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Part 1: 20 Crazy And Unique Case Mods

CoolIT

This chillin' PC was designed by 19-year old Dominic Heiße of Russia, who named the rig after the manufacturer of the Boreas liquid-cooling system mounted within. As seen here on this Web site, the mod was built from scratch using medium-density fiberboard (MDF) for the main case structure. For the ice and snow effect, Plexiglas was used to create icicles while layers of Bondo gave it an "arctic" appearance. A total of 15 fans are mounted on the back, decked out with numerous blue LEDs to give the rig an overall chilly appearance. To see the step-by-step construction of this cool rig, head here.

Nvidia ION Cube

This post shows how Mnpctech built his cube-shaped PC mod for Nvidia's ION contest. Just by looking at the photos, it's no surprise that the neon rig won. However, there's naturally more to this box than what meets the eye. System specs include Zotac's 330 ION ITX, AU motherboard, 4GB of Corsair Twin2X4096-6400CD, a 90W power supply from Logic Supply, and an LG GH22 DVD writer drive. Also thrown into the mix is an SSD by Corsair, a 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Atom 330 CPU, Nvidia's MCP7A-ION chipset, and Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics. There's a video sporting this cool neon rig over on YouTube.

Battlestar Galactica

The inspiration behind this PC mod should be obvious, but the design goes beyond simple fandom. Brian Carter's Battlestar-on-a-box features runway lights for your pretend mini-Vipers, three 2.5" LCD screens, and a wider 10" LCD screen mounted on the side. On the front, you'll find a lit Battlestar Galactica medallion, which also serves as the rig's optical drive. As for the hardware, this sci-fi rig sports an EVGA nForce 590 SLI motherboard, an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ CPU, two EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS graphics cards in SLI, 4 GB of Crucial Ballistix Tracer Red DDR2 at 800 MHz, and more. Moddersmart provided the laser cutting and water-cooling. Check out Brian's step-by-step account by heading here.

The Borg Cube

Sorry, as a Star Trek (TNG) fan, this one couldn't be avoided. The Bog Cube mod appeared back in 2004 and can be found here. "I first intended to use a small midi case (A-Open H340B) with a Via EPIA-M 933 MHz chipset and 256MB RAM memory," said Dutch modder Xor'Arch over at CaseJunkies. "After having put it all together, I was not really satisfied with the way it looked. It looked kind of boring to me and that's when I got the idea to build a case myself." Apparently, the assembly stretched across nine months and encompassed around 250 hours total.

Damnation

Last year, Codemasters signed on Jake Hildebrandt to create a custom-built Damnation PC. Based on the steampunk/western shooter, the rig featured stained wood and valves that actually turned the computer on and off. Inside, Hildebrandt managed to cram a Falcon MW-built system into his custom case, consisting of a X58 chipset motherboard, Intel's Core i7-965 CPU, 12GB of DDR3 RAM, a dual Radeon HD 4870 X2 card, and a 1TB HDD. The PC was eventually given away in a sweepstakes via Destructoid (another site did a PlayStation 3 version).

Black Mesa Experimental Lambda Core

This rig doesn't need an introduction. However, if you're rather new to the PC gaming scene, this awesome rig has Half-Life 2 written all over it... literally. Built by German modder Butterkneter, this PC first appeared back in 2004 and contains four HDDs, two optical drives (DVD burner and DVD player), Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Gamer, a Netzteil 530W power supply, 1GB PC2100, Gigabyte's GA-7VRXP motherboard, and more. On the design front, the rig sports an actual crowbar, a panel with a built-in cigarette lighter, bullet holes, and plenty of knobs and lights to keep your eyes and fingers busy. To see the construction process, head here.

Project Helghan

This is another gaming-inspired rig, based on Sony's Killzone2 game for the PlayStation 2. Project Helghan comes complete with a Helghast head containing searing, glowing eyes, a rifle, AMD's ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card, 2GB of RAM, 640GB of storage, Intel's Core 2 Duo E8200, and a MS-Tech LC182 case. The concept was first conceived using Google SketchUp, and then progressed to carving the side columns out of wood. Two 120 mm fans are mounted on the top to pull the hot air out of the case and a smaller one is mounted on the back. The mod's creator, tomcatt, said that the rig was entered in the Benelux Casemodding League contest and won first place. No surprise there.

Y2K Bug

This work log shows the creation of the Y2K Bug, a rather unusual PC in the form of... well, a bug. Inside this non-flying contraption is a Soltek B8A-F motherboard housing 512 MB of Kingmax PC2700 333 MHz memory, a 3.06 GHz/533 MHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, and an AMD ATI 9800 Pro graphics card. To keep the innards cool, the modder installed a Vantec fan and a ThermoChill 120.1 radiator. Two WD400JB hard drives were installed in a RAID 1 configuration, modified with lights so that each drive serves as a glowing red eye. Unfortunately, the modded drives didn't last long.

"I have a theory why the drives worked at first right after the mod but not later on," the worklog reads. "After some surfing around, I learned that no modern drive with 40 GB platters had been windowed successfully. The high density with the combination of a removed screw from the center of the platters was probably enough to get them un-centered enough to make the head loose its track after a very short usage."

For more on the Y2K Bug, head here.

Unit 4

This S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-themed rig was created in 2007 by a 16-year-old German modder named "FrooP." Modeled after the Chernobyl disaster's notorious reactor building, this rig won second place at the DCMM DEUTSCH Case Mod championship competition back in 2008. In addition to the meticulous attention paid to detail on the exterior, one of the more interesting aspects of this mod is that it flips open to reveal a whole nuclear-charred scene--much like a kid's play-set that comes packed in its own carrying case. Like Project Helgham, this machine was originally conceived using Google's SketchUp and photographs of the original reactor. Pill bottles were used to create miniature barrels of toxic waste, and the modder even made his own circuit boards using a laser printer and an iron. To get the full 14-page workload, check out Unit 4 here.