Full Size Modded "Roadside" Case
Although most of choosing a computer case deals with aesthetics there are a few things that buyers should keep in mind before making their purchase. In addition to visual appeal, the size, manufacture material, and number of peripheral device bays are also of great importance.
It's a good idea to
keep in mind space restraints when buying computer case. They come in 3 different
sizes, mini, mid, and full. If you have a tiny apartment or dorm you may really want a smaller computer case that fits your limited space. It is possible to make a strong computer fit into a small package.
the size of the case limits the number of components you can add. A
full size case has a bay that will hold 5 or 6 drives. There are many things you can slide into the drive bay like CD and DVD drives and rewritable drives, card readers, sound synthesizers, etc. With a mini-tower you only get 1-2 bays in the front.
These very small computer cases are great for small offices and rooms. Since these towers are smaller, they require smaller motherboards. If you already purchased or own a motherboard you may want to check it's measurements to make sure your it will fit into this type of case.
Another ideas to keep in mind when choosing a tower case is the manufacture material. Most cases are made from aluminum, steel, or acrylic. Although, you can choose from household items like aquariums and mini fridges. When choosing a case it is good to know that the material affects the aesthetics (how it looks), cooling, price, and weight.
You can choose from heavy steel cases that are inexpensive and rugged. These cases last a long time, however they generally require extra cooling from fans or a liquid cooled system. There are a plethora of light aluminum cases on the market that are much easier to cool. These take 1-3 fans over the steel cases 3-5 to cool, but are much less rugged and prone to rattling noises after a short period of usage. Also, there are the newer acrylic cases which are also light weight. These cases are typically clear or have light tinting, they have a decent life span, and are pretty when modded with case lights, on the other hand the acrylic does stain easily. The clear cases will gather dust and haze and need deep regular cleaning to maximize there appeal.
Power Supply or No Power Supply?
As you search for the right computer case you will see that many cases come with power supplies already installed. These power supplies are great for the everyday user. The power user however, will likely need a power supply with more wattage. For these users, I recommend reading Choosing and Installing a Power Supply,
and not worrying about whether or not the case you choose comes with a
power supply already installed. Power supplies break easily, so if you buy a computer case that has it can always serve as a backup.
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