Build Your Own Computer : What to Look for in a Case
By Stephen Bucaro
Why would you want to build your own computer? Not to save money. With a decent manufactured computer costing less than $400.00, it will cost you more to buy parts to build your own. There are five advantages to building rather than buying.
1. Most manufactured computers are build using proprietary components. When (not if) your computer breaks down, you canít use off-the-shelf replacement parts. You have to pay a lot more for manufacturer's proprietary replacement parts.
2. Low cost manufactured computers use cheapest components. These components are marginal or below specifications. When you build your own computer, you select quality of each component.
3. When you have built your own computer, you are more knowledgeable and capable of performing your own troubleshooting. You donít have to pay $75.00 per hour for a service technician.
4. When your computer becomes outdated, you can easily upgrade it yourself. You will be a better judge of when its more logical to build a new computer from scratch, or to update old one.
5. You will feel pride and confidence of having built your own computer. And, you will have proof that you really are smarter than your friends!
Yes, you can build your own computer. Todayís plug-and-play mother boards with on-board video, sound, and network circuitry make it easy. You can build your own computer in 90 minutes. 30 minutes to build computer plus an hour of waiting while installing operating system.
When I build a computer, first component that I consider is case. Here is what to look for in a case:
* The form factor
Make sure your case style matches form factor of available motherboards. Most motherboards today are ATX form factor. You should buy an ATX style case. Do not buy an AT style case. The AT style case has been obsolete for years. Some computer component providers are trying to unload their obsolete AT style cases to inexperienced computer hobbyists.
* The power supply
Donít buy a case with only a 200 or 250 watt power supply. A 300 watt power supply should be sufficient, but if you plan to install a lot of expansion cards like 3D graphics accelerators, multiple hard drives, CD burners, etc. then you need to consider a case with a more powerful power supply.
A Pentium 4 motherboard uses an extra four pin connector to provide extra 12 volt power required for CPU. If you plan to build a Pentuim 4 based computer, make sure case has a "pentuim 4 ready" power supply.