Custom PC builds been popular for quite a long time. Several factors affect the decision-making when building a custom PC, but computer case size is of more importance. It can get confusing and tedious when it comes to the selection of form factor and case size. However, there is an extensive range of PC cases these days for exciting builds.
Most people who are new to custom builds may not realize the importance of the different computer case sizes. The size of the computer case may affect the probability of using the number of internal components, airflow, and cable management. They also impact future upgrades, hard disk space, and aesthetics.
This article will explain the types of computer case sizes and things that affect the selection of these cases. We will discuss their effectiveness with a comparison chart and the ability of these cases to perform with different PC builds. So, lets dive into this guide.
PC Case Size Comparison Chart
To understand the difference better between the cases, we have compiled the computer case sizes chart. It helps you to quickly get a clear understanding of the main differences between these cases.
|Form Factor||Motherboard||Graphics Cards||2.5” Drive Bays||3.5” Drive Bays||5.25” Drive Bays||Expansion|
|Up to 4||Up to 10||Up to 13||Up to 6||More than 7||Expensive|
|Up to 3||Up to 6||Up to 7||Up to 5||Up to 7||Affordable|
|Up to 2||Up to 4||Up to 6||Up to 2||Up to 4||Inexpensive|
|Small Form Factor||Mini-ITX||Up to 1||Up to 2||Up to 3||Up to 1||Up to 2||Cheaper|
Desktop Computer Case Sizes Comparison Guide
There are four types of desktop computer case sizes. Each case has different dimensions and performance levels according to the components.
Full Tower: E-ATX Case Size
The Full Tower or E-ATX case is the largest case available in the market. Therefore it is most spacious and can house inside motherboards from Mini-ITX to E-ATX. These cases are perfect for gamers and enthusiasts who need space, cable management, and cooling options for their future upgrades.
With E-ATX PC tower size comparison, you get full tower PC case size which gives complete control over the customizations. This case is like heaven for gamers as it supports multiple GPUs and gives one of the best overclocking. They support CrossfireX or SLI GPU installation, which can help to set the system for some serious gaming.
Besides gaming, a full tower provides ample support for setting up the most advanced custom cooling solution. It can house an extensive liquid cooling system with larger radiators. Even with conventional cooling, it provides sufficient airflow as more space equates to increased fans in the build.
Mid Tower: ATX, Micro-ATX Case Size
Mid Tower is more common among the computer case sizes. They are also known as Micro-ATX or ATX cases. The dimensions of this case are suitable for most computers build for an average to advanced user. The mid-tower is preferable for the people who want extreme performance while saving up space and money.
Being space-saving does not necessarily mean that mid-tower lacks punch. It provides almost the same functionality and features that full tower performs, except for housing E-ATX motherboards.
Mid-tower is more common among gaming PC case sizes as it can fit all RGB lighting setups, fans, GPUs, and other components with a pleasing-looking compact body.
Mid-tower comes under those ATX tower sizes that can host two graphics cards in SLI or CrossfireX configuration. Some cases can house 3 GPUs depending on their dimensions. However, larger graphics cards can pose an issue for the placement if not adequately managed. Therefore, these PC cases offer PCIe slots for installation and future expansion.
How big is a mid-tower computer case sizes. Lets compare it with the full tower computer case. Mid-tower has a slightly smaller build which results in heat buildup. However, you can use larger computer case fan sizes, only limited to 3 to 8 in number. So, choose wisely between the full tower and mid-tower according to your needs.
Mini Tower: Mini-ITX Case Size
Mini Tower has a smaller and compact body compared to the computer tower case sizes. It can offer a good combination of power-saving, space-saving, portability, affordability.
The dimensions of the case provide a compact build with smaller components installation, which ultimately contributes to a budget-friendly but performance-oriented build. Unlike full and mid-tower traditional computer case sizes, mini-tower does not have enough space to house several graphics cards.
It can only accommodate two GPUs due to compact space. The number of expansion slots and drive bays is also less. However, the drive bays are enough to fulfill the requirements of slightly extensive storage needs.
From the computer case fan sizes chart, mini-tower does not offer larger fans. Its compact dimensions and less space allow minimum airflow options. This restriction limits the users from installing high-end graphics cards that need powerful airflow. The mini-tower is best for gamers on a budget, while the everyday user will have no issues.
Smaller Form Factor: Mini-ITX Case Size
Mini ITX case or SFF is the smallest in computer case size. It comes fitted with smaller components, compact build, and supports only mini-ITX motherboards due to small computer case sizes. They are best for portability and space-saving and works well for the casual gaming and home theater PC setup.
Despite the smallest measurements among computer case sizes dimensions, small form factor cases offer decent storage options. It has no dedicated graphics card support except small form factor GPUs.
