Aesthetics of PC Cases

In a reaction to zoom schooling and the ever progressing price of the newest generation of consoles many gamers, engineers, and people in pursuit of power have turned to the world of modern personal computers. In todays consumer market long passed are the days of the dull dell desktops you may see in ECCR 141 or in other corporate settings. Although function over form is in most people mind when purchasing a computer, PC cases have come to embody a hyperwave aesthetic where one might shell out an extra $30 for some case LEDs.

Parker Simmons                                                                                                       Mark Watkins

Now, what would be a computer case without a glass opening to see those sweet LEDs? Like a lot of modern homes PC cases follow a similar aesthetic where geometric designs with large glass panels are very typical. This shape is partly governed by critical components and to promote airflow through the device, but some may be surprised to see the significant amount of empty space in the typical machine. Another large design element on PC cases is the placement of fans, and for those in the pursuit of performance, liquid cooling systems. In both systems consumers often look for fans with integrated LEDs especially if they are of the same brand as the case, for they can be controlled in sync.

Adam Patrick Murray                                                                                                  Lian LI 011 Dynamic (Mrjosi94)

Finally, it seems that customization is on the fore-front of consumers minds, and in response computer part manufacturers host a diverse spectrum of products. To design ones personal PC aesthetic many people opt for futuristic case designs or wall mounted cases as seen below. Along with the case almost every product within a PC case has a wide variety of designs. Graphics cards, mother boards, CPU coolers, RAM, and fans can all be be purchased with LEDs, wild paint jobs, or plastic covers to create a custom look.

Thermaltake Core P3                                                                                                              Cougar CONQUER

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Peter, I really enjoyed reading about the RGB and customization of PC systems. I appreciate the joke on the dull ECCR lab desktops haha. You mention that the appearance/customization of these computers are at the forefront of consumer minds and I am curious to hear your thoughts on who the targeted audience is for these crazy futuristic designs. I would imagine that gamers would appeal more to a PC full of color but maybe someone who is using it for professional work would only care about the power of the computer.

    • Thanks for the comment Alex, I believe the general target audience for the futuristic designs is probably fairly small, and it may be those who may stream or the PC is used in a store for promotion. In corporate settings server networking and cloud computing are much more prevavlent than personal computing so in reaction the market is primarily focused on home builds.

  • Michael Burns
    January 29, 2021 3:36 pm

    Hey Peter, I have to say that I love this aesthetic, I’m writing this comment on my gaming rig right now. Something that I think you did really well with in your aesthetic exploration is the descriptive language you used. Not only did your selected images help build this but your examples were relatable. It would be interesting to explore how this aesthetic drew inspiration from more general aesthetics such a “Futuristic”. Also, I wonder when the first PC case was made with glass and incorporated LED’s. I image that this was pretty recently and could allude to the growth of this trend. Great job!

    • Hello Michael, I was fascinated by your question “when was first PC case was made with glass?” I had not explored much of the history about how this aesthetic evolved over time. It seems that the drive in new PC technology in the early 90s was heavily focused on performance where the looks of PC’s were almost not even considered. It seems that later, the imac was a PC where colors and futuristic designs where heavily invested in. Finally, I think gaming has probably been the main driver of the designs over the past 15 years.


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