If you’re looking at building your own computer, you’re probably on the market for a PC case. Choosing the best one to fit your needs is easy, as long as you’re well informed as to what your needs are. Cases can run anywhere from twenty bucks all the way up to fancy custom cases that can cost hundreds of dollars. Deciding which one is right is easy.
First of all, you need to decide what size case you are going to build in. Cases can range from very small to very large. Micro cases are usually built for very basic computers. They usually have enough room to house a small motherboard with little room available for expansion.
Mid-Tower cases are a little larger, and can house more drives and more expansion slots. The average computer user will usually have a mid-tower case.
Full Tower cases are usually very large and are often used as small servers. They include many bays for expansion and usually fit several different kinds of motherboards.
It is essential to make sure that the case you pick is compatible with your motherboard. Most retail websites will be able to help you make sure you are picking the right case for your motherboard, or vice versa.
The design of the case may not be essential to it’s function, but it’s important for some users nonetheless. Cheap, yet stylish cases can be had for as low as twenty bucks, but if you really want to show the guts of your system off, you might opt for something flashier.
Clear viewports, accent lighting, and large amounts of expansion space are the hallmarks of a “hot rod” PC. Simple design, ventilation, and noise suppression are more important for the average user.
Always pick a case that is capable of cooling your computer properly. Many processors now use a combination of a fan and a heatsink in order to cool faster and run better. Make sure your case is ported to achieve maximum airflow to the processor.
Also, gaming machines tend to generate a lot of heat. It’s a good idea to purchase a few additional fans if you’re building cas devoted to graphics-heavy applications..
Construction of cases varies wildly, but in general you want to be sure that it’s shielded against Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI). Metal cases won’t have a problem with this, but plastic cases usually require a thin metal shell around the outside to keep monitors and speakers safe and distortion free. If your case isn’t shielded, it’s a good idea to set your computer away from your monitor and speakers.
The Final Decision
Now that you’ve chosen a computer case, you get the rare joy of filling it with fresh components. Always ensure that components you buy are supported by your case and by your hardware. Remember that adequate ventilation is a must for today’s warm-blooded computers, and too much is always better than too little.
Also, don’t be afraid to spend a little more on a case. Often times a case is good for many years if maintained correctly, and should remain fully upgradeable for the foreseeable future. Better cases also usually have better warranties.