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82 comments

Pc Modding IS dead ! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661270)

It's just not cost effective anymore.

The early 90's called... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661272)

...they want their story back.

The early 00's called... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661326)

...they want their decade relevancy back.

No one modded cases in the 90s, except those with Packard Bell systems having no choice to mod their case to upgrade their machiens.

Get your history right, you little 'pedia reading, nostalgia pretending coward!

But still, case modding is up there with car ricing. It's ironic the computer enthusiasts have a similar interest in sportscars and ricing too. and ugly implants in slutty blondes.

Re:The early 00's called... (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661598)

There were plenty of case modders in the 90s, it's just that back then case modding tended to be more about adapting the case to functionality than art. Examples include people who soldered on homemade IDE controllers to their A500 motherboards, cut the case open and glued on another smaller plastic box for the hard drive. Or overclockers who added fans (since a lot of cases back then weren't really overclocking friendly).

Not to mention crazy stuff like the A3000 I saw that overheated unless it had a 90mm fan blowing air across the top of it with the case disassembled (too many weird heat-generating mods).

But yeah, these days a lot of case modding is more about artistic expression and "ricers" who just slap some LEDs and a biohazard cutout on their case...

Re:The early 00's called... (2)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662354)

It's great that people enjoy creating or being around art, but it is important to be aware of the functional aspects of case design. Besides providing for ventilation, cases also should act as Faraday cages to contain R.F. electromagnetic radiation which could interfere with a great variety of services. Some mods are bad from a functional standpoint.
Unless internal electronics is already fully sheilded, like with the original colorful iMac, cases are normally metal or are treated with foil, screening, or conductive-coating shielding. All ports/cables going in and out must have suitable filtering. As with the doors seen on microwave ovens, it is possible to have visible openings if they are small enough compared to the shortest wavelength that needs to be blocked.

Many engineers that are very skilled at other aspects of product design may still overlook such things as r.f. leakage. Although there are F.C.C. rules (and similar rules outside the U.S.) to restrict radiation, it isn't uncommon to find imported products in violation. Also, many selling systems build from various pieces using standard or custom cases have failed to do the required testing and certification for retail sale. They risk huge fines. I've seen retail chains illegally selling PCs they built up in-house, and the practice is even more common with small computer shops. Generally every retail device that uses radio-frequency energy should have an F.C.C. ID number on it.

The digital circuitry deals with pulse (non-sinusoidal) signals so the harmonics present extend much higher in frequency than the pulse and clock rates. Switching power supplies, including those in energy efficient lighting, will create troublesome r.f. noise if not properly designed.

Re:The early 00's called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661982)

Sorry mods, but that troll wasn't "Informative". Modding was alive and well in the 90s. Here's a waybackmachine's 2000 save of Virtual Hideout's casemod gallery with 18 pages already.
http://web.archive.org/web/20000815205655/www.virtualhideout.net/cool_case/index.shtml [archive.org]

And hell, Page and Brin /retired/ their famous Lego-cased server in 1999.

I'd love to see evidence of modding in the 80s. It probably existed, but I didn't start customizing till the 486. Maybe someone remembers a newsgroup?

Re:The early 00's called... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662300)

Sorry mods, but that troll wasn't "Informative". Modding was alive and well in the 90s.

Perhaps, but the OP broadly had a point- it wasn't as prominent back in the 90s as it was (say) in the early-2000s. Actually, I'd say that that the phenomenon peaked more recently than that- even in the early 2000s I thought that my computer would look quite interesting if you could see the insides all the time. Having come up with that idea independently (though it was a somewhat obvious one) and it seeming interesting and original at the time, it's likely that the off-the-shelf windows-and-cold-cathod-lighting cheesiness hadn't yet become prominent, let alone cliched at that point.

Wouldn't do it now for that reason though, even though the way I'd visualised it would have been way more tasteful. I swear ;-)

Re:The early 00's called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34662486)

Heh... the /web/ "wasn't as prominent back in the 90s as it was (say) in the early-2000s."

