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Editorial: Rethinking Pre Modded
August 2, 2005
Author: Geno Manufacturer: N/A
Department: Modding Model: N/A
Article Type: Editorial Time Spent: N/A
 
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Introduction




Serious modders have always knocked pre-mods as pretenders, posers, and wannabe's—I am perhaps the worst offender because, frankly, I take modding very seriously. I was modding when Cliff Anderson invented the Fan Bus, and [H]ardOCP was melting CPU's right and left. Buying pre-modded cases seemed like cheating to me, and I was vocal about it. Recently however, I have re-examined the subject and my opinions.


By Definition


There are really no clear definitions of the segments that are usually lumped into the broader category of PC modification—when perhaps there should be—but I am by no means appointing myself as the person to segregate modding into neat little compartments. Consider this more of a starting point or guideline.

I began like most modders by taking a commercially available stock case and adding blow holes, lights, and windows. This grew exponentially as others upped the ante to include water cooling, trick paint, anodizing, etc. We then as a group began to mod the parts that made up our PC's, not just the cases themselves. Hard drives got windows, fans got LED's and so forth—about this time a few smart companies noticed the modding craze and brought some “pre-modded” parts to the marketplace.

I consider this first stage of case modding as exactly that—case modding—you take an existing case and/or products and change them to suit your personal tastes. Nowadays, we all buy a certain amount of pre-modded parts like the fans, water blocks, etc for these projects from companies like CrazyPC, and it has become generally excepted as standard practice. Some purists might still be building their own fan buses and LED modding their fans, but really, why bother? This type of modding might be called “Old School” at this point.

To stand out in a crowded modding scene, some modders began to install their PC’s into unusual ‘containers’ that run the gamut from cigar and ammo boxes to toilets. The list of unusual items is endless—I have seen PC’s in teddy bears and R/C car bodies. This form of modding requires a bit more skill and imagination as fitting everything into these contraptions can be a bit of a challenge. I have also done a bunch of these mods, and like to think of this group as the “Alternate Enclosure” guys.

From here, the natural progression is to completely custom one off cases. My personal favorite. The entire spectrum can be found here—cases that follow a plethora of themes from games, to cars, to sports and company logo boxes. We have seen a small group of very talented “Modders” rise to the top and turn out creations that are very nearly works of art. To be competitive here you have to possess a rather large and diverse skill set that includes the ability to work metal, plex, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and more. You also need to be prepared to spend upward of 500 hours and $5,000 on a single creation. This group is referred to as “Custom Cases”.


 
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IMHO, the most important element of a killer case mod is:
Cooling solution.
Lights.
Paint.
Silence.
Windows.
 
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