When assembling a personal computer, its case is often chosen almost the end. It is understandable – a processor, video card, RAM, a high-quality motherboard, an efficient cooling system, and a Powerful power supply are more important than the box in which they will be housed.
But don’t think that the case is just a few sheets of metal! A good PC case is not only attractive on the outside, but it will also make working with the internal components much easier.
In this article, I will talk about the important points to consider when choosing a computer case.
Tips to choose a PC Case
Quite an obvious aspect of the choice. The most popular form factors for computer cases are the Full tower, mid-tower, mini-ITX, and micro-ATX. All of them can be used to build very fast systems for the home and office.
Mid-towers are most commonly used – these are not too large cases that are easy to find on the market. But they are designed for the most common ATX motherboards. Thanks to the universal mount, more compact boards can be accommodated in them.
Full towers are noticeably larger and designed for extended-ATX motherboards. They are most often chosen by enthusiasts – for example, those who plan to organize their custom water cooling system inside or use several video cards at once for professional purposes.
Finally, mini-ITX and Micro-ATX cases are designed for small PCs that fit under a TV. Working with them is noticeably more difficult due to the lack of space inside. But with the right selection of components, they should all fit without any problems.
If you are building a computer yourself for the first time, stop at mid-towers – they are not as expensive as full towers, and the choice is very large.
Not all computer cases are equally effective at moving as much air as possible inside. It all depends on many factors – the size of the case itself, the number of fans and their location, as well as the size and location of the ventilation holes. And, of course, where your PC will sit. In the corner of the room on a carpet or a flat table surface.
The minimum number of fans inside a modern case of not the most compact dimensions is two. One should draw air inward, and the other should blow it out from the opposite side.
Dust filters are also very significant. If they are not there, then the inside of the computer will become covered with dust too quickly and, in some cases, may even fail. These filters should be easily removable for cleaning (in the case of magnet attachments).
If you are going to build a powerful gaming system or workstation, pay attention to cases with the possibility of installing additional fans and large (240 mm or more) radiators for water cooling systems.
Cables are a headache for anyone assembling a computer by hand. They get confused, interfere with component placement, and look bad when displayed. Most modern enclosures have special openings, compartments, and shrouds for cable management that greatly simplify this task.
A separate popular solution is a bay for the power supply and 3.5-inch drives. It allows you to hide most of the power and SATA cables.
Each manufacturer solves this problem differently, and almost everyone talks about their solution in the user manual.
The front panel of the regular case houses at least a couple of USB ports (you will need both USB Type-A and USB Type-C), 3.5mm audio output, 3.5mm microphone input, and a power/reset button. It all depends on the size, class, and the manufacturer’s wishes. Sometimes the number of USB ports in front can reach five or six.
Think in advance about what external devices you will need to connect and disconnect to your computer. Also, look out to the location of all these ports: sometimes they can be on the front, sometimes on the top, sometimes on the bottom, sometimes even on the side.
If you are not super-rich, then you should not forget about old 3.5-inch hard drives. It is best if the case has a compartment or two compartments for them. For some money, you can store several terabytes of data on them.
Also, in modern cases, you can see separate bays for a 2.5-inch SATA SSD. If you plan to use them, make sure that these compartments are located at least conveniently.
Dimensions of the video card and power supply
No one can guarantee that some video card will fit inside a certain case without any problems. Always pay attention to the maximum GPU length indicated by the manufacturer and leave at least a small gap of 10-20 millimeters.
The same goes for power supplies. Be sure to make sure that the dimensions of the selected model will allow it to be installed in the selected case. Many compact cases, by the way, can only work with the same compact (and much more expensive!) SFX power supplies.
It is worth remembering the size of the cooling system. The main problem here is the height of massive air coolers for processors. The case manufacturers also indicate the maximum height of a CPU cooler in the specifications of their models. And in this case, too, it is better to make a small gap.
Top 5 PC cases
Fractal Design Meshify 2
One of the best mid-tower cases on the market and can accommodate an E-ATX motherboard (285mm) if desired. This model will provide excellent cooling of components, excellent dust filtration, and a very stylish appearance. The only negative is the (justifiably) high price.
Phanteks Eclipse P360A
It is a mid-tower for those who love RGB lighting. Not the largest model, but it has its D-RGB controller and a cooling system. It is also a case in which it is easy and pleasant to work. At the same time, the price does not bite too much.
Fractal Design Define 7
It is an incredibly stylish mid-tower case that can fit a large graphics card (up to 467mm). The set comes with three pre-installed fans, which are protected by very efficient filters. There is also a dedicated port for filling the cooling system with liquid and a PWM hub for fans! For all this, however, you will have to pay a tidy sum.
Cooler Master Silencio S400
It is not a too expensive model with the ability to install mini-ITX and Micro-ATX motherboards. As the name suggests, this is a quiet case – its three fans run almost silently. Cooling, in this case, will not be the most effective, but for not too powerful PCs, this will not be a problem. And the price is attractive!
Cooler Master COSMOS C700M
The ultimate Full tower case for those who want to regularly admire the insides of their computers and show them off to guests. The large video cards (up to 490 mm!) And a large amount of data storage will fit inside, and the kit comes with as many as four pre-installed 140 mm fans. Also, in the box, you can find a riser cable for a video card. There is also RGB backlighting. In short, it is difficult to find a more flexible and spacious case on sale, but the price here is simply cosmic. Space, you know, right?
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