Phinix Cubeby Phinix
When all else fails, build your own.
That’s certainly a philosophy Phinix seemed to adopt when he was searching for a small acrylic cube case for a water-cooled system. Having scoured the Internet for the ideal case, the only one he found was too large and had too many flaws.
The basic design was good though so he set about designing a new case with similar credentials but improved layout with a view to enhance cooling and maximise the already limited space inside the cube’s six acrylic side panels.
With such little space to work with, especially when we’re talking about a water-cooling system to plumb in as well, plenty of forethought was needed.
Initial paper sketches lead the way to rendered 3D images and cross sections – essential for working out the best location for the hardware. It was Phinix’s first water-cooling build too – even with this much planning, routing the tubing between top and bottom sections was tricky with many issues only rearing their heads during the actual build process.
Something that really impressed us is the fact that Phinix realised the fundamental weakness of acrylic cases – lack of rigidity. We’ve seen plenty that bend and bow under the weight of the installed hardware. This can result in a case that’s lopsided or even worse, cracks when you come to move it. This issue is made even worse if you add H20 to the equation which adds to the weight considerably. Phinix has worked a series of corner braces in to the design to deal with this problem.
The Phinix Cube will have two sections with the motherboard in the top and radiator, PSU (originally in the top), pump and drive bays in the bottom. The sections are split by a red acrylic motherboard tray. Here we can see it fitted and later cut out and fully secured to the case with its protective film removed.
To secure any drive bay devices, Phinix constructed an enclosure out of red acrylic that will sit in the bottom section in front of the radiator. Again, he used braces to secure the four sections of the enclosure together – don’t want any DVD drives breaking free and punching holes in the side panels on the way to that LAN party! It’s certainly coming along with recent pictures showing much of the hardware installed. Definitely one to watch and the finished article should look very funky indeed with the latest additions from Phinix including various external mods.
If cubes are your thing then vote for Phinix here