That disagreement aside, by roughly 2005 you could buy a PC in a black aluminum case with a clear side panel at the local bigbox here in Canada. So for me that was the final tombstone of the original scene; the original creative thrust had long peaked. And in my personal awareness of the scene, I put the peak more at 1998 -- but sure, that's going to be a YMMV. If you were spending time on different corners of the web, it may well have appeared later to you.

I'm just pointing out the guy being nasty and abusive with his "correction", is actually flat wrong himself.

More 1990s scene -- remember PowerBook Army? Early powerbooks with paint and clear parts and LEDs. Good times.
http://web.archive.org/web/19981203135313/http://www.powerbook.org/ [archive.org]

Re:The early 00's called... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662548)

Heh... the /web/ "wasn't as prominent back in the 90s as it was (say) in the early-2000s."

Yeah, but it was my observation and *I've* been on the web since '94. So there :-P

That disagreement aside, by roughly 2005 you could buy a PC in a black aluminum case with a clear side panel at the local bigbox here in Canada. So for me that was the final tombstone of the original scene; the original creative thrust had long peaked.

No contradiction here, it sounds like we were talking about different things. You had the true original scene in mind, whereas I was discussing the point where it was most prominent in the mainstream, the point at which it became cliched- around five years ago, as you suggest.

Pc Modding IS dead. (-1, Redundant)

dorkygrin (1553961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661292)

It's just not cost effective anymore.

Re:Pc Modding IS dead. (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661310)

...It's just not cost effective anymore...

Case modding is a *hobby*, it was never "cost effective". Perhaps you're thinking about building a work box from parts verse some commodity brand X box (or even a Dell)?

Re:Pc Modding IS dead. (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661344)

This may be a stretch for some of the more rigid engineering folks, but try to think of it as a functional *art form* and a *conversation piece* to have in the home office. These are not production units. Each is probably a unique custom one of a kind build. (Personally, I think the GTC is amazing.)

Re:Pc Modding IS dead. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661500)

Functional art form, but the functionality becomes irrelevant over time. By the time the case is finished the contents are obsolete.

To the key to modding is to build it big and roomy.

Something like that Philco case, where you could probably stuff several generations of motherboards, power supplies, and back planes into the same case over many years, to extend its functional life. It would be a shame to get it finished only to find it so customized to specific components that you had to start over.

The internal structural elements have to be easily reconfigurable.

Re:Pc Modding IS dead. (2)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661828)

I agree. Most of the designs appear to have upgrades in mind. Also, consider that
- It's unnecessary to update cabling.
- The 3.5" drive bay is still around after these many years.
- Motherboard form factor and power supply sizes are standard.

It's a pretty safe bet you case can be around for years. When it finally is not longer useful, I'm sure the creator would be ready with 2.0.

PC Case Modding is misplaced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661402)

There vwill always be a reason to build a chassis to fit the form of the consoles next to it. Is a shame modding went further than rebuilding chassis that were discontinued manufacturing, just to retain the capability: not an illogical expense to fit van era, but actual logical improvements to assure the computing ability is uninterupted. Everyone laughs at the Mr Coffee Pot computer, the many XBox-like chassis, the ones with excessive neon lights or iintentionally disfigured EMF shielding, but it went wrong when many made a living off of that kind of activity rather than assemble a brand and style of computer as was before x86 systems. Everything has just been the vsame thing repackaged with more expensive junk that changed so often that it always looked like car mechanics snuck into the PC service industry to see how much they can fleece the owner. Waterblocks, Peltier TEC's, rounded cables, LCD RS232 status indicators, and disco balls and laser light effects just started advertising XP as the first Duplo operating system to go full retatd while other companies like Dell or Sun just suffered for no reason but not being appetising.

Re:PC Case Modding is misplaced. (2)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661678)

I'll put forth that Dell suffered because they sucked. They used to be great. I swore by them in the 90's. Then they got greedy, started putting cheap crap in the boxes and scaled back customer service to where you couldn't get a warranty fix unless you practically got the Mafia involved.

