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Digital Storm steps up its boutique PC game with first custom chassis

Digital Storm's new custom chassis demonstrates its commitment to selling high-end gaming PCs.

LAS VEGAS--We've had positive dealings with custom PC maker Digital Storm over the last couple of years. Its first custom case design should help raise its profile in the high-priced world of boutique PC vendors.

Rich Brown/CNET

Too many "custom" PC vendors simply grab off-the-shelf parts and sell them as their own computers. You can still get a decent desktop from those sellers, but I take a brighter view of companies that design a chassis to their own specifications. It's a sign that a vendor is truly committed to selling custom desktops. It also suggests an investment in mastering the thermal, material, and compositional specifics of the end product.

A custom chassis brings no guarantees, of course. Of all the PC sellers that we review products from, every one--mainstream, boutique, or otherwise--has submitted a problem system at one point or another. Such is the nature of selling a technological product comprising a system of complex components built by other manufacturers.

In terms of design, the Digital Storm chassis looks as imposing as the other black monoliths we get from the likes of Origin, Falcon Northwest, and Maingear. The system on display at the show featured two power supplies and an overgrowth of cooling pipes and power cables, as well as the requisite internal lighting and transparent side panel.

Along with the chassis, Digital Storm has also commissioned its own custom CPU cooling hardware. Rich Brown/CNET

In business since 2002, it's not as if Digital Storm just opened its doors. But in a sea of utterly generic custom PCs, we should always keep an eye out for a vendor that's willing to take an extra step.