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HolidayBuyer's Guide

AT-AT computer: The guts

A closer look

Imperial walker

An AT-AT dock

Illuminated label

Gaudy or glorious?

The sluggish AT-AT vehicle from "The Empire Strikes Back" means a lot to "Star Wars" fans, notably among them master computer modifier Sander van der Velden.

The adventuresome Dutch tinkerer, a self-confessed sci-fi addict, took apart a 2-foot-tall Hasbro AT-AT replica and inserted a powerful water-cooled computer. The results impress, but go a step further with the addition of an illuminated stand and tube lighting inside the lumbering crawler. As you can see in this image, the midsection of the Hasbro AT-AT contains the brains of the computer, with water-cooling blocks covering all the bases on the motherboard. Accessory cabling runs down into the tall legs of the toy.

Click through our gallery to see images of the build process, leading up to the revelation of a truly epic "Star Wars"-themed computer.

Caption by / Photo by Sander van der Velden

Van der Velden, who works at a national IT services provider, spent three weeks crafting his "Star Wars" machine. The AT-AT contains 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.

"I really enjoyed working on this build, as it combines two of my favorite things: sci-fi and liquid-cooled computers," Van der Velden told Crave.

Caption by / Photo by Sander van der Velden
Power for the computer, lighting, and water-cooling run alongside other cabling stored within the tall legs of the AT-AT toy. The legs attach to a dock that we explore further in another slide.
Caption by / Photo by Sander van der Velden
This early shot of the custom base station indicates van der Velden knew early on that his mammoth AT-AT build would require some over-the-top lighting. The legs of the AT-AT dock with this section, and several fans help cool down the various components.
Caption by / Photo by Sander van der Velden
A giant label for the AT-AT dock ensures that everyone knows this computer serves the Galactic Empire. Lights built into the dock illuminate the words for maximum effect -- and maximum firepower.
Caption by / Photo by Sander van der Velden
The finished AT-AT computer stands proudly among hundreds of gamers and PCs at a LAN party in the Netherlands. For a true sense of scale, look at the size of the monitor on the right in comparison with the AT-AT computer. Nuff said, nerfherder.
Caption by / Photo by Sander van der Velden
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