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aluminum or steel case?

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ManOfKnight

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2001
Location
Back in Iowa :( Come on Gators, Get up and Go!
I know aluminum is better at heat transfer...but with 3 to 4 fans, will it REALLY beat this steel one's 7 fans? right now i only have one fan (don't ask about the others)...it is a 120mm, pushing about 90-100cfm in.

i wanna get a pretty kewl case...i like the stylings of this one, but would i really see THAT much more cooling if i got an aluminum, either way i am going to get silent fans
33cfm at 28db...7 for this case 3 or 4 for others

i know some aluminums have more...but i am not going to pay over a hundred bucks for a case
click here to see this case
 

TimDgsr

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Location
Atlanta, GA
get a case that looks good to you, and has the fan placement that you want. personally i think the only thing aluminum is good for is making your case lighter.
 

nut581

Member
Joined
May 29, 2001
Location
Columbus, OH
TimDGSR voices my opinion as well :) .. if you're into cutting the case (putting windows, blowhole, etc), it's much easier to cut through aluminum case tho .. my steel case takes twice the effort, the time, and the dremel wheel to get cut than my friend's aluminum case ... but i love my sweet looking steel case (kinda like VAIO case, I love dark blue :) ) ..
 

obliv

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2002
chieftec aluminum cases rock cause they are like feathers. Although, ive had both steel and aluminum, no temp difference.
 

flixotide

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Location
Denmark
Bigger is not always better... it depends on the individual design.

The airflow is easier to control in a small case, and you're able to exchange the entire case volume at a higher rate than a large case.

A large case however has a higher volume, and takes longer to warm up, and has a larger heat dissipation surface. But it also takes much more air throughput to exchange the air at high rates.

As for alu vs steel, I'd opt for the aluminium one... especially due to the heat dissipation. Not the heat generated by CPU and GPU, but the heat generated by harddisks... the exchange of heat between harddisk and case is much better on alu design than on steel ones.. Granted you mount the HDD's in the 3½" slots.

Cheers, Flixotide
 

spazzkid

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2001
Location
Philippines
aluminum better at heat transfer? on heatsinks yes, but on cases? i doubt it. it performs same as steel cases. with steel cases being more sturdier than alum cases. alum cases look great though. just get one that suits ur tastes and budget. antecs, lianli's, coolermasters, and enermax cases look great.
 

flixotide

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Location
Denmark
Hey there Spazzkid... I may be wrong, but both Anandtech and Toms hardware have tested several cases, both steel and aluminum, and concluded that aluminum cases are in fact better at transferring heat, especially in areas of high contact. (PSU, harddisk, other storage drives that go warm...)

But hey... thats their oppinion, I know nothing for a fact myself, I'm still content with my ole steele chieftecs..

Cheers, Flixotide

EDIT: Found one test at anandtech.. Here
 
Last edited:

JaY_III

Senior of BX
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
i dont buy the Aluminum case is better for case temps one bit...
welll maybe if you have ZERO fans in the case....
But even with one intake and one exhust fan, the temp difference between Aluminum and stell is non existant.

The only real advantage Aluminum has over steel is that it is lighter.... So unless you LAN daily and have problems lifting your case, go for aluminum. But if you have no problems lifting a cmputer case (and you shouldn't) thier is no advantage...

So it really only comes down to what looks better to you and is it worth the money

you check the "Cases and PSU" sectoin yet?
as i am sure you will find some more insight on this question
 

nut581

Member
Joined
May 29, 2001
Location
Columbus, OH
NyTe: .. dang, 300lbs .. and I maxed at 135lbs .. but not yet taking any performance booster (creatine, etc) .. but 135 should be enough to lift up a girl and make her happy .. lol :D

bigger case would never hurt :) .. it would be useful if u move into H20 cooling :) ..
 

JaY_III

Senior of BX
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
isnt it a rule or something you have to be able to bench your own body weight?
 

Lithan

Disabled
Joined
Oct 24, 2002
Location
PA
Hmm. I have no ****ing clue what I can bench. I could lift up my ex girlfriend and carry her around though... of course I've always dated petite girls. Anyhow. Aluminum does nothing for overall case temps. It has these advantages...


1. VERY VERY VERY minor heatsink tendancies for hard disks, psu, etc. (A 40mm fan would likely help more at cooling.)

2. Easier to mod. (You can actually use those case cutters you can buy... Modding a decent steel case without power tools is hell on earth.

3. Lighter.


Advantages of steel.

1. Much sturdier.

2. Screws don't wear away the screwholes. (If you get an aluminum case, get one with steel inserts at the screwholes.)

3. Cheaper.


Advantage one is enough to make me choose steel. People push aluminum down lan-partiers throats. Seems stupid to me. I go to lan parties and my machine gets banged around alot. ... In a drag race, would you rather have a ferrarri or a 1977 impala? Ok, Now imagine you're in a destruction derby. Which would you rather have.

Aluminum has it's advantages and so does steel. But my comps not a drag racer... And neither is my 1977 impala. You may move faster than me. But as soon as you hit a red light. Im gonna grind your pansy *** little ferrarri into the pavement. Feel the burn.
 

FIZZ3

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2002
Location
NL, Europe
Looks and weight aside, I do believe there is a temperature advantage. My personal observation is that the hard disks run cooler. I can actually feel the heat throughout the 3.5" bay frame. The motherboard backplate also helps a little, especially around the CPU and northie areas. Again, I can feel how the heat spreads along the alu material.
 

specific

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Location
Atlanta, GA
Maybe a case will be made one day with aluminum 5.25, floppy & hd bays, and mobo tray, if that's where the heat transfer is most effective. Then it could still have a steel shell and maintain its durability.
 

Lithan

Disabled
Joined
Oct 24, 2002
Location
PA
Hell... Get your hands on a mechanics shop for a day plus some aluminum sheet and make the inserts for your favorite steel case. I know, easier said than done. But it is possible. Certainly not worth the effort imho though.

Also, aren't hard disk casings steel? Would the heat transfer from steel to aluminum be faster than from steel to steel? I always thought that metals would only give off heat as fast as they absorbed it anyhow.
 

Silversinksam

Moderator/ Silver Paste Taster©
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Location
Sunshine State, USA
My theory is that unless your pc isn't static you can use steel as long as you have good ventilation.

I had a Coolermaster ATC case as I got a deal on one, I found no substantial difference in temps over my CHIEFTEC Steel case, as both have good airflow.

Since my case never leaves my office I gave the Coolermaster to a friend that goes to LAN events and could benefit from the lighter aluminum case.

Until they sell a Solid Silver case my vote goes to Steel for static cases and Aluminum for Lan-ers :)