Build Your Own: The Customizable, Illuminated Dream Machine

Lighting Controller And Enclosure

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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    Top Comments
  • kingnoobe
    Shame on you.. How dare you copyright stuff (at least that's what the video says).

    The case does look awesome, but it would be nice to see the video lol.
    13
  • Other Comments
  • kingnoobe
    Shame on you.. How dare you copyright stuff (at least that's what the video says).

    The case does look awesome, but it would be nice to see the video lol.
    13
  • stoogie
    iunno looks pretty lame to me, its just a couple of leds, i have 15 fans in my haf 932 and theyre all green and it glows alot more than the pc you have made here, if u want to customize, get leds/cathodes/lighting kits, and light up not only your case but the environment, or get watercooling with neon liquid of a different colour or even UV colour, make a custom glass case etc, thats how a dream 'illuminated' mod should be. for example the guy who created a glass desk which had the pc in it and was fully illuminated, THAT is what this article should be about, not about how to install a fan.
    -14
  • de5_Roy
    nice build. :)
    imo custom illuminated water cooling woulda been nice too.
    the fan controller was kick-ass.
    8
  • abbadon_34
    reminds me of the combo beer holder & ash tray i had in my last comp's 5" bay

    edit: funny, that was thermaltake too
    1
  • shikamaru31789
    I'm not usually a fan of lighted setups, most of them are really gaudy looking, but I actually like your setup. Maybe I'll try to make a tasteful lighted setup like this for my next build.
    5
  • shikamaru31789
    BTW, when can we expect the Sub-$200 CPU comparison. Cleeve said we could expect it by the end of the month and it's now officially February (EST). Hope you guys post it tomorrow.
    1
  • Rockdpm
    I have the NZXT hue and its worth every dime i paid for it
    5
  • bit_user
    Stay away from blue lighting. It messes up your circadian rhythms. Blue light is how your brain knows that dawn is nearing. Whenever there's a blue LED on a device I use late at night, I put tape over it.
    -4
  • slomo4sho
    shikamaru31789BTW, when can we expect the Sub-$200 CPU comparison. Cleeve said we could expect it by the end of the month and it's now officially February (EST). Hope you guys post it tomorrow.


    I am looking forward to this as well... considering its been over two weeks since the best of Jan 2013 list that mentions this was posted.
    3
  • Rockdpm
    There is a CPU cooler you can adjust the colors on.. Its called the CM V6GT...
    4
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Just get the NZXT Phantom 820. All-customizable RGB lighting integrated, plus that case is incredible.
    1
  • plasmastorm
    dream build....uses air cooling.... hang your head in shame whoever thought of that instead of a custom watercooling setup with water addetives for the colour
    -6
  • The_Trutherizer
    PC's seem to be more about peripherals these days than back in the day when all you wanted was a rig (case optional) that could play Unreal Tournament. It's not a bad thing though. This will always be where PCs rule. And it's great to see the quality options that are available.
    7
  • TheMadFapper
    I'm so happy to see this article. I haven't quite finished getting the base components in my PC yet but LED lighting is definitely down the road, so this will be very helpful. Thanks guys!
    6
  • arkadi
    cool for kids....just think what you could do to your build instead of this useless crap..
    -7
  • Soda-88
    Quote:
    This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.

    Lol...
    3
  • mikenygmail
    Yeah, EMI Music Publishing and other organizations claim copyright infringement and basically block anything with any type of music on youtube, even if it's a piano piece you play yourself. You have to fight for a while in order to have almost any music whatsoever remain on youtube.

    While this sounds utterly ridiculous, unfortunately it's reality.
    7
  • mikenygmail
    I am of course referring to the video at the end of the article, here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X7kcXN5Vj0&feature=player_embedded
    1
  • WretchedSoul44
    I wouldn't buy Mad Catz anything. I tried out the R.A.T mouse and it worked fine for a while, but then one time I came back from lunch(I used it at work) and the tiny metal piece used to tighten the mouse on the side of it discharged on my finger. Ever since then the mouse would work very poorly, would have trouble moving and I had to click multiple times just to open something. 80 bucks down the drain. That Keyboard looks like a man or woman with carpet's nightmare, too!
    0
  • mousseng
    I can't believe I wasn't aware of the NZXT Hue before. I've been looking into getting some LED lighting for my case, and if I weren't broke I probably would've gone for single-color BitFenix Alchemies (which are horrifically over-priced) or Ozniums. But for the same price as 2 feet of 1-color Alchemies I can have 6 feet of full RGB with a controller? Color me interested.

    Anyway, great read. I always enjoy articles that are about building systems (especially fun ones like this).
    4