Methods to Select a PC Case: 5 Options to Think about

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A PC case with RGB lights and liquid cooling inside.
Syafiq Adnan/

When constructing a PC, the case is normally an afterthought. Folks choose a CPU, GPU, a very good motherboard, RAM, a PSU, perhaps a liquid cooler—and, with no matter funds is left, choose up a case. However your PC’s case deserves extra thought than that. Listed below are 5 necessary issues to keep in mind.

Case Dimension

A micro-ATX case with two RGB fans in the front and a glass panel side.
The Corsair Crystal Sequence 280X Micro-ATX case.

This one is straightforward and apparent, however it nonetheless shouldn’t be neglected. The very first thing to think about is the sizing of your PC case. There are a number of distinct sizes for PC circumstances that embrace a full tower, a mid-tower, and smaller circumstances for mini-ITX and micro-ATX motherboards.

The overwhelming majority of PC builders go together with a mid-tower since they aren’t too giant, are broadly obtainable, and are constructed for normal ATX motherboards. A mid-tower may also match smaller motherboards, however that may begin to look a little bit awkward relying on the case.

Full towers are a lot bigger and match the extended-ATX motherboards. Hardcore hobbyists with intensive expertise searching for room to suit customized components or a ton of parts will normally go for these circumstances.

Lastly, the mini-ITX and micro-ATX circumstances are all about diminutive PCs that want to suit right into a small area reminiscent of a lounge’s leisure middle, and they are often frustratingly troublesome to cope with when you get components that don’t match.

If that is your first time constructing a PC, then follow a mid-tower, which can allow you to keep inside your funds whereas nonetheless providing a variety of selections.

A Strong Mid-Tower Case


The internals of a gaming PC with RBG LEDs.
A PC with liquid cooling. Alberto Garcia Guillen/Shutterstock

Not all PC circumstances are constructed with the identical potential to maneuver air round. All of it relies on the dimensions of the case, the variety of followers, and whether or not there are sufficient strategically positioned vents.

Your case ought to have at the least two followers (many circumstances additionally include some inventory followers included.) One fan ought to be for consumption to get more energizing air into the case, and one for exhaust to maneuver the recent stuff out.

Vents are additionally a consideration to convey extra air in passively or in a spot the place you’ll be able to put further followers. Some include filters, which is a good assist to stop your PC from getting too furry with mud.

RELATED: When Should You Buy an Aftermarket CPU Cooler?

All of that is about serving to to maintain the case cool. Most individuals will do advantageous merely searching for the attributes talked about above. If, nevertheless, you need to create an overclocking monster otherwise you reside in a very warm location then it’s properly price testing case evaluations to see which circumstances carry out greatest for cooling.

A In style Selection

Cable Administration

Close up of rubber grommets in a Phanteks case.
The rubber grommets within the Phanteks Enthoo Professional case.

Cables are one of many greatest pains of any PC construct. They’re annoying, irritating, they usually look horrible when you don’t plan the place you need them to run. Most circumstances include some cable administration options, and a few are higher than others.

Ideally, you need options that assist the cables simply disappear from the entrance of the case reminiscent of cutouts or grommets, in addition to some rear cable runs and tie-downs. A shroud for the facility provide can be preferrred to maintain issues trying cleaner, though some PC builders don’t like them.

A Case With Grommets

The Entrance Panel

A PC case front panel with six USB ports.
The entrance panel on the Corsair Obsidian Sequence 1000D PC case.

PC circumstances have a variety of variance relating to the entrance panel. That is the place you normally have a headphone jack, maybe a mic jack, some USB ports, and different varieties of connectivity. You could find circumstances that merely have two USB ports just like the NZXT H510 or circumstances with a a lot bigger variety of ports like Corsair’s Obsidian Series 1000D.

What you need right here actually relies on your wants, and what number of units you intend on utilizing that want easy accessibility to USB ports. As for the front-panel headphone jacks, these are largely rubbish, since case makers run the connecting wires the size of case. Meaning they will choose up every kind of interference operating previous the motherboard earlier than the sound will get to your ears. You’re much better off utilizing a headphone jack on the motherboard, or a devoted audio machine like a sound card or external DAC.

Plenty of Ports

Drive Bays

Outdated 3.5-inch onerous drives will not be the only option to your major drive (that honor belongs to M.2 NVMe drives.) These outdated clunkers are nonetheless improbable for knowledge storage, and since they’re so low cost, you’ll be able to simply add a couple of terabytes of storage to your PC comparatively cheaply.

Almost all PC circumstances include drive bays to deal with them, however relying on what number of drives you intend on placing in your PC you could want a case with further bays. Additionally don’t overlook a few case that’s sporting mount factors for two.5-inch SSDs.

Clearance and Size

A long Zotac graphics card with three fans and RGB lighting.
The 324mm lengthy Zotac Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Tremendous Amp Excessive was a problem to slot in smaller circumstances.

Though PC constructing is usually about “plug-and-play” common compatibility, there are some conditions the place some parts merely received’t work in a particular case. This has to do with the clearance peak of higher-end parts.

Aftermarket air CPU coolers, for instance, are sometimes large chunky issues that will not slot in some circumstances. The identical goes for higher-end specialty graphics playing cards that may be longer than the typical graphics card, requiring extra room. Earlier than buying any of those, you wish to be certain they may slot in your chosen case.

Additionally associated are all-in-one liquid cooling techniques that come ready-made for set up. AIOs sometimes solely have to take up area the place you’ll be able to hold further followers. When you have that type of area then you have to be set for an AIO. Nevertheless, you could test to ensure that the dimensions and quantity of followers are supported by the case.

Don’t Make Your Case an Afterthought

A PC case shouldn’t be your first consideration when building a new PC, however it ought to be extra than simply an afterthought. A poorly designed case can destroy your PC constructing expertise, make upgrades more durable, and would possibly even decrease the general efficiency of your rig. These points are simply avoidable with just a bit further consideration to element.

RELATED: Where You Should Splurge When Building a PC (and Where You Shouldn’t)

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