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Build Your Own Computer – The Computer Case

Select the computer case that suits your needs. For an internet café, you will definitely need space for you to upgrade or expand your computer. Especially if you are more of a gaming internet café. Once there are new software, applications or games that are released they usually require higher specs for your computer.

It is recommended to have a vertical tower case instead of having a flat, pizza box type

  • To have that extra elbow room for future upgrades.
  • To save space on your computer table, having a vertical case you will be able to use it as a divider between computer units. Or you can easily put it on a built flat surface on top of your monitor to free up space.

This will also allow you to have two extra fan especially if you are cutting cost on your aircon electric consumption. You don’t want to have your CPU overheated especially if it is being used for 8 hours straight.

Neon Lights. If you have the extra money and if you want to attract gamers, you would want to have casing with neon lights inside. The panels should be transparent of course. Just make sure that it has the option to unplug or turn-off those lights when you want to cut electrical cost. But if you only will put your case somewhere hidden, then it’s useless to have this extra “coolness”.

You would probably just need at least a desktop type of casing for your “computers for rent”, just make sure to have at least two fans! And a large tower for your computer server. Your computers for rent don’t need a DVD/CD drive, a tape backup and an extra hard drive… therefore you don’t need too much of those extra open drive bays. But you definitely need those slots for your server. A typical tower case has four open drive bays and has room for a minimum of six adapter cards at the back.

For the color of the casing, I would recommend going for neutral colors like black for your server and avoid fancy colors like green, orange etc. Because it would be hard to find matching colors for your DVD/CD drive (a green casing doesn’t match an off-white DVD drive right?). For your computers for rent, I guess it would be fine to test other colors to match your overall internet café’s theme.

Case with power supply. To save you from all the hassle, buy a casing with a built-in power supply with at least 400 watts. I recommend 500 watts. Only computers with multiple graphic cards used for extreme video editing may require 1000 watts.

I generally don’t recommend that you reuse an old power supply and definitely do NOT fix a broken power supply!

Recommendation. As you noticed, I’ve been emphasizing that your case should have at least two fans and I recommend having four fans especially if you are using the latest processors of Intel or AMD and not using an air conditioner in a hot country. Connect these fans to your power cables from your power supply. Because your computers are expected to run eight (8) hours straight, if you don’t maintain the “coolness” of your computers, continuous overheating will reduce the lifespan of your computer parts especially the CPU, THIS you DEFINITELY don’t want to happen as an investor!

You can also see that CPU chips and even video cards have their own fans because they easily get overheated. If you have an onboard video card (for low requirement applications) and an extra video card installed (for high requirement applications), you can setup Windows as to when it will use the two so as to save power.

I had one of my computer struck by lightning because my ISP failed to put grounding when they setup my internet connection. Even I had some parts replaced; it easily gets overheated and shuts down. I’ve verified this through the computer’s BIOS, wherein you can check the temperature of your CPU. What I did is to install extra set of fans and have that computer relocated next to my airconditioner.
Don’t put your case next to a divider wherein its side fans and exhausts fan are blocked. It’s better to put it somewhere on top of the monitor or just don’t design your computer tables with dividers! Just have your casings serve as dividers themselves. I also don’t recommend having your them below the table wherein customers (especially children) often accidentally kicks it!

Blow those Dust! Your computer casing is not totally closed from the outside world. And because of fans, dust goes in. While fans keeps in cooling down your internal temperature, if you don’t clean the inside of your casing regularly then dust accumulates and covers your electrical parts thus causing them to get easily overheat.
The first time I cleaned the inside of my CPUs (i.e. motherboard, power supply, video card and all internal components) I used an electric fan to initially blow most of the dust away and a paint brush to wipe off remaining dust. Of course I did this outside my internet café. Imagine me having a handkerchief covering my mouth and nose, a gloves and dirty clothes because of the dust. Then I saw one of my neighboring internet café owner using an electric pump (the one that is used to inflate airbeds) to clean his computers which is definitely much much easier and faster! I just borrowed it, because we are both member of a computer shop association in our place (one of the perks of having an association, we have good relationship even if we are competitors in a sense).

Other basic parts of your casing should be a power button, reset button and an internal speaker. As additional features that I recommend that you look for are related to security such as a key lock and a slot for a padlock and a cable lock to secure your CPU in the table or anywhere fix to the ground. This will deter very bad, unfair, lazy people from planning to ransack your internet café. Even if they manage to steal your computers, they will be unable to sell the CPU as a whole because they don’t have the keys/code. The only thing that they can do is to destroy the casing itself and hope that the delicate components inside won’t be damaged in the process and sell them by parts. Too much hassle, so they better just find another internet café than target yours.

Slots for adapter cards (e.g. video cards, sound cards etc.) At the back of your case, you can see some holes. These holes are meant for adapter cards to be inserted and screw a bracket to hold the adapter in place. If you don’t intend to install such adapter, you need to cover these slots with the slot covers that came in with your computer case purchase, this is to prevent unwanted insects from easily going into your CPU.