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Thread: Opinion: How picky are you on computer cases?

  1. #1

    Default Opinion: How picky are you on computer cases?

    I'm pretty picky myself. I don't keep anything modern, or anything black. It has to be beige or silver. I may accept cases in rainbow colors, but I've never owned any before. I tend to find black depressing to look at.

    For construction quality I don't really like the paper thin millennial era cases. I don't think many people do anyway, but it tends to be that the most stylish looking beige boxes tend to have the flimsiest construction, while the thick strong metal cases tend to be pretty ugly looking, like the server cases tend to be. I tend to always get rid of those garish Enlight towers. Very bland, dull, and boring looking. No offense to anyone who collects them...

    I used to like full towers a lot but now they're just too big, heavy, and inconvenient to have around. The beige full towers I like don't have that good of airflow in comparison to the mid towers. Several places for air pockets to develop. They typically have a "dual chamber" design, as in there's a metal plate divider in the middle that separates the top of the case with the PSU and DVD/CD drives, and the bottom - which holds the core system with the motherboard and add-on cards. The front fan at the very bottom of the case has to travel all the way through the small slit dividing the two chambers, (which tends to be blocked by drive cables) in order to reach the exhaust fan/fans at the top rear of the case. Not a very good design, but still, it makes up for it by being a monster of a case! You can cram just about anything in there, although it is hard to build a modern gaming PC inside due to temp issues. Easier to do on a smaller tower, I think.

    My preferred size for a computer is the micro-atx tower. It's the perfect size to carry around for upgrades and it still has excellent expandability, like the standard sized atx. Mini itx cases vary, but I really prefer motherboards with at least 2-3 expansion slots. Mini itx is cute though, and very convenient, depending on your application and use.

    Windowed cases look very nice. A dual slot 1 rig in a windowed case is such a dream to look at! I'd be using windowed cases right now if only they didn't generate static on the window itself. I take ESD safety very seriously. If I could find replacement window material I'd be in hog heaven.

    Back to the paper thin millennial cases; I keep them around if their looks are irresistible, (No I don't date computers) or also if they have better airflow and more numerous and larger fan slots than my other cases. I'm using one for my AMD FX right now. These cases tend to be wobbly, and using different case feet doesn't seem to help much. But these cases are not a big deal if you just leave them on your desk and don't touch them or put heavy objects on top, or live in earthquake country cause it could vibrate your hard drives easier. Using SSDs fixes this problem. I like my sturdy cases if I can find them. A case's usefulness can make up for it's ugliness. My Aopen HX08 is not an ugly case. It's really well made, and I had it for years and years before giving it away to a friend recently. He plans to build a K6-III system in there.

    Horizontal desktop cases are awesome. You save space by having your monitor on top. Just don't buy one that's thin metal, your 22" monster CRT could crush it!

    Well, that's all for me. Care to share your own ideas, opinions, tastes, and preferences about your PC cases?
    Last edited by computerdude92; February 11th, 2019 at 10:26 AM.

  2. #2
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    If I had my druthers, I'd prefer wood-and-stained glass myself. Metal is just so soulless.


  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    If I had my druthers, I'd prefer wood-and-stained glass myself. Metal is just so soulless.

    That is so pretty! I bet you wish you had it! It would be your dream case I bet! I use only metal cases because they have the best grounding, but I like how you think outside the box - and the beige box.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by computerdude92 View Post
    That is so pretty! I bet you wish you had it! It would be your dream case I bet! I use only metal cases because they have the best grounding, but I like how you think outside the box - and the beige box.
    I like natural beauty, AKA the soulless look haha, back when computers looked like computers. A plain old beige box with a stylish good looking front panel. But a PC built inside a desk looks cool..

    I do appreciate a pretty and innovative colorful case if It comes my way and fits my standards..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by computerdude92 View Post
    I'm pretty picky myself. I don't keep anything modern, or anything black. It has to be beige or silver.

    Horizontal desktop cases are awesome. You save space by having your monitor on top. Just don't buy one that's thin metal, your 22" monster CRT could crush it!

    Well, that's all for me. Care to share your own ideas, opinions, tastes, and preferences about your PC cases?
    So, I guess i'm the opposite end of the spectrum. I actually prefer nice black cases and I'm not a fan of 'beige boxes'. Which is funny because I generally don't like PC cases at all in my retro stuff, I prefer unique styles like the Atari 800, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 3/4, etc. But if it's going to just be a PC, I like case that doesn't look like the mid-90s early 2000's. I'm okay with 80's boxes (like the Tandy's or original IBM's) but of course nothing current would fit in those and I wouldn't be interested in creating a 'sleeper' pc's anyway. So yeah, for my 'collection' I prefer unique 80s stuff but for my current PC, modern is better to me and the cases are better made for the equipment that goes in them (correct mountings, plenty of fan space, etc).

