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Epox EP-8KHA+ with Socket 462 Mainboard

This page is intended to help you understand PC case architecture as well as explain the different segments that make up a particular case unit.

 
How To Migrate To A New Case Design
This document will outline concepts associated with migrating to a new case type. In this article, I provide a case by case comparison between a variety of units to help you make a smarter, more economical buying decision when upgrade time comes
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Introduction Case Architecture Case Form Factors How It Connects
 
Overview Of Case Architecture
Case Illustrations
Architecture of any standard ATX case.
Backside of a Mid-Tower ATX Case
Architecture of any standard ATX case.
Internal View of a Mid-Tower ATX Case
Architecture of any standard ATX case.
Case Architecture (Internal View)

The internal architecture of a case is made up of a simple metal or aluminum material with a number metal blocks or segments used to accommodate various components and to provide a general guideline as to where different parts should be fitted.

The top part of a full sized ATX tower case can accommodate at least 4 optical storage drives, or two optical storage drives and two hard disk drives provided that appropriate mounting brackets have been installed.

Below the optical drive housing area, there exists at least two 3.5" open slots that can accommodate two 3.5" floppy drives. These slots can normally be accessed from the front of the tower.

Below the floppy drive area, there might exist anywhere between four and six 3.5" slots. These slots are most appropriate for hard disk drives since they cannot be accessed externally.

Case Architecture (Front Side)

A full sized ATX case can accommodate the following peripheral devices:

  • Up to four optical drives.
  • Up to four hard disk drives.
  • 2 floppy disk drives

Additionally, an ATX case has a number of buttons and LED lights to indicate when data is being transferred to other parts of the system.

These LED lights and buttons are listed below:

  • Power button - this button is used to power on and off the computer.

  • Reset button - this button is used to cold reboot a system when something goes wrong and you cannot reboot the computer through standard keyboard commands.

  • Case LED's - these lights indicate when power is running on the system, or when data is being transferred.

    Included on all case designs is a hard drive status light (typically green colored), and a system power light (normally red or amber orange to indicate that the system is powered on).

    The hard drive status light will normally flicker to indicate that data is being transferred to the hard drives installed in the computer.
Case Architecture (Back Side)

The back side of an ATX case has a large number of holes used to ventilate or increase the airflow through the entire computer. Without proper ventillation, computer parts will overheat and eventually malfunction.

The back side of the case usually accommodates the following peripherals and connectors:

 
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