My first build was a Poly 88 kit I built in 1978. This time around was much more "modular" and I didn't need a soldering iron. I had plenty of help, too, from YouTube personalities - thanks to them all for the reviews, tips and tricks.
Accompanying photos are in order of the following comments.
I wouldn't exchange the Corsair Obsidian 500D for any other case but I felt it needed a few mods. First, upon closing the side panels, there was a subtle but perceptible rattle. I applied Velcro to cushion the panel. Closing the glass panels now sounds more like the door of a fine car instead of a Model T. At the same time, the Velcro covers potential light leak through the vestigial keyhole slots (left over from a precursor model and used to secure non-hinged panels).
I painted the inside panel (it's the bottom panel if you lay the case down). The original black would eat the RGB lighting so I opted for a two-tone interior: white behind the motherboard and slate gray for the remainder.
I didn't want a long trailing front panel audio cable running across the bottom of the motherboard to the header. I ran the cable up through the grill of the PSU shroud. I'm not all that pleased with the result but the dark glass panels will hide it somewhat.
I opted for cable sleeves for those wires I couldn't hide and for the AIO tubes.
Heeding the warnings from reviewers, I was concerned about supporting my rather heavy graphics card. A coat hanger solved that problem. I drilled a small hole into the fan shroud. Into the hole I inserted the tip of the coat hanger wire that I had bent into a hook – making sure to clear the fan. I also bent a loop into the other end of the wire to prevent it from falling through a pre-drilled hole at the bottom of the case.
All those cables (especially the sleeved ones) were not going to fit the trough that came with the case. I cut an aluminum sheet to hide the cables and applied a carbon fiber textured adhesive sheet. A smaller panel hides the rat's nest tucked behind the PSU.
In the front, a similar panel hides whatever ugliness occupies the area to the right of the motherboard - as it turns out, not that much. A small cut-to-shape panel covers the unused PCI slots and I stuffed a string of RGB LEDs under it too. Under this panel is where I should have run the front panel audio cable. The final touch - I signed my build.
The remaining photos show lighting effects and combinations of glass side panels with and without the "carbon fiber" panel. The panel has a magnet taped to it which secures it to the steel case. It can be repositioned easily (or removed).
I like the look of the panel in place without the glass. I like the glass sides in place without the panel. I like the look without either. The glass is just too dark for both together. [BTW, the photos show the glass with the protective plastic still in place.]