Irreparably, technology evolves adapt to the Business necessities; It’s not like fashion (speaking of clothes) evolving into what designers think is good, no when it comes to PC technology it always evolves to conform to user request. And in recent years, what are users asking for? Since the number of hardware enthusiasts has increased, aesthetics have obviously been one of the most important points, and especially when it comes to PC hardware.
Cold, a key point for performance
One of the key points in the evolution of PC cases has been the cooling system; Initially, the cases did not have fans, and in fact even the power supplies did not carry them. However, hardware has evolved into systems with much smaller lithographs and with higher consumption to be able to deliver more power, forcing PC case manufacturers to adapt to new times and build cooling into their devices. .
We have spoken to you several times about the importance today of studying the ideal air flow inside the box so that all the components that emit heat can operate within a temperature range. appropriate, and here the box represents a key point because it is here that we can install fans to bring in the fresh air from the outside and expel the hot air from the inside.
Likewise, the design of the cases had to change and not only to be able to install case fans, but also to be able to accommodate large CPU air heatsinks, graphics cards with advanced cooling systems (since initially, they didn’t even have the GPUs and look where we are now), and more recently to the big heatsinks in liquid cooling systems that we use today almost daily thanks to the arrival of AIO liquid cooling kits.
PC cases, evolving for the sake of aesthetics
When the first personal computers hit the market, they came with these horrible boxes so uncomfortable to look at that the most common was to put them somewhere hidden under the table or cloistered in the old furniture that we had the computer on. In addition, these were not boxes that stood out precisely for their functionality as they were usually prepared for the OEM PC
Today things have changed a lot; boxes have not only focused their design on aesthetics with the intention of capturing attention (and this is one of the reasons people usually put them on the table and not “hidden”), but also their functionality and versatility are such that in most cases almost any PC can be mounted in almost any case (with a few exceptions with specific hardware much larger than normal).
Clear panels are here to stay
After that line of ‘showing off’ your PC case, something which was pleasantly augmented by the era of ‘LAN Parties’, there also came a time when enthusiasts wanted to not only show off their gear case, but also its material. And of course, to meet this user demand, boxes with clear acrylic plastic windows began to arrive which allowed to see some of the hardware mounted inside the box.
Gradually and over time, these plastic panes became insufficient for enthusiasts, and at the same time manufacturers began to realize that it was not much more expensive compared to change the metal side and plastic for one fully fabricated side. tempered glass that allowed you to literally see the entire interior of the PC.
In some cases this has reached almost to the extreme and today we can find PC cases whose evolution has led us not only to a tempered glass side, but also to the fact that almost the entire case, to the ‘except for its central structure, is made of glass, including both sides and roof. And that is precisely what brings us to the next point about the evolution of PC case design.
RGB lighting, the key to the evolution of PC cases
Over time, the design of PC cases has evolved to show off the hardware; In the days of clear acrylic plastic windows, lighting was used by means of cold cathode lamps, quite uncomfortable to use, with heavy consumption and that really didn’t look too good. Manufacturers realized this and once again steered the evolution of their PC cases towards what the market demanded: lighting systems. Initially we only saw the lighting of one color, but gradually we have reached the era of RGB lighting in which today we have up to SSD with it.
At the other extreme, we have the manufacturer be quiet !, and that’s why we put the image above as an example; It’s a builder who prefers to keep more understated designs, and while they don’t give up on RGB lighting, they do it a bit more modestly, preferring to focus their efforts on versatility, performance and silence. as indicated by his name ; Now, if the user later wants to add LED strips or fans with lighting, models with tempered glass have several.
In fact, the issue of RGB lighting in components is something that has always been the subject of debate as almost all manufacturers have their own products with this type of lighting and, unless you have everything from the same manufacturer. , even if you manage to synchronize the colors and effects, you will not have a seamless system that ultimately produces the opposite effect to what you want, generating a chaotic environment that looks more like a nightclub than a PC. It’s actually a matter of every user’s taste to decide what they want and what they don’t want, but of course RGB lighting is already part of the evolutionary history of PC cases.
Modding has taken PC aesthetics to the extreme
Modding is not something new but specifically in the PC industry they have taken case design to the extreme because as it is the element that is first seen in a PC and considering its size it gives a lot of leeway, they also managed to make it the most colorful.
Modding on PC is a clear example that if you don’t like something the way it is, you can always get down to business and change it. And the modding of the ’90s is precisely where many of the ideas and designs used today emerged, including lighting, and was to some extent the trigger for the evolution of PC case design.
be quiet !, the practical example of the evolution of PC cases
Nowadays we’ve gone from those horrible ivory boxes to really pretty and colorful boxes, some with windows or tempered glass and even with RGB lighting as we’ve seen before, and the goal is to ‘grab the user’s attention, with no place for doubts. Be quiet! It is a manufacturer that may have arrived a bit late in the PC case market, but there is no doubt that there is also a lot of evolution in the design of its cases, which started with models. quite minimalist to really eye-catching and elegant models. .
Be quiet! is a manufacturer who has always remained true to his design, and despite the fact that he has not been exempt from additions in the design of his PC cases like tempered glass sides or ultimately even RGB lighting, its evolution was rather made in terms of performance, functionality and versatility, because today it is one of the most recognized manufacturers for the quality of its products, which are designed not only to maintain a low noise level, but also to last .
Not everything is aesthetic: versatility is essential
While it is true that today most PC users (and especially enthusiasts) opt for an eye-catching case, in reality, functionality is still one of the most important parts of the evolution of PC cases. . In the past, enclosures were built for specific systems or standard components, and there wasn’t much leeway when it came to replacing a piece of hardware or making improvements such as adding new ones. fans to improve air flow.
This is a point where current PC cases have changed a lot as well, because although there are still limitations, in general terms almost any hardware can be mounted in almost any case. For example, even if you have a PC with an air heat sink, almost all cases have space to install liquid cooling radiators, or if you want to add more storage units, most have racks. of modular discs that allow you to put on and take off as you please.
Another development in PC cases has been the location of the power supply; In the past, it was installed in the upper part, which made the center of gravity of the box very high and with each hit they would tip over, in addition to the fact that the fan put hot air into the box. box. Nowadays, they are mounted below to improve the center of gravity and for the fountain to absorb cool air from outside to keep the fountain at a good temperature.
Likewise, another fairly significant development in this industry has been the inclusion of dust filters in the vents, which are aimed at preventing dust from getting inside the box and ruining our precious hardware. Likewise, another interesting development has been the elimination of 5.25 inch bays, a trend that has again been because this is what the market “demanded” since optical drives are now completely obsolete. .
Finally, another aspect that, how could it be otherwise, has evolved with PC cases is connectivity; In the past, PC cases had nothing more than a power and reset button (well, and Turbo if we go back long) but they didn’t even have USB connectors and users had to resort to expansion cards for this. Today, there are no PC cases that do not have front USB ports, as well as audio ports for greater ease of use and, ultimately, greater versatility.