I'll also say the same thing I say about the ricermobiles: As long as it's not dangerous, and you like it, do it and be happy. And unlike the ricers who do stupid shit like cutting their springs so that their handling goes in the toilet, it's pretty hard to be unsafe with a PC mod unless you get a cheap inverter for the CCD's.

I build computers from time to time for people who want extreme gaming machines, and sometimes they ask me to doll them up. And I do it, because it's cheap and makes them happy.

I'm also glad that the era of the beige box is at an end. As functional as it was, my black TT Armor looks much better (in addition to being a fantastic case for airflow). Maybe I have an untapped artistic side or something, but I kind of like some of the cooler case mods, just like I like hot rods. No, making your case look like the warp core from the Enterprise doesn't add any functionality, but. . .actually that would be pretty cool. I might have to look in to doing that ;)

Re:PC Case Modding is misplaced. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34662452)

Listen, you fucking basement dwelling Cheeto's vacuum, no one fucking was talking about the quality of Dell or Japanese cars. And you should stop masturbating to your mom's granny panties, that's just sick.

Re:PC Case Modding is misplaced. (1)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34668186)

"while other companies like Dell or Sun just suffered for no reason but not being appetising."

Yeah, I know, reading is hard.

BUT, consider: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661320)

1. No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2. There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Nigger, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

3. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, and assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of his sleigh, jump down the chimneys, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course we know to be false but for the purpose of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (refer to point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal load, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of Queen Elizabeth.

5. 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy per SECOND, EACH! In short, they will burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create a deafening sonic boom in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal* forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead by now. And he'd be a faggot.

======================
*Please note that centrifugal is a made-up non existent word. The real word should be centripetal. Centrifugal is a made up force that physics people HATE! So please, everyone use the world centripetal, not centrifugal. Thanks!

Re:BUT, consider: (2)

morethanapapercert (749527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661408)

I think you mean RMS Queen Elizabeth or MS Queen Elizabeth(1) and not Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, at least I certainly hope you do. It could be construed to be Lèse majesté to imply that Her Majesty weighs/displaces 83,673 gross tons or 92,000 gross tons respectively.

(1) The weight you gave of 353,430t / 4 =88357.5t which probably refers to the RMS ship, perhaps in a fully laden configuration.

Re:BUT, consider: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661498)

weighs/displaces 83,673 gross tons

She is old and wrinkly but I wouldn't call her gross.

--

I'd do her - Michael Fagan 1981

Re:BUT, consider: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661516)

RMS Queen Elizabeth

*cough* GNU/Queen Elizabeth.

Pc Modding IS dead... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661302)

It's just not cost effective anymore.

Pc Modding IS dead! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661336)

It's just not cost-effective anymore.

Troll commenting IS dead! (0)

gbl08ma (1904378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661368)

It's just not repetitive anymore.

Re:Troll commenting IS dead! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661400)

You totally fail: Proper trolling is done as AC.

small is beautiful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661346)

I hate those large honking cases. For me the most beautiful PC cases are those that you can tuck away under or behind the monitor, something like the iMac Mini. I think it's time to ditch the ATX form factor for micro-ATX and the micro-ATX for micro-ITX. With smaller motherboards we go smaller PC cases, small enough to put a PC into a toaster, a speaker or into the monitor itself (yeah, some companies are already doing this but we're talking about the hobbyist crowd).

Re:small is beautiful (1, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661526)

good.. you go drive your electric go-cart, while the rest of us performance nuts will stick to our 600hp big iron.. Try upgrading/overclocking/configuring that laptop-on-a-stand and you'll see why some people still prefer the larger form factors. stock OEM machines from apple/dell et al come with shitty stripped down hardware to fatten bottom lines. they really aren't worth the price charged for them.

Re:small is beautiful (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662058)

I keep my tower monsters in the home office and out of site.

No one wants to see them. Not even the resident geek.

