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The back rooms of PC shops and the most elite overclocking competitions generally don’t have much hardware in common, but perhaps the most similar component in both locations is the type of chassis chosen for motherboard testing: an open test bench, often with a phone book or empty box laid under the motherboard to allow the bottom tabs of graphics cards room to hang freely. Surely, a better way must exist.
Potentially more convenient chassis have been around for a long time, mostly in the form of metal frame structures that contain the parts that aren’t often changed, such as drives and power supplies, while easing access to the parts that are frequently changed, such as motherboards, RAM, processors, and expansion cards.
But perhaps that construction is going out of vogue. We even invited a well-known metal-frame type chassis manufacturer to participate, but were disappointed by the lack of response.
Our continued search revealed several options with more visual appeal. Today, we balance the design strengths and weaknesses of each model to determine its most appropriate market.