Computer Case Types and Parts

in this video for my tea free training I

will look at a number of different

computer cases and the parts that are

used in these computer cases it is

important to understand what computer

cases are available so you can purchase

the right computer case to meet your

needs working with computers is like

working with Legos certain parts will

only plug into or be attached to certain

places knowing what goes where and which

parts different computer cases support

is most of the work this is why I often

refer to working with computers as Legos

for adults the first type of computer I

will look at is the desktop computer

desktop computers are designed to be

used in one location once set up so

essentially they are not mobile you can

of course pick them up and move them

however they are larger and design and

harder to move around then a laptop

would be because desktop computers are

larger in size than a mobile device like

a laptop they can have more connections

and also have more room for expansion

cards and devices the devices inside the

computer can also be larger for example

storage devices can be larger a hard

disk for a laptop is smaller than a hard

disk for a desktop computer smaller

means harder to manufacture and may also

reduce the number of features in the

device that is some features are lost in

order to make something smaller and


the next part of the computer I will

look at is the computer case commonly

referred to as the system case it is

also referred to as box chassis or main

unit it is essentially a metal box that

contains the other components of the

computer parts like the motherboard

memory video card and storage the

computer case provides a way of securing

the parts of the computer in place this

prevents them from moving the computer

case also contains the power supply and

cables the power supply provides power

and the cables allow additional external

devices to be connected to the computer

there are different types of computer

cases available let's have a look

there are essentially three different

computer cases used for desktop

computers the first is the full tower a

full Tower is the largest of the three

cases it is generally used for servers

and some high-end workstations the full

Tower gives extra room for storage power

and adapter currents the average user

won't require the extra room for servers

the extra space is generally required

since servers often have extra device

storage and redundant power supplies

the next computer case is the mini tower

the mini tower is used for high end

users and power users you will tend to

find this case used a lot for home

computers they have extra space for

devices like large video cards extra

adapter cards and storage devices not as

much room as the full Tower but even

power users generally only need a little

more room and don't need all the space a

full tower provides

the last computer case is the small


this is the smallest out of the standard

cases it is generally used in the

workplace it has limited expansion

ability the small form-factor only

allows low-profile cards to be installed

so large video cards won't be able to be

installed it's not that the computer

cannot necessarily support it it's just

that it won't fit in the case you will

find limited expansion slots and limited

space to install extra devices like

storage in business a small form factor

is often used for a general user

workstation they may be limited in

expansion ability however for the

average business user this will not be a

problem the average business user

generally doesn't require additional

expansion cards for these reasons a

small computer is preferable over a

larger one you may also find that a

small form-factor computer may have

additional features that are generally

not found in the larger home computer

these are features like drive encryption

and remote management most home users do

not require these features and you

generally don't see these features in a

home PC until you start getting into the

more expensive models

the next type of computer case that you

may come across in desktops is the

all-in-one this computer is essentially

one unit except for the keyboard and

mouse it is possible for the keyboard to

also be part of the computer however

this is rare when you come across

computers like this they generally have

limited upgrade options however they

take up less room so some people prefer

them when space is limited now that

we've had a look at the basic computer

cases that you will come across I will

next have a look at the different parts

of the computer case to start with let's

look at the front of the computer case

the computer case that you buy will

determine what features it will have a

lot of computer cases will have a lot of

the same features the first feature is

the air vents all the newer style

computer cases referred to as ATX cases

will have air vents at the front

depending on where the motherboard is

inside the computer the air vents can be

in various locations most computer cases

will have the motherboard at the bottom

of the case and thus the air vents will

also be at the bottom modern computers

will suck air through these vents so it

is important that they are not blocked

most computer cases will have one or

more large drive bays these are referred

to as five and a quarter inch drive bays

as they are 5 and 1/4 inches wide in

