Aurora R11 recase / case swap into ThermalTake Core P1

Goal: Temporary (1-2 years) use of Aurora hardware with RTX 4080

  1. Enable use of 4080 with Aurora hardware
  2. Eventually put Aurora R11 back to stock

On hand

  • Dell Aurora R11 prebuilt (I7 + RTX 3080)
    • Bought 20210611 (NZ$3300 aprox incl) Alienware Aurora R11:
    • i7-10700F
    • 16GB average ram
    • RTX 3080 (Dell special) ‘compact’ card
    • Have since added 2 x 2TB SSDs and 1 rust drive
  • Zotac RTX 4080 Trinity OC NZ$1905.99 (ComputerLounge) ridiculous amount of money but a bargain price at this point in time..

That there 4080 ain’t gonna fit into that Aurora Case


Aurora R11(left) vs ThermalTake Core P1 Chassis (Right)

Issue 1: Whoops the Mobo is mATX

So I prepared poorly, saw somewhere that Aurora was ITX and figured the ThermalTake Core P1 case would do the job but.. when I went to do the swap I found my model Aurora R11 is mATX (244mm x 244mm). The Core P1 provided mounting hole patterns are not able to be used as is

Solution: Custom adaptor plate

I took a basic ex Aliexpress 3D printer heatbed (aluminium plate with PCB on one side, that arrived unusable as corner mounting holes are damaged), found mATX hole pattern online, dot punched and drilled those on the aluminium plate , dot punched & drilled some of the Core P1 mounting holes as well, and with a few M3 screws & extra standoffs now I have an adaptor plate

mATX to ITX adaptor plate ready to go

Issue 2: Aurora R11 CPU Watercooler is pretty inflexible

The stock CPU cooler has short lengths of pretty inflexible hose, so I can really only mount the stock cooler at very similar angles to how it was in the Aurora R11 case

Originally I figured I’d be drilling holes in the Core P1 case to attach custom brackets (either 3D printed or bent Alum / Steel), but since I now had a custom adaptor plate it made sense to drill into that rather than the case so I cut / drilled, bent a couple of alum arms

CPU Cooler mount arms in place

Issue 3: Case front panel connector on Mobo is customer connector

Where to connect the PSU: Google tells me pins 4 & 8 of the Mobo front panel custom connector

So, pulled the female pins out of a XH2 pigtail cable, shrink wrapped the exposed crimped pins, soldered the other end to a dupont 2 way male pigtail and used that to connect to the case 2x Dupont female connector

Issue 4: Unresolved: Start up hardware checks

The R11 on startup goes into hardware check mode and fails on ‘No front fan’, its only in startup so no big deal but I’ll get a fan next time I go shopping

Reminder: Hold Esc key on power up to bypass checks

Issue 5: Unresolved: Cannot mount glass front

The COAX out jack interferes with the top left window large chromed standoff

Possibly I will bodge an alternative standoff for that corner

Result as at 20230312

I’ve made literally zero effort on cable management, there a few SATA power splitters I used from my parts drawer where I just needed an extension, that I *may* replace eventually then do a tidy up

The ‘pretty’ angle..

Not so pretty

For reference from Redit


•Edited 1y ago

I just case swapped my R10 last weekend. Anyone who says it’s not possible is simply wrong. You might get some boot errors though, but can just dismiss them every time you boot up. I didn’t want to have to do that so here’s what I did to get everything working in the new case with no errors:
You’ll need to mount the front IO somewhere on the new case. I just put mine on the inside and ran an extension out the back so that I have an extra USB C. Here’s the one I used. To get the front IO working on my new case, I installed this PCIE card. For the power button, I spliced pins 3 and 9 to remove the LED error, and wired the button from my new case to pins 4 and 8. Here’s the diagram I used for that (found here). The audio connector is the only part of the IO that is standard, so I plugged the connector from my new case straight into the motherboard.
You’ll need to make sure that any fans you add are the same speed as the ones that come out of the original case. I had no problem with these, but when I tried the ones that came with the new case I got an error message. I daisy-chained all of the fans off of the 2 connectors on the motherboard for the intake and exhaust, and then added this manual speed controller so I could use the ones that came with the case.
Finally, you’ll need to get some extensions for the PSU cables like these, unless your new case has a mount for the PSU behind the motherboard.
A lot of that stuff is optional if you’re trying to save some money, but I wanted to get mine working without any errors. Hope this helps