$2,899 hand-built PC has unique chassis

Announcements about garish, LED-covered "enthusiast" cases make it into my inbox on a weekly basis. Genuinely tasteful and visually appealing cases, on the other hand, are rarer birds. I reckon we’ve caught another one, though: the chassis that houses Darwinmachine’s Hammerhead HMR989 PC. ‘Tis truly a sight to behold:

You’re looking at a Core i7-860-powered PC housed in a hand-built case made from "brushed, anodized aluminum and ecoresin." Each system is made to order by Darwinmachine’s Matthew Kim, a self-described architect and race-car designer. Kim explains, "At the moment, I’m building the machines one by one, so I will have them available for purchase online as they are built. Each Hammerhead will be custom, "one-off" machines, so they will vary in finish and color." That probably explains the $2,899 price tag.

If you ask me, I’d say Mr. Kim needs to work out a deal with a case manufacturer and get this thing in stores ASAP. I’d love to have one of these on my desk, but with Sandy Bridge processors out and about, there’s no way I’d pay nearly three grand for a Core i7-860 system. Kim does say the HMR989’s chassis is "designed to last as new components can be easily upgraded over time," however. If you do get one, an upgrade to Sandy Bridge might not be out of the question.

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    • Laykun
    • 9 years ago

    Oh dear that is one ugly case. Not very spill resistant either is it? The guy has obviously never heard of complexity withing simplicity. Maybe he should just stick to cars.

    • Kaleid
    • 9 years ago

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZME6eZJF-I[/url<]

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    Cleaning this should be extra fun! LoL’ed! Although its a really nice piece, i dont see any room for upgrades.

    • PopcornMachine
    • 9 years ago

    Kind of cool, but looks too much like exercise equipment for my taste. 😉

    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    What I really want:
    – Sandy Bridge capable small form factor without *any* drive bays. Yeap you done heard me right.
    – PCIe SSD capable and [i<]certified[/i<]. I'm looking at you, OCZ, ahem. - Mid-Range (GTX 460) silent PS and GPU. - As quiet as possible. - As minimalist as possible, think neXt cube without stupid logos. Because I don't plan on looking at this thing more than a few times a year What I see as the problem with this is: - On every port insertion, you jiggle it, and it risks a fall off the desk, or a part coming loose. - After a year it will look silly, two it'll look outdated (see iMac), and three you'll be wondering how much other stuff you could have bought with that extra $1900...

    • khands
    • 9 years ago

    I wonder what the temps are like?

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      Room temperature or higher. Hope that was helpful.

    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    That’s just damn beautiful, Industrial Art.

    • Corrado
    • 9 years ago

    For all those saying its ‘obsolete hardware’, I’m guessing that when he bought the hardware and started designing the case, it was at LEAST 6+ months ago.

    • puppetworx
    • 9 years ago

    So hot looking. If only it sounded like a limber V8 instead of a wimpy hair-dryer.

    • crsh1976
    • 9 years ago

    I’m not sure I “get” the chassis, but looking at the parts and then at the price tag, I’m just glad I’m not rich/dumb enough to buy it.

      • dmjifn
      • 9 years ago

      Yes, tis a blessing when you can be dirt poor and still feel superior. 🙄

    • cheapFreeAgent
    • 9 years ago

    i don’t think it’ll look that nice after a couple of weeks of use.. (dusty, dust webs etc.)

    • Thorburn
    • 9 years ago

    Looking at the spec I can imagine that has a profit margin that would make Apple proud…..

      • Voldenuit
      • 9 years ago

      Don’t be too sure. The components alone will probably spec up to ~$1200+. Add to that the cost of the raw materials (aluminum ain’t cheap), machining/cutting/anodising, and then assembling. It probably takes a few dozen hours of work to build everything, that’s easily $1200+ in labor already.

      And the guy has to make a profit, you know.

      Small scale assembly/manufacturing is always expensive and less cost-effective than mass production. This is why most supercar makers are always struggling on the verge of bankruptcy despite their products being so expensive.

    • Forge
    • 9 years ago

    This makes me think I really need to sit down with some rulers, some graph paper, and my best friend the master machinist inspector, and crank out something that takes this idea, and weds it to Armor+ scale and capacity.

    How much is an absolutely perfect case worth?

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    in my opinion it does look nice, somewhat pricy but sure it looks different enough.

    made-in-china $30 knockoffs in 3, 2, 1…

    • mcnabney
    • 9 years ago

    Exposed fan blades make Baby Jesus’ fingers bleed….

      • ClickClick5
      • 9 years ago

      The kitty seems curious.

      • Corrado
      • 9 years ago

      Don’t put your fingers in them and it won’t matter 🙂

    • xtremevarun
    • 9 years ago

    Beautiful! If a Transformer transformed into a PC, it would look like this.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 9 years ago

    “You’re looking at a Core i7-860-powered PC housed in a hand-built case made from “brushed, anodized aluminum and ecoresin.””

    Uh…dude, I hate to tell you this, but that’s an electric meat grinder turned on its side. Yesterday’s desktop hardware, powering today’s kitchen appliances!

      • Voldenuit
      • 9 years ago

      I always wanted a PC that could slice bologna.

      • bdwilcox
      • 9 years ago

      I was under the impression it was a pasta maker.

    • lethal
    • 9 years ago

    Looks interesting, but besides the spillage risk, I’m guessing that case will LOVE the dust bunnies.

