All About the Computer Case

Gaming Computer System

Computers include different parts and the computer or PC case is the item that holds them all together. Cases have undergone plenty of changes through the years but to this day, remain the most integral part of a personal or desktop computer.

Computers are composed of several key parts. Inside the case is the motherboard, which is the largest component. The motherboard is where the CPU and the RAM or memory is fastened.

The Ethernet is typically built into the motherboard as well. Other major components that are found inside the PC case are the optic drives, the power unit and the hard drives.

To link the computer to its external devices, the video card, sound card, USB cards and other connecting ports, fasten to the motherboard. These peripherals include the printer, keyboard, mouse, printer and other sorts of devices that require being connected to a desktop computer.

The optical drives can be found in the front of the PC case together with the extra USB ports for easier access. Other peripherals can be found at the rear of the case.

The case is the biggest component of the desktop computer and it is usually built with aluminum or steel material. Plastics and acrylics can also be used but the sole purpose of these materials is usually aesthetic, nothing more.

A bigger fraction of the computer’s weight is attributed to the case so if you are looking for a case, make sure that you factor in the PC case’s weight.

Computer cases are also called chassis, boxes, enclosures, towers, cabinets and CPU cases.

Kinds of Computer Cases

PC cases come in a variety of sizes. The most common sizes include the mini tower, the mid-sized tower, the full-sized model, the desktop and the slim-line desktop type.

Size plays a huge role in the performance of a PC case; keep in mind that if you want better air distribution, you should go after bigger cases. When it comes to the tower types, the variety lies in the power supply size, the amount of drive bays, cooling capacities and the amount of room for a bigger motherboard with a good number of expansion slots.

These days a PC case not only comes in generic black and white colors. They now come in a wider variety of shades from bright colors to cool neutrals. Material can either be aluminum, steel plastic, acrylic or wood.

Mini tower

The mini tower is not capable of accommodating larger power supplies since it only includes three or four drive bays plus it can only take in up to three expansion slots in the motherboard. This size is ideal for small businesses and casual users.

Mid-sized

The mid-sized tower can put up with a good number of expansions that can be used by businesses, advanced users and casual users. The case is ideal for all kinds of users and remains to be one of the most popular choices in computer cases.

Full-sized

The full-sized tower includes lots of drive bays and is excellent for individuals who are into gaming. Due to its bigger size and capacity for upgrades, many gamers choose this kind of case.

Desktop

The desktop looks the same as the mini tower in terms of capacity but is weak when it comes to upgrades. If you want to have upgrades in the future, you can instead opt for tower-type cases.

Slimline desktop

The slim-line desktop has less capacity compared to the desktop thus it will not fit end users and small businesses. It is great for bigger businesses though as long as there are many slimline desktops connected to a server. This works well for security means.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Computer Case

The appearance of the best computer case is a key factor in its performance but there are still other factors that you have to consider when it comes to choosing one that will work for all of your components and planned future upgrades.

Here are the important factors that you have to take into account before purchasing a PC case.

Size

Size is crucial because it will establish the amount of space that your central processing unit or CPU requires. It will also help determine the amount of hardware that it can accommodate.

If you have limited room for your desktop computer, then a mini case will be best for it. If you have lots of space then a tower is highly recommended.

Type

Another essential factor that you have to remember is the type of the case. There are two varying kinds of cases and they are the AT and the ATX. The AT model is considered out-of-date while the ATX is the newer, more advanced form that is now used everywhere to back up the power supply and motherboard.

Space

Because you will be containing all of the hardware in the case, you have to know how much space is available on it. A mini case is suggested if you do not plan on acquiring much hardware to put inside.

But if you have plans for more hardware and upgrades, then you should opt for a tower. A tower will include more room for the hardware and also offer sufficient air distribution to avoid the possibilities of overheating. Remember that you will need sufficient space for the cooling systems, motherboard and more.

Ports

Differing kinds of computer cases include USB and firewall ports in a selection of locations. As a rule, these ports can be found at the rear or front part of the case.

A case that provides easy access to these parts is a must. This is true particularly if you do not have lots of room to move the CPU all over.

Even though it can be possible to provide another extension or an adapter for it, it will obligate you to spend more and acquire additional clutter. Look for PCs with cases that include those ports in the front and at the rear.

Number of expansion bays/drive bays

This is the part where you install all the hard drives you need from DVD-roms to CD-ROMs. The minimum is typically three drive bays but if you choose a tower-type case, it can total up to seven drive bays.

Design

The case should have an aerodynamic design to provide maximum air distribution and it must be sturdy to guarantee that all components within are protected and secured sufficiently.

