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Old 07-04-2010, 04:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Size of motherboards and PC cases?

I have a very small (n00b) question.

Does every ("regular") motherboard fit in every ("regular") computer case?

-oo-

I have an XGear "Mundo" PC case that now contains a HP Vectra "VL420" (small form factory; don't you just hate OEM?).
When the time comes to replace this and build my own computer (that doesn't look so hard, does it? Famous last words, *lol*), do I need to watch out for a motherboard that fits into this case, or do all motherboards (theoretically) fit into every PC case?
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Size of motherboards and PC cases?

For this, there is the standard of 'form factors'. There are several, but the most common is ATX, followed by m-ATX (mini-ATX, a smaller version). Motherboards will be sized according to these form factors, and cases will say what form factors will fit in it.
So, any ATX motherboard will fit in a case which supports ATX

However, in the annoying case of OEM cases (which you seem to be aware of), they use their own form factors so that only their stuff will fit in their cases - this isn't as common as it used to be. See if you can find out from the PC's manual whether the case is a standard form factor.

If you're interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_form_factor
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Size of motherboards and PC cases?

Yami, thank you very much for the reply.

I know about the form factors -- but I did not think of this in regard of building a new PC.
(I can replace a HD or a DVD-drive, but I have never built an entire PC. I remember how I swore and cursed when trying to get the HP motherboard out of its original SFF-case: I swore never to do such a thing ever again, haha. HP changed the little connector pins on the motherboard: it is not possible to connect the RESET key of this XGear case. OEM: gaaaahhh).

When it is time for a new computer (I have already been doing some reading), the content of the PC now will (probably) discarded. The CPU is just a Pentium 4 of 1.6 GHz. The motherboard, an Asus P4B-MX, only has an AGP-slot (no POI-e), 3 PCI slots and and IDE-connectors (no S-ATA). Yes, old stuff
This machine is not my main computer (of course). But I plan to keep it as long as it works fine.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Size of motherboards and PC cases?

Well, when you do decide to get a new comp, feel free to ask for advice We can also help build your own from scratch (if you can replace a hard drive or optical drive, then you can easily do the rest).
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