How To Pick a PC Case: Best PC Cases For Your Needs
Let me guess. You’re building your first PC, and you’re unsure of what PC case to get. No, I get you! Like the other components, there’s just so much to choose from. With the case market growing by the day, it gets pretty confusing for newcomers to the PC-building scene. Heck, I even have a hard time keeping up! If you’re just starting out with PC building, here’s a quick guide on how to pick the perfect PC case for your build.
5 Features To Look Out For When Choosing a PC Case
PC case designs have strayed quite a bit from the black boxes we’ve been familiar with. Being that it’s the first thing you see, many have taken it to new heights in terms of aesthetics and performance. So how do you sift through this madness? Here are 5 general aspects of PC cases you should consider that will help you narrow down your choices.
The very first thing you should consider is the case size. This is arguably the most important because this essentially controls what kind of parts you can put inside. You also want to consider how much desk or room space you have for a PC while making this decision. There are generally 4 case sizes:
Small Form Factor (SFF), or Mini-ITX
Although a niche market, small form factor cases have risen in popularity. PC enthusiasts and casuals alike have fallen for its unique sizing as it's not only space-saving but portable! And don’t be fooled. Many mini-ITX builds pack quite a punch, holding up very well for gaming and content creation. Our recommendation for a mini ITX case would be the revolt 3!
Mini Tower, or MicroATX
If you’re looking for something a bit bigger than a mini-ITX case, you could go for a MicroATX tower, the perfect sizing between Mid and SFF towers. They’re perfectly sized for easy placement on either your desktop or floor. Many budget PCs tend to be made out of mini towers due to their price point and support for many standard components. Unlike SFF cases, you don’t have to pay the premium for smaller parts like SFX power supplies and low-profile cooling solutions.
Mid Tower, or ATX
Mid towers are the standard and most common PC case size that you’ll encounter as you shop. Especially for gamers, ATX PC cases tend to be quite popular due to their ability to support two graphics cards, more drive bays, and ample space for cable management-- a great example of this is the HYTE Y40!
Full Tower, or EATX
Full tower cases are the final boss of all cases. This case sizing has a dedicated fan base for its bold sizing, cable management ease, and power. Due to its copious amount of space, this allows for more drive bays, expansion slots, graphics cards, and better cable management. These cases are commonly known to be used for servers since it’s the only sizing that can accommodate server motherboards. However, hardcore gamers have taken a liking to full tower PCs as they’re capable of housing absolute monster PCs.
It’s important to finish your build with some form of proper cable management as it makes future maintenance, troubleshooting, and upgrades A LOT easier. Now, what are some telltale signs of a case with well-thought-out cable management support? One huge sign is the case having plenty of space either behind the rear side panel or towards the bottom of the case (power supply shroud). Cases that have cable routing holes or rubber grommets are also good indicators of cable management ease. Some cases even provide you with velcro straps or zip ties which become really helpful throughout the process.
Proper case cooling is essential for maintaining optimal performance, stability, and longevity of your PC components. Especially if you plan on building a high-performance system, it’s important to find a case that will efficiently dissipate and ventilate all the heat your components generate. There’s a bit more that goes into cooling than just the fans, however. Here are 3 key aspects to case cooling you should to keep in mind:
- Airflow design
- Fan support
- Material and construction
Compatibility and Clearance
It’s also really crucial to make sure you’re choosing a case that is fully compatible with the parts you want to build into it. If you already know what hardware you want to include, this part will be made a bit easier. We recommend you take note of your hardware’s dimensions to ensure that they fit properly in the case you want. Some key information you should be looking out for include:
- Maximum CPU cooler height
- Maximum graphics card length
- Maximum PSU length
- Fan/Radiator installation clearance
Get creative…or don’t! The PC case is the first thing you see before looking closer at the specs. Take that opportunity to make your PC build a true reflection of who you are. Many custom PC cases, like the HYTE Y60,are meant to showcase your unique style and personality. Cases are now offered in different colors, chassis, RGB, and more! You’re sure to find the perfect match.
Additional Tips When Looking for a PC Case
Like with any other PC component, keep your needs in mind while looking for your PC case. If you know you’re only building a simple PC for browsing and light gaming, you might not want to purchase that full tower case with 8 fans. Remember: The perfect PC case is one that will fulfill and house the PC that fits your needs. You’re now better informed on how to pick a PC case -- go wild!
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