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the ARAGORN-C2Q meets: da Monsta! (English build log)


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears...

it is my pleasure and honour to present you, the world premiere and build log of my ARAGORN-C2Q project*.
(*for introductory remarks please refer to introducing the ARAGORN-C2Q project...)​

--// Advisory note from the editor (readme.first) //--

Knowing, that I am fresh to your forum, I nevertheless have been into computing for a couple of decades now, having started at the early age of ten. That said, I am also aware of the functioning of a forum or blog and will obey and follow your rules, as long as you permit me to establish one or two of my own, concerning this specific work/build log.

no.1 I plan to edit, modifiy and update this first posting in order to enhance readability for all users and forum members, so that everyone might best track the progress of it.

no.2 to do so, I'll need to block and reserve some postings in advance, leaving them intentionally blank at first and filling them in, as time goes on.

Please do not delete them! PLEASE!

(this goes primarly to all moderators and administrators. Maybe I can appeal to Freddy, who kindly invited me to share my build with you, to pass this on to his fellow companions)

no.3 Albeit my long experience in the IT sector, I am actually totally green when it comes to case modding and such things. This remark is only partially intended to dampen expectations, I would rather like you to express your feelings and remarks, suggestions, questions and so forth, related to this log and share them with me. The whole idea of this is that it is meant to be a good experience for everyone, not just for the signatory!

Amen to that! Now it's showtime!

--// a little background information //--

When I first started to build the this system back in august/september '08, I just wanted to assemble and experiment my first watercooling solution ever. As you can verify with my signature, the early version of ARAGORN-C2Q had actually been up and working since around mid-february '09. And quite satisfyingly, at that.

Then, the real modding began. Or, if you ask my buddy at work - it was then, that I got crazy and addicted! :D

--// the system itself //--

The system itself is currently based upon an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU (Q9450). Or maybe I should better say, it was. Mark II (mk.II) of the build will already dispose of an even stronger Chip an Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme Edition (QX9650). Thanks to eBay I was able to get hold of it at the price of a standard Q9650.

Maybe you ask, why then did I not switch to the Core i7 architecture, instead of staying with the 775 platform?!?

Firstly, because last summer, Intel had yet to launch its new 1366'er and neither specific mainboards, nor CPUs were available at that time. Secondly, because even with my current Q9450 OC'ed @ 3,52 GHz I can tackle any non OC'ed i7-920. So think about, what I'll be able to achive with an extreme edition once this system is up and running...

Anyway, the CPU accounts for the C2Q suffix in the naming. Although I am considering to change it into something more gripping. We'll see.

Seeing, that it is getting late though, I leave the rest for your consideration at

--// start of worklog / 2009-04-27 //--

Completed registration and started this worklog over the course of the past 24 hours.

Received a care package from graffitiboxshop.de today, which I dearly missed not having disposed of, this past weekend. The package contains 8 aerosol cans of the finest quality. Pure white. I will soon indulge you with the meaning of it and show you, what they are destined for.

Finally, once back from work, I re-assembled my case and made roughly a 150 pics - of which I give you a sneak preview here (see attachments).

--// forecast / 2009-04-28 //--

Tomorrow, there'll be pics, I promise! Made roughly 150 of them only tonight (!), and have to filter them and choose the right ones. Also, there'll be more specific information regarding my plans and other vital components of the system.

Good night for now, and see you soon!


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--// 2009-04-28 //--

Although it's been a rather quiet day, with some minor tasks at hand, I discovered that it is not wise to try and do the things one likes to do while in office - if you know what I mean. Too many interferences. Too many, well...risks...it simply does not work.

Back to topic: the pics! It's the one thing on the list, I was actually able to check, choosing amongst all those pictures I took yesterday and preparing them for upload. As a sidenote: tried to use your gallery upload service, but found it rather slow and...I don't know. Will figure out a way.

Instead prepare yourselves, as I said, for loads of pictures - all taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 in 4000x3000 and downsized to a resolution of 1024x786 for better compatibility.

The system we are starting with, the same one, that is actually represented in my sysprofile.de, has a
Yeong Yang YY-0420 Server case as base platform. This is how it looked like, until a week ago:

Basically, you can see, or can imagine, the Intel Q9450 under its cuplex XT di cooler by aquacomputer, 4 GB of Mushkin DDR2-PC-8500 RAM in a limited edition (you'll notice, that I am very hot on limited edititons :D), and the lot mounted on a Gigabyte X38-DS5 (DQ6), also watercooled by aquacomputer.
There is also an airplex evo 240 in the front and an airplex pro 240 with the attached aquastream XT pump, mounted underneath it, situated in the case top. The fans are brand new Enermax Cluster UCCL12 PWM. Out-of-the-box, really.

