July 1, 2019 | 11:30
I'm always bringing up Computex as a cornerstone of the modding community; one only has to browse through the preceding Mod of the Months and Modding Updates to see just how many rigs on this site alone are planned around the event. I think it's fair to say that this year was, of course, no exception. In fact, it was genuinely quite a challenge trying to film up so many of them thanks to the crowded nature of the halls and also the sheer volume of mods on show. It was actually quite disheartening to find out that I had somehow managed to miss the Essencore and Seasonic booths, both of which sported mods from some of forum regulars on here (sorry, Ali!).
Nevertheless, manufacturers have been capitalising on the increasingly mainstream appeal of aesthetically-oriented components by using case modders to craft unique display systems to show off their latest wares. Many of the stands shown in the videos are staples of the modding world, such as Bitspower, G.Skill, and Thermaltake, but it was also good to see such a hefty emphasis from brands like ASRock and Be Quiet! too.
Personally, one of the things I love most about the modding scene at Computex is how incredibly global it is. You'll find mods on show from all four corners of the map, which is quite unlike other events which tend to focus on the more local scenes. I think this is fantastic, as quite often it's difficult to connect with modders who operate on the other side of the globe, despite sharing the same intrinsic interests. It can often feel like there isn't a huge world outside of the forums and communities we frequent - an idea that events like Computex can thoroughly dismiss.
Let's take a walk through some of the mods that were on the show floor, eh? Naturally, this isn't an exhaustive list by any means, and if a mod isn't featured below but was at the event, rest assured it wasn't due to some preference or similar.
In recent years Thermaltake has very much embraced the advertising powers of the modding community; every year it impresses by filling the booth to the brim with case mods alongside hosting competitions around the world. This year broke a little away from the norm by reigning in the themes a little bit. I'm more used to seeing case mods that may as well really be labelled scratch builds, but with the focus being on its 20th anniversary, it made sense that the priority was showing off the Level 20 chassis in a slightly more stock state. That isn't to say the modders held back, however, instead replacing one technique for another. A lot of emphasis this time round was placed on the water loops themselves, with many of the modders choosing to make the tubing runs integral to their themes.
It was great getting to catch up with the winner from our Thermaltake UK Modding Trophy 2018, Jason Simm, at the booth too. His mod was prominently on show alongside the other Level 20s and definitely catching some attention thanks to the open layout and huge waterfall reservoir in the base. As I mentioned earlier about bringing modders together, several of the manufacturers invite case modders themselves alongside their mods to represent their brands at the show, Thermaltake and Cooler Master being likely the biggest proponents. It's rare to be able to meet up with many of the folks who are invited from, say, the Philippines and Thailand at more local events, so having everybody under one roof is quite the occasion. I was first presented with the same opportunity back in 2016 with the first TT UK Modding Trophy, and to say that it changed my life would definitely be an understatement. Many of the people I met on that trip have gone on to become close personal friends and even more, so I can only hope that the trend of inviting modders out to the show continues to grow!
February 17 2020 | 09:00