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Full aluminium casings dying? Corsair,Fractal,SS reps in here!

post #1 of 27
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I see the trend most high end casings have gone with 1/5 alu 3/5 steel and 1/5 plastic....plastic sucks and breaks, steel is heavy, paint scratches and corrodes....

I admit after years of owning Lian Li and switching to FT02, i am missing the full aluminium touch and lightness. How awesome if FT02 top and side panels are also aluminium...

I think there is no excuse for $200+ casings to contain plenty of plastic and steel...

Fractal and Corsair entered the market with some modern and utilitarian designs but uses mostly steel and plastic...that is sad.

If only Lian Li redesign their case tech for better airflow and cable management...they would be FOW!
    
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post #2 of 27
You might like Abee/WiNDy cases, then, they're completely aluminum and made in Japan, with the only non-metal stuff being the cables and some parts of the fans (Abee's are waterproof if that counts for anything). Of course, you have to get them into the country first, and be able to pay the premium in the first place.
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post #3 of 27
Aluminum cases tend to vibrate and resonate a bit more than steel cases.
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post #4 of 27
The answer is cost, steel is way lower in cost than aluminium, it would probably add 50% to the cost of any all aluminium case over 3/5 steel, plus the cost of retooling the plant as not all tools suitable for steel work so well with other metals.
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post #5 of 27
As mentioned above, the cost of making an aluminum case is very expensive. Another thing is demand. Sure on OCN and other enthusiast sites, there seems to be quite a demand for beautiful aluminum cases, but really in the end, what makes more money is mass produced machines that fit the right price point. Most people don't see the value in paying $200+ for a case just because it's made out of aluminum. Rather, they'd spend it moreso around the $100 range (CM 690 for ex.) or at most around ~$150 ish give or take for a slightly nicer designed and larger case (650D for ex.). Case manufacturers realize that the value proposition offered by higher end aluminum cases aren't worth the price they need to sell it at to make a decent profit.
    
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post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by allikat View Post
The answer is cost, steel is way lower in cost than aluminium, it would probably add 50% to the cost of any all aluminium case over 3/5 steel, plus the cost of retooling the plant as not all tools suitable for steel work so well with other metals.
so?

Lian Li does both Alu and steel (lancool brand) so double teh win for consumers.
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post #7 of 27
Lian-Li is a special case because they're basically a machine shop with some talented case designers on staff. This is why they can make just about anything out of aluminum - they buy in huge volumes and make all sorts of weird stuff, like the spider, the dinosaur toy, the snail case, etc.

Really, the overall reason Aluminum isn't being used is that it offers almost no benefits except for weight savings and, to some degree, cosmetics.

Our Obsidian series cases have aluminum-clad front panels for the cosmetic part - it's strictly that - cosmetic. Making either case out of 100% aluminum would have either made the cases cost significantly more or made us sacrifice features to meet those prices.

Also, the cosmetics of the exterior don't always go to the interior - most full aluminum cases with anodized interiors are really expensive - you don't want to paint aluminum, otherwise you might as well use steel.

To be honest, most people don't care about aluminum, and the sales aren't large enough to justify building an entirely aluminum case when aluminum + steel is a much better combo. Besides our Obsidian series, Silverstone's FT02 is a nice blend of the two materials - gives you the aluminum look but with lower cost than if it had been entirely aluminum. But the RV02 is basically the same case for 30% less money, just because it doesn't have Aluminum in the build. Look at cases like the TJ07 and TJ11 if you want to see the costs of full aluminum with decent thickness enough to prevent resonance.

TL;DR: Aluminum is expensive and most people don't care enough to spend the 30-70% extra for similar or less features.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsairGeorge View Post
Lian-Li is a special case because they're basically a machine shop with some talented case designers on staff. This is why they can make just about anything out of aluminum - they buy in huge volumes and make all sorts of weird stuff, like the spider, the dinosaur toy, the snail case, etc.

Really, the overall reason Aluminum isn't being used is that it offers almost no benefits except for weight savings and, to some degree, cosmetics.

Our Obsidian series cases have aluminum-clad front panels for the cosmetic part - it's strictly that - cosmetic. Making either case out of 100% aluminum would have either made the cases cost significantly more or made us sacrifice features to meet those prices.

Also, the cosmetics of the exterior don't always go to the interior - most full aluminum cases with anodized interiors are really expensive - you don't want to paint aluminum, otherwise you might as well use steel.

To be honest, most people don't care about aluminum, and the sales aren't large enough to justify building an entirely aluminum case when aluminum + steel is a much better combo. Besides our Obsidian series, Silverstone's FT02 is a nice blend of the two materials - gives you the aluminum look but with lower cost than if it had been entirely aluminum. But the RV02 is basically the same case for 30% less money, just because it doesn't have Aluminum in the build. Look at cases like the TJ07 and TJ11 if you want to see the costs of full aluminum with decent thickness enough to prevent resonance.

TL;DR: Aluminum is expensive and most people don't care enough to spend the 30-70% extra for similar or less features.
Really? Then how on earth can Lian Li produce a full tower aluminum @180~?
This also applies to CM with the ATCS840 @200~ too.

Aluminum is great for modding, just go on mdpc and see for your self how many alu cases there are.
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post #9 of 27
There's no denying that aluminum is great for modding, but going on mdpc to see how many aluminum cases there are doesn't really prove anything. Like George mentioned, Lian Li makes a LOT of aluminum products in general and they also OEM for a lot of other brands out there as well. They have huge purchasing power and are already greatly invested in aluminum manufacturing. This type of thing is extremely capital intensive and there isn't exactly a huge market for these things either. Only real enthusiasts would appreciate the value in a ~$200 aluminum case. Just look at how many more people spend $50-$150 for budget cases like the Antec 300 to the CM690II. It's a lot more portable and easier to invest into production. Companies like SS and Corsair aren't that big when it comes to the case market for them to have the ability to just produce them cheaply. CM is a fairly big case manufacturing company and they have a wide variety of budget cases which probably generate a lot more profit than say their Cosmos line or their ATCS 840 do.
    
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post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodysb2 View Post
Really? Then how on earth can Lian Li produce a full tower aluminum @180~?
This also applies to CM with the ATCS840 @200~ too.

Aluminum is great for modding, just go on mdpc and see for your self how many alu cases there are.
I think you were given the answer in the quoted post.
Lian-Li is a machine shop specializing in aluminum. This would mean that they probably get in larger quantities and therefore get better prices on it, which in turn means better prices on the cases.
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