How to Choose the Right Computer Case for your Personal Computer

eiodotcom —  June 8, 2012 — 4 Comments

Today’s Eio post focuses on how to choose the right computer case for your personal computer.

Computer cases, also called chassis or enclosure, are commonly thought to be of little importance to one’s personal computer. While some may see it as a box that looks nice on the outside, cases are not just about aesthetics.

The computer case holds a “very significant role: not only does the computer case affect the type and number of components that can be installed, the layout and design of the case and its internals also determine the cooling performance of the entire system.”

While there are several different variables to think about when choosing the correct computer case, I will focus mainly on case size and case specifications.

Case Size

One of the main things to consider for a case is its size. Generally, there are three main case sizes: mini towers, mid towers, and full towers.

  • Mini towers are about 14 inches high and can fit comfortably on your desk.
  • Mid towers average 18 inches and can house more equipment than the minis.
  • Full towers average two feet and are usually placed on the ground. These are the optimal cases for a most upgraded computer.

In more technical language, case- and motherboard- sizes are referred to as “form factors.”

ATX form factor motherboards are older but the current mainstream form factor in motherboard specifications.There are extended ATX, standard ATX, and micro ATX sizes. Extended ATX motherboards only fit in full towers. Generally, a computer case that supports a standard/full-size ATX motherboard should be compatible with all smaller ATX boards as well.

The other form factor, BTX, is the newer motherboard technology but is not as widely used. BTX motherboards have unique layouts and set up required, so they require BTX compatible computer cases.

Along with size, you also want to consider the case type. There are desktop cases, which are horizontal and you can stack a monitor on top to save space; and there are tower cases, which stand vertically erect and are most often placed on the floor.

Visit xoxide.com for some charts on form factor dimensions.

Case Specifications

The second thing to think about for computer cases is its specifications. Specifications is a broad topic, so I will list some things to think about via bullet points.

  • Drive bays – these include internal and external drive bays, such as CD/DVD drive and burner, and a floppy disc drive. Consider how many you want on your computer case.
  • Expansion slots – these include how many expansion slots you want to include, which house video cards.
  • Cooling – The computer case’s interior layout, including how many products you place within the case, will determine the airflow and how hot your computer tower gets.
  • Fans – larger the case, more fans it can hold.
  • Front ports – case will determine how many and if the front of the case will have USB or audio ports.

Computer Case Brands

Eio has a variety of computer case brands.

Antec –¬†Antec VSK-2000 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

ApeviaAPEVIA MX-PIDER-NW-BK/500 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case ATX 500W Power Supply

Cooler MasterCOOLER MASTER RC-360-KKN1-GP Elite 360 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mini Tower Computer Case

SenteySentey SS1-2421 Slim 2421 Slim Flex Case w/Power Supply LCD DISPLAY SECC 0.7mm 2x USB/1x Fan/Micro ATX-ITX

See also:

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Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Optical Disc Drives 101 « EIO - June 9, 2012

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  4. How to Choose the Right Motherboard for your Personal Computer « EIO - June 15, 2012

    […] first thing you must think through is the form factor and power supply. In more technical language, case- and motherboard- sizes are referred to as […]

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