• DELL XPS 720 - BTX to ATX conversion
    96 replies, posted
[QUOTE=samgevas;36543492]All i was wondering was if the 730 mcb would plug right into the panels/fans/LEDs of the 710, or if i would still have to do a lot of rewiring. I don't have any 730 parts (yet) and can't find any good enough pics to tell if the same connections are used on the mcb as on the 710 mobo. I'm mostly interested in the front panel, usb ports and card reader, but would love to keep the LED and fan control as well. access to the nvidia controls aren't an issue as my GCards are nvidia. So i’m hoping that i can use the mcb as a adapter between the dell proprietary chassis connections and my new atx motherboard Thank you for your patience[/QUOTE]Oh okay... If you can get several wires that are connected to the MCB, that'd be more comfortable for you, because the XPS 730 uses 2 different connectors for the LEDs. Like the front upper LED connector changes from 5 to 6 pins. You would only need to change to a bigger plug. And the lower connector changes from 5 to 14 or something, because through this connector the XPS 730 MCB supplies the lower front left and lower front right side on the XPS 730, so there are at least 7 used wires. I shall take my stuff together and digitalize my notes. All I did was figuring out the pinouts on the wire plug side, not on the MCB side... but that's just as good as the other.
I've been doing a bit of research on converting the 720 front panel cable to atx mobo because I'm at the stage where I need to wire up my power button, hdd light etc, and I'm trying to avoid buying a 730 MCB. I found a diagram I imagine would be useful for anybody thinking of doing the same thing: [IMG]http://i50.tinypic.com/2lnwt37.jpg[/IMG] This is of the 40 pin front panel cable. I guess it's a simple matter of wiring everything up correctly and we can use the 720 front panel board without need of the 730 MCB? Of course this pin layout is for a different model-- I couldn't find one for the xps 720. I guess I'll have to do some minor guesswork and come up with my own layout. *EDIT* I just went ahead and got a 730 MCB with all its wires. LED configuration isn't possible any other way apparently.
Hey guys... sorry for the massive delay, here some pinout info about the MCB: [img]http://i.imgur.com/FPWP6.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/5K3Pv.jpg[/img]
Perfect! I'm now waiting for my molex pin extractor tool to come in the mail, then I can finally insert the MCB into my case and close everything up. Here's my project so far. [IMG]http://i50.tinypic.com/1zgey45.jpg[/IMG] The job I did is haphazard compared to the precise and skillful handiwork of Romka, and reflects the state of my place (and my life) quite well. [IMG]http://i47.tinypic.com/zkjrs0.jpg[/IMG] I really should have taken pictures of my entire process. As you can see I used the common method of inserting a Lian Li ATX panel and tray. Unfortunately I had no access to welding or friends who weld. :( [IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/in8qhu.jpg[/IMG] I'm running two 240gb Corsair Force GTs in RAID0, and have a 1tb Caviar Black as a data drive. Cables are messy and poorly organized. :P [IMG]http://i47.tinypic.com/33njfip.jpg[/IMG] A better shot of the Lian Li panel. I'm still working on putting the original plastic grating back on. I was initially intending to spray paint the back matte black, but shops were just closing up and I'm in the country for the summer... so I just said screw it and kept working. That's how I roll. :V [IMG]http://i45.tinypic.com/2q24as8.jpg[/IMG] What I feel is different from any other XPS 700 series project out there is I'm essentially replacing the LEDs and power switch with their 730 counterparts. To use the HDD light cover on the 720 case, I'm stringing a fiber optic cable from the HDD light on the 730 power board. As you can see, I made a little square of rubber which allowed me to install the 730 power board to the 720 case. Also in this picture: the area on the Lian Li tray where I put rivets through, and the original fan cage, which will be working with my radiator and another fan once the MCB is in working order. [IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/71k50k.jpg[/IMG] This is the splitter I will eventually modify for the MCB, once my pin extractor arrives. Conveniently uses the standard color code. I'll eventually get to posting my finished project. Big thanks to Romka for his efforts, especially concerning the wiring.
Gee, you kinda killed the case! Organize the cables for the love of god! Plz
It's actually even worse now, since I've installed the MCB along with the power splitter. It's gotten to the point where I will have to take everything apart just to organize stuff.
Thanks very much for all this info. I destroyed the mobo on my XPS 720 H2C a few weeks back (I won't explain how just say that I was being an idiot!). I ordered a new ATX mobo, memory, CPU & SSD and figured I'd work out how I was gonna put it together when it arrived. These posts are really helping. THANKS!
