The killer case mods and tricked-out PCs of CES 2016

From open-air stunners to friggin' tanks, these were the most badass PCs and case mods of CES 2016.

ces2014preview clouds primary 100635788 large

Bright lights, big city

Neon lights. Excitement. Thrilling, one-of-a-kind experiences. 

Sure, all those words could describe any given night in Las Vegas. But at CES 2016, a slew of killer case mods and kick-ass custom PCs outshone the brightest shows on the strip. Here are some of the most awe-inspiring computers we found, from PCs that resemble tanks to ones made out of Lego bricks. Really.

(And be sure to check out PCWorld's roundup of the wildest, weirdest, most powerful PC hardware of CES 2016 for even more glorious goodies.)

dsc00090
Brad Chacos

MSI's beastly guardian

First up: This ferocious, blue-tinged ruffian at MSI's suite. Sadly, we visited MSI while the company was still setting up, so we're not sure who created this beauty, but it sends shivers down our spines regardless. UPDATE: The MSI Guardian is by Tim Warning of the Netherlands, says fellow modder Peter "L3p" Brands.

dsc00092
Brad Chacos

MSI's beastly guardian, part 2

The other side of this mod features a stylized version of MSI Gaming's Dragon logo.

dsc00096
Brad Chacos

Yazi

This Star Wars Venator class Star Destroyer dubbed "Yazi" is the brain child of modding mastermind Sander van der Velden, a.k.a. "Asphiax." You may know him from his killer AT-AT Walker Star Wars PC mod from a few years back.

dsc00098
Brad Chacos

Yazi, part 2

You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.

dsc00130
Brad Chacos

BS Mods Caselabs mod

BS Mods tricked out this Caselabs S8S chassis for Zotac with vibrant lights, SSDs, and most notably, a 1-inch reservoir in the front bays, which was then filled with Mayhems Solutions' Aurora fluid to create a ghostly, plasma-esque version of the Zotac name in the front of the case.

dsc00133
Brad Chacos

BS Mods, part 2

Of course, the BS Mods build for Zotac also featured a Zotac graphics card, as well as liquid cooling. Liquid cooling and case mods go together like rum and Coke.

dsc00136
Brad Chacos

Zotac mini-PC

BS Mods also gave this Zotac mini-PC a custom paint job for CES 2016.

dsc00178
Brad Chacos

EVGA gaming case

EVGA pulled off one of the big surprises of the show by announcing its first-ever full-sized gaming case. It's badass enough in its own right, but...

dsc00179
Brad Chacos

EVGA gaming case, part 2

...this particular build stands out for its inclusion of not one, not two, not even three, but four GeForce GTX 980 Ti Hybrid graphics cards equipped with EVGA’s new quick-disconnect liquid-cooling solution, which makes expanding and contracting your liquid-cooling setup a snap—literally.

dsc00213
Brad Chacos

Thermaltake

The highest ratio of badass PC builds at CES 2016 by far was found in Thermaltake's suite in the Palazzo. Pretty much every single system on display was blinged-out with boss hardware and covetable liquid-cooling. That makes sense, of course—Thermaltake offers an array of colored liquid-cooling fluids and reservoirs, in addition to big, beautiful, airflow-focused cases, all of which just begs for a slick custom build.

dsc00217
Brad Chacos

Thermaltake Core X9 mod

Speaking of which, Thermaltake had numerous elaborate PC case mods on display. Mathieu Heredia's mod of Thermaltake's Core X9 tilts the case onto its face, so the front of this mod is the top of the case as it ships.

dsc00220
Brad Chacos

Thermaltake Core x9 mod, part 2

Those lights, that blue liquid-cooling fluid! It's no surprise that Heredia's mod ranked so highly (number 2) in Thermaltake's Case Mod Invitational Season 2.

dsc00266
Brad Chacos

Tanks for the memory

But the first place finisher, Jesse Palacio, transformed Thermaltake's Core X9 even more completely, altering it to resemble an unmanned tank.

dsc00268
Brad Chacos

Tanks for the memory, part 2

That's a clever way to mimic tank tracks and wheels in this mod.

dsc00269
Brad Chacos

Tanks for the memory, part 3

The beauty goes more than skin deep in Jesse Palacio's Unmanned Tank mod, which is loaded with abundant RAM, custom liquid-cooling, and more.

dsc00283
Brad Chacos

Modded keyboards

Modded PCs are cool and all, but you aren't really hardcore until you've crafted a custom keyboard, like this one-of-a-kind TteSports Poseidon RGB gaming keyboard by Ponsarud Romvilast, on display in Thermaltake's TteSports suite.

dsc00347
Brad Chacos

Asus Lego Mod

What's better than a modding a case? Creating a custom PC case from scratch out of Lego bricks, as Asus did for the Republic of Gamer's 10th anniversary. This thing is awesome in real life. 

dsc00372
Brad Chacos

Asus 10th anniversary mod

Asus also commissioned noted Overclock.net modding guru Snef to create a custom case mod for Republic of Gamers' 10 anniversary. Here's the result.

dsc00371
Brad Chacos

Asus 10th anniversary mod, part 2

And here's a better look at the interior of Snef's mod. This thing rocks.

in win H-frame 2.0
Gordun Ung

In Win H-Frame 2.0

In Win’s H-Frame 2.0 is a full-sized tower featuring aluminum blades and tempered glass sides. The H-Frame 2.0 comes with a 1,065-watt PSU and, of course, a window. It’s expected to cost about $800. —Gordon Ung

screen shot 2016 01 08 at 6.49.13 am

In Win

In Win’s latest 805 PC case features LED strips in the front door and a mirrored bezel to give it an infinity look. —Gordon Ung