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Planning to build your dream computer? Well, you have a few options before you.

  • You land up at your local reseller and get your PC assembled according to your desired design. However this can burn a hole in your pocket as you are ordering for custom design.
  • The next alternative is to get all the individual components from the market and drown yourself in the tedious job of tinkering away all these components until you get the set up well and complete.
  • You can also get a small form-factor PC. This constitutes a tiny case which is pre-packed with a mother board, power supply and other related components. But it sans the CPU or the memory module. The drawback is that you can add just a few components in there. Further, there is a potent risk of the system getting heated up due to the computing intensive applications being stacked up within this tiny small-factor PC system.
  • This is by far the most viable alternative. It is the cool Micro ATX case. Though not very large in comparison to the small form-factor PC system, you can accommodate a host of components within it. The system needs to be tinkered through the installation of the mother board, CPU and the memory.

Majority of the Micro ATX cases can accommodate a number of 5.25" and 3.25" drives. You can also choose from a wide assortment of mother boards which are characterized by three PCI slots and one AGP slot. The small dimensions prove to be a huge advantage for these Micro ATX cases and to top it all, it is considered as a flexible and compact multimedia PC. Just suitable to be your dream one.

If you compare the small form-factor PC and the Micro ATX case, the mother board of the former just has two slots that are limited to AGP and PCI, though a PCI Express port has been later added. The Micro ATX mother board provides enhanced customization potential along with a larger number of ports. Well, the expansion options are variable depending on the maker and the model.

At first you need to build up the components required to get a starting system, this is similar to the ones needed to build a small form-factor PC. You get the case along with the power supply which can roughly cost about $75. The mother board which can exceed $100 and a CPU fan for $20 will get added to your account. The primary components for the installation of the hardware are now ready. You will find that the cost incurred by you can get you a small form-factor PC but the limitation regarding the CPU, memory and the drives makes all the difference. Since the personal involvement is much more in this Micro ATX, it greatly satisfies all the custom requirements.

Micro ATX Computer Cases

There are varieties like NZXT Rogue Gaming Case w/ Blue LED – Black and AeroCool M40 Cube Case – Black amongst a host of cases available.

Now you do not need to compromise with power and versatility in lieu of compactness and portability. The innovative Qmicra V2 from PC Design Lab is a small form-factor enclosure which enables you to develop the latest powerful gaming, multimedia and professional work station along with its ability to hold the massive SLI graphic cards and a full size ATX power supply. You can also opt for the ultimate water cooling solution for your case by an internal placement of a dual 120mm radiator. Its design is compatible with Micro ATX mother boards, ATX sized PSU’s ensuring optimum performance of the hardware and customized heat sinks.

The Lian Li PC-V350B Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case is perfectly suited for your living room décor, and is far removed from the appearance of an average PC. Apart from the standard ATX power supply; this Micro ATX system has a slide out mother board tray design and a compact unit that is easily installable. The dual high flow fans with low RPM peoples almost a ton of air into its tiny black chassis in order to cool the system.

The AeroCool M-40 is a super portable case with a split deck look which is built around the mother board design of the Micro ATX. It sports a red LCD display to monitor case temperatures, fan and HDD status. It also has dual audio ports and quad USB 2.0 ports with optimum LAN party convenience.
A look at the different mother board sizes and varieties:

A smaller mother board size is suitable for a smaller system and vice versa. A standard sized mother board, that is, Standard ATX 2.1 or the later I/O Panel need not be retooled. They can be used in ATX 2.1 compliant chassis albeit with minor modifications. A highly integrated mother board results in the reduction of the mother board and the system costs. The maximum size is 9.6” x 9.6” (244 x 244 mm). There are boards with ISA slot that can cater to the new Pentium 4 Socket 775 and Intel's latest chipset, the 925X. Well, PCI Express is said to be the future.

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