Editor’s Note: In this detailed blog post you will learn about everything you need to consider before buying a gaming PC case. There are different PC case sizes with respect to dimensions of your PC components. Whether you are looking to build a new PC or upgrading your existing setup, we have covered ALL ABOUT GAMING PC CASES for you.
Introduction to This Buying Guide for Gaming PC Cases
A gaming PC case is an outer shell that contains the internal components of your system. It plays a crucial role in protecting your computer and providing adequate airflow to keep your components cool.
Just as we know there are different sizes of motherboards, PC cases are also designed and named according to the motherboard they accommodate. The form factor of a PC case is a standard that defines the layout of the motherboard and the location of mounting holes.
In case you don’t know, mounting holes are predrilled holes in a PC case that are used to secure the motherboard, hard drive, and other components of your PC.
Mainly there are four different sizes of PC cases including Full tower, Mid-Tower, Mini-tower, and Small Form Factor(SFF).
- Full Tower cases accommodate ATX, EATX, and XL-ATX motherboards
- Mid Tower cases accommodate ATX and MicroATX motherboards
- Mini Tower cases accommodate MicroATX and Mini-ITX motherboards
- Small Form Factor (SFF) motherboards accommodate Mini-ITX and Nano-ITX motherboards.
Let us now have a look at the dimensions of PC cases and the form factors of motherboards they support:-
Dimensions of PC Cases and Motherboards Supported
|PC Case Size||Typical Dimensions||Motherboard Support|
|Full Tower||Over 20 inches tall||ATX, EATX, and XL-ATX|
|Mid Tower||17-20 inches tall||ATX and MicroATX|
|Mini Tower||15-17 inches tall||MicroATX and Mini-ITX|
|Small Form Factor (SFF)||Under 15 inches tall||Mini-ITX and Nano-ITX|
6 Key Factors to Consider When Buying a PC Case
Yes, I am totally aware that buying a PC case is not an everyday occasion and most of us buy it only once or twice. So, there are many factors you need to consider before making a purchase so that you make no compromise with the aesthetics and performance of your computer. Here they are:
- Size and Compatibility: As discussed, your PC components come in different sizes, so it is important to check whether the case you are buying fits all components or not. Furthermore, you may want to upgrade your PC in the future, so remember all these considerations in mind.
For instance, purchasing a full tower case for a Micro-ATX motherboard would be a waste of space and money. Similarly, buying a Mini-ITX case when you have an ATX motherboard would make it difficult to install all of your components and will also resist the airflow.
2. Cooling Capabilities: Overheating can have a serious impact on your PC performance. In worst cases, your computer may have sudden shutdowns too. So, you should be aware of the cooling features of a PC case you go with. The higher the number of fans in a case, the better it will be able to coll the components. Remember that the speed and size of fans also matter.
To maintain an optimal temperature inside your gaming PC case you need enough fans, dust filters, plenty of air vents, and enough space to dissipate the heat. And all these factors will depend upon the form factor of the PC case.
3. Number of Drive Bays and Expansion Slots: Drive bays are standard-sized areas for adding hardware to a computer. Expansion slots are slots on the motherboard that allow you to add additional hardware to your computer, and your computer case has openings on the back that align with the expansion slots.
When choosing a computer case, it is essential to consider how many drive bays and expansion slots you need. If you add a lot of hardware to your computer, such as multiple hard drives and graphics cards, you will need a case with more drive bays and expansion slots.
4. Cable management: Cable management features in your setup will help in several ways including aesthetics, better airflow, and reduced noise levels.
The cable management features you should look for in your Gaming PC case are a power supply shroud to hide cables, cable routing channels, and cable mounts to keep cables organized, a cable management bar, and lastly a spacious interior for more room to route the cables.
- PC Case Material: PC cases are made from a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, and plastic. The best material for your PC case will depend upon your budget, weight, aesthetics, and durability requirements.
PC cases made up of steel are the most durable ones, but they are also the heaviest. Aluminum cases are lighter and more stylish, but they may not be as durable. Plastic cases are the lightest and least expensive, but they are also the least durable.
- Price and budget considerations: Gaming PC cases come in a wide range of prices, so consider one that fits your budget and delivers the quality and features you require.
If you are not sure how much to spend on a gaming PC case, I recommend starting with a budget of around $100. This will give you a good selection of cases with good airflow, cable management options, and support for high-end cooling solutions.
You can watch this video for budget PC cases.
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