That boring beige case is a thing of the past! Now, a computer case isn't just a metal box used to enclose the computer's guts, it's an expression of one's individuality. Computer modification is totally up to you and can include: painted cases, lights, windows on the side, switches that control the fan speed, and even liquid cooling. The finished product is usually just a vision in someone's head. It all depends on what you want and what you're willing to spend. You can start from scratch, with your current case, or you can buy something that's already done for you and then build on that. After you read through the following details, you can start researching more at the resources listed below. This page is only designed to introduce computer modification to someone that is new to this idea.

The Computer Case

You can take your boring beige case and paint it yourself, or you can purchase a pre-modded case that's already done for you. There are also case skins that you can buy and are like big stickers that go over the entire case. Cutting a window in the case is also an option. Windows can be purchased in kits or you can custom make them from your own design. To make your window look cool, you can add a window appliqué. Window appliqués are like decals and can be applied directly to the window.

Power Supply

If you're interested in a new power supply, you'll want to think about how many watts will be needed. If you need help calculating your desired wattage, you can use this tool. There are also many accessories that you can purchase to make your current power supply look better.

Computer Lighting

Cold cathode light sources are very popular among the modding community. Cold cathode looks like a neon light, but doesn't produce any heat. You can purchase cold cathodes in kits that are pre-wired and ready to plug in. Another option would be the LED (light emitting diode). You can buy LEDs that are pre-wired or you can create a custom light source with multiple LEDs. Here is a page about LED circuitry.

Computer Cooling

As computers get faster, the need to keep them cool is a growing issue. Depending on your modification plans, you may want to invest in some different fans or even go with liquid cooling. Fans come in many different sizes, speeds, and colors. Some fans even have LEDs built in them. When buying case fans, you'll want to consider three things: size (mm), amount of airflow (CFM), and noise level (dbA).

Liquid cooling has many advantages, but isn't as easy as air cooling. There's just something that makes me nervous about liquid flowing through my computer. There are liquids that you can buy that are non-conductive, but they are expensive. You can buy liquid cooling kits that come with everything you need or you can pick and choose what parts you want.

CPU Cooling

Keeping your processor running cool is very important, especially if you plan on overclocking. There are many types of coolers for your processor and finding the right one is up to you. If you are planning on using liquid to keep your system cool, then you'll need a special water block that fits your specific processor type. If you are planning on using air cooling, then you'll want to look around at all the different types of heat sink / fan combinations. A heat sink is generally a copper device with fins that is used to direct heat away from the processor. Adding a fan to the heat sink will increase airflow and speed up the cooling process. There are many different configurations for this setup.

Wire Management

Now that you have a window in your case, people will be able to see all those ugly wires running all around. The first thing you can do is change those flat ugly IDE cables to some nice looking round cables. Not only are round IDE cables better looking, but they increase airflow throughout the case. As far as the other wires go, you can order wire sleeving kits or wire looms. You may want to check out your local automotive store to tame those wild wires.

My Computer My Computer
Server case w/ window
Intel P4 / 3.4Ghz
ABIT IC7-G motherboard
X-Connect 500W PSU
4 Stealth case fans
4 port fan controller
Thermaltake CPU cooler
2 500GB SATA hard drives
2GB OCZ memory
Custom 10 LED lighting
My Computer

Guides: Case Mod God, Directron, Gideon Tech, Twisted Mods

Resources: Appliques, Case Fans, Case Skins, Cold Cathodes, Lazer LEDs
Power Supplies, Pre-modded cases, Single LEDs, Water Cooling, Window Kits