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Case Study: Mystique 2 By Boddaker
December 15, 2006
Author: Geno Manufacturer: Brian Carter aka Bodaker
Department: Modding Model: Mystique 2
Article Type: Case Study Time Spent: Plenty
 
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Introduction




Those of you into cars will likely know the name Chip Foose. He is famous for taking a car most people would consider "just fine", and morphing it into something flat out amazing. We call that pro modding--and today, we will be looking at the work of another gifted modder who also has that alchemist-like ability to transform aluminum and acrylic into solid gold.

Brian Carter is almost as well known in PC modding circles as Chip Foose is to the wrench monkey crowd, though most of you know Brian as "The Bod Man" or as "Boddaker". I am lucky enough to have Bod as a teammate on our BoxGods crew--team / mod / smart--and you're lucky today as well because we will be looking at his newest build, Mystique².

Mystique² was created to compete in CoolerMasters' 2006 Modding Contest--which he won in a landslide. Boddaker would be the first to mention that two of our other team members locked up second and third place for the sweep, Feldm4n's awesome Spiderman 3 mod which you can read about here, and Ton's excellent Super Hornet, which will be covered in an article next Friday.

We are gonna start with a run through of the finished mod and some discussion of the design goals, and then go through the build details for those of you who have pet names for your dremel tools like "Betsy", "Honey", and "Sweetie". You know who you are =)


Hollywood Class HTPC




If you didn't notice the multi function Logitech remote in the intro image, Mystique² is an HTPC. What is not so obvious is that Mystique² started out as a pair of CoolerMaster Mystique 631 aluminum tower cases that served as both donors, and inspiration. The primary goal for this build was to keep as much of the original Mystique's as possible, both in looks and materials used. Think: recycling. The Mystique heritage needed to be instantly recognized at a first glance, and then everywhere else--inside and out.

It also had to be silent and actually perform in its role as an HTPC--not just look great in the living room, but be quiet and reliable. As you will see in the images that follow, he hit the bulls-eye.

Above are images of the front of the case, where the unmistakable wave theme begins. DVD's and CD's are a staple of the HTPC or "Media PC" so simple access for disks is a must and, as you can see, no need to open the front doors to toss in a movie. No optical drive trays either, even with the doors open--thanks to a lot of care in placing the slot loading drives.


Is That An iPod In Your Pocket?




As HTPC's take over our media-centric living rooms, they must handle an ever increasing onslaught of digitial mediums. The first image above shows a clever docking station for an iPod, making transfers between devices a snap.

In the next image, we again see the DVD/CD slots and also the media card reader slots for memory sticks, etc. We get a nice shot of the well placed power and reset buttons, some killer hinge work, and well disguised front air intakes--proper cooling is extremely important for a stable HTPC.

The last image shows the front I/O ports for USB devices, (very handy for throwing a keyboard on to tweak settings and do system maintainance, as well as plugging in head phones or grabbing drivers off a thumb drive. If there is some form of connectivity missing from the front of Mystique², I can't think of it.


 
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