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  • Choosing a PC Case
Technology Articles > Hardware > Cases > Choosing a PC Case

Beige and boring PC cases are ancient history. Modern cases are sleek, chic, and often colorful. Case design is an important consideration, though a PC case also has many practical functions. A case must be able to house the motherboard that you choose, fit into a designated space, cool properly, withstand wear and tear, and hold all the components that you wish to add to your PC.

Motherboard Considerations

A PC’s motherboard may be the last thing that you think of when purchasing a PC case. Yet, choosing a case that is too small for a motherboard is a common mistake. In order to ensure that your case will fit the motherboard of your choosing, pay careful attention to manufacturer details. A variety of cases can house AT, Baby-T, and ATX motherboards, though many cases cannot. Reading user reviews is also important, since some inexpensive cases may not be able to hold larger motherboards.

Space Concerns

Basic PC cases come in the form of towers. These cases were meant to sit on large desktops or underneath desks. Both full-size towers and mid-size towers exist. A mid-size tower can measure anywhere from 16” to 19” tall. Full-size towers tend to be more than 20” tall. In most instances, a mid-size tower will do the trick.

These towers offer most of the options that full-size towers do, though you won’t be crammed for desk or floor space. Full-size towers are ideal for users who need to constantly upgrade the insides of a PC. If you’re lacking desk space, mini cases are also an option. Mini cases sit on top of smaller desks, but these cases may not offer a wide range of expansion options.

Cooling Capability

Adding lots of components to a computer will require a case that cools efficiently. It’s also a good idea to check out cooling capabilities if you intend on using your computer around the clock. Some computers can overheat, and this can be a serious problem unless a case has proper ventilation.

Look for a case that has more than 4 different cooling fans. Alternately, you can choose a case that has a variety of cooling fan installation slots. If you find that your computer overheats on a regular basis, you can always add additional cooling fans.

Material Matters

Aside from some unique cases, most cases are made from either aluminium or metal with aluminium being the popular choice. Style-wise, an aluminium case is attractive and modern. Practicality-wise, metal may be a better option. While aluminium tends to dent easily, metal is highly resistant.

Aluminium cases also tend to be more expensive than metal cases. Then again, the price of an aluminium case largely depends upon the type of material used. Some of these cases can cost more than $300, while most metal cases are priced around $120. If you don’t plan on moving your case around frequently, you can select from either aluminium or metal. If you do plan on swapping components once or twice per month, solid metal is a wiser choice.