Pan Slim

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Well, time to kick off another build!

This time out I am super excited to have Raijintek on board, kindly sending over their beautiful Pan Slim chassis. After working with Intel on the Gamer Days build, a project that used the Raijintek Enyo, I knew I wanted to try out another one of their cases. The design and craftsmanship in the Pan Slim are superb, however, it's not without its flaws, something I will come on to in a later post when we take a closer look at the case.

For now, I don't even have a project name for this, so for now it will simply be known as the Pan Slim build. I do have some ideas that I know will feature; powder coating, water cooling, a vented clear top panel, and a new look front panel incorporating a compact screen for easy access to certain programs and features.

Kicking off the build I have a few of the components already lined up, again thanks to all my partners for making this one possible! Now some of these may change and I still have the memory to sort out, there's also a temptation to throw in an ATX board in the form of the ASUS Dark Hero 8, something @orbitalwalsh did with his Pan Slim build.

For now I have the following lined up:

ASUS B550-I Gaming ITX Motherboard
Cooler Master V850 SFX PSU
Be Quiet! Light Wings 120mm
MSI RTX 2080 Super Gaming X Trio
Seagate FireCuda 510 2TB and 530 1TB NVME
Cooling as always will be from Alphacool, my go-to for all my builds






So that outlines this build to an extent, next up I will cover opening up the Pan Slim and seeing what we have to work with and start planning out some aspect of this build.
 
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Time to make some headway into this build then. I've spent the day figuring out some of the things I want to do with this build so lets start making our way around some of the progress I have made.

First up, let's talk a little more about the Pan Slim, its an ITX based case, but as mentioned before, could easily accommodate an ATX sized board. The case comes with two hard drive mounts but we won't be needing them and so they have been removed, next, I whipped off the top brace bar for a little easier access. The front of the Pan Slim includes 2x USB 3.0 and one Type C. Given I won't be using a lot of USB devices, this, paired with the ASUS ITX board should easily cover all my needs. I mentioned in the first post some issues with the Pan Slim, so let's cover them. By no means are these detrimental, but should a V.2 appear I would love to see some small changes made to the rear. To the right, we have our PSU mount for an SFX unit and it would be great to see this expanded to an ATX, with an SFX adapter plate included in the box. There's enough room to do this so I think it would be a great addition to the Pan Slim.



Next up is probably my biggest "why" moment, the GPU mount is positioned so that the card is fitted with the backplate facing up, there's plenty of ventilation cut into the bottom of the case and so I can see why this was done. Here it would be nice to have a removable plate that can be flipped and screwed back into the case so that we have the option on which way up our card is displayed.

The case can also easily accommodate ATX boards, so why not just include standoffs out of the box, it is again a small thing but would bring the Pan Slim to so many more potential customers.

One nice touch is the inclusion of a riser cable for the GPU and this, a handy little box for keeping everything in its place during a build!



With the minor imperfections out the way, let's dig into what's going in this build. First I have pretty much decided to go with the ASUS B550-I Gaming over an ATX for a couple of reasons, first, it makes the build a little easier and gives me more room to work with, and second because its more than adequate. Paired with the AMD 5900X and down the road, some decent cooling, it's a system that will perform so well without needing much more.




Our motherboard gets all onboard storage with Seagate FireCuda NVME drives, a 530 Gen 4 1TB for Windows and a 2TB 510 for Steam. I love these drives, they perform well and being NVME means that precious space isn't wasted on bulky 2.5 solutions.



The next piece of this puzzle is the PSU and I have gone for the Cooler master V850 SFX in black. I have used Cooler Master PSUs for years and along with be quiet! units, I trust them to deliver whats needed for my systems. Once everything is installed I will be going for some custom cables to keep everything nice and tidy.



OK, so let's see how it's looking, the motherboard and PSU are in to give an idea of what room is left to work with. The left-hand side is getting a 240mm radiator at either 45 or 60mm thickness. There is scope to add another to the right, moving the PSU above the motherboard but then that means I have to find somewhere else to add the pump. The GPU and CPU will both be water cooled so I need to maximise the amount of cooling potential going into this, a standard thickness radiator wont cut it so the more surface area I have, the better.