Cooling system

Cooling is an important factor that you should not overlook. High-end systems can produce maximum heat and the case requires sufficient cooling to maintain the reliability and stability of the system.

The standard configuration for computer case cooling includes one intake fan on the lower section of the front surface and an exhaust fan high up on the surface of the rear. This lets in cooler air to be pulled in and passed through the different heat-producing parts and released out of the rear.

There are many other cooling configurations on hand that might offer enhancements when it comes to noise and cooling performance.

One method to reduce noise and move air is for users to utilize 120 mm fans instead of the standard 80 mm since bigger fans do not need to revolve as quick to drive the same amount of air.

A bigger fan has a very open fan grill which means there will be less resistance to air distribution and decreased noise as the air passes all over it. Lots of fan grills are composed of perforated sheet metal and they do not offer sufficient open areas that promote good air circulation.

Another method to reduce noise is to provide more fans at the heat source. There are models where fans are added to the side panel which will help pull in cooler air on top of the processor and the video card.

Other cases include exhaust fans on top, which drives out the heat like a chimney would.

Regardless of what cooling method you choose, this is an essential factor that you should not ignore due to the number of high-powered systems available today.

Installation features

Installing a system into the PC case can be a long, taxing process and this can be bothersome to users who find themselves obligated to accomplish lots of upgrades. Plenty of cases now have convenient features which make upgrades and installation simple, fast and effortless.

Several of these convenient and practical installation features are removable motherboard trays, removable drive cages, tool-less items like expansion card mounts, drive rail systems and side panels.

Removable items working on those particular areas with simpler and tool-less systems for installing cards or drives means you won’t have to deal with tools so they are less time-consuming.

Power supply

Many cases now have a power supply included. However, this power supply might not be appropriate for the system to be mounted within.

A sufficient power supply should be selected to meet the needs of the system and this might mean purchasing an extra power supply to exchange the one that was provided. It also means choosing a PC case with a proper-sized power supply.

For instance, if you want a gaming system with all the works, you can go after a tower ATX case but the 300W power supply that is on hand might not be powerful enough for an excellent graphics card, water cooling, multiple drives and other peripherals that require plenty of juice.

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Product

Price

Rating

Corsair Carbide SPEC-02
This image links to Amazon

Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-02 Mid Tower Gaming Case (Amazon link)$$4.4/5

NZXT S340
This image links to Amazon

NZXT S340 Mid Tower Computer Case (Amazon link)$$4.6/5

Rosewill Challenger S
This image links to Amazon

Rosewill Challenger S Gaming Mid Tower Computer Case (Amazon link)$4.3/5

Zalman Z1 Neo
This image links to Amazon

Zalman Z1 Neo ATX Mid Tower PC Case (Amazon link)$4.2/5

VIVO Smart PC Case
This image links to Amazon

VIVO SMART Micro-ATX Tower Computer Gaming PC Case (Amazon link)$4.3/5

anidees AI-Cyrstal
This image links to Amazon

anidees AI-Crystal Mid Tower ATX Case (Amazon link)$$$4.8/5

Deep Silence PC Case
This image links to Amazon

Nanoxia Deep Silence 5 Full Tower (Amazon link)$$$4.3/5

DeepCool Tesseract
This image links to Amazon

DeepCool TX Mid Tower TESSERACT SW (Amazon link)$$4.5/5

Thermaltake Versa N21
This image links to Amazon

Thermaltake Versa N21 Translucent Panel ATX Mid Tower (Amazon link)$$4.1/5

Thermaltake CORE P3
This image links to Amazon

Thermaltake CORE P3 SE ATX Open Frame Mid Tower (Amazon link)$$$4.0/5

5 Best Computer Cases

We now continue with a list of five recommended computer cases that you might be interested in. These are items that have gathered multiple positive points and feedback from customers. Select the one that has all the features you need.

Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-02 Mid Tower Gaming Case

Corsair Carbide
This image links to Amazon

Buy on Amazon

The Carbide Series SPEC-02 is a gaming computer case that does not scrimp when it comes to excellent air cooling and ventilation if you want a GPU that runs effectively. It features a well-thought design which allows for an LED-illuminated front fan to pull in cold air straight to the desktop’s graphics cards.

The company also makes it possible to accommodate up to six fans for loads of cooling possibilities. Maintain cleanliness inside by means of dust filters and a nice cable routing system as well.

