How to choose a Casing?
A Brief Guide
The Casing is the structure in which all the components are assembled. The Casing defines the whole image of the computer. It determines whether the computer blends in with its surroundings or disrupts the tranquility of a carefully sculpted Zen-inspired bachelor’s pad.
Casings come in a wide variety of aesthetics, features and prices. If you are buying a preconfigured computer model from a computer brand, you will probably have to make do with a generic company Casing that is designed for their branding purposes, setup compatibility, and efficient shipping arrangements.
Too many people often make the mistake of choosing a Casing based solely on its looks and not its functions. Try to keep a balance between having a Case that looks nice to you and does an able job of keeping the system cool and quiet.
Along with the Power Supply, the Casing is often the most overlooked component of a computer. The Casing may not be one of the core components that determine the performance of your PC but it is vital in maintaining the well-being of your system.
Whether you are building your own computer or not, there’s a few issues to consider about computer cases. The Casing lays the cornerstone for your PC’s cooling system, your PC’s main contributor of noise.
Cases can be made of flimsy plastic or durable steel. Some are so small that there’s little space to add on anything else, while some are so spacious inside it can fit more than 10 Hard Drives.
The placement, size and speed of the fans in your Casing are crucial in keeping your PC cool and stable. And of course there’s the overall aesthetics that’s going to define the style of your PC.
If you are not building your own PC (i.e. buying a preconfigured system), remember to ask about the Casing. Too often Casings’ specifications are left out because of their inferior quality.
Picking a Casing
It is prudent to check hardware reviews of Casings to see if there are any poorly constructed models that give off rattling or buzzing.
Thankfully in recent years, manufacturers have started making Casings that are both efficient and pleasing to the eye. Some Casings come with a side panel for users to show their friends the components it houses. Users can even embellish their Casing’s interior with fluorescent tubes to create a snazzy effect, so if money is not an issue, you’ll really be spoilt for choice.
The following is a list of other considerations to make:
1.) Case Material
The material used for Casings is usually either steel or aluminium. Aluminium cases are light in weight and suitable for LAN party users as it is very transportable but it is also much more expensive. Users will also have to take into consideration that aluminium is a lot softer and therefore will be dented a lot easier than steel in the event of knocks.
Other than weight, price and built factor, there is no significant difference between the two materials. However, some people believe that aluminum cases have a slightly better cooling ability than steel cases.
2.) Expansion Slots and Drive Bays
Do take into consideration the number of Hard Drives, Optical Drives and Expansion Cards you want inside you PC and make sure the Casing of your choice supports all your extra components. It is pointless to pay a premium price for the latest state-of-the-art Casing when it cannot house all the components you purchase for your computer.
3.) Front Ports
Some users have IEEE1394 and USB devices and would like to connect it through the front of their Casing rather then from the back. IEEE1394 and USB are the small rectangular ports that have taken over serial ports. These ports allow you to plug in your printer, mouse, and thumb drives. Not all Casings come with these ports at the front so bear this in mind when shopping for a Casing.
The cooling mechanism in a PC is often an overlooked aspect of PC sytems. Air flow is very important for your hardware to achieve optimum performance as it prevents them from overheating. The Power Supply unit fan alone is not enough to fan out all the hot air. Since most Casings come with only 1 intake fan (front of the case), users are encouraged to buy an additional exhaust fan (rear of the case) to ventilate the hot air generated by all the components slogging inside your Casing. Take note of the rear fan dimension for your Casing as they vary in size. Two fans are usually enough for most configurations.
Fans inside the Casing are usually the main contributor of noise. Although the Hard Drive and Optical Drive contribute their fair share, most of the noise is bearable. Choose fans with lower decibels if you want a quieter PC. Usually, larger fans spin at a lower speed and are thus quieter.
In a nutshell, you should always take note of the kind of cooling mechanism your Casing can support. Adequate ventilation ensures the longevity of your hardware.
If you’re buying a computer, check with the vendor if they offer choices on their Cases. A lot of computer companies like to use inferior Casings to increase their profit margins.
If you are assembling a computer with us and find it hard to make a decision on your Casing without seeing it in person, do contact us and our technician will describe to you how our different Casings look and recommend you some appropriate ones.
The above guide is provided as a free service to our customers and visitors. All information is written as objectively and accurately as possible. GooGoo Custom Computers are not responsible for any undesirable computer assembly outcomes resulted from reading our hardware guide.