Now onto the more nitty-gritty parts of this. I mentioned before that the GPU is to be flipped over. The card I am potentially going to use, unless I can get my hands on a 30XX series, will be the MSI RTX 2080S Gaming Trio X. This has literally just come out of the Moto GP build and I have a new block for it so excuse the sight of it, for now, it's only being used to measure up the spacing.

If I had decided to go with the standard layout, we do run into an issue, the PSU prevents the GPU from fitting properly due to the ports on the card. Going back to adding ATX PSU support, I still stand by that but maybe the Pan Slim could be made around 30-40mm wider, just to accommodate these sometimes overlooked issues we builders run into!



How to flip the card then, well that's easy enough to some extent. I keep old case parts for days just like this, and sure enough, I will be able to flip it without too many issues. I have cut up an old PCIe backplate, it still needs some work but once it is filed and riveted into place, I can then cut out the rear of the case for the new one to look like it has always been there. Remember this is going to be powder coated too, so it won't look out of place with the new colours I am going for.





A test fit shows just how well this will work out, but then that throws up another issue on spacing towards the motherboard. With the card sitting where I need it to be, space is tight for memory to be installed, I might have to go low profile on this one. The other reason for wanting to go for a 30XX series card is that the Alphacool blocks offer horizontal terminal options, so routing tubes will be a lot easier than with the 2080S





That's where I am at for today then, next up will be planning for the front screen, cutting and modifying the case ready for powder coating. The powder coating is around a 3-week job due to how busy the guys are so then there will be a bit of a lull while I wait for it to come back.

A huge thank you to AMD, ASUS, MSI, Alphacool, be quiet!, Cooler Master, and Seagate for being on board for this one!
 
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Its not small, but with the space I have in mind for it, this will be perfect. For now, my biggest issue is solving the cooling and then mounting the new screen that will be used. There's going to be a lot of cutting with the new Dremel so looking forward to that!
 
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OK update time on the new IO for the Pan Slim!

So to recap, the original GPU IO had the backplate facing up, not the look I want for this build and so I had to mod the casing to what was needed. Cue donor parts from an old be quiet! Dark Base 700. I had originally used the standard set of 7 PCIe slots for this but it stepped out the slots into the case, and I wasn't happy about that. So a rethink brought me to use the vertical mount from the 700. With a little cutting, I detached the mount from the rear panel and started to clean up all the bends and edges. Compared with the original mod, this is a lot cleaner and slimmer, giving me more room to work with internally.




Then it was time to start cutting up the Pan Slim itself, removing the brackets completely ready to accept our new panel. A quick mock-up showed that a little more refining was needed to fit the new part to the case. Some more Dremel action and finally it takes shape, fitting perfectly to the case. Once this is powder coated, it won't be a noticeable modification and will blend in really well to the original case. Its glued for now and its solid, but I will be adding some rivets too.






The case is now coming along nicely. With the new slots installed you can see how I am planning to lay this one out. The Alphacool 240mm radiators are on their way but it's starting to take shape. Next up is to complete the rest of the case modifications, including the second radiator mount, the new power cable mount, the new PSU bracket, SSD mount and, a new front screen mount!

 
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It's purely to flip over the GPU. The top cover is getting new acrylic vented windows and it would be nice to gaze through and see the GPU with the water block face up, rather than staring at the bland old backplate :)
 
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It's purely to flip over the GPU. The top cover is getting new acrylic vented windows and it would be nice to gaze through and see the GPU with the water block face up, rather than staring at the bland old backplate :)

yer lol now I look I can see you have flipped it :D
 
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It's one of the things I have spoken to Raijintek about, just give us the option to flip it, like an external ATX PSU mount that attaches to the PSU, and then to the case, but for a GPU instead. If they do that, and the same with the PSU mount to allow ATX units to be installed then that's a bonus! ATX board mounting again would be a plus, I could do with another NVME drive slot, however the motherboard only has two, if I could go ATX then I would have the option for up to 4 at least :(
 
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Yer 100% onboard there a case that size as no need for an sfx psu. I just got an O11 mini and had to buy an sfx psu the case is massive but to save 5mm they made it sfx
 
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Sorry for the delay, but time for a quick update. I'm struggling for time at the moment and this week I picked up a new role at KitGuru, so I need to get cracking on!

