Buying Guide, Computers

Computer Cases Buying Guide

Computer Cases Buying GuideNo matter whether you treat your computer system as the focal point of your office or simply stuff it under your desk, purchasing the typical Computer case issues.

At a minimum, you wish to select a computer case that’s the ideal size for your requirements and has space for all your hardware and USB gadgets. However, some PC cases use much, far more. Roomy innards, lower temperature levels, stifled sound, comprehensive water-cooling assistance, and fancy-schmancy tempered glass panels or RGB lighting are simply the suggestions of the iceberg.

Choose the Right Size and Shape

Unlike with motherboards and processors, a computer case’s size does not have to describe. Larger computer cases can hold more optical and disk drives (see listed below), have space for larger video cards and are much easier to operate in. The terms “complete tower,” “mid-tower,” and “mini-tower” are often utilized to recommend cases’ reducing size; however, if you not acquainted with great deals of various type of cases, they will not imply much to you.

Purchase exactly what you require for the hardware you have, and exactly what you anticipate to require later on. However, you’ll have to provide some believed to the problem of good aspect. This describes the design of the case’s interior, and to the kind of motherboard the case supports. Though you’ll sometimes see a couple of others, the most typical today is ATX (which determines about 12 by 9.6 inches) and microATX (which determines about 9.6 by 9.6 inches).

A microATX motherboard will operate in a case created around the ATX good aspect, however not vice-versa– even if you can in some way pack an ATX motherboard into a microATX case, it will be so tight you will not have space to do anything else. And because ATX motherboards have more growth slots, there will not be any method to gain access to those from outside the case when you’re done constructing the system. Ensure the motherboard’s kind aspect matches that of the case, and you’ll never fail.

Get Enough Drive Bays

As discussed above, the bigger the case, the more drive bays it’s most likely to have. There are three standard sizes of drive bays that identify exactly what sort of drives can utilize in them. The very first is the 5.25-inch bay, which is the broader style utilized for DVD and Blu-ray optical drives. (Some other sort of hardware, such as a specialized fan or audio controllers, are likewise sized for 5.25-inch bays.) Then there are 3.5-inch bays, which might be either internal or external: For ages, the external variation was utilized for 3.5-inch floppies, now you’ll see card readers in those areas; internal bays are where you’ll put your hard disks.

Many full-size tower computer cases will have 2 or 3 5.25-inch bays and 4 or 5 internal 3.5-inch bays; some cases feature specifically developed adapters that let you set up a 3.5-inch drive in a 5.25-inch bay if your case does not have a 3.5-inch external door on the front. The 3rd kind is the 2.5-inch bay, which is still unusual in the majority of desktop PCs however it’s gradually ending up being more popular.

These are planned for smaller sized hard disk drives and “naked” solid-state drives (SSDs) and are discovered listed below the internal 3.5-inch drive well, or possibly somewhere else on the flooring of the case. A couple of cases do have external 2.5-inch bays. However, these are uncommon– the majority of the time, the case will offer some approach to protecting a 2.5-inch drive in a 3.5-inch bay.

Computer Cases Buying Guide

Inspect Your Expansion Slots

The majority of ATX cases have 6 or 7 slots on the rear panel for including growth cards; microATX cases typically have 4. We have seen a couple of cases that buck these patterns– high-end video gaming cases developed for users of numerous two-slot video cards can have as lots of as ten slots!– however, those are unusual examples you most likely will not encounter mistakenly. Examine the specifications before your purchase, simply in case.

Front-Panel Ports

Gone are the days when the only things you ‘d place into the front of your computer system were disks or discs. There are now great deals of various portable gadgets and other peripherals out there, and having the ability to plug them into the front of your PC instead of the back can be a big benefit. Earphone and microphone jacks are basic in nearly every case, as are 2 USB 2.0 ports. From there, however, there’s a great deal of possible variation.

Slots for checking out sd card from cams and cellular phone prevail, and you still often see FireWire and External SATA (eSATA) ports. On numerous more recent cases’ front panels you’ll likewise discover blue USB 3.0 ports, for making the most of that requirement’s brand-new higher-speed gadgets. You’ll have the ability to link these two headers on more current motherboards; however if your motherboard is a bit older, you might run out luck.