Pros

  • Has an aggressive look and feel that’s perfect for gaming
  • Includes transparent side window for hiding PSU
  • Includes dust filters from top to bottom
  • Has sufficient space for excellent configurations
  • Allows great customization options
  • Can accommodate high-powered cards
  • Allows for up to 6 fan mounts

Cons

  • Front fascia does not have appropriate dust filter
  • Bottom feet does not include rubber padding to take away vibrations
  • CPU power cable routing is slightly mislaid
  • HDD/SSD cages are slightly inadequate
  • Not enough clearance to take away fan connector or RAM modules

Read the Full Review

NZXT S340 Mid Tower Computer Case

NZXT S340
This image links to Amazon

Buy on Amazon

The NZXT S340 Mid Tower Computer Case is made with durable, sturdy cold-rolled steel material and it provides a minimal yet industrious feel to it. This is a compact model that merges an aggressive approach to computer case design with all of the items you require.

It is affordable yet provides helpful features that will make organization a breeze for its users.

Pros

  • Sleek, minimalist design looks professional and clean
  • Excellent cable management
  • Compact and streamlined
  • Strong and durable
  • Fast and easy to assemble

Cons

  • Does not have anti-vibration pads and cooling methods for hard drives
  • Tool-less hard drive

Read the Full Review

Rosewill Challenger S Gaming Mid Tower Computer Case

Rosewill Challenger S
This image links to Amazon

Buy on Amazon

The Challenger S follows the company’s Challenger, which is a constant bestseller. It contains all of its predecessor’s features but is built with upgraded solutions that will make gamers feel free to enjoy their hobby.

It includes dual front fans with blue LEDs, requires tool-less installation and can support up to a 14.17-inch long graphics card and a 120 mm liquid cooling radiator in the front. For a cleaner operating spot, the case also includes dust filters on both the top and the bottom.

Pros

  • Nice side panel with window
  • Includes 2 movable black fans
  • Has USB 3.0 pass-through
  • Can fit bigger CPU fans
  • Spacious and provides excellent air circulation
  • Side panel conceals thicker cables
  • Has a good number of dust filters
  • Can accommodate bigger GPUs

Cons

  • Front panel removal can be difficult and may damage the cable
  • Standoffs with provided tool are difficult to install

Read the Full Review

Zalman Z1 Neo ATX Mid Tower PC Case

Zalman Z1 Neo
This image links to Amazon

Buy on Amazon

The Zalman Z1 Neo is the computer case to own if you want one with a solid cooling performance with minimal noise. It includes five basic regular fans and three more can be added on the front, bottom and top vents.The PSU is positioned at the bottom for enhancing air circulation and cooling processes.

It also provides enough room for dual radiator water cooler installations.Furthermore, it has a brushed aluminum style frontal door and SFX-styled top Air Vent for a wholly dynamic appearance.

Pros

  • Window hides cables close to the hard drives
  • Mesh does not interfere with light coming from LED fans
  • DVD drive blends well with the front
  • Includes no-fuss fan switch
  • Has 5 fans included and pre-mounted with 3
  • Includes support for bigger GPUs

Cons

  • Both the front and top panel are hard to remove
  • H60 CPU cooler was difficult to mount radiator

Read the Full Review

VIVO SMART Micro-ATX Tower Computer Gaming PC Case

VIVO Smart Gaming Case
This image links to Amazon

Buy on Amazon

The VIVO SMART Mirco-ATX Tower is built especially for gamers. This is a high-powered PC case which provides a great selection of features.There is excellent air circulation for cooling purposes, the capability to accommodate up to three water cooling radiators and lots of expansion.

It also includes USB 3.0 capabilities, provides fast and easy access by means of thumbscrew-mounted side panels and a bigger window to display your nice system.The case includes front, top and rear vents that can install up to five fans. It also includes two front 120 mm LED fans. If you want a case that has all the goods that can support hours of hardcore gaming, then this might be the case for you.

Pros

  • Affordable cost
  • Sufficiently wide for bigger CPU coolers
  • Provides plenty of empty space inside for bigger video cards
  • Has lots of non-invasive storage options
  • Has excellent dust-busting options

Cons

  • Looks and feels cheaply made
  • Has moderately warped metal on side panels
  • Side window does not suit interiors
  • Has openings all over which makes the design disordered

Read the Full Review

Conclusion

There are plenty of factors that PC users have to take into account when choosing the best computer case for their planned system. All of the mentioned factors in this article have to be remembered; it will help you make smart buying decisions.

Along with the price, these factors will help you keep and maintain a functioning case that will not only protect your system but will make it work effectively as well. Hopefully, this article has helped you in a myriad of ways and has lead you to a PC case that suits your system well.