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Old 25th Dec 2010, 20:27   #1
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Modding Rant

This is something that has been grinding my gears for a good while now, basically since the inception of Million Dollar PC and Murdermod about two years ago, and thats the fact the majority of PC mods around these days are pretty much exactly the same thing.
  • Anally retentive sleeving
  • Everything the same colour
  • No creativeness

When i first got into PC's back in 2005, my very first glimpse of modding was Coolmiesters Ventmaster. Sure, it wasn't the most complex of mods, but back then it was something new, which i'd never seen before, and more to the point, it was a functional mod. It hadn't been built by someone with an OCD for cable sleeving, and it hadn't been designed for one particular part (motherboard say), and more than anything it caught my imagination. But not because it was a 'work of art', no, becuase it was a personalised computer case, which someone had put effort into.

When I see new modders on here and other sites now, I always click on the log just to see whats going on, as the majority of them are pretty good. But, the second I see another Lian Li or Corsair or Silverstone mod, when someone basically does the EXACT same thing as someone else, puts in a ridiculously over the top watercoling kit and hardware which requires more money than sense to buy, i get turned off. Its one of those, 'been there, dont that' situations.

Im sure some of you will be screaming 'hypocrite' down the internet at me by this point, as my mods have all been influenced by other people, but i think the key word was influenced. My first project used the same rad mounting location as someone elses project, my A05 Mod used the same rad mounting ideas as someone elses and then Watery had influences from other mods, but wasn't just a carbon copy with a slight change of colour or parts or simply names.

The other thing Im now finding stale is the almost surgical neatness of most finished products. Dont get me wrong, I can live with the odd one, but at the end of the day its a computer. Its going to get dusty, it might get scratched, and for the vast vast majority of mods done, its not going to end up on display. I can take some of the recent MOTY mods, which are all VASTLY different to one another, which have good cable tidying, but arent just copies of stuff we've seen before. But its the fact that it seems the majority of mods are now just that, MODS. Taking a case, and doing to it exactly what everyone else does to it.

Im sure most of what ive just said doesn't really make sense, and of course its all my own personal opinion, but it would be interesting to see what others think.

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Old 25th Dec 2010, 21:03   #2
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Burnout, dude. It's the holiday weather getting to you. There's still plenty of innovation going on, there's a lot more of it because of all the extra traffic too.
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Old 25th Dec 2010, 23:11   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankz View Post
This is something that has been grinding my gears for a good while now, basically since the inception of Million Dollar PC and Murdermod about two years ago, and thats the fact the majority of PC mods around these days are pretty much exactly the same thing.
  • Anally retentive sleeving
  • Everything the same colour
  • No creativeness

When i first got into PC's back in 2005, my very first glimpse of modding was Coolmiesters Ventmaster. Sure, it wasn't the most complex of mods, but back then it was something new, which i'd never seen before, and more to the point, it was a functional mod. It hadn't been built by someone with an OCD for cable sleeving, and it hadn't been designed for one particular part (motherboard say), and more than anything it caught my imagination. But not because it was a 'work of art', no, becuase it was a personalised computer case, which someone had put effort into.

When I see new modders on here and other sites now, I always click on the log just to see whats going on, as the majority of them are pretty good. But, the second I see another Lian Li or Corsair or Silverstone mod, when someone basically does the EXACT same thing as someone else, puts in a ridiculously over the top watercoling kit and hardware which requires more money than sense to buy, i get turned off. Its one of those, 'been there, dont that' situations.

Im sure some of you will be screaming 'hypocrite' down the internet at me by this point, as my mods have all been influenced by other people, but i think the key word was influenced. My first project used the same rad mounting location as someone elses project, my A05 Mod used the same rad mounting ideas as someone elses and then Watery had influences from other mods, but wasn't just a carbon copy with a slight change of colour or parts or simply names.

The other thing Im now finding stale is the almost surgical neatness of most finished products. Dont get me wrong, I can live with the odd one, but at the end of the day its a computer. Its going to get dusty, it might get scratched, and for the vast vast majority of mods done, its not going to end up on display. I can take some of the recent MOTY mods, which are all VASTLY different to one another, which have good cable tidying, but arent just copies of stuff we've seen before. But its the fact that it seems the majority of mods are now just that, MODS. Taking a case, and doing to it exactly what everyone else does to it.

Im sure most of what ive just said doesn't really make sense, and of course its all my own personal opinion, but it would be interesting to see what others think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
Burnout, dude. It's the holiday weather getting to you. There's still plenty of innovation going on, there's a lot more of it because of all the extra traffic too.

