Droidekafan wrote on 2021-11-27, 10:58:
y2k_survivor wrote on 2021-11-27, 09:17:
I built my first computer in 2000, and I bought the case from colorcases.com (does anyone else remember this site?). Visiting that site in the Wayback Machine got me curious about the early history of enthusiast computer cases. When did cases start appearing in colors other than beige, and what did they look like?
As for colorcases.com, their selection circa mid-2002 can be viewed here.
I love the cheesy look of these colorcases. I've been after one for a while but they don't come up often.
These were produced only for a relatively short while, this was one hype that came and went rather quickly.
Tetrium wrote on 2021-11-27, 09:42:
The oldest enthousiast ATX case as I can remember it was the Chieftec Dragon (first produced somewhere in the Netburst/AthlonXP […]
The oldest enthousiast ATX case as I can remember it was the Chieftec Dragon (first produced somewhere in the Netburst/AthlonXP era I think, so roughly 2002 or so maybe??).
It did come in several colors and several versions and the design was copied by quite a lot of manufacturers (Chieftec was perhaps not even the original one, but it's the name I remember them by). This case was also somewhat popular to repaint (friend of mine repainted his, it's now in my possession as he didn't want that ton of metal anymore and I was like mineminemineminemine! 🤣 😜
The first color I remember seeing that wasn't beige (apart from the odd black sheep in the 80s and 90s), was silver colored. Optical drives were available with beige and silver front bezels for a short while but black replaced silver pretty quickly.
I do remember the style of case as you depicted, it was approximately the same era as when black cases became a think or slightly before that?
EDIT: When I'm talking about the color here, I mean as in mainstream. Obviously there have been odd ducklings mixed in years before, when beige was still mainstream.
As I remember it, the appearance of silver cases also came at roughly the same time that ATX cases began appearing made of thinner material (not made of steel anymore).
The black cases after that were the first ones (mainstream) that often came with 12cm fan openings (but some AOpen beige cases also came with 12cm openings, but all those tiny holes would still not let a whole lot of air through).
The black cases was when cases started looking more sleak. After black came cases which looked more like what you see at carnival attractions with all kinds of strange and impractical appendages attached to the case.
I think Lian-Li and coolermaster were making aluminium cases in 2000.
Lian-Li definitely made aluminium cases 😀 , it's what they were basically known for back then.
But most cases were still manufactured from steel up to that point. It was mostly cheap cases of questionable build quality that started to omit producing the heavy steel cases, but at some point almost all moved on to aluminium cases. Or at last this is how I remember it back in the day. At that point I only started with the hobby and I dove rigth in haha.
And I'd love some more people to chime in in this thread (and correct my every mistake so we can build something of a solid timeline here 😜 ).
Concerning Cooler Master, back then I knew them for their CPU coolers, which I rather liked. Their other stuff seemed seemed what cheaply made to me but I don't know for a fact they build cases back then (they probably didn't but had another party make them for them and rebrand them so they could be sold under their name).
A favorite case of mine from 2001 is the AOpen H600A. I got several of these and mostly identical builds from a single purchase (had to go by car to pick them all up) and these look nice for my taste, still are beige, some can mount 12cm fans and the airflow is a lot better after the fan exhaust meshes have been removed with a hacksaw (added fan frills to protect fingers from accidentally getting salamisliced off 😜 ).
I do remember a couple more things, it was during that time that side panels became a norm (before that it was mostly the U shaped cover that covered the
front, top and backEDIT:sides and top, I was thinking of having a case sitting in front of me with the left side towards me like I always see them when I work with them 🤣 ENDEDIT of the case). As Serpent Rider already mentioned, slightly later the case modding scene took off and I think this had a large influence on what PC cases looked like from the factory (they started to make them more bling bling like).
Also better airflow, which was really needed with P4, Thunderbird and the graphics card maturing with evermore impressive (and power drawing) board designs.
At some point it was mostly black cases all over, of usually sleak design (think Antec p180 and Cooler Master Centurion 5).
Later we got more wacky designs like the Cooler Master HAF series (lost the sleak lines) and white PC cases (not beige but really aspirin-white) made something of a comeback.
And also at some point PSUs moved from the top to the bottom of the case. Another development was the start of case manufacturers to omit more and more external drive bays.
Then there's also BTX which thankfully never got anywhere.