Function and Importance [Source]
The function of the case is to house all the components of your computer; cases differ in size since they adhere to different motherboard form factors (sizes). It’s important to pick a case which, as simple as it sounds, will fit everything you need in there!
- A = MOBO area (inc. CPU, Cooler, RAM)
- B = Graphics card area
- C = PSU Shroud
The most common mistakes include not allowing enough width for your graphics card, labelled above as B, messing up the sizes of your MOBO and case – trying to put an ATX in a microATX case etc… or, misjudging CPU cooler height and not allowing enough depth.
I’ve seen so many examples of people buying cases which technically will fit the parts required, but they’ve allowed nothing, if a few mm of space, which makes it difficult to assemble.
- D = PSU area
- E = Storage space
- F = cable management slots
They’re are a few things to look out for when buying a case, for the most part it’s the same as the other sections – BUDGET–BROWSE–COMPARE – but, take these into consideration:
- Build Quality – the materials used and paint finish will vary massively
- Cable Management Options – does the case include lots of holes, loops and other access points to allow easy tidying?
- The number of / quality of included fans – consider if you’ll need more, or whether you’ll have to replace the ones included.
- Storage Space – Does the case contain all the drive bays required for your HDDs / SSDs?
- Compatibility – Overall, ensure that everything in there is suitable for the parts required.
The labelled diagram above shows a typical layout, though this will differ slightly from case to case – the example is an NZXT case which often feature power supply shrouds, hiding cables from sight and allowing for a more cable management space and a cleaner overall appearance.
Most importantly – pick something that’s your style! It’s your computer, you’ve spent a lot of money on this, built the thing with your bare hands in your own time – give it an exterior look to be proud of, you’re probably going to look at it multiple times daily for the next few years after all.
In my build I used the NZXT H440 – it’s a mid tower with a side window, with a PSU shroud, lots of drive bays, plenty of room for cables and four good fans included as standard! – [Source] – It was incredibly simple to build in and I love the quality – with the addition of dust filters for the front panel and underneath for the power supply, it’s near perfect.
In my other build, my brother chose the NZXT S340 – it is, somewhat ironically, the baby brother of the H440 – with a PSU shroud, plenty of cable space, two included fans and dust filters. The same build quality and just as easy to work in, it’s a pleasure yet again to support NZXT. [Source]