July 13, 2011

Cooler Master® HAF-922 X-PLOD Edition-I [Phenom II x4 955 | GTX-470 inside]


          This system was built back in Q2-2011 followed by the death of my old Socket-939 AMD X2  Opteron 170 system [Which served me well for 5-years] where it severely lacked proper cooling & cable routing & so, it was the Mobo[Asus-A8NE] that got knocked out first. As S-939 was gradually disappearing on the planet, i did not want to search for another traditional S-939 Motherboard again.

         Instead i planned to build the next generation AMD-Dragon-Platform [Socket-AM3] System. But i wanted this new system to be more Reliable, Efficient, Performer, Smart-looking & long-lasting. So to in-cooperate all those terms, i need to alter the Physical look of the system by keeping it standard with less color coded combination and then Over-clocking a bit to attain the potential performance & finally a clean cable management[cable routing] & Cable-Shielding/Sleeving for better air-circulation and Pro-looks.  

Time-Duration took for this Project : 2 ~ 4 Months

System Specs :-

CPU : AMD Phenom II 965BE C3 Quad Core [~ 4.144 Ghz]

GPU : n-Vidia GTX 470 [1.28 GB , G-DDR 5 , HDMI]
APU : Auzen X-Fi™ Prelude 7.1 + LME49710HA [op-amp]
PSU : SeaSonic S12D 850 Watts
RAM : 8 GB G.Skill-RipJawZ | 9-10-8-1T |1720 Mhz DDR-III
Mobo : Asus M4A79T-Deluxe [AMD790 FX | 10 Phase Power Design]
HDD : Samsung F4 320 GB [O.S] + Hitachi 320 GB [Game Storage] + WD Green 1 TB [Storage]
Case : Cooler Master HAF-922 [ Xtreme Modded ]
Speakers : Logitech Z-5500 Digital

Monitor : SAMSUNG 20" + 32" GS Alexius LCD TV
O.S : Windows 7 Enterprise x 64 bit

CPU Cooler : T.R.U.E 120 Rev.C + Scythe Ultra Kaze 3K RPM
Case Fans : 5x Xigmatek XLF-1253 , 1x 200mm C.M Megaflow , 1x T.R X-Silent 140mm 


In a Nut-Shell:-

Cooler Master HAF-922 X-Plod Edition in a Nut-Shell
. . . .

Parts Show-Off:-

          No much parts to show off here actually. As the Motherboard & RAM are not involved in any type of the Mods that i am gonna do it here, i will be just putting only those in this section. Rest of the parts are almost shown at least once through out the article.

CPU [AMD Phenom x4 955 Black-Edition]:-

      I chose 955 because it was a great Over-Clocker among all other Phenom 9xx Processor's. After 955, the 960 , 965 , 970 all varied just in terms of CPU-Frequency and couldn't justify the cost of them where a 955 can go beyond a 970 depending on the circumstances. Of course your Overclock mileage may vary.

AMD Phenom x4 955 B.E [3.2 GHz, Deneb]

MainBoard [Asus M4A79T-Deluxe]:-

          This Mobo had everything what i was looking for i.e Fan less cooling, 8+2 Phase Power Design, IDE Connector, FDD connector[I know its weird, but i wanted it for some odd reasons], on board "Power/Reset" buttons, 790FX[2x PCI-E V2.0 16x ], Native DDR-3 Support, Solid Over-clocker, No PCI-E lane switch card required,Quad-Fire X, Q-Fan 2, Gigabit Lan, Optical/Coax Audio out, Plenty of SATA 3Gbps/USB 2.0 connectors, All solid Caps, Black PCB layout and many many more.

Asus M4A79T-Deluxe AM3 Mainboard


RAM [G-Skill RipjawZ 2x4 = 8 GB] :-

[ Picture N/A  A.T.M ]

Q-What efforts & Process were involved ?

-  Tearing the whole case & Removing the rear honey comb grill
-  Painting Case with Red n Black
-  Painting Peripherals
-  Transforming non-red LED's to RED
-  Sleeving all necessary cables
-  Lapping CPU + Heat-sink
-  Building custom 2 in 1 fan connector
-  Building custom length LED strip for extra illumination
-  Connecting the strip to the built-in LED on/off switch of the case
-  Putting whole things together
-  Better Cable-Routing / Management
-  Over-clocking

Getting on to the Process. . .

