A computer case (also known as the computer chassis, cabinet, tower, box, enclosure, housing or simply case) is the enclosure that contains the main components of a computer. It has also been erroneously called the CPU, however this is an entirely different component. Cases are usually constructed from steel (often SECC - Steel, Electrogalvanized, Cold-rolled, Coil), aluminium, or plastic, although other materials such as wood and plexiglas have also been used in case designs.
For example, a case designed for an ATX motherboard and power supply may take on several external forms, such as a vertical tower (designed to sit on the floor) or a flat desktop or pizza box (designed to sit on the desk under the computer's monitor). Full-size tower cases are typically larger in volume than desktop cases, with more room for drive bays and expansion slots. Desktop cases—and mini-tower cases designed for the reduced microATX form factor—are popular in business environments where space is at a premium.
Currently, the most popular form factor for desktop computers is ATX, although microATX and small form factors have become very popular for a variety of uses. Companies like Shuttle Inc. and AOpen have popularized small cases, for which FlexATX is the most common motherboard size. Apple Computer has also produced the Mac Mini computer, which is similar in size to a standard CD-ROM drive.
There are mini-tower, midi-tower, big-tower/full-tower.
Through the 1990s, most computer cases had simple rectangular shapes, and were often painted beige. Beige box designs are still found on a large number of budget computers assembled from generic components.
The 1998 introduction of the Apple iMac led to greater enthusiasm for imaginative case designs. Apple has continued to lead in the area of computer aesthetics, and has produced several innovative computers in small cases. Companies like Shuttle and AOpen have tapped the demand for small but customizable cases. The influence of these designs has led major OEM computer vendors, such as Dell and HP, to sell computers in more eye-catching cases, which may feature rounded edges, engraved logos, and translucent materials. Contemporary OEM computer cases have black or dark gray color, with metallic silver-colored accents.
Case modding is the artistic styling of computer cases, often to draw attention to the use of advanced or unusual components. Since the early 2000s, some cases have included clear side panels or acrylic windows so that users can look inside while it is operating. Modded cases may also include internal lighting, custom paint, or liquid cooling systems. Some hobbyists build custom cases from raw materials like aluminum, steel, acrylic, or wood.
Stickers are common on computer cases. These may advertise the manufacturer's logo, a list of the computer's specifications, the intended operating system (for example, "Designed for Windows XP"), the microprocessor used (such as Intel Inside) or, on homebuilt computers, any interest the builder may have. .
This serves as a physical intrusion detection system and may help computer owners to detect tampering with their computer. However, most such systems are quite simple in construction; a knowledgeable intruder can open the case or modify its contents without triggering the switch.
US Patent Issued to NVIDIA on Feb. 8 for "Computer Chassis with Partitions for Improved Airflow" (California Inventors)
Feb 14, 2011; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 14 -- United States Patent no. 7,885,062, issued on Feb. 8, was assigned to NVIDIA Corp. (Santa Clara,...