PC Case – Which Computer Case Type is Right for You?

Computer Case Gaming & Entertainment Components & Accessories

Would you like to assemble a new PC system on your own and are not yet sure what size your future case should be? Then you have come to the right place on this page! Here you can find out more about the different housing types and learn more about their advantages and disadvantages.

Which type of case should it be?

The form factor determines which hardware the case is compatible with. Even so, there are differences in the size of a form factor. One and the same form factor can therefore still be reflected in different housing sizes, The overall size of a housing ultimately decides how many components can be installed at the same time and what maximum size they can be, This is particularly relevant if you want to install very large graphics cards, for example. The size of the housing also has a major influence on the cooling system used, As a rule, only a few fans can be accommodated in very small housings. Sometimes there is no space for water cooling either. You should therefore always plan the necessary space for particularly powerful systems.

These are the typical case sizes:

Big tower – with as much space as possible
Midi-Tower – more compact, but plenty of space for high-end components
Mini-Tower – even smaller and suitable for small offices
Desktop case – stand on the desk
HTPC (Home Theater PC) – Mini PCs for the living room
Cubes – for a special appearance

Big Tower – The Big All-Rounder

In general, the larger the housing, the more options it offers for individual design, That is why the big towers (or called maxi towers or full towers ) are particularly popular for case modding, If you have enough storage space and don’t have to pay attention to the size when choosing the right case, you can choose this case type with a clear conscience. They offer more space than a standard midi tower and accordingly have some advantages. The individual components do not have to be installed so close to one another, which ensures better air circulation.

This means that the components can be kept cool without annoying fan noises, Of course, the internal space can also be optimally used by installing additional, extremely powerful hardware. Additional cooling is then necessary, but there is also space for this in the big towers. Additional cooling mechanisms, such as fans or water cooling, can be installed to avoid heat problems. Even overclocked hardware can be effectively kept cool.

Housing type: big tower

Big towers like this, for example models from Corsair, are particularly interesting for hobbyists – but fully equipped big towers can also be purchased. There is also something for those who do not have the necessary patience or time to put together a tower individually. Big Towers score above all with the large variety of connection and storage options and can be used in everyday office life or at home.

Advantages of big tower cases
Lots of space for different components
Support of larger mainboard formats such as E-ATX, XL-ATX
No problems with large CPU fans and graphics cards
Better air circulation than in tight enclosures
Ideal for internal water cooling
More leeway when installing components

Disadvantages of big tower cases
Big and heavy
Transporting it can be complicated

Midi-Tower – the classic

The most common design is without a doubt the midi tower (also called ATX housing). Housings of this design are not too large and yet provide enough space for all important components. The midi tower fits just barely on the desk and it seems, therefore, predestined to be displayed on it.

Midi-Tower are therefore often used for gaming PCs use and fitted with glass fronts to an exciting look at the technology inside has to offer. Integrated free slots for drives and other storage media also offer space for additional components. The right motherboard with ATX form factoralso provides sufficient slots for plug-in cards. Midi towers usually offer easy access to the interfaces on the front.

Advantages of midi tower cases
Enough space for all important components
Ideal for office, multimedia or gaming PCs
Compatible with the most common mainboard formats such as ATX and Micro-ATX L
Fits both under and on the desk
There is also space for slightly longer graphics cards and larger CPU fans
More leeway when installing components
Still enough leeway for installation

Disadvantages of midi tower cases
Less space than with big tower cases
Very large components may not be able to be installed
Larger mainboard form factors such as E-ATX may not be supported

Since the individual elements in this housing are very close together, cooling is an important aspect of midi towers. They often have well thought-out ventilation and cooling solutions that ensure that an effective flow of air is created that is directed over all important hardware elements. This removes the waste heat and fresh, cool air flows in.

When choosing the housing, it should be noted whether fans are already pre-installed in the housing or whether it offers the option of using integrated brackets for additional fans. The power supply is already integrated in most midi towers, with some models it has to be purchased separately.