[QUOTE=LondonJohn;36969032]Thanks very much for all this info. I destroyed the mobo on my XPS 720 H2C a few weeks back (I won't explain how just say that I was being an idiot!). I ordered a new ATX mobo, memory, CPU & SSD and figured I'd work out how I was gonna put it together when it arrived. These posts are really helping. THANKS![/QUOTE]You're welcome. :smile: Bear in mind that this isn't an easy task to convert this case for ATX standards. You will need the proper tools for this job... So think everything through first.
[QUOTE=Romka;36974147]You're welcome. :smile: Bear in mind that this isn't an easy task to convert this case for ATX standards. You will need the proper tools for this job... So think everything through first.[/QUOTE] Agreed. Take my posts as a precautionary example. Using the Lian Li tray means several things: the only way to really fasten the tray to the rest of the case effectively is if you rivet it down, which means organizing your cables will be difficult. The Lian Li tray will not be large enough to mount the 730 MCB. The rails and the tray will impede you from removing the screws from the inner part of the front panel which also means tough times with cable organization, and for me it meant a much more difficult time replacing the original top front led board with the 730 part. I personally think the Lian Li ATX panel looks cool but without the grating of the original back panel, your system gets less airflow. Another thing to note is that Romka used a modular power supply which is VASTLY easier to organize. If you use a power supply like mine, you will not be able to remove the cables, and atx PSUs feed cables on the other side of the case, creating a real mess to work with. If this would be your first time messing with wires and you don't have a test system you can afford to damage, I would recommend you did what I did, bite the bullet, and buy the 730 master control board, the 730 power board, 730 top LED, 730 LED control board and bottom left/right lenses, rear LED (the 710/720 rear led works but isn't nearly long enough to reach the back.), internal usb cable that attaches to the master control board, I/O header cable that attaches to the master control board, and a 24 pin power splitter. Also make sure you have something like a molex mini fit pin extractor tool at your disposal for the rewiring of the splitter. Getting the HDD light to work can be a simple matter of ripping out an LED from another case's front panel and stringing it inside the hole where the reflective plastic sits-- it's a snug fit for your typical case LED, and works like a charm. The power button and LED can be rewired by making a male to female IO header extension.
I've done the conversion. I wasn't looking to do such a pretty job as you folks, I just wanted it to work, since I was doing this out of necessity. I bought an asus sabertooth z77 mobo, i7 3770k CPU, 32G RAM, a samsung SSD and a new PSU. I know I could have rewired the PSU but the Dell original always ran really hot and it's 5 years old so I figured to get a higher efficiency model. Everything else is from the original 720 H2C, including the mobo tray, which I just ripped off the old posts and glued them into place to match the ATX. The back panel I took apart with a hacksaw and used a mixture of rivets and epoxy to slap it back together. Like I said, I'm not looking for beauty, nobody's going to see the back of the case except for me. Start to finish - took a couple of weeks. I've kept the pair of 8800GTX that came with it, plus all my HDs. At some point when I have some spare cash I'll upgrade those video cards but they're good enough for Max Payne 3 so I can wait a while. I was able to repurpose the DELL fans - just rewired to the standard 4 pin pinout. The mobo has a nice fan control ("thermal radar") and the fans are PWM so I've been able to throttle them down (including stop) to keep noise down. I'm using stock CPU fan until either I figure out how to set up the H2C watercooler, or perhaps buy an off the shelf watercooler. No overclocking until I do that. I'm working my way through the control board for the front panel LEDs and switches. The pinouts Romka posted on 28.June are very helpful (thanks again). Where did you get that 730 MCB info? If I could find that for the 720 it would be really handy. I'll post photos. Bear in mind I haven't done any cable management yet! John [editline]5th August 2012[/editline] pics. [IMG]http://oi45.tinypic.com/24f9u6o.jpg[/IMG] Back panel. I had a couple of really silent Akasa fans so added them in as assist cooling. [IMG]http://i45.tinypic.com/z2xix.jpg[/IMG] Internal. I moved the fan bay so the video cards would slot in for stability. HD fan I've used a jell sticky pad to retain against the video card, since that's a hot spot. That 8pin ATX connector is a problem as the cable from the PSU is a bit short to route neatly. [IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/2zzot9j.jpg[/IMG]
I see cable management is quite some art with this case. :P
Yeah. I see you had that 8 pin ATX cable stretching across the case just like I do - what other options are there? I'm thinking about extending the cable and running it more neatly. When I finish up I'll put heatshrink tubing over a few other cables (e.g. the fan double twisted pairs). How hot do your GTX590s run?
