Alternatively referred to as the computer case and sometimes referred to as the system unit or base unit. The chassis is the housing that helps protect and organize all the components that make up a desktop computer. The picture is an empty computer chassis.
Why do we need a computer case?
Most people overlook the computer case as just a box, but it does provide the below important features.
- Structure - The case is what holds everything together in a compact and organized fashion.
- Protection - Without the case, each of the sensitive components within the computer would be vulnerable to dirt, foreign objects, kids, animals, as well as electrical interference (EMI / RFI).
- Cooling - The case helps keep the air properly flowing over all components, which keeps everything cool and running properly.
- Noise - Many computers and components have fans that generate noise. Having those components within a confined case reduces the overall noise.
- Aesthetics - Although some may disagree, most people would rather look at the case instead of all the circuit boards, wires, and all the components of a computer.
Components found inside a chassis
Below is a list of the different type of hardware components you would find inside your computer chassis.
- Expansion card
- Heat sink and Fans
- Internal drives (e.g. hard drive, CD drive)
- Memory (RAM)
- Power supply (PSU)
- Processor (CPU)
Tip: See our what does the inside of a computer look like page for a visual example of all above components.
Types of computer cases
There are many different motherboard form factors used for computers today. Below is a list of the most popular type of cases. If you're building a computer make sure you get a case that is compatible with your motherboard.
Today, there is a wide variety of computer case colors, below is a listing of popular colors as well as a brief description on each color if needed.
Black - Standard black case.
Urban White - Offset white. Most desktop computers and computer hardware are this color.
White - White or very light color case.
Also, there are computer and case manufacturers who make their products in blue, orange, pink, red, silver, and yellow. As well as a wide range of available colors, there are also translucent cases that have a semi clear color look into the case.