PC cases are the mounting unit that keeps your PC in place and shows all the glorious insides you’ve spent your hard-earned cash to get. It was hard to show off your RGB components with metal cases, but that’s not the case anymore.
When acrylic cases first came to the PC case market, everyone was stoked about them. You could finally have a see-through panel, and all the flashy RBG inside your PC would finally make sense. However, as good as the novelty might be, acrylic cases have their own issues.
Similarly, when glass-panelled cases started hitting the shelves, companies charged a premium on them as they were marketed as better than acrylic. In this article, we’re comparing glass and acrylic cases to check if that’s really the case.
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Tempered glass cases
Tempered glass cases are built out of well, tempered glass. This allows you to show off your PC components without having to worry about your panel warping from heat or being discoloured over time, which are common issues with acrylic panels.
However, glass being glass, these cases are much heavier than their acrylic counterparts. They’re also prone to breakage should you accidentally drop them.
All that will fizzle out once you see a glass case, though. When done correctly, they look stunning. With manufacturers making more and more sides of a case from glass, you can show off from just about any angle while making your case look quite premium.
Since these cases are becoming increasingly popular, prices have come down, and now you can easily find a glass case in pretty much every budget.
Some of the best tempered glass cases you can try out are as follows.
- Thermaltake Versa H18 ($54.99)
- Phanteks Eclipse P400 ($79.99)
- CORSAIR Crystal 570X ($271.18)
|Scratch resistance: As you can guess, tempered glass is a lot less prone to getting scratches as compared to acrylic. You can wipe them off with just about anything and they won’t show even the slightest of scratches.||They’re heavy: Glass is much denser than plastic and hence, much heavier. If you’re planning to move around your case a lot, you might be in for some heavy lifting.|
|Easy to clean: Building upon the previous point, all you need to do to clean a glass case is just wipe it down with a dry microfibre cloth or even with a window cleaner.||They can break: Glass being brittle, can also break easily. While tempered glass is definitely much stronger than normal glass and might even be able to take a few drops and bumps here and there, all it takes is one accidental fall and you’ve got one hell of a cleaning job ahead of you. Not to mention the need for a new panel.|
|No discolouration issues: Unlike acrylic, which mainly consists of plastic, glass cases don’t show that annoying yellow tint over time. You can use them for as long as you want and they’ll stay exactly the same colour they were when you first got them.||Gaps in the case: These cases also have gaps in them. You can just slap glass exactly flush with the rest of the case. These gaps can let dust or other small, annoying things inside your case that can cause problems later.|
|Looks: The ability to be able to show all the RGB parlour tricks you’ve got inside your PC just goes to the next level when you’re using a glass case. Not only it lets spectators get a sneak peek inside your PC, but the glass panels themselves also look a lot more premium.||–|
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Acrylic panel cases
These cases hit the market before glass ones and kicked off the entire PC building RGB phenomenon in a lot of ways. Before acrylic panels, PC cases were made out of metals and hence were opaque.
Since acrylic isn’t exactly super expensive, suddenly everyone could get a case with a see-through panel and show off whatever beautiful wirework and lighting they had going on inside their cases.
Here are some amazing acrylic cases you can buy straight away.
- AeroCool Cylon RGB ($45.99)
- Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L ($48.49)
- Musetex PC Case ($79.99)
|They’re pretty much unbreakable: While glass is quite prone to breaking from a fall, on acrylic, at worst you’ll get a scratch. Unless you really bend and try to break an acrylic panel, it’s unlikely that they’ll break by accident.||Prone to scratching: It’s really easy to scratch acrylic. Some panels can get scratched simply by cleaning them with a bad cloth. In fact, after some time, even cleaning them will start leaving small scratches here and there.|
|They weigh less: Aforementioned, glass is much denser than acrylic and hence much heavier. Acrylic panels make for a much lighter case.||Heat warping: Acrylic can warp and bend when it’s hot. Depending on what components you’re using and how good your heat management is, don’t be surprised if you end up twisting your panel in a weird way just because your PC ran a bit too hot.|
|They’re cheap: An acrylic case will set you back much less as compared to a glass case while still letting you show your PC off.||–|
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Which one should you buy?
Both cases have their own pros and cons. Glass looks good, is easier to clean and will last you longer. However, one mistake could mean a costly repair job and a headache-inducing cleaning session.
Acrylic is cheaper, won’t break on you and still lets you show your PC off. However, it’ll definitely not last as long as a glass case.
Either way, you should try going for a glass case if you can. PC cases aren’t exactly meant to be moved around a lot, so the weight might not be as much of an issue. If you take care of your case, it’ll last you a lifetime.
However, that’s not to say that acrylic cases are bad. If you need a case that you often move around and don’t mind a few scratches, acrylic cases are just as good a choice.
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