YIDIY: Marc Molella & His Project Envy

GeForce Garage, Interviews, YIDIY

We first met Marc Molella of Precision Computing at last year's QuakeCon, where he was competing in 24 Hours of Le MODs. Not only did he take home the trophy for the Modders Inc's contest, but also won the Case Mod Category in the QuakeCon mod contest. Since then he's joined the staff on Modders Inc. and we've kept an eye on his work.

Marc posing with Revoluttion (Quakecon 2015 Case Mod Winner) and Arena (24 Hours of Le MODS Winner).

His latest build, based on the wall-mountable Thermaltake Core P5, has been dubbed Project Envy. We just had to ask Marc about this new, unique system, along with questions about his modding background and methodology.

Project Envy

Component Product
Chassis Thermaltake Core P5 with a custom Sublime Green paint job
Graphics Cards 2x GeForce GTX 980 Ti
CPU Intel i7-6700K
Motherboard Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7
Memory 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws 3000Mhz
Power Thermaltake ToughPower Grand 1200W
Cooling Custom water cooling from Thermaltake
Mayhems ICE White coolant
Misc GPU Backplates and fan grilles from V1Tech.com

What first got you into modding? What was your first attempt at modding?

Put simply, overclocking. I built my first computer in 1993 at the age of 13 with some assistance from a family member who was an A+ certified technician. I was the first one within my close family that had my own computer, yet alone a custom one. As the next 5-10 years passed, the computer was upgraded to its limit and my time was becaming less available. So I bought a few computers from a local PC retailer, and upgraded them as I needed.

I was now on my roughly 5th computer, and after just a few months of purchasing it, parts began failing. So I started researching what components I could upgrade without investing too much, and the itch started again. Needless to say this began my first complete custom computer built on my own.

It was around this time I also discovered computer forums, and the plethora of information available. I was in need of something powerful, with graphics capability for the work I was doing, and after researching the components, I again visited my local retailer, this time with a parts list to fulfill, which included an Intel E6300, and an EVGA 680i. Once I put these parts together, and realized I could increase the performance by overclocking, I soon began modifying the chassis I purchase to increase airflow and further optimizing performance.

This Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 used to have red accents. We agree this is a better look.

I started a worklog on the forums, and after getting some attention, I realized I wanted to improve the aesthetics as well - as it is in my artistic nature - since I had the whole chassis torn down into pieces. Being a Superman fan, I started blending my background in the automotive world, along with my background as a carpenter, and started my first mod, which I still own.

What started out as making some holes in the chassis which I purchased for $40, ended as a full blown case mod. Paint matching all the exterior, as well as using some custom painting techniques I had learned from working in and out of body shops, which included the marbled affect using plastic wrap, and also painting through different mediums such as screens to create patterns.

What skills have you learned along the way?

Since my first attempt at modding, not only have I utilized many tools I was familiar with, but also refined my skills. Coming from a world of custom cars, making my computer chassis unique, was simply me expressing myself. A lot of the skills such as: metal polishing, welding, painting, custom design work, has improved to a master level instead of a novice dabbling with different techniques. I have also learned how to work with acrylics, configuring custom water cooling loops, rigid tube bending, as well as sleeving.

Where did the inspiration for Project Envy come from?

I started modding because I could not afford the best components (and I still can't). so I would overclock and mod to get the most out of what I could afford. I named this Project Envy because me 5 years ago would be so envious of this build. It is outstanding in every sense- a top Z170X motherboard modified (I would never have risked modifying a board of this caliber and put it out of its warranty), a 6700k overclocked, and two top end graphics cards with the GeForce GTX 980ti's. The me 5 years ago is envious of this mod, and while modding isn't about top end components, it's nice to have them in this rig. But as I tell everyone, "Don't worry about the components, just mod."

Tell us the details that went into this build.

I wanted this mod to be the things I always dreamed of, so I set out to make it exceptional. Top end gaming components, not a detail missed in modding, and the colors to pay tribute to those who helped me get to where I am (NVIDIA has always been my go-to choice for video cards and Thermaltake has been one of my biggest supporters.). I also bent the tubing in a way as I have not seen before.

All components were color matched to the theme, including the Gigabyte motherboard which normally has red accents. I also color matched the peripherals.

As with all of my mods, every feature, has to mesh with everything else, and they all have a purpose.

Color-matched keyboard and mouse

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