PC modding has been a popular pastime amongst PC enthusiasts for decades but as people with skills in carpentry, engineering, metalwork and all-manner of other things turned their attentions to their PCs, the end results have often been spectacular.
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Last year saw countless spectacular projects featured both in print and online from all four corners of globe. I run the modding section of tech website bit-tech.net, which is home to one of the largest PC modding communities on the planet, and it hosts an annual awards called Mod of the Year, which allows you to vote for your favorite projects which can then go on to win thousands of dollars-worth of prizes.
The competition has just closed and the winners announced (you can check out the article here) and here are the top five projects of 2013.
5th place – Project N.V
Danish modder Hans Peder Sahl took this enormous case made by Case Labs and filled the interior with some the best hardware money can buy.
To make his PC stand out from the rest, he water-cooled it, using large radiators to cool the graphics cards and processor.
The icing on the cake is a custom-made acrylic construction that routes the coolant around the interior instead of using tubing.
It’s a monster of a PC that features the latest hardware including Solid State Disks and multiple graphics cards to power through the latest games. You can see his full build log here.
4th place – Cosmos II The Privilege
Italian modder Ermanno Bonandini has a distinctly nautical theme with a hint of Steampunk thanks to its nixietube display and copious amount of brass fittings.
He has used a large high-end case called the Cosmos II from Taiwanese manufacturer Cooler Master but along with custom wood paneling, port holes and brass gauges, you’d hardly recognize the of-the-shelf original case.
The glowing features and exquisite finishing mean this PC wouldn’t look out of place on a luxury yacht never mind your entertainment room.
The project came fourth overall and if that wasn’t impressive enough, carry on reading to see which PCs took the podium places this year.
3rd place – The Dark Shining Star
As achingly beautiful PC’s go, perhaps the one that claimed that crown in 2013 was The Dark Shining Star. The creation of French modder Mathieu HEREDIA, it’s one of several PCs in the limelight last year for its use of rigid tubing for its water-cooling system.
Another PC to use Cooler Master’s popular Cosmos II case, the rigid tubing has been colored to look like chromed metal.
A huge radiator lurks in the bowels of the case, cooling its twin graphics cards and Mathieu has mounted its Solid State Disk storage drives on the side of the case for all to see.
If you want to see how the project was made from start to finish, check out the full build log here.
2nd place – Guilty
Using an off-the-shelf case to create a project as awe inspiring as the PCs you see here is one thing, but to make a case completely from scratch is a huge undertaking.
That’s exactly what Dutch modder Richard Keirsgieter did with this project, called guilty, thanks to design work done by UK-based modder Nate George, owner of PC modding store E22.
The project features extensive water cooling using rigid tubing with the centerpiece being its blood-red coolant.
It houses a monster PC including dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 graphics cards in SLI – both water-cooled and also an Asus Republic of Gamers motherboard.
1st place – Cosmos II- Skyline GT-R
Finally, the project most voted-for in 2013 was an auto-inspired one, specifically Nissan’s legendary Skyline GT-R and we’re pretty sure you’ll agree that this PC is a worth tribute.
Ronnie Hara from Japan went all-out with this stunning blue, black and chrome water-cooled PC, called simply Cosmos II- Skyline GT-R – a combination of its case – Cooler Master’s Cosmos II and Nissan’s sports car.
It’s super-clean looks are courtesy of custom-made cable routing panels that hide anything that could be considered unsightly. Ronnie also sprayed the exterior a dazzling metallic blue and covered the rest of the case in carbon fiber film.
The crown jewel of the project are its reservoirs for the water-cooling system – made to look like nitrous oxide canisters that will be familiar to any Fast and Furious fans.
So these are the more popular PCs of 2013 and this year looks set to be just as productive for PC modding. I’ll be covering the latest crazy PCs from the PC modding scene regularly.
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