I- Paint Job 

CM HAF-922 Rear View [Honey Comb Grill Removed]

CM HAF-922 - Whole Case Disassembled & Powder Coated

CM HAF-922-Side Panel-Right [Painted RED]

Black Spray Painted Grill

Black Painted PCI Slot Blockers
Haf-922 Switches/Buttons [Painted RED]

CM HAF-922-Painted RED on the Push Buttons

HAF-922 [Powder Coated Black]

HAF-922 [Painted RED on HDD Bays]

CoolerMaster HAF-922 Xtreme [Painted Red + Powder Coated Black]

Painting Peripherals for maintaining the combination :- 

I will also need to paint some peripheral parts as well for the optimum exposure.

I am gonna start it with my Graphics Card i.e Galaxy GTX-470 :-

GTX-470 Default Smoke Shroud [before paint job]

GTX-470 [After a little paint job-TOP View]

GTX-470 [After a little paint job-Side View]

GTX-470 [After a little paint job-Corner View]

CPU-Cooler :-

              As the name goes "Thermal Right Ultra 120 Extreme", this was the most performing CPU Heat-sink cooler at the time i bought. For the maximum efficiency, i had to lap[Process of Flattening] the base of this cooler which will be covered later on this article.

T.R.U.E 120 Rev.c [Default Silver]

         As one might doubt about the performance of the cooler after such a fancy painting, then the answer is a big "NO". There was no drop in performance/efficiency at all as there were no difference between the normal TRUE & TRUE Black Edition.

T.R.U.E 120 Rev.c [Painted RED]

T.R.U.E 120 Rev.c [Painted RED]

HDD's :-

            Below are my mechanical HDD's. The only bottle-necking thing as of now in my PC. But soon my Add-on card i.e Asus U3S6[Suppose to add SATA-6Gbps & USB 3.0 on my Mobo] should be here & then i might consider upgrading to some of the Top-Performing SSD's. But still i gotta show at the moment what i need to show you here.


SAMSUNG F4 320GB, WD 1 TB [Painted RED]

SAMSUNG F4 320GB [Painted RED]

SAMSUNG F4 320GB [Painted RED]

I missed to capture a shot of my Hitachi DeskStar 320GB HDD though, which will be dedicated as a Game storage device

Optical Drive:-

          Yes its the traditional P-ATA optical drive still i am with and i found no good reason to upgrade to the newer S-ATA or the Blu-ray drives yet. Also as my Mobo is integrated with a single IDE [P-ATA] port, i did not want to waste the port either. Not to mention my Mobo has also got a FDD connector. ;-)

LG-DVD RAM P-ATA Drive [Default]

LG-DVD RAM P-ATA Drive [Painted RED]

Sound Card :-

         This is one of the best part on my system i.e the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 Sound card which is serving me well as i expected. I decided on this sound card after a long research & doing my own personal face-to-face review with the Asus Xonar D2X Sound Card which was a direct competitor on the same boat during those days. I did this review on my previous Opteron system back in 2010 though. just FYI i have put the review on my blog.

My Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 SC [Default View]

          I really did not want to have black there on above the gold plating. But for maintaining the color combination i had to paint it black.
My Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 SC [Painted Black]

Mobo I/O Panel:-

Mobo I/O Back Plate [Default View]

Mobo I/O Back Plate [Painted RED]

Well that's all about a little-to-more paint JOB! Now i am gonna go on next stage. Keep Focused.


        As you can guess the LED's i want here would be some of the RED light emitting diodes. But there are many places that i need to transform it in to RED LED's. Such as:-

- 5x Xigmatek Fans LED i.e a total of 5x4 = 20 LED's [default was White]

- Optical Drive's LED indicator [default was green]

- All-in-one Front Bay + Card Readers LED display [Default was Blue + Green]

- Auzen X-Fi Prelude Sound Cards status LED [Default was Green]

Xigmatek XLF-F1253 Series [5 no's]

Xigmatek XLF-F1253 at Default white LED

Xigmatek XLF-F1253 at Replaced RED LED

Xigmatek XLF-F1253 - Difference between White & Replaced RED LED

All Xigmatek XLF-F1253 Fans with replaced RED-LED

Single RED-LED Strip [Default]

LED-Strip Red Glow

           The above strip is measured accordingly & cut in to 4 pieces and then sleeved to hide the cables completely for uniting other sleeve jobs inc-operated on this project. I used a male pin fan header as the power source plug as you can see below.
LED-Strip measured, Sleeved & cut to position on various location of the case

        For a better understanding , i will show here where i had put the LED strip to which all locations. One goes on the top of the inner case as you can see below. The cable was routed accordingly so that its hidden from the outside.