    As for form factor, I use a black mid-tower myself, but yeah, even that is a bit big now. Long ago I swapped out my huge white Full size tower because I don't have 8 drives anymore and it was way overkill. My current system pretty much just consists of a (barely used) Blu-ray drive, a SSD Boot Drive and 1 standard Sata drive for local storage (most storage goes on my Raided NAS however). I don't like the cases going under the monitor since it really affects ergonomics. It puts the monitor too high and the keyboard too close (I use my computer a lot for both personal and work).

    Side note: I would definitely use that one that Chuck posted, however.
    -- Brian

    Working Retro PC's: Apple IIe/II+, Atari 800, Atari 520STFM, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga 3000, Commodore SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 4 GA

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ngtwolf View Post
    So, I guess i'm the opposite end of the spectrum. I actually prefer nice black cases and I'm not a fan of 'beige boxes'. Which is funny because I generally don't like PC cases at all in my retro stuff, I prefer unique styles like the Atari 800, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 3/4, etc. But if it's going to just be a PC, I like case that doesn't look like the mid-90s early 2000's. I'm okay with 80's boxes (like the Tandy's or original IBM's) but of course nothing current would fit in those and I wouldn't be interested in creating a 'sleeper' pc's anyway. So yeah, for my 'collection' I prefer unique 80s stuff but for my current PC, modern is better to me and the cases are better made for the equipment that goes in them (correct mountings, plenty of fan space, etc).

    As for form factor, I use a black mid-tower myself, but yeah, even that is a bit big now. Long ago I swapped out my huge white Full size tower because I don't have 8 drives anymore and it was way overkill. My current system pretty much just consists of a (barely used) Blu-ray drive, a SSD Boot Drive and 1 standard Sata drive for local storage (most storage goes on my Raided NAS however). I don't like the cases going under the monitor since it really affects ergonomics. It puts the monitor too high and the keyboard too close (I use my computer a lot for both personal and work).

    Side note: I would definitely use that one that Chuck posted, however.
    I agree. Black cases are cool for retro PCs. Inconspicuous. You could prank your friends! It's as if Windows 98 never died out. A nice new facelift.

    I'm not so sure if the modern "correct mountings" are the best. Dust can sit easily on top of your bottom mounted PSU and cables could be in the way, but it also depends on how neat and tidy you have your case. The traditional design had the power supply on top allowing it to take in heat from the CPU, but that could be a good thing, right? You need to exhaust the heat from your CPU directly, but it might also hurt PSU lifespan.

  7. #7

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    The more period correct a case/hardware match is, the more thrilling and nostalgic the user experience is! Sure, I can have a modern system that looks just like a 90's PC, but it won't have the *magic*

    I have to know my PC has genuine classic hardware inside the case while playing my games in order to have that perfect retro fit - like you're living back in time. Oh yeah, and it has to sound like an old school PC too, with those roaring sounds those old hard drives make. No, no, not click 'O death, but the ambient operating noise. Back then you could tell if you had a Maxtor or WD Caviar inside.
    Last edited by computerdude92; February 11th, 2019 at 11:16 AM.

  8. #8

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    Thinking about it, I can create my own magical nostalgia experience, by reinventing the standard of retro PC looks. I am nostalgic over my first ever PC I built back in 2011. A socket AM3 system. The motherboards back then were so beautiful and colorful. Gigabytes are my favorite, for their blue & white schemes. A nice way to compliment a beige box, by having a nice looking aesthetically pleasing motherboard inside.

  9. #9
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    As long as there isn't an overabundance of blue LEDs, fine.

  10. #10
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    I like quality cases from all the different eras I collect. If the ports are easy to get at and the insides are laid out so you don't have a rats nest of wires making working on them easier I like that. On gaming machines that generate a lot of heat I do like the newer cases with large quiet fans and good cable management. The lighting aspects and clear side panels you either like or don't but they do have some functionality and most can be turned off. Dust filters are nice and like modern cases where the heat from the system isn't expelled out the power supply heating it up.

    I do think retro systems installed in new black cases look kind of weird to me but finding an old case in good condition can be expensive and hard these days so I understand. People who hack an i7 into an old beige tower with the help of power tools make me cringe.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

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