Am I alone in not understanding this mentality at all?
I'm of the belief that a PC should not be (indirectly) seen, nor heard.
And yet, many PC enthusiasts choose to stick a handful of cold cathodes in their systems, whose output ends up resembling that of a flashlight. (Incidentally, I prefer solid case doors to windows, both for aesthetics and acoustics.)
Going hand-in-hand with that are those who deliberately buy the loudest components possible - Needless Deltas, setting the GPU cooler's fan to full, buying a motherboard with a noisy Northbridge heatsink fan, etcetera.
Some years ago, when I was gaming some thirty or forty hours a week, and had my CPU and RAM on the edge of stability, I had Deltas, because at that time I was using a stock AMD cooler which couldn't handle the heat of an overclocked Athlon XP - And subsequently I jumped from a single stock case fan, to four screaming Deltas.
I wouldn't do it again - It was aural torture. But, ultimately, it did serve a purpose, though in retrospect a better heatsink could have accomplished the same thing with substantially less fan noise.
I realize that much of it stems from the need to be "better" - It's louder and/or brighter, it must be "better". It would seem it's fairly common in traditional case-modding circles. However, there are some who do this in the privacy of their own home, and they wake up to the din of a machine that could take off if it had wings, even though their system would run nearly as cool with fans that put out 10-20dB less.
Tangentially, I've noticed that self-dubbed "extreme air coolers" fail to realize that high-CFM fans only cool effectively until all the air in the room has been warmed - And they do that very quickly unless you've got a window open.
Any other reformed gamers who can help me grasp the concept of needlessly making a PC into a makeshift aircraft? (Hey, it's got both the lights and the noise!)
Quad-Core: P182 / Q6600 / 4GB OCZ PC2-6400 / Asus 9600GT / 3.5TB Storage [5 7V SFF21Es, Ultra 120 Extreme]
Dual-Core: P180 / X2 4200+ / 2GB OCZ PC-3200 / eVGA 8800 GTS G80 / 1.4 TB Storage [ 4 7V SFF21Fs, CNPS7000B-Cu]
Laptop: Dell Inspiron 5100 [2 5V Delta EFB1212SHEs in place of keyboard.]