QuakeCon is many things to many people. For the pro gamer it is a place to show your skills; challenging the best of the best and competing against the world's top teams in everything from Guitar Hero to different variations of Quake. Gamers old and new travel to Dallas, Texas every year, trying to compete for their piece of the prize money.
Computer enthusiasts who do not compete on the professional level also attend QuakeCon. Many are there to participate in LAN gaming in what is known as the BYOC, or Bring Your Own Computer. This area features some of the world's top enthusiasts, some flying in from places like Sweden, Germany and even Asia. The computers they bring are often one off, custom enclosures that take up to several months to fabricate.
Today we are going to take a look at the best of the best case mods at QuakeCon 2008 and even see a few that should be places in the Hall of Shame.
The Truly Wicked Cases
These cases are deemed the best of the best at QuakeCon 2008.
If I were a judge and needed to declare a winner of the cases found in the BYOC at QuakeCon 2008, this would be it. The builder found this hard foam Sponge Bob while driving past a yard sale and quickly pulled over to purchase it for 4 Dollars. Once home, he spent the next few days carefully carving the foam out and put a small form factor PC inside. The builder stated to us that every year be builds a one off custom case to take to QuakeCon.
The Halo Helmet mod received a lot of attention at the event. I was not able to speak with the owner of this mod but you can tell a lot of time went into planning the mod and I can say that the outcome was a very clean looking mod.
The Lego Case was very interesting; definitely one that drew a crowd.
The builder of this system spent a great deal of time finding the right mix of add-on parts and innovative design to make a great looking, clean mod.
If you can't fit it all in one case, you might as well mould two together to make a case that is over 5 feet tall. The two cases are bolted together at the bottom, making a mirror image of each other.
Two UFO cases made the list. These cases are very large and make adding mod items very easy. More importantly, they make really good case mods.
The second UFO case mod goes above and beyond simple plug-in mods. The LEDs were custom and are very rare. Each LED can switch between red and white and all of the LEDs are synchronized to change at the same time. The flush mount LCD display at the top of the case adds to its appeal. I want a system like this!
The pictures of this kickarse Grill Case mod were kindly sent to me by its owner after the event. I had heard about this wicked mod during my rounds but was never able to see it in the flesh unfortunately.
Cases of QuakeCon
Several other cases caught my eye at QuakeCon 2008. In no particular order, here they are.
The builder of the first UFO case we listed amongst the truly wicked cases of QuakeCon 2008 is back with another build.
A really nice Cooler Master Wave case with a high quality coat of pearl atop of grinded aluminum. A really great idea that you don't see often.
This Cooler Master Stacker was painted red and black with automotive paint. The owner's father owns an auto painting business and this case certainly means business. The quality of the finish is better than anything coming from the factories and competes with the Smooth Creations work done on the Cooler Master CSX cases.
This builder took it to the next level and incorporated his case mod into the Windows Desktop image.
Case mods aren't just for the big cases; here a Shuttle gets some case mod love.
Lian Li cases are great for their large amount of space. This one holds more hard drives than we wanted to count. All of that heat needed some extra cooling, so this builder added a can controller.
I would like to see this guy try to explain to his boss why he needed to go to Dallas this last weekend. Better yet, imagine going through the airport!
Yellow and Black on the attack.
We all want a Lamborghini; this guy has one. Notice the orange paint that matches the popular car from many fantasies.
The Thermaltake Mozart TX didn't do much for Thermaltake's sales lists but the case is was still very cool. This one houses two systems and several hard drives. Just what you need for a big LAN party; one to leech with, one to game with.
Green with envy, this case uses water to cool the components.
Not to be shown up by green, red was a popular color for many case modders.
Your guess is as good as mine; this mod looks to be a custom unit built from one off parts. The screen on the side appears to have come from a notebook. The owner was not around for us to take a look on the inside and as you can see, the lock on the front kept us from taking a peek.
More Cases of QuakeCon
My all time favorite Cooler Master CSX case painted by Smooth Creations. This case is one of only 30 produced. The owner won this case at QuakeCon 2007 and his friends call him the luckiest gamer ever. This just after the owner was pulled from a random drawling to be a finalist to win a brand new 2008 Chevrolet Corvette that is being given away at QuakeCon 2008. I have to agree; lucky bastard!
QuakeCon isn't all about gaming as you will see from our continuing coverage from the event. This gamer must have been to previous events and was ready to get his other game on.
This case actually comes from the factory with the EL Tube lighting. I saw several versions of this case in red, blue and this green.
UV wrap looks very good with a black light; this case used both and the owner chose to not keep the wires in site.
