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Fitting a H100i into an Antec 1200 V3 perfectly (for me anyway)

danno81
Level 7
So, having moved very quickly from air cooling on my new build to an H100i I had to find a way of installing it correctly in the Antec 1200 V3. I have it installed now and couldn't be happier with it. It's in a push/pull setup with the case fans pushing and the H100i fans pulling.

For those who own or have seen a 1200 case in action may know it's not really H100(i) friendly, however having banished my spindle drives from the system I can now easily mount the rad against the front fans. This has the added benefit of being positioned against the air intakes instead of the outlet fans, making the effective ambient temp the radiator is working with much lower than the air taken from the case. Importantly there is no longer anything covering the 1st PCI-E x16 slot which was preventing me from running anything in SLI.

For the first week I mounted the radiator against the rear fans, this caused the bottom of the rad to cover the 1st PCI-E slot leaving me with little space. It was also against the left most RAM module which is not good. I though long and hard about what to do, considering taking a Dremel to the case and mounting the rad on the back I decided to try it another way. Pics below before and after.

The mess that was the pre-water loop setup:
16565

Steps to mount this (sorry, not many step by step pics as I was in flow and powering through my build):
- Remove all hard drives from their bays
- Locate boot drive to the top of the case, you can fit 3 devices here so 1 optical and up to 2 hdds. You may be able to pile lots of SSDs out of sight here though if you wish
- Now tackle the 3 x 3 HDD bays. For each one:
- Remove HDD bay and then unpin the fan cables from the HDD housing by bending the metal clasps back (should be obvious how)
- Seperate the drive housing completely from the front fan/grill assembly
- Take the opportunity to vacuum and clean the dust from the fan and filter
- Now I mounted the H100i to the centre fan assembly. To do this I:
- Moved the 2 diagonal screws to the other corners in the fan assembly (you need to do this or the next step may damage the fan control dial)
- Remove the dust filter and top and bottom grill and with the Antec supplied fan securely attached to the assembly drill out the 2 unused fan holes from the front so they’re big enough to fit the H100i supplied “long” screws in the widened holes
- The long screws will now fit far enough through to reach the radiator so you can securely mount it against the middle front fan assembly. Do this by mounting this fan to the top position on the radiator and it will be secure inside the case once put in.
- Now fit the middle fan assembly to the middle position with the H100i attached, using the bottom fan assembly underneath to make sure the spacing is correct.
- Push the air filter back in (due to the screw heads it may take some force and wiggling but it will go back over the screw heads)
- Screw the assembly in with the standard case thumb screws. There are pre drilled holes Antec have kindly put on the assembly with corresponding holes on the chassis. Secure with 2 screws each side
- Now install the top and bottom assemblies with thumb screws in the same way and you’re done with mounting! Now cable tidy, attach block to CPU, finish your build and you’re ready to go.

Removed hard drive housing with H100i mounted to the centre fan (can just about see it inside the case):
16585

H100i from the inside:
16586

Finally neat, tidy and complete (just waiting for a couple of 780 when released):
16587

I hope this can help someone out who's struggling with a similar thing. Comments and questions, as always, are very welcome.

Thanks,

Dan.
Intel 3930K CPU overclocked and stable at 4.6GHZ
Corsair H100i closed loop waterblock for CPU
Asus Rampage IV Extreme motherboard
32GB Corsair Dominator RAM (4 * 8GB @ 1866MHZ, CAS9)
2x GeForce 780 GTX in SLI
Samsung 830 256GB SSD
Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD
Antec 1200 V3 case
SilverStone Strider ST1500 1500W PSU
3 x HN274H bmiiid 27" 120HZ 3D Monitors
Synology DS1512+ (5 x 3TB WD Red RAID 6)
Razer Black Widow Ultimate 2013 & Mamba 2012
Sennheiser PC 363D and Razer Tiamat 7.1 Headsets
362 Views
19 REPLIES 19

danno81 wrote:
Hi Alan,

Thanks for the reply, it looks like you've basically done almost the same as I did with the radiator placement, except it's further inside the case (if I've got that right?). That area's the most logical place to put it in that case I think, as long as you don't need the drive space.

