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Build Your Own: The Customizable, Illuminated Dream Machine

The Perfect PC For Any Mood

We’re typically resolute in our choices when it comes to the guts of our favorite PCs. But we can get downright fickle when you start talking about aesthetics. I'm pretty sure everyone here at Tom's Hardware has a different opinion on what looks good. Choosing an enclosure is difficult enough. Forget committing to any one color of lighting (that's if you can tolerate lighting at all). In ideal world, we'd like the freedom to change colors to suit our moods. And this has to be done right. The tenets of artistic design demand that all pieces fit together. We can’t have green lights in the chassis, a yellow mouse, and a keyboard that blasts out red.

A few years ago, it would have been unrealistic to expect components from different vendors to come together in an amalgamation of coordination. You would have had to spend hours modding your chassis and peripherals with custom LED lighting. This is no longer the case, though. Thanks to a number of enthusiast-friendly companies and good old fashioned capitalism, you can find a wide variety of cases, accessories, and peripherals armed with LEDs able to assume any color in the RGB spectrum.

So, we decided to construct a customizable illuminated dream build. Although it boasts some fantastic hardware, this system's real focus is  bright colors and exciting effects. We'll showcase each component, of course, explain why we picked each of them, and how we put everything together. In the end, you'll see just how well-coordinated (and luminous) a build can be using off-the-shelf parts.

  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    nice build. :)
    imo custom illuminated water cooling woulda been nice too.
    the fan controller was kick-ass.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Rockdpm
    I have the NZXT hue and its worth every dime i paid for it
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Rockdpm
    There is a CPU cooler you can adjust the colors on.. Its called the CM V6GT...
    Reply