Traditionally, PC cases had always had two formats: either desktop (the typical horizontal HTPC type box designed to put the monitor on top) or tower type , a format that is still the most common today. Some years ago , cube-type boxes began to appear , and in fact they had their peak with almost all manufacturers releasing their own models, and yet today they seem to have fallen into oblivion again. What are the advantages of using a box of one type or another? What is better according to what? This and much more is what we are going to tell you next.
Perhaps saying that today they seem to have fallen into oblivion is a bit exaggerated, but what is certain is that the streak in which all manufacturers incessantly presented boxes with this cube-shaped format has ended, leaving a bit aside the traditional tower-type boxes. Today there are many manufacturers that continue to have these boxes in their active catalogs and, in fact, some even continue to present new models, but certainly not at the rate we saw in 2018 and 2019.
We all know tower boxes, but what are cube boxes like?
The cube box concept is nothing new, although it was not extended until around 2018. It consists of a box that instead of rising upwards, extends wide separating the hardware components into two separate internal chambers, Leaving aside the most attractive components such as the heatsink, the board with the RAM and the graphics card, and “hiding” the devices that we do not usually want to “show” such as the power supply or storage devices.
But this is only one of its faculties, because in reality the idea is not simply to separate the ugliest components or the wiring from the visible area but to separate the devices that generate the most heat (the processor and the graphics) from the rest of the hardware with the objective of optimizing the internal cooling of the box to the maximum; this, however, is of little use in many cube-type boxes that were released on the market at the time because they left the storage area and source without active cooling.
Thus, a cube-type box is so called precisely because it is (almost) cube-shaped, as a general rule it is lower than a tower-type box (although not always, as for example with the gigantic Corsair 680X) and it is always quite wider to make room for that extra compartment.
Advantages and disadvantages of cube-type boxes
Let’s start with the drawbacks this time, as there are two main “drawbacks” to these types of boxes. The first is the space they occupy on the table since they are generally quite wide; When you have the box on the table, you usually don’t care how high it is, but the width does have a lot to do with whether you can fit monitors on the table, for example.
The second main disadvantage is that most manufacturers have neglected the cooling in the rear compartment where the storage devices and the power supply are usually located. For the source this is not a problem since they have their own internal fans and the boxes obviously incorporate a grid for these components, but the storage devices can suffer more from high temperatures as they lack active cooling in this area.
As for the advantages, in fact we have already explained them at the beginning because they are inherent to the characteristics of these boxes and there are also two: the first is that the components that generate the most heat are separated, thus being able to promote the cooling of the box; In addition, this space that is left free by having removed the source and the hard drives from the main area allows greater cooling options. The second advantage is that it allows the hardware that we want to show through the window to be much clearer and more organized, leaving much more striking and impressive hardware configurations.
Advantages and disadvantages of tower type boxes
We all know or have had a tower box, in which unlike the cube type all the hardware is installed in the same “compartment”. These boxes have the advantage that they take up less space on the table as they grow in height and not in width, and also all components receive active cooling without problems as long as the box is well designed.
In many tower-type boxes, like the one shown in the image above, it has been chosen to incorporate a plastic cover that literally hides the source and its wiring, in addition to the storage devices, creating a visual effect similar to the one we obtain with a cube type box. It is true that you can see that black plastic piece on the floor and that the cooling options are reduced with this, yes.
Tower or cube, what kind of box is better?
As always it depends, although in this case it depends on the box and the hardware you intend to install inside. As a general rule, a tower-type box will always meet your expectations, while a cube-type box is a bit more demanding in this regard in the sense that it requires you to have more physical space to place it. Leaving that aside, both types of box have their advantages and disadvantages as we have seen, so it is actually up to the user to discern if they prefer one or the other.
We would tell you that a cube-type box has more advantages than disadvantages compared to a tower type, but it will depend on whether you have physical space where to place it. In any case, with a tower box that is of good quality, has space to install your components and has good cooling options, you will never go wrong.