Building a gaming PC out of standard hardware and LEGO bricks is pretty impressive. Integrating an all new method of air-based graphics card cooling that delivers water cooling performance, Mike Schropp's LEGO Gaming PC is a mechanical marvel.
Constructed of around 2280 LEGO pieces, Schropp's distinctive X-shaped gaming system consists of three different sections. In the middle sits the mother board, mounted atop a trio of system cooling fans.Hard drives are also mounted in the middle.
The motherboard is mounted above these system fans. The right side (facing front) is dedicated to CPU cooling.
If this does not cool your CPU, your CPU is made of lava. The lower left side of the unit houses the power supply.
LEGO Gaming PC with hard drives and power supply installed. The power supply gets its own dedicated air intake, built directly above the PSU.
Finally we have the graphics card. Mounted atop the motherboard with a PCIe adaptor plate.
And here is where things get really cool. Using the extra space above the power supply, Schropp custom-build a billet alumimum heatsink that doubles as a mount for a Noctua tower cooler.
That should do nicely. The tower cooler makes a massive difference. With the stock GPU cooler the card ran on average around 72 degrees Celsius. With the tower, that dropped to 48 degrees. Top the whole thing off with another set of three fans, and then click the top into place.
As for the LEGO built, Schropp constructed the housing using a combination of bricks and plates bolstered by LEGO Technic bits to maximise strength and durability. No kragle (glue) is used to put it all together, but Mike assures me he's moved it hundreds of times now with no separation. LEGO is very resistant to heat, so unless you keep it running at max load in bright sunlight all day temperatures should never be a problem.
You can check out Mike's Total Geekdom page for a detailed outline of how the LEGO Gaming PC was put together. He's also selling the systems online for the sort of prices you'd expect for a custom gaming PC made with expensive plastic bricks.
I love this thing, though I'd never be able to put together my own. Picking out brick and plate colours alone would take me years. I'll just stick to the time-honoured tradition of putting LEGO sets and figures all over my standard gaming PC's air vents until it explodes and I need a new one.
This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.