The lens flares give the pic a J. J.Abrams new enterprise bridge sort of feel to them.


Yes I thought the same with the intake cooling when I was reading your post earlier, there aren't many Antec 1200 users that have used the same strategy but yes its definitely the best logical place. Basically in mine on the bottom 3x bay, I have the fan on the front, then the cage, followed by a fan inside the same plastic mounting that the front ones sit inside, then the Antec Kuhler radiator, followed by a 3rd fan - which is the one you can see in the middle. I thought the PSU will be drawing a small amount of cool air in, the GPU sucking the air upwards and the top and rear fans drawing the rest.

Haha! I love Star trek so that's good! I should probably take a better picture today while its light but I haven't got the big boy fan connected now :(. The fan literally came off its bearings and fell into my machine with an almighty sound. I tried to see if I could fix it but had no joy - which prompted me to focus on the top part... which led to my new cooling idea 😄

danno81 wrote:
I’m going to go into story mode now:

In terms of drilling holes in the case; I recently cut a hole in the bottom of the case and added feet so I could turn my PSU upside down and draw air from underneath the raised case instead of from the inside. It was harder than I expected as the sheet steel of the 1200 is a devil (as is probably any sheet steel)! I started with a 120mm hole saw which would have been perfect, but the centre drill bit sheered while drilling sending the drill skimming uncontrollably across the bottom of the inside of the case. I ended up using a vibrational cutter (like a Dremel) and cut a 120mm-ish hexagony-esk shape. I then rounded off several metal drilling drill bits trying to make screw holes for the fan filter I was attaching and for the feet. I only made one successful hole and used 3 bits doing it.

In the end I super-glued the fan cover over the new PSU hole using a single bolt in the successful hole and used a 2 part metal epoxy to attach the aluminium feet. It was a work around, but the result works functionally.

My drill bits were Bosch ones for drilling into metal and the hole saw was this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Diameter-Bimetal-Cutter-Cutting-Holesaw/dp/B006Z4I73W

I mangled the hell of the bottom of my case trying to do it, but at least no one will see it unless they turn it upside down or take out the PSU!

It may be the quality of the bits that prevented me from doing it properly plus the fact that it's made out of steel. The bits are probably better with non-ferrous metals. My experience tells me, if you're doing anything that involves cutting into or drilling into the 1200, make sure you have something rated for steel!

Unfortunately I don't have photos of me doing the job, but I’d happily take snaps of the bottom when I get home this evening if you’re interested in seeing it?

To add to my original post. I did put the 2x 780 GTXs into the system as I had planned (I spend 4 months with 3x 7970 1ghz, but I’m happier now I’m back with nVidia and their nice 3D monitor support and SLI seems better than xfire, although it's somewhat subjective)

It’s another long post from me! 🙂


Thanks very much for all the information! I like you're 'outside the box' thinking! It sounds like you had your work cut out for you there. Its one of those things that you probably regret doing when you've started... but then that always give a better sense of accomplishment when its all sorted :D. After reading all of what you explained, I'm feeling a little worried now too. I hadnt considered the case would be so difficult but now I'm realising of course it would :/. I'll have a look on Amazon etc later for a strong steel proof drill bit - but I don't know if my drill will be good enough - its only a cheap one from B&Q!

Had you used a normal drill or was it a hammer drill mate? Yes if its not too much hassle I'd appreciate it :). I'm off home soon and I'll see if I can get a better picture too.

Cheers,
Alan

Hello Dan,

Here are the ones I've taken today

1st one is without the lights on:

2nd is with the lights:

Then here it is in its place (With my star trek online desktop pictures lol):

Pratham
Level 10
Hi dann, I see your PSU fan is facing upwards...Is there any specific reason for that? or your case doesn't have enough stand-offs to suck air from bottom?

danno81
Level 7
Hi Alan,

I like your computer space! That looks like a nice personal area. I can see inside your case much better now, it looks a good setup. Is it fiddly to change the cables on the PSU when you need to?

