Is your computer’s case or housing of any importance to you? You might be asking yourself the question: why should it be? The fact is that the computer case is vital to the computer itself and also to some people.
Let’s start with the computer’s point of view. One, if not the main causes of computer malfunction is too much heat. Which is why, when computers were first used in factories and large offices, the specialized computer room was cut off from dust and was air conditioned, if not cooled specially. In those days, thirty-forty years ago, computer parts were very fragile and extremely costly.
Nowadays, they are very, very much less expensive but they are still subject to jip from heat. Extreme heat will twist the boards, especially the motherboard because it is large, inside the computer case. They are not made for these gymnastics and sooner or later the very thin connections soldered onto the surface of the board will fracture and prevent the flow of electricity. It will die.
In order to prevent this happening, producers put fans inside the computer in order to boost the flow of air. There are normally at least two in a desktop computer case, one built-in to the external casing and one directly on the CPU (the chip), which is often the hottest and most expensive single component. In laptops, where air circulation is even more restricted, there may be three or four fans.
So, these fans increase the circulation of air within the case in an attempt to cool the chip’s surroundings down. Therefore, it also stands to reason that there must be sufficient space for that air to circulate. If it was left up to the computer to design itself, computer cases would be larger and with more fans. A little like you might like to live in a larger house with air conditioning, if money was no object.
Now from the human’s point of view. People agonize more about looks and fashion and about how much space the computer is taking up. Producers have to pay attention to what people would like if they want to sell their computers. People wanted less prominent computer cases, so manufacturers made half-size cases; people wanted quieter computers, so manufacturers put fewer fans in the cases. And the result was predictable: computers housed in cases like these broke down more often and the only person who was happy about that was the manufacturer.
There is also a trend towards aesthetics in computer cases. Acrylic, see-through cases are very trendy with gamers. Now games machines are some of the most powerful home computers on the market, because of the power needed to run the graphics at a life-like speed.
See-through cases promote the use of size and fans, because they are often themed, which means that the interior may have green, blue, yellow or red LED’s to light it up. So, for instance, when the DVD player kicks in a red LED comes on inside the case. Similarly with fans, which may also be painted. Some of these themed computer cases are perfect for the chips that live in them and the people that own them.