Case Modding and You

This is a little bit of a different topic for some and possibly something that might not normally cross your mind. The idea of modding one’s case is something that many people will dismiss as a useless waste of time or more trouble then it’s worth. Typically I find that the people offering this “criticism” are the same people who will purchase a system from a company such as Dell or HP, never having any intent of cracking it open to have a look-see. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, I wouldn’t expect my parents to be interested in the internal aesthetics of their PC but I wish that many of the nay-sayers out there would keep their mouths shut. There are many reasons to look into modifying your PC, some are purely aesthetic while many offer very tangible benefits.

The most rudimentary form of case modding is often seen to be the “art” of adding something simple, such as an additional fan or a side panel window to a computer chassis. Modifications such as this can be much more difficult to implement depending on the chassis itself that you’re working with. It is for this very reason that my case selection is influenced heavily by how “moddable” it looks to be. The majority of cases used by companies such as Dell and HP are often encased in molded plastic shells which pose a great deal of difficulty to an aspiring modder. It isn’t overly common that people buying pre-built systems are also overly interested in case modding but it does happen and is worth noting.

Going beyond simple modifications one of the next “levels” of case modding comes in the form of rebuilding and/or removing portions of the chassis. On occasion a mod of this type will be done when someone is upgrading their system. Today’s midrange to high-end video cards are often quite large and it’s actually quite common for some older cases to have issues accommodating newer hardware. Looking above and beyond a simple upgrade other reasons for heavier modifications often end up being based on aesthetic/cosmetic appearance. There may or may not be a lot of reason to completely cut out the front panel of your case and bolt on a custom aluminum plate to use in its place but I’ll be damned if there aren’t still people doing it.

Looking back at all the impractical reasons people mod their cases I can’t say I’m one to talk. The photo used at the top of this post is my last “project” that I undertook. Go ahead and google “Shuttle SP35P2” and you’ll see what the thing used to look like and the lengths I went to in order to do what I did. The extensive amount of work put into the Shuttle was done for no reason but to have a completely different looking system, to do something I hadn’t seen done before. This brings me to one of the biggest drives for many people to mod computer cases…passion. I can say without a doubt that I enjoy the process of case modding a great deal more than anything else, overclocking and WoW included. I view case modding almost as an art form, there are some extremely skilled and talented people out there who never cease to amaze me.

Whether you’ve modded a case to add a window or video card to your system, or you’ve gone “all out” and almost rebuilt the chassis you should take pride in your work. More and more manufacturers of computer cases are adopting design features that have been brought forth by the modding community and being a part of that wave is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in regards to enthusiast computing.

– Cornelious

  1. Yes, this is actually how I feel as well. I really can’t see it any other way.

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