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The ideal size of your computer case is not just determined by the size of the area you plan to keep it in your home. You always want to leave enough room inside the case to add components in the future, however, compatibility is the first issue to be considered.
Cases are designed with a specific architecture in mind. The case you choose must be compatible with the type of motherboard you want to use in your machine. The majority of new motherboards today are ATX, though not all. Some are essentially mini-architectures that will not fit properly in the space designated for the motherboard in your case.
When building your own computer, a natural instinct is to start with a case you think looks really cool. You want to avoid that, however, and focus on the machine's intended use. It is best to work from the inside out, choosing your motherboard and processor and then finding the case that fits the design and look you want.
Once you have decided on these areas, make sure not to force the motherboard into the case. If you chose correctly, each component should slide right in. No sense in damaging the components or the case you just bought. For a wide variety of styles and functions, you will find a great selection at TigerDirect.com.