KickButtComputers.com - Skull and Crossbones Theme

Written by John Chen    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 11:00
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ImageKickButtComputers has a pretty good selection of themes for your new system. The ones we have seen in the past are the Combat, Drums, Guitar, and Flames themes. The theme up for today is the Skull and Crossbones.

Every gamer, boy or girl, thinks about having a nice modded case at least once in his or her lifetime.  Gamers can always go out and purchase an exotic looking case and attempt to do some small modding here and there to create a better look, but we all know how that can turn out.  It is never perfect, at least not without proper tools.  Even if you have the proper tools, without previous modding skills, your case is going to end up looking no better than the ugly Batman case that we have seen a couple of months ago.  Let's face it, case modding can be tough. 

KickButtComputers is a company located in Southern California, not too far from where I live.  Their business is providing their customers a customizable system with a decked out pimping case.  They understand that PC enthusiasts do not always have the time or the materials or even the guts to whip out the hacksaw and perform surgery on a regular case.  Good thing for us, they know what they are doing. 

KickButtComputers has a pretty good selection of themes for your new system.  The ones we have seen in the past are the Combat, Drums, Guitar, and Flames themes.  The theme up for today is the Skull and Crossbones.  Girls, there are no pictures of Johnny Depp plastered all over the case (OK lame joke), but there are some very intuitive designs and some very hard modifications done and shown.  Let's get on to the review and pictures so your jaw can drop open and drool.

 


 

Skull and Crossbones Theme

The first thing that caught my eye about the Skull and Crossbones Theme was the large skull at the bottom front.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the material used for the skull was metal and not some cheap shiny plastic.  Furthermore, the skull is securely fastened to the front intake 80mm fan, through multiple joints.  The skull would not budge when I tried to move it, which is an excellent indication of sturdiness.  This clever position of the skull acts as a fancy fan grill. 

The entire chassis of the of the Skull and Crossbones is made from scratch pieces of acrylic.  When I saw preview pictures, I thought the case was modded from a pre-assembled acrylic case.  Boy was I wrong!  Imagine picking up six pieces of acrylic and slapping them together to form a case; that is exactly how this case is like.  The case offers four 5.25" drive bays and two 3.5" floppy bays, a typical configuration of a PC case.  The power and rest buttons are located at the bottom right side and are easily accessible.  The left side of the case has a large metallic sheet with a cutout of a skull and crossbones.  At the mouth area of the skull sits the second 80mm fan intake.  The back of the case is also pretty standard, with seven PCI slots and a single 80mm exhaust fan.  The very bottom of the case are the front I/O ports--two USB connections, audio jack, and microphone jack.  To allow the use of these front ports, there are cables inside the case that exits through the back and plug into the motherboard.  On the right side of the case is another skull and crossbones artwork. 

On the top of the case is another sheet of metal with a cutout of a flaming skull.  The shape of the skull reminds me of those ghostly heads that fly around in old Castlevania games.  It sure looks like it doesn't it?  Through the flaming skull shaped window at the top revealed a sticker on the DVD-Rom. 

To further add to the Skull and Crossbones Theme, KickButtComputers used thumbscrews made out of real bones to secure the hard drives.  There is also a skull carved out of real bone sitting on the side.  Freaky isn't it?  Real bones!


 


 

Level of Detail

A beautiful sleek case can look good and still manage to come with poor modification details.  I have seen plenty of those around.  Things start to fall apart and edges start to cut fingers.  I have experienced it all.  What I liked most about KickButtComputers' work is their intricate detail.  Not a single part of the case was badly designed and poorly constructed.  The metal sheets were finely cut and smoothed out through the water jet cutting.  This prevents the metal from leaving small scraps of residue that end up making its way through your flesh.  I rubbed my thumb through the edges and came out safe.  Whew!  It scared the crap out of me.  The pictures below also show how well the sheets of metal are attached to the case, with many nuts, bolts, and screws.  It's certainly not going to fall apart anytime soon.

 


 

Pretty Lights

A case is not completely modified until you throw in a cold cathode or two.  KickButtComputers includes a total of six cold cathodes inside the case.  These are customizable through their online store, but my preference was blue.  The top and bottom have two blue cold cathodes each.  The other two cathodes are red in color and can be controlled via a switch in the back PCI slot.  To further add to the light show, the included chrome red 80mm fans have red LEDs that light up when the system is turned on.

 


 

Conclusion and Thoughts

There wasn't much of a need to go into the specifications of the hardware used; they were all mine.  For consumers, however, they can visit the KickButtComputers website and configure a system that caters to their needs.  There are many themes to choose from, and since they all look so fantastic, you'll get a headache from deciding one over another. 

When I invited my friends into my room and showed them the case, their eyes literally popped open.  The first thing they said was:  "Holy Sh..!"  One of my roommates even offered to buy it from me right then and there, without even asking what's inside the gut of the system.  He just loved it.  I had to peel him away from the case and tell him that it is going to be for an emulator system so we can all play games on it.  He agreed and let go.  Honestly, I am not making it up.  They really loved the case.  I REALLY loved the case.  KickButtComputers even goes out of the way and water jet cut "InsaneTek" on one of the metal sheets!  How can I complain about that?

For the gamers, or even non-gamers, who are looking to make a purchase of a new system, please keep in mind what KickButtComputers has to offer.  Why compute in a regular average box when you can look cool in front of all your friends?  Pictures really do no justice for the sexiness of the mods.  The money you spend on a system like this is worthwhile.  I thought it was too exotic at first, but after seeing it in person, I'm not letting this go.

Pros:

  • Great level of detailed work
  • Water jet cutting prevents metal cuts
  • Beautiful and gorgeous
  • System is customizable through online purchase

Cons:

  • Probably price since there is so much work put into it

We would like to thank KickButtComputers for providing us the sample.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit us up in the forums. You can also check out more of our latest reviews on the front page

NOTE:

One of the things I forgot to mention is that all the metallic sheets are genuine aluminum diamond plates, 1/16" in thickness.  After the process of water jet cutting, the edges are deburred and polished by hand to eliminate sharp edges.  When I stepped back and took a look at the price tag, my first reaction was that it is a little on the expensive side, considering a nice looking gaming system can be built with less than $1,000.  What I did not factor into the cost was the tooling and craftsmanship and materials.  Honestly now, who would really own a water jet cutting machine at home?