[QUOTE=LondonJohn;37105744]Yeah. I see you had that 8 pin ATX cable stretching across the case just like I do - what other options are there? I'm thinking about extending the cable and running it more neatly. When I finish up I'll put heatshrink tubing over a few other cables (e.g. the fan double twisted pairs).[/QUOTE]Yea, you can extend it and let it run behind the motherboard tray... eventhough you need to cut some extra hole on the lower edge so that the cable can get through. [QUOTE=LondonJohn;37105744]How hot do your GTX590s run?[/QUOTE] 87°C max
This is probably the best BTX to ATX mod i've seen so far. I got myself a XPS 720 case but i had a BTX motherboard so i won't be converting mine, i still need to change the front panel since i can't use the dell connectors, i tried putting 3.5v on one of the leds but it burned out :p, I'll probably just replace them all with normal 5v leds. What pins should i connect from the 5 pin fans to the normal 3 pin fan connectors?
[QUOTE=Binni;37138583]What pins should i connect from the 5 pin fans to the normal 3 pin fan connectors?[/QUOTE] Good question. I once saw somewhere on facebook a DELL XPS 730 group. There's a guy who has posted a pic of the adapters he made for the original DELL XPS 730 fans. He splitted the cable and put the normal 4pin connectors we know from the motherboards in between. With this he could connect different fans to the master control board or connect the original DELL fans directly to the motherboard. So bscly the 5 pin DELL fan connectors that are fed by only 4 wires are nothing other than just the usual 4 pin fan connectors like CPU_FAN.
I got this from somewhere else and it worked: [IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/30j5n29.png[/IMG] A 3 pin connector just has GND, V+ and RPM signal from the fan, so just use those. Standard 4 pin connectors include PWM control from mobo>fan. I used a small flat blade screwdriver to pop out the pins, re-pinned them, cut one spline off the 5-pin dell connector and chopped off the extra pin and plugged it in. Like I said in an earlier post, I'm more interested in function than form! JT [editline]10th August 2012[/editline] The LEDs, I connected 5V using the pinouts that Romka provided earlier. This one: "Quote Romka: XPS 720 front LEDs (upper and lower) 1 power 2 red GND 3 green GND 4 blue GND 5 -no idea- " They have resistors on the PCB. @5v they are a reasonable brightness, 12V too bright for my taste but no burnout. Mine was a 720 H2C, the 730 might be different. JT lots of edits: lots of Glenmorangie :-)
nice work, i have a 4ish series, i'd love to take the LED and install them on my other pc, wounder if its possible...
My XPS 720 Green Machine still a work in progress bunch of small things from the hand painted line art on the case, to the stencils, to finish painting the gpu liquid system shroud, to finishing the wiring for the leds, spend the time to put the dell audio front panel on a new jack for atx, cable management, a coupe more fans, installing the leds inside the case. Figured out the mini pcb for the power button, and have it plugged directly into the mobo, just have to hook up the led wires for it that I already figured out a few nights ago. [IMG]http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/1/0/3/6/0/4/webimg/478902051_o.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/1/0/3/6/0/4/webimg/478902257_o.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00739.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00750_zps39853b82.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00753_zpsda516188.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00752_zps507c54a0.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00751_zps11233d9b.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00754.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00756.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00757.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00760.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00765.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00767.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00768.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.modsrigs.com/UploadImages/308527_30833_03.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.modsrigs.com/UploadImages/308527_30833_04.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00784.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00787.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00791.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/Donta1979/DSC00795.jpg[/IMG]
That's really cool, interesting color scheme you have there
Jesus Christ! Hmm, now that you took a 10 PCI slots rear panel for the case, you could've gone for a HPTX standard motherboard tray, instead of just ATX or eATX. I wonder if it's even possible with such a case.
That fan controller...:quagmire:
[QUOTE=Romka;38176021]Jesus Christ! Hmm, now that you took a 10 PCI slots rear panel for the case, you could've gone for a HPTX standard motherboard tray, instead of just ATX or eATX. I wonder if it's even possible with such a case.[/QUOTE] Its XL-ATX with a Gigabyte G1.Assassin motherboard also XL-ATX=)
This thread is fucking beautiful, you are all fucking beautiful I can't weld for shit.. Practice makes perfect though.. My uncle is really pro at these things, master welder. he once told me "I can weld anything but broken hearts", really great guy.~ anyways congratulations on integrating water cooling inside the case itself, ingenious. i'm wondering though, since i've never ventured into h2o, how long untill you gotta clean the tank\filter(does it even have filters? i suppose not) or change water?
You, sir, are a winrar. A creative, intelligent winrar.