There is some value to PC cases that aren't butt ugly and scream cheap Chinese factory.

Most likely your "big iron" is mostly empty space.

Re:small is beautiful (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662224)

I keep my tower monsters in the home office and out of site.

personal choice, that's fine. I prefer to keep mine a bit more accessible. It depends on your needs. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone's needs are met by devices that cater to the neo-mainframe era 'cloud' fetish.

No one wants to see them. Not even the resident geek.

argumentum ad populum.

There is some value to PC cases that aren't butt ugly and scream cheap Chinese factory.

big case is not necessarily a 'cheap chinese factory' product. In fact, it's the big OEM products that scream 'cheap chinese factory' in an effort to save money. They use flimsy plastic and fake 'metal' shells on their 'premium' products that don't really fit together all that well, and in many cases, make the product very difficult to service. of course you're right that you can get cheap big cases too, but at least there's a choice.

Most likely your "big iron" is mostly empty space.

..which might be needed for cooling. one of the benefits of larger configs is that they support hw that you simply can't get in micro-ATX or laptop-on-a-stand configs. Of course, you're right that one could put a micro-ATX board in an E-ATX case and waste a lot of space.

Re:small is beautiful (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662144)

He has a bit of a point. Back in the days when ATX first came out, it was normal for a PC to have 8 expansion slots. These days, how many expansion cards do you have in a typical high-end desktop system? 1: the video card. Most self-built PCs probably use more expansion slots for add-on ports (like USB/Firewire ports with cables going to the motherboard) than for actual cards. At the very most, you might want two PCIe x 16 slots, one PCIe x 1 slot, and one old-fashioned PCI slot in a system these days, but most people building systems would probably be happy with one of each, with enough room south of the video card slot for a big heatsink/fan. PC motherboards just don't need to be that large any more.

In addition to that, people don't use all the drive bays they used to. Back in the 90s, I remember tower cases with 4, 6, or even 8 5.25" drive bays. The only thing people use those for these days is one optical drive, and maybe a fan controller add-on, so most of that room is wasted. I don't see people with a lot of hard drives any more either; at the most, someone might have 4 3.5" HDs in a RAID array, but with today's giant drives, a dual-drive RAID1 array makes more sense IMO.

You could build a case today with plenty of room for expansion, and still make it much smaller than a typical full-size tower: a motherboard with 3 slots, a built-in 4-drive hot-swap SATA backplane, and two 5.25" bays, and probably one 3.5" external bay for a card reader, would be probably as much as anyone would want, while still being about half the size of a full-size tower.

Re:small is beautiful (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662286)

The base for each of your points is 'most people'. Big machines were never mainstream. They're built by people who need/want extra power/flexibility. USB/1394 et al do not have the bandwidth or low latencies of on-board buses. Physics determines that. I've got several different boards in my system that cannot be duplicated by a sleek $50 plastic USB box. Extra drive bays are always welcome to me because I'm almost always running out of space. I agree that 5.25 bays are less needed now, but there are plenty of non-drive devices out there that can use them. Having a few is a requirement for me.

I do agree with you, though, that it's getting easier to pack more capability into a smaller space. It's just that there will always be people who need/want that bleeding edge performance at all costs configuration.

Re:small is beautiful (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34663570)

You have several different boards that need higher bandwidth than USB 3.0? Where'd you get a motherboard for that? It's hard to even find a motherboard with more than, say, 5 slots now, and PCI slots are already on the way out in favor of PCIe. Pretty soon, there won't be any PCI slot motherboards available, just like ISA slot boards are completely gone now and have been for some time.

I'm not even talking about "most people": "most people" don't have ANY cards in their system, because they have integrated video (and audio). I'm actually talking about the high-end gamers out there: even they only have 1, 2, and at most 3 cards in their systems (that's for the people with dual video cards and a separate audio card). 4 or 5? Forget it.

