How to Choose the Right Computer Case for Your New Computer Build
So, you have picked the hardware that you are going to use in your brand new gaming PC, but there is one last thing to decide on before the build can begin. This is the selection of the computer case that is going to house everything.
But how do you know which computer case to choose?
The computer case that you build in can make all the difference between having a computer that runs at peak performance, and one that limits performance due to poor airflow. So, today we are going to dive in and take a look at what things you should consider when choosing your new computer case.
Choose a case that best suits your PC build that you are going for
The first thing to think about when choosing a new computer case is to ensure that the case that you are looking at actually fits the hardware that you are going to use. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is incredibly common that people choose a case that they love the look of, only to get it home and then half way through the build realise that something like their GPU doesn’t fit inside.
With the various form factors available it can be tricky to choose a case that fits everything. When it comes to form factors the most common options are Full Tower, Mid Tower, and Small Form Factor.
A full tower case is designed to provide the most space possible. Ideally suited for someone using an ATX or E-ATX motherboard, full tower cases are a great option for those that are running larger hardware such as top end GPUs, large motherboards, and custom cooling loops. Although these cases offer plenty of build space inside, it does mean that the case itself is larger, bulkier, and heavier than other form factor cases.
Next up we have mid tower cases. These cases are smaller in size when compared to a full tower case but they still offer a great amount of space inside. You are still able to fit an ATX motherboard and large GPUS, but without having to have the bulk of a full tower case. Mid tower cases are amongst some of the most popular choices that people go for when building their new gaming PC.
Looking to build a smaller sized computer? Perhaps something that would look great on top of your desk? Well this is where small form factor cases come in. These cases are often very compact and are designed to fit MicroATC and Mini-ITX motherboards. Small form factor cases are smaller than mid tower cases which means that you do have a limited amount of space inside of the case to build in. So it is important that you make sure that your hardware fits. You will be limited to smaller hardware which may make putting together a top of the line PC build a bit tricker.
Airflow is critical for your computer’s performance
When it comes to the performance of your gaming computer, one of the most important factors is airflow. Ensuring that you have great airflow going through your case is critical. After-all, your computer needs plenty of cool air in order to keep your hardware components running at an optimal temperature.
So what happens if you don’t have great airflow? Well, if your hardware components get too hot you will start to notice thermal throttling. Thermal throttling is a process whereby the performance of your hardware is reduced in order to try and keep it running at safe temperatures. This means that the performance that you are seeing in games will begin to suffer, such as your frames per second dropping.
By ensuring that you have cool air passing through the case this means that your hardware can keep nice and cool, keeping performance up.
When choosing a computer case it is important to choose one that not only offers a good amount of cooling fans, but that also has an optimal cooling design. For this you want to ensure that you stick with reputable brands that are known for their top tier thermal designs, such as Fractal Design.
The Torrent Compact, from Fractal Design, offers some of the best cooling performance, whilst also providing you with a compact case. The unique grill design allows large amounts of air to be drawn through into the case via 2 large 180mm Dynamic PWM cooling fans. Although this is a compact case you can fit an E-ATX motherboard up to 274mm wide and a GPU up to 330mm wide. The Torrent Compact is one of the highest performance cases available today.
Choose a case that has good accessibility
Another thing to consider when choosing a computer case is to ensure that you choose one that offers plenty of accessibility. It is commonplace for a computer case to look fantastic from the outside but when you start to build in it, it quickly becomes a nightmare.
You want a computer case that allows you to take off all the panels, giving you plenty of access to the interior of the case. The last thing you want is having to squeeze your hands into there and cutting your hands on sharp edges.
Being able to remove hard drive cages and covers makes for more space to work in, and a much more enjoyable building experience.
You want a case with great water cooling support
As we mentioned earlier, one of the most important factors when it comes to computer performance is thermals. So, you want to make sure that your case offers a range of cooling options. In particular, AIO watercoolers are one of the most popular choices when it comes to CPU coolers. Not only do they offer amazing performance but they also run whisper quiet.
If you are going to go the watercooling route like lots of people do, you want to make sure that the case you choose has great support when it comes to radiators. You don’t want to purchase a watercooler only to find that its radiator is not compatible with your case.
Generally, when it comes to watercooling, the bigger the radiator the better. So look for a case that can support 280mm and 360mm radiators. A perfect choice for a watercooling build is the Define 7 Compactfrom Fractal Design. This case gives you a nice compact form factor whilst still support large radiators. In fact, the Define 7 Compact supports up to 360mm at the front of the case, up to 240mm at the top, 120mm at the rear, and 120mm at the bottom.
Not only that, but if you want to go for a silent PC build, this case is perfect. Making use of high-density sound dampening material for the case panels, the Define 7 Compact offers incredibly silent operation whilst still giving you great airflow.