White is the new black for PC enclosures

Computex — Snake Eyes is out and Storm Shadow is in. Although the dizzying array of PC enclosures that populated the Computex show floor was dominated by stealthy hues, white is the fashionable color this year—until Labor Day, anyway. Just about every case maker seems to have at least one model with an arctic motif, and some look much better than others.

Of all the designs I’ve seen, Thermaltake’s snowy take on the Level 10 GT is the most interesting. Rather than a complete white-out, the GT is peppered with black grills and accent pieces. The contrasting colors nicely highlight the case’s unique architecture, and a pair of matching headphones completes the overall look. Thermaltake is using white plastic rather than a painted finish, so you don’t have to worry about scratches cutting through the pristine exterior.

Folks who prefer a more streamlined look might be intrigued by Fractal Design’s Define R3, which offers uninterrupted expanses of stark whiteness on its exterior panels. Black accents appear on the interior, and Fractal extends the high-contrast approach to its other cases. Peer inside the company’s black enclosures, and you’ll see a smattering of white fan rotors, drive rails, and expansion-slot covers.

Most of the white cases we saw are production models destined for retail shelves. However, Antec decided to show off a customized version of one of its white cases with anime prints on the side panels. I suspect some modders and artists will see these cases as a blank canvases on which to display their work.

Of course, we all remember the white Graphite Series 600T that Corsair debuted at CES. NZXT probably deserves most of the credit for popularizing white enclosures, though. True to form, it had a white version of the Sentry MX built for the show. This one has a good mix of white and black components inside and out. NZXT also makes a white PSU if you want to accessorize.

If case makers are following NZXT’s palette cues, we could be in for an interesting show next year. Check out the company’s latest Phantom, whose exterior looks like it’s been sprayed with Pepto Bismol.

I can appreciate the obnoxiousness of rocking a pink enclosure, but I’d prefer a hotter tone with less bubble gum and more magenta. NZXT hasn’t finalized the color just yet, so there may be hope. Amusingly, the pink Phantom started out as an April Fool’s joke. There was so much interest that NZXT decided to put the thing into production. Check out the gallery below for a complete collection of all the white cases we came across at Computex.

Comments closed
    • jimmy900623
    • 8 years ago

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    • burntham77
    • 8 years ago

    The one with the snazzy design on the side is kind of neat, but I still like my dark colors. Especially when it comes to the HTPC which has to look good in the black-glass entertainment center next to the black Xbox 360 S and the black PS3.

    I do wish my HDHomerun and Netgear splitter were black. Time for some upgrades!

    • fantastic
    • 8 years ago

    I had a white Antec P150/Solo. The “hidden” optical drive blanks don’t work for all drives and there are no white drives. I could never find a matching keyboard or mouse that I liked either.

    LEDs are pretty easy to change on them at least. I think I put amber LEDs in that one. Blue LEDs are terrible. They look cool for pictures and from a distance, but they suck in everyday use.

      • vvas
      • 8 years ago

      I just put a silver drive on mine, it goes well with the mostly silver front of the case.

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 8 years ago

    You’ll have to pry my BLACK Zalman Z7-Plus case from my cold dead hands before I buy a white case. Ergh…

    *And don’t even get me started on that bloody pink one!

    • PenGun
    • 8 years ago

    My 24″ tower is 12 years old. I painted it red with auto paint about 5 years ago. It has a furnace filter covering most of the left side where the panel was. Lots of room and runs cool. I will keep it as long as ATX fits it.

    • entropy13
    • 8 years ago

    Antec with Index and Biribiri FTW!!!!

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Shame that the tower chassis is going the way of big irons.

    System-on-chip platforms are going bring forth the next step in miniaturization. SFF PCs and All-In-One systems were ahead of their time. Now, they are going to be the mainstream, while the good old towers as we know it will only exist in the workstation arena.

    BTW, I can’t be the only one who recognizes the characters on side of the third case. 😉

    • jackbomb
    • 8 years ago

    Just get a Mac. Not that big of a deal.