This graphics card fulfills the need for casual multiplayer gaming and beginner to medium level graphics designing needs. Regarding cooling, there are not many fan options available on Mini ITX cases. This computer case slot sizes are the smallest compared to the other cases.
However, SFF fulfills the purpose of causal gaming and entertainment quite well. They are best for someone who needs fewer expansion slots, fans, and a budget computer case for casual use.
Info Guide to Check Computer Case Sizes
With the growing gaming and high-end computer industry, the computer case sizes became more versatile and feature-loaded. Each computer case has several advantages and limitations that make buying sometimes challenging.
Despite a brief introduction of each PC size comparison, most people still don’t know how to buy the perfect PC case. We have provided a quick guide covering all the features to help you understand which features to look at while buying the computer case. Let look at them:
PC Case Dimensions
All computer case size differ in their dimensions. If we compare the PC case dimensions cm, full tower PC is the largest option available with a lot of space to house significant components inside. The mid-tower and mini-tower have less space than a full tower. However, they offer customizations, too, for gaming needs.
SFFs don’t have much capacity, and if we compare computer case sizes side by side, they are the most compact and sleek looking among all the options. So, choose wisely and select the correct dimensions for your build.
Airflow and Cooling System
The cooling need of the PC case depends on the usage and components used in the rig. All the components generate some heat while working inside the PC. They need good airflow to keep their temperature controlled.
Each computer case has different cooling needs depending on the components. A full tower can have eight or more fans to regulate the air and keep the components cool, while a small form factor can have 1 to 3 fans depending on the computer case cooling fan sizes.
Attractive Aesthetic Design
It may not be a deciding factor for many people but counts when deciding between computer case sizes. Although it does not relate to computer performance, no one still wants a poorly designed PC case.
Computer cases come with RGB lights, cable management, attractive side panels, and sleek design. It is your personal preference what you like for your build. However, don’t compromise on the performance and pricing while going after the aesthetics of a case.
Drive Mounting and Expansion Slots
Hoarding multiple drives or graphics cards on your computer case requires an expansion slot and extra drive mountings. It helps you to connect the drives and GPUs to the motherboard for additional performance and spacing requirements.
If you are building a gaming rig, especially for extreme gaming, full tower and mid-tower PC cases are the right ones. For office and causal gaming needs, mini-ITX and SSFs are best as they have sufficient drive mounting and expansion slots for your needs.
Neat looking and tidy computer case is always the choice of most people. Cable management is another important consideration that adds to the aesthetics of your rig as the computer cases come with open, zip-tied, and hidden cable management options.
The last two work well for most people, but cable management needs to be on point with glass side panels and larger computer case back panel sizes. For this, modern cases come with holes and shrouds to hide the cables. So, choose your case according to your needs.
Compare in Pricing
The pricing is straightforward in terms of computer case sizes. The full tower cases are the priciest on the list. At the same time, small form factor cases are less expensive and more affordable. However, the price also depends on the extra features like build material, tempered glass side panel, expansion slots, and design.
Standard Computer Case Sizes Recommendations
After getting to know about different case types, you may still need recommendations for each case type. We have carefully selected the products for you that are the best in their class.
Budget Gaming PC case
When it comes to the budget gaming PC case, no one can beat the Mini-tower cases. They are a perfect combination of features, compact size, and functionality. On top of that, they don’t hit hard on your bank.
We will recommend NZXT H210 for its overall great value for money for a budget gaming PC case. It provides performance at a relatively lower price compared to high-end cases. Besides that, it packs good airflow and cable management for a clean look.
Mid-range Gaming PC Case
For mid-range gaming, mid-tower PC cases are the best ones. This category has plenty of saturation, primarily due to their decent performance and relatively affordable pricing than the high-performance gaming PC cases.
We recommend Fractal Design Define C for a mid-tower gaming PC case due to its build quality, excellent cable management, and capabilities to match the performance of a high-end PC. In short, it has all the perks that you need in a mid-range gaming PC case at the cost of a slightly pricey tag.
High-Performance Gaming PC Case
If you need a high-performance PC case for a powerful gaming rig with lots of features, Full tower PC are the best cases to look into. They offer a bundle of features with the performance that you require for the ultimate gamin.
We would recommend Thermaltake View 71 in this category due to its stunning RGB lights and the performance you need to play high-end games. It comes with a tempered glass side panel to add more value to the overall setup.
Small Home Theatre PC Case
For entertainment and regular PC use, small form factor cases are much economical and suitable. They provide excellent functionality with minimal space and design. We will recommend Thermaltake Core V1 for this category due to its sophisticated design and most performance.
To summarize things, if you want a gaming-centric PC rig, then keep in mind the desktop CPU dimensions, GPUs, airflow, and aesthetics. You will need a full tower or mid-tower case for your build. Mini-tower is the best case for regular use, while small form factors are suitable for the multimedia and home theater setup.