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Lesson 9- Case and Power Supply - custom computer case

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In lesson 9 we'll cover the computer case along with the power supply, what features and specs to look for when shopping for a custom computer case, and how much you can expect to pay.

The computers case holds all of the internal components and provides power through its power supply. Computer cases come in two basic form factors or shapes. These are atx tower, micro atx.

Form Factors

ATX Tower cases are the most popular. They allow for the greatest expansion, they’re impressive to look at and are ideal for most home computer systems. Within the ATX tower form factor there are two sizes, Midsized and Full.

Midsized towers typically have 3 or 5, 5.25 inch drive bays for adding CD/DVD drives and 3 or 6 slots for 3.5 inch hard drives.

Full size towers have between 5 and 12, 5.25 drive bays and 4 to 10, 3.5 inch slots.

Some cases will also have 2.5” bays for solid state drives.

Deciding which size tower to choose, comes down to how many hard drives and DVD or blu-ray drives you intend to have in your computer.

Mid or full tower atx cases support the ATX motherboard standard.  ATX is the standard size motherboard used in most computers today.

Extended ATX (E-ATX) and Extra Large ATX (XL ATX) are larger versions of ATX used by higher end motherboards that need the extra space for more features. If you choose an Extended or XL ATX motherboard make sure you also get a Extended or XL ATX case.

Micro ATX is a smaller version of the ATX motherboard, made for smaller Micro ATX cases.  You can also put a Micro ATX motherboard into a regular ATX case if you like.

You can find Micro ATX cube, desktop, slim and towers cases.

Micro ATX cases are very popular for space savings and portability with 1 to 3, 5.25 inch bays and 1 to 4, 3.5 inch bays


The quality of the case is important. It should be solid, have no sharp edges inside and should be easy to work with. Look for a case that is easy to move parts around in. When you remove the side of the case it should be generally open, with easy access to the motherboard area, and drive bays.

Power Supply

The power supply takes the electricity from the wall outlet and converts it to power all of the components in your computer.  For both ATX and MicroATX power supplies, the current standard is called ATX12V 2.3 or EPS12V 2.91.  The specification is the same, but Micro ATX power supplies are smaller in size. 

Most ATX cases do not come with a power supply, while most Micro ATX cases do come with a power supply.

It’s important that the power supply you choose provides enough power to support all of the components in your system. A 400 watt power supply is a minimum. If you plan to add several hard drives and CD, DVD, or blu-ray drives you should look for a 500 to 550 watt power supply. 

To figure out how many watts your computer will need This is where the sample video ends and the free written instruction ends as well.To watch all of our complete video lessons with full written instructions you will need to purchase a login for the site. Buy Now..

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$1200 Computer

Tech Specs
Intel Core i5 4670K 3.4GHz
8GB DDR3 Memory
1TB Hard Drive
Geforce GTX 650 Ti Video card
24X DVD Burner
Creative X-Fi Sound card
23" Widescreen Monitor
Logitech Z623 Speakers
Logitech G9x Mouse
Logitech G510 Keyboard

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"I just built my very first PC and I could not have done it without your tutorial.  I learned so much about what to do and not do, what to look for and what to avoid.
Your tutorial is very thorough, precise, detailed and easy to understand.
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