What is CPU Case? Lifespan, Types & Works & More

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What is CPU Case?

A CPU case refers to the external shell of the computer that houses all components and usually comes with the power supply unit. It is actually the enclosure usually made from steel, aluminum and even plastic that allows mounting the components physically.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The CPU case not only holds the CPU but also the hard drives, motherboards, optical drive and others.
  • There are different types of it available such as full tower cases, mini tower cases, mid tower cases, and small form factor.
  • A CPU case is not involved in the functioning of the computer directly but holds and protects the components inside, and, depending on the design, adds to the aesthetics of the system as well.

Understanding CPU Case

What is CPU Case

According to the dictionary, a CPU case is a cabinet that contains all important components of a computer.

These include the power supply, memory, chipsets, motherboard, disk drives, several cards and all other peripherals along with a lot of data and SATA cables.

If you follow Wikipedia, a computer case will also be referred by different names such as:

  • Computer chassis
  • System unit
  • Tower
  • Cabinet, and even simply,
  • CPU, when it is referred to as a whole unit and not as the processor only.

This enclosure holds everything of the computer apart from the keyboard, mouse and display units and output devices.

A computer case is generally made from aluminum or steel. This steel is often called SECC, which stands for Steel Electrogalvanized Cold-rolled Coil.

However, you may also find CPU cases made from other materials, especially in the home-built ones, such as:

  • Lego bricks
  • Wood
  • Glass and even
  • Plastic.

These computer cases or enclosures can have different form factors based on their layout and internal dimensions.

Out of all these form factors, the blade servers and rack-mounted ones come with detailed external dimensions.

This is because these cases are meant to fit inside particular enclosures.

For instance, if the case is designed to hold the power supply and an ATX motherboard, it may have a number of external forms such as:

  • Flat desktop
  • Vertical tower or a
  • Pizza box.

The full-size tower cabinets have more volume in comparison to the desktop computer cases.

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This allows more room for the expansion slots and the drive bays.

However, the most popular cases in the business settings, where space comes at a premium, are the desktop and mini-tower cases that are just about 46 cm in height.

The Different Types

There are different types of CPU cases available on the market. You will see a lot of these when you conduct an online research.

All these have their own merits and demerits and may even vary in their ability to perform different functions.

This is due the variance in the features that these CPU cases come with.

Therefore, you will be better off when you know about the types of CPU cases and their differences. It will help you to decide which one of them is best suited for your needs.

If you look at the broader classification of the computer cases, you will see that there are only two types of it namely, the desktop and the tower case.

The desktop cases are considered to be the most popular and basic cases that you will see in most of the homes and offices.

It will come with the most basic features. The main purpose of these cases is to hold all the components of the computer inside it, and, at the same time, maximize the available space.

Gamers and computer builders usually find these cases not as useful as those who use computers for basic purposes and have no plan to expand their system.

Tower cases are preferred by the computer builders and gamers as it allows easy upgrades, as and when required. These CPU cases are further classified into four sub-groups namely:

These SFF cases are the smallest ones in the tower cases category.

This is suitable for holding a Mini-ITX board, which further means that it will limit your choice for motherboards.

This compact case will have only two expansion slots. However, these cases are highly portable, which is why gamers prefer it because they can take it to the LAN parties.

  • Mini Tower Cases

This is a perfect case for you if you want a case that is portable and at the same time do not want to compromise with the expansion capabilities.

These cases come with four expansion slots and can support both Mini-ITX as well as a Micro-ATX motherboard, making it a better option than the SFF tower cases.

  • Mid-Tower Cases

These cases are most preferred and commonly used due to its special design that enables it to support any type of motherboards including ATX, Mini-ITX, and Micro-ATX.

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In addition to that, depending on the particular brand you choose, these cases usually come with seven to eight expansion slots.

Moreover, these cases also offer cable management possibilities, a feature that is liked by the builders who want a clean and organized look inside the cabinet.

However, these cases are not as portable as the other case types but are still liked by gamers as well as the builders because it supports all types of graphics card and still leave a lot of space for additional expansions.

  • Full Tower Cases

The server admins all over the world as well as the gamers prefer this CPU case because it comes with several useful features and has the ability to support four specific types of motherboards such as ATX,

Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX, and the EATX. It can also hold as many as ten expansion slots inside it. All these features make these cases the most versatile ones.

However, these cases are heavy and therefore not portable as the other computer cases. Moreover, these cases are also vulnerable to heat, especially if it does not have a well-crafted airflow design.

What Do Many People Prefer?

When it comes to choosing a type of CPU case, most people go for the mid-tower cases but that does not mean this is the best.

In fact, there is nothing called ‘a perfect computer case.’ It all depends on your needs.

Therefore, keep researching till you find one that has enough space and features you need.

About the Lifespan

As such, a CPU case can last for several years. It all depends on the location, how you handle and other hindrances that may damage the external body of the case.

Made from steel and aluminum material, these cases are strong and durable enough to last for years. The non-corrosion and rust-proof properties of aluminum and steel adds to the lifespan of these computer cases.

This means that, if you do not drop the cabinet from a height, it will last for several years but the same cannot be said about the various components that it holds inside it.

Ways it Works

A computer case is not directly involved in the functioning of your computer. However, that does not mean this is an aspect that you can ignore.

Its design will play a significant role in fixing the particular motherboard you wish, the expansions you want to make in it, and how clean the inside will look after you build your computer.

  • The CPU case helps in holding all the different components of the computer in one place making it easy for maintenance and repairs.
  • It protects the components and keeps the data and SATA cables safe inside it, protecting them from the rodents chewing away.
  • It also keeps them dry and dust free, as much as possible, and therefore, helps in maintaining the performance level.
  • It helps in keeping the inside of your PC cool more effectively through the channel airflow. This prevents overheating which may, in turn, damage the internal components.
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Moreover, the specific design of computer case you choose will add to the aesthetics of your computer, making your computer build complete.

CPU Case FAQ:

How PC cases are made?

The manufacturing process starts with the designing of the CPU cases. When the CAD files are received by the factory, they follow the next steps which includes preparing the raw materials, laser cutting or making punch-outs of the metal sheets, grinding, flattening, washing, welding, and finally, anodizing.

What is inside the CPU box?

Inside the computer case you will find the motherboard, different cards, the power supply, a lot of cables, cooling systems such as fans and heat sinks, memory, hard disks and other disk drives. Few cabinets may also have LED light strips to enhance its aesthetics.

Does a PC case matter?

Yes, of course. When you have a strong CPU case, it will protect the internal components from shocks and vibrations. A good CPU case will ensure proper airflow to prevent heat buildup inside the case that may damage the components. It will also help in cable management for a cleaner look.

Summary

Computer cases are very important to build a computer. You must, therefore, consider the material, the size, and its features when you buy one so that it accommodates all your needs.

About Dominic Cooper

Dominic CooperDominic Cooper, a TTU graduate is a computer hardware expert. His only passion is to find out the nitty gritty of all computers. He loves to cook when he is not busy with writing, computer testing and research. He is not very fond of social media. Follow Him at Linkedin