Whether you like to light your PC up like a Christmas tree and stare in wonder through a window at the marvellous liquid cooling that enables you to overclock your AMD Duron to 8GHz, or prefer a boring black box with no window and certainly no ghastly lighting schemes, there's one thing we can all objectively agree on: there's some pretty bloody awful PC cases out there.
All the top-five ugliest PC cases we've identified are current models and on sale in the UK at the time of publication.
It seems a bit unfair to pick on CiT, given that there are an awful lot of ultra-budget cases and the designers clearly want theirs to stand out, but this stands out for the wrong reason. Red LEDs? Yeah; blue, yes; green, okay. But purple? A line has to be drawn somewhere.
Unfortunately, CiT has drawn it in a nasty shade of purple down the front of this box, and thrown in some purple LEDs to make it really stand out.
At less than £25, maybe the box is intended to appeal to budget-conscious 'kippers who just can't get enough of the colour purple?
This Micro-ATX case from 3XS almost defies description. It looks like it was designed by some of the more disturbed kids at a borstal for primary-school-age trouble makers.
Shaped like a hendecagon (look it up, I'm not your mum) cylinder, it looks like one of the garbage pods that Arnold Rimmer mistakes for an alien shuttle in Red Dwarf. Remarkably, though, it can compfortably house a micro-ATX motherboard, although the location of the PSU necessitates an extension cable.
The shape, however, means that it's considerably bulkier than rival micro-ATX cases, which renders the whole hideous monstrosity pointless as well as stunningly ugly - regardless of the finish you choose.
Thankfully, it's only stocked by Scan. But, mystifyingly, it would appear to have been sold by Scan in various forms for more than decade. Why? WHY???
The number of CiT cases out there, you'd think they just bang these designs out without a second thought about how ugly some* of them are. But there's a good reason why black is a good colour for cheap metal and plastic - it just looks less naff. A colour like white, on the other hand, will look a bit nasty when it's new, and will only get worse as it ages.
This angular case from CiT - you can't even park a Blu-Ray drive or USB hub on top - looks like it was designed by a pretentious teenager.
It even has a horrible little window (modelled, it seems, on the almost-as-hideous Thermaltake Versa N21) so you can see your components cooking while playing GTA V in the basement of your parent's home.
The blue LED on the fan, meanwhile, is the cherry dipped in excreta on the top.
There's a good reason why most 'concept cars' don't go any further than the motor show. They're often impractical, ugly and more an expression of the designers' inner psyche than an attempt to give customers what they want.
So take a butcher's at the Thermaltake Level 10 - an expensive full-tower concept PC case that, well, what were they thinking?
It basically looks like four boxes thrown together: One for four - yes, four - 5.25in bays (the design dates back six or so years, that's why), another for five far more useful, hot-swappable hard-disk drives or SSDs, another for the PSU, and the fourth at the back with a nice window so you can peer in to watch your motherboard and microprocessor at work. Lovely.
An outer case thrown over the top stops dust, fingers and kitty paws from intruding on the moving parts. You can even lock it shut, if you want to.
The black version isn't the prettiest thing in the world, but the 'Snow Edition' cranks its hideousness up to a whole new level.
I showed it to a colleague, a gentleman of the utmost taste, style and discretion. "This is one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life," he said, which I think sums it up nicely.
Then I showed him the Game Max Nero in yellow…
This is worse than a bad PC case. It is a crime against fashion. The hideous custard yellow paint job is bad enough, but pairing that with a blue LED lighting scheme takes it up to a whole, new level of ghastliness.
Sure, it's an inexpensive case, but when you couple the hideous colour with unnecessary design flourishes, like the 'wings' on the front of the case (seemingly modelled on the Zalman Z11, without accommodating the extra fan) and the bulbous top that prevents users from parking a DVD drive or USB hub on the top, it all adds up to a thoroughly unpleasant design.
Quite simply, the yellow Game Max Nero is a vile PC case, whichever angle you look at it from.
Seen anything worse than the Game Max Nero Yellow? Tell us - we'd love to know what ghastly cases we might have missed out.
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