inside the case. Again, using some double sided sticky tape and some patient, this is what I came up with!


Looking pretty good methinks, but that video card looks a bit... "boring" Hmm.....


Just enough red to add some contrast and color to the rear and go with the ROG color theme


Front looks totally kick ass now! No more boring and dull all black color, it looks really nice and goes with the Asus ROG theme well! But it still needs something to give it a "Bad ass rig look" and I think I have a simple idea.....


Time to fire it up and check out everything! Hmmmm, the fans look good but even at high and VERY noisy speeds, the LED's just don't pump out enough red for my taste. Looks like another order from FrozenCPU.com!


This is were I ran into my next frustrating part. The Coolermaster Sickeflow fans arn't what I call "quiet" at their top speed much to my dissapiontment. On top of that, I found out the hard way that my Asus Maximum IV Gene-Z mobo doesn't allow me to control the chassis fan headers individually. The UEFI Bios also doesn't allow me to set certain RPM's to keep the fans from "ramping" up when the temperature increases inside the case, they go by the chassis temperature and I can't override it.

On top of that, running the top 200mm Antec Big boy on the lowest setting creates too much of "negative" pressure inside the case, especially when the front intake fans arn't running at max, which are WAAAY to freaking loud. Well this all just flat out sucks....looks like im gonna have to do some re thinking of the cooling layout of the case :mad:

AND on top of it, now with the big window in the side panel, the new GTX 570 SC video card looks a bit...."boring" to look at. I've placed an order for something special to help give it a more "custom" look to go with the case mods and color theme.

Stay tuned for further updates!

10-20-2011, 04:57 PM
Nice job there...!next week we'll be seeing you on the cover of CPU Mag....!

10-20-2011, 05:17 PM
Well, here's a small update at this point as im currently on hold waiting for new fans, decals, lights and a special part for the GPU.

I think i'm pretty much done with the front area of the case. Looks pretty good now with the case badge swag!


I decided to see how the ROG mobo decal would look for starters. Not bad, but the amount of clear sticker is somewhat ugly. Gonna have to replace it with a new one and trim off all the excess clear sticker so it looks sharper on the case.


Still not finished, but looking pretty good so far!


10-20-2011, 10:41 PM
Woo hooo! I just got a new package of goodies at Frozencpu today, my new red LED light strip!


This sucker really pumps out the light! I get spots on my eyes just by looking at it for a few seconds! I'm a dilemna though, I can't decide which looks better illumination and mood lighting wise for the case. Below is if I have the light strip on top of the case. It looks good and lightens up entire case. But at same time, almost seems too much...


Or if I put it on the back side, it gives it a bit more of a "moody" look though not as well illuminated inside


What do you guys think/prefer?

10-21-2011, 11:34 PM
Really nice.. as a person who has been to many a night fire, maybe add a few hundrend laser pointers. ;) Looks great though. Love it.

10-22-2011, 02:39 AM
More stuff came in, so more progress to be made, lets do it!

Nothing makes a Friday that much better then getting more goodies in the mail! In this case, stuff from eVGA and Asus!


Oh yeah, now were talking! Thanks Asus for the extra goodies and thanks eVGA!


Ever since I got the case mostly put back together, it was bothering me that the video card looked so... dull and boring. I was originally against the very idea of paying for something that should have came with the card in the first place, but after I saw a few other eVGA cards with them and how good they looked with the backplates, I decided to change my tune and give one a try


And in less then 10 minutes, wallah! Much more sleeker and custom looking! Best $20 i've spent in a good while for a "bling" touch and a total snap to install! Kudos to eVGA once again!


Oh yes, thats much better! Just what the case modder ordered!


Yeah, now it looks like it was made just for *Night Fire*!


Thanks to a nice guy at the Asus ROG forums, I got an extra mobo sticker to put on the side panel. Now its got some sexy ROG color as well!


Now were getting close to the end! But man, that window molding has always looked dry and dull looking. Hmm, I have an idea.....


Good old Armor All to save the day!


Very nice! I'm real happy with out this is turning out, despite the few setbacks! Were getting real close to final completion of *Night Fire*! Just two more little parts that im waiting on, a little bit of touch up here and there and she'll be ready for the full unveil next week, and just in time for Battlefield 3 launch on the 24th at midnight, wooooo!

The final countdown has begun!

10-23-2011, 03:18 AM
Wooooo, I love weekends! USPS just dropped off the last crucial part! Thanks to listen to remix here on OCN, I was able to snag a brand new Gentle Typhoon AP-14 to help complete my system cooling overhaul after the coolermasters turned out to be a dude. Lets get cooling!

Thanks again listen to remix, great packaging job and fast shipping all the way from NY to the rockies!


Now that we finally have our last fan to keep *Night Fire* running cool under heavy gaming loads, lets get installed. But first, we gotta do something about that ugly yellow and red wiring as thats gonna look terrible inside our sleek black case interior. Time for ingenuity!


A little permanent maker and wallah, mucho better! Look ma, no sleeving!


Oh yeah, great cooling and utter quiet, what more could you want?


And a little bit more wiring cleaning to keep it all sharp....


Yeah baby! Flame on! Who needs the dwinky led coolermasters now anyway?


Tis beautiful no?