        Remember, this strip is also connected internally to the Case built-in LED on/off switch. So whenever i feel i can easily switch off the whole LED inside the case especially during the late-night gaming hours or when watching movies.

A portion of the LED Strip on the inner top of  HAF-922

A portion of the same LED Strip on the inner bottom of  HAF-922

      I decided to put a portion of the same LED-Strip on both sides of the CoolerMaster 200mm front in-take fan because the built-in LED on the fan was showing in-sufficient illumination  to my eyes.
The same LED Strip on the sides of from 200 mm fan of  HAF-922
For the Strip illuminated view you need to scroll down to the "final finished stage" of the Project.

Stage-IV - Cable Sleeving/Shielding

        Well, lets get in to the toughest job now. Sleeving is the process of shielding the wires/cables for the optimum reliability & protection from EMI. But these days most of them does it for a professional and clean look inside the case also to improve your systems overall cable management system and so the air-circulation.
         This job is both time consuming & PITA for sure. Once i started than i was forced to complete it in one or other ways as its actually a time killing & interesting work-around to do. For those who are first in to this, then i have a word for them : Don't attempt unless you are too patient to do this. As basics you will need the Sleeves & Shrinks & some tools to deal with different types of  Pin/Socket of various cables. Below are some samples of Sleeves & Heat-Shrinks.

Sleeves[Top] + Heat Shrinks[Bottom]

         As a sample, here below is the sleeved speaker or buzzer for new people who wonder what sleeving is all about. Unfortunately i forgot to take the picture of the cables condition before sleeving.

Sleeved Case Speaker/Buzzer

        The tools i used here was built all by myself, means its all complete-custom made. The below image is juts a stapler pin bent in such a way that to insert it to the pin-pocket/hole of the 24-Pin ATX Motherboard cable. As there are 23 cables out of 24 pin pockets, it was really worth to make such a tool for myself. Not to mention it was also useful to deal with the EPS 12V 6-Pin, PCI-E Pins etc.
A Custom Bent Stapler Pin to release cables

These are nothing but some detached pieces of an antenna which i took out from my old broken Radio which was with me since last 10 years. But, i was surprised to see, how useful was it to me, even after so many years that it was laying on the Garage. One of these will be used exclusively to release the cables/pins from the Male-Female-Molex connector's.

Detached pieces of an Antenna [Tool to release wires from Molex]

         The real job/pain starts now. I will be starting it with the main PSU-24pin ATX cable. Believe me , it took me almost the whole day to complete this particular set of cables. It takes time if you are taking much care and concentrating on what you do, as any of the wires inserted back in a different/wrong slot might bring colored fire flights when you switch on the PC. But still we have SCP[Short Circuit Protection] on our/my PSU as a prevent-er just in case.  

PSU 24-Pin ATX [Before Sleeve]

         As there were 23 wires out of 24 pockets[One pocket was free FYI], i used my own method to maintain the accuracy of the wires being pulled out of the pocket and then inserted back again to the correct pocket. We humans make mistakes and that is why i wanted to be pretty sure that each wire goes back to the correct place/slot. So this method was 100% success for me because my system was alive when i powered it.
24-Pin ATX loosed [Numbering Method]

PSU 24-Pin ATX [After Sleeve]

PSU 8-Pin EPS 12V [Before Sleeve]

PSU 8-Pin EPS 12V [After Sleeve]

PSU 2x 6-Pin PCI-E [Before Sleeve]

PSU 2x 6-Pin PCI-E [After Sleeve]

PSU Molex Cable [Before Sleeve]

PSU Molex Cable [After Sleeve]

2x SATA Data Cable [Before Sleeve]

2x SATA Data Cable [After Sleeve]

PSU SATA Power Cable [Before Sleeve]

PSU SATA Power Cable [After Sleeve]

        As you can see there were plenty of cables still left to sleeve, which really wont make any use to me as all these remaining cables were useless to me unless i have a second graphics card or something like that. But i don't have any such plans in the near future.
         I was a little disappointed that i dint get the modular version of the same PSU at the time i bought it, i.e M12D instead of S12D which i have at sight. But the extra penny for the Modular M12D didn't justify the cost for it. But still after some struggle, i could hide all the extra cable as i wished as if it was a Modular stuff. So no worries after all. 
PSU-Sleeved & Non-Sleeved Cables View

PSU- Only Sleeved Cables View

Sleeving Fan-Cables:-

2x Xigmatek XLF-F1253 [Before Sleeve]

All 5-nos of Xigmatek fans are now sleeved. I am sleeving from the tip of the cable to the root of each fans as you can see below. No traces of wires can be found at any angle. That much care was taken while shielding it. Even though the below pic contains only 3 Fans, there were all 5 fans which was ready after the sleeving process.

