The Latest Trends in PC Cases
When it comes to choosing the parts that eventually comprise a PC build, the first part you'll likely choose is the computer case. PC cases are specifically designed to contain all of the important electronic components that make up the actual computer. The PC case holds the motherboard and power supply in place, while giving other components such as the hard drive, optical drives and various fans places to be mounted.
Types of PC Cases Available
PC cases come in a broad range of sizes and designs. You can also find the right computer tower to fit just about any budget, from inexpensive value-oriented cases to high-quality cases with every feature you could think of. Some of the more common case sizes include:
ATX - The ATX form factor is a popular choice for many builders. These midsized computer towers offer an excellent combination of size, air flow and versatility for a broad range of motherboards and components.
microATX – These cases are popular for their compactness, especially in uses where space is at a premium. Many microATX boards feature integrated video and audio to save space.
Extended ATX – These full-sized cases offer plenty of room for the eATX motherboard format as well as a number of common expansions, including dual and triple graphics cards.
Motherboard size is one important consideration when it comes to choosing the right case. For instance, microATX boards are designed to be backwards compatible with ATX towers, but not vice-versa. Another important consideration involves having enough space to not only fit all of your planned peripherals, but to also have enough room for expansion as needed.
Advances in PC Case Design
Over the years, PC case design has evolved to accommodate numerous advances in computer technology. As computer components become hotter and faster, many case designs have prioritized airflow and accommodations for future expansion. For instance, a number of cases offer customizable compartments for additional hard drives, optical drives, and cooling fans. Many of today's cases also feature tool-less designs to make installation and removal of components much easier.
Other common features of popular cases include top-mounted hard drive docking stations and sophisticated cable management systems that are designed to keep various cables organized and hidden from view for a cleaner appearance. Several cases also feature windows for those who want to show off their latest upgrades.
Water-cooled cases have always been popular with over-clockers and other PC builders wanting to push their systems to their limits and beyond. High-end gamers often turn to liquid cooling due to its superior heat-transferring capabilities when compared to even high-end air cooling solutions.
When it comes to PC case aesthetics, many manufacturers are literally thinking outside of the box. As a result, PC cases are available in a number of stunning and quite unusual designs. The designs include open-air PC cases that showcase all of the inner workings of the computer while offering greater ease of access and improved air cooling performance.