Computer Cases Tips

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What is a Computer Case?

The coolest part of the case

Stuff 10 people into a car with no air conditioning and your bound to get someone to overheat. Throw together all kinds of computer parts in one Computer Case and you're pretty much guaranteeing the same outcome. When shopping for a computer case, remember to make sure there are enough spaces to install fans. A good computer case like the PCMCIS ATX Mid-Tower can allow up to four fans. This will ensure that your computer will have great ventilation preventing any part from getting too hot.

   
What is a Computer Case?

Looks are everything

Plain looking, blah might've worked ten years ago for cases, but not anymore. Now, everything about the computer can be an extension of your personality…including the Computer Case. You can choose from a wide array of colors. Create cut out windows. Air brush designs. Even add some lights. Whatever you decide to do remember the form should not interfere with the funtion of the case.

   
What is a Computer Case?

Computer Cases: Covering what you need to know

The Computer Case keeps all the components in its place. Made of either metal or plastic these shells are designed take on a role that's a cross between functional and aesthetic. The main goal of the computer case is durability. Buy a case that will ensure your delicate computer parts won't get damaged from a slew of external elements. Plus, to protect your computer parts from getting dusty and overheating.

   
What is a Computer Case?

A case in clean up

Unfortunately, like everything else in your house your computer can also use a good cleaning as well. A good wipe down every now and then will keep your computer in tip top running shape for years to come. For the Computer Case itself you can use a glass cleaner or a damp towel. However, for the CD ROM and other small openings it's best to use just a damp cloth or Q-tips. Also, make sure the towel is only slightly damp so no water drips onto any of parts.

   
Is the inside of your case getting crowded?

New Cases Every Couple of Years

When you build your own computer, especially if you regularly upgrade your hardware, it is a good idea to buy a new case every three or four years. As you upgrade your machine the case may require modifications. Also, having a new case and power supply with a warranty for a year or more not only can increase performance, but it also protects your investment for longer.

Always be aware of new technologies and component architectures. If an upgrade you wish to purchase is not going to fit in your case or be compatible in some way, it's better to go with a new case and the components you really want. Transferring everything to a new case is not that difficult and is definitely worth it in the end.

   
Is your computer making too much noise?

Keep the Noise Down

Come on Feel the Noise may have been a charts-topping song in the early 80s, but it is not something you should be looking for in your computer case. That is why there are many noise-dampening solutions that can make the machine you are building as quiet as a child in time out.

Ironically, the fans that you use to regulate the air temperature inside the case are the very things that produce most of the noise coming out of the machine. Since these fans are necessary, another solution to dampen the noise is needed. The material the case was made from is one factor, but there are other measures you can take.

You can spend a little more money on a high quality fan that emits less noise. This is a very good idea for the long-term. The type of mounting material used for the fans and motherboard are often some form of metal screws. There are rubber alternatives that can be purchased and used in their place. These will reduce the vibrations inside the computer case. Vibration can also damage computer components, so these alternatives will protect you computer as well as keep the noise down.

   
Does your computer overheat a lot?

Keep It Flowing

Do you know the saying about the sidewalk being hot enough to fry an egg on? It sounds funny, but not if it applies to the inside of your computer case. Air flow is key to the longevity of your system.

Your case should have a front and rear fan, along with your power supply fan and any other cooling devices you have installed. In order to regulate the temperature inside your case, you do not want all fans blowing out of the machine. Pushing hot air out alone will not cool the components inside. The fan at the front of your case should be blowing inward, sucking cool air in and filtering it across the inside. The rear fan should be extracting the hot air generated by the computer, sending it outside the case.

Also, you should regularly check the vents on your computer case for dust building up. This can block the vents and stop the fans from doing their jobs. Use a can of compressed air, holding it a few inches away from the openings, to clear dust away. You should also do this carefully to the inside of the case every so often to avoid any dust building up inside the system as well.

   
Do you know what materials are best for your case?

Covering the Bases on Cases

There are more options when it comes to computer cases than most people realize. Choosing a case is not as simple as liking the way one looks and buying it. A major factor in choosing a case should be the material it is made from. The thicker and denser the material, the sturdier it will be and less noise it will allow to escape. Steel is a good example of this.

For someone who wants a case that is much lighter weight, aluminum or plastic are common choices. These materials are typically chosen by people who have the need to move their computer around regularly and weight is a paramount concern. A drawback to these lighter and more portable cases is that they are more susceptible to scratches and dents.

The lighter materials tend to be more stylish, something that has become more popular for gaming computers. The ideal situation is to balance style with functionality. It does you no good if your system looks great forever but works for five minutes.

   
What is a Computer Case?

Computer Cases Squared

Now that screens have become flat and manageable, Computer Cases have also started to receive a similar compact makeover. Cube cases, like the Shuttle's XPC are now starting to hit the market. Its square-like design makes it naturally smaller than its rectangular, mid and full tower predecessors. This shape can create much more space for any desk that holds your desktop system. Just remember to make sure all of your computer components will fit with no problems before purchasing this type of casing.

   
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