The 24-hour countdown begins
In Win was founded in 1986, making the company 30 years old this year. That is, of course, cause for celebration, and while In Win hasn't busted out cakes, candles and a bouncy castle, it has seen fit to invite 16 PC modders to its Taoyuan factory complex in Taiwan (be sure to check out our tour), arm them with a scary amount of power tools and give them 24 hours to transform one of its cases into a work of art. This is the gist of the In Win 2016 Mod in Taiwan competition, which is now well underway.
This isn't a scene In Win has always been involved in. In fact, until 2008, it had no retail presence at all. Instead, it worked on selling chassis, power supplies and rackmount devices to businesses and governments. This OEM side of In Win is still very much alive, accounting for approximately 70 percent of its revenue with high volume, low margin sales.
While it's fair to say In Win had a bit of a shaky start with its retail cases, it's now responsible for some incredible and outlandish chassis that go far beyond your average steel and plastic box. Persistent in its use of desirable materials like tempered glass and brushed aluminium, In Win has given birth to some awesome bits of kit, and we know the company already has some more exciting cases planned for Computex 2016 next week.
For now though, In Win is handing over design work to a group of sixteen men from seven different countries. The eight teams are competing over three days for a total of 24 hours to mod the company's new 509 chassis. Representing the UK is the team Running with Scissors, made up of Daniel Harper (AKA B NEGATIVE) and Dave Alcock (AKA davido_labido), and USA, Sweden, China, Germany, France and Australia all represented by modders of similar talent – you can read more about their backgrounds on the competition's dedicated microsite. http://mod.in-win.com/home.
The rules are fairly simple. Each team is given a 509 chassis, an In Win PSU and, courtesy of the event's numerous sponsors, the hardware needed for a water-cooled X99 build. The modders then have three eight-hour days to design and create their mod to fit one of three themes: Military, Medieval and Spaceship. They have access to a wide selection of materials, tools and machines within the factory complex. They're also allowed to bring their own equipment.
At the end of the 24 hours, the mods are opened up to voting. The Best Design and Innovation awards have public elements to the voting, with online users, media, In Win partners and Computex attendees all able to have their say – each mod will be showcased at the In Win booth throughout Computex. The winners of these prizes will receive $5,000 and a tasty selection of hardware.
The In Win's Choice award is a little more special, and is voted on only by In Win professionals. In Win will take the design of this mod and doing a limited edition production run of it to make a retail product. This will be shown at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, where the two modders will be flown to on an all-expenses-paid trip. On top of that, they'll receive $3,000 and the same selection of hardware as the other prizes.
In Win has done a great job organising this competition – the space the modders are working in, the hardware, the talent and the hospitality are all excellent. We'd like to extend our thanks to all the team at In Win for all their hard work.
The competition is now nearly over. We've got plenty of in-progress pictures here for you to feast your eyes on and see how the mods are taking shape and what the modders have been doing to get them there. We'll be back soon with a summary article after the clock reaches zero with all the eye-candy of the completed builds. Be sure to check them out and remember to vote for your favourites!
Head over to the next page for some in-progress shots of the competitors in action.