2x Xigmatek XLF-F1253 [After Sleeve]

        The Scythe Ultra Kaze 3000 RPM fan is popular for its high static pressure due to its high RPM and 38mm thickness of the housing. This will be mounted on the CPU-Cooler as T.R.U.E 120 loves 38mm thickness fans. Not to mention at full throttle this fan can be used as a table fan just in case if you are curious about its power. But unfortunately the wire looks naked means it was not factory sleeved.
Scythe Ultra Kaze 3K RPM [Before Sleeve]

         But its sleeved now from the beginning of the wire even to the neck of the circuit as usual. As you can see no traces of wires you will find from the below picture.

Scythe Ultra Kaze 3K RPM [After Sleeve]

          The Thermalright X-Silent 140 was shipped with pre-sleeved cables. But not from the root. So i had to pull out the factory sleeving in order to sleeve it again from the root. Thanks to T.R for the factory Sleeving though.

          One thing i must say that, this fan is dead silent during operation as the name says it all and no compromise in the Air-Flow either. It moves sufficient air according to its labelled specs. This Non-LED fan will serve as an Air-in-take fan at the bottom of the case

Thermalright X-Silent 140 [Default Sleeved]

            This cable clamps was really helpful to hold those many cables at the side of the CM case. Thanks to C.M for the bulging shape on either side of the case that it could accommodate all the remaining PSU cables there without a hassle.

Lian-Li Cable Management Kit PT-CL01

         This Cable Management kit was specifically designed for their own Lian-Li cases, but the double sided tape provided with it was helpful, as cutting the locking plastic clips from behind the clamp and putting it on any case you wanted. But as the locking clips were cut, i had to spend some more time to reduce the tension caused by the wires to this kit as too much pressure would take out the clamp itself from the stuck position.

Sleeved Custom Made 2 in 1 Fan connectors :-

          The adapter you  see below is exclusively made by me as its not available locally. I used some spare cables, 2 Fan connector Male Pins & a Female Pin connector to build this. And some sleeving job finally to give it a professional look. I had to make 3 Adapters as in order to feed 6-Fans at the same time.

          The main intention behind making this particular type of  "2 in 1 Fan-Cable Connector" was to drive two fans at the same time from a single Fan outlet on the mother board.

          So whats the advantage..??.  Yes there is, that i don't need a separate fan controller to run more fans and i don't need a fan controller again to run the fan quietly at the same time.

Custom Made 2 in 1 Fan Connector

         Thanks to the Asus Q-Fan-II technology implemented on this Mobo, as its sufficient to control the fans speed accordingly depending on the temperature inside the case and on the components.I wouldn't have even thought about making this cable if there existed no such tech as Q-Fan-2.

          However, Asus Q-Fan-II was only supported by 3 Fan connector's out of 4 on the Mainboard. But as i had a total of 6-Fans, where i wanted to enable the automatic speed regulating tech , this was the best method that came to my mind and i have succeeded on implementing it.

        FYI, out of 6 Fans, 1 is the Scythe 3K fan you saw above and the rest 5 are the Xigmatek one's. So  2 Xigmafans on the side panel, 2 Xigma Fans on the TOP of the case & 1 Xigma[Rear Case] + Scythe Fan [on T.R.U.E] connected together, so that the speed of these are independent from case fans as its regulated according to the temperature developed by CPU alone.

Custom Made 2 in 1 Fan Connector [Close VIew]
          Of course one should be skeptical about the specs, whether it can handle the load or not before doing this kind of  Overloading Mod. And the answer for your skeptic question is : YES. It can & even more according to the Specs sheet from Asus i.e 350ma ~ 2000mA (24W Max) or 1A ~ 7A (84W Max) at 12V.

CPU & Heat-Sink Lapping :-

          I know lapping voids warranty. But i certainly trust AMD processors since i started using their processors back in 2000. I started lapping the processor as soon it was delivered by the courier guys means the warranty was voided within minutes after i received it. Of course i did the DOA test before the lapping job and the test failed fortunately means it was not DOA lol.

Lapping AMD CPU [200~800 Grit]

         If any one is interested to know about the lapping process in a nutshell, then i started from 200 grit, then 400, 600, 800, 1200,1800 & finally 2000 & 2500 grit for the mirror finish. Just FYI in some countries this type of sand paper is called Water Sand Paper.

