Bit-Tech showcases 2011’s best mods

There was a time when modding one’s PC involved little more than a spray paint and a window kit. That was years ago, and modding has evolved into a high art since. Today’s best creations take countless hours to complete, and the end results often look more like expensive science-fiction props than working PCs. Bit-Tech has rounded up what it thinks are some of the most impressive mods of the year, and the site is asking for your help to choose the best one.

You’ll find no shortage of variety among the more than two dozen entrants, and I’m rather fond of Peter Brands’ L3p D3sk, if only because I’ve considered putting together a much uglier and less refined PC-in-a-desk system for myself. The nickel-plated coolant pipes of Alain Simpeis’ White mod also speak to me, and I’m a sucker for the elegant simplicity of Jeffrey Stephenson’s Mid Century Madness. Fortunately, Bit-Tech is letting folks spread a total of ten votes between the contenders. You do have to register for the site’s newsletter to cast your vote, though.

Even if you don’t vote, the collection of mods is worth checking out. After browsing through all the entries, I can’t help but think that the term mod is entirely inadequate to describe the amount of work that has gone into some of the creations. These cases go far beyond mere modifications of existing designs.

Comments closed
    • pepys
    • 8 years ago

    Another hobby I have is making copies of 18th century furniture so my pick would be Steam & Current. I appreciate the craftsmanship that went into it, that’s my vote.

    • pedro
    • 8 years ago

    As long as they play Twitter and email smoothly they’re all winners for me!

    • anotherengineer
    • 8 years ago

    Although there is/was quite a bit of time and workmanship in some if not all of those cases, I didn’t really see anything that floats my boat.

    I guess it must be that bit of Swiss in me that likes plain and simple and less is more.

    • aceuk
    • 8 years ago

    The MurderBox Mk II should have been in Bit-Tech’s list. Much nicer looking IMO.

    [url<]http://www.million-dollar-pc.com/systems-2011/murderbox-mk2/murderbox-mk2.htm[/url<]

      • willyolio
      • 8 years ago

      it’s a bit-tech contest. they’re showcasing mods that their users have posted on their forums.

    • no51
    • 8 years ago

    My top 3 are:
    mid century madness
    rog rampage
    steam and current

    with honorable mention to:
    dreadnought

    the rest of them looked the same but with different LED’s

      • thanatos355
      • 8 years ago

      I agree completely but I have L3pD3sk on my list as well.

      • willyolio
      • 8 years ago

      filtration’s good. just look at the ridiculously clean cabling and tubing job. it’s beautiful.

      ROG Rampage is my favourite, mostly for the custom-cut acrylic that makes up about 5 sections of the watercooling loop, plus it’s not a box in any way…

    • colinstu
    • 8 years ago

    Kudos to all the work that has been put into making these mods, but at the end of the day… I just prefer a clean, regular looking system. Cheaper, easier to build, maintain, and upgrade in the future. There are some great cases you can get for a hundred bucks these days. *shrugs* my liking for crazy mods has diminished over the years… I prefer minimalist looking designs now.

    • Parallax
    • 8 years ago

    Beautiful work by the contenders. However, I’m curious: Does anyone actually use these mods with all the fan lights, case lights, etc… on? Doesn’t that drive people crazy?

    • Kallstar
    • 8 years ago

    It’d be nice if the L3p D3sk actually linked to the right page. (which btw was my absolute favorite as well and i remembered it before even clicking on it. i wish i could teleport it to my house 🙂

    [url<]http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2011/12/23/mod-of-the-year-2011/8[/url<]

      • Noigel
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, it’s awesome. 🙂 In a world where everything is becoming more mobile and unattached the tower computer almost by function has to remain immobile/anchored.

      Well, if it has to be anchored, why not anchor it entirely so you can get other gains? Make it easier to swap parts with the extra space… make it safer to install and manage water cooling because you aren’t working in a tight area… lock it down to a heavy desk so the thing doesn’t tip over.

      Out of my pay grade but still a unique idea. 🙂

        • Peldor
        • 8 years ago

        I like the design (minus the annoying lighting), but realistically it would be harder for me to clean off my desk clutter than to pull the side panel off a plain old tower.

    • Pagey
    • 8 years ago

    I got a nice “Windows security scan” popup when clicking the link for the White mod. Just an FYI. I killed the IE process rather than trying to close the “security warning”.

      • Forge
      • 8 years ago

      No problems or similar hijinks in Chrome or Firefox.

      Closing bug CANTREPRODUCE.

    • Duck
    • 8 years ago

    Always the same. A focus on art and aesthetics rather than engineering design.

    They almost never impress but the best would have to be stuff by slipperyskip IMO.

      • willyolio
      • 8 years ago

      what, you expect people to solder their own motherboards or something? you talk as if you could do better.

      there’s tons of CNC machining skills for some of them, metalwork and woodwork for others, and lots of precise measurement for layout and design for all of them. and you pick the one that just stuffs a regular case inside a wood box as “the best.” seriously? not to dump on slipperyskip because the mod’s beautiful, but just about every other contender is more impressive as far as technical work goes.

        • Duck
        • 8 years ago

        His stuff is the most innovative… [url<]http://slipperyskip.com/page7.html[/url<] A 'mod' usually just means installing the obligatory water cooling setup, tacky lights and sticking on acrylic bits. Oversized and too noisy.

          • Vasilyfav
          • 8 years ago

          All of his designs are “underpowered mini-itx board stuffed into some wooden retro looking eletronic device”

          Not impressed in the slightest. And it doesn’t take an engineering genius to build those either. They aren’t bad, but they are pretty bland and unoriginal.

          • willyolio
          • 8 years ago

          i wasn’t aware that making a computer as small as possible was considered innovative. so innovative, actually, there seems to be a website dedicated to all sorts of “small pc” mods.

          [url<]http://www.mini-itx.com/[/url<] i consider this one much more creative: [url<]http://www.mini-itx.com/projects/windowsxpbox/default.asp?page=4.[/url<] dual-boot box that changes which OS it boots from by flipping the thing upside down. if you're going to complain that watercooling and acrylic automatically disqualifies something for lack of creativity, i'm going to say anything that uses a mini-ITX board in a small box is also disqualified.

          • sschaem
          • 8 years ago

          His stuff is the most tacky and useless.

          “Let me raise the PC .5 feet from the ground in a cheap plywood box” … “and…. done”

          Its not good looking, its not innovative and it doesn’t show any skills.
          And its doesn’t even trade anything for being functional.

          The other mods at least are trying to show skills.

          I wouldn’t want to own any of those mods (look like more trouble then its worth to maintain)
          But L3p D3sk and Silverstone TJ11 Carbon and Beta are my top 3.

            • JMccovery
            • 8 years ago

            I take it you are not a fan of Art Deco style mods… Basing most of his mods around hard/softwoods makes them worthwhile. How many people actually want to work with wood for a PC mod?

            • no51
            • 8 years ago

            This. All those other mods reminds me of what people did to their grocery getters back in the early 00’s. All it is missing is a “Type R” sticker.

            • willyolio
            • 8 years ago

            wood is ridiculously easy to work with. mostly because 90% of the tools when you walk into a hardware store is made for working with wood. you can’t nail acrylic or just sand it smooth.

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