Mini-Tower (desktop / HTPC housing ) – an extremely compact type of housing

rAre you looking for extremely compact PC cases that do not take up much space on the table and which you can easily transport from A to B? Then the mini-tower case (or desktop / HTPC case) could be the right choice for you. A mini tower is ideal as an office or multimedia PC, It can even be used as a tiny gaming PC, but here it can sometimes – depending on requirements – reach its limits, Because its size has advantages and disadvantages: One advantage is that they hardly take up any space and the noise level is very low because no fans are installed.

On the other hand, a problem arises from this, because the lack of internal space means that cooling alternatives such as passive cooling must be considered in order to prevent overheating. Micro-ATX mainboards and only the most important hardware elements are usually used so that the hardware produces as little waste heat as possible,

Advantages of mini-tower cases
Small, compact and take up little space
Small, compact and take up little space
Very light and easy to transport
Ideal for office or multimedia use
Many mini towers are also suitable for high-performance gaming systems Only small motherboard form factors are supported

Disadvantages of mini-tower cases
Significantly less space than with midi towers
Relatively few hardware components can be installed
Possibly elevated temperatures due to limited cooling options
Only small motherboard form factors are supported
Installation of larger components can lead to conflicts
Only small motherboard form factors are supported

Mini tower – also a type of housing for a gaming PC?

Case type: mini towerDesktop housings are often used for HTPC variants (Home Theater Personal Computer) in the living room and therefore usually have a remote control with an infrared interface. Despite the limited case volume, many manufacturers also offer mini-tower cases designed for gaming systems, This type of housing, like the larger midi towers, offers good cooling options  and, thanks to a well thought-out structure, even high- performance graphics cards are supported in the smallest of spaces.

On the other hand, if you tinker with your PC a lot, you may reach your limits with the mini-tower. Nevertheless, with a well thought-out structure, it is possible to accommodate high-performance components in a small space. Many manufacturers also come up with mini versions of high-performance graphics cards, which are significantly shorter and can be wonderfully integrated into a mini tower.

Mini tower case for office PCs and HTPCs

Mini-towers offer more than enough space for a simple  office computer or HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer) for the living room. The mainboard form factors for this small and compact type of case are mostly  Mini-ITX  or  Mini-DTX, If you decide on a mini tower, the selection of the components to be installed should  be carefully considered beforehand  . The mainboards are quite small, offer fewer connection options and the available space in the case usually does not allow more than a graphics card, a PC power supply unit, a smaller CPU cooler and 1-2 hard drives or SSDs. If you don’t need more than that, mini towers are the ideal solution for office / multimedia systems, but also for smaller and, above all,  easily transportable gaming computers, Nowadays, mini-towers are not only found in a tower-like design, but increasingly in a cube-like shape – so-called  cube housings,

Cube PC case – a square, practical, good case type?

As the name suggests, Cube PC cases have a square design – the cube shape ensures an appealing appearance. Not always, but often no ATX mainboards fit into Cube cases, The common form factor for Cube cases is Mini-ITX, This partially limits the selection of suitable components. For example, very long high-end graphics cards or multiple drives can lead to space problems. Overall, it can be said that you can build very interesting and visually appealing systems with a cube housing, but – similar to mini-towers – you are somewhat limited by less space.

Portable PC cases

Is the portability of your gaming PC just as important to you as its performance? How about a portable PC case that you can comfortably transport from A to B?

Ball housing

Ball housing from InWin
Ball housings add glam to the exotic and there are only a few manufacturers who produce them. The case manufacturer InWin, for example, is known for its sometimes very unusual case designs.

The Winbot is a desktop PC in a unique ball design made of Plexiglas and aluminum, which offers interesting features such as gesture control and face recognition. However, this extravagant look has its price,..

Standard is your thing?

Then assemble your very own individual housing – there are no limits to creativity. With case modding, you give your case a completely unique look. Here are some inspirations from the 2019 Case Mods winners:
Conclusion: the housing type – a question of the demands

Which housing type you ultimately choose depends largely on your individual area of ​​application. If you want to trim your system for maximum performance and flexibility, you can hardly avoid a big tower or a midi tower. For a multimedia or office PC, on the other hand, you can easily rely on a smaller housing type. Always keep in mind the form factor of the case so that you know which components you can install.

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