A few years ago ModRight released their first Super Large Anti-Static ModMat that was similar to traditional anti-static mats but was under half the cost of other mats that were half the size. I immediately knew I had to have one and as luck would have it, ModRight contacted me a few weeks later and asked if I would be interested in reviewing their Super Large Anti-Static ModMat. I was so impressed with the original ModMat, I ordered another and recommended models to many of my friends who purchased the mats and are still pleased with them to this day. Recently ModRight released its third iteration of the famed ModMat and again I was asked if I would like to check the new models out, and of course I replied with a resounding YES!
Last July, my original ModMat was lost in my home fire and I actually ordered a "Best in Class Anti-Static mat that was actually cut to fit the work surface on the model of workbench I bought. When it arrived (3 weeks 2 days later I might add) I was shocked to learn that this so-called anti-static mat was nothing more than a grey yoga mat which was said to be coated in a metallic solution that made it less prone to static build up. Being made from a light weight foam PCBs with sharp solder points, robot chassis with jagged edges, and even slips of the X-acto knife quickly took their toll on the mat. I paid over $50 for this so called "Top of the line" anti-static mat and was disappointed from day one. This is why I was so excited to see the new ModMat's being released as they were sized perfectly for my workbench when paired together.
ModRight offers two versions of their new ModMats, The super large version has been dubbed the Xtreme while the smaller square version is named the Mainboard. Unlike the original model I reviewed back in the day, the new ModMat's feature bright informative graphics that are designed to assist even the most experienced modder with identifying such things as liquid cooling tubing size, connector pin-outs based on color, and even all of the recent CPU socket styles. The graphics appear to be made of the same rubber the mat is for added durability.
Below is everything you need to know about the ModMat Mainboard and ModMat Xtreme in ModRight's own words. We include this info to better help you get a feel for what the manufacturer claims the product to be. This is something we feel should be included in reviews as it gives each manufacturer a chance to highlight their product in their own words.
The ModRight Mainboard Anti-Static Mod-Mat Work and Assembly Surface is the next in line of the ever popular Mod-Mat Series. These are a system builders dream! The motherboard form factor table allows easy identification of what form factor you are working with. The actual measurements for each form factor are available based on industry standard. A second quick reference guide is available for back panel connector identification as well. The anti-static surface is safe for all components including your motherboard, VGA cards, RAM and any other electronic parts. Placing high finish side panels and parts are not an issue either as the non scratch surface will not blemish the finish whatsoever. This assembly surface includes both a grounding wire clip and an anti-static wrist strap to ensure proper precaution when conducting your next build. Both straps are connected directly to the ModMat itself so you know you have a solid ground.
|Size||23.22" x 22.91" x 0.02" | 590mm x 582mm x 2mm|
The ModRight super large anti-static ModMat and assembly surface is the next in line of the ever popular Mod-Mat Series. With enough room to complete your entire assembly on! The oversized ModMat is a huge 1200mm x 600mm which is over 47" x 23". This allows plenty of room to complete your entire build on without worry of static or scratching pricey hardware and parts. The anti-static surface is safe for all components including your motherboard, VGA cards, RAM and any other electronic parts. Placing high finish side panels and parts are not an issue either as the non scratch surface will not blemish the finish whatsoever. This assembly surface includes both a grounding wire clip and an anti-static wrist strap to ensure proper precaution when conducting your next build. Both straps are connected directly to the ModMat itself so you know you have a solid ground.
The multiple reference guides are printed directly on the surface giving you access to build information including socket layout (in actual size), power supply pin-out diagrams with voltage denotation, fan sizing chart, hard drive measurement guide, vandal switch wiring diagrams, as well as liquid cooling reference information.
|Size||47.24" x 23.22" x 0.07" | 1200mm x 590mm x 2mm|
|Reference Guides Included||
Unlike my ordeal with the custom fit mat, I only had to wait 2 days for my ModMat Xtreme and Mainboard ModMat's to arrive thanks to super fast two day shipping provided by FrozenCPU.com. Both mats arrived well packaged in very vibrant glossy boxes. This is a stark contrast to the plain brown box my original ModMat arrived in. The ModMats are made from high density rubber akin to that used in automobile tires and as a result, it is quite heavy. ModRight foresaw this and included a durable plastic handle incase you wanted to use your box to transport your mat safely to a LAN party or PC build off with friends.
Each mat ships rolled up into a tight package with the surface protected by both a clear plastic bag as well as a piece of tissue paper. I assume this is to prevent the printed surface from sticking to the plastic bag shortly after manufacturing.
