One of the first things that you will want to consider when planning to build your perfect PC is the form factor. The form factor is the size of your PC. For most desktop computers, you will be choosing between a standard ATX and a micro ATX form factor. There are even smaller standards, but these do not offer a great deal of potential. The following are some considerations from PC Geeks to aid in choosing the case for your perfect new PC.
Choosing the Form Factor
Most desktop computers will be of the standard ATX form factor. A larger case provides various advantages, including more air circulation and more upgrade possibilities. A smaller case will only support a micro ATX motherboard and will not provide so many upgrade opportunities. A smaller case is far easier to move, however. If you are planning to build a small PC, go for a micro ATX case that can still take a full-size power supply. With a full-size power supply, you can have a mini-PC which is almost as powerful as a standard one.
Almost all desktop cases are tower cases, whether they are of the standard or micro ATX form factor. There are some micro ATX cases which are designed somewhat differently, however. If you are building a smaller computer, you may also want to consider getting a case which has a handle on it. This will be ideal if you plan to take your computer to LAN parties or to a friend’s house sometimes.
Some cases are designed with practicality and ease-of-use in mind. Cases with screwless designs are much easier when it comes to installation and maintenance. Also, you don’t have to worry about losing any screws. A well designed case should ideally have a side-panel which you can open like a door just by moving a latch.
The more expensive cases are made from aluminum. Aluminum is much lighter and it does not hold heat as much as other materials. If you are building a micro ATX PC, size and weight are likely your main priorities.
Many people hope to cut costs by buying a case which comes with a power supply (PSU). This is generally not a good idea unless you are building a very low-end machine. Mid to high-end computer components draw a lot of power and even the most modest of systems require a high quality 500-watt power supply at minimum. Cases which come with power supplies are often low budget solutions which do not provide adequate power for most configurations. Unless the case comes with an exceptional power supply, it is best to buy one without.
Many enthusiasts like to modify their cases with neon lights and additional fans. Most cases provide one or more fan grills where extra fans can be installed for improved cooling. Some cases also come with cleanable air filters as well. If you plan to modify the case in any way, be sure to check if it has the necessary design specifications.