I didn't get a chance to take snaps last night of my rig as it is now, I'll have to try and do that on the weekend. I may do a 'photo shoot' and add it to the builds forum on here. I'll only add the pretty pics to that one, I'll hide the hacked up bottom of the case on this thread 🙂

Pratham:

That's how it used to be but the pics here are a little out of date now. I was waiting for a chance to cut a hole in the bottom of my case (see post #10 on this thread). I've done that now and my PSU fan is facing downwards drawing it's own air supply from under the case. I added feet and an air filter to the hole as well to minimise carpet/floor dust getting into the PSU. I prefer to have a mostly isolated supple to whatever components I can to minimise the impact of heat sharing between my components. The PSU and CPU radiator now take ambient room air to cool them. The graphics, RAM and mobo components are left with the warmer case air. The 1200 case has good airflow though so it's not too bad in there.
Intel 3930K CPU overclocked and stable at 4.6GHZ
Corsair H100i closed loop waterblock for CPU
Asus Rampage IV Extreme motherboard
32GB Corsair Dominator RAM (4 * 8GB @ 1866MHZ, CAS9)
2x GeForce 780 GTX in SLI
Samsung 830 256GB SSD
Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD
Antec 1200 V3 case
SilverStone Strider ST1500 1500W PSU
3 x HN274H bmiiid 27" 120HZ 3D Monitors
Synology DS1512+ (5 x 3TB WD Red RAID 6)
Razer Black Widow Ultimate 2013 & Mamba 2012
Sennheiser PC 363D and Razer Tiamat 7.1 Headsets

danno81 wrote:
Hi Alan,

I like your computer space! That looks like a nice personal area. I can see inside your case much better now, it looks a good setup. Is it fiddly to change the cables on the PSU when you need to?

I didn't get a chance to take snaps last night of my rig as it is now, I'll have to try and do that on the weekend. I may do a 'photo shoot' and add it to the builds forum on here. I'll only add the pretty pics to that one, I'll hide the hacked up bottom of the case on this thread 🙂


Hello Dan,

Thanks very much bud. I wasn’t really thinking ahead for a 3 monitor set up or anything so I just make do with the 46" 3d one for gaming :). Yes it’s ridiculously difficult to get to the PSU! Well observed! That’s also why I want to change the CPU cooler. To get to the PSU… I have to try to push the bottom cage & fans as far forward as possible, then pop off the front fan mounting bracket, then untie all the Power cables behind the case, remove the PSU, pop the inside fan mounting bracket off and (after a very long time) job done!

While I'm doing the next part of the project I'm going to get black corrugated cable tubing over all exposed wires to make it as neat as I can. I may as well go the full nine yards while I've got the mobo and everything removed. After that phase it'll be much easier to get to the PSU.

Just to ask, can you recommend a drill bit that I can use please? I've been looking all morning but I’m not sure of the diameter or grade of drill bit needed 😕

Hi Alan,

As promised (albeit a little late) here are the pics of the bottom of my case. The bottom doesn't look as bad as it does underneath the PSU on the inside, however I realised the effort to take it out for a snap was too great!

23855

23856

About the screw driver bits, I've not had any successful experiences so I'm not sure what to advise. I would say not to use standard named bits from B&Q/Homebase. They seem to be for your average home user that should have no need to drill something as industrial as steel 🙂

I do love the look of the Antec 1200 which is why I've stuck with it so far. That does come with certain drawbacks and limitations though as I guess you already know. In the future I think I'll grab myself an aluminium case. That will be easier to cut holes in when I get the urge to do something unusual.