When unrolled the beauty of each mat seriously takes you breath away. The printing is quite vibrant and very bright, which is awesome in the event your workstation is poorly lit. (Check out this post for a cheap and awesome solution to a poorly lit work area!)
As I alluded to earlier, ModRight built the ModMats to survive almost anything you can throw at them. Being constructed of 2mm thick rubber, the mats can handle paint spills, glue drops and the occasional blob of molten solder. This has been inherent since the first generation and is still present in the latest models. However the new generation of these amazing work surfaces feature some cool new info graphics that are designed with the serious modder in mind.
The ModRight ModMat Mainboard is all about motherboard sizing standards and features motherboard I/O connector identification charts that is sure to help those who are unfamiliar with what a specific connector may be. The motherboard sizing chart features outlines of every PC motherboard standard from Pico ITX all the way up to WATX. Rulers in the X and Y planes are also present for those needing to make quick measurements or the exact dimensions of a specific motherboard.
If the ModMat Mainboard is a informative source for all things motherboard related, the ModMat Xtreme can be considered no less than the bible on PC modding specification charts. Featuring easy to read identification charts for sizing liquid cooling tubing, radiator mounting points, compression fitting sizing tables, and even PSU connector pin-outs, the ModMat Xtreme is about as handy as it comes. Also featured are charts that help you easily identify fan sizes, HDD sizes, wiring diagrams for vandal proof switches, and even CPU socket identification charts.
Both of the ModMats double as Anti-Static mats to ensure that no stray static electricity is lurking around to fry your valuable PC hardware or even static sensitive electronic components such as microcontrollers, and transistors. The ModMat Mainboard features a single pair of connection points for a grounding strap and wrist strap while the ModMat Xtreme features a pair of connection points placed in two different locations. This was my biggest issue with the original Super Large ModMat as it only featured a single pair of connectors that managed to get in my way almost on an hourly basis. With the new ModMat Xtreme, you have a pair of connectors located in the lower right corner as well as a separate pair that is located in the upper middle of the mat, which is where I prefer them.
A set of grounding straps is included with each ModMat, one for your wrist, and one that should be grounded to an earth connection or large metal object. Personally I prefer to ground the strap to a ground pin on a wall socket, but some consider this an unsafe practice. What ever you do, just make sure the ground strap is connected to a large metal source, and the clip is making direct contact with the bare metal. If you clip it onto a painted surface, no connection will be made and the straps become useless at that point. (Note: TheMakersWorkbench.com, it's owner, and contributors can not be held responsible for any accident that may occur from connecting these ground straps to a grounding source. If you are unsure of where to place your ground cable please contact an electrical professional for assistance.)
Equipment that would be sensitive enough to test the anti-static claims of these ModMat's is just too expensive for us to purchase at the moment so I am relying on my personal experience with the ModMat line of anti-static work surfaces over the years as a basis for my conclusion in this review. I fell that the ModRight ModMat's perform exactly as described. Over the past few years I have not had a single piece of hardware or electronic component die from the result of static electricity while using a properly grounded ModMat and wearing the wrist strap in the proper manner. As for durability, I can not praise these work surfaces enough. Spilled acrylic paint peels right off when dry and erroneous drops of 400°c solder does not even phase the rubber surface. I have spilled 98% alcohol, paint thinner, and even the occasional splash of acetone onto the surface with no adverse affects. I was able to scratch off some of the colorful diagram with an X-acto knife, but after 15 minutes of tossing around motherboards, arduinos, hand soldered boards, and robot chassis, I was unable to damage the printed surface whatsoever. I could not detect any scratches left from the sharp points of solder on the bottom of the board. As time progresses, and wear begins to show, I will update this review with photos and short descriptions of the damage.
As always ModRight hit a homerun with these ModMat anti-static work surfaces. The addition of informative diagrams only sweetens the deal. The ModMat's are sized perfectly for my workbench and I would highly recommend the pair to anyone with this style of bench. Together they cover the entire work surface with just about 2mm of exposed wood on one side. Coming in at $60 for the larger ModMat Xtreme and a mere $40 for the Mainboard, both mats combined are cheaper than a competitive mat sized similarly to the ModMat Xtreme. I am a huge fan of these anti-static mats and have been a loyal follower for years now. If you are in the market for a durable, informative and anti-static work surface for your workbench, I can not recommend the ModMat line enough. These are the best bang for for your buck that you are going to find, and to top it off ModRight is a company built by modders for modders.
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