PC case modding and alternative designs have been a popular PC subculture for decades. There are various options available online, from a handful of builders who will do bespoke work, to high-end chassis sold by mainstream OEMs, to custom builds people do to scratch their own particular desire for a themed design. A new build from SenpaiStudios on reddit, however, blows away every other build I’ve ever seen, including the Star Destroyer chassis we wrote about 18 months ago.
This steampunk design took more than a year to build and the machine inside it is nearly as impressive as the case. It’s specced as follows:
2x Intel E5-2670 v3 (12c/24t)
Asus Z10PE-D8 WS
Kingston 128GB of RAM
4x Nvidia Titan Xp
4x Intel 750 1.2TB NVME (3 PCI + 1 2.5″)
Case Labs S8
Ek water blocks and bitspower liquid cooling
Mnpctech case feet and fan grills
V1 Tech engraved acrylic side panels
Those of you wondering why the builder went with four Titan Xp cards should be aware that these GPUs aren’t for gaming — the rig is intended for use as a 4K renderstation. That’s why the older Xeons weren’t a problem, either — the E5 v3 family are Haswell-era parts, and while modern Skylake-SP chips would undoubtedly offer higher performance, most of the heavy lifting will be handled by the GPUs. Twenty-four cores and 48 threads at 2.3GHz base and 3GHz Turbo also pack plenty of punch on their own, even at relatively low clock speeds. In the workloads this system is intended to target, it’ll be an absolute beast.
An internal shot of the radiator and fans.
Every single component of the system is water-cooled, including the DRAM, CPU, and GPUs. Copper leaf was used to outline fan grills, VRM cooling, and the case panels themselves to create the desired aesthetic. The onboard gauges for RAM and CPU usage actually work, and the vacuum tubes mounted at the top of the case display temperatures.
This is the most insane case build I think I’ve ever seen and I’m not surprised it took over a year to finish. A gallery and step-by-step update for the entire project is available here, while the Imgur directory with the finished product can be accessed here. I’m always in awe of people who build systems like this — my own personal systems may start out pristine, with properly routed cables and components locked down and screwed tight, but over time they inevitably degrade. By the time I’ve used a chassis 4-5 years, it resembles Frankenstein’s monster, with an odd fan wired up here, a hard drive stuffed over there, and a thoroughly jury-rigged configuration. I am, for example, currently running case-open, as I haven’t been able to find the side panels for my own case in the aftermath of a recent move.
This design is more-or-less the antithesis of my own lackadaisical approach. I can’t afford it, but I can at least recognize greatness when it cruises past. SenpaiStudios, well done.
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