The best way to take advantage of a cold air intake is to tune for it. But even without tuning, it'* always a nicer feeling to get a straight metal pipe going to the throttle body instead of that corrugated rubber tubing. The advantage behind a conical filter is that it allows a smoother passing of air from around the filter to the inside of the pipe. The 3.5" stock hole in the tubing is about 47% of the surface area of the stock air filter, but I'm not sure about how well the air moves past the filter. If it'* too concentrated because of focused flow for noise reduction, the air can slow down. With a gutted air box, you disregard volumetric efficiency just slightly so that you can get more filtered air through the filter and into the 3.5" hole leading to the throttle body. Whether this air does get to the tubing or if the gutting of the air box is truly effective has never been tested. If you keep a gutted airbox and you do a max-build engine, I'm sure you'd benefit over stock.