The 10 Best Computer Cases
This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in December of 2015. Sometimes, mainstream computer manufacturers don't offer exactly what you need. Hardcore gamers, image and video editors, and complex data crunchers can build precisely the machine they want using one of these computer cases. They come in a variety of sizes and styles to accommodate and care for whatever hardware package you desire. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best computer case on Amazon.
What Is A Computer Case?
Most cases for gaming and video editing sit upright and provide front and back vents and multiple fans for cooling the unit during continuous use.
Computer cases can be purchased for practicality, design, or both.
A computer case is known by many other names including computer chassis, system unit, base unit, and tower. It holds the main components of a desktop PC and is necessary to building and maintaining a high-quality computer. The average computer case is made of steel or aluminum. These are the materials that you are likely to see when purchasing a desktop PC directly from a manufacturer.
Many times, when purchasing a case separate from the rest of the PC components, consumers are looking for something different and a bit more durable than the average computer case. These heavy duty computer cases are used primarily by gamers who need extra power and PC protection. They are also excellent choices for video editors who require strength and durability while running their programs for hours.
Computer cases can be purchased for practicality, design, or both. Most cases for gaming and video editing sit upright and provide front and back vents and multiple fans for cooling the unit during continuous use. Some can accommodate as many as 10 fans. Others come with carrying handles for portability and even contain dust filters to keep the PC running as smoothly as possible. If you are excited to show off your home-built computer, you can purchase a clear case that proudly displays the internal features.
What Do I Need To Know Before I Buy?
Picking the right computer case is much more important than simply making sure it has a few USB ports. There are several things you will need to consider before settling on your final choice, especially if you are building your own computer for the first time.
First, determine the size and shape you need. Are you a gamer? Are you simply building a PC to see if you can do it? There’s not a lot to explain here. Once you know what components are going into your computer, you will be able to determine what size and shape your case needs to be. You can choose between a full tower, mid-tower, or mini-tower. Make sure you think about the size and shape of the case's interior in addition to its exterior.
No matter what you choose, make sure that it fits your personality and purpose.
Second, find out how many drive bays you need. If you’re heavy into gaming or video editing, drive bays are important. You may want to have options for USB, DVD, and CD-ROM drives. The smaller towers won’t hold as many components and will not provide as many drive bays.
Third, find out how many expansion slots you need and how many your chosen case will support. The more expensive, larger cases for gaming often have multiple expansion slots, but your average computer case won’t have a lot.
Fourth, how will your computer cool itself? Does it have space for multiple interior fans? Again, if you will be using your computer heavily and for long periods of time for gaming or video editing, you will need to have a strong cooling system. Find out the maximum number of fans, vents, and other cooling systems that you will need to expel the heated air and keep your system running smoothly.
Finally, decide on the design that you want. While it’s not crucial to the functioning of your system, face it. You like when something you put time and effort into building looks good. Do you want a tall, colorful tower with lights, bells, and (sometimes literally) whistles? Or do you want something basic and unassuming that will fade into the background of your home or office? No matter what you choose, make sure that it fits your personality and purpose.
A Brief History Of The Computer Case
When the first computer cases were designed, they were built for practicality. They were clunky, unattractive, and ridiculously heavy. They were usually beige in color and needed a Phillips screwdriver and a small construction crew to even begin to access the internal components.
By 1981, the first personal computer was introduced by IBM and, along with it, the first clunky, beige, heavy computer case.
Over time, the manufacturers experimented with the design and began to add new, more user-friendly components so the cases appealed to a wider audience. Not only did they begin to improve the appearance, they also worked on adding components that were useful to a wide range of users. The evolution of the computer case is clear when examining the history of the computer itself.
The United States first noticed a need for computers (or a more efficient system) when attempting to compile data from the U.S. Government census. They found that it took them nearly seven years to fully compile the results. This is when punch-card computers were invented that took up an entire room, back in 1890 in order to compile the 1880 census.
In 1936, Alan Turing invented the Turing Machine that was capable of computing anything. Over the years, many other inventors and engineers built on this concept until computers hit the public market in the 1970s. In 1976, Steve Jobs revolutionized the industry with Apple Computers and released the Apple I – the first computer with a single-circuit board.
By 1981, the first personal computer was introduced by IBM and, along with it, the first clunky, beige, heavy computer case. Over the next two decades, computers would develop by leaps and bounds providing us with the attractive cases and advanced features that we enjoy today.
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