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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | System Case ]

System Case Styles and Sizes

Cases come in several different major styles. Despite the commonly-used names, such as "tower", "mini-tower", etc., there are no standards for case size or shape, and one company's full tower case can be very different in details from another. Some of the companies that make high-quality high-end cases incorporate very interesting features into their cases that stretch their capabilities for the same amount of space taken. As a result, one company's "mini-tower" may be able to hold more components, and cool them better, than another company's "mid-tower".

An assortment of different cases in the same series, showing an array of sizes and styles.
From the left: a microATX "micro tower", a microATX mini tower, an ATX mid tower,
an AT/ATX full tower, a microATX desktop (above), and an ATX desktop (below).

Image In Win Development, Inc.
Image used with permission.

The two basic styles for the case are the tower case and the desktop case. You've no doubt seen each of these before; the desktop is a rectangular case that is wider than it is tall and normally sits on the desk. The tower is like a desktop flipped on its side and can sit on the floor or on the desk.

Next: Case Location

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