As for 5.25" bays, I can't think of many uses for them except 1) optical drives, 2) hot-swap HD bays (which wouldn't be necessary if they built this into the case in place of the standard internal 3.5" bays; SATA makes this much easier these days), and 3) fan controller gadgets. So some who really wanted to deck out their system would only need 2, and then a single 3.5" bay for a card reader accessory.

Re:small is beautiful (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34665568)

We get it. Your e-penis is bigger than anyone else's. Revel in the glory!

Re:small is beautiful (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662172)

I somewhat agree with the parent post, though not entirely. I don't want a mac mini, I want to be able to upgrade my computer and have a powerful video card, possibility for water cooling and overclocking, room to work with, etc. But some of the cases for "modders" that are coming out today are just obscene. I build computers all the time, and my best work is done in a plain black mid tower case. I feel like a clean empty computer case that's also a powerhouse is an impressive feat. Sure your full tower monstrosity of a case with 12 case fans, 6 CCDs, huge plastic front that lights up has quad SLI an i7 extreme 32 gigs of ram and 4TB of storage but my plain mid tower case has the same specs with a lower case temp, less noise, weighs half as much, fits on my desk nicely, and had the customizations I want rather than what the company selling the case thinks every teenage boy wants. Plus when I build a computer, EVERYTHING gets hidden away. My ideal computer wouldn't have a single visible wire in front of the motherboard. When someone opens the side panel on one of my computers (or looks in the window) there isn't usually a wire in site. I use as few power connectors from the PSU as I can just so I can hide the rest away (or in a modular PSU I just don't connect them.) It helps a lot with air flow and is much more pleasing to the eyes than a huge mess of cables running every which way.

I think the cases now days just look terrible, they're the computer equivalent of rice burners. A lot of the cases in this article look just like that, I appreciate a different design, like the computer case that looks like an old radio, or the pico atx wooden case design.

Re:small is beautiful (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662460)

I build computers all the time, and my best work is done in a plain black mid tower case. I feel like a clean empty computer case that's also a powerhouse is an impressive feat.

this is essentially my position as well. You can build a huge tower with the stuff you want minus useless bling.

Re:small is beautiful (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662628)

good.. you go drive your electric go-cart, while the rest of us performance nuts will stick to our 600hp big iron

Dude, talk about delusions of grandeur if you think that any PC owned by a performance hobbyist is likely to qualify as "Big Iron" [wikipedia.org] in *any* sense of the word.

Re:small is beautiful (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662822)

More like the style of my post was to mirror the illusions posted by its parent.

large is necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34662134)

You can't totally kill big cases. You can replace all but one of the ATX cases with mini-ITX or whatever, but in the end, you still need to have the disk array somewhere.

Hack A Day (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661380)

You see this stuff on Hack A Day from time to time. If this is your sort of thing I'd recommend reading it.

How many have proper EM shielding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661462)

From the looks of the close ups, I'd say none.

Mineral Oil (1)

fahlesr1 (1910982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661468)

Really liked the oil cooled case. Oil cooling always intrigued me. Would be fun to try someday.

The Cray 1 was classic.

Re:Mineral Oil (1)

SageMusings (463344) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661958)

The thing that makes me curious about the mineral oil is what happens when the oil gets warm? How is the heat dumped? I get the impression that after a while that case would be less efficient than normal forced-air.

Re:Mineral Oil (1)

fahlesr1 (1910982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662042)

If you checked out the full article there's a link to the builder's blog. He runs the oil through a radiator. His temps looked pretty good

The point. (1)

Javajunk (1957446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661486)

I personally never saw the point. My own computers always have the cheapest case I can get, so I can spend the savings on better bits to go inside the case.

Re:The point. (3, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661560)

You know, I used to think that too, but the last time I built a machine I bought a CoolerMaster Storm at MicroCenter that was marked down because it was scuffed. Man, having a nice case really made every part of the build more pleasant. It's not a crazy-expensive case to begin with, but it's really well made and it has a nice sturdy handle on top and a great canted panel on the top-front with eSata and USB and audio. It's easy to clean the dustbunnies out without having to take everything apart and open the case, too, which is great. There's lots of room inside and except for one audio jack connector that I would have like to be a little longer, it was well thought out with the builder in mind. You don't need tools to do stuff and there are no sharp edges to cut up your hands.

