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Epox EP-8KHA+ with Socket 462 Mainboard
The case is the big box of metal that holds your computer together. Choosing a case type for a computer system is not an overly complex topic, but this section will provide you with information about the various case type technologies to help you understand how your system operates.
 
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
 
Introduction To Cases
Overview
A computer case also known as computer chassis, cabinet, tower, box is enclosure that contains the main components of a computer. Cases are constructed from steel, aluminum or plastic although other materieals such as wood and plexiglas have also been used in case designs.
Case Layout

Computer cases usually include sheet metal enclosures for a power supply unit and drive bays, as well as a rear panel that can accommodate peripheral connectors protruding from the motherboard and expansion slots. Most cases also a power button or switch, a reset button, and LEDs to indicate power status, hard drive usage, and network activity. Some cases include built-in I/O ports (such as USB and headphone ports on the front of the case). Such a case will also include wires needed to connect these ports to the motherboard.

Major component locations
  • The motherboard is usually screwed to the bottom or the side of the case (depending on the form factor and orientation).
  • Form factors such as ATX provide a back panel with cut-out holes to expose I/O ports provided by integrated peripherals, as well as expansion slots which may optionally expose additional ports provided by expansion cards
  • The power supply unit is often housed at the top rear of the case; it is usually attached with four screws to support its weight.
  • Most cases include drive bays on the front of the case; a typical ATX case includes both 5.25" and 3.5" bays. In modern computers, the former are used mainly for optical drives, while the latter are used for hard drives, floppy drives, and card readers.
  • Buttons and LEDs are typically located on the front of the case; some cases include additional I/O ports, temperature and/or processor speed monitors in the same area.
  • Vents are often found on the front, back, and sometimes on the side of the case to allow cooling fans to be mounted via surrounding threaded screw holes

 

Brands
Prominent case manufacturers include Ahanix, Antec, AOpen, Chieftec, Cooler Master, Ever Case, Foxconn, Gigabyte Technology, HEC Compucase, IXIUM, Lian Li, NZXT, OrigenAE, Raidmax, Shuttle Inc., SilverStone Technology, Thermaltake and Zalman.
Choosing A Case Type
The type of case you choose for a computer depends on the motherboard's form factor (the basic style, size, and shape of the primary circuit board inside the computer tower).
Case Modding
Case modding is the artistic styling of computer cases, often to draw attention to the use of advanced or unusual components. Since the early 2000s, some cases have included clear side panels or acrylic windows so that users can look inside while it is operating. Modded cases may also include internal lighting, custom paint, or liquid cooling systems. Some hobbyists build custom cases from raw materials like aluminum, steel, acrylic, or wood.
Internal access
Tower cases have either a single side panel which may be removed in order to access the internal components or a large cover that saddles the chassis. Traditionally, most computer cases required screws to hold components and panels in place (i.e. motherboard, PSU, drives, and expansion cards). Recently there is a trend toward "screwless" cases, in which components are held together with snap-in plastic rails, thumbscrews, and other methods that do not require tools; this facilitates quick assembly and modification of computer hardware.
 
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