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When you're shopping around for a PC case or Chassis, what factors do you use for picking a computer case? Are there any non-technical criteria you factor into your decision?

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Determine what you want

  • Where do you want to plug in your USB devices?
    Do you put it under the desk? USB port should be on top.
    Do you put it on the desk? USB port should be on the bottom.
  • What kind of audio jack do you need on the front? HD Audio?
  • What speed do you need? USB3 port on the front?
    If your desired case only has USB2, but you want USB3, is there an upgrade kit?
  • Do you want nice cable management?
  • Do you want your PSU on the top or on the bottom?
  • Do you want a screw-less case?

Determine what you can get

Big resellers these days have YouTube channels where they showcase computer cases. This is a great place to learn about features of cases that you might not even know about:

Determine what works

  • Does your mainboard come with any 3.5" front panel snap-ins?
    If so, do you even have a 3.5" slot on the front panel of your desired case?
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Factors I look at:
1. Case size (where will it go in my office)
2. Internal space, what expansion cards/drives are going into the case (what am I using it for)
3. Noise (what is the environment like, do I need a case that is designed for low noise)
4. Cooling (Am I going to run high-spec stuff that needs high airflow or water cooling)
5. Interfaces (Socket type and locations; high/low, front/back)
6. Cosmetics (Does it need to be seen, do I want some eye-candy)
7. Future proofing (Will I need more of any of the above in future)

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Where am I going to put the damn thing?

If it's going off in the corner somewhere then a full tower for maximum expandability is fine. If I want to create a mobile station then I'll get something smaller, maybe one that will attach to the back of the monitor. And so on.

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  • Making sure it has enough and good quality (e.g. usb 3.0) usb/microphone/headphone ports.
  • Size
  • Drive bays
  • How awesome it looks
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