AR15s and some custom frost with a blue background; who could ask for anything more?
I am not sure who makes this case or where it came from, but I like it. The front sticker looks like the Ferrari Prancing Horse, but with wings. When you see the case without the flash, the front is entirely smoked out and black so you can't see the CD-ROM drives.
A total white out with water cooling and an upside down motherboard design. Clean, clear and cool!
Adding monitors to cases is all the rage these days.
Lots of green cooling with some action happening in the back. This builder uses blue, green and a touch of black light to get a nice effect.
The General Lee 2.0 was in the house. I gotta run before Boss Hogg finds me.
More monitor-into-a-case mods. This one was so clean you would think it came from the factory this way.
A Clear Battle
Clear cases, generally made from acrylic are a pain to keep clean, but these gamers tough it out and come away with very nice looking cases that allow you to see all of the components.
A nice double-sided clear case with a handle on top for easy LAN party transportation.
Clearly a blue love affair.
A little red to brighten up your day.
Another acrylic double wide; this one using blue and black light lightening.
A pair of Sunbeamtech clear cases on display at QuakeCon 2008 BYOC.
The Pros try to steal the show
You can call buyers of pre-modded cases anything you want, but many people just don't have the time to make a unique case mod. If that is you, these companies have something for you, but some of these cases will cost you more than your current system is worth.
These Cooler Master cases have been worked over by Smooth Creations and are just a small example of the many designs the cases come in. TweakTown is in the process of reviewing a custom CSX case from Cooler Master USA. Look for the full story coming very soon!
A relatively new company called GameRigs was at the show displaying some of their unique cases that feature a baked on finish which is as hard as powder coating. You can find more coverage on GameRigs in my Vendors of QuakeCon 2008 article posted up a little earlier today.
Big Box Builder MainGear had a wicked display at the AMD booth. This case was a real beauty, but it was the CrossFireX that stole my attention.
More Than Cases
Some BYOC attendees went far beyond modding their case. These guys just want to go big.
Forget 30 inch LCD computer monitors, these guys needed to compensate for something. One QuakeCon BYOC attendee carted in a 42 inch plasma display.
On the other side of the size scale, this gamer modded an old style portable TV to accept a DVI connection. The retro look went over well; the only thing missing was an Atari 2600.
These gamers needed more than desktop power, they needed a real server. Rumor has it that this server was used to stream p0rn.
Notebook gaming is gaining ground as far as market share is concerned. This gamer found a way to keep his notebook cool and colorful.
Some teams declared their territory. This group planted their flag. Later, someone captured it.
Keeping cool was an active affair at QuakeCon. The Dallas heat reached as high as 108 outside one day.
More than cases got the mod treatment. I give these two a thumbs up, to say the least.
Face modding is expensive in America and is also known as cosmetic surgery. What is a gamer to do when he can't afford to mod his face, these two went with a wrap solution.
The Ones That Didn't Make It
It is important to remember that this next section is all in fun and not meant to disrespect or make anyone feel bad. Many of the gamers that own these cases I spoke with at QuakeCon 2008 and they are all cool guys. Hopefully their mates don't give them too much flack about making the Dunce List of QuakeCon 2008.
The owner of this case proclaimed it to be a work in progress.
This case is like a super stock race car. You take a production car and do everything you can to reduce the weight.
Is that Crayon or colored chalk?
Silver and black look good at home, but in the server world this one just failed.
The mod is what brought us over, but it is the buildup of dust that drove us away.
From the old commercial here in the US..... PIZZA PIZZA!
Is that a sticker of a case fan in the middle?
Auto paint is expensive, but Krylon had something in stock for this gamer.
Sometimes mods just go wrong and when your mod has taken a turn for the worse, this is where it needs to end up.
QuakeCon is a great place to show off your case mods. I was only one of many people to spend three hours going up and down all of the isles to get a good look at what everyone was building. The only problem I had with actually covering it all is that so many people were coming in and out of the event.
During the morning when I arrived, hundreds of people were registering and waiting in line just to get in. When I left for a smoke break at 5 PM, the line had actually grown even longer with a new cast of attendees. This happened nearly every day with a new cast of gamers, so there is no way I could have seen everyone.
If you are thinking about attending QuakeCon in 2009 and displaying a modded case, you had better bring you're A-Game. Many of these guys spent a great deal of time and more than one built their system just for QuakeCon.
I enjoyed covering the BYOC area and met several great people. This is the area where you are going to find the real gamers not interested in competing 24/7 and hear a bunch of stories that will have you laughing days later.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
Deutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de