AT-AT computer walks on the wild side

Forget those boring generic desktops sold en masse and prepare to witness the birth of a powerful PC built inside a "Star Wars" AT-AT.

Keep this thing away from Rebel base shields, please. Sander van der Velden

One could safely say Dutch computer modder Sander van der Velden adores the behemoth AT-AT vehicle from "The Empire Strikes Back." The self-confessed sci-fi addict recently stuffed a water-cooled computer inside a large Hasbro toy version of Star Wars' most infamous four-legged Rebel annihilator.

The AT-AT computer measures 2 feet tall (plus several more inches for the dock), and contains some spicy hardware, including a Zotac Z68-ITX (Mini-ITX) motherboard running an Intel Core i7 2600k processor, SSD, and built-in Wi-Fi. The water-cooling system (radiator and XSPC pump) uses water blocks to cool the CPU, GPU, and other components.

The designers at Hasbro probably didn't expect someone to take the largest action figure AT-AT ever made and fit a bunch of computer parts into it.

But "once I saw the Hasbro AT-AT toy through a link on Facebook, I immediately knew I had to build a PC in there," van der Velden told Crave. "The only problem was that the toy was not sold in Europe. So I had to import it, which was very, very costly."

There were other challenges too.

"Once the toy was delivered, it took about a week of careful examination and design work to see how everything would fit, and even then it threw me a couple of curveballs," says the master modder, who has won several awards for his creations and whose next projects include Deep Space Nine from "Star Trek," a "Tron" model, and the "Star Wars" Death Star.

Take a peep at our gallery below, which looks over the build process for the computer fit inside the hulking Imperial walker. Those interested in learning still more about van der Velden's process should watch the AT-AT computer assembly video part one and part two.

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