Some cases from early 2011, before the USB 3.0 header specification got wide adoption, needed you to run a cable television through the within your computer system, from the rear panel, then plug it into an extra USB 3.0 port on your motherboard. If you get among those cases, you’ll need to do that if you desire front-panel USB 3.0 connection.


When upon a time, it was considered approved that doing anything on a PC needed a Phillips screwdriver. Not any longer. Although it’s still an essential tool, lots of cases nowadays have tool-free assemblies that let you access them within the case and protected most parts (other than for the motherboards) without ever requiring the screwdriver at all.

Various cases have various techniques, however typical ones consist of plastic clips for the optical and hard disk drives, specialized rivets or caddies that let the hard disk drives slide in and out of their bays, a press-until-click rail for the growth cards, and so on. Tool-free cases are practical, and a bit friendlier to first-timers. However a few of the tool-free systems are complicated and tough to use, and they rarely protect the elements as securely as you can with screws. Better (check out “more pricey”) cases normally have much better tool-free systems.

Power Supply: Built-In or Not?

Should you purchase a case with an integrated power supply? It depends. The more affordable the case and the power supply together, the even worse a concept it is– low-end power materials can be ineffective and shorter-lived, which indicates you would not be conserving money in the long run. If, on the other hand, you see a unique case-PSU combination offer from a significant manufacturer like Antec, Cooler Master, or Thermaltake, you must be great. Those businesses remain in the business of both cases and power products, so you can feel much better about the pairings they offer. You might pay a little bit more. However, the additional comfort will deserve it.

Computer Cases Buying Guide

Keep It Cool

The greatest manner in which a case can add to– or diminish– a system’s efficiency remains in how well it cools (or does not cool) the interior parts. This implies you’ll wish to take note of the fans your case has from the package– and the number of you can contribute to it later on. Almost all computer systems have an exhaust fan on the rear panel for expelling heated air, and the majority of having consumption fans on the front panel for bringing air into the case. (Frequently, the consumption fan is positioned right near the disk drives so that they can be cooled before anything else.)

The more effective the system, the more extra fans you’re most likely to see; high-performance PCs can likewise consist of additional exhaust fans in the event’s ceiling, or consumption fans in the side panel (not coincidentally, those are typically situated right over the processor). The important things to bear in mind is that the more fans you have, and the smaller sized they are, the more sound your computer system will produce.

If the computer case you’re considering does not have unique sound-proofing product plastered throughout it’s within, however, you do not wish to need to stress over overheating concerns later on (trust us, they’re not enjoyable), think about a couple of huge fans instead of a lot of small ones. Big fans can move more air while spinning more gradually, and will, therefore, keep your PC from seeming like a jet engine.

Does Form Matter?

We’re conserving this for last because it’s technically the least crucial– a minimum of as far as exactly what your system can or cannot do– however the method a case looks often contributes in whether you choose to purchase it. Cases might be the most convenient parts to purchase since there’s frequently no concern about exactly what you require.

However, they’re likewise amongst the hardest since they’re how you provide your computer system to the world. Do you like the case’s shape and its color? Is squat, blocky, and sedate appropriate, or are you trying to find something taller, sleeker, and shinier? Are you fine with something that looks conventional, or do you like something that appears like it was developed for a high-budget sci-fi film? Do you desire lots of specific LEDs and lighting strips decorating every surface area, or would you choose to view as little lighting as possible?

Do you expect to wish to mod the case yourself, or do you desire cool integrated features like hot-swappable disk drive doors in the side panel, detachable external fans, and top-mounted 2.5-inch drive bays? All these and more can be had– for a price.

Computer Cases can cost anywhere from under $50 to over $800 (and no, that’s not a typo). However, you can discover one with whatever you require for less than $100 and completely decked-out video gaming cases for around $200. The hardest part will be discovering the one that finest matches your character and the system you’re intending to construct– however that’s likewise among the most enjoyable and fulfilling parts of putting together a computer system from scratch.

Computer Cases Buying Guide

Get the Best One