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Computer cases serve a function: they hold all the parts...

From Plastic to Titanium, from the mild to the wild ...

Computer cases come in all sizes and shapes from the small foot print on the desk, to the convertible mini tower, to the full tower case, laptop, and specialized cases such as for the rack mount server.

They houses all the components of the PC, motherboard (or main board) power supply,Tower Computer Case floppy drive (almost obsolete!), hard drive(s), CD ROM or DVD ROM, sound card, video, and network card. Some computers have other specialty cards also.

A properly designed PC case will have adequate cooling as part of the design, it may come from the factory with extra fans all ready installed or have specific places to add more fans.

The case will have three main sections:

1) The motherboard bay 1980's style 'Portable' computer, the complete computer in a small case, 18"x9"x24" and weighed 16 to 24 lbs.

2) The power supply bay

3) The drive bay

Desktops are easy to open, some Laptop or Notebooks are so over engineered you have to sometimes "crack" them...

If you are considering upgrading or building your own computer consider the function of the computer. Research the components you want to have in the computer, there is nothing worse than buying a case and finding out that the "dream" main board you have bought will not fit.

Also consider the bays for access for drives such as a CD / DVD and how many bays there are for hard drives. Always plan to add more devices to the case as time goes on, not having enough bays for additional drives will be a waste of money if you have to buy another case ...

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Most modern day cases are not made to be modified, that is cutting holes in the covers or adding more fans, the metal is too thin, removing a section of the cover to attach a fan will degrade the limited strength of the case in that area. It would be more cost effective and safer to buy a case that would have the openings already engineered in to the case or the metal has the strength that if you were to cut an opening for a fan and mount it on the case it would not degrade the strength of the case. (I ruined a $90 case trying to add an extra fan...)

If you are the do it yourself type and have the skills you could design and build your own PC case. A forum I visit frequently had a contest for the "design and build your own". People use different materials to build the actual case. They were made from card board, wood, plastic (plexi glass), and metal. The main thing to remember when doing a project like this isn't the cost, it is safety, as in electrical shock or fire. If you decide to design and build your own PC case I wish you luck.

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