modding in the news

AaronP

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Can you just post it here in a quote? It requires you to register, and I'm not about to register for a site I don't plan on visiting in the near future.
 

altec

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Leon2ky said:
Can you just post it here in a quote? It requires you to register, and I'm not about to register for a site I don't plan on visiting in the near future.
DID0
 

CrimsonSky

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Jun 14, 2003
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Guess ya need to register--I might get spanked by the paper if I keep the post up--even if I'm in the article :mad:
 

Bookmage

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register? i didn't have anything telling me to register....
was i just lucky?

well thanks to crimsonsky for doing the work... :D
 

Nivram

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registration was easy, copy & paste even easier:

Hot rod PCs blend speed, style
An out-of-the box computer won't do; it's custom all the way for `modders'

By Dennis Nishi
Special to the Tribune
Published February 26, 2005

David Mechnic wanted to play "Half-Life 2" on his computer. But the video card in his PC was too feeble to handle the game's high-powered graphics.

So the engineer from Mundelein bought a better card, which in turn required a bigger power supply and a bigger case to hold the computing gear. Then his stock motherboard no longer fit so he bought a new one, followed by a new hard drive and a few neon lights to show off the new parts.

There are only two original components left: the memory and the processor, said Mechnic. "The memory will go next and then I'll be adding water cooling. A $300 video card turned into $1,100 in upgrades."

The video game plays just fine now, too.

Spending all that money to upgrade the speed, performance and style of a home computer may seem silly to some when simply purchasing a new computer--for about the same price--would suit the needs for more power for most people. But that would be missing the point.

Mechnic is a self-professed computer modder--short for modifier--a growing class of enthusiasts that enjoys revving a PC's performance and dressing up their computer cases much like an auto enthusiast would customize a car.

The modding fad began as a way for computer gamers to one-up each other at gaming parties--gatherings where gamers would connect their computers to play against one another--but has grown into a half-billion-dollar-a-year industry, according to IDC Research in Framingham, Mass.

Now the trend is influencing mainstream computer-makers and retailers like Dell, Best Buy and CompUSA to stock modding parts and accessories.

One of the leading makers of aftermarket computer parts, Fremont, Calif.-based Antec Inc., has seen double-digit growth in the past five years. The company has sold half a million of its Sonata Quiet-PC cases, which retail for $129. In comparison, a plain case can sell for $29.

"It doubled the size of our company," said Scott Richards, worldwide vice president of sales and marketing. The firm initially targeted hobbyists but its products now can be found in Office Depot and Staples stores.

Modding has been a tough sell to retailers like Best Buy, who serve broad markets. "Every time we've stepped into a larger stage, they've been skeptical," Richards said. "They'll say stuff like, `You better know what you're talking about.' Now our products can be seen on the front page of newspaper advertising circulars."

IDC analyst Roger Kay said there is plenty of growth potential because modders are not as price-conscious as average consumers and profit margins are much fatter.

Hard-core modders, who are a fraction of buyers, will cut into cases, fabricate parts, airbrush designs and easily spend $3,000 to $4,000 to outfit their PCs. Kay calls them Tier 1 modders.

"The Tier 2 guys may want a lot of power but don't go under the hood as much. They'll swap a card and upgrade memory and spend in the $2,000 to $2,500 range," Kay said.

"Then you have the 5 million mainstream performance buyers in Tier 3. They buy whole systems. They're wannabes. They don't have the technical savvy. This is where the big vendors come in."

Alienware Corp. of Miami was among the first PC manufacturers to target the gaming/modding niche. It first sold a case made by Cooler Master to customers who wanted to upgrade their PC's appearance. It was a big seller.

Alienware then started to design its own cases. The result was the Predator with its unique air intakes and bezels, which are the frames that mask the front of the computer case. The case resembles the creature from the "Predator" movie series.

"The Predator was a milestone" for a computer manufacturer, said John Phillips, editorial director for Future Publishing, a publisher of high-tech magazines including Maximum PC. "We've been covering case modding for over three years now. Our response to readers sending pictures of mods in progress was big. That's when we realized this is more than a fad."

Mainstream manufacturers, such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell, have stepped up with powerful gaming-specific systems that feature brushed aluminum cases and lighted bezels.

Those machines are "a bit tricked out," Kay said. "It's got heavy specs so you can brag about it, but it's not a monolith."

Entry-level modders often start by adding a fan illuminated by LEDs and USB cables that glow. That can lead to an avalanche of modifications inside and outside the case.

Items like cold cathode tube lights, which came from the custom car market, are cheap, easy to install and can dress up an otherwise boring beige case.

The Mutant Mod brand (www.mutantmods.com), a subsidiary of computer-parts retailer and manufacturer StarTech.com, sells lower priced modding parts that appeal to entry-level buyers.

The most popular item is a $10 blue LED fan, said Ben Bednarz, product manager for StarTech.

"People often need a replacement fan and go into the store, and they see these, which are competitively priced, so why not?" he said.

All of this combining of different parts, known as bashing among modders, can create problems, and it has spawned a number of helpful forums for modders.

One site, Overclock.net, boasts 100,000 users and millions of hits each month. Mechnic spent hundreds of hours researching his purchases on the site.

At least one modder has turned his hobby into a full-time job. Paul Capello wrote the recently released book "Maximum PC Guide to Extreme PC Mods" by Que Publishing, a project guide for beginners and experts. Capello, a former carpenter from Brooklyn, builds elaborate machines for big clients like Intel and ATI.

"It's for companies that want to show the latest hardware at trade shows," said Capello, who has spent as much as $12,000 on his personal modding projects.