I plan on figuring the extra few bucks that a decent case costs into all of my future builds.

Re:The point. (1)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661700)

This, this, and this.

Plus in general airflow in the cheap cases just sucks, and so you have to put a bunch of high-rpm noisy fans in there just to keep it barely cool. Contrast that with the Armor that my machine is in (and it's the 3rd build I've done in the same case). I've got a few large fans in there. It's quieter than the ceiling fan. And I *never* overheat. Also, I mentioned that this was the 3rd computer I've put in this case for a reason: That means instead of spending $50 per case for crappy cases on the last three builds, I spent $150 at the front end and got an excellent case that will probably house builds 4 and 5 as well. If you do it that way, you end up saving money long term.

Re:The point. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34663722)

"I personally never saw the point. My own computers always have the cheapest case I can get, so I can spend the savings on better bits to go inside the case."

Mmm. Enlight flashbacks from 1989!

I fondly remember bleeding from the sharp sheet metal until I got smart and deburred 'em with a file tang.

My idea of the perfect case mod (4, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661510)

I am sick and tired of gamer-looking cases, loud fans (even my Antec Sonatas are louder than I'd like), and uber-bright blue LEDs. To me the ultimate case mod would involve:

  • Large grilles made of wire for the cooling fans. Why? Because the tiny holes with sharp angles for the grilles cut into sheet metal create and amplify wind noise
  • All fans mounted using silicon or felt bushings (and possibly even silicone studs/rivets) to isolate the chassis to reduce amplification of fan motor noise
  • A total absence of pimple face geek-inspired clear windows, scoops, double-decker wings, cold cathode tubes, USB-powered beverage chiller/heater, greddy turbo or type-R decals, and other stupid crap (oh wait, I'm confusing case modders with ricers aren't I? Meh, same mentality)
  • Front-panel things like CPU, HDD, and ambient temp are nice, but make them dimmable
  • Power LEDs should be dimmable. Auto-dimmable would be ideal. Currently one of the first things I do for the desktop in my bedroom is apply purple or black nail polish to the HDD and power LEDs so that they are just barely visible with the lights on, and not bright enough to cast shadows with the lights off.

I like running certain cables under the motherboard, so I beg to differ with the folks above who hate it. I have a better idea to make everybody happy though: instead of the motherboard mount being a flat plate, why not make a chassis with a steel or forged aluminum spaceframe, and as far as EMF rejection/ground plane/etc. are concerned, the stamped steel or aluminum chassis will handle shielding? That way, the back/bottom side of the motherboard remains accessible which allows for easy servicing in the event you do want to run cables under the board, and CPU heatsinks will be much, much easier to swap. This would hold doubly true for servers; make a sort of a space subframe assembly which can be removed to service systems more easily.It would be kind of like some of Inwin's and Enlight's from the '90s, but with sturdier and more open construction to make the back side of the heatsink mounts fully acccessible.

The case should not intrude on my bedroom, living room, or any other room any more than a box of tissues. In other words, while it doesn't have to win Martha Stewart's approval, let's try to make it so it will be right at home regardless of decor, kind of like a set top box. I don't want to notice the case at all; all I want is enough space inside to house the components, enough quiet airflow to keep it cool, indicator lights to be very dim, and easy access to a DVD or Blu-Ray drive. It should be nondescript so the only time I notice it is if I need to insert a disc. As an HTPC it should be quiet and fit well into a living room, and as a productivity PC in my bedroom, it should be quiet and not have bright search lights for power or HDD activity indicators. Don't get me wrong - blue LEDs are cool. I love blue LEDs. However, like the old blink tag years ago, and HDR in photography, blue LEDs are everywhere now, are over-used and mis-used in so many ways that I don't care to see another one for quite a while.

