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Opening The Empty Case

Building Your Own PC, Part 2: Assembly Step by Step
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Empty case with motherboard tray withdrawn.

Our tower case is built to ATX specification and includes a 300-watt power supply. Two side panels can be individually removed after undoing the screws. Some other cases have a one-piece outer cover in the shape of an upside down 'U.' No matter how the case is constructed, you can normally gain access to the interior of the PC-to-be from both sides.

The price of a case is a good indicator of its modularity and build quality. Cheaper cases often force you to assemble the PC in a specific order, are made of softer and/ or thinner metal, and may contain sharp edges. Expensive cases provide clever design features, a more solid construction, better finish, and are often fitted with more capable power supplies.

When you have opened the case by removing the side panels, you will see what accessories the case manufacture has supplied. A power cord and screws should always be included, and you will also often find a set of case feet.

Preparing To Fit The Components

Overview of all components (from left to right and top to bottom): network adapter card; floppy disk drive; CD-ROM drive; sound card; hard disk; ribbon cable; graphics card; RAM; CPU cooler; and, motherboard.

Let's take another look at the photo. The inclusion of a component from a particular manufacturer does not imply a recommendation on our part. We use them to illustrate the installation procedure of similar components. The choice of components is entirely up to you. You can always find reviews of the latest products on the Tom's Hardware site, together with articles on the latest developments and product recommendations.

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