this case the drive bay has an optical

drive in it as the parts inside a

computer have gotten smaller there is

less need to have large drive bays also

the biggest use of drive bays is for

optical drives with the increasing trend

for data being stored on the internet or

in the cloud there is less need for

optical drives than there was before

some computer cases may also have the

smaller three and a half inch drive bay

these were traditionally used mostly for

floppy disk drives which are now in

obsolete technology generally nowadays

you don't find these at the front of the

case but you will have them inside and I

will look at this later in the video

the next part of the computer case is

the i/o panel this contains a number of

external connectors lights and buttons

the idea of this panel is that it is an

easy to get to place for the user of the

computer generally we'll find these on

the front the top or the side of the

computer cases that is somewhere where

they are easy to get to and see in the

case of this computer the i/o panel

contains the on/off switch when you

press this button the computer will

switch on no surprises there when this

occurs the power light button will light

up when you build a computer this should

be one of your checks the power light is

an LED light LED lights will only work

if the power is flow in the correct way

if you plugged in the LED in Reverse it

will not work if the power light does

not go on when you switch the computer

on the LED has most likely been plugged

in incorrectly generally this light is

white or clear although the manufacturer

can use any color they want

to switch the power off press the power

button again if the computer has frozen

you can force the power switch off by

holding the power button down for four

or more seconds the next button is the

reset button this button will as the

name suggests reset to the computer this

is a hardware reset so you will lose all

your work

try not accidentally press this button

rather than the power button by default

if the reset button is pressed the

operating system will gracefully shut

down the computer some cases will make

this button very small and you may need

a pointy object like a pen to press it

you cannot disable the functionality of

the reset button using the operating

system however if you want to disable it

you can simply unplug the cable that it

is connected to

on this particular computer case is a

card reader not all computer cases will

have this but essentially this allows a

memory card to be plugged in and read by

the computer if your computer case does

not have this it can be added or an

external USB card reader can be used

the next light is the hard disk activity

light this light is generally red

however it can be any color the

manufacturer decides traditionally this

light would come on when there is

activity on any of the hard disks in the

computer this was before solid-state


nowadays it will light up for activity

on a hard disk or a solid-state drive

just because it has always been called

the hard disk light you will most likely

see it in documentation referred to in

this way

often you will find one or more USB

connectors if the connector is black

this will be for USB 2.0 if the

connector is blue this will be for USB

3.0 you can plug any USB device into any

plug however if you plug a USB 3 device

into a USB to plug the USB 3 device will

drop down to use a USB to speed some

devices will require USB 3 and thus not

work if plugged into USB 2 for example

video capture devices may require USB 3

for the extra transmission speed and the

software won't operate if the device is

plugged into a USB 2 connector lastly

there are the headphone and microphone

plugs these allow an external headphone

and microphone to be plugged in using an

audio jack

although USB replaced a lot of this

functionality you will still find a lot

of headphones and microphones for sale

that use the audio jack

next I will look at the back of the

computer case

at the top of this computer case is the

power supply with some computer cases

the power supply may be at the bottom

however generally it is found at the top

regardless of where the power supply is

make sure the power supply fan is not

blocked if it is blocked this will

affect its ability to keep the computer

cool in the middle of this computer case

is a place to add an additional fan some

computer cases will have space for an

extra fan some will not some cases will

have the fan pre-installed while with

others you will need to purchase and

install your own if you install an extra

fan you need to ensure you install it

the correct way in later videos I will

go into this in more detail at the

bottom of this computer is an expansion

card in this case a video card there are

also free expansion slots below this

different sizes of computer cases will

have a different number of three

expansion slots the number of expansion

slots supported will ultimately be

determined by the motherboard

in the middle of this computer is the

i/o panel the maker of the motherboard

is free to use this space to include any

connectors that they want so you will

find that each motherboard you come

across will have different connectors

and they will be in different places in

this case at the top is the USB 2.0 one

connector any USB device can be plugged

into this plug however if a USB 3 device

is plugged in it will drop to USB 2

speed next to this USB connector is the