[QUOTE=Romka;35906028]Update! electronics Master Control Board test [img]http://i.imgur.com/hAw7Y.jpg[/img] This is the heart of a DELL XPS 730 case, the Master Control Board (MCB). Has like double the size of an Apple iphone. This unit controls all the case LEDs, 3 ventilation fans, LED indicators and the power button. It's connected to the motherboard via the PWR BTN, HDD LED, PWR LED and USB plugs for the digital control. [img]http://i.imgur.com/YtE1U.jpg[/img] This board needs also a power connection and as always DELL has made some kind of own plug for it. [img]http://i.imgur.com/cu8LJ.jpg[/img] Luckily it shares the same plug pattern a standard ATX motherboard power plug. Also it shares one special wire from the ATX power plug, that no other plug on a normal PSU has. So the best way to make an adapter for it was to create Y-wires from the ATX extension, since it has every voltage order it needs. [img]http://i.imgur.com/ASuCo.jpg[/img] Of course it needs to be trimmed. [img]http://i.imgur.com/OGQ2E.jpg[/img] So we got ourselves some cable. (this is 100 meters of cables... and needed like 10-14 meters for my needs :P ) [img]http://i.imgur.com/geZ9r.jpg[/img] I needed all those pins to be taken out of the ATX power extension and 10 more. [img]http://i.imgur.com/NsVIr.jpg[/img] Y-cables like these had to be created. [img]http://i.imgur.com/Ra6UF.jpg[/img] Took me all day... [img]http://i.imgur.com/3Cdxr.jpg[/img] But I wasn't even finished. [img]http://i.imgur.com/ekXKO.jpg[/img] The open wire spots had to be covered up. So shrink hose and cable sleeving did the job. [img]http://i.imgur.com/xsftu.jpg[/img] Unfortunately I didn't have enough sleeve length to cover all 34 cables up. I'll finish the job when I've ordered some more. [img]http://i.imgur.com/shMde.jpg[/img] The finished MCB power plug. [img]http://i.imgur.com/HGlmz.jpg[/img] Making everything ready for a first rough functionality test. This is the original XPS 720 front panel and power button upside down. [img]http://i.imgur.com/aZXj5.jpg[/img] First test results were positive, everything worked just fine! :) [img]http://i.imgur.com/augZ2.jpg[/img] Then I tested one of the LED units. Glowing in 100% RGB (white) - default setting when no color tone has been set yet. Now I have to finish the restly cable stuff like the LED indicators, main LEDs and sleeving of course, to cover up the not so nice spots on the cables. :)[/QUOTE] Hello! I've following your project for some time. I initially began my own project with an XPS 720 H2C, but it works great, so I didnt want to mess with it. I later picked up a silver xps 720 case, but dont have the time for modding. I finally picked up an XPS 730x case w/ a power supply & MCB. I completed fashioning a pin Y cable for the power supply to motherboard MCB. I connected to power header from the MCB to mother board and proceeded to make basic connections for a test run. I hit the power switch, CPU fan spins for a split second and I can hear the relays in the Power supply cycling, one green led cycles along with the power supply. I cant figure out what I did wrong and my connections are right on. Any ideas? Thanks
these cases are about 20kg without anything in them
This thread is full of Pornography.
[QUOTE=clenceo;39195556]Hello! I've following your project for some time. I initially began my own project with an XPS 720 H2C, but it works great, so I didnt want to mess with it. I later picked up a silver xps 720 case, but dont have the time for modding. I finally picked up an XPS 730x case w/ a power supply & MCB. I completed fashioning a pin Y cable for the power supply to motherboard MCB. I connected to power header from the MCB to mother board and proceeded to make basic connections for a test run. I hit the power switch, CPU fan spins for a split second and I can hear the relays in the Power supply cycling, one green led cycles along with the power supply. I cant figure out what I did wrong and my connections are right on. Any ideas? Thanks[/QUOTE] Can you verify that the MCB is not broken by using original components? That means: having the original 730 PSU connected to it and an ATX motherboard and then trying to switch it on. [QUOTE=Flarey;39228545]these cases are about 20kg without anything in them[/QUOTE]My rig is now 30kg btw. :)
I ended up buying a working Silver XPS 730 for $100. Installed my CPU and good to go. Funny thing is, I've acquired so many parts. A red XPS 730x case, a silver XPS 720 case and a working XPS 720 H2C. All of which I need to sell ASAP!! These cases are huge and take up A LOT of space!
Hey, sorry to revive an old thread but this was the better of the threads i found via good. Does the 730 back panel fit on the 720? I recently got a 720 case and wondered if the rear panels fitted the same then i can just buy some on ebay and swap them out (and of course add the ATX mounting pegs)
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