We're looking for the coolest custom computer cases and we want your submissions!
It’s been a long time since we’ve deemed a case mod worthy of our Rig of the Month title. In fact, it’s been over three years since we’ve featured a particularly badass project—see the 8-bit Black Mage. Fortunately, we’ve come to our senses and we’re reviving the series, but we need your help! We know you guys have got some interesting case mods out there and we want to see them! We're also sure lots of other readers would like to gawk and drool over them as well so let us help you share your cool custom computer case with the world!
We love Pure PC Power, and hate noise, so we set out to satisfy both primal desires with a hand-built and almost totally silent gaming PC
The Mission Powerful computer components often run hot, which requires loud fans or expensive liquid to cool them, bringing us to a central conundrum of the PC Power lifestyle—we want a big, powerful PC, but we want it to make as little noise as possible. Not only do noisy computers make it more difficult to relax, but there’s a principle at work here—you should be the master of the space where you put your PC; you must bend it to your will, not the other way around.
Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.
Usually, when you hear about CEO compensation, it's in relation to how mind-blowingly much executives make, or how a dismissed honcho left riding on a golden parachute. Not at Lenovo. The PC provider has been on a tear in recent months and is on the verge of supplanting HP as the number one computer manufacturer in the world. That top-notch performance made CEO Yang Yuanqing eligible for a big fat bonus check. Rather than keeping the cash for himself, he divvied up the $3 million performance-related bonus into 10,000-ish slices and distributed it to the everymen (and women) who make up the bulk of the company.
What's even cooler than rocking a powerful Sandy Bridge-E rig supplemented with discrete graphics? Rocking a powerful Sandy Bridge-E rig that's supplemented by discrete graphics and runs completely silent thanks to gargantuan passive coolers. Sound crazy? It is, but the PC builders at Germany's SilentMaxx are offering just that in silent system built around the company's crazy TwinBlock passive cooler, which chills out 100W TDP CPUs with the help of ten copper heatpipes and two utterly massive heat sinks.
Usually, just tossing around the words "Mass Effect 3 mod" is enough to get you banned from Origin's multiplayer servers before you can blink a Batarian's eyes. Not in this case; rather than whipping together some modified code to gain XP at an advanced rate, David Lane (a.k.a. MyBadOmen) has instead whipped together a kick-ass ME3-inspired case mod that's sure to send a shiver down the robotic spines of Reapers galaxy-wide.
Not everything in life is clear-cut. Take LED lighting in your PC for instance; some people love the look of colorful bulbs, while the same effect makes others want to claw their eyes out with a molex tool. If you fall into the former camp, NZXT's new "Hue" LED controller might just be up your alley. It's a premade lighting solution that seems flexible enough to satisfy DIYers who want custom rave club-like effects without worrying about inverters and grounding wires.
Something about case mods that build a PC into an actual desk are just plain cool. We loved Peter Brands' L3P Desk (featured in our kick-ass case mods gallery) and a new mod by Shazim Mohammed continues on in the fine tradition by cramming a water-cooled, plenty powerful PC with a three monitor Eyefinity setup into a desk that was built completely from scratch. It might not be overly flashy, but it's impressive nonetheless.
How does Microsoft, one of the highest-profile technology companies in the world, create a new, similarly high-profile piece of hardware like the Surface Tablet without anybody in the industry getting a whiff of it? Simple: you lock the designers working on the project into secretive underground facilities with security measures similar to what you'd find at a bank or sensitive data centers.
Think your CPU cooler kicks ass? Some of the top minds in the country disagree. Researchers at the Sandia National Laboratories have been working on a novel new design for a rapidly spinning cooler, one that they say is up to 30 percent more efficient than traditional models AND virtually silent in typical use cases. Sounds crazy ambitious? Apparently, it isn't; Sandia's looking to license the technology out to electronics suppliers, and one unidentified CPU cooling company has already hopped on the bandwagon.
Oh, those wacky Nigerian princes and their tales of lost fortunes. If only they had your help! But they don't, of course, because anybody with half a brain can see through the scam. And that's the key to the scheme, one Microsoft researcher says in a 14 page report about Nigerian scams; the fantastic stories serve to screen out skeptical folks, leaving the scammers free to pick off the low-hanging fruit that responds to wild emails from African royalty.