Taking a break from some of the more research-intensive content we've posted this week, we now turn to BS Mods for another look at one of the industry's most interesting trades: Case modding. We've previously worked with Bob Stewart and Rod Rosenberg to bring you an introduction to case modding series, but have now returned with their latest piece of machine work.

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Update: See the new 2015 edition of this content over here.

Following-up with last year's PC enclosure round-up, we revisit the topic of the top gaming cases with CES 2014 in mind. Any enthusiast or mid-range system builders have some unreal options to choose from this year, with a heavier focus placed on full side windows and aesthetics than previous years.

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For advice on choosing a gaming enclosure, check out our previous article on picking a gaming case. In this gaming case round-up, we'll look at some of the highest-performance PC enclosures on the market for 2014; all the cases featured were unveiled at (or around) CES 2014.

Compared to our slew of previous case posts (Antec, Rosewill, Corsair), this is going to be some pretty quick coverage. We've got a big case round-up article pending publication, so you'll be able to get some excellent details there on both these cases.

thermaltake-v71Thermaltake's Core V71 on display.

Thermaltake's suite at CES had some new successors to the Big Water line (still under review), a bunch of peripherals, and a whole table full of cases. We're focusing on the Urban T81 enthusiast case specs and Core V71 case today.

Using an Occulus Rift headset, a 3D-printed bracket, and a Creative 3D camera (shown previously), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are taking another step in the right direction. SoftKinetic, a company that specializes in 3D depth-sensing and gesture recognition, allowed us to use our hands for what they called "natural interaction in a convincingly smooth 3D demonstration." In other words, furthering of perceptual input technology and movement away from traditional input devices.

softkinetic-2SoftKinetic's demo had us manipulating building blocks in 3D space with our hands as input devices.

Before getting too deep in this post, you might be interested to learn about the history of virtual reality & augmented reality, which we recently explored with companies Oculus VR, Sixense, and Virtuix.

NZXT's newest addition to their discrete H-series family (see: H630 review) was on display in a suite at CES, but has been under embargo until now. NZXT's H440 gaming case ships with a pre-installed PSU shroud, sound absorbing foam paneling, zero optical drive bays, and lots of cable management pathways.

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We've seen a lot of cases in the past week, but I honestly think the H440 is going to do incredibly well in the mid-range and enthusiast PC building markets. Its included PSU shroud and clean drive scaffolding is what really sets the H440 apart from most the other mid-range options emerging this year, so anyone who wants that "modded look" without building a custom shroud should be interested.

Among Antec’s offerings at CES 2014 is one large case that we believe many enthusiasts will covet. The company brought along a total of four new cases: two gaming-targeted enclosures, a mini-ITX offering (with Steam Machine possibilities), and a more discrete mid-tower. We just posted a sales round-up including the Nineteen Hundred priced at nearly $100 off of MSRP, so go check that out if you're in the market for a big case.

antec-case-modAntec's case mod & custom one-off line of art-ified products in their suite.

There were a few major PC hardware trends at CES this year; gaming monitors supporting higher resolutions and new technologies (G-Sync, FreeSync) were among those trends. While at CES 2014, we reported on nVidia's G-Sync and how it actually works, a hardware solution to decrease frame tearing and stuttering by using a variable refresh rate (rather than a fixed 60 Hz or 120 Hz solution). Technologies like G-Sync (and FreeSync) are absolutely something I can get behind -- the overall experience delivered to the gamer is far smoother and very noticeable in gameplay; visuals lose that choppiness exhibited when using a fixed refresh rate and frame tears largely vanish.

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In this round-up, we'll walk through some of the best G-Sync gaming monitors of CES 2014, with a heavier focus on 1440p and 4K resolutions (though 1080p is still most prevalent). We've already written about a few of these new monitors, including ASUS' ROG and BenQ's options.

We caught up with AMD video card manufacturer VisionTek at CES 2014, where the company unveiled its new liquid-cooled R9 290 – the “CryoVenom R9 290.” VisionTek partnered with EKWB to couple the R9 290 with an aftermarket open loop liquid cooling block; the block can be integrated with any compatible open loop system for proper cooling functionality.

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Rosewill is known for producing budget-friendly cases like the R5 and Armor Evo, and at this year’s CES they showed off an entire suite full of cases. The array of cases offered all have an expected release date of Q2 2014. As we arrived we were greeted by three new mid-tower gaming cases (seen in the video) and a full line-up of brushed aluminum and steel Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX cases. In this post we’ll focus on the newest mid-tower gaming cases, and drop a few mentions on the other offerings that were presented.

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We bring you good news from the Intel booth at CES – except instead of pure Intel content, it’s actually an update from Gigabyte in relation to Steam machines. Exhibited at Intel’s booth at CES 2014, Gigabyte’s new Steam machine is the next step in the evolution of what Intel references as the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) – which we first broke news on at PAX East 2012. Intel Product Marketing Engineer Mark Chang explained the relationship between Intel and its partners like this: Intel builds reference board designs like the NUC and then the manufacturers take the models and get creative. While this Gigabyte product, dubbed the “Brix Pro,” isn’t brand new, seeing it running SteamOS and DotA2 flawlessly was new to us.

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