Originally Posted by Fractal Design
Thanks for all the input. Wire grills are certainly practical, but they do have a sort of industrial look that may not be for everyone. I'm also very curious to know whether removing all this metal could affect structural integrity or make panels more prone to warping. I'll be really interested to hear whether you notice any such differences once your build is complete.
My build is complete for quite some time 1-2years and I move it up and down from ground to table, etc. Cleaning, changing GPU or when I was cutting the remaining bottom piece to make bottom filter front removal and bigger bottom intake on front panel.
I did not remove the top grills since I do not use them and have them covered from inside with the moduvents aka glorified plastic with open cell foam
But that top panel is warped in from factory due to the stamped 2x140mm fan grill there, it's slightly convex toward the inside of the case. Probably not a thing anymore on R5/S or not as much, it's quite normal when stamping metal that it warps/enlarges a bit. One probably won't even notice on pictures unless I put a ruler, something truly flat, on top of the case.
As far as sturdiness goes I didn't notice any changes. All the grills are in flat parts that do not contribute much to overall stiffness. The bottom same as top had 2x fan grill hole stamped so that warped/enlarged that piece of metal and I think even before removing the grills it could be "poped" (change between convex and concave surface) in/out when pressed, sure now that only an inch wide piece of metal is left between PSU fan hole and bottom fan hole and with no PSU installed it can easily be poped in/out if I remember right. Otherwise PSU installs fine and sits on on that inch wide piece of metal with a "3M addon feet", just like the case originally has some PSU foam feet, I've added kind of a rubber 3M feet where my larger PSU sits in one corner, which would need to be added irregardless due to the 180mm PSU length.
As long as the corners of the cube/case remain intact and sturdy there is no change to overall stiffness. The rear is stiff too it has many corners in it's shape. If I would have removed the 5.25" bay I might have added a couple of L shaped pieces of metal there instead into the corners just like there are on the bottom I believe but I kept the bay since it made suspending 3.5" HDD easier.
I can try twisting the case with both hands but I don't notice any issues.
You can try taking a flat piece of metal with a grill stamped and a hole cut, as long as it's thick as the sheet metal the case is made of and there is an inch of material around it say 190x190 for a 140x140mm fan or it's bent to create a corner on the edges, it's gonna be sturdy.
Making holes to improve stiffness is used even in racing cars roll cages as it distributes the hotspot and it can withstand more impact. It's not always detrimental to stiffness to make a hole in something.
As for the LED being distracting, that issue has thankfully been solved in the R5 where the brightness was toned down substantially. I think this is something a lot of products could do with personally. I can't tell you how many devices in my house have tape covering up the needless glaring lights. While they're at it they can quit making every appliance in existence chime little jingles when you power them on, too, but that's a totally different rant.
The classic wire grills in stainless steel or chrome can be a matter of taste indeed.
On the other hand as suggested there are other options for effective wire grills. Different shapes and colors and mount positions
I prefer the Be Quiet shape but having the warped out shape as Corsair and mount it inside between case and fan looks cleaner but is definitely more tricky to manufacture. Having the grill warped out and more far from fan can reduce noise.Edited by JackCY - 7/18/16 at 11:32am