Aluminum or steel, which is better for your PC case?

The box is one of the fundamental elements when assembling a PC, since both the cooling capacity of the set and the capacity for expansion will largely depend on it, to be able to install hardware elements of different sizes. In general, all PC cases are made of either steel or aluminum (along with plastics), with aluminum being more aesthetic but also more expensive. However, when it comes to performance, is it better for the case to be made of aluminum or steel?

The materials with which PC cases are made have a lot to do with their behavior; without going any further, an aluminum box is usually manufactured by extrusion , resulting in what was once known as “unibody”, that is, instead of having many pieces riveted or welded, they have few pieces to which they are attached. has given the corresponding form in one go. This greatly reduces vibrations and therefore improves silence, but the downside is that if a part is damaged we will have to change the entire structure of the box.

Aluminum or steel, which is better for your PC case

Aluminum or steel in the PC case, which is better?

We have already told you about one of the advantages of having an aluminum case, and that is that since they have fewer riveted or welded parts, they tend to vibrate less and are quieter thanks to it. However, this also has a disadvantage and that is that modularity is lost, since one of the things that we find in today’s conventional PC boxes is that they allow us to “play” with their interior to change the layout of their internal components (for example, we can put and remove a rack of hard drives).

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Precisely because they are made with fewer parts (especially on the outside), aluminum boxes are usually aesthetically more beautiful than steel boxes, since aluminum is also usually given a beautifying treatment such as brushing or sandblasting. of sand that makes them much more elegant. On the other hand, the painting treatment on aluminum allows the use of different techniques than on steel, which is almost always matte, being able to see bright or metallic tones that, aesthetically speaking, look really good.

On the other hand, the last advantage that aluminum has over steel when we talk about PC cases is that it acts as a passive heatsink , as long as the manufacturer of the case has decided to take advantage of this property that aluminum has of easily transferring heat. heat, although it is true that this is usually only done in the smaller box models (mini ITX and at most mATX). Finally, aluminum is much lighter than steel and therefore the boxes are usually lighter.

Now, steel cases also have their advantages, and to begin with, they are much more resistant and robust … aluminum is not an excessively resistant material, and although nothing is going to bend due to the weight of the PC hardware, a A simple accidental blow could end up denting the structure and, as we have mentioned before, since it is in one piece, it can mean having to change the box depending on the circumstances, something that would not happen with steel boxes.

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On the other hand, the main advantage of steel boxes compared to aluminum ones is that both due to the cost of the materials and the cost of the manufacturing process, they are usually much cheaper , a fact that can be clearly seen in the absolute dominance of steel boxes in the market, since in the end aluminum boxes have a rather marginal market share.

So, to summarize, aluminum cases are an excellent option if you are looking for aesthetics and elegance, and if you don’t mind spending more money, while steel cases are the best option for the general public.