Computex is heaven for PC builders and enthusiasts. Or should I say was? I hope that's not the case for long because Computex has been something special over the years. I've only had the honour of travelling to the Taiwanese tech show a single time, but it was an experience I could never forget.
Despite the organisers' hopeful efforts, the show was doomed to be solely an online event for the past few years. This year Computex is a hybrid show, both online and in-person. While that means some lucky souls will be able to attend in 2022, most foreign visitors are still not back to the hallowed PC gaming halls of the Nangang Exhibition Center. We're not privy to the wild Computex experience we've come to love out of Taiwan, though it doesn't look anywhere near as big an event in 2022 as it once was.
What was once a major event spanning downtown Taipei, the 101 skyscraper, a couple floors of the Hyatt hotel next door, and multiple floors of a major convention centre, appears to be no larger than a single floor of the Nangang this year. There are still many well-known brands in attendance—Gigabyte, MSI, EK WB, PNY, Sapphire, Zotac, ASRock, Kioxia, AMD, and Nvidia—but I can't find any images to suggest the show still delivers on the bit I love most.
It's the PC mods. The weird and wonderful PC mods of Computex. The beer taps turned gaming PC. The Apex Legends loot box with a graphics card stuffed in it. Fully-mechanised PC cases that might actually pose a real threat to passers-by. Walls of PC cases with Hatsune Miku holograms dancing across them are just some of the delights that were once in store for the Computex attendee.
Everywhere you looked there was another PC case beautifully handcrafted by some of the best in the biz.
Let's take a moment to go back through the annals of Computex past, and to the case mods snapped by myself, Dave James, and Wes Fenlon over the years. These case mods deserve to be put on a pedestal, and we're just going to have to make do with a virtual one for a while. Unfortunately we don't have all the credit info for the mods to this day, but some include the modder's info on the sign next to them.
So here are 119 reasons why I'm really missing Computex's show floor this year. I implore you to hit the full-screen button and enjoy the full splendour of these case mods.
Computex is, or was, peak PC gaming extravagance, and being surrounded by like-minded PC builders all with a love for the absurd and extraordinary in PC mods is like nothing else. No other show could come close.
Perhaps it's naive to hope for the show's return, what with the way E3 has gone so far. But E3's show floor has nothing on Computex. While E3 had a major online presence, and tons else happening off-show in various theatres (such as the wonderful PC Gaming Show, returning this year on June 12 (opens in new tab)), its halls never felt half as packed as Computex's.
Perhaps that's just my PC gamer perspective. Unlike the others, Computex was a PC show front and centre.
And where else will you find a PC that's been built inside of a working miniaturised Ferris wheel? Or a PC that's a partly functional gun turret? Luckily not the gun part.
For what it's worth, I think there's a decent chance that the show will return to its former glory some day. Taipei definitely doesn't want to let Computex slip from the public eye, and that's probably enough to keep this show well-funded into the future.
I hope so, anyways. It would be such a shame for this excellent event to dwindle into a more corporate affair. That's not what Computex is entirely about (though it is a fairly large chunk of it)—there are a whole lot of enthusiastic hobbyists that make it a much more passionate place for PC gaming than most. It's definitely the best place to go to scratch that PC modding itch, and I fear without it some of these spectacular works won't get the in-person attention they deserve.