The important part however is, that I am going to paint it white internally, while keeping it black on the outside!

That means, I had to strip down everything, even the MagicFleece accoustic barriers by Noise Control, which I had installed in late february, not knowing anything then about my future color concept. Here some pieces of the dismantled case:

Why? I just find black&white a visually stark and appealing concept in itself, and find that it would suit my case pretty nicely! The first intuition of how well it pleased me, was actually, when I mounted the Enermax Cluster fans to the new airplex pro radiator, beneath the case top. The combination of black, white and aluminium fan grill was simply awesome! :D
On that same day, I also happened to read the worklog of a guy on a German hardware forum (pcgh.de - the one I actually come from), who had painted his case entirely white. I instantly knew, that I wanted this for myself and my case, too!

It wasn't much later, though, that I should also become obsessed with an idea, what it would be like to own one of those white TFC Xchanger Monsta Extreme 420/360 Radiators!!! :098:

da Monsta - we're actually getting there before the end of the day. So let me sum it up:
  • the Case had to be painted white on every non black surface!
  • the TFC Xchanger Monsta Extreme had to be mine! My precioussss...
Ehrr, yeah. Sure. To tell you the truth, I did not know how to accomplish neither one of both goals. The one thing I knew for sure, was, that I would bleed for it, financially speaking, and even if I had the money, that it was a highly speculative gamble, as there would be but 50 pieces manufacured at all in a limited edition and no one knew when or where they were going to sell them, if ever!?

Now, you have to know, that I can be quite stupid, or, what is the word (?), determined, when I have set my mind onto something. Though back then, I was not fooling even myself, as to what my chances were. But, I searched the internet, the forums, the shops for weeks and weeks and finally got wind of your nice place here at highflow.nl

The rest is history, they always say. I could not believe my luck, that HighFlow had really got their hands on something so amazingly unique - I think you know what I mean - as a white limited edition Monsta!!! And that they were selling it right there, right then!!!

Seldom have I ever completed a checkout procedure so fast and in a state of absolute incredulity of what I was doing there, and what it would mean. And but a week later, the 24th of april, the package arrived. Can you believe it?! I think, no, I know, that I still can't!

size does matter - but there's a problem.

In the meantime, after having asked three or four varnishers if they were up to the task of giving my case a good, nice, white paint job, and after having consequently been turned down by everyone, due to economic reasons, either for them or for me, I had warmed up to the idea of giving it a try and doing it myself. The white painting, I mean.

And then, there was that friday, 24th... I reassembled my case, Sunday night exclusively for you, in order to write this blog and prepare, what inevitably is to follow. Here some pics of my naked Yeong Yang cube:

As you will notice, I had already started with preparing all the metal surfaces for the paint session ahead. Unluckily, living in a place like Rome, a garage costs you more than a house, and I have no box or nothing where to paint, except on a balcony. But to do so, it should stop raining like mad. It has tired down everyone. Besides, Rome needs the sun! The Italians need the sun! I f#')!ing need it! Or else, there will be no painting...

...and my project is stuck. But sensing, that I won't be able to hold you any longer,
I finally give to you: the beast, tha king, da Monsta!​

unwrapping the package

the purity seal: serial number G20313

call me nuts, but I actually put my antistatic gloves on before touching...

the package and its content.

Ladies and Gents, is this a world premiere or what!?!

By comparison the 240s look like toys... I mean, look at the sheer size of that thing!!! :098:
The airplex pro is just a fifth in height, and reaches up to the Monsta only thanks to the attached aquastream pump! The airplex evo gets away somewhat better, but not by much...

Nice! Wouldn't you say?! Exactly the way I had them envisioned.

Ok. But. There's a problem. I told you. How shall this thing fit into my case, which, as you have learned is not the smallest one?!? See for yourselves:

It almost takes up half the width and incredibly the entire depth of the casing! So what shall I do? This is a question on which I have been pondering ever since... What shall I do to integrate this huge piece of metal into a case, that was sure enough never meant to encompass such a biest?!

In the shallow depths of my imagination, I can already glimpse an idea or two, formulating themselves and wanting to be discussed. So after having fed your appetite, or shall I say hunger, I ask you, what can be done?

These are the rules of engagement:
  • the Monsta has to be integrated into the case - I wont have any kind of external mounting, 'cause otherwise I could have gone for a MoRa in the first place;
  • the structural integrity of the case has to be strengthened, at the same time allowing some space to be created internally;
  • any kind of material, that does not compromise the color concept of black&white is allowed.