I'm afraid I really have to side with The Mankz on most of his points.

With a few glorious exceptions like Atilla's current works, and a few others on here. Most of what I see being built are mods that appear to be created with single goal of emulating what is on Million Dollar PC and hoping for a shot at an entry. Many even go so far as to buy their specific sleeving.

We have had Orac, WMD, Dark Blade, Cube, Mystique 2, and other mods of that style. Not a case with a radiator and manicured ATX power wiring.

Look at our current MOTY candidates. These are some of the best on Bit-Tech. I'll wager a twenty that not more than 3 would ever end up on Million. They don't have the look and feel of Million's selections

GOOD!

These are mods. Done right!

john
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Last edited by jhanlon303; 25th Dec 2010 at 23:29.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 01:12   #4
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Well I agree and disagree. I'll explain, there's only so much you can do with a bit of cabling and once everything been done , of course it'll get bit repetitive, just look at the film industry,ATM 80% of whats hitting the screens is a remake of something.
Water cooling is the big thing as well, it may be getting done to death these days, but there's no denying it works and looks good and some times it's all about the look as much as the functionality.On the subject of neatness i don't have a problem with that because it looks good and aids air flow. I've put 2 mods on the forum and I try to be a little bit different where I can and choose cases that haven't been used as much as some of the Liane Li's and TJ's, but there no getting away from the fact that they are good cases and a good base to do a bit of modding with. I'm working to a pretty tight budget, I can't afford to get involved with CNC so I do what I can with what I've got and I would say that 70% of the modders on here are the same. As for Million Dollar PC they seem to like a certain look and big money builds, where as bit-tech seems to favor scratch builds, I can't argue with that some of them are amazing and require great skill do get it right. I love AnG3ls work, he just seems to come at everything from a totally different angel and Atilla's cases are just built to perfection, I could name plenty more but thats just an example.
As for a lot of cases all being the same , it's a trend, in 2 years time it'll be more of the same just some thing different. Some cases just stand out, I remember seeing Orac and darkblade and they blew me away, to this day they are still some of my favorite mods. There will always be mods like these and it's this sort of thing that will keep the modding scene alive and kicking and the other more mundane mods will still keep coming.

Edit: I ve just reread this and it's just babble...lol I've been up since 5.45 am this morning(yesterday morning)
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 03:30   #5
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Personally I don't see much of a problem with lots of people making what is, basically
the same sorts of systems. You need to understand that making the inside of a PC
neat and tidy, with colour coordinated sleeving and a couple of dividers, is really the best
bang for buck you can get when modding a case. And although sleeving cables takes a lot
of time and can get very frustrating, you don't need lots of tools or a dedicated space to
work in. I really have no interest in these kinds of mods (that goes for anything even resembling
a murdermod) but I don't have a problem with people liking em and making em and showing
off their handy work on the forums.

I'm much more pissed off with 'hot air' threads in the project log section, but I've had a rant
about that elsewhere.

Quote:
The other thing Im now finding stale is the almost surgical neatness of most finished products
Well, I just don't get this. I think quality is something to strive for and I don't know how many
times I've seen a promising project, with great ideas and kickass design, totally ruined by poorly
cut and ill fitting parts. (of course, sometimes I just can't believe that the builder has such a
poor grasp of objective reality that, not only does he leave poorly made parts as is, but also shows the world. ).

On the question of 'being influenced by others', I think it's pretty much impossible to do
anything without, in some way being influenced by what you've read, seen or heard. That
in itself is not a problem. It's taking these 'influences' and bending, twisting and forming them
into something personal and new and different. I think this goes on a lot in the project log
forum. There a many imaginative and creative souls that contribute to the modding forums
on this site and elsewhere. Of course you have the outright mimics but I think we can live
with that and not get too upset.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 03:37   #6
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@bulldog.
A point here. You use the word cases a lot. Modding is not or hasn't been about choosing which case fits what. Bit-tech has more non-case mods than any of the forums I visit. Proper That! Modding is shouldn't be about making some COTS Common off the Shelf case different. It should be about heart and soul and what makes your spirit soar. Show your inner drive. Look at Bodaker. Angel, Cheapskate, Atilla, Gianlucco(sp), slipperyskip, voights, and many others.
Hell, I had 3 MOTM nominations in one year! Look at modding as expressing yourself.

