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

Purchased:

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