Once upon a time, how your case seemed on the outside was of utmost importance. However, many PC cases come with transparent side panels that allow you to show off your expensive hardware. Even if you’re using budget components, your construction will look better with transparent side panels and RGB lighting.
There are only two options for the transparent side panels of a computer case: Acrylic or Tempered Glass. It’s now a challenge for newcomers to choose one.
In short, tempered glass is a far superior material for side panels than acrylic is. Tempered glass panels have the advantage of being scratch-resistant, while acrylic panels quickly show signs of wear from scratches. A tempered glass panel may also be cleaned considerably more quickly than an acrylic glass panel.
In a hurry? Check out my new post on Build A White Gaming PC
Acrylic Side Panel
Gamers and PC enthusiasts flocked to stores the day acrylic side panels were released so they could use them in the construction of their ultimate gaming rigs. At long last, players could flaunt their gaming rig’s guts to the world.
However, after a few months, complaints about the acrylic glass panels began popping up on computer and gaming discussion boards worldwide. Most residents griped about the acrylic panels’ susceptibility to scratches and blurring over time.
Cooler Master’s acrylic glass case side panel Cleaning the acrylic side panel of your computer case doesn’t have to be difficult and can be done in a way that won’t scratch it. However, as time passes, the glass fogs up, and you lose your ability to see exactly what’s going on inside your gear.
Advantages of Acrylic Side Panel
Some benefits of acrylic side panels include the following:
- Acrylic is a robust clear plastic that excels in rigidity and transparency. If the side of your PC case is made of acrylic, you may safely assume that it will withstand a drop. We can confidently say that acrylic glass panels are scratch- and shatter-proof.
- Since it is totally plastic, the acrylic side panel weighs very little. If portability is a must, opting for a PC case with an acrylic side panel and plastic body is the way to go.
- Processing acrylic is less expensive than processing tempered glass. PC cases with acrylic side panels are more affordable as a result.
- Replacement acrylic side panels can be purchased for less money than tempered glass panels. once they’ve been scratched or aged to the point of blurriness.
Disadvantages of Acrylic Side Panel
Some drawbacks include the following:
- Scratches are easy to leave on acrylic side panels if they are already dirty and you clean them with paper or cloth. Scratches are a common greeting for visitors, and because light reflects off of them, the panel quickly loses its sheen.
- The clarity of acrylic degrades when it is heated or placed in the sunlight. Put your computer where the acrylic side panel won’t be directly exposed to sunlight.
- Because of its chemical makeup, acrylic can change shape when heated.
Also, check out our separate post on BEST White PC Build
Tempered Glass Side Panel
In order to create Tempered Glass, a unique kind of glass, the glass is heated to high temperatures and then cooled off quickly. Tempered glass is more durable and transparent than conventional glass because of its unique manufacturing method.
The tempered glass panels are more substantial than their acrylic counterparts but still very light. Glass panels can be made from either clear or colored tempered glass.
Advantages of Tempered Side Glass Panel
Some positive outcomes include the following:
- In contrast to the acrylic side panels, which show scratches easily, the tempered glass panels are completely scratch proof. A tempered glass panel on the side can therefore be kept spotless for a longer time with less effort.
- When compared to acrylic panels, tempered glass panels are more aesthetically pleasing. Particularly if your PC case has a tinted tempered side panel and you’re using a color-changing RGB lighting scheme.
- When opposed to an acrylic panel, the view inside your case through a tempered glass panel is crisp and clear.
- Since the tempered glass panel is produced at a higher temperature, it will not fade in the presence of high temperatures. The panel will not change color after the use of the reactive cleaning solution.
Disadvantages of Tempered Side Glass Panel
While there are benefits, there are also drawbacks to consider:
- The tempered glass panel is readily broken upon impact, in contrast to the strong acrylic side panels. However, unlike conventional glass, there are no jagged edges when it breaks.
- Cases for personal computers with tempered glass panels are more costly than those with acrylic panels. There are, however, some PC examples.
- The net weight of a computer case is increased when tempered glass panels are used. Full tower computer cases, especially those with tempered glass on the side panels, can be cumbersome to transport.
- Poor ventilation is a common problem with PC cases that feature a tempered glass panel. It’s because toughened glass takes up most of the case, leaving fewer places to attach fans. If you’re having problems with ventilation within your PC case, we’ve created a comprehensive guide on the subject.
- Tempered glass panels can only be modified so much because of their composition. It will be a major hassle to get help or a new panel if yours breaks.
Final Thoughts: Acrylic or Tempered Side Glass Panel?
Truth be said, we no longer live in the era of acrylic side panels. You shouldn’t pursue an acrylic side panel chassis unless a cheap computer case is your top priority. Contrarily, tempered side glass panels can be found at just about every store.
More brands means more competition, which means cheaper prices for chassis with tempered glass. Tempered glass panel PC cases are the best value due to their attractive design and scratch resistance.
Go through our epic guide on Cheap Gaming PC Under $300
FAQs for Acrylic vs Tempered Glass
What is the difference between acrylic and tempered glass?
While tempered glass is less likely to get scratched, the moment you wipe the dust off of an acrylic panel, it’s already scratched all over. It costs more and weighs more to use tempered glass. That’s all there is to it.
Which is better tempered glass or acrylic?
In comparison to glass, acrylic has a far better impact resistance and does not break under pressure. When broken, tempered glass should shatter into small, blunt pieces, making it suitable for use in places like autos. However, shatterproof glass is not desirable for underwater applications.
Is tempered glass better for PC case?
Tempered glass can withstand more force before cracking than regular glass can. Because it shatters into smaller, blunter pieces if it does break, tempered glass is safer than regular glass. You’re far less likely to get hurt on tempered glass since it doesn’t break into sharp pieces.
Is acrylic better than glass for windows?
Acrylic windows or windshields are easier and safer to install than glass windows or windshields since acrylic can tolerate higher pressure. They’re also less likely to crack after installation. Increased Efficiency, As a light source, acrylic is superior to glass.
What is the best PC case material?
We prefer aluminum cases because they satisfy the needs of both casual PC users and corporate customers. If you need a casing, aluminum is ideal because of how effectively it transfers heat.