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Mod on a Budget
Written by skool h8r   
Sunday, 06 March 2005 06:00

Scott a.k.a Skool_h8r has written a guide to case modding on a budget. You can read his guide by clicking on the link below.

This article is designed to tell you what's hot and what's not in the modding world while still helping you decide what's best for you. It's designed for those on a shoestring budget that want the looks but don't really care about how good their computer is performance wise.

Where do you begin?

Getting into the modding world would seem to be an expensive business that requires lots of knowledge about a computer. This is just an urban myth; you don't need to be Bill Gates or Linus Torvalds to become a modder. You do need to have an idea of what the inside of a computer looks like and some common knowledge such as not to touch any circuits without properly grounding yourself first but apart from that, you don't need much more knowledge.

Why do people like modding so much?

I suppose people find modding good because it gives their computer a personality if you will. People like to express themselves and to some people, they do this creatively by adding parts to their computer to make it perform better, look nicer (or cooler) or usually both.

What's hot...

Depending on your taste and how much you really want your computer to stand out, it can be what you like. I will go through what are the must-have parts for a true modder.

Cold Cathode Lights

CCFL or cold cathodes are one of the most popular modding accessories you will see and are available from almost any good dealer. They vary in price from about £2.50 to £11 plus. There are a range of colours, including ultra-violet, available but it appears that blue is one of the most popular colours, possibly because it makes the case look like it is cold making people think that they have cooling that makes it 'blue cold' inside their case, but it does generally give a good impression.

LED Lighting

LED's, the alterative to CCFLs. Some modders choose these over CCFLs simply because they are usually cheaper but they do have a downside. They don't spread light as evenly as CCFLs but they can be good for pointing out a specific feature inside or even outside your case. They, like cold cathodes, are available in a range of colours including ultra-violet. They vary in price from about £1 to about £10 depending on the specification. You can get fans with LED's on them to light up your case a bit but generally they don't shine much light on the rest of your case.

Fans and Controllers

Fans are an important part of a mod and can cost between £0.50 to £10 plus. They are possibly the most essential piece of hardware that doesn't carry or store data. These can improve performance and lifetime of your hardware by keeping it cool; heat is possibly the biggest killer of hardware in a computer which is why modders generally have more than 3 fans, sometimes up to 14 or more. Fan controllers are also a good part to have on your mod as they can let you slow your fans down to make them quieter but let you control them manually until they provide an adequate amount of cooling with minimum noise. If you are trying to watch a DVD on your computer, you really don't want lots of fans making noise, stopping you from hearing the sound of the DVD.


A new case is something a modder usually buys if their old case is damaged or if it just doesn't look like a modders case. Cases can be quite expensive and usually are but for as little as £15, you can get a nice case that looks the part. can supply cheap cases that have class. A suggestion when looking for a case is what colours you want, how big, type (ATX are the most common) and even what material. Most people choose aluminium or steel because they are more prefered to plastic cases. Aluminium is a good choice because it is light and also stays cold if there isn't an immediate heat source near it. Some people choose steel though because it is heavier meaning it won't vibrate as much with case fans meaning there will be less noise. It is also a good choice if you want a good strong case.

Case Windows

Windows in cases are very popular as it shows the inside of your case and what mods you have inside such as lights. You will find a window on almost any mod as people like to show off how tidy their case is inside and what hardware and mods they have. They can be quite expensive and if your case doesn't already have a window or a hole cut for a window but depending on your choice of supplier, they can vary greatly in price.


Yes, even special modded cables can be found in a mod. These vary from cables that light up to round IDE cables (IDE cables are the ones that connect your disk drives to your motherboard). They can be very cheap or very expensive varying in price from around £3 to very specialist ones costing about £40 each! These cables are usually used if there is no other way available to connect something to somewhere.

Water Cooling

Water cooling is possibly the best way to keep your system cool. A good water cooling kit is usually expensive and costs around £200 meaning they are only for the true modder who isn't on a budget.

Tips and Advice

You can ask for further advice about case modding here at AOA in the Case Modification topic.

Discuss this article here.


See also

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