ps2 mouse and keyboard plug on older

motherboards this will be 2 connectors

in newer motherboards it is generally

combined into the one connector given

enough time this connector will most

likely disappear altogether the ps/2

connector is generally only used for

mice and keyboards you may also find it

used for devices like a barcode scanner

nowadays however you will find that USB

is used rather than the ps/2 connector

below this is the DVI port if your

motherboard has a built-in video card or

it supports video via the CPU it will

have a connector for a monitor to plug

into it DVI is an older standard so your

motherboard may or may not have it next

to this is the VGA port VGA is an even

older standard so your motherboard may

not have it if your motherboard does not

have the required connectors there are

always adapters you can get to convert

them in a later video I go into that

topic in a lot more detail

below this is the HDMI port this is the

newer style of video connector it is not

present on this motherboard but the

other new standard is the DisplayPort as

time goes on you will see the older

video connectors disappearing as they

are replaced by the HDMI and DisplayPort


the next connector down is the USB 3.1

type-c connector this is becoming more

common with mobile devices before this

the micro connector was very common

however that connector is very small and

easily damaged the type C is a little

bigger but a lot more robust than the

micro connector the next connector down

is the USB 3.1 generation 1 connector I

will come back to this in a moment

below this connector is the USB 3.1

generation 2 connector the difference

between these two is the speed they can

send data at if you have a generation 2

device you should put it into generation

2 connector however it will still work

in the other connector it will just run


it is important to pay attention to the

connector colors of the USB connectors

as this will give you an idea of what

they support generally USB 3 will be a

blue connector

next to the USB port is a LAN port the

LAN port is used to connect the computer

to the network since networking is so

important nowadays generally all

motherboards will have a LAN port the

more expensive motherboards we may have

to the last connectors are the audio

plugs generally you will find on the

front of the computer the basic

headphone and microphone plugs and on

the back of the computer

there will be more plugs to support

extra speakers used with surround sound

that's it for the outside of the

computer case let's have a look at what

is inside the case

the layout of your computer cases will

most likely be different there are a lot

of standards in computers so you will

find that although the layout is

different the dimensions used for the

components are the same

at the top you see the power supply the

power supply can be found in different

locations in the case however the size

of the bait for the power supply and the

locations of the screw holes will always

be the same essentially you can install

any compatible power supply you want the

only time this does not apply is when

the manufacturer has designed their own

power supply only large manufacturers of

computers will do this when this occurs

you will be required to use one of their

power supplies as the other power

supplies on the market will not fit you

can see in this computer case the 5 and

1/4 inch drive bays in this computer

there are three of these drive bays the

top bay has an optical drive installed

the other ways can be used as well

however not for devices like optical

drives this is because there is only one

cutout at the front of the computer case

to allow access to the bay that is to

allow optical disks to be put into the

optical drive you will notice at the

bottom of the bay is a three and a half

inch bay this will allow for one small

device like a hard disk to be installed

rather than a larger 5 and 1/4 inch

device in this computer case there is

only one three and a half inch disk bay

at the top so you will generally find

that there will be more places in the

computer case to install additional

devices this particular case has two

additional three and a half inch drive

bays at the bottom solid-state drives

are two and a half inches in size so

will not fit in either of these bays

there are however trays that can be

purchased which will allow a small

device to be installed you can see in

this case I've installed a tray to allow

a solid-state drive to be installed on

top trays are easy to purchase but in

some cases you may not have one many

computer cases will have additional

places to install small devices like

solid-state drives

sometimes they are hard to see unless

you know what to look for to find them

look for four screw holes arranged in a

square around the computer case

they can be difficult to spot but you

can see that a solid-state drive can be

screwed in the computer case you can

also see that there are four screw holes

at the top of the three-and-a-half inch

mounting Bay this allows a solid-state

drive to be mounted upside down in the

three and a half inch bay

have a good look around your computer

case for these as sometimes they are

found in very unusual locations and not

where you would expect

that concludes this video on computer

cases I hope you found this video useful

until the next video from us I would

like to thank you for watching