Right so, the Pan Slim tray is ready for powder coating, lets catch up with what happened inside it. The screen I will be using for this mod is the Waveshare 7.9 inch display and it will be housed to the front of the case. A huge shout to Alphacool for sending over a new Dremel to make this take a whole lot easier! The screen was measured up and the front panel has been cut, between the mounting holes. This is so I can 3D print the housing for the screen and use these mounts to secure it to the inner tray. The original front panel, as you may notice has gone, this is being replaced with a 2-way mirror to give a Smart Mirror effect with the screen. The power button shall remain, but I have done away with the front IO for a cleaner aesthetic





To the rear, in situ of the PSU original mounting point, I have added a 2.5 SSD cage that was not being used in a Lian Li Q58, it will allow me to add an extra Seagate BarraCuda 120 1TB SSD. The wiring for this will tuck nicely under the GPU and given the space would have just been blanked off, it makes use of this area really well. I just need to3D Print a rear blanking panel for the casing. The SSD itself will also be getting powder coated to match the theme.



Relocating the power supply for fitting an additional 240mm radiator made a lot of sense, but the original plan was to use it with an RTX 2080S, a long old card. Being able to get my hands on a 3080 FE, meant that I could move the PSU over from in front of the motherboard, to the end of the GPU, it's tight but it fits!

With the relocation, again a mod is required, more leftover parts stripped from a Q58 meant that I could use the internal power cord extension and PSU mount in this case. The mount is another part going for powder coating. There is still a little edge clean up to do on the tray, the Dremel once again came out for fitting the PSU power cable, but I have made it slightly bigger in case the powder coating is too thick and would prevent installation.





With all internal mods now done, it was time for a test fit of everything. A huge thank you to Alphacool for sending over a load of parts for this build, sadly I haven't had time to take pictures of everything but here is the build in its final mock-up state.

We have all Alphacool chrome fittings, 2x XT45 white edition radiators, 3080FE block, VPP655 Ice pump and finally...a Corsair CPU block. Yes, I'm an Alphacool guy and I did request a block from them for this build, then, I went to grab some parts and remembered I had a Corsair block that I won in a competition, and it just fits the theme so well and so I had to use it (Sorry Alphacool)

The PSU is being changed for a white version, so it's now time to make some final clean up to some edges and get it off to powder coat. Il be saving the top and bottom covers for a later date, I just need to have this part done and back so I can get it hard-lined and in use!
 
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A quick update while the case is still away at the powder coaters.

The RAM has come in this week, 32GB of TeamGroup Xtreem DDR4 3200. It's a beautiful kit that will fit the build theme really well and I cant wait to get it all installed! A huge thank you to TeamGroup for sending this over for me.

I've also been busy working at home creating a new studio, I recently picked up a new role at KitGuru so that has been taking up a lot of my time to get things sorted, and so there are the first shots coming out of there! a new background will be used for all future builds and videos, excited to get started :)





 
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Well, we finally have the inner part of the case back from the powder coaters and it looks amazing!

The blue is exactly what I was looking for and it really makes the case pop. There's a slight issue with one part, the modified I/O plate for the GPU was painted white instead of blue so it's going back and will hold things up just a little longer sadly.

Overall.jpg


Left.jpg


Right.jpg


The power supply mount and GPU backplate are also ready for installing, I just need to 3D print some small standoffs for the PSU cage to make it sit evenly. Our Alphacool pump is also looking quite fine with its new white legs!







Mobo.jpg





While I am waiting for the powder coating to be sorted, I have got the radiators in, the rear SSD mount and have also started stripping down the motherboard for the paint to the I/O cover. This includes the metal fan vent so this has had the paint stripped to match the silver theme.