    • Nutmeg
    • 8 years ago

    Bring back stained beige tbh.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Eyesores… Waaaay too bright for such a crappy looking case.

    • holophrastic
    • 8 years ago

    Look guys, more rectangular boxes. Lots of them. From everyone. Rectangles really are all the rage.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      Would you like pyramids?

        • green
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]Would you like pyramids?[/quote<] delivered: [url<]http://www.cluboc.net/reviews/cases/Luxor/Pyramid/index.asp[/url<] [url<]http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/cool-mods-the-great-pyramid-pc-mod/[/url<] [url<]http://www.odditycentral.com/pics/awesome-stargate-pyramid-pc-case-mod.html[/url<]

    • anotherengineer
    • 8 years ago

    I like my Sonata 3 I modded. I put in a side window I made from 1/4″ plexi-glass, lined the complete interior with 1/8″(3mm) thick soft black rubber, removed the blue hdd/pwr leds and put in a red hdd led and green pwr led that protrude about 1/8″ so they can be seen from any angle and painted the case a nice red.
    I did not paint the front plastic piece, it’s still charcoal or whatever, I was worried about paint damaging it.

    That being said my new Lian-li PC-7fnw just came in, it looks nice, but the sontata has grown on me more and I am not sure if I want to swap the guts around.

    I probably should have used that money for a mech keyboard or put it towards and ssd, ah well.

    • Oem
    • 8 years ago

    Silver > black. For one simple reason: Though they both look cool, when working inside the case a brushed aluminum interior reflects a lot of light, and makes it easier to see what you’re doing. I’ve never been one to sacrifice practicality for the sake of aesthetics, and that rules out black cases for me. A little bit of light goes a long way towards making all sorts of tasks easier. Even in situations where technically I can see all I need to see, like looking around my apartment for a misplaced remote or whatever, I’ve noticed using a flashlight actually speeds up the search. The light in my aluminum cases give the same results I’d get if I held a light or wore a headlamp working in a black case.

    Even helps when working with dis/connecting cables on the back, where a black case would absorb the already low indirect light reflecting off the wall, whereas I can easily see all the ports and their labels. The secondary reflection even lights up the backs of other nearby boxes like routers.

    TJ07 pics: [url<]http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,1958685,00.asp[/url<]

      • bluepiranha
      • 8 years ago

      I agree, silver > black. I can understand people wanting a fully painted case including the interior because it eliminates the cheap feel, but when it comes to actually working in the thing I prefer a brighter interior – even if it’s just from reflected light off the “cheap,” unpainted case innards.

      This is also one reason why white cases aren’t a problem for me – I really like the white NZXT H2 and Fractal Design R3, for instance. Granted the paint will probably discolor into yellow after a while, but that’s really not a top concern personally.

      Cheers!

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      I would go with Silver over White any day.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 8 years ago

    If you like the hot pink case, you would have loved the In Win Allure case. Looks like it’s out of production, though (or deactivated on Newegg at least).

    • bored_and_agitated
    • 8 years ago

    anyone know a website that’ll print custom images on skins for desktop cases, like the one on that antec case?

    • link626
    • 8 years ago

    white is the new black, until they oxidize and turn yellow.

    i haven’t seen a white plastic that remained white for very long.

      • aceuk
      • 8 years ago

      Just imagine what they would be like in a smoker’s house. Urgh!

    • provoko
    • 8 years ago

    Don’t say X is the new black. I hate when people do that. I’ve heard it all before, it’s a terrible phrase to describe a trend. I’ve even heard black is the new black. It’s awful.

    • green
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]White is the new black for PC enclosures[/quote<] ... and i wouldn't buy a single one of them of note, putting descriptions or a title against images in the gallery would be nice it' hard to identify who the case is from when they don't have a logo / brand on them it'll let me know which companies to lose faith in

    • Malphas
    • 8 years ago

    White seems very late 90’s/early 2000’s to me.

