Shopping for a Desktop Computer Case
Desktop computer cases are the first step to building a customized PC. The empty chassis is waiting for you to add a hard drive, motherboard, graphics cards, and other components you desire, so your machine serves your exact needs. Many also have sleek and stylish designs, and even external lighting.
How to Choose a Desktop Computer Case
Computer cases often feature a number of ports. Make sure there are enough to serve your requirements, and that they line up with the motherboard form factor that you install. If you want to be able to see your components, choose a case with one side made of tempered glass, which serves as a durable but transparent barrier. Size also matters, so choose a tower that's large enough to hold all the components you want to include, including extra fans and other cooling systems if your goal is a gaming system. If style is important, many cases feature lighting or other cool design touches that add visual appeal.
Difference Between a Mid Tower and Full Tower Case
A mid tower case is smaller than a desktop full tower case, and accommodates smaller micro-ATX form factor motherboards. With a full tower size, you have more room for adding components, which is especially useful for building a gaming PC that uses graphic cards and sound cards to maximize performance. Mid tower cases take up less room, making them well suited for areas where space is limited. They can still house sufficient components to build a powerful PC or home server.
Parts that Comprise a Custom Computer
At a minimum, you'll need a motherboard with the right form factor to fit the case, as well as a processor, memory, and a hard drive or solid-state drive. A gaming PC should have room for a dedicated graphics card, and any additional cooling fans or lights you may want.
Installing an SSD in a Desktop Case
If you choose to add a solid-state drive to your PC case, mounting is simple and easy. Open the case and select an empty drive bay. Many SSDs require mounting brackets to fit inside a drive bay, so attach those to the drive first. Slide the drive into the bay and connect the cable. Be sure to keep yourself and the work area grounded to prevent static discharge.
How to Cool a Computer
Most desktop PC cases have space for installing fans, maintaining airflow and keeping processors and other components cool during high-demand operations. Some full tower cases even accommodate as many as a dozen fans. There are often mesh panels on the front, back, or sides of the tower. In the space provided by a full tower, there's also the option to install a liquid cooling system. This is a good solution for those who plan to overclock their processor and get the most performance possible. It dissipates the high heat generated by overclocking, and does it with a low amount of noise.
When you're building a PC to fit your specific needs, B&H Photo and Video has a wide selection of desktop computer cases to get you started.