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Case closed. No wait, Objection! What case should you choose for your PC and why?

So you saw Ritter's guide to PC building and you thought, "Great, I'm on my way to building my first PC and nothing could possibly go wrong now that I have this guide to hold my hand!" Case closed right?

You were about to use an old microwave as your PC case weren't you?

The sad truth is that most people aren't very educated as to the importance of a properly ventilated PC case. Well, you gon' learn today and your first lesson is case sizes. 

There are three categories of case sizes: Micro, Mid, and Full tower, however; the size ranges in these categories are very wide, meaning: there are micro sized towers that come close to mid and mid sized towers that come close to full so if that's the case (pun intended) which one is right for you? 

If you can afford this case, get it.


But since most of us cannot afford aforementioned case, here are some guidelines to help you choose the case that is right for you:

  1. Consider your internal components! 
    • This is your primary guideline for determining the case you should get because if you get a case that will not accommodate the size of your graphics card(s), the amount of hard drives you have, your wiring limitations, or the size/placement of your heat sink, you will be SoL out of the gates.
  2. Consider the airflow needs of your PC components.
    • This guideline takes a close second to space needs because if you are looking into building your own PC, chances are it is going to be using some higher-end parts and higher-end parts are often associated with higher temperatures. 
    • Some PC components like the processor (CPU) and Hard Drive lose crucial amounts of performance at high temperatures and can even lose functionality or break completely if they are not cooled properly.
      This is your Hard Disk Drive at 90°C.
    • A case with good airflow should have a front intake and rear exhaust fan that will have some line of sight of each other after you've installed your components. A large top exhaust and side intake fans are also recommended especially if you are utilizing 1 or more graphics cards in your build.
  3. Lastly, consider the size of the case you are getting.
    • Did you order a microATX motherboard (MOBO), RAM with low profile heatsinks, and a single 256GB solid state drive (SSD) to put inside your computer? Then chances are you are not going to need a full tower, however; if you ordered a full size MOBO, 4 HDD's to put in raid, 3 graphics cars to SLI, and 92 sticks of corsair vengeance ram with high profile heatsinks (that number is exaggerated), or you just see an enjoyable PC expansion in your future, you may need a full size tower to satisfy your space needs. But will that tower fit on/under your desk? In this case, size matters. See what I did there?
    • The most commonly seen case is the mid-tower because it is usually large enough to house all types of mid to high-end PC parts, it is of reasonable size, and priced decently around $70-$100 but by no means does this call for you to get a mid-tower. You wouldn't jump off a bridge because your friend did it right? Or maybe you would you crazy animal.
There are PC cases of all shapes and sizes, heck there are even cases that are built out of fish tanks and filled with mineral oil but we won't get into that. Think about what you want inside of your PC, how much cooling those parts will need, and whether you need a micro, mid, or full tower to fulfill those two things. Now that I have impregnated you with every possible thing you need to know about finding the right PC case, go shop around and get to building your rig. Time to bring this thing full circle, Case Closed.

Have A Digital Day You Filthy Casual,
-Br3athr

Pictured is my PC. The Antec 1100 mid-tower computer case with 2 side fans
 does not adequately fit a Noctua NH-D14 air-cooled heat sink.
 I bent it until it fit because I don't give a shit.
    Don't let this happen to you.