How to Choose a Gaming Computer Case?

All of the other computer parts are useless without a case to put them in. It’s kind of like trying to build an airplane with missing pieces, when you don’t have the wings or rudder it isn’t going to work no matter how amazing the rest of the plane looks.  

The thing is computer cases come in all shapes and sizes: from small Form Factor ones to huge ones that can fit multiple large graphics cards, or even water cooling setups.

Important CPU Specs

Size:

The sleek design is an essential factor when choosing a computer case. Consider the size of your Desk/Workstation. If you need to transport your whole setup from time to time, Weight & Size are essential factors that may affect how often you travel with it and whether it’s even possible.

Weight can also be a consideration if you have limited physical abilities or need to keep weight down for portability reasons. You should generally opt for the most miniature tower that fits your components while meeting future expansion needs.

The more compact form factor makes it easier to hide behind monitors or under desks and transport on trips.

Material:

For a computer case, aluminum and plastic are the most common materials used.

Aluminum is lighter than plastic and conducts heat much better, and is more durable, but it’s also generally more expensive than plastic.

Colors:

Gaming & workstation cases come in many different colors/patterns. Some of these even have an RGB option for customizable lighting effects! Consider gaming performance when choosing the colors that match your personality because it can make a long gaming session more enjoyable. Color may not impact performance as you think, though, since having darker internal components surrounding larger monitors is pretty common to keep ambient light from obstructing viewability. Aesthetics do matter especially when you spend 8+ hours inside this every day.

Form Factor:

The size of the computer case will also be an essential factor to consider especially if you’re planning on using this in a small form factor setup or need something lightweight. This one is straightforward; make sure your case will fit!

Exterior Drive Bays:

Aesthetic reasons may compel some users to go for the stock drive bays for their custom configurations. However, there are plenty of advantages to them too. Some models even come with support for water cooling loops built directly into the metal plates that make up most of these cases’ frames. If multiple changeable components are needed (like Hard Drives and Optical Drives), it would be worth choosing a case.

Most cases now support up to 4 x 3.5″ or 5.25″ drives, and a few larger models will even go as far as supporting 2 x 5.25″, 2 x 3.5″ and 4 x 2.5″ drives for a total of 10 bay options for installation (not including internal SDDs).

Power Supply Compatibility:

Your power supply unit must be compatible with your case since its dimensions are almost always the first thing considered when determining whether components will fit inside effectively or not.

Be sure to consider the power supply’s length, width, height, and weight if you find trouble in moving it around during transport or if you need to lift it over objects or people.

Airflow:

Good airflow is vital to gaming performance and stability. A computer case with poor airflow can completely ruin your whole setup and cause unnecessary heat build-up, resulting in a shorter lifetime for your components, slower load times, and even system crashes! These will all impact your experience, so look out for airflow when choosing a case.

A few things to consider are the amount of space available for fans, the number and placement of vents/holes that allow fresh air in and hot air out, and any filters used. Some cases also support liquid cooling systems though these are less common because they’re generally more expensive than traditional fans.

Types of Coolers-Air/Fan Coolers:

These are the most common and cheapest way to help keep components cool. Simply place your CPU or GPU on top of a good quality cooler like any of these below and be sure that it has enough space for airflow under it. This is essential because the heat sink (or copper block) needs air around it to disperse heat effectively. This process can sometimes cause unnecessary noise, but many high-quality, quiet fan options are available that don’t sacrifice cooling performance one bit!

Watercooling:

Liquid coolers require greater maintenance levels and work just as well for even greater temperatures than air cooling where needed. A large radiator is attached to the CPU in much the same way as an air cooler would be. However, a pump and tubing carry liquid to/from the radiator, which heats and cools it so effectively that temperature can even be increased (within reason) for better performance.

Fans:

Both air coolers and water cooling setups can support anywhere between one to four fans on both the CPU and GPU sides of things depending on the amount of space available inside the case and if you have other components such as hard drives or optical drives already installed. Adding up to five fans is beneficial when there is limited airflow or an abundance of heat sources.

Remember that whichever cooling type you go with should all be high-quality units from reputable manufacturers for best results. Almost all computer cases will come with at least one or two fans already installed, so you’ll have something in place to start with.

Optical Drives:

Optical drives are slowly going the way and we should thank to rapidly decreasing prices and sizes for both hard drive and USB flash-based storage devices. However, there will always be a few gamers who still prefer physical copies of their games and collectors who want to keep their games around for historical purposes. There will also always be some circumstances where you can’t avoid using an optical drive, such as when playing older game titles that require them.

For this reason, it is helpful for your case if it supports one or more external slots for these drives rather than having to open the case to install them internally. While it will add a little to overall cost and space requirements, there is nothing wrong with including one or two extra bays for this purpose if you have the room. Labels like these are prevalent in cases that include support for SATA optical drives.

Expansion Slots:

This refers mainly to PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slots, which were the most common form of computer expansion in desktops. However, due to their size and popularity, they were eventually replaced by more compact and easier-to-use AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) cards leaving PCI slots primarily as legacy devices at this point. Still, some older video cards (and other hardware) may come with one or more PCI slots, so, for this reason, you might find that an older case comes in handy if it has a few of these available.

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