What Is A Computer Case? PC Case Compatibility Explained!

When we see a PC, we first notice three things: the monitor, the keyboard, and the big box beside it. I called it a CPU when I was younger (yes, I’m sorry), but as I grew, I learned that a CPU differs from what I see. It’s called a computer case. It’s a case with several things inside that help run the computer. Well, this is not new for some of you, but there are more important things to know than just a computer case.

what is a computer case
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It’s a case with several things inside that help run the computer. Well, this is not new for some of you, but there are more important things to know than just a computer case.

Even if you used to call it whatever, computer cases play a significant role on your computer. You don’t want your cell phones without a case, right? Well, that applies to your computer components too.

What Is A Computer Case?

A computer case, PC case, or computer tower are all technically the same thing. It is a case that houses the components of a computer. If you are familiar with cars or any vehicle, there’s this thing called chassis, which means the vehicle’s base frame.

It is closely related to a computer chassis. The computer case just doesn’t house those components, and it structurally supports the components in a proper arrangement for your computer to have an ordered look.

A computer needs to be oriented for it to work correctly.  There are a lot of connections for a simple electronic device to work, and the computer casing can help you avoid any debris from ruining your computer. A computer case must also be compatible with the components inside it. You’ve probably heard that computer components can be interchangeable, which means there are a lot of various computer cases for your chosen components.

What Does A Computer Case Do?

The computer case protects your hardware, and since these hardware components (the motherboard, hard drives, disk drives, etc.) do not need physical attention on a daily basis, they are made to be inside a compact box. If the sturdy shell of their casing does not protect the sensitive components of a computer, they are vulnerable to harm from dust, animals, toys, liquids, and other things.

Besides the obvious, a computer casing also helps the said hardware components cool when in use. The casing helps regulate the temperature when inside, and it also has a ventilation system that allows it to cool down, which is designed in the casing.

Another thing is the sound it makes. If you have been using a PC, especially back then, most computers make a whirring sound when in use, which is a little annoying. Today’s new PC casings reduce noise, helping you use the computer comfortably.

History Of Computer Cases

Computer cases date back to the mid-1940s when the computer case was technically a whole room. Since compact components weren’t invented yet, computers can occupy a whole room. ENIAC was the first digital computer that cost them $478,000, and that was one of the computers that occupied an entire room.

In the 1960s, IBM was the first one to produce a personal computer made of extremely bulky parts and heavy output devices. The computer case made for the components is mainly for ventilation. 

In the early stages of computers, these computer cases were just made for functionality. Because it was the start of the computer, most consumers didn’t see the computer cases as eye sore since it was so bulky. Still, in the 21st century, manufacturers slowly made computer cases more attractive and pleasing to the eyes. 

Black cases were made, which are much better today and look sleek and simple. Then another step was made when manufacturers made computer cases made out of different materials, like better-processed steel and aluminum. 

Then problems occurred like heat, so they added built-in fans within cases, which helped balance the temperatures of our hardware. They soon even made these fans work quietly since older fans tend to make louder whirring noises. 

And today, we have computer cases with RGB lighting or display for much cooler computer setups. The development of computer cases is still in the works today as it is one of the critical consumer choices when building a computer setup.

Types Of Computer Cases

Remember the form factors in the motherboard post? These cases only accommodate the compatible motherboards. An EATX case will only fit EATX Motherboards and so on.

EATX CaseThe largest case among the rest, which houses more components.
ATX CaseThe standard case for the standard ATX, Corsair has the best-selling ATX case.
MicroATX CaseA small form factor case, Lian Li tops the best brand for the MicroATX.
Mini-ITX CaseThe smallest case housing one of the smallest motherboard, has one of the sleekest designs.

All Computer Case Manufacturers

There are literally hundreds of PC cases available from dozens of companies, and it’s impossible to choose the one since they’re all fantastic. There are always cases available that will suit your own tastes and preferences with your budget on hand. Below are some of the top computer case manufacturers.

MSIA highly recognized brand within the PC market, identified by its dragon emblem and is a highly reputable and trusted brand.
Cooler MasterPopular for cooling computer products—they make heatsinks, CPU coolers, liquid coolers, and computer cases.
NZXTKnown for producing computer casings, parts, and peripherals.
PhanteksA Dutch company that’s most known for its computer cases, CPU coolers, liquid cooling accessories, fans, and peripherals.
Fractal DesignA Swedish company also known for its quality design of computer cases.
CorsairHas great computer peripherals when it comes to gaming — power supplies, computer cases, etc.
be quiet!Their products are renowned for their low noise and low vibration levels, hence the brand name.
ThermaltakeA Taiwanese manufacturer that is well-liked for its affordability making them ideal for cost-conscious builders.
SilverstoneProvides a wide range of cases, from those designed for those on a tighter budget.
Lian LiWell-recognized as a premier PC case maker in Taiwan and provides a wide selection of stylish and unusual cases.

How Much Does A PC Case Cost?

A PC case’s price varies with your style if you’re a computer enthusiast or just a general computer user. Usually, it can cost you $30 up to $300 (or more); the cheaper ones are those cases that aren’t really designed for visuals but just for functionality. The higher-ends are the cases designed to fit your style and, of course, the material quality. We also need to consider the compatibility of our components to our cases, so before buying a computer case, make sure you check all your components’ models. 

There are a lot of users who tend to look for the design. The computer case significantly impacts your setup since it is one of the biggest things on your desk. There are tons of designs to choose from, and even considering your budget, there are still cheap ones that can match your ideal setup design.

PC Case Compatibility With Other Parts

Let’s get straight to it, not all PC parts are compatible with all cases. There’s a lot of variation when it comes to computer cases. The first thing we consider is identifying our motherboard model and size since motherboards also vary. It is impossible for the remainder of the steps to proceed properly if your motherboard and casing are incompatible with one another. Motherboards need adequate room space for them to function properly, so it’s really important to consider the PC case size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

If it comes to a time when I have to build a PC, choosing a computer case might probably be my favorite one. As a tech and interior-enthusiast person, choosing the design of my setup would be the best one for me. There are tons of choices to choose from, even including your budget to the deal, there’s still one fit for you.

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Anna Bonilla
Anna Bonilla

Anna isn't just any ordinary Computer Hardware Expert, she's highly skilled and multi-talented. She's a graphic designer, a writer, and a social media expert. At ErrorBook, she helps her readers in understanding the purpose of different hardware components and also helps pick the best PC Parts for their money. She also loves babysitting her nephews, baking, and crafting coffee.

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    • Hey Twicsy!

      Glad to know you enjoyed the post 🙂

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      Saad @ ErrorBook

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