For many years, the desktop was the only option in terms of
the case for your computer system. Today there exists a wide
range of towers and desktops are uncommon. Micwil recommends
mid- or full tower cases, which range in height from 19" -
24". These cases provide sufficient cooling space while retaining
affordability. Smaller towers tend to be poorly constructed
and are not very durable. Full towers (21"+) should only be
used if you require a large number of bays (typically for
SCSI devices). Desktop cases are inherently crowded, with
cables and components fighting for space. As a consequence,
the fans in these systems tend to be less effective at cooling
the system. Ideally your case should be wider than the standard
7 inches and have ventilation holes at the front bottom of
the case to provide maximum ventilation.
There are two types
of power supplies - AT and ATX. All current motherboards
require an ATX power source and few support the older AT
power supplies. ATX power supplies are superior as they
deliver a more regulated current to the motherboard. ATX
cases also typically have space for a second and third fan
(for additional cooling) and second power supply (to support
additional high-powered devices).
Nearly all 'name
brand' cases are proprietary and not as adaptable to future
upgrades as 'clone' cases. Features to look for in your
- Solid metal constuction
for all panels, sides (everything essentially with the
exception of the front plastic bevel) - not plastic or
- Metal cross
braces within the case which give the case strength and
- Access panels
which allow the motherboard to slide out for easy access.
- Removable hard
drive cage to allow easier access to hard drives.
- Unused bays
should have metal plates to add strength to case.
- Minimum height
of 19", to allow for adequate ventilation.
- Minimum width
of 7", to allow for adequate ventilation.
- Slatted airholes
in the front of the case, so that the cool outside air
gets to where it is needed (the bottom of the case, forcing
the hot air upwards), but the dust stays out.
- A sliding door
which seals off the exposed drive units such as floppy
drives, CD-ROM drives and tape backup drives and prevents
dust from getting into these components. In addition it
helps to keep the prying hands of children away from sensitive
- Capacity to mount
an air intake fan at the front and bottom of the case
as well as a additional outtake above or below the power
At Micwil, we sell a case which meets all of the above requirements.
Our designer's case has a sliding door, a wider design (assisting
in ventilation) and ventilation slats in the correct position.
These cases come with ATX power supplies of 250W or 300W.