I don't want to even think about the chassis until it's time to insert an optical disc, or to service the unit. Otherwise, the case should be unnoticeable.

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661580)

one of the first things I do for the desktop in my bedroom is apply purple or black nail polish

And it's a good look for you. Now if you'd only tweeze that eyebrow...

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

Anonymous Showered (1443719) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661600)

Take a look at Corsair 700D case.

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662324)

And what a beautiful case it is. Providing your power supply cables are long enough, it's got all the right routes for extremely clean cable layout, which makes good airflow even easier to achieve, and visually, it's wonderfully subtle. I just wish I could afford one :P

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661692)

Power LEDs should be dimmable. Auto-dimmable would be ideal.

Here you go. [merl.com] That paper describes how to use an LED as both a light sensor and an LED. You could hack that together with a microcontroller and your existing case LEDs in an afternoon.

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

_ivy_ivy_ (1081273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661702)

Congrats. For better or for worse, you just reinvented the Mac Mini.

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662092)

> Congrats. For better or for worse, you just reinvented the Mac Mini. ...or the low profile PCs that some of us had YEARS earlier.

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661726)

If you swap the front fan for a non-LED one, the Sword-M is pretty much what you're looking for, including under-mobo cable management.

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661862)

Sounds like you want a Mac Pro.

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662096)

> Sounds like you want a Mac Pro.

A Mac Pro is still a "monster tower" and is as much out of place outside the office as a generic beige full tower case.

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662122)

Why one box? I have a "dual box". One is the Mobo, video cards, sound, CPU, HDs and such. Then a dual height enclosure. Dual, so I can have one for the HD and one for the USB and SD cards. The Big case I place as far under my desk as possible. The much smaller dual enclosure on my desk where I can easily reach it.

Lights are either disabled or taped over with duct tape, so they do not disturb in any way.

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662974)

My perfect case would be an easy to open since I have multiple physical disabilities (can't even use a screwdriver due to strength and grasp problems). I have to get other people to open and close my case for me, but not only that but to clean and add/remove hardwares. I currently use an Antec P180 ATX case which works well as long as I don't use the cover's screws. Easy to slide on and off.

Re:My idea of the perfect case mod (1)

Jarik_Tentsu (1065748) | more than 3 years ago | (#34669356)

Sure, that'd be great for a silent PC type market. But ultimately, it's boring. Sure, the purpose of your case is to be boring, and not attention grabbing, but then why would you try to show it off as a case mod? If you're showing it off, generally you want it to grab attention - not divert it.

It's like rocking up to AutoSalon in a near-stock Yaris, with an even softer muffler, and more fuel efficiency. Sure, great to live with and all that, but not really something anyone would want to see over a 500HP GTR or something.

Really? (5, Insightful)

Scorch_Mechanic (1879132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661524)

What the hell is wrong with you people? Case modding certainly isn't cost effective, nor does it stick to its roots, but in my mind that doesn't matter. What matters is that ordinary everyday people are looking at modern PC cases, thinking "That's not cool enough, I can make it better", and then _doing it._ Several of those entries are first or second time builds, done by people who've never even considered this kind of thing before.

Believe it or not, "because it's awesome" _is_ a valid reason to do something. These people are creating art, and they happen to be building high-end computers into it. Get your collective heads out of your collective asses and revel in the beauty of well constructed and beautiful pieces of functional art. DIY is something that our consumerist society is rapidly losing its grip on, and any evidence to the contrary should be welcomed, not decried.

Re:Really? (1)

cyclocommuter (762131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662254)

Good points! In this era of boring iPhones, iPads, and other gadgets that look alike it is nice to see folks still modding cases so these stand out from the rest.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34662832)

Were geeks, we like pragmatism. The reaction your objecting to would be similar to the one you'd see if you tried to impress a bunch of construction workers with your 'modded' power tools with windows, LEDs and glitter. You may think it's awesome, we think it's a pointless waste of time that could be better spent doing something geeky and useful. You are the ricers of the computer world, nobody outside your cliq is impressed

Re:Really? (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | more than 3 years ago | (#34674510)

Case "modding" is usually a misnomer, as people are generally building a custom enclosure *NOT* MODifying an existing one.