If had to build a production case mod just to get recognized I'd have to leave bit-tech.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 03:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila View Post
Personally I don't see much of a problem with lots of people making what is, basically
the same sorts of systems. You need to understand that making the inside of a PC
neat and tidy, with colour coordinated sleeving and a couple of dividers, is really the best
bang for buck you can get when modding a case. And although sleeving cables takes a lot
of time and can get very frustrating, you don't need lots of tools or a dedicated space to
work in. I really have no interest in these kinds of mods (that goes for anything even resembling
a murdermod) but I don't have a problem with people liking em and making em and showing
off their handy work on the forums.

I'm much more pissed off with 'hot air' threads in the project log section, but I've had a rant
about that elsewhere.



Well, I just don't get this. I think quality is something to strive for and I don't know how many
times I've seen a promising project, with great ideas and kickass design, totally ruined by poorly
cut and ill fitting parts. (of course, sometimes I just can't believe that the builder has such a
poor grasp of objective reality that, not only does he leave poorly made parts as is, but also shows the world. ).

On the question of 'being influenced by others', I think it's pretty much impossible to do
anything without, in some way being influenced by what you've read, seen or heard. That
in itself is not a problem. It's taking these 'influences' and bending, twisting and forming them
into something personal and new and different. I think this goes on a lot in the project log
forum. There a many imaginative and creative souls that contribute to the modding forums
on this site and elsewhere. Of course you have the outright mimics but I think we can live
with that and not get too upset.
We were/are always influenced by other mods and their creators. It is how we choose to use that influence that is the heart of the matter.

Look at your own website. Double PC compared to where you brought us to this day. Marvelous stuff and no slight here but "Done by You". No outside laser or waterjet help. This is what I see modding as. One person working to please themself, not try to get onto some other website.

Oh, and the "Oops, that didn't work" in the worklogs is gifted.

john
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 11:09   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanlon303 View Post
@bulldog.
A point here. You use the word cases a lot. Modding is not or hasn't been about choosing which case fits what. Bit-tech has more non-case mods than any of the forums I visit. Proper That! Modding is shouldn't be about making some COTS Common off the Shelf case different. It should be about heart and soul and what makes your spirit soar. Show your inner drive. Look at Bodaker. Angel, Cheapskate, Atilla, Gianlucco(sp), slipperyskip, voights, and many others.
Hell, I had 3 MOTM nominations in one year! Look at modding as expressing yourself.

If had to build a production case mod just to get recognized I'd have to leave bit-tech.
john
Where I tend to agree with this unfortunately some of us have to just look in awe of some of the designs on here. Hell I have a couple of ideas but unfortunately we have not the facilities to complete the finished product which are in our heads.

I still believe we should have two different sections on the modding section on our forums.

One for total new designs and a second for modifying cases.

I think there is space and interests for this to happen and you never know someone like myself or Jeff may just surprise some of you.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 11:23   #9
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Right let me define my way of using the the word case. No matter whether is a metal box bought from a shop of a pile of bits sitting on the garage floor, when it's all put together it's a case right? You can't describe a car any other way than what is, a car. It doesn't matter if it's a Rolls Royce of a junk yard dog, it's a car end of. So you've built a scratch mod, what is it? it's a PC case. The name doesn't change just because it's not an off the shelf product.

And modding let me define that..Taken from the word modify .To alter, change, to make something different in appearance from the original, whether it's an improvement of not is open to debate. I was around the custom car and bike scene for a long time and you can only do so much, as Attila points out and as I mentioned as well , you can make it a personal interpretation or an improvement but it's still more of the same.

I'll go back to cars now, you can take a standard car and stick a body kit on it that every one and his dog can buy online make it a bit different and give it a funky spray job. It's now modded or customized even if it is more of the same that everyone else is doing. Now take a hand made car thats going to cost 250,000 to build, when it built what is it? it's still a CAR !!!!

This leads me back to the start, some case mods are done far better than others and so are some scratch builds and going back to Attila again some scratch builds look great in sketch up but a P.O.S when they go together. And as for the sketch up kings and dreamers as they are a pain sometimes and there should be a thread for this sort of thing so it keeps it out of the actual build logs.

I'm enjoying this debate, it good to see the difference in peoples views on the subject with out getting into a big punch up like some of the threads do.

So as they say...Over to you guys..
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 11:23   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kovoet View Post
Where I tend to agree with this unfortunately some of us have to just look in awe of some of the designs on here. Hell I have a couple of ideas but unfortunately we have not the facilities to complete the finished product which are in our heads.

I still believe we should have two different sections on the modding section on our forums.

