Slimline Cases

If you like a desktop design but prefer a case that's shorter, a slimline design might be just what you need. These cases, as shown in Figure 4.3, are shorter than ordinary desktop cases— note that the case has only one 5.25-inch and one 3.5-inch disk bay, one atop the other, with less space beneath these bays than beneath the 5.25-inch bays in the case depicted in Figure 4.1.

Part i

Figure 4.3

A slimline case, such as this LPX model, tends to be more crowded than a conventional case.

Figure 4.3

A slimline case, such as this LPX model, tends to be more crowded than a conventional case.

Slimline cases require special motherboards that use the LPX or NLX form factors. (I recommend NLX because it's more standardized and newer.) You can't move a motherboard from a conventional desktop or tower case into a slimline case, or vice-versa. Most slimline computers come as prebuilt units from major manufacturers. These computers are often marketed for business desktop use, but of course there's no reason you can't buy such a computer for use at home, if you like. Unless the reduced height of these systems is of critical importance, I tend to favor ordinary desktop or tower designs, because they're more common and they typically give you more room for expansion.

Outside of the x86 arena, computers sometimes come in unusually slim slimline cases. These are sometimes referred to as pizza box designs, because they're little larger than a pizza delivery box. Pizza box computers generally offer a maximum of one or two expansion slots and few onboard amenities. x86 pizza box computer cases are quite rare, and when they exist, they generally use nonstandard motherboard designs.

Chapter 4

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