Now, I'll leave you with this for tonight, as I am still at work, all alone by now, and have been writing these lines since 1830 straight, without pause.

--// forecast / next days //--

The tasks ahead are clear:
  • painting the case's interior white
  • finding a solution for big daddy - 'cause I have decided to call it like that on impulse right now :D
  • discussing your and my ideas.

p.s. any comments, suggestions etc., i.e if you like this blog, or else are welcome and will be answered to individually. Thank you and bye for now.
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big daddy's case

--// 2009-04-29 //--

So after having slept about it, these are the ideas I was ruminating.

thought of placing it like that and crating an opening at the back, where there's the 120 fan grill hold, to let the tubings out... I like the idea of external tubes, if they contribute to the overall design style.

see?! That fan grill venting would have to be opened and enlarged (already measured it) to let the top of the Monsta and the tubings out and back into the case somewhere else. However, directly underneath that fan grill, is the power supply, so I would have to check that they both stay in place...

to achieve this, I would turn the radiator by 90° on its horizontal axis, as shown, and create a venting on the side panel. This could be done in two ways:
  1. using some kind of casewindow at the top, so that you could directly see onto the below stationed Monsta,
  2. a mesh material or rad grill for the upper third of the side panel
To enhance structural integrity and of course fix the TFC Monsta to the case, I would use, how you call em, threaded bars!? Those bars would go from the bottom, through the base plate, up to the radiator and serve as miniature pillars (of course blended). Plus: the rad could be placed upon the power supply in part, as the latter is still mounted itself at 90° on its side. Other Bars could be attached on the rear horizontally and hold the Monsta in place. If time allows I will try to post you some graphics and discuss the matter further.

(Right now, I have to hurry. See ya later, with my other ideas!) :D

sometime later - variant B

The second idea would be to place it vertically into the case, full well knowing, that the Top will be sticking out of the casing! Somewhat like that:

I made those pics only this morning and was a bit in a hurry. But I think you will grasp the concept.

Of course, it could not be placed there, as otherwise there won't be no space for the power supply unit (PSU). It was just to illustrate the matter. I was thinking, of mounting it into the front, instead of the old airplex evo. Opening the top of the case around it. The picture would be in analogy to that of power block used in sports cars for instance. Where you have the venting and air ducts sticking out of the motor block...In this case, it would be an eye-catcher right at the front, and we would be looking at the two stop fittings or the Feser logo - depending on which way up I would mount it.

summing up - here the ideas I like most so far:

  1. variant A: mounting it horizontally, 90° angle, with side and top windows/airducts using threaded bars and the PSU for support
  2. variant B: mounting it vertically into the front of the case, in place of the old evo 240 - like the motor blocks in those muscle cars we all know
  3. variant C: mounting it horizontally, 45° angle... (Slader)

Awaiting your comments. Fire away! :067:

--// 2009-04-30 //--

Well, must admit, that I expected a more lively feedback, to be honest. But maybe that is due to the fact, that I am writing in English, and/or the system's status is somewhere suspended in the middle of nowhere. Working on it. Of course, there could be a third possibility, of everyone going out and enjoying themselves for the first of May?!
I will never know, I guess.

Today there's not much news. Just wanted to add, that I switched CPUs, the QX9650 in place of the Q9450, and that I finished the polishing of the case plates which are to be color painted.

Ah, and the weather has improved a lot...seems to be getting good at last. This could mean, that painting might begin already this weekend. Can't wait to see it happen!
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--// 2009-05-01 //--

Celebrating my first anniversary in Rome! A year ago, precisely on the first of May, I moved into town - leaving Germany behind for the first time in over 30 years... Yeah, well, as time goes by...

So today, I found, was the ideal opportunity to start the painting sessions, as for the first time in days, the weather's been great. There are even a few pics. See for yourselves

As for the placing of big daddy, I've still not come to a conclusion yet, but tend to favour variant B. Some comments from your part, would be good though.

--// 2009-05-03 //--

After having had to pause my paintjob due to bad weather and work at the studio, I could get on with it today.
Here are some pics of the pieces, before the Molotow (Belton) colour war applied:

The pictures were taken yesterday afternoon with relatively difficult lighting conditions (you can see that the white balance auto has had trouble to work properly). Anyway there's that fine granular structure of the base painting, which comes out very clearly. (p.s. the red thingies on the windows are not mine, but were put there by my landlady - before anyone wonders...)


In regard of the applied colour, I also wrote some lines on a subthread on the other forum. There, user Fifadoc had been testing various types of paint and posted his results. If you fancy some German reading go ahead with

My short résumé would be, that Molotow (Belton) Premium is the perfect paint, to help even unexperienced users get the job done nicely. Yield, covering power, impact, consistency, workability... combined with the use of Skinny Caps you cannot err. I for myself am very happy with the work done and the results achieved - and am now one important step further.

