Not housing your components in a case isn’t exactly popular. To many it would be seen as reckless, but I think that’s about to change. Your next build will not have a case, and these are some of the reasons why:
1. It makes the whole thing smaller.
If having a smaller sized rig is important to you, there’s nothing anywhere near as big as the case. Small form factor cases exist but unless you fit your components in such a way that every inch is taken up withcases make your computer unnecessarily big. “Space” in a case is just wasted space, the idea that air needs room to flow is nonsense – the less air there is in your case, the quicker your extractor fan can replace the whole volume of air available. The more space, the longer warm air lingers.
In for example a mini ITX build, all vital components are squeezed onto a tiny 17cm by 17cm motherboard, then usually housed in a 20cm x 30cm x 40cm box. Insanity.
2. As of now, caseless computers look good.
This is obviously subjective. But most people like to at least see some of their machine exposed, hence all the windowed cases you see. The problem with having a caseless computer traditionally was that it wasn’t that attractive. All those cables… and what’s attractive about a PSU, a 3.5″ HDD or the backside of a DVD drive?
Nothing, all those things are ugly. But now, none of those things need to exist any more. When you’re building a power efficient machine, you can opt for a PicoPSU, which are tiny. Unless you have an unusual purpose for one, a DVD drive is completely unnecessary apart from the initial OS installation. SSDs are small and the majority are attractive. And finally, with a build this minimal, you now have removed the issue of the big mess of cables you’d usually have to put up with.
I think a computer with a PicoPSU, 1 SSD, 1 GPU and a nice looking CPU cooler – completely caseless, would look way more interesting than a metal box.
3. Less compatibility issues.
When you’re choosing parts for a small form factor build, ensuring things fit can be a real ball ache. With a caseless build, you still need to ensure different components aren’t in each other’s way, but with no case it makes everything a hell of a lot easier. The only possible awkward component with a small form factor build I can think of is the CPU fan, it needs to clear the ram and leave space for the GPU. With the case? You still have that same issue, but you also need to ensure your GPU fits and that there’s even space for a decent sized CPU cooler. Watercooling is usually a nightmare.
4. Nice looking cases are expensive.
Cases in general are cheap, but desirable cases are not and isn’t because 0.4mm thick aluminium is expensive, it’s because people will pay more for a not ugly case. The reason I say not ugly is because most cases are hideous and all it takes is for a company like Corsair or Silverstone to make something that’s quite minimal and simple looking and it’s the new “must have” case – people will happily pay $200 for a small aluminium box.Not having a case also saves you from buying case fans, not only that but you won’t have to have any other guff they may have included with it to justify the high price, stuff you’ll never use. Bad case stock fans you will have to replace anyway, card readers, LEDs you’d rather weren’t there.