Choosing a Computer Case

ATXPowerSupplies.Com writes this article on “choosing the right computer case for your computer” to help you in your decision making process. There are literally thousands of computer cases on the market which sometimes makes choosing the right computer case quite a task.

First and foremost select a computer case that appeals to your personal tastes. Once you have found one that looks good to you then there are a few other attributes about computer cases that you should be aware of.

Does it have front USB? It almost doesn’t make sense to have a computer case without front usb. Front USB ports come in handy for hooking up digital cameras and downloading images. This enables you to avoid pulling the computer out to search for the usb ports in the back. Almost all motherboards have ports for front usb as well as rear usb. Other uses of front usb ports are: memory stick insertion, mp3 player docking, portable printer docking, and temporary networking between computers.

How does the motherboard install into the case? If possible try to find a case that has a removable backplane for mounting the motherboard. The backplane is able to be removed from the case to mount the motherboard. Using this method it is possible to install the motherboard out in the open where there is plenty of room to work. Installing a motherboard in a computer case without a removable backplane can be cramped. You also run the risk of cutting your hands on the surrounding case chassis. Of course, if the computer case is large then it may not be necessary for it to have a removable backplane. The removable backplane feature becomes more important if the computer case is small sized.

What form factor is your motherboard? There are several form factors that motherboards are usually manufactured. The major form factors are: Micro ATX, Full ATX (commonly referred to as ATX), and Extended ATX. Every computer case should denote which motherboard form factors it accepts. If the case doesn’t describe which motherboard form factors it accepts then it’s best to move on; you run the risk of buying a computer case that doesn’t fit your motherboard. Physical measurements of a motherboard are mostly unimportant. As long as the form factors of the case and motherboard match then you should have no problem with installation.

What size power supply does the computer case have? Ask yourself this important question because most companies that sell computer cases will include a small power supply that is, most of the time, too small for your application. Having an undersized power supply can lead to erratic computer operation, most often denoted by frequent rebooting. Most computer cases at ATXPowerSupplies come standard without a power supply. People have different needs so we provide the opportunity for the customer to add whichever size power supply they need in their case.
Be sure to check out our article on choosing the right power supply for your computer.

How many device bays will your computer need? It is necessary to know how many 5.25″ and 3.5″ bays you’ll need in your computer case. If you’re installing four cdroms in your computer then it will be necessary to have a case with at least four 5.25″ bays. You’ll also need a certain number of 3.5″ bays. Floppy drives and hard drives fit into 3.5″ bays. For floppy drives the bays should be external, meaning that they are accessible from the outside of the computer case. Hard drives are mounted in the internal 3.5″ bays. The bottom line is to be sure you have enough bays for all of your devices.

Will the physical dimensions of the computer case fit into your location? Be sure to pick a computer case that fits inside whatever space you have designated for your computer. Pay close attention to the overall height, width, and depth.

Does your space provide for ample cooling of your computer? In most applications where the computer is set in open space the fans in the power supply and on the cpu are enough to cool the computer. In places such as cabinets you might want to add one or two fans to aid in the cooling process. Another application that might call for additional cooling fans is when overclocking of the processor is performed.

Check out our other article on how to install a front usb adapter.