How To Select The Right Case

The THG Case Shopping Checklist

If you were going shopping for a case today, here is a suggested check list that you might want to take with you to help you purchase the right case.

  • How many 3.5" drive bays do I need ? External/Internal
  • How many 5.25" drive bays do I need ? External/Internal
  • What size power supply do I need ?
  • How much cooling to I need ? (Number Of Fans ?)
  • Do I want to purchase the case and the power supply separately ?
  • What form factor case do I want ? (Mini-Tower/Full Tower Etc...)
  • What kind of case construction am I looking for ?
  • Do I want front mounted ports ? (USB/Firewire/Audio)
  • Do I want to try to build a quiet case or am I looking for cooling in this purchase ?
  • Do I need to add extra or quiet fans in this case ?
  • Do I want a case that has rails or not ?
  • Do I want a case that is suitable for modding or pre-modded ?
  • Does the length of any of my PCI or AGP cards affect my choice in cases ?
  • Am I willing to spend the money to consider the purchase of an Aluminum case ?
  • How much money do I want to spend on this case ?

After answering these questions, you should have a pretty good idea of what kind of case you want. If you still don’t know the answers to all of these questions, discuss the above list with the dealer of your choice, and they should be able to help steer you in the right direction.

Conclusion : Quality Costs Money, But In The Long Haul It Is Worth It !

As you can see, there are a lot more factors to consider in the purchase of a case than just "does all of my stuff fit into the case ?" Of course, even after reading this article you may still have many questions about your next case purchase.

It is obvious to us that purchasing a case based just on it’s looks can cause you problems down the road. With the ever-increasing popularity of case modding, case manufactures are going to be forced to come up with even better and more advanced case designs that cater the wishes of the buying public.

In this article, we have touched on most of the important factors, but there are still many others that could influence your buying decision.

As with almost everything else in the world today, it is obvious that quality costs money, but over the long haul, if you can continue to recycle your case every time that you build a new system you will not only help the environment, but have a case that is more like an old familiar friend that you have come to count on.

If cost were the overriding factor, we would most likely purchase the Antec 1080, but would have rather purchased the Direction 201S, which is what we ultimately would have rather purchased to begin with.

The 201S is worth the money, given what is included in the package, but it is still difficult to justify such an expensive purchase. If you resign yourself to keeping the 201S for a long time, it does become easier to justify it’s high price.

As for a recommendation on which case to buy out of the ones that we have looked at, there truly isn’t a dog in the bunch. Each of these cases is targeted a at different type of user, and that is why we looked at such a diverse group. As always, a smart purchase takes time and research, and, no matter what the dealers tell you, it is always good to ask questions and get answers. After all, it is only a case... or is it ?