I love hardware porn. Those bright neon tubes, orange-tinted cooling fans and sexy cases PC gamers give me a serious ... well, you know.
One of the greatest thing about QuakeCon is checking out the crazy setups in the Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) LAN room. I examined every one of the 3,000+ computers at the event, searching for the best of the best.
Here are my favorite setups I found at QuakeCon 2011. My picks are based on technical excellence, aesthetics and uniqueness.
10. The Dukebox
Not only is this wonderfully lit rig a machine powerful enough to run Duke Nukem Forever -- that's a joke, guys -- it also houses a cool little fake-aquarium.
9. The Cube
I admit, this rig isn't the most photogenic. You really have to see it in-person to appreciate how wild it is. Four years in the making, this glorious cube of gaming is a see-through cube that can be unfolded. Why would you unfold it? To show off, of course!
8. Neon Rig
ALL OF THE LIGHTS!!!!
These neon, glow-in-the-dark cables have become popular in the PC modding community, but no machine at QuakeCon implemented them in such a clean, visually-pleasing arrangement as this one.
7. The Toddler
I might get a lot of flack for this one, but The Toddler stood out across the QuakeCon floor and that's all you need to deserve this spot. I don't know what's stranger: this guy having a cardboard cut-out of his eight-year-old self or having it attached to his rig at QuakeCon.
6. The Fire Hazard
I'm not scientist, but I'm pretty sure mixing oil with a very hot electronic is a bad idea. Despite this, HOLY SH*T that looks cool. To be clear, you are looking at a fully submerged computer.
5. He really does!
I don't know what's more awesome: the note, the lizards, the Whataburger order number, or the complete lighting/wiring overkill going on inside this beast.
4. Rage RC Car
As if fitting all the hardware into one little RC car isn't enough, the creator showed me videos of him lugging his friends around his block with a connected cart. NOW, THAT'S WHAT I CALL MOBILE GAMING! Durp.
3. The Minecraft Station
Some people who attend QuakeCon are kind of crazy, like this guy. He brought a 52-inch TV screen just so he can play Minecraft. The game's resolution doesn't really scale well, but there is something awe-inspiring about staring at blocks bigger than your head.
2. CRT 2.0
A couple people brought some massive, old-school CRT monitors to QuakeCon, but nothing compared to this. This young kid from Alabama made a see-through LCD screen of a old CRT that doubled as his rig and an external monitor. Many people would stop and stare at it in disbelief. I was one of them.
1. Blue Men of Genius
Somebody didn't tell this guy that QuakeCon is a place for computers, not art exhibits. This hulking, bizarre creation is a one-of-a-kind machine. Between the elaborate display, meth cubes and functionality, Blue Men of Genius was my favorite setup of the show.
Be sure to check out the gallery for more photos of these rigs and some that didn't make the top 10.
If you have a rig you are proud of, feel free to share in the comments below.