Now that you understand the computer case basics we are going to go more in depth with the inside of a computer case. What makes a Corsair case different then a Cooler Master case? There is a lot going on on the inside of the case.

Computer chassis

First we will start to learn about drive bays.

drive bays

Drive bays are an important part of the case because depending on how many, what size, and the location they are in can really differentiate a lot of things about the case. For instance some cases have a lot of drive bays allowing for many different internal or external devices such as  DVD drives or card readers etc. while other cases have a lot of drive bays in unique locations or even allow you to remove excess bays to increase case airflow(which can be really important).

Anyway, lets get down to the pure knowledge. The common case would have at the least one or more external 5.25″ drive bays. This would fit the normal sized optical disc drives such as CD or DVD drives. A floppy disk drive which is pretty much obsolete  would fit into a 3.5″ bay. Hard drives also can fit into 3.5″ bays. Here is a list for you.

Drive Bays

  • Bays for optical disc drives and other larger external/internal devices – 5.25″ bays
  • Bays for hard drives or other smaller internal/external devices – 3.5″ bays

* Another factor to note is that different cases have different style drive bays, allowing for easy installation of devices.

Front  and Top Panel Ports

These are a specific group of I/O ports that can be located either on the front or top of the case. Most cases i have seen have them located on the front of the case. Different cases have different I/O options on these panels.

Most Front and Top Panels contain these ports

  • USB Ports – Universal Serial Bus
  • Audio Ports (Speaker and Headphones etc.)
  • Some could have FireWire
  • Then any other ports the manufacturer decides to add (which can make particular cases unique).


Case Cooling

This in my opinion is one of the most important factors of a case. You want to make sure the case design allows for adequate air flow so the case can stay cool and keep your components safe inside.

Obviously every component generates some sort of heat. I mean electric current runs through them! The more resources within the case that allow for adequate air flow the better the case!


Since computers produce a lot of heat, computer cases come with fans to help keep the computer cool. There are different size fans as well.

  •       80 or 90mm fan (Usually located at front of case)
  •       120mm fan or 90mm fans located at the rear.
  • There can also be 92mm, or 200mm fans

Having these fans allows the computer have have good airflow within the case. Certain cases allow you to add more fans to the case when necessary.

Pure knowledge time! A 120mm fan can run at lower speeds which is measured with RPM or revolutions per minute and it can still provide the same amount of cooling performance as a smaller fan. Another factor to keep in mind is that some cases can only fit specific fan sizes so understanding the importance of size is crucial.

Understanding Intake and Exhaust

Fans within the case can be installed as an intake fan (pulls air in) or  an exhaust fan(pushes air out).  Depending on how you install these fans (which direction you install it) that will help with airflow inside the case.

Some fans have an arrow to help you know which direction the air will flow or exhaust out of. When that is not the case though you can look at the direction of the fan blades in order to tell which direction that the fan will push air. The direction that the blades are curved in the air will exhaust out of.

Case Materials

Most cases are either made of steel, plastic, acrylic, and aluminum. Each type of case has their disadvantages and advantages such as weight and heating dissipation. You can do further research into this if this interests you.

Side Panels

Different cases come with different style side panels. Some allow you to remove the panel with ease while others come with a nice window that allows you to see your components from the outside. Sweet right? Some people customize their own side panels and install LED lights etc. into the case.

That is the basics of the inside of the case. There is a lot to think about when it comes to computer cases and I hope you have learned a lot about them. If I missed anything or if you have something to add please leave a comment. Comments are 100% appreciated!


Newegg case Buying Guide

Check this site out for more information