Startech “Mutant Mods” Lighting Products Review
By: Michael Phrakaysone
Edited By: Steve M. Silver


While at Best Buy the other day I found a case modding area in which I saw LED fans and cold cathodes. Best Buy is a enormous retail chain and the fact that they have an area featuring lighting products for the computer means that case lighting is a mainstream thing. There are a large number of companies for which computer lighting products are a major product line. Now we are seeing numerous other companies jumping on the bandwagon, such as Memorex Modz. Today we feature some lighting products from Startech’s new case mod division, Mutant Mods.

About Mutant Mods

“Mutant Mods is a complete line of computer parts and accessories that add a splash of originality and a dash of color to computer workspaces. These products allow PC users to change their beige and boring computer equipment into a head-turning conversation piece. Mutant Mods offers a complete line of LED fans, cold cathode tubes, internal cables, fan guards, EL wires and much more...”

Today, I will be reviewing at four of Mutant Mods products. These products are…

  • Mutant Mods 80mm Tri-Color Quad-LED Case Fan
  • Mutant Mods 80mm “Alien” Fan Grill
  • Mutant Mods 6ft Red LED USB Cable
  • Mutant Mods Bubble Cold Cathode Kit (Color: Green)

Mutant Mods 80mm Tri-Color Quad-LED Case Fan


  • Dimensions: 3.15 x 3.15 x 0.98 Inches (80 x 80 x 25 mm)
  • Fan Type: Dual Ball-Bearing
  • RPMs: 3000
  • Voltage: 12V
  • Airflow (CFM): 37.27
  • Noise Level (dB): <27
  • Connector: 3-Lead TX3
  • Fan Enclosure: Plastic

Packaging consists of a plastic outer casing and a cardboard paper back with specifications on the rear. The color scheme of the packaging is black with green, which looks very nice. The package includes the 80mm Tri-Color Quad-LED fan and mounting screws. Regrettably there is no 3-pin to 4-pin MOLEX connector included. The fan is clear and houses 7 textured blades, which allow it to push 37.27CFM at a noise level of <27dbA. The outside part of the fan, which has traces of the LED’s, is heatshrinked with a PCB-like heatshrink.

red green blue cathode

Once connected via three-pin connection, the Mutant Mods 80mm Tri-Color Quad-LED case fan illuminates it’s colors splendidly. The level of color is balanced and emits fine quantity of lighting. The LED colors are solid and easy to look at.

As for performance, this fan is similar to the Spire 80mm LED fan we looked at a while back. The fan pushes a great amount of cool air but it clearly adds noise to your computer system. Part of the problem is the high RPM’s, rated at 3000. Further, the fan vibrates somewhat. In general, if you are looking for a fan with a kick of color and a good ability to move air and don’t care about noise, this one will do for you. However, if a quiet computer is your goal, look somewhere elsewhere.

Pros and Cons

+ Moves lots of air
+ Construction
- Adds noise to system
- No 3-pin to 4-pin adaptor

Alternative Pricing:

Mutant Mods 80mm “Alien” Fan Grill


  • 80mm grill
  • High grade steel with a chrome finish
  • Includes four mounting screws

The Mutant Mods 80mm “Alien” fan grill comes, like the case fan described above, in a plastic blister pack. Inside, the fan grill is protected by plastic to prevent any scratches. Alongside the grill, there are four screws included. The fan grill is constructed from steel and is laser cut for perfection. The edges are smoothed out to prevent any finger cuts. The Mutant Mods 80mm “Alien” fan grill is reflective. The grill includes everything needed for mounting and essentially does what it is supposed to do, look cool.

Pros and Cons

+ Looks good with a nice design and chromed surface
+ Solid construction
+ Includes screws
- None

Alternative Pricing:


Mutant Mods 6ft Red LED USB Cable

usb cable

Using the same blister packaging as the other Mutant Mods gear we’ve looked at, the 6ft USB cable comes cable-tied for neatness. The cable is clear and has been shielded. It operates by plugging in to a free USB port; the cable end light up bright red. At night, the red looks remarkable. An exceedingly cool product. However, the only problem I see is that you have to find a device that uses the same type of connector ends (Type A Male connector to Type B Female connector). For example, I could tell that you could use this cable on an Iomega ZIP drive. Looking to light up your world? Then for a MSRP of $7.50U.S, this could be your product.

Pros and Cons

+ Looks cool
+ Long cable reaching 6ft
- May not fit all applications
- *MSRP price too high for a USB cable alone*

Alternative Pricing:

Mutant Mods Bubble Cold Cathode Kit (Color: Green)


  • Adds supernatural lighting and style to your windowed or acrylic case
  • 3 LED’s in each tube combine to create extreme lighting effects
  • Shows off your case, without sacrificing performance, using a bright-light, no-heat design
  • Complete kit includes all the hardware and wiring you need
  • 8 different bubble effect settings
  • Comes complete with adhesive backed touch fasteners providing you with increased flexibility when positioning your bubble tubes
  • Supports up to 2 bubble tubes on one inverter unit
  • Backed by a 1 year warranty
  • Voltage: 12V (DC)
  • Length: 6.6 Inches (168 mm)
  • Connector: LP4

The packaging is the same blister-wrap the other Mutant Mods gear was in. The Mutant Mods green bubble cold cathode kit comes with a number of items that include the 6.6 inch green cold cathode bubble tube, Velcro mounting pieces, inverter, and a PCI slot bracket. The tube itself is constructed out of hard plastic and the ends are cubed off. This tube has what looks to be air bubbles, which formulates a bubble effect. Unfortunately those bubbles stay in one place and don’t move around. The wires that extend out from the tube are sleeved with plastic for neatness.

The inverter is a light blue colored device that allows the use of two four-pin cold cathodes from one end connection; the other end has room for two 2-pin connections that come from the PCI slot bracket add-on. Everything is color coded for easy installation.
The PCI slot bracket is powered by a 4-pin MOLEX connection and allows the cold cathode to execute many functions. The green button on the bracket is essentially where you can select up to 8 different effects ranging from flash, beat, and much more. The red switch is your On/Off switch.

This green bubble cold cathode emits ample lighting to see some nice effects. But the light is not very bright and does not make as dramatic an impression as the USB cable we looked at earlier. While some modders looking for a more muted effect might go for this, they would probably not want the special effects – on the other hand, folks wanting special effects would probably want those effects to be brighter than what this provides.

Pros and Cons

+ Cool effects
+ Build quality
+ PCI Bracket provides many options
- Lighting not very bright
- Bubbles stay in one spot

Alternative Pricing:

  • - $7.72U.S.



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