PC Case Sizes Explained
Building a PC is all about options and decisions. You need to figure out what CPU to use, what GPU to use, what is the best RAM for your build, how will you cool all of it, and what case will you use to house all of your components.
To help you in this quest, today we will be focusing on the most common PC case sizes that will pull your build together. These PC cases we will discuss will be the most used form factors that are accessible and will not include any extravagant custom desk PC case.
Mid Tower or the ATX Case
When it comes to PC case sizes the ATX case is like the bread and butter of PC building. Although throughout the years the smaller-sized PC cases have become more popular, most PC builds use a standard ATX case.
Most components like GPUs, CPU coolers and motherboards are all sized to fit first and foremost in an ATX case. The reason for this is the fact that this PC case size is the perfect size to house any type of PC component and allows for appropriate cooling with the use of plenty of case fans.
It is often that the best PC cases you can find on the market are ATX size. Overall if you plan on building a gaming rig, or any PC that will require capable components your best bet is to buy an ATX case.
Mini Tower or the MicroATX Case
As time goes on, when looking at different PC case sizes, a gradual change towards smaller sized enclosures starts to trend.
Unlike its bigger brother the ATX case, the MicroATX enclosures are catering towards those who want powerful components but also want to save space in their gaming/working environment.
The main thing about MicroATX cases is that they are budget-friendly compared to mid towers which allows you to spend more on your components. Incidentally, a lot of the MicroATX motherboards are also priced very well, making the MicroATX build the perfect build for someone on a budget.
With this in mind, you can still fit most gaming GPUs (which are huge) and a chunky CPU cooler in a Micro ATX build. You will definitely not see temperatures as cool as in a mid-tower so you better tone down the GPU/CPU overclocking, and building in a Micro ATX case might not be as comfortable, but overall these cases offer you a dang good deal.
As we have mentioned previously, the love for small PC tower case sizes has been growing and has created a market in which building in a Mini-ITX case is something normal.
These cases are the smallest of the bunch therefore they come with their limitations and struggles. First of all, these cases are harder to get and are usually quite expensive. Besides the case itself being expensive the components you are going to put inside of the case need to be selected carefully.
At this point, you are dealing with the harsh truth of thermal limitations and simply not enough space. You cannot cram huge gaming parts in these enclosures so you have to select low-profile versions of the GPUs and CPU coolers.
You will need a special form factor power supply, a special Mini ITX motherboard, and even the height of your RAM sticks will become things that need to be monitored when planning your build.
Obviously gaming hard or stress testing your CPU/GPU becomes more of a challenge since your components will not have enough space to be fully cooled.
It is important to understand that these small cases should be used mostly for media machines and portable work machines. If you do plan to have a powerful build inside of a Mini ITX case, a lot of planning and research will be required so you do not thermally throttle your components 24/7.
Full Tower – EATX Cases
Ironically the last case size we will talk about is the biggest one. The reason for this is that this list is as mentioned previously sorted by popularity, and these huge cases are indeed not that popular, if popular at all.
Most people will be happy with a mid-tower case for their usual needs, but if you are a PC enthusiast that wants to build a server or some sort of multiple CPU/GPU a mid-tower simply cannot hold these many parts.
You will need a huge EATX motherboard for this project, therefore, you will also obviously need an EATX case to hold all of this crazy goodness you are building.
Overall just like the Mini-ITX cases, the full EATX cases tend to be quite expensive, quite hard to find, and quite overboard for most PC users.
This is all you need to know about PC case sizes, so choose according to your necessity and budget!
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