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Fantastic mods turn PCs into electronic art

AMD's Technograffiti exhibit at SXSW is designed to let people see that the era of the PC isn't over -- especially for folks with imagination.

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Daniel Terdiman
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Astronaut hat

AUSTIN, Texas--Many have said it: The PC is dead. But for AMD, one of the largest PC chipmakers in the world, that idea is nothing short of sacrilege, even in the era of the smartphone and the tablet.

To showcase what it sees as the "rejuvenation" of the PC as an artistic canvas, AMD is at South by Southwest (SXSW) showing off a collection of modded PCs that showcase what imaginative people can do with a set of off-the-shelf components and perhaps the occasional astronaut helmet.

This computer is using an AMD E-350 processor along with a Radeon graphics card and is set up to run Skype video calls with a nearby pay phone PC mod.

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Rocket launcher

This PC was designed to fire model rockets from two silos that open up on the case's top. It features a series of switches that, when flipped in the proper order, start a countdown during which first one silo opens, and then the second. Then the rockets fire.
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Pimp hat

It may look like a pimp hat, but this is actually a computer.
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Pimp hat components

Lifting up the pimp hat, you can see that this setup features a set of AMD components designed to run certain applications.
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Crysis 3 machine

As part of its Gaming Evolved program, AMD goes to game developers and helps them optimize the performance of the PCs they design on. This Crysis 3 machine features a high-end Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, an FX-8350 processor, and 16 gigabytes of RAM. It's also water-cooled.
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Gas pump PC

This classic gas pump has a full-featured PC built inside it and is being used as a digital jukebox. Music playback can be controlled wirelessly from an Android phone.
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Gas pump inside

A look at the interior of the gas pump with the PC components inside.
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The Mystery Machine

Fans of Scooby Doo will instantly recognize the Mystery Machine. But this is no ordinary '70s-era toy. This is a PC built with a Gizmo embedded board with an AMD Radeon graphics card.
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Guitar and drum

This setup features a guitar (with a built-in screen) and a drum set that together are designed to power graphics to a nearby screen.
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Pay phone

This pay phone is actually a PC that is running Skype and automatically connects the user via video to someone using the nearby astronaut helmet PC.
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Pizza thrower projector

This Teenage Ninja Turtles pizza thrower used to toss little plastic pizzas. But the slot where the pizzas came out is the perfect size for a little pico projector, and that's just what this small PC is being used for: to project video.
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Popcorn machine

This popcorn machine can turn out the salty snacks, and can also project silent movies (or do other things that PCs can do).
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Popcorn machine interior

A look at the interior of the popcorn machine PC.
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Stoplight PC

This PC mod is built inside a stoplight and is designed to flash its lights in time with music running through its system.
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Table hockey

This table hockey machine is powered by the PC built inside.

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