11 Pimped-Out PCs

Laptop Time Travel

Rumor has it Queen Elizabeth II is an iPod fan, and we're sure Queen Victoria would have been similarly gobsmacked by Datamancer's Steampunk Victorian Laptop (custom jobs only, priced accordingly). Richard Nagy, aka Datamancer, turned an HP ZT1000 laptop into a music-box-like device with clockwork gears on top, a brass- and leather-embellished wooden case, and an antiqued-copper keyboard and mouse. It has violin f-holes for the speakers, and turning it on requires a clock-winding key. How's that for Victorian-style bling?

All That Glitters ... Is Gold!

A PC even Mr. T could love, the 24K gold-plated VoodooPC Omen ($21,150), with an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 quad-core processor, was the talk of CES 2008 (the Consumer Electronics Show held in January), and even immortalized on YouTube. Two have been sold thus far, one in a Dubai charity auction. Those with lighter wallets can acquire the Omen in plain old gold paint, starting at $5406.

Covered in Crystals

Send your laptop to CrystalIcing.com and you'll blow some minds at the local Starbucks. Crystal Icing covers laptops ($2000 and up, excluding laptop), mobile phones, mice, guitars--and vodka bottles, of course--in glittering Swarovski crystals, in the design of your choice. Model Kimberly Stewart (rocker Rod's daughter), had this custom model done up. Who else is on the company's client list? You guessed it: Paris Hilton.

Flame On

At least this flaming fast machine won't set itself on fire, like some laptops we could mention. Falcon Northwest's top-of-the-line Mach V has scorching fast, 8-core Intel Skulltrail 5400 innards to match its sizzling, custom Icon Exotix case with a green flame paint job and lighting. A mere $13,849 gets you the works, from a Blu-ray/HD-DVD player to 2TB of RAID storage and 2x nVidia GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics. Heck, Falcon even throws in a 3.5-inch floppy for those late nights when you have a hankering to play Zork.

Paint to Order

Jose Karlen's energetic, colorful imagery for laptop detailer NVSpc ($186, excluding laptop) looks a little like Cirque du Soleil. You can have his designs applied to the top of your existing laptop, or buy a prepainted new Acer, HP, Panasonic, or Samsung notebook. Other areas of the case can be enameled in your choice of metallic or solid colors for an additional fee. NVSpc Virtual Paintshop also lets you create your own designs, online.

Smooth Move

Jim "Smooth" Saling comes from the sports car finishing world, and it shows in his amazing custom PC paint jobs. The Smooth Creations Apollo, shown here, reminds us more of Art Deco Streamline style than space age design. You can buy the Apollo either fully configured (starting at $2620) or case only (for $450).

Am I Blue?

Velocity Micro says it spends a week hand-wiring, tuning, and benchmarking every system it ships, and the Raptor Signature Edition is the fastest gaming system it makes. This slick, custom paint job--as shown above--will cost you $6395. What's inside? A 3-GHz quad-core Intel Core 2 Extreme processor and dual scalable-link-interface (SLI) nVidia GeForce 8800GTX video cards.

Hot Rod From Outer Space

The perfect complement to a retro-50s modern interior, Alienware's Area-51 ALX CF in the Space Black P2 case (starting at $5149) looks like a hot rod and packs plenty of horsepower with its Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor and ATI Radeon HD Crossfire graphics. Soup it up with solid-state drives for top speed.

Nothing to Hide

It's what's inside that matters, and this CoolerMaster Stacker case with blue neon lighting showcases a clear inside view. The CyberPower Gamer Infinity SLI 3X (starting at $2999) includes a massive 1000-watt power supply, a 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU, a three-way SLI motherboard, and three nVidia GeForce 8800GTX video cards for maximum graphics grunt.

Case Envy

Open a window on your world with iBuyPower's blue neon-lit ThermalTake Armor gaming case, the iBuyPower Gamer Paladin 880mxL, which starts at $1324 for a configuration with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 processor with nVidia GeForce 8800GTS graphics. You can select options all the way up to a quad-core Extreme CPU and SLI video.

PC World's Dream PC

Drooling over the PC bling but short on bucks? Perhaps the most powerful PC in our collection is free--to one lucky reader. Our editors have picked their favorite components and created a $30,000 computer that you can win (the shot above is just the case, but the building has begun)! Entering is a breeze.

No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited. The Dream PC Giveaway is open to residents of the United States (excluding Puerto Rico) and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are at least 13 years of age and are registered members of PCWorld.com at the time of entry. The giveaway ends March 31, 2008. One entry per person. The giveaway is subject to the official rules. Read the complete official rules.

Parts for the Dream PC provided by Tiger Direct.

(Slide show assembled by Becky Waring.)