Why are there not more horizontal cases?

The more I work with my HAF XB Evo the more I see how dual chamber cases are getting popular, the more I see how airflow matters… I just see more stuff to learn about here. But I’m quite curious, as I look up what other people do for pretty high power setups, hopefully with this case but I’ve only found 2, to see what other cases are used. Theres a lot of benefit to something like the Define R6 or 7 where you can have way too many radiators, or to those weird flatbed cases the size of a 3 ring binder… but wheres the just normal horizontal cases?

I don’t think I’m the only one to think about GPU sag, hell its why backplates are common now. I’d think, for starts, benefits to a horizontal case are that it doesn’t put as much stress on your pcie slots or heavy cards. Aside from that, their general footprint seems smaller to me. And even my current case takes up less room than a G5. I can at least use the vertical space. Though, my machine is an example of a workstation IMO, def not common. Something like the Thermaltake V21 could still house something really powerful in such a small space though, and I don’t quite get why people don’t look at those cases.

Is it just standards? Is it just that these are “Weird Cases”?

There’s tower cases that work well on their side, some even have removable feet. Now that optical drives are gone, no reason any tower can’t be turned on its side.

I don’t know about your work area, but mine space is at a premium. Don’t want to give up desk space to a weird cube or 1990’s “IBM AT” style case.


My desk is next to old furniture, so I just toss my desktop on a dresser. On the other side of my desk I have 2 workstations stacked on top of each other, with 2 dell monitors on a arm in the center. Granted not everyone has my sort of space setup, but its not like it has to be on your desk either.

Yeah the desk space thing, standing towers take up less space, and since we don’t have massive CRTs any more we push the screen back, a flat screen on top of a PC looks weird.


Vertical cases became dominant because it was the most efficient and cheapest way to house 5.25" components like floppy, hard disk and optical drives. The case was barely more than the width of the components, and they could be screwed directly to the frame. A horizontal layout required/requires additional internal support structures that took/take up space and drove/drive up costs.

Since only museum curators still have 5.25" components, the technical advantages of cases that fit 5.25" components are long gone. About the only things keeping the form factor chugging along are the desk space advantage and the cultural connection between “towers” and “power”. Clear side panels that allow gaudy light displays to be shown off just entrench things. Basically, teenage boys think they look cool sitting on a desk.

With the well-documented decline of “the Desktop” there’s little money being spent innovating in this area. Those that do innovate just can’t sell enough units to get economies of scale working in their favour and are unable to maintain desired profit margins.

So, alternatives tend to be more expensive and less flashy, neither of which appeals to teenage boys, so they don’t get purchased, and … manufacturers don’t bother designing or making many more. Inertia is a powerful thing.

Over the years I’ve owned all shapes and sizes of cases. Apple had a lot of horizontal cases in the 1990s that I remember fondly. Currently I daily-drive a passively-cooled 26cm aluminium cube (Streacom DB4) — so neither vertical nor horizontal. To each their own.

Surge in popularity of custom water cooling seems to support the tower form factor as well. Pumps and reservoirs are all vertical, while the rest of the components are less specific about orientation.

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Because A: they take allot of desk space.
And B: they just don’t sell.
I believe cooler master had a few in the past.
But i suppose there is just not enough ask for it.

Long boi coming through. Just weld some legs to it and it doubles as a desk.

Seriously though, if you want horizontal, then you also want thin because you plan on putting a monitor on top of it. Thin cases are harder to get high performance and quiet cooling systems into.


What’s the top server case with the 3 hot swap bays? Looks like Steiger Dynamics but I don’t see the logo.

That was just a good example pic and not my own rack. Though I do have 2 supermicro bays of my own, I wouldn’t trust the weight distribution to work out in my favor trying to take a similar pic. I’m more a data hoarder than a home lab guy.

Coaster spinners aren’t quite dead yet though, so while I’d agree 5.25" bay usage is on the decline calling them museum pieces might be a bit premature…

Ah, bugger, I was just about to ask about the SC846 rail kit…

I have a couple of those chassis on rails. What was your question?

I had to look up your HAF XB Evo to see that it still was the 2nd most viewed “HTPC” case on a particular Dutch website . My HTPC case was ranked 1st, A Silverstone Grandia GD09.

I think most people prefer a vertical tower on the side on the table top or they use desks that have been designed with room for a tower model pc under the table top, left or right from your feet?

In the last 10 years the number of available horizontal HTPC cases has also dropped quite a bit. Only a few premium brands remain now, the inexpensive brands have stopped making models. Now that you can build a mediaplayer with something as small as a Raspberry PI, most people are not bothered with buying a case that matches their HiFi setups (remotely)?

One problem with horizontal cases is ergonomics. Typically you want the top edge of the monitor to be at the same level as your eyes when sitting in a chair so that you glance slightly downward at your screen using your eyes, not your neck.

Back in the old days, smaller CRT monitors were the norm and it was common for people to raise them up to get a good position. Now that its more affordable to get a 27" flat panel monitor, it wouldn’t be good to raise that monitor up onto a horizontal PC case as it would cause you to look up, putting strain on your neck.

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Ew why in gods name would anyone use it for that

I dont know, but the fact that its in 44cm-17in dimension and has an industrial look may have helped. On the other hand, categories are

  • HTPC (22 entries)
  • Mini PC (175 entries)
  • Open/Bench table (15 entries)
  • Rack (285 entries)
  • SFF (298 entries)
  • Tower (1024 entries)
  • Desk PC (2 entries)
  • Other (23 entries)

There is also the prime mover of cases to be considered, offices. Smaller cubicles don’t allow for much desk space for any sort of case and they want as many of them as they can to maximise floor space usage. Flat cases are harder to stow away in a space like this so turning them vertical and hanging them under a desk saves a lot of space all round and the positioning under the top of a desk makes cable routing tidier to the monitors and keyboard/mouse. It also allows for legs to be under the desk so you can sit comfortable.

Peak aesthetics.


Those look like the MCP-290-00053-0N rails (the ones that fully extend, rather than the 00057 and 00058 that Supermicro recommends, which don’t), was wondering how confident you are about them carrying a fully loaded SC847?

being a musician and having plenty of rack cases sitting around, I wish I could find a more stylish rackmount.

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