by March 31, 1998 0 comments

You need to read this section only if you
are going to get your PC assembled. If you are buying
branded machines, then you would normally not have much
choice in the selection of a cabinet for your PC.

A computer’s look is
determined by the look of its cabinet. After all, this is
what everyone sees as soon as they enter your office!
Lots of jazzy looking cabinets are available in the
market. But, more important than looks are a few other
factors that should be kept in mind while selecting a
cabinet. Cabinets are important for various reasons.
First, it supports all parts of computer and protects
them from dust and damage. It is again very crucial in
providing proper air circulation for your computer. A
clean and a spacy case always aids good air circulation
and keeps your computer cool.

An important factor to be
checked is the expandability of the cabinet. As you go
along, you may need to put in additional drives and
add-on cards in your system. So, it is essential that
your PC’s cabinet has enough room to accommodate
additional drives and new cards.

  • Cabinets play
    an important role in providing proper air
    circulation for your computer.
  • Your cabinet
    should suit your motherboard size.
  • It should
    have enough room for expansion.
  • You may want
    to buy a cabinet with two fans.
  • Select a
    cabinet that has an SMPS that suits your
    requirements in terms of power and the
    number of outlets.
 

The two main types
of cabinets available are the desktop and the tower
models. Tower cabinets are available in three different
sizes. The tallest among them, full-tower, is about two
feet tall. It can hold more number of drives and is
roomier too. But it is becoming something of a rarity
these days. Then there are the 1.5 feet tall mid-tower
and one feet tall mini-tower. The mini-tower is the most
popular one.

Desktop cases, though
space saving, are not good heat dissipaters. And when you
go in for a larger monitor, these do not help you save
space as they are not able to carry the weight of larger
monitors. Moreover, the expandability of the desktop
cabinets, in general, is not very good. Tower models
offer better expandibility, particularly when it comes to
drive bays. However, there do exist exceptions to this
rule.

Whether the case is a
tower or a desktop model, it’s very important to see
that there is proper air circulation. There are hard
disks, like the 10,000 rpm Cheetah drive, that generate a
lot of heat. When you have such devices and a lot of
other accessories inside your PC, it would be a good idea
to select a cabinet with two fans.

As far as the features go,
there is nothing much to be bothered about. Almost all
the cases today have a start, reset, and a sleep button
with LEDs to indicate each of these states. Most cabinets
today come with a built-in SMPS. You need to look at the
rating and the number of power outlets of the SMPS.

The number of bays
available in a cabinet varies with its shape and model.
We recommend a cabinet with at least one empty 3.5"
and one empty 5.25" bay after you have got in a
CD/DVD drive, floppy drive, and hard disk. This number
can go up depending upon individual requirements.

Motherboard mounting holes
are at different positions for its two
form-factors—ATX and AT. So ask for a case that
suits your motherboard form-factor board. PII processors
use an ATX motherboard.

Cabinets are available in
the market from Rs 700 onwards. You also get imported
cabinets from Rs 1,000 onwards. But if you want to go in
for a good and smart looking one that satisfies most of
the requirements mentioned above, you need to spend
something like Rs 5,000.

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