"I don't usually look at the numbers," said Capello, who admits to losing himself in his projects. "It can get quite pricey. My wife is making me keep better tabs on everything."

**********************************end of article********************
IMHO, we've got a bunch of tier zero modders here......guys who go beyond the description of the tier 1 modders, and take the extra step to really modify their computer........and don't spend the exhorbitant fee they talked about in this article to mod a computer!!

Geez, I can whoop up on any game out there, and my system cost me $1000 or less, not including the monitor (and who buys a new monitor when they build a new system???). If you're spending $2000+, you're one of those 0.5% that needs to have the latest and greatest, and isn't willing to wait 6 months for the price to drop, or just doesn't know where to buy it!! :cool:
 

waddles

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Oct 2, 2003
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As expected, that author doesn't really know what he's talking about.

It's debatable as to whether or not modding and high level systems getting more attention is a good thing. I will agree however that several people on this board are above what is described as Tier 1; call them "godlike," perhaps. :p
 

twyztyr

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Jun 7, 2004
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waddles said:
As expected, that author doesn't really know what he's talking about.

No shit. Adding a new video card or memory is "modding"? I guess it is to some degree, since you're modifying the hardware configuration, but I don't think that counts.
 

CrimsonSky

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Nivram said:
IMHO, we've got a bunch of tier zero modders here......guys who go beyond the description of the tier 1 modders, and take the extra step to really modify their computer........and don't spend the exhorbitant fee they talked about in this article to mod a computer!!

Geez, I can whoop up on any game out there, and my system cost me $1000 or less, not including the monitor (and who buys a new monitor when they build a new system???). If you're spending $2000+, you're one of those 0.5% that needs to have the latest and greatest, and isn't willing to wait 6 months for the price to drop, or just doesn't know where to buy it!! :cool:

I spend a LOT of money modding PC's---a lot. Specialty parts & materials, tools etc. You can also make a hella nice mod for $50--it just depends what level you are working at.
 

Spare-Flair

Supreme [H]ardness
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Apr 4, 2003
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I too have problems with what they say about tier 1 and how they are price gouging us which is true.

IDC analyst Roger Kay said there is plenty of growth potential because modders are not as price-conscious as average consumers and profit margins are much fatter.

A lot of companies really get huge margins on the modding supplies that people purchase. That's why i refuse to go near any of that stuff. Self-fabrication, either classy or ghetto is best :)

$0.50 thumbscrews, $8 silver round IDE cables, $300 cases, it's ridiculous. Right now I'm waiting on cheap Automotive car alarm LED parts to come in the mail so I can mod with those. 12v is 12v. Frankly, shopping for autoparts is cheaper than PC parts sometimes...even though the PC aftermarket industry is increasingly looking like the automotive aftermarket industry...not sure if that's a good thing or not.
 

DarkMonkey

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Dec 30, 2004
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I'm almost certain that the original Alienware cases were Chieftec Dragons...


Btw,
Nivram said:
registration was easy, copy & paste even easier:

Buy that man a beer!
 

Spare-Flair

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Messages
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www.bugmetnot.com will give you login info for most news sites that require registration. I'm surprised people still buy Alienware. Their PCs are like a piece of green slime sitting on your desk.

I don't know about your guys, but most of the pre-modded boutique PC dealers seem to have very ugly cases in my opinion. Especially VoodooPC and all the tribal cutouts and vinyls they insist on putting on everything.
 

waddles

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Agreed SF, problem is, most people like that kind of ugly crap. It's like in the car industry... people actually like the huge parkbench wings, ugly body kits, etc. For some reason, ugly sells.
 

Drucifer

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Feb 16, 2005
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//begin.sarcasm

OMG! ALIENWARE! Where can I get one of those cases? OMG! I have to have it! They R so ub3r l337!

//end.sarcasm

From what I remember, the original Alienware case was a Chieftec Dragon... and thenthey went to shit. I have always thought way too much money was spent of Alienwares... I wait, patiently, for the day the company gets bought out, or goes bankrupt...

We do have some truly "godlike" modders here... you all know who you are :) Great find... nice to see the "enthusiast" community is finally getting recognition! Granted, might not be that accurate, BUT, recognition is still recogntion!
 

MeanieMan

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Drucifer said:
//begin.sarcasm

OMG! ALIENWARE! Where can I get one of those cases? OMG! I have to have it! They R so ub3r l337!

//end.sarcasm

From what I remember, the original Alienware case was a Chieftec Dragon... and thenthey went to shit. I have always thought way too much money was spent of Alienwares... I wait, patiently, for the day the company gets bought out, or goes bankrupt...

We do have some truly "godlike" modders here... you all know who you are :) Great find... nice to see the "enthusiast" community is finally getting recognition! Granted, might not be that accurate, BUT, recognition is still recogntion!



You are both not old school enough to remember the original Alienware cases, with the hydraulic front panel; but the 2nd case for which you two remember was a modified Dragon, and the current Predator is a modified BX. The ALX series uses a modifed Koolance case.
 

GlobalFear

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Nov 22, 2003
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I liked the first alienware cases, they weren't as riced out with lights and ugly logos as the new one. We really do have some tier 0 modders here.
 

Drucifer

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Messages
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MeanieMan said:
You are both not old school enough to remember the original Alienware cases, with the hydraulic front panel; but the 2nd case for which you two remember was a modified Dragon, and the current Predator is a modified BX. The ALX series uses a modifed Koolance case.
Okay, I'm the first to admit when I forget something, and I had completely forgotten the original original case. My bad.

Still ugly, though, but that is just my $.02 worth.
 
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