The Different Types of Computer Cases
A computer case is also known as a computer cabinet. It refers to the chassis that contains a computer’s components. This is in the case of a traditional desktop computer. Laptops and notebooks do not have a housing that can be considered as a case.
However, computer cabinets do not house peripherals such as the keyboard, monitor, or mouse. In the past, computer cases have been used interchangeably with the CPU. But these two components are entirely different from each other.
While the CPU is the electric circuitry of a computer, a case serves the purpose of housing the parts. These include the CPU, motherboard, RAM, etc.
There are different types of computer cases
This is a traditional type of case. It is ideal for personal computing since it conserves desktop space. In a desktop case setup, the monitor/display is usually placed on top of the case. This setup ensures that the workstation is simple and neat.
Desktop cases are difficult to upgrade. They are only ideal if the computer has a dedicated use with no need for future expansion. As such, you should be careful when picking this kind of case for tasks such as gaming, video, and photo editing.
Small Form Factor Case (SFF)
SFF cases encompass compact cases some tall, some flat. Not to be confused with desktop cases because the latter is only horizontal and intended to have a display on top of it. SFFs employ the Mini-ITX motherboard. They are compact, lightweight, and portable. SFFs are just as space-efficient as desktop cases. They can be used on small workstations, closets, and TV shelves.
Mini Tower Cases
This type of case is the perfect fit for the Mini-ITX form factor motherboard. Most average computer users prefer this type of case. They have a simple design which means they are cheap to buy. Mini Tower cases have an average height of 15 inches. They also support the micro ATX motherboard form factor which is the most common for budget motherboards.
Mini Towers are preferred over SFFs because they can take cheap, standard-size components. They come with four expansion slots but are still limited when it comes to future upgrades.
Mid Tower Computer Cases
The mid-tower design is the most preferred in modern offices and at home. They hold all standard-size motherboard form factors including Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, and ATX. Most mid towers stand at a height of 18 inches. They do not require lots of space in a personal-desk setting.
Another thing that makes mid towers popular is their ease of upgrading. They come with four external bays and four internal drive bays. Whether you are a gamer or a video editor, it is easy to expand to a high-end computer with a mid-tower.
Not to mention cable management which is important in keeping a neat desk.
Full Tower Computer Cases
This is the most versatile of computer cases. But also challenging to move because of their size. Full tower cases take up significant space. They are preferred for advanced settings where a workstation needs to handle many applications. They can also run small servers.
Full tower cases have height of 24-to over 30 inches. They come with up to 10 expansion slots. And can hold large motherboards like the EATX form factor and SSI CEB server boards.
If you want a computer that can perform serious overclocking you will want to consider a full tower. It can house dual tower heat sinks, large case fans, and even triple radiators. That’s why it is preferred by serious gamers. The large size provides high air volume which equals better heat dissipation.
Benefits of a Computer Case
Protecting Internal Components
Perhaps obvious, but one of the main benefits of a computer case is protecting the internal parts from damage. Usually made of steel or aluminum, the case keeps out dust, liquids, insects, and other elements. It is a hard shell that can take a decent degree of force if the case falls or something hard is thrown at it.
Minimizing Computer Noise
Air intake vents, fan grills, and mounting blocks can be a source of noise in a computer. Today’s computer cases take this into account. They are usually made to prevent obstruction of air vents. As well as reduce vibration by including rubber drive mounting blocks.
It all depends on the design of the case. Some can minimize noise better than others.
Some computer cases allow the user to see the internal components through the case. But most cases are designed to hide away these parts. Many people don’t want to look at the CPU, motherboards, fans, etc., when they look at their computer’s case.
That’s why manufacturers have engineered cases that are visually attractive.
Ease of Access
Since a computer has many parts, it’s only fair that they are easily accessible. Whether for use like the USB port, or repair like the hard drive, a case provides a structure where every component has a designated location.
A computer case maintains proper airflow within the components. Modern video cards and processors have high energy requirements. They are at risk or running hot when used in older cases. That’s why a computer case has to be matched with ideal components.
It's important to understand a computer case when choosing the right model for your desktop. Whether you are upgrading or buying a new one, this guide will go a long way in informing your decision.