THE FOUNDATION – CASE SIZES
The size of your computer case dictates the things you can and cannot install in your system. Of course, to settle on the right size, you should know how much space you need, what hardware you’d like to install, what sort of cooling system you want to use, and so on.
What is EATX, ATX, MATX, Mini-ITX? Motherboards both larger and smaller than the standard ATX size are available to accommodate the needs of those who want more expansion options as well as those who want a more compact build. An EATX (Extended ATX) motherboard, as the name suggests, is larger than an ATX motherboard. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll find an M-ATX (Micro ATX) motherboard, which is smaller than a standard ATX motherboard, and a Mini-ITX board – the smallest, most popular compact form factor. So, the motherboard sizes from largest to smallest are: EATX > ATX > M-ATX > Mini-ITX. Since this is a globally accepted standard now, PC case, motherboards, and power supplies come in standard variations of the ATX form factor specifications. Now, let's understand the various sizes of computer towers available to you in the market and what their names mean.
1. Full Tower Case
While a standard ATX motherboard has a length of 9.6", the EATX motherboard features a length of 13". PC cases that can comfortably house this larger form factor are called Full-Tower Cases. Does this mean that you can't use smaller motherboards inside them? Absolutely not. Larger cabinets are usually built to also accommodate all smaller form factor hardware inside it.
2. Mid Tower Case
When it comes to gaming PCs, the mid-tower case is arguably the most popular of them all. It affords a great blend of relatively smaller sizes and enough internal volumes to house all the internals most gamers might need. It can comfortably house both ATX and MATX motherboards. Please note that some mid-tower cases are built to support EATX form-factor motherboards as well.
3. Mini Tower Case
At these sizes, housing all the internals you want starts becoming a problem. However, this does come with the advantage of better portability and a more compact size. Due to this tower’s diminutive stature, it can’t house any motherboards larger than the MATX form factor.
4. Mini-ITX Case
This is one of the most compact and popular form factors in use today. Mini-ITX cases have severe space limitations. Any cases of this size can only house Mini-ITX motherboards and other Mini-ITX compatible components. Nonetheless, this remains an excellent choice for people who want the power of a powerful Gaming or Workstation PC and reasonable portability.
PC CASE FEATURES YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
Although some cases might look great from first glance, they might be a bad idea for those who want to run the powerful hardware. Great airflow is essential to any PC, especially Gaming PCs that will often be pushing their hardware to the limits. Limited airflow leads to overheating, which in turn causes thermal throttling. Make sure that the cabinet has enough space for installing additional fans, if/when needed. It’s always good to have some scope for improving case airflow in the future. Look for cases that offer at least 3 or more fans.
2. Cooling Systems
If you plan to use liquid AIO coolers or install custom liquid cooling through your CPU and GPU, your case must have the necessary openings to make them easier and cleaner to install. Moreover, not all cases can accommodate liquid cooling radiators of all sizes. If you’ve already bought your cooling system, it'd be wise to check what radiators your case can support. Every cabinet's technical specs page will list the radiator size that is supported by it. Here's an example: Radiator Compatibility 120/140/240/360/420mm
3. Graphics Card Length
Although this is becoming less of an issue nowadays with graphics cards becoming shorter and cases accommodating more clearance for them, it is still a possibility that your graphics card is too long to fit into the case you bought. Thankfully, there's an easy way to check whether this is going to be an issue. Every case page specification page will have a specification that indicates the max graphics card length supported by it. Now, just match this case specification to the length given on your graphics card's technical specifications page.
Please note that MSI PC Cabinets support all MSI Graphics Cards without exception.
4. Cable Management
Again, this is becoming more of a standard feature. A case that has excellent cable management features makes your build neater and much easier to manage. Not only will your internals look gorgeous and clean but it'll also enhance your installation and modification experience even later on. Dedicated sections for hiding and routing cables and a removable backplate on the cabinet are good indicators of a case with decent cable management features.
5. PSU Shrouds
Loose cables sticking out from your PSU have probably frustrated every single person who has assembled a PC themselves. PSU shrouds in cases help hide loose cables as well as the PSU inside a neat enclosure. This is a must-have if you want a certain neatness and a clean build, especially if you're planning to use non-modular PSUs.
