How do you grab someone’s attention at Computex, one of the biggest, loudest, brightest PC tech shows in the world? It seems you can either go down the crass, stuck-in-the-'90s, ‘booth babe’ route, or you can populate your stand with some of the finest and/or freakiest PC creations the world has ever seen.
Want to know what the best processor would be to build a weird PC around? ‘Course you do, so check out our guide to the best CPUs around today.
While staggering around the show in a jet-lagged haze of lovely new PC gaming hardware there were a host of beautiful and bizarre machines which jumped out at me. I’ve picked my favourite designs of the show, whether they be full PC mods or simply stunning builds using the latest techie advances.
11. ASRock’s Z270 Supercarrier
It was definitely one of those spluttering WTF? moments as ASRock were taking me around their new motherboards and super-smart small form factor machines. Suddenly, completely out of left field, there’s this weird-ass PC masquerading as an aircraft carrier.
For me, it wins the award for the most shoehorned-in bit of PC tech. The ASRock motherboard has pride of place on-deck, which makes sense given that’s what they’re really highlighting, but it still seems rather incongruous. It also makes me question why they’ve bothered putting an Nvidia Titan Xp into the build when they’ve hidden it below deck, attached via a lengthy PCIe ribbon extension cable. Could’ve got away with a GTX 1050 Ti to be honest…
10. ASRock’s Ultimate Mining Machine
It’s might not be the prettiest of the Computex builds, but sat cheek-by-jowl with their Supercarrier was ASRock’s homage to cryptocurrency mining. Their H110 Pro BTC+ motherboard is one of the few boards built by the main manufacturers designed specifically for the rigours of number-crunching through the complex algorithms needed to unearth new cryptocurrencies.
Given there are a full 13 AMD RX 470 cards arrayed across the top of the Meccano/fishtank chassis, connected to the board by PCIe extension cables, you can see why there are precious few Radeon cards available these days.
9. Cougar Conquer
One of the simplest builds - but because of their new case, an instantly striking one - was Cougar’s rig showing off their Conquer chassis. The new Cougar case is an open-air affair, with sexy floating Perspex side panels on either side of the design.
It may be a little more angular than the curves I’d normally want to house my PC in, but you can’t deny it’s an arresting chassis. It’s also one of the few of these machines you’ll actually be able to replicate at home without spending a fortune. Though when it launches in October it will cost a pretty penny at $249.
8. Asus / Overclockers Obelisk
The Obelisk machine took pride of place in the Republic of Gamers annex of Asus’ Computex stand and was built by local boys, Overclockers UK. It’s one of their stunning 8Pack-built machines and is all about the different, multi-coloured water-cooling loops. There are separate GPU and CPU loops for the i7 7700K and twin GTX 1080 Ti cards respectively.
It’s also a bit of a monster, though comes in a commercially available Thermaltake The Tower 900 chassis. So, if you were feeling brave, you could try to recreate it yourself.
7. Corsair Concept Slate
The Corsair Slate chassis is really a concept in name only. It’s a PC case which will see the light of day in essentially the same form when it releases later on this year. The $10,000 hand-coated carbon fibre Concept Curve might be more expensive in terms of chassis alone, but the Slate machine Corsair were showing off high up in their Computex suite is an absolute beast of a rig.
Not content with housing one PC, Corsair have squeezed a separate, secondary mini-ITX machine around the PSU chamber in the base of the case. It’s also got an estimated one million different RGB LED fans inside it too.
6. InWin WinBot
“What if we cross a bubble chair with a Kinder Surprise? But wait, what if the toy inside was a PC worth thousands?” And lo, the WinBot was born.
It’s worked out for InWin because Intel had the '60s sci-fi looking rig lurking in the background of the press conference where they announced the equally insane 18-core Core i9 chips.
5. Gigabyte Talon of Aorus
Celebrating the extension of their Aorus brand, Gigabyte’s massive show space high up in the Taipei 101 Tower housed all their notebook-y, graphics card-y, and motherboard-y goodness, as well as a couple of exceptional PC mods.
This Talon of Aorus machine has got a real Gundam feel to it, in a similar way to Cougar’s Conquer case, but I love the fact it still looks kinda agile, too. Where a lot of the other builds I saw at the show were enormous, hulking beasts, the Talon doesn’t look like it would collapse your desk.
4. Gigabyte Maciel Barreto mod
Barreto is a Brazillian modding genius and his Numbskulls-inspired (probably) machine is an intricately detailed wonder. If you look closely you can just about make out a weird little ET-looking dude at the controls inside the head.
While the bespoke build is absolutely stunning, Barreto hasn’t gone crazy with the components inside it. He’s only used a 7700K and a GTX 1060 to power his bot.
3. Corsair GTO Torque
Built to celebrate both the classic Pontiac GTO and their super-sexy Dominator Platinum Torque memory, the GTO Torque SE mod had its own little corner of Corsair’s Computex booth. Corsair have been talking up the heat-treated cooling block on top of their limited edition memory sticks as being like the engines of high-performance hot-rods.
It’s a heavily modified version of Corsair’s own Bulldog chassis, but has been given the GTO treatment with a hydraulic bonnet and headlights. It’s even got blinkers.
2. The Wheel of Star
You might remember The Wheel of Star from Cooler Master’s Case Mod World Series competition. The steampunk ferris wheel came out on top in the Scratch category, where modders built their machines completely from scratch. Not just a clever name then, eh?
It was on display on Cooler Master’s booth, with some live case-modding going on in the background. We thought it was well worth another shout out, especially after having seen it in motion. It’s mesmeric.
1. Colorful WarCar
Chinese component company, Colorful, have taken the win, and the proverbial biscuit, at this year’s Computex with their WarCar PC. I mean, just look at it. What the hell has that got to do with anything? It’s brilliant. The aircraft carrier PC was pretty out there, but this Dark Future-esque, mini-gunned jeep is something else.
WarCar. Even the name is frickin' stoopid.
I don’t even know why, but I find that flaming mohawked skull on the front of the bullbars strangely pleasing; it’s just so stunningly unnecessary. Even in the bizarre context of a futuristic WarCar why would you craft such a weighty figurehead for your ride? In Colorful’s Dark Future people obviously have a lot of time on their hands... in between bouts of vehicular homicide, that is.
But yeah, it looks like it was ripped straight from the 'Eavy Metal pages of an old White Dwarf magazine, though it's a shame it's not quite big enough to get in and drive around.
Now, what are your favourites, were there any I completely missed?