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    “…case made from “brushed, anodized aluminum and [b<]ecoresin.[/b<]" Ecoresin? Is that just a fancy term for earwax? I looked on Google and they said ecoresin was just recycled plastic from vending machines. Ain't so sexy now, is it? This falls into the same category as Evian (spelled backwards).

    • Peffse
    • 9 years ago

    I can imagine opening my window, and a post-it note fluttering away… straight into the unit… which immediately shoots sparks everywhere and catches fire.

    • crazybus
    • 9 years ago

    Decent looking, but no doubt noisy. I thought the idea of a case was to, i don’t know, [i<]encase[/i<] something. That's not much of an enclosure.

      • WhatMeWorry
      • 9 years ago

      It doesn’t even look very stable. Like the front landing gear for a small jet.

    • sweatshopking
    • 9 years ago

    i just messed up my pants. that is a nice case. I like the SWEET ASS POWER SUPPLY ON THE SIDE.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 9 years ago

      Why do you end every post with a sentence THAT IS HALF IN ALL CAPS?

    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    “so they will vary in finish and color.” ”

    Why is that justification for $2900, again?

      • Corrado
      • 9 years ago

      You must have no idea how much machine time, anodization, and design work cost. I’m guessing $1000 or so in PC parts, $1000 or so in materials and design, and $900 in profit/unique factor. Making things out of machined aluminum only becomes realistically possible if you’re making 1000+ of something. I’d imagine that making things 1 at a time by hand is extremely time consuming, and if it takes you 10-12 hours of labor, @ $75 an hour (low end) + anodization is going to cost you $150-200 to send out to get done.

      I had this machined, 100% on a lathe in about 20 minutes, and it cost $48. I did the CAD work as well, and theres no anodization.

      [url<]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_2PfPyRzX5JI/TTSJMXJbYNI/AAAAAAAAAEw/JvgRpmI0FwE/s800/P1171134.JPG[/url<] The hole 3/8" NPT tap, and the entire thing is MAYBE 1" in diameter and about 1" in height.

        • bdwilcox
        • 9 years ago

        I don’t think he’s machining the aluminum. He probably has those aluminum sheets cut with a water jet, which means no edge finishing needed. You can also do small runs for a reasonable amount of money because all you’re doing is supplying a 2D template for the water jet to follow.

          • Corrado
          • 9 years ago

          I had a buddy in high school who’s dad owned a water jet machining company, and I’m not sure if the prices of the machines have come down in the last 15 years, but it was by no means cheap then. He also had a 3D scanner back then which was friggan awesome. Put an object on the deck, and a needle would ‘read’ the entire thing into a cad program.

            • bdwilcox
            • 9 years ago

            Since you would supply your own artwork, the session setup fee should be around $30-40 (Of course, that cost would be spread over all the plates you’re cutting in that session.) Then it’s about .50 per linear foot for the roughest edge and $1.50 per linear foot for the finest edge cut.

            To lower costs even further, you could also rent the machine per hour as long as you know what you’re doing and work quick; this can give you considerable savings on a larger run.

            • TO11MTM
            • 9 years ago

            A lot of CAM has gotten less expensive. Between the lack of “big” business since the end of the cold war, the cheapening of the computer hardware, and the general state of the economy, oftentimes they’d rather do these small things just above cost to keep the machines running.

            Back in the day I was looking into getting my Lian-Li case re-anodized. The shop was willing to do it for 50$ (Farging cheap for a one-off) but I would have to wait up to a month.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 9 years ago

      Because it’s elevates to an art.

      Anyone can go buy a print of a painting, but what you really want is that real Picasso.

        • 5150
        • 9 years ago

        Obsolete art? Here, take my money.

        • travbrad
        • 9 years ago

        It seems more like an extreme case of form over function, rather than “art” (although I guess that’s a grey area). When I look at a Picasso I’m blown away, when I look at this I just think “that’s weird”.

        I’ve been looking at computer desks lately and have noticed the same problem. A lot of them are clearly made by designers trying to be fancy for no apparent reason, rather than designing them for use by an actual human being.

          • Thrashdog
          • 9 years ago

          Which is a shame, because if a designer were to sit down and actually create a desk with no other goal in mind except to work well with human proportions and reach, it would probably look really cool to boot.

            • Lans
            • 9 years ago

            In any case, no pun intended, this still gives me hope that there might be other people out there who might design and make something truly worthy of being called an enthusiast case.

            On other hand, I would say I care more about other aspects than looks… To make it a successful commerical product, I guess it can’t be too ugly though (which it isn’t by any stretch in my opinion).

            I am guessing that the price tag would mean $1000 to $1500 for the case which means I would much rather have tried and failed in creating one that tries to optimize parameters I might care about such as expansion space, physical space the case takes, weight, noise reduction and/or cooling, protection of the components, etc… That is most definitely me though (actually enjoying the time to do such a thing but if only I can pull trigger on such a price tag for a “lesson learned” thing… guess maybe something on a smaller scale might be in order before going that high for me). 🙂

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 9 years ago

          That’s why this is 3 grand instead of 3 million

    • odizzido
    • 9 years ago

    I bet it looks extra cool when you spill your drink on the video card.

      • Peffse
      • 9 years ago

      it does!

      Then the magic smoke gets out though.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 9 years ago

      Pretty simple solution to this. Don’t have open beverages near it.

      When I was a kid, I was never allowed to drink or eat near the computer.

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