Remember the Metro Exodus and The Outer Worlds custom PCs pushed during the marketing campaigns of said games? That was the work of Bill Owen and his family-run PC modding company Mnpctech.
Bill’s credentials are impressive; a quick look at his past clients includes:
- Custom PC Magazine
- Maximum PC
- PC World magazine.
- Pax East
Let’s not forget the insane amount of studios, publishers and tech giants Bill Owen has done custom PC builds for too:
- Riot Games
- Electronic Arts
- EA Games
- GT Interactive
- CD Projekt
- Koch Media
- THQ games
- iD software
- PUBG Corporation
- Blizzard Entertainment
Bill Owen is a wise choice for a themed custom build with over 75k subscribers on his YouTube channel and 19 years of experience in PC design, modification, product design, development, and fabrication.
FragHero had a sit down with Bill to chat about how it all started and his process in more depth for our readers. He also gives his take on the chip shortage and his experience with scalpers. Let’s get into it:
Bill Owen – The Interview
So Bill, let’s backstep a few steps. Where did this love of PC modding come from, and what was the journey to becoming such a respected figure in the modding community?
“In 1999, a friend suggested I transform my passion for tinkering with cars into a career as a PC Repair Technician. Mnpctech is an acronym for Minnesota Personal Computer Technician.
“An emerging interest in the Gaming PC boutique stores like Alienware and Falcon Northwest was growing. The custom PC market appealed to my interest in customizing. So I started offering more personalized options like windows and fan grills in my systems. Customers shared Mnpctech case mods in online forums, which brought my work more attention.
“Mnpctech was the first online business to offer case modding exclusively as a service in 2001. Not just windows, but whatever you could imagine. PC hardware manufacturers started asking me to create Giveaway Gaming PC Mods to display at their event booths as giveaways to draw attention from the public and media. Over the past five years, building giveaway gaming PC mods for game publishers has consumed most of my workshop.“
Are you a modder for hire, or do you approach companies for specialized modding projects?
“Most of my clients find me through referrals in the PC game industry or discover Mnpctech in web searches. Once in a while, I cross paths with people in the game industry and share what I do.”
MNPCTECH is a great YouTube channel and is fascinating for custom PC enthusiasts and others curious about modding their PC. How did it all start?
“People in PC hardware forums always asked me to make tutorials for my case mods. My first PC case mod guide showed you how to add a window. It grew into a guide that covered every aspect of PC Modding. Many of my case mod guides are still watched today in glorious 640 x 480 Resolution.“
Do you manufacture or create parts yourself? What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
“Yes, Mnpctech is a family-owned workshop that manufactures Mnpctech brand PC mod parts for our online store. Our GPU anti-sag supports and Vertical GPU bracket is very popular. Offering these products has allowed me to outfit my workshop with specialized equipment to make unique parts featured in my PC mods for giveaways.”
Over the last couple of years, there have been several issues with chip shortages and scalping with PC parts such as graphics cards and processors. It’s been a headache for manufacturers and consumers alike, but what’s your take?
“I’ve begrudgingly had to pay scalper prices like many others. I paid triple the retail price on eBay to deliver systems. Just make sure my eBay Seller has a reputable history and allows returns.
“EVGA is the only GPU manufacturer that figured out how to sell limited quantities through their website. Newegg’s Shuffle forces you to buy packages with a GPU so they can unload junk. I’m glad to see things are finally turning around. This should help shorten the graphics card draught until Nvidia 4000 series is released.”
Moving forward to this year, what can we expect to see from you, Bill?
“At the moment, I’m working on this Corsair 5000T iCue RGB Gaming PC Mod:
Working on an Alchemist theme gaming PC Mod for Intel to giveaway this summer and promote the release of their new ARC graphics card to compete with the Nvidia 3070 series at a lower cost. I think 2022 will be crazy busy for Mnpctech as Gaming Industry events return. I’m glad things are starting to become normal again.“
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Featured Image Credit: Bill Owen