I have the unnatural urge to buy the corsair 900D, but I'm avoiding it. I think that may be overkill as it's huge. It's significantly bigger than the 1200. But imagine the space to work with! And all those radiator options...
http://www.corsair.com/900d

Your project sounds very satisfying. And if you can tidy the cables go crazy. When you achieve good cable management it adds that final "ahhh, lovely" I find. 🙂

EDIT: I just created a thread for my PC in general if you fancy seeing it:

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?35115-Monster-My-PC-as-of-July-2013&country=&status=
Intel 3930K CPU overclocked and stable at 4.6GHZ
Corsair H100i closed loop waterblock for CPU
Asus Rampage IV Extreme motherboard
32GB Corsair Dominator RAM (4 * 8GB @ 1866MHZ, CAS9)
2x GeForce 780 GTX in SLI
Samsung 830 256GB SSD
Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD
Antec 1200 V3 case
SilverStone Strider ST1500 1500W PSU
3 x HN274H bmiiid 27" 120HZ 3D Monitors
Synology DS1512+ (5 x 3TB WD Red RAID 6)
Razer Black Widow Ultimate 2013 & Mamba 2012
Sennheiser PC 363D and Razer Tiamat 7.1 Headsets

Hello Dan,

I've hopefully got the right drill bits now 🙂 I went to wickes and got some that are higher grade steel proof ones and a countersink thing too.

I've ordered all of the corrigated tubing and cable clips so I've just got to order the cooler on payday to let the tasks commence! I'm going to be moving the P.C to on top of the desk which will help it stay cooler. Currently I've got the bus frequency at 255 with the multiplier at 17.5 which is a 0.8625 Ghz OC at the moment (3.6ghz stock running at 4.462Ghz)- on the hottest day of the year, during prime95 stress tests it was stable at 51c but normally its 45c stable during stress tests with the current set up. I know i'll be able to reduce some more degree's out of there once I'm done.

Thats a really sweet machine you have there mate. You've done a really good job! I wish I could afford even two 680's, let alone two 780's! That corsair case is massive. Its practical but also nicely simplistic I thought. Personally I love the Antec 1200 too so I'll be sticking with this. I can appreciate that you're the type of customer that the corsair would appeal to. You'd never run out of room! I personally like the look of having 'lots of things going on' in a case if there are big spaces, it might be a little too good at creating room? I'm sure you can fill it!

Haha I know what you mean about the computer building unnatural urges! Like my urge to undertake the drilling into mine 😕

I cant resist the urge anymore! (I'm blaming you Dan!) 😉
I transferred some money around and I've just ordered the Antec 1220! I'm strangely excited about all the work I've got to do! Is that normal? lol

danno81
Level 7
Ah yes, I have had that effect before, just talking about your rig awakens people's latent urge to build!

I get the excitement, I'm a sucker for a build project! One day I'll get that 900D and go water cooling crazy. Until that day I think I'm happy where I am right now (that doesn't last that long, then the itch comes back!).

I hope you enjoy your project, if you hit any 1200 case snags in the installation and feel like telling us all about it please do. Every little bit helps in the future planning of this case. From the looks of it the Antec 1220 is pretty much the same as installing a H100i so they'll be a mix of challenges and satisfaction in getting it in.

Good luck with cutting through that steel, I hope your drill bits work better than mine did. Look out for shards too, a lot of metal filings will be created so a good vacuuming of the case may be needed if you do that.
Intel 3930K CPU overclocked and stable at 4.6GHZ
Corsair H100i closed loop waterblock for CPU
Asus Rampage IV Extreme motherboard
32GB Corsair Dominator RAM (4 * 8GB @ 1866MHZ, CAS9)
2x GeForce 780 GTX in SLI
Samsung 830 256GB SSD
Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD
Antec 1200 V3 case
SilverStone Strider ST1500 1500W PSU
3 x HN274H bmiiid 27" 120HZ 3D Monitors
Synology DS1512+ (5 x 3TB WD Red RAID 6)
Razer Black Widow Ultimate 2013 & Mamba 2012
Sennheiser PC 363D and Razer Tiamat 7.1 Headsets

Hello again Dan,

I know I'd replied via email with the update but just for any readers... I did manage to drill through the steel to top mount the Antec 1220. I wanted to install 2 more lights in the bottom of the case so was waiting until then, before I posted my pictures. But... I did take some pictures and it still looks the same at the moment (havent done the lights yet) so here it is 😄

Here's the top from the GPU upwards:


Then here's the full side view:


Then here are two from the side with the cover on too: