Some people think desktop computer is sophisticated enough to avoid tinkering with anything contained inside the case, but it does not actually take a genius to disassemble and reassemble many of the parts. It is easy to replace the DVD drive, hard drive, RAM, motherboard, VGA card, sound card, and power supply. Many users even add additional components to improve performance by installing another hard drive for bigger storage capacity, another RAM for increased speed, newer processor for better computing power, etc. The most common computer customization of them all is building a personalized case.
The intention of upgrading major components of a computer is always for better performance to do more demanding computing task such as playing graphically intense games or editing HD videos. Those who upgrade for performance focus on bringing more power, but some crave for better appearance too which leads to computer case modifications. With pre-built models, the case is mostly box-shaped with sharp angles and ventilations; most are made of metal materials. Modification of computer chassis is not for performance improvement, but it is for personalization purpose.
A homemade computer case project is similar to a project car. You need to select every piece to assemble, make modifications here and there, and build fully functioning piece of art. For many enthusiasts, however, doing things by the book is never enough and they take customization to the next level. Here are some of the most popular unique computer cases built by dedicated creative users.
The Dark Blade was a creation of an enthusiast who goes by the name G69T. It has two liquid cooling systems comprised of large cylindrical reservoirs with rotating blades inside. The entire case was made from scratch by using metal milling equipment.
2. TUF Rockcrawler X99 by Alexander Hede
The creator designed the case to resemble the look of a military-grade truck capable of reaching its top speed on any thinkable terrain. Both motherboard and graphic card are located on the truck’s bed, while the RAM modules (eight of them) act as the cargo rails. Fan and water cooler are on top of the cabin. The name “TUF” came from series of motherboards from Asus. The case was for promotional purpose displayed at Computex 2015 at Asus booth.
Despite its old-fashioned appearance, Sputnik uses modern components including embedded keyboard and monitor. The actual custom computer case is in a locked cabinet, making the design look like something that has been in the family for several generations. Quizz_kid came up with the idea and spent months of designing and woodworking to complete the project. After the project finished, he made Sputnik as brand label and used it for retro-futuristic advertising.
Made by Suchao Prowphong, the main inspiration for this creation was probably Thor’s words saying that magic and technology are the same things in Asgard. This case resembles the Mjolnir, Thor’s battle hammer. Computer components are in both hammer’s head and the base into which the hammer crashed. Details including cracks all over the hammer are the parts where multi-colored LEDs shine through. It was made for promotional purpose for Thermaltake at Computex 2015.
While some weird computer cases were built from scratch using many different materials, Dan McGrath took different approach by building the AzTtec on basic retail case. The details that cover the case, mouse, and keyboard are actually foam.
The final products look like ancients stones with engravings as if they were found among the ruins of Aztec. Details on all parts are impressive; even the keyboard has additional images of crocodiles, broken wall, and Octopus-like creature.
The WMD by Peter Dickison looks like something that comes out straight from John Woo’s Broken Arrow. It does appear as if it is a compact nuclear device complemented with massive timer and old-school keypad, but it is a fully functioning computer with liquid cooling system inside.
Unlike other custom case enthusiasts, Attila is a rare breed in this world for his skills in handling metals, woods, and most common materials and turning them into crazy computer cases. One of his creations is the Cygnus X1, which was also his first world-class project and winner of Mod of the Year competition in 2009 held by bit-tech. The side panels of the case flip outward to reveal the PC component beneath.
In the 2011 Cooler Master’s annual custom modding competition, Brian Carter came out as champion with his TRON Lightcycle. This case was made mostly from acrylic material, and Brian added glowing innards to make it look like real TRON motorcycle. It is fully functioning computer as well.
Widely regarded as the creator of the first desk PC, Pascal de Greef made another innovation in 2012 with his Next Level design. This computer case demonstrates clever engineering that combines several different materials including metal, wood, and liquid cooling into an integrated system. The Next Level is an award winning computer case; it won bit-tech Mod of the Year and came in third place in Cooler Master’s annual modding contest.
A computer, not matter how sophisticated it may sound, can turn into works of arts, as proven by the above modders. There is no alteration in hardware component, but there can be plenty of unique PC cases to contain them without altering functions.