    • potatochobit
    • 8 years ago

    although I prefer a light colored case, the thing that bothers me most is how so many idiots but blue LEDs everywhere

      • Meadows
      • 8 years ago

      You’re just regurgitating that for some attention-seeking because you saw it mentioned on the Noctua fan news post.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        Sometimes it doesn’t matter who it comes from, the truth is the truth. But yeah, he’s probably looking for attention.

        In other news I just wrapped two USB hubs in electrical tape because they had entire blue-glowing logos. The blue thing has got to stop.

          • potatochobit
          • 8 years ago
          • Palek
          • 8 years ago

          Heh, we have a little unibody floor fan with incredibly bright blue LED indicators. Now for the truly awesome part: this thing also has an oscillating swing feature, so the annoying bright blue light sweeps back and forth across the room!!! (Nothing some tape couldn’t fix, of course.)

      • pot
      • 8 years ago

      What color would you prefer oh Grand Master of LED colors?

        • green
        • 8 years ago

        … infra-red

        cases these days have way too might lighting on them
        need something a bit more discrete

          • Meadows
          • 8 years ago

          Yeah, why not heat up a piece of electronics that’s struggling to cool itself.

            • Krogoth
            • 8 years ago

            Low-energy infrared (used in some wireless devices) generates negligible heat.

            • Meadows
            • 8 years ago

            We were talking about case lighting, but do feel free to drop in and waste time.

            • Krogoth
            • 8 years ago

            Ahem, I believe the OP was referring to LED illumination.

            Infrared lighting is pretty silly to begin with as it cannot be perceive by human eye.

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      I hate blue LEDs with a passion.

      Blue/Violet are the worse wavelengths for night version.

      There’s a reason why car dashboards use green/red illumination. 😉

      • bluepiranha
      • 8 years ago

      Even with car modification, I feel the blue-LED or blue-CCFL theme has to be restrained somehow. If you could somehow turn down the brightness, it’s not so bad, though.

      Personally blue lighting is just there to look cool; if you’re after an actual increase in functional visibility, it doesn’t help much. I would tend toward white lighting instead. I DIY’ed a simple, hidden, white-CCFL installation for footwell lighting in my car simply to make finding dropped things easier at night. It works great and looks nice without screaming “look at me” – I would imagine the same philosophy would also help in computer cases and locating the odd misplaced bolt or screw.

      Just my two cents

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    Bunch of storm troopers, they are.

    I don’t mind white, black, beige, grey, silver… essentially any near-colorless color in the white to black range.

    All I wish to avoid is poor design and bad aesthetics. Those are perplexingly difficult to avoid. Example: anime.

    • Jahooba
    • 8 years ago

    That pink monster at the end makes me wonder what kind of woman would buy it, and if she’s have lunch with me sometime.

    • Jahooba
    • 8 years ago

    Nah. Manufacturers want you to THINK white is nice, but only because it gets dirty and needs to be replaced sooner. I’ll probably keep my black Antec 900 for the next 4 years (on top of the 4 years I’ve already owned it), and I’m sure that doesn’t make case-makers happy.

    • jcw122
    • 8 years ago

    Unpainted aluminum or steel still takes the cake for me. White will be out of style for as long as Apple uses it on their products.

    • Bauxite
    • 8 years ago

    White desktop is the new glossy laptop:

    Only looks good in press photos, and if you actually use it, a few minutes out of the box.

    • adam1378
    • 8 years ago

    I still think the Corsair 600t is the best of the white cases…Empire for the win.
    [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139005&cm_re=white_case-_-11-139-005-_-Product[/url<]

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    There was a time when all cases were white, and black seemed sexy and cool. But I’m beginning to think that all the black and siver in today’s cases is getting boring again. Thing is, the white before seemed a bit beige, which should be buried where no man can ever get at it again. But if you make it totally white, as white as an iPod was, coupled with a white LCD monitor bezel, then it could look a bit girlish. I dunno. It’s their problem, I guess.

    • Corrado
    • 8 years ago

    That 2nd case is the only really attractive one, at least to my eye. Very storm-trooper-esque.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 8 years ago

    I’ve been using an Antec P150 for about five years. Does that mean I’m ahead of the trend?