One for total new designs and a second for modifying cases.

I think there is space and interests for this to happen and you never know someone like myself or Jeff may just surprise some of you.
Agree with Kov on this point that a scratch build and a modded case should really be 2 different catergories.

I have been fortunate enough to have ' Purple Rain ' nominated for MOTY , an honour in itself , but it is sandwiched between 2 incredible scratch builds and is not in the same class.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 11:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdbristol View Post
Agree with Kov on this point that a scratch build and a modded case should really be 2 different catergories.

I have been fortunate enough to have ' Purple Rain ' nominated for MOTY , an honour in itself , but it is sandwiched between 2 incredible scratch builds and is not in the same class.
I totally agree with splitting the sections up, but for a mod to get to MOTY it has to be excellent which yours is. I put up a post a while back saying should there be a sections for CNC mods and hand made mods. Thing is if we keep splitting everything up it gets silly with loads of sub sections. But I do think with the amount and shear quality of work coming out there is room for 2 sections.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 13:35   #12
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Yeah, it may seem the same as because people have started sleeving cables and so on, companies have taken advantage y selling cathodes and sleeving and whatever. But people on these forums still have a great amount of creativity. Sometimes it just depends on what kind of time and money people have. But yes, I also struggle to see the advantages of watercooling.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 13:45   #13
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I think judging mods by their method of manufacture is splitting hairs. If I use Bill's case feet in an otherwise hand made case, does that make the case fit into the CNC-category? Or if I choose to do the feet on my manual mini-lathe, should I put the case into hand made - category? The same applies to all items from fan grills to waterblocks.

I acknowledge Mankz's sentiment. PCs in MDPC are nicely finished but look just as boring as most shop-bought cases. A great mod should be full of invention and is also superbly executed. However, the problem with creativity is that 99% of new things fail miserably. Newbies don't want to fail. They want to create a cool case that will make their friends jealous. Creativity will only hinder getting to their goals.

Splitting the forums would only encourage newbies to think modding should adhere to some strict guideline. Instead I would like to have a more detailed rating system. Now you can only give 1-5 stars to a mod. What if there were two distinct ratings for a mod. One for execution and one for novelty of ideas. That way we could also keep a timeline on how modding has changed and how ideas have turned into the norm.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 13:52   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kovoet View Post
I still believe we should have two different sections on the modding section on our forums.

One for total new designs and a second for modifying cases.
The section where we post our builds is called the 'project log' section, and under that
title we have to select 'case mod' or 'scratch build' tags. Now there are roughly the same
number of each (at least over the last three pages. 64 mods, 56 SB's) I just can't see how
it would be advantageous to have a separate section for each. I can only speak for myself,
but, I am interested in both mods and scratch builds and I go to the project log section to
check out both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogjeff View Post
Right let me define my way of using the the word case. No matter whether is a metal box bought from a shop of a pile of bits sitting on the garage floor, when it's all put together it's a case right? You can't describe a car any other way than what is, a car. It doesn't matter if it's a Rolls Royce of a junk yard dog, it's a car end of. So you've built a scratch mod, what is it? it's a PC case. The name doesn't change just because it's not an off the shelf product.

And modding let me define that
Yeah you can see how building a case from scratch just isn't modding. You aren't starting
with anything to mod. So strictly speaking 'what the f**k am I doing here?
But it's been accepted over time that building a case from the ground up is called 'modding'
though I hesitate every time I tell someone I 'mod PC's' for a hobby, because that's not exactly
what I do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdbristol View Post
Agree with Kov on this point that a scratch build and a modded case should really be 2 different catergories.

I have been fortunate enough to have ' Purple Rain ' nominated for MOTY , an honour in itself , but it is sandwiched between 2 incredible scratch builds and is not in the same class.
I guess you could be right here mrdb. A 'mod' has never won MOTY. But it could happen this
year and I think 'Flow' came close to winning last year though bit-tech never release voting
figures so I can't be sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogjeff View Post
I totally agree with splitting the sections up, but for a mod to get to MOTY it has to be excellent which yours is. I put up a post a while back saying should there be a sections for CNC mods and hand made mods. Thing is if we keep splitting everything up it gets silly with loads of sub sections. But I do think with the amount and shear quality of work coming out there is room for 2 sections.
Yep it could get ridiculous. A dozen sections with three people reading each one.
I don't think anything is broke so best to leave it alone.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 14:20   #15
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@Attila, lol I know what your saying about scratch builds, I was impressing the point to john, when he said i use the word case a lot .A scratch build may be nothing to start with but when it's finished it's still a case, it might be the best looking case on the planet, but it's still a case and I totally agree it is a mod.

