The coolest, craziest PC mods and builds of 2015 (so far)

The year is still extremely young, but we just returned from CES 2015, where a small army of PCs appeared in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and configurations. Check out some of these monsters.

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They took Vegas by storm

The PC—you know, the technology everyone dismisses—rolled into Vegas for CES 2015 with an entourage so big, it would make even 50 Cent proud. So yes, even though January's barely begun, the year's PCs are already looking great. We rounded up the brashest of the show into one spectacular display of PC power.

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Gordon Mah Ung

Built in 'Murica

Digital Storm's Aventum series is unique among boutique PC makers. The Aventum 3 pictured at left rocks a custom chassis designed, painted, and built right here in the U.S. of A.

It's not for pure patriotism though. Though each unit is higher in price than it would be if the cases were built overseas, smaller runs of cases lets Dstorm change the case more often than if it were to buy a few shipping containers' full of cases.

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Wired for water and power

One trick the Aventum 3 brings to the table is a pre-wired case of custom liquid cooling and power. That makes adding or upgrading graphics cards a snap compared to the typical super-tower PC, where swapping components can be a chore better suited for a plumber and electrician.  

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Gordon Mah Ung

Digital Storm Aventum 3

The Aventum 3's front is all fan. In fact, with up to 22 fans plugged into the Aventum 3's digital fan controller, the controller board itself ironically has its own fan. Though it's built using a custom case, Digital Storm expects the Aventum 3 to go from this prototype to production within a few months.

Gordon Mah Ung

MSI GT80 Titan

Here's proof the PC industry goes in circles. MSI's new huge GT80 Titan SLI integrates a Cherry MX keyboard by SteelSeries. Yes, a laptop with a mechanical keyboard. Why? Partially because they can, and partially because mechanical keyboards are awesome to type on. 

Gordon Mah Ung

You can even do ten-key

The MSI GT80 Titan SLI has an offset trackpad similar to the Razer Blade Pro's, so you can use it as an ad-hoc mouse for FPS games. But what if you need a number pad for some hardcore Excel work? With the push of a button, the trackpad converts into a ten-key with haptic feedback. While this may seem like a wild PC that'll never be sold, MSI expects this heavy-duty (and just plain heavy) gaming laptop to be on sale very soon.

Gordon Mah Ung

Chasing the dragon

MSI's corporate logo is a dragon. What better way to show that off than to have a custom-modded PC created in that shape? It's a Haswell-E-based rig with a pair of MSI GeForce GTX 980 cards. The dragons are plexiglass, with a rod holding them in place. Yes, it won't be fun getting into the box, but it's not really meant to be wrenched on by anyone.

Gordon Mah Ung

XoticPC Elysium

On the other hand, there's a good chance you'll actually be able to buy this PC. XoticPC's Elysium may look like a modded PC, but it's far more attainable—XoticPC has even hinted it may try to sell it.

And yes, because it's all about the specs, this is a Haswell-E machine with a pair of GeForce GTX 970 cards in SLI.

Gordon Mah Ung

Off-road computing

This modded PC, built by ACE_Finland to celebrate the 500 millionth Asus motherboard sold, is a meaty little system. Inside is a Sabertooth Z97 Mark S, an Asus Strix GeForce GTX 980, and 32GB of Kingston HyperX Fury ram. What's really clever is the use of the Cooler Master V850 liquid cooler, which looks like it actually belongs on top of the Humvee. 

Gordon Mah Ung

The payload is the PC

The chassis for the mod is a fairly large RC car. There's apparently still enough room in the car for it to function as an RC Humvee. You'll just have to make sure you disconnect it from your monitor and keyboard unless you want them dragged along behind.

Gordon Mah Ung

Project Snowblind

Called Project Snowblind, this modded PC by DarthBeavis and Primochill was also built to celebrate Asus' 500-million-motherboards mark. The case is a laser- and plasma-cut Praxis chassis with an Asus Sabertooth Z97 Mark S inside. There's also an Intel Core i7-4790K chip and a pair of Asus GeForce GTX 980 powering Project Snowblind.

Gordon Mah Ung

Meet Eve

This may look like just another buttoned-up corporate ThinkPad X1 Carbon ,but it's actually Eve, the 100 millionth ThinkPad ever made. To celebrate, Lenovo has been letting Eve Tweet. No, we haven't had one too many martinis at CES—this is really happening. You can follow her at @thinkeve.

Gordon Mah Ung

Origin EON15-X

Origin PC’s EON15-X might look like a standard-issue gaming laptop, but it has one feature that puts it above the rest: a full-blown desktop processor. And not just any processor, either—the EON15-X packs Intel’s Core i7 4790K running at 4GHz, with Turbo Boosts up to 4.5GHz possible when needed. That’s far higher than even the fastest Intel mobile quad cores out today, which start at 3GHz. The EON15-X also sports a GeForce GTX 980M, with battery life rated at 6 hours (although it’ll no doubt tap out faster while you’re gaming).

Gordon Mah Ung

CyberPower Fang Trinity

CyberPower's Fang Trinity is a radical-looking system with not so-radical parts inside. But that's actually a good thing! The Fang Trinity uses a liquid-cooled Intel Devil's Canyon CPU and a GeForce GTX 980, and it packs no fewer than four SSDs. In other words, the Fang Trinity might look insane, but it's stuffed full of off-the-shelf parts that you can replace yourself (rather than weird proprietary components). A crazy-looking chassis that's also convenient? Now that's cool. 

Gordon Mah Ung

Rest in peace

For those who work in and around the component industry, this modded PC, commissioned by Gigabyte to honor Elaine Su, is certainly special. Elaine worked for Enermax and tragically passed away last year at a young age. The case itself is a custom-painted Fulmo GT and obviously built on an X99 motherboard. It also features closed-loop liquid cooling. 

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