    On the other hand, that white Level 10 GT is a crime against humanity.

      • green
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]On the other hand, that white Level 10 GT is a crime against humanity.[/quote<] ... did you see this one? [url<]https://techreport.com/image.x/2011_6_4_White_is_the_new_black_for_PC_enclosures/big_inwin1.jpg[/url<] don't get me wrong. some features seem useful. but this thing looks more like they've stuck them on rather than integrating them.

      • vvas
      • 8 years ago

      Another happy P150 owner here. Checking my records, apparently I’ve had it since October 2006. :^) I love this case, and it was a noticeable improvement compared to the first-generation Sonata that I’d had up to then (though apparently future Sonatas borrowed a lot of ideas from the P180/P150).

      As for its white colour, I find that it works rather well. The white case (with silver accents) sits on the floor, next to the white side wall of my desk. On the hand, everything that’s [i<]on[/i<] the desk (keyboard / mouse / monitor / speakers) is black with potentially silver accents. It all ties rather well together, and the contrast is cool too. :^) (Of course this has only been the case for the few weeks now that I've replaced my old beige AT keyboard and my old beige CRT monitor.)

    • thedosbox
    • 8 years ago

    [url<]https://techreport.com/r.x/2011_6_4_White_is_the_new_black_for_PC_enclosures/antec.jpg[/url<] Is that a white Antec Solo II? If so, hallelujah! Glossy black cases are a fingerprint and dust magnet, and look like crap in the real world.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 8 years ago

      Antec sold a white Solo before they sold a black one- the P150.

      [url<]http://www.silentpcreview.com/Antec_P150_Solo[/url<] (note article date)

    • mnecaise
    • 8 years ago

    If the white (and beige) cases come back into style I may have to start painting them for people again. I still do that with my personal computers — my laptop is a hammered metal finish in blue. Laptop before that was bright yellow. My prior PC was painted in a mossy granite scheme.

    • FormCode
    • 8 years ago

    Index ! Misaka ! 😀 That makes me wanna strap some random prints on my white mini p180 XD

    • neon
    • 8 years ago

    black was the new beige

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    They all look dreadful. Slick sexy black every day of the week.

    • Xenolith
    • 8 years ago

    Bring back beige!

      • Jahooba
      • 8 years ago

      Somewhere, somebody read that and dropped their fork.

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      You read my mind!

      Beige FTW

      haters will always hate.

        • Krogoth
        • 8 years ago

        Geez, what is exactly wrong with beige?

        It always had class.

        I guess that people prefer the funky, exotic colors, U/V lights, Blue LEDs that plagued modern chassis designs.

          • DeadOfKnight
          • 8 years ago

          I agree. But I also like the idea of having a tower that doesn’t scream “steal me!”

    • NeXus 6
    • 8 years ago

    Heh, white that turns yellow in ten years.

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      Less than 10, especially for the folks who handle their cases a lot or don’t sit in a cave that excludes all UV.

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    It may be the “new black”, but i don’t digg it. Check out the light reflection on the plastic of the case in the 3rd picture…i know EWWWWWWW

    • MadManOriginal
    • 8 years ago

    Meh, nothing beats brushed aluminum.

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      Not to mention you can get anodized aluminum in a lot of striking colors Granted, given the garish UI design and packaging frequently seen on computer equipment coming out of east asia, we’d probably end up with fuchsia and lime green, but there’s a lot of potential there in the right hands.

        • bluepiranha
        • 8 years ago

        Doesn’t anodized aluminum’s color fade?

        My experience with aluminum with anodized red finishes has seen them turn into purple or pink over time. Granted, this was with lugnuts on my car, and they saw way more heat than a PC case ever will, but still – that was an anodized red finish and it most definitely faded.

      • Palek
      • 8 years ago

      Indeed. Bought a Lian-Li mid-tower black aluminium case about 8 years ago. The case is the only surviving component of my main computer from back then. Still looks as good as new.

      White is a great colour for fridges and washers, though!

      Also, that white Level 10 GT case may look great in person, but the photos make it look like cheap plastic rubbish.

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