Any way Attila, shut up and stop splitting hairs and keep turning out those wonderful mods/ scratch builds/ super PC gizmo containers. Call them whatever you want, just keep building them for us to drool over..

Edit: If any one should have their own section it should be you, to give the rest half a chance.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 15:14   #16
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Sometimes I think people have hindered creativity and don't do a full scratch build because they just want to build a PC, a give it a slight modding to make it nicer, then they post it here. There's nothing wrong with that. And yes, give atilla his own section. And give us all a new section named "orgasms over attila's builds"
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 15:46   #17
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Slight modding works Kid, because it's safe, thats partly what Mankz was getting at. I try to be a little bit different with in the budget Ive got to play with, I don't do huge amounts of fabrication because I don't need to. And what you have to realize is that every one has different tastes, I like metallic paint finishes and a bit of bling, some people might look at it as a bit to flashy and others look at it and like it. My last project, Heat Blast was built to suit the needs of a 7 year old and I think I pulled it off, thats not to say that every one will like what I done. But I like it and Dylan loves it and thats what counts. One the of the main things where I think people go wrong with projects is seeking the constant approval of others, but some times 10 heads are better than one for sorting out a particular problem. One thing I will say is that when the log has finished and all the comments have stopped, you will be the only one left looking at it and you're happy with what you've done, then thats all that matters.

I'm a builder by trade and what people have paid me to do to their houses I sometimes think that they are mad, but when I walk away I don't have to look at it , it's they're choice and they have to live with it everyday.

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Old 26th Dec 2010, 17:14   #18
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I think it probably all comes down to why your putting up a project log and if your looking to get anything out of it in terms of personal satisfaction or to put yourself into a category of professionalism. I personally put up my project log to feel part of a community as absolutely non of my friends have any interest in computers what's so ever. I don't take modding anywhere near as serious as a lot of the forum users, to me its a current hobby in my life at present and it may or may not last. So here is my opinion coming from someone that has a bit of a relaxed feel on the matter.

I agree with the comparison to cars, if your changing something then your modifying it and I don't like to see people trying to force there view on somebodies personal interpretation of something that they have modded and called it a 'mod' by saying 'this is not modding,' and 'modding is an art form' or 'that's to easy to do to class it as a mod' or 'it's not creative' and so on. Yes some of us may class it as art but it doesn't mean we all have to be so serious about it. It's all about how we choose to interpretate it our selves and accept other people's different opinions but those differences should never be forced on one another.

I can see why people would want to have different categorises for the case mods and scratch builds, I recently got a nomination for motm and was deeply thankful for it as it was a point that really made me feel part of a community of people you feel you have something in common with unlike facebook with all those people with 10,000 fake friends. It was at this point though I thought to myself, hang on a minute I'm in a competition now, so I went onto the page to view the competition contenders, Saw what I was up against and chuckled to myself and said I got no chance. If there was a separate competition for the case mods then I probably would have felt different, although I was honoured to be along side them. The trouble is though once you create a separate category I feel your kind of creating an elite division for the scratch builds that in turn would probably get all the attention, almost like the English football premier league and the chamionship. So it's probably best we're all in the same pot together, it's just if you really would like to get a nomination for moty and your a case modder then your gonna have to bring a lot to the table to go up against the big boys with very deep pockets and there scratch builds and cnc's and what not.

I would however like to see a creative low budget build rated and rewarded in the same way of how bit-tech / custom pc do their reviews on how little something has cost being a big factor because in theory at present someone with very deep pockets and the resources behind them can effectively buy the competition.

If your like me you'll just plod along getting a huge amount of fun out of your personal project and being part of the community and it doesn't get anymore serious than that, so sleeve to your hearts content and buy all the same gear as each other, spray them cases and use those cnc machines ...we're all modders!

That's just my opinion and I hope I've not offended anyone lol!

Hope your all having a lovely Christmas!
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 17:30   #19
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You've hit on a very good point there Kojak with the community thing, thats the main reason I come on here, to be among like minded geeks. I've done a couple of mods before just for my own pleasure, nothing fancy, but like you say it's nice to be among like minded people, thats what encouraged me to do a project log. I've always liked modding, not PC's thats a new thing for me, but cars and bikes in the past, this to me is just something else to play with.
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Old 26th Dec 2010, 17:38   #20
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