While underway, I found it a good idea to also cut a spacing for the CPU-backplate into the freshly based painted motherboard tray. :029:
Though it would have been certainly smarter the other way around. Well, you know. Shoot first, ask second! :D

Here's some pics:

--// 2009-05-04 //--

Relative to deciding how to proceed, either with variant A or B, I initially favoured B, that is the Muscle Car Mod.

Its advantages would be, as indicated, minor incisions into the case's structure. But it would also had to be done properly. Admitted, that I've currently no clue, also in a conceptual kind of way, how this would look like in the end, I am therefore now switching over to variant A instead.

Variant A, or if you like, the 90° Window Mod, will also suit the overall look&feel of the YY-0420 much better, if nothing else.
I have then decided that this would be it, and begun to think this concept through thoroughly. Will try to explain some of my ideas later.

--// 2009-05-05 //--

Just a brief update: have been sleeving a couple of cables tonight and basically thinking to solve the question, of how to integrate big daddy into the YY-0420. However, the more I think about it, the more I get the impression, that the Monsta is becoming bigger and bigger while the cube is all but that! :S

Have reassembled it again, to better judge the case, in a literal sense.

Besides I give you my final verdict on the spray paint:
Both, Hit Color Grundierung and Molotow Premium by Belton are excellent and ideally suited for beginners as well. Can fully recommend them to everyone.
  • covering power = 8-9 (1.5 cans of spray for the entire casing)
  • tinctorial power = 10 (dito)
  • workability = 8-9 (almost no 'spitting' - especially when using the Belton Skinny Caps)
  • robustness = 6-7 (some minor damage during first assembly, but more than expected)
  • colour fidelity = 8-9 (somewhat 'darker' than expected)

But for the most part, as already mentioned, I've measured, planned, taken measure again, and thought of a solution. In fact, I have almost come to think of a third variant, variant C: big daddy has to keep out... :S

Won't be easy to decide this one, but I'll keep you posted, even in the middle of the night, if I have to.

--// 2009-05-07 //--

Sorry guys! Yesterday there's been the Champions League semifinal between Chelsea-Barcellona! An incredible game! Awesome!
So not much news here...apart from some pics of the finished case. Am really happy with the result.

(have tested various ISO/WB settings and even processed the pictures with my Mac; maybe white is not always white...but I am working on it!)

--// 2009-05-09 //--

Updated this build log. Went on with planning the next steps.

--// 2009-05-10 //--

New pictures as to the current situation:

As you might know, if you followed my thread, there's been many ideas flying around. The pictures shall and can give you only an approximate notion of what I mean, when talking about the so called variant A: the 90° Window mod. Imagine the radiator on pic three being just some centimeters beneath the 'window'/rad venting. Can you do that?
Well, that's why I am talking about 90 degrees. But in doing so, I would have to open the side panel for the fans and airventilation. Something that is very hard for me to accomplish with but the help of a Dremel. I was thinking to have that space lasercut for me, alas, I do not know anyone or any company, who could help me out here. Plus I would have to cut out the back, where there's currently the 120' fan hold.

I've not done that yet, as I simply could not bring myself to a decision. You see, cutting the case in two, may seem a simple thing, but once done, I cannot undo it. So I do not want to ruin the YY-0420 and the project for naught.

After much thinking and measuring, I also found, that maybe it wouldn't be so bad, to leave the already existing rad-grill venting in place (the one I but made in March, when working for the first time ever with a dremel in hand!). Not touching it for the moment. And to reverse the Monsta into its natural, horizontal position. It stays there by a hair's breadth!!! So the only thing 90 degrees, would be actually the window. :D

Also, 'cause I want to have my aquaero controller up front, I would fix the radiator with the help of a plexiglass sheet, which I will have to measure and custom cut for the undertaking. Thereby creating a kind of air chamber, with all hot air, going out from the top.
This slight adjustment to my preferred layout, also means, that I am currently thinking about the look and size of a proper window on that side. Accepting the fact, that the lower third of big daddy would stick out of the back of the case (maybe not a third, but a fifth...), and that you won't be seeing all of it...

What do you think guys?!

--// forecast / next steps //--

Finish all sleeving and trying to solve big daddy's casing problem. And much, much more. And of course much more pictures! :icon_weed: Stay tuned!
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--// 2009-05-11 //--

New Stuff and some tools have arrived, amongst others the package from highflow. Well there's a jigsaw (what would I possibly want with that?!), a couple of M4 threaded bars and other stuff. Also a Plexiglass-panel by A.C. Ryan. Metallized. :D As I was told, they are going out of production and won't be obtainable any more.