I also have the measurements for the acrylic front panel now, so that's been drawn up with the DXF sent off to the supplier who are going to cut it for me.

So, hopefully, it won't be long before I can start putting it all together. At this point, I am torn on the top panel. As much as a large window would look good, I kind of like this as a bit of a sleeper build too, with a hint on the outside that is got something a little different on the inside,
 
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Forgive me guys, I've been so busy and have been cracking on with this build without posting an update, so here's a quick one to bring us up to date.

To shift some parts around to different builds I needed to get this at least functioning so I could use it while the build is still in progress. In order to do this meant that it has been tubed up, filled, and tested, and the EK coolant in this looks great. The CPU to res is annoying me as it's not perfectly straight so I might replace this with a slightly angled tube.



I've been using the stock PSU cables until the new custom ones arrive, just to get the system to a usable state. My last update, I was in the middle of painting the ASUS B550-I board, well that's now done to tie in with the rest of the white and overall I am really happy with the color scheme on this one.



With the powder coating done, the mods to the rear really blend in. I've still got to build a cover for the rear-mounted SSD that sits where the PSU originally was.



Back around the front, my new front panel has arrived. I designed this in my CNC software and sent it off to be laser cut. The mirror panel is a perfect fit and will be great for the smart display going in the front.





Space is getting a little tight. I've now got to design and print the third section of the panel mount that will hide the rear of the screen and cables. This will take a little while as I am still trying to find the HDMI and USB cables that will suit my needs. I'm after a 50CM HDMI female to male that I can loop around to the back of the case into the GPU. I will also need to sort the USB power, but I have some options for that. The power button is also located within the screen mount and fits really well. I just need to adjust the depth by half an mm with washers so that the button has enough pressure to activate when pressed.



So for now that's it, cables are being ordered today and CableMod has kindly decided to sponsor this build. Further, il get the 3D printing sorted and ready for a close to final update, and a lot of better images. I'm just trying to clear projects now, this and the Y60 are in the way and I need them done and ready for filming for KitGuru!
 
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It's easier to make things longer than shorter. Could you move the pump a few mm to the right (looking from front of case) to get the pump-cpu run straight and then a very short extension for the pump to GPU run fitting. There's a tendancy for shorter extensions to be either M-M or F-F but you can certainly get 7.5mm, 10mm and 15mm in M-F. 5mm in M-M. If it really comes down to it, there's a 1.5mm extension from Barrow that's really more of a shim with an O-ring.
For making that Pump-CPU fitting chain shorter I'm assuming that you're constrained by keeping the fittings of the same brand/range but you might find a 90° snake would do it in a shorter sidestep. Or an offset fitting; I think you're using Alphcool and they do them up to 14mm offset. Beyond that you're into using non-rotary fittings and hoping you can find a combination that lines up the way you want when tight.
Coming along very nicely though!
 
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Yeah, I should have grabbed a snake/rotating fitting from Alphacool when they sent everything else. Alphacools shortest extension for the GPU sadly just moves the problem from the CPU side to the other, it's close, but annoying and will be sorted out!

Cable order now placed, along with the 12 pin for the FE card, shame they don't do a 2x8 pin PCIe cable straight into the 12 pin :( Think these will look amazing, and match fairly well into the case theme.

 
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Well you say that they don't do it....but you could! :D I know I've previously lopped the ends off an existing 12-pin GPU plug and connected another end to it - I forget whether I just crimped pins on the other ends of the wire or if I had to make them longer so soldered the wires to longer bits of wire and then crimped the ends of those. That said, it appears that the 12-pin GPU shell is a Molex Micro-Fit 3.0, Dual Row, 12 Circuit. The 'normal' GPU connections are somewhere in the Molex Mini-Fit Jr series. Now you know what it is, you could get some and make up your own. The pins do seem to be slightly different though. Micro-Fit pins Mini-Fit pins
Crimps? You can't beat an Engineer PA-21 for ATX pins - handles the longer wings better than the PA-09. The PA-09 for smaller pins down as far as the tiny Molex PicoBlade - which AquaComputer use for their RGBpx connectors.
 
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