Allright, at last, all major mods have been done! Of course, being a case modder, I just had to think of something else I could add, just a little extra "bling" for that special touch. I'm contemplating ordering it, will keep you posted on what I decide!

Six Foot Ginger
10-23-2011, 04:51 AM

I like it

10-24-2011, 02:29 AM
Ok, well the one little idea for some added bling will just have to wait a bit, as its just a small tidbit to add to the case and im not in any great rush atm as its pretty cheap and don't wanna order it by itself

That being the case, I concluded that Project: *Night Fire* is officially done and just in time for Battlefield midnight launch tomorrow night! I've got a great new rig and now a kick ass personally modified case which I haven't done in years, and it was alot fun! Anxious to see what I come with next! In the meantime, im gonna enjoy some hard earned BF3 time looking at my sexy Asus ROG themed case!

Total budget including coolermasters fans which turned out to be a bust:

Paint: $8.50
Jigsaw Blades: $1.97
Window kit: $11.95
Red 5mm LED: $.50
12'' LED light strip: $18.94
Coolermaster fans: $32.97
Extra Gentle typhoon fan: $20
Asus decals: Free
eVGA GTX 570 backplate: $20

Total Cost: $114.83

I just sold and got $20 back from the coolermasters, that makes my total budget used around $94! I managed to do all this with less then $100, proving you don't need to spend alot to make a great case mod! :cool:

Without further ado, here are the final pics of *Night Fire*! Enjoy and thanks for your support and kind words!

















10-24-2011, 02:47 AM
I do get the feeling of tracer fire going down range. Very well done!


10-28-2011, 04:09 AM
hoo boy. i like that one. i like the idea of the red mesh grill in the top.

that build really came out sweet.

what is the sound control thing to the left of the keyboard? i figured it was a cambridge or logitech speaker set up or something, but i was wondering what kind.

10-28-2011, 08:01 AM
what is the sound control thing to the left of the keyboard? i figured it was a cambridge or logitech speaker set up or something, but i was wondering what kind. Neither, just controls the brightness of the LED"s on the keyboard

10-31-2011, 12:15 AM
Dude did you say G.Skill sent you all that stuff because your memory didn't come with a case sticker? How did you make it happen, because I didn't get any case stickers either and I'd like to get a pack like that.

10-31-2011, 12:23 AM
Dude did you say G.Skill sent you all that stuff because your memory didn't come with a case sticker? How did you make it happen, because I didn't get any case stickers either and I'd like to get a pack like that.

Aye, I just emailed them politely, stating I didnt' get a cool sticker with my new memory kit and was wondering if I could get one. A few days later, I got a nice package in the mail. Major kudos to G.Skill!

A little bit of selfless self promotion



10-31-2011, 12:32 AM
Now the second pic PROVES that this is a cool Mod when your cat Adopts it for their bed!...now how are you gonna game...?

10-31-2011, 12:33 AM
haha my cats stay away from my case, too many fans lol there is a pair of 140s in the top of my case. Secondly what's your origin name? I'll add you.

I'm gonna try that with G.Skill, I wonder if they have cool gun stickers since mine is sniper rather than ripjaws.

10-31-2011, 12:36 AM
Now the second pic PROVES that this is a cool Mod when your cat Adopts it for their bed!...now how are you gonna game...?

Lol, he doesn't stay up there long and even if he did, the back pressure on the blowhole fan is minimual

Secondly what's your origin name? I'll add you.

Same as my name

10-31-2011, 02:56 AM
holy crap. that's a chartreux. i have one, named comrade. there's not alot of them in the states.


10-31-2011, 05:36 AM
very clean

11-24-2011, 11:03 PM
In keeping with my new color scheme with "Night Fire" I ordered my first set of high quality headphones in the appropriate color scheme


12-05-2011, 01:46 AM
Very slick rig 1ceTr0n. Always liked single color schemes. I haven't dived into case modding yet, but may in the near future

12-11-2011, 09:14 PM
WOW...that was so sweet...I need some insulin and a cigarette....
..but I think I will just lay here and pant for a while first.......thankUfor sharing.c.

04-14-2012, 07:14 PM
a cool looking pc with great power!!

04-16-2012, 01:38 PM
really nice setup man i think im going to do a little case modding now for my haf-x thanks for the inspiration

04-18-2012, 10:29 PM
Most welcome. I have made some changes to *NightFire* the past few months, mostly removing the top 200mm Bad BOy fan and installing a rear Gentle Typhoon AP-13 to help exhaust hot air. Redid cabling and as of last night a new SSD last night I won.





04-19-2012, 04:59 PM
nice window mod so far keep it up

09-27-2012, 02:40 AM
Not really a "case mod" addition but I figured i'd throw in a little update that I upgraded to a sexa new evga GTX 670 FTW to replace my 560 SC with a bit more powa! Also got a free backplate from evga after accruing enough evga bucks. Looks slick and now "Night Fire" has even more graphical power under its mATX hood!

I'm thinking of adding possibly a slow white LED 200mm on top that doesn't create negative air pressure with the intake fans, but I i'll have to attach it to reobus of some kind to get it spinning slow enough. Thinking of also adding some sound insulation on the front and side window panel to reduce the noise in near future.






09-27-2012, 09:17 AM
Looks evil!

09-27-2012, 10:14 AM
Awesome computer! Love the red color scheme! Keep us posted! :)