Not so long ago we could find almost everything: from a front panel with a series of analog wheels that allowed us to change the speed of the fans by hand, to more advanced ones with an LCD screen that showed us complete monitoring of equipment. equipment. However, nowadays it is almost impossible to find the availability of these products in the market, as most of the manufacturers have directly ceased their manufacture.
Front panel with hardware monitoring is gone
In the market, we could find a large number of front panels, from those that added USB ports or card readers to the equipment to complement the monitoring and control systems of the fans. Likewise, we had basic models that could be bought for as little as $ 20 to very advanced models with a touchscreen that cost several hundred dollars. There was, in fact, a specific case that was sold in conjunction with a high-end motherboard from ASUS and was masterfully integrated with it to be able to control even the CPU overclock.
The usefulness of this type of front panel is obvious, as it allows you to control the speed of the fans by hand or to see at a glance the status of the PC hardware like fan speed, temperature CPU or even its speed.
However, today it is practically impossible to find these devices, and the reason is none other than the market trend: this type of front panel was installed using the 5.25 inch bays of the enclosures (in the case of more advanced panels, in fact they occupied two of these bays), and since optical drives (which are what the enclosures for those bays were) have practically disappeared from the market, so have the enclosures that incorporate this type of space.
The fact that fewer and fewer PC cases have 5.25-inch bays means that this type of front has done so too, although it’s true that they continue to have their raison d’être at least in part.
The software made them lose their purpose
And we’re saying this in part because technology has evolved after all, and just as 5.25-inch bays are increasingly scarce in PC cases, now the weight of hardware monitoring and control is relapsing. more and more in software, resulting in dedicated hardware. has lost its raison d’être.
If we want to monitor the temperature or the speed of the fans, we no longer need to turn our heads to see the front of the box, since we have countless programs that do this internally and which, in fact, have an overlay to be able to see it at all times, even when we are playing, and without having to take your eyes off the monitor. Likewise, we have some very advanced overclocking and fan control tools, so we don’t need to have manual control over it either.
It is true that this type of front panel had a huge boom back then as they were really very useful and practical, especially for advanced users, but really technology has evolved and made it no longer necessary. to have a piece of hardware for that that takes up space and involves an investment of money when we can have it for free by software and in a fully integrated way.
What do you think? Missing this type of facade and would you like them to be made again?