[ The PC Guide | Systems and
Components Reference Guide | System Case | Styles and Sizes ]
Proprietary Case Designs
In addition to the standard case styles, there are some machines that use totally
unique designs. Some Compaq models for example have the monitor and case in one large box.
These machines are generally marketed to the home user or first-time buyer as a "home
appliance" and the idea is supposed to be that this is "simpler" than
having the monitor be in a separate box. The disadvantage of this design, aside from the
fact that it is totally proprietary and therefore hard to upgrade, is that if you want to
upgrade your PC you lose your monitor, and similarly, if you decide your monitor is too
small and want a larger one, you have a problem because your PC is in the same box. I
strongly recommend against integrated units because of their inflexibility.
A mid-sized file server case, with the lockable front
to show the nine 5.25" drive bays. A variety of server features such
as hot swapping and redundant power supplies are supported.
Note the wheels at the base of the unit, which weighs 56 pounds empty.
Image © Enlight Corporation
Image used with permission.
For servers and other high-end machines, special cases much larger than standard full
towers are available. These large cases often incorporate special features such as locking
front covers, slide-out drive bays and wheels (since they are heavy). They can cost as
much as an entire regular PC by themselves. In addition to server-oriented full-sized
cases, there are special enclosures for such things as RAID (disk) arrays available from
major case manufacturers.
Next: Comparison of Case Styles
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