Since the creation of great multiplayer games like Quake and Half-Life: Counter-Strike, a mass of the computing population have came together and met to partake in what is called a Local Area Network Party. Mostly called a LAN party, it features a lot of computers and a lot of soda.
What normally happens is the participants arrive at a central location where there are stations set up to accommodate each individuals computer. After hooking into the local network, the LAN go'er may partake in transferring or playing games locally with each computer on the network. In layman's terms, Joe Bob brings his computer over to his friend Joe Billy Bob and plugs into his network. They open up Quake or whatever strikes them silly and start fragging each other at incredible speeds.
Now the question is, there are usually a lot of participants in a LAN party. Unless of course you consider networking two computers together a LAN party, then this does not apply. With all these boxes around, standing out with something special would sure make your day. Not only will you look good, but you can frag better! Kind of like how $150 basketball shoes make you jump higher...anyway.
For more details on LAN parties, you can check out one of the first sites I visited a while back, lanparty.com. They have a nice site dedicated to this topic along with some guides and tips to get you going.
Now the main topic of this guide is not to bore you to death about setting up a LAN, but more on the idea of looking real suave at one. Here is where we come in and help out by creating the ultimate LAN box on a budget that actually looks good. This guide will be split into 3 parts, each part will cover a different part of modifying your case in easy to follow steps.
For our guide, the awesome folks at PCMods.com donated some hardware to create this masterpiece. If you have no idea who these guys are, check out an interview we did with one of the founders of PCMods.com. All the parts for creating this box is direct from their online shop, which features great kits and accessories for modifying your case.
The total price for putting this box together comes out to about $350. We could have chose a different case, but we will discuss our reasons for it below. Here is the list for our LAN Project box:
- Lian-Li Mini-30 Aluminum Case
- Oval Window Kit
- Lan Handle
- Blue 15" Neon Light
- Baybus Kit
- Fans, fans and more fans
- Thumb Screws everywhere!
For our first part of the LAN Box Guide, we will be focusing on putting in a window kit and fancying our case with an easy to carry handle. The next two parts of the guide will cover different areas of creating a good reliable box.
In our opinion, a LAN box needs to be light and easy to carry. Therefore we went with a very light and reliable case, one of the smaller Lian Li aluminum cases. A handle will be fastened to the box to make it easier to carry. Sure beats hugging this thing under your arm. All of this, plus it has to look good! Here we go...