After work I went to some hardware and art supply stores, where I bought Tempera, for a little experiment of mine. It is too early to say, however, how it is going to evolve. But I will give you the solution in a couple of days...

--// 2009-05-13 //--

Two things today, regarding my project.

white water - first, the experiment I was talking about earlier, where I tried to find a way to produce white water, well, it failed. There's no recent pic, but here's the test rig from the day before yesterday. You take: distilled water already premixed with ACfluid ; the Tempera color in white; whisk everything up and the result will be something like that...


After a period of approximately 48 hours, the result isn't really satisfying. The anticorrosive ACfluid is getting to the Tempera rather aggressively, so that water and color pigments are being separated quite clearly. Other than on the pictures, the mix takes after something like oil on water, if you know what I mean.

Conclusion: The first shot went badly wrong.

sidewindow design

Apart from all that, I have been working on those sketches and drawings yesterday, and here are the first results as to the design of the case windows. This is the left, the motherboard/mainside:


the very first is a classic and the little variant alludes to the case's manufacturer: YY-0420. Besides, if you all read your Douglas Adams, you'll know, that 42, is the answer to everything. :D Maybe I should also point out, that the first big window design won't come without a proper engraving...

Following are the models for the right side window - versions 3-5 accordingly, and their alternations A+B:


RV1 - my first drawing: simple, elegant, functional.


RV2 - same as source (see above).








RV4C - taken to extremes.

As you can see I have been toying around with the Y, this also being an allusion to Yeong-Yang. white obvoiusly, marks the cut-out space, whereas black is metallic. Apart from RV1 I favour RV3B. What do you say?

--// 2009-05-22 //--

time out - quite a few things have happend in the past couple of days, since my latest post. Well, basically, the job and the preparations for a short summer break, which will commence today, have brought my project to a slight standstill.

Infact due to my girlfriend's approaching arrival today, I had to return my apartment, from a mix of geek paradiese and exploded computer hardware shop, into something more representative. That means, no updates for a couple of days. Sorry. But to not leave you completely stranded, here are some pics of things in my stock, representing possible upgrades. Have fun and see you soon.

yours muckelpupp

--// 2009-06-12 //--

back from the future - yes indeed, I'm back! But not in a Terminator way, more like McFly in his timemachine...

Well, never mind. The fact is, that as soon as I returned from a far too short summer break, - ten wonderful days with my morosita, family and everything - I was assailed and literally buried alive with work. So today's the first time I can say hallo again.

Unluckily I don't have a clue, when to reprise the work on this project. So for now, the future has to wait. And you too, I guess...


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--// container //--

pic dump for upgrades


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prof klikker
that rad almost needs a seperate case to hold it... i think the only solution would be hangning it externally on the side with the fittings round back. But you don't want that either right ?

Maybe you can put it at 45 degrees to fit it in the case ?


Hi folks, thank you for your comments so far. It is quite a task at hand building this system and writing this work log for you - in English! Plus, I'll have to do it on the German forum as well...

Anyways, my goal is to make it fun for everyone to read. And of course, I will try to be more concise. It just felt right to give you an exhaustive introduction and presentation...

@Slader That's precisely the direction I am looking in! :D
Will specify my ideas to you later. Bye


--// 2009-05-01 //--

Celebrating my first anniversary in Rome! A year ago, precisely on the first of May, I moved into town - leaving Germany behind for the first time in over 30 years... Yeah, well, as time goes by...

So today, I found, was the ideal opportunity to start the painting sessions, as for the first time in days, the weather's been great. There are even a few pics. See for yourselves

As for the placing of big daddy, I've still not come to a conclusion yet, but tend to favour variant B. Some comments from your part, would be good though.
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prof klikker
why not variant B with a twist...if you go for B you will have the top sticking out, but it would also show a bit of the carbon from the side. Something that doess'nt match the rest of the case and the white top. So i say either cover up the carbon with a holder for the rad so you only see the white sticking out of cut a whole in the bottom to so it sinks a little deeper :033:

But i like the top sticking out !!! :D it would look nice to see the tubing :D


hi Slader!

Actually I thought so too, initially. But upon closer examination, and someone else's remarks, you for one said it also, I am beginning to switch over to variant A, the 90° Window mod. Mainly also due to the fact, that it'll integrate much better into the whole layout and design of the YY-0420.

Will outline my plans to you, very soon (maybe tonight), as I am currently preparing some sketches and drawings for better illustration.
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