Lapping AMD CPU [800 ~ 1200 Grit]

         Below you can see the mirror finish of my AMD-CPU after 3~4 hours hard efforts. Not bad that this is what i could get after many hours. And finally it was flat and basically that is what the main purpose behind this lapping process, flatness rather than a shining metal.

Lapping AMD CPU [2000 Grit-Mirror Finish]

         I developed the lapping skill with my T.R.U.E CPU-cooler at first. And the result was not bad either even though it took 6~8 hours to get the job done. The basement of this particular cooler was ridiculous in terms of flatness as it was completely concave in shape. Its manufactured like that for some pin-less processor is what they[T.R] claim. B.S.

         I used the Cool Laboratory Liquid Ultra metal alloy for the1st time and i must say that this is good TIM, but its a PITA when you want to remove the cooler from the CPU as its kind of glued  like feeling that you get at it. And you need to put this particular TIM a bit more in quantity compared to the normal ones. When i tried to remove the CPU-cooler, the whole thing came out from the socket with the cooler as i had to put too much pressure pulling it. Luckily i dint break the socket or bent/break any pins on the processor.

Lapped Base of CPU Cooler[T.R.U.E 120 Rev C] & Lapped AMD CPU + Cool-Lab Liquid Ultra

          Its another PITA & annoying, that you need to remove the residue left by the CL- Liquid Ultra from the cooler or the CPU, that it took me another lapping job unless i could never remove it completely. And as the review sites had shown there was no much difference for me regarding the temps it showed. I had Arctic MX-4, Tuniq-TX-3 & Tuniq TX-4 on my hands & my vote would go for  TX-4.

-: T.R.U.E 120 Rev.C - Back-Plate Mod :-

          The back-plate of this cooler was not strong enough to withstand the pressure exerted by its own spring screws that came with it. Means when you tight it fully, its actually bending the back-plate & with it, the Motherboard which i really did not like at all. I really hate it when my motherboard is bent just because of these weak back-plates.

          So i took the back-plate to the nearest Steel-Manufacturing company and then i explained them about my problem and they were keen & good people to help me to get the problem sorted out with the below solution shown work from them. They put two steel rods for me on the either side of the back-plate. Now no bent nothing & its strong enough. I am getting the full pressure from the spring now & no need of any washer mod now. This mod works better with AMD back plates as they can take the tension because they are rectangular in shape.

T.R.U.E AMD Back-Plate [Welded Steel View 1]

T.R.U.E AMD Back-Plate [Welded Steel View 2]


! Final Stage | Show Case !

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Front View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Rear View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Corner View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Interior Top View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Left Side Part View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Side View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Bottom Side Corner View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Side Complete View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Side-Top View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Right Side View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Side Panel]



HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Illuminated View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Illuminated View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Illuminated View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Illuminated View]

HAF 922 X-PLOD EDITION [Illuminated View]
That's all about it. I wanted to write more but i am lazy to type each and everything here. But If you have any queries or questions please let me know by posting  it in the comment section below & i shall address it as soon as possible. Thanks for you patience & time spend on this article.

The Benchmarks, Temp's & "Advanced Cool n Quite" Explained ! HERE !

OCN Discussion Thread ! HERE !

! Thanks For Watching !

! Your Feedback/Comments are Welcome !

Tags :- HAF922 Red Black Paint Seasonic S12D Sleeving TRUE 120 Auzen X-Fi Prelude Galaxy GTX 470


  1. Where is the complete article..?? Would like to see it sooon..

    Basher !

  2. Nice! Appreciate your work !
    Please update soon. Keen to see the completed build.

  3. this is called beauty am jealous of your 955 BE

  4. amazing job ... wish my cabinet looked that good ... I'm jealous grrrrrr :P

  5. @Udit : haha lol.. Thanks Mate..!

  6. WOW!!.. you're defiantly one crazy moutha fucker.
    GREAT JOB!!!

  7. Do you do this for exhibition normally? It's a LOT of work for just personal pride. Beautiful, but ultimately, just a PC. I always buy the best looking cases and, if possible, a good looking monitor with brilliant picture quality, but anything more - like the inner gubbins & oojamagooglies - would be hidden, and a waste of time for me.

    But good on you for doing something amazing! Looks and performance, and reliability with all that cooling.. :-))

    1. Nope.., its just for my personal use. Just to bring out my passion oriented PC. xD