CASE AESTHETICS AND CUSTOMIZABILITY
1. Tempered Glass Panels – Yay or Nay?
Let's not kid ourselves. A PC case with a tempered glass side panel looks gorgeous. Until you install your hardware that is. If you're not prepared to put in some time, managing cables and hiding away any ugliness, tempered side glass panels are a bad idea. However, when PC building is done right and cleanly, nothing beats the look of a tempered glass side panel. Now, you should also consider the overall feel and aesthetic of the case. Be as shallow as possible and judge the case based on its color, shape, design, and everything else that's purely visual.”
2. RGB Lighting
Lighting effects add some bling to your PC. Yes, we know RGB lighting isn't everyone's cup of tea. Some do find it too loud or irritating. However, for the vast majority, lighting adds a very favorable ambiance to their gaming or work station. A computer chassis with built-in, customizable RGB lighting gives you the flexibility you need to match it with your surroundings and mood.
3. Front-panel Connectivity
Do you need specific USB ports or audio ports on your case’s front panel? Make sure you check the connectivity options that your cabinet's front panel supports. From the latest USB standard to the beloved 3.5mm audio jack, you should find exactly what you need from a bunch of PC case options out there.
A GAMING PC TOWER THAT HAS IT ALL? INTRODUCING THE MSI MPG GUNGNIR 100!
Inspired by Gungnir--the mythical, awe-inspiring weapon of the Odin, the main god of the Nordic mythology, the MPG GUNGNIR 100 computer case was engineered to meet even the most demanding of requirements without a hitch, without compromising on looks. It supports motherboards all the way from the massive EATX (up to 272mm) form factor to the minuscule Mini-ITX. Here are a few key features that make this one of the most customizable, gorgeous PC cases ever created:
Ample Volume for Hardware
This gaming pc case has enough space for a 360mm radiator at the top, while its front panel supports even a massive 420mm radiator. This ensures that you can install the cooling system you want, without any compromises. Moreover, this cool desktop case is designed to support even the tallest of air coolers easily. It has a substantial CPU cooler clearance of 170mm, which is more than enough for the most popular, most powerful coolers out there. With enough space to house a 400mm graphics card, the MSI MPG GUNGNIR 100 PC case ensures that you can buy your internals without having to re-check compatibility. Simply buy a graphics card that fits your budget and delivers the performance you need, install it, and you're good to go. Even relatively longer graphics cards are only around 360mm long, so, clearance for your graphics card shouldn’t be an issue.
■ Excellent Airflow with Support for Extra Fans
The MSI MPG GUNGNIR 100 supports a whopping 7 case fans – eliminating any chance of airflow issues. Just ensure you have enough intake and exhaust fans, and your system shouldn’t run into any heating issues whatsoever. It is already equipped with 1x 120mm ARGB Fan and 3x 120mm Front Fans.
■ 3D Printable Parts
Both the top and bottom of this chassis support custom 3D-printed personalization. Whether you want to add your logo, in-game name, or an image that personifies you, the MPG GUNGNIR 100’s customizability will help you show off your creativity and personality.
■ Adjustable RGB Fan & Mystic light sync
The included LED HUB allows you to control your lighting effects using a single button on the outside. Just add up to 8 RGB LED strips and you’re ready to control them with the touch of a button on the top of this cool pc case. The Addressable RGB (ARGB) fan in this case supports MSI Mystic Light Sync. This means you can control it from your Mystic Light App and customize it as you please. You can change brightness, effects, colors quite easily with the intuitive interface without any prior installation or setup. It allows other RGB peripherals to be controlled from your Mystic Light App just as easily. This ensures that your chassis lighting, peripheral lighting, and motherboard lighting can all work as a single cohesive unit.
■ Tempered Glass Side Panel
A 4mm removable, tinted side panel finishes off this chassis’ gorgeous design. It is transparent enough to imbue the RGB glow of your internals, while remaining just tinted enough to hide your parts from plain view. Sure, you can still see them if you look closely, but from afar, all you’ll witness is the warm glow.
■ LED Effects Control Button
This desktop case comes with a button that you can use to change lighting effects. You can manage not only your case lighting and the 8 attached LED strips, press the button for 3 seconds to control the internal lighting by connecting to MSI motherboard's Mystic Light App.