Much difference between aluminum and steel?
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Thread: Much difference between aluminum and steel?

  1. #1
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    Much difference between aluminum and steel?

    I'm shopping aorund for a high perofrmance case with aesthetic appeal as well. Originally, i liekd the Xpider but recently, I've started liking the Xaser III series. My question is this, does anyone know what the actual differences are between a steel and aluminum case? The Xaser 1000 models are amde with a steel chassis and the 2000 with an aluminum but it doesn't get into the advantages of them and as this is the only apparent difference between the models (well that and a lack of a black case which is what I wanted anyways), what are the real advantages of aluminum. the only one I really know of is heat but with six case fans, I doub that would be a problem anyways.

  2. #2
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    Would venture to guess Aluminum is much lighter as well.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah i did just read a report on google on that as well but as I'm not going to be moving it around much, that's not really that much of a factor. thanks.

  4. #4
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    Aluminum is lighter but does not cool any better, like lots of places claim. Heat does not radiat away too well through the sides of the case weither it is steel or aluminum. The fans will remove 99% of the heat and only about 1% is dissapated. The only good thing about aluminum is the weight. There is a few drawbacks. Aluminum of corse costs more, but also it is a softer metal and will dent VERY easy.
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  5. #5
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    Aluminum looks cool, weighs less and won't rust but other than that there really are no advantages to aluminum over steel. Disadvantage is cost, aluminum cases do cost more than steel cases.

    That said, I have two aluminum cases, one brushed finished and one black anodized. You can remove and paint the face plates on your CD-ROM drives etc. to match your case which I did with my non-anodized case for an added personal touch.

    I just like the looks of them. They will last me quite a long time and still look cool.

    I don't kick them around so they aren't likely to become dented.
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  6. #6
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    another advantage of aluminum: when you bang the case in frustration it dosen't break bones
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  7. #7
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    lol I usually just slam my fist into my keybaord to prevent that

  8. #8
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    The bottom line aesthetically is that more effort is spent on making aluminum cases look good, IMO. You're already paying much more for the material, so why make an ugly expensive case?

    Aluminum does dissipate heat about three times faster than steel because its molecular composition does not allow it to retain or conduct electrons as well as most steel alloys. However, like Todd a mentioned, this makes very little difference in your case unless it happens to be conducting electricity. Most of the cooling comes from fans, which simply circulate the air.

    Some of you may not care, but I kinda like being able to lift a full tower back and forth between rooms and around my room at 1/2 the weight of a mid-ATX steel case. I don't do that much, but its nice when I do.

    Be careful with scratching. Even short fingernails are deadly to anondized aluminum.

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  9. #9
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    I like my Antec SX630 case. It is steal, thick, indestructable and heavy. I can add a window in the side pannel without it getting all flimzy on me. As for rust. Man I got some cases that are 20 years old and they still haven't rusted yet. As long as they are pained, they will not rust. Yes, if you like the "brushed aluminum" look, then you will need an aluminum case. If you want a standard painted case, then weight it the only true differance.
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  10. #10
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    Be careful with scratching. Even short fingernails are deadly to anondized aluminum.
    A black magic marker will conceal any small scratches if I get any so I'm not worried about that.

    Man I got some cases that are 20 years old and they still haven't rusted yet.
    I was merely pointing out a difference between steel and aluminum. I've never seen a rusted computer case either and I live about 7 miles from the Pacific ocean.
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  11. #11
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    Ah! What's wrong with having a heavy case to move between rooms? It'll give ya some good exercise

    Honestly, I prefer the durability of steel cases. I really am not into case modding or caring whether my case looks cool. I'm still using a standard Enlight 7250 or something like that (I know its something 250), though it is aluminum. Before that I was using my old stainless steel (that's why they don't rust!!) Gateway OEM case. I ended up painting it black just to be cool, but spray paint doesn't bode well for scratching

    I may be buying a brushed aluminum case though in a few months for another system I'm planning on..
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  12. #12
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    To be honest I've not managed to scratch my Lian-Li PC-50 case yet. Seems just as durable as my old steel beige ugly case...

    But pretty much it comes down to weight and aesthetics.
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