Traditionally, PC cases have been big grey/biege towers. In recent years however, open frame cases that only partially enclose the components to allow for freer ventilation have become popular in premium gaming PCs.
This allows for greater cooling support and the ability to install larger GPUs and PSUs. Check the motherboard compatibility carefully, though, to ensure your hardware will fit.
Look for a Label or Sticker
A lot of the time, there’s a label or sticker on the case that tells you what brand it is and the model number. It might also say whether it’s a full tower, mid-tower or mini-tower case or something else altogether. It’s worth looking for this in order to get a better idea of what you’re dealing with.
Other things that are important to look for include whether the case supports the hardware you want to put in it and the cooling systems. For example, if you plan on using liquid AIO coolers, make sure that the case can accommodate them. Also, if you’re planning on installing multiple fans, check that the case has enough space for them.
Another thing that’s pretty important is cable management. These days, most high-quality cases come with dedicated sections for tucking away cables so that your build looks as neat as possible. If a case doesn’t have that, it’s probably not worth buying.
In terms of aesthetics, PC cases are becoming more and more interesting, with some manufacturers even creating unusual pc cases shapes like tanks and pyramids. For example, the AZZA Regis 902 Luxury Cube Case has a very Tron-esque design, while the LTINN Computer Case has a tank shape that’s definitely eye-catching. Of course, it’s still a matter of preference, but these kinds of cases can really help to set your build apart from the crowd.
Look for the Manufacturer’s Name
Most PC cases come with the manufacturer’s name printed or attached on the front panel. If you’re interested in a particular brand, you can find the model number using the manufacturer’s website. This way, you can get a better idea of the case’s specifications and whether or not it will be compatible with other components in your computer.
You can also look for a 5.25-inch bay on the front of the case. While this is not a common feature anymore, it used to be an essential one for storing optical drives. If the case doesn’t have a 5.25-inch bay, you can assume that it does not support adding an external optical drive to the front of the case.
Another thing to consider is the number of fans that a case has. While cheaper PC cases may only have a few pre-installed fans, more expensive ones may include a number of different size fans. This is important if you want to add a water cooler or radiator fan to your computer because they require more airflow to keep cool. Some cases also have cut-outs in the motherboard tray for routing cables through the back of the case, which is useful for keeping the inside of your computer organized and tidy. This is especially helpful if you’re using an ATX motherboard or smaller.
Look for the Form Factor
Full towers may be the favored case form factor of many power users and hardcore gamers, but they’re not your only option. Smaller cases offer more flexibility and can be a great fit for people who want to keep things simple or who need to build a PC that fits into their limited workspaces.
When comparing different cases, it’s important to check the form factor to ensure that the motherboard will be compatible. Some cases support all types of motherboards, while others are designed for specific form factors, such as E-ATX, ATX, MicroATX or mini-ITX.
You’ll also want to consider the amount of space available for expansion cards, storage drives and power supplies. A quality case will have plenty of space for these components and may even include dedicated cable management areas to help you tuck away cables and reduce the risk of them being snagged or tangled.
A good case will also have a 5.25-inch bay in the front, but you should be aware that many of these now come without an optical drive, as most new builds don’t need them. It’s worth checking the specs to see if the case supports a drive in that location, as you’ll probably have to install your own drive if it doesn’t have one.
Look for a Removable Part
In addition to the form factor, you’ll want to pay attention to how much room a pc cases has for components. This will have a big impact on the size of your motherboard, as well as how many fans can be installed to keep it cool and how much storage space you have available. If you plan to overclock your CPU, you’ll also need to make sure the case has enough room for a water cooling radiator and extra fans.
Many cases feature a large amount of storage bays, which you can use to install hard drives or SSDs. These are typically in the front of the case, and may include 5.25″ bays (for optical drives), 3.5″ bays for HDDs and card readers, and 2.5″ bays for SSDs. Some cases may have an extra 3.5″ bay at the back for mounting a motherboard tray, as well.
Depending on the case’s design, you might also have a slot for a GPU, which is usually the biggest component in a PC build. If you plan to purchase a GPU with integrated RGB lighting, look for a case that supports this feature. This way, you can add a lot of color to your gaming setup. While this isn’t for everyone, it can make your computer stand out from the crowd.
Unusual PC cases stand out with unconventional shapes like spheres or furniture-like designs. They use unique materials, intricate designs, and sometimes have special functions like built-in screens or innovative cooling systems. Often custom-made by enthusiasts, you might find them in limited quantities from certain manufacturers. Check tech forums and stores for these one-of-a-kind designs, but remember, while they’re visually striking, they might prioritize looks over practicality.