Case Modding is still interesting... (3, Interesting)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661550)

Case modding is still interesting to those still interested. The times have changed due to demand. Back when case modding was widespread, it was mainly because your computer case came in two or three options: Beige, Tan, or Ugly.

Nowadays, you can buy an aesthetically-interesting molded plastic case, for $40. Hell, they practically shove the clear plexi windows and LEDs down your throat. I had to go out of my way to get a full-featured case with good quality, but still a nondescript black-box appearance. (The CoolerMaster Centurion series [newegg.com] are good for this. Nice, light, cool semi-mesh build, without stupid side windows and crap.)

Case modding has become less of a hardcore-computer-geek past time, and more of an artist-who-likes-computers-too concentration. Look at some of the hardware specs of the systems these cases were built around; they're lackluster, old tech. Nowadays you can build a quad-core AMD AM3 3Ghz setup, with 16GB DDR3-1333 RAM, SATA III, USB 3.0, a 1TB WD:Black drive at 7200rpm and 64MB cache, and an Antec 640watt PSU - all for $525 from Newegg.com, shipped. One would think they could at least come up to par on these hardware specs, if they have the time and money to spend on the external pretties.

I mean, there's even this kickass antique-lookalike case from Red Wood [newegg.com] for the people that want something Steampunk. It's $120 on Newegg, but can be purchased new from other online retailers for $89. I have a hard time convincing myself it's even worth the 2 hours to mod up cases for water cooling purposes anymore.

So, in tl;dr summary: Case modding isn't really about the geeks anymore. It's about the artists who like tech.

Re:Case Modding is still interesting... (1)

whitehaint (1883260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662034)

If I had points I'd mod ya up, how is it I can buy a quad core AMD, dual 6850 cards and an asus crosshair IV MoBo and the pereferals, and keep it under 1k when so called gaming machines are crap at 1300 bucks? It's almost to the point that the only reason to buy one of those crap pc's is for a cheap case and copy of windows!

RF interference (1)

Bram Stolk (24781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661664)

What about RF interference?
If the case is not metal, you will be polluting the spectrum.
None the less, pretty cool stuff!

Re:RF interference (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661706)

The way the law works on interference, it is up to YOU to keep interference out of your systems. Of course you can't knowingly and willingly interfere with other systems, but by no means do you have to design your device to not interfere. Interference is inevitable and the rules and regulations take that in to account.

But that being said, you'll notice that most builders used shielded cables or at the very least they have twisted them. The cabling is where your leakage will be anyway, and is the one spot you can make the most changes.

Also the guy with the mineral oil machine has nothing to fear from interference!

Re:RF interference (2)

Suzuran (163234) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661830)

You are wrong.
Part 15 says:
1) Your device MAY NOT cause harmful interference.
2) Your device must ACCEPT any interference received, including that which may cause undesired operation.

Soft Porn (1)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661670)

A bunch of cases that I'd kill for, and no way to buy any of them. That's like nerd soft porn. It's just a tease!

Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661950)

No matter how much you want to make your PC different, it's still the same Windows when you use it.

Let's face it (2)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34662020)

Let's face it. Here we do not enjoy the company of fine industrial designers.

From time to time we may churn out well designed software, but nobody in the /. crowd will either wear interesting spectacles or smoke stylish pipes. This is one of the few certainties in life. We're just not conceived to be designers and we could just well have a go at astrology or at table arrangement.

Re:Let's face it (1)

HunkirDowne (452422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34666412)

We're just not conceived to be designers and we could just well have a go at astrology or at table arrangement.

You know, I had just finished arranging my new glass-top furniture last night and reflecting on my work and the night sky, I realized you were going to say just that.

fi8st posT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34662094)

Why not? It's qu1ck started 3ork on
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