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Lighting Controller And Enclosure

Build Your Own: The Customizable, Illuminated Dream Machine

Lighting: NZXT Hue RGB LED Controller

This is the piece of hardware that sparked my idea for this story. NZXT's Hue consists of a simple six-foot-long LED sleeve that adheres to a case's interior. The controls are housed in a 5.25” drive bay, providing easily access for adjusting brightness, color, and even effects (referred to as modes).

Modes make the lights flash, pulse, fade, and change colors. Considering a reasonable $33 price tag at Newegg, this component definitely has the biggest impact on our build's aesthetic for the lowest buy-in.

Enclosure: Thermalktake Level 10 GT

Acknowledging that chassis choice is highly subjective, Thermaltake's Level 10 GT is one of the most unique and attractive PC enclosures I've ever worked with. It's designed to be a less pricey version of the $1,000 BMW-designed, ultra high-end Thermaltake Level 10, reviewed by Thomas Soderstrom in 2010.

Despite an $800-cheaper price tag, the GT's build quality is still excellent. Its unique semi-modular design makes component installation an absolute pleasure. Five externally-accessible 3.5” hot-swappable SATA drive bays are a luxury that add to this case’s style and function.

Perhaps more relevant to this particular build, the Level 10 GT comes factory-equipped with customizable LED lighting. Fan lights can be set to blue, green, red, two patterns that alternate between the three colors, or off. In addition, the case features a small window to the CPU area, which is ideal for showing off lit-up components.

For $200 on Newegg, Thermaltake's Level 10 GT is one of my favorite enclosures, and an excellent home for our illuminated dream build.

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