When assembling a personal computer (PC), most people tend to put the CPU cabinet or the case into the least priority section. That is why you will read more articles about the best CPUs, GPUs, RAMs, or SSDs, but seldom about cabinets. Keeping PC Cases for the end will make you choose whatever you can with the little budget remaining. That can sometimes seriously affect your computer’s overall performance as well. How?
Well, while it is true that it is just a container and has no hardware contribution to your computer directly, it does have an impact indirectly. These cases are like the housing of all your components, so firstly, they need to be spacious enough.
Secondly, CPU cabinets have a significant role in managing airflow and maintaining temperature. Whether your computer system is built for regular browsing or heavy usage, like gaming, it needs to stay cool inside. And only the right case ensures that.
If you are about to buy a new PC case, these tips will definitely help.
1. Motherboard Form Factors and Case Sizes
CPU cabinets can be divided into 4 standard sizes, each having a different name –
- Full Tower (the largest size)
- Mid Tower (the medium size)
- Micro ATX (the small size)
- Mini ATX (the smallest size)
Technically, there is no standard or average size when it comes to CPU cases. These are designed to have enough room for the different form factors of motherboards, viz. –
- Extended ATX
- Standard ATX
- Micro ATX
- Mini ITX
The bigger your case size, the more room for different motherboard sizes and other components. For example, Full Tower cases can accommodate any of the motherboard form factors inside it.
2. Clearance and Compatibility for the GPU and Cooling Mechanism
Motherboard form factors need to be compatible with the cabinet. However, that is not the only thing that needs to have clearance and compatibility. There are other components like –
- GPU (Graphics Card)
- Air Cooling system
- Liquid Cooling system
Usually, high-end GPUs are much longer in size compared to budget products. Therefore, they will need more room and most likely won’t fit inside a Mini ATX case.
The same goes for air-cooling systems. Some products have a taller heatsink, which might not fit inside a small case.
Also, in the case of a liquid cooling system, the liquid travels from the chipset to the radiator. This radiator has fans that dissipate heat. The thing is that radiators come in different sizes. So, you must carefully opt for a cabinet to accommodate these.
3. Role of Cabinets in Cooling and Airflow
It is indeed a fact that most computer cabinets market for striking aesthetics. But, the role of these in the cooling process is much more than the fancy RGB LED lighting. Inside the case, components must stay cooler to perform optimally and for better longevity.
Therefore, one can conclude that CPU cabinets do have a contributing role to the airflow process. Buy a case to ensure that they have clearance and enough space for multiple fans to keep the machine cool.
When buying PC Cases, another thing that needs to be considered is cable management. Usually, the insides of a cabinet are full of wires that take a lot of space. Those who want their cabinets to look aesthetically pleasing need cases with better cable management.