Locally we had a reprieve and a CompUSA store re-opened in a different location. What I loved about their stores was you could walk in and build almost any type of system you wanted right off of their "in store" stock.
When the semi-local one (about 20 miles away) closed down in 2003 it was like losing a friend. No longer were we able to simply walk in and grab whatever we needed to get our rigs going again or to build that dream mod. No, we were relegated to a big blue and yellow box store with the initials BB that I despise with a passion.
The newest one is much closer now (about half the distance) and they're actually carrying stock that is geared not only towards builders but semi-into the modding crowd.
I got a call from a friend this morning who told me to stop into their store and see what the tech crew had planned and built over the last several weeks. I didn't know what to expect but I thought I'd just peruse in for a gander to check things out. From the first glance it wasn't much to look at, nice clean build, nothing fancy. Inside though it was much better than I could afford lol.
Using a CoolerMaster HAF 932 case they assembled quite the machine. Apparently they'd been given free reign to build a system from any parts supplied in the store except the most expensive CPU. Using an Asus Rampage III motherboard and an Intel I7 processor they assembled a nice little kick ass machine. The also added dual ATI 5770 GPU's in Crossfire configuration and a WD 1TB HDD. They also added in a top of the line Sounblatser X-Fi soundcard and an Acer 23" touch screen monitor. Cooling was supplied by a nice 120mm red LED fan in the front and a Corsair Hydro H5O for the CPU and several 120mm exhaust fans in the back. The side intake featured a hugegantic 230mm black fan. Power was supplied by an Ultra X4 U12-40502 ATX12V & EPS12 Power Supply.
Not a mod per say but it was really nice to walk into a store to see someone put that much time and effort into such a nice build. I would have liked to have seen at least the PSU sleeving custom done but of course that's an extra they don't carry. I mentioned it to one of the techs and told him it's about advertising what you do have, not what you don't have. Anything that draws attention and leaves people in awe or at least thinking, is what their store is all about (IMO) and is also what separates them from their nearby competitor, the blue and yellow box store. I may even mention it to one of the managers to see if a little mediocre modding could be done to spruce it up. Sadly, because of the state (DE) firecode, they aren't allowed to leave the side of the case off which to me is ridiculous so long as it is out of reach. My suggestion was orange UV sleeving and at least 4 CCFL UV tubes to go with the red LED front fan for some WOW factor. The cost of the build with labor included was about $3100 and some change. Personally, I'd have ditched the touch screen monitor because I'm not overly enthused with them or even amused by them and I think it would have dropped an easy $200+ off the cost.
And even if it doesn't sell, it's still about letting customers see what IS possible beyond the realm and thinking out side the box. The Gamers Republic badge on the mobo as well as the lit diodes and lighted OC and reset buttons are nice touches as well.
Not a mod per say but it does get people thinking. :wink: