I didn't expect PAX Aus 2022 to go so hard for extreme gaming PC builds

The Boys case at Pax Aus
(Image credit: Future)
Audio player loading…

For those of us down under, PAX Aus is one of the biggest conventions we tend to have to grace our land girt by sea. The show floor is filled with exhibitions from all walks of gaming life from table top, right through the consoles, and all the way to PC gaming. If you want to see some of the coolest the games world has to offer, the PAX show floor never disappoints.

Where I didn't expect PAX Aus 2022 to go so hard was on the PC builds. Everywhere I looked there was another wild case, or some fluro cooling, crystal encrusted fans, and sometimes a concoction of all of the above. Booths all over the floor were showing off their wild creations, so here's some of the best looking PC builds I saw at Pax Aus this weekend.

Life is a beautiful array of colour and life presented in a never ending spectrum before us. So with that in mind, I wanted to start with some of the rainbow builds. These are the PCs on the show floor that couldn't commit to one colour so they chose them all. 

There's a few pastels in the bunch, which tend to give this lovely ethereal clean look, as well as vibrant AF rainbow lights. Regardless, if you were looking to make a spectrum of a statement, you might get some sweet inspiration from these custom builds. 

If you're after a bit more of a tied together look for your build, it's fairly easy to achieve this by restricting your colours. Wild as a concept, I know, but breaking down your palette to just a few colours instead of all of them can create a really succinct look. This way you can choose just a few colours you really vibe with, or that might match the rest of your set up or personality better. 

While rainbow builds were by far more common at Pax Aus this year, I still saw a good amount of beautiful looking PCs with restricted colour palettes. In many cases, they were more eye-catching on the floor than the rainbows, acting more as solid beacons drawing my admiration. Have a look at the gallery below to see some of these harmonious builds in action.

But for some people uniting a build with colour just isn't enough. For those going even harder than unifying your gear with a colour palette, maybe you're rocking a theme. Themed builds can and will vary dramatically. I've seen some amazing ones over the years, like this Chainsaw Build (opens in new tab), or the very dramatic Aorus build currently in the works (opens in new tab)

Themed builds were among the least common I saw while roaming the PAX Aus floor, but they never failed to draw a crowd. Whether you're into bubble tea, anime, or The Boys, there's always someone ready to make a sick looking PC to match your aesthetic dreams.

The final category of builds I saw cropping up all over the place were open case style PCs. They would often have some transparent covering, but it's hard to tell if that was just to stop sticky fingers on the show floor. Regardless, every time I saw one of these open builds I stopped to have a look. They just beg for your attention.

Part of this is because they're open, and it's not common to see but it also helps in other ways. Often these are a bit more spread out, with RGB even more on display than usual. I saw a lot of cool cases in my journey around the convention, but there's something that feels next gen futuristic about these almost flat lay designs. 

Of course, most of the PCs shown off here are fairly top of the line builds, with looks to match. Of course, you don't have to have a fully specced out beast of a PC to have it chase a nice aesthetic, but it sure doesn't hurt. With new hardware releasing or just around the corner, it's never a bad time to think about how you want that hot new build to look. The beautiful PCs on display at PAX Aus 2022 have certainly given me some ideas for the future, and plenty of PC envy to deal with in the meantime.

Image (opens in new tab)


Best CPU for gaming (opens in new tab): Top chips from Intel and AMD
Best gaming motherboard (opens in new tab): The right boards
Best graphics card (opens in new tab): Your perfect pixel-pusher awaits Best SSD for gaming (opens in new tab): Get into the game first

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast (opens in new tab) right here.

No, she’s not kidding.