How many of you leave the your case sides off? (Open Air?)

Do you leave your case open?

  • Yes

    Votes: 18 8.7%
  • No

    Votes: 144 69.2%
  • Sometimes

    Votes: 39 18.8%
  • You still use a case?

    Votes: 7 3.4%

  • Total voters
Never. No reason to leave the side off with decent air flow.
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Back when I had a shiney case with crappy airflow I did. My current case breathes very nicely so I keep the sides on and air going through the filters.
Yes, as on this pic

I think most cases now have pretty decent airflow and there's no need to keep the side panels off.

However, with my former HTPC, I had it shoved in a cheap $20 case and with my old 4870 in there, it would get really toasty, so I ended up ditching the side panel completely.
It looked like ass at first, so I painted the inside of the case black, sleeved the cables, cut a couple holes for cable management, and slapped an aftermarket CPU cooler on it, just so it would look decent sitting next to my living room tv :D
I fart about inside my PC and leave wires hanging out so there are times I leave the side open.
Sadly, sometimes.

Ideally I would never leave the case open (due to dust and circulation concerns), but every time I work on making a change to the hardware I get so excited to start playing around with things that I wire everything up and neglect to close the case right away...
Never for me - if the cooling is bad enough I can't put the panels on then I have to redo the cooling and if necessary replace the case itself. On my RV-02 it's absolutely necessary to leave the panels on.otherwise the airflow gets disrupted enough that the components get *HOTTER* instead of cooler.
If I'm switching up hardware it usually takes me a few days to stop being lazy and clean up the wiring, my side panels usually stay off during that time. Otherwise they are on, I like my insides dust-free.
I have an Antec Skeleton "Case" which has no sides really. So mine is all open and originally I got it for a test bench and lanparty case. I have been pretty happy with it so far and ended up getting rid of my huge mountain mods case. Haven't gotten a new case in years either. Might get an enclosed case this year though and switch some things over.
Never. I always buy quality cases and quality fans for adequate ventilation on my high performance setups.
Most pc cases aren't designed to have the side panels off while its running. Unless your to cheap to put enough fans in for adequate air flow.
My buddy was going to throw away an old lian li a04 shell. I had him give it to me, re-riveted and painted it red. it has no window but I want to order a piece of smoked acrylic (maximus iv extreme mobo) red and black theme looks great

so yes technically i am running no window!
Only if I am doing testing with hardware and stuff. Otherwise it is enclosed at all times :).
I do with my personal PC, but only for aesthetic reasoning. It's a WiNDy case with no window and I like to view the internal anodized red. Temps and dust aren't really an issue for me; a 10sec DataVac dusting session a couple times a month is honestly more than enough to keep things cleanly.

My mom's LianLi ITX PC-Q03 PC I built her has its sidepanels on always and I wouldn't leave that open since she has kids running around from time to time and there is usually food/beverages in the room.
I like to be able to you know.. Keep the dust out as much as possible.
I never leave the side panel off. It doesn't seem to make a big difference in temps.
Nope. I have always had cats, and I don't want one of them trying to sleep inside the computer while it is on. :eek:
Closed for me. Dust and noise, plus I'd imagine that with decent airflow you're not really gaining much.

I've always questioned a lot of the philosophy behind airflow. I don't run top panel exhaust fans. I don't like the idea of there being an airflow path that has air enter the case and exit without passing a hot component. I cringe when I see setups with an exhaust fan in the middle of the top of the case, so it's forward of the CPU cooler. That's got to be fighting the CPU cooler for air from the intake. I like to set it up so the only way for air to exit my case is through my CPU cooler or my GPU. Otherwise what's the point of having airflow?

I've got three intake fans, and I imagine with the case sides off a lot of that air would just disperse, instead of having to go through the CPU cooler and GPU.
I agree with nalc. Way too much noise and dust for me to leave the case open. Having pets certainly doesn't help with the amount of fur that normally accumulates without the side panel removed!
Open case = dust and noise. If your system is choked enough for air that you need the sides off, you are doing it wrong.
I might leave the sides off a few days when changing round the hardware, but mostly keep them on the stop the gfx and cpu fans/heatsinks from getting clogged with dust
Honestly if your system is overheating enough to require having the sides off then something is wrong. Cases believe it or not are engineered for airflow and temperature zones. Leaving the sides off the case pretty much negates those engineering designs.
always leave the side of my cases open. keeps everything nice and cool

especially when o/c the video cards and if there on air. usually keeps temps 10c cooler.

i agree too less dust in the case with side panel off.
After ten+ years of having to drag a closed case outside to dust the innards the last three years or so my computer has been on top of its box. It's easier to keep dust free, 2 fans running keeps the noise down over my last case with 7 fans running, and cooling is no problem. I'm working on a new build using an Alpha-DB 6 tech bench to keep components from being scattered around.

Not my build.

My bro's leave thiers off simply because the cases are older and lack airflow. Plus the older 9800GTX era cards are at thier prime overheating days. I probably should show them how to reTIM them...
Closed. My 500R has excellent air flow so I have no reason to keep it open.
I've read in a book that stated keeping the case open makes everything hotter. I don't know if this is true or not. It stated to have no open holes including expansion slots to be covered. It warned about dust accumulation from open side panels. Warm air rises over cool air. They place the intake fan low to take in cool air so the exhaust fan that's placed higher up gets rid of the hot air.
I have 4x 120mm intake fans on my 600T. Between that, my cat, and 2 children the case stays closed.
I leave mine closed, all that dust accumulation is not worth it.... Its cool to look at the hardware... but my ocd kicks in with the dust.
If you can achieve a wind tunnel effect for cooling, that is typically better and more effective than open air cooling. Having a nice concentrated airflow that moves in to grab the heat and exit the chassis ASAP with minimal recirculation or pooling of warmed air inside the chassis is good.