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Epox EP-8KHA+ with Socket 462 Mainboard
This document provides an overview of how to migrate to a new case design. In other words you want more room for expansion so you can take exisiting parts from a computer and put these parts into a new case.
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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How To Migrate To A New PC Case Design
Previous Page: Migrating To A New Case Design Next Page: Transferring Your PC Components Into The New Case


There are several advantages to upgrading your existing computer case. You might want additional room for expansion or you may want to have more ventiallation implemented into the PC's design for overclocking purposes. You might desire some fancy features such as clear side panels or glowing fans and lights; or you might be interested in upgrading your front-panel connectors to support the latest and greatest connection types.

Whatever your decision for upgrading to a new chassis, this section will outline the various types of case designs / case form factors that are available for your upgrading needs.

Questions To Answer

Before making any purchasing decisions, you might want to answer yourself these questions:

  1. How many internal storage devices do you have or plan on implementing? Ensure the case you upgrade to has room to accomodate all of your storage drives.

  2. How many expansion cards do you run in your existing setup? Ensuring that the case supports at least 5 expansion cards is a good guideline that the case you are buying is adequate for the peripherals you plan on installing.

  3. What type of motherboard do you own? Ensuring the new case supports your motherboard should be the first question you need to answer. Remember that Micro ATX cases will fit into ATX cases but ATX motherboards won't fit into Micro ATX cases.

    The most common form factors for motherboards are ATX and MicroATX.. Any case that supports ATX motherboards will also support microATX boards. ATX cases are very easy to find and very common. 

    There are many other form factors but they are all much less common. Measure your motherboard or look in your motherboard to determine your motherboard form factor.

  4. What type of power supply unit do you own? The power supply unit powers on all devices within the computer. There are different sizes and classifications of power supplies, so you will need to ensure the PSU fits adequately into the new case. Much like motherboards, a PSU designed for MicroATX motherboards will not fit properly into a case made for ATX motherboards. The power connectors and form factors are different.

  5. Can the parts in your exisiting computer support an upgrade? If you own a proprietary system (one that is pre-built by a major manufacturer such as Dell, IBM, or Acer), then chances are the parts inside cannot support an upgrade to a new case design because of the limitations imposed by proprietary technologies.

Choosing A Suitable Case For The Upgrade

The size and shape of a component is called the form factor. The most popular case form factors are as follows:

■ Full-tower
■ Mid- or mini-tower
■ Desktop
■ Low-profile (also called slimline

These are not official form factors like those for motherboards and power supplies; however, each specific case is designed to accept a specific motherboard and power supply form factor. You have to ensure that the particular case you choose will accept the type of motherboard and power supply you want to use.

After you have settled on a case form factor, you need to choose one that supports the motherboard and power supply form factors you want to use. The smaller mini-tower or slimline cases often accept only microATX, FlexATX, or even smaller motherboards, which somewhat limits your choices.

Within the ATX and BTX families, a larger case always accepts the smaller motherboards. For example, if a case accepts a full-size ATX motherboard, it also accepts microATX and FlexATX motherboards.

The case you choose is really a matter of personal preference and system location. Most people feel that the tower systems are roomier and easier to work on, and the full-sized tower cases have a lot of bays for various storage devices. Tower cases typically have enough bays to hold floppy drives, multiple hard disk drives, SSDs, optical drives, tape drives, and anything else you might want to install.

However, some of the desktop cases can have as much room as the towers, particularly the mini- and mid-tower models. In fact, a tower case is sometimes considered a desktop case turned sideways, or vice versa. Some cases are convertible—that is, they can be used in either a desktop or tower orientation. When it comes to the power supply, the most important consideration is how many devices you plan to install in the system and how much power they require.

Economy / Budget Cases

This budget case retails for approximately $24.99These cases are extraordinarily ordinary and don't offer much in way of bells and whistles. Expect to pay anywhere between $25 and $40 for this type of case. The upgradeability is limited although the front panel connectors make it easy to connect USB devices, and audio cables to your computer speakers.









Mid Range Cases

A typical midtower case ranging in price from $75 - $200These Mid Range cases offer more room for expansion typically in the amount of storage drives they can hold.

Expect to pay anywhere from $75 - $200 for a midrange case of this class.

These cases may have or be missing a number of features that suit your needs. The most important variable to consider is the dimensions of the case since you'll want to know at the outset that your new chassis can hold all of your system's components without difficulty. Problems may arise if, for example, you have an extralong video card that won't fit into a case because of its internal components. If you have multiple cables, liquid cooling tubes, or huge CPU coolers to accommodate, double-check that your PC parts will fit comfortably within the prospective new case before buying it.

Exterme High End Cases

A typical midtower case ranging in price from $75 - $200These high end cases (with a dollar value in excess of $200) offer extreme upgradability. Cases at the high end of the spectrum may come with a ton of cooling, fan controllers, and other switchable features built directly into the chassis. Some may cover every inch of the inside surface with soundproof acoustic foam; others may come with water-cooling loops built into the chassis.. And finally, some cases may be expensive simply because they're huge.







Previous Page: Migrating To A New Case Design Next Page: Transferring Your PC Components Into The New Case
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