What is a Gaming Cabinet? It is a stationary unit, which contains at least one or more computer work stations. Typically the gaming cabinet will have shelves for storing electronic equipment, drawers for storage of accessories and space for cables and connections to the CPU and graphics system. The front panel of the unit may have one or more shelves or doors which can be used for this purpose. If there is only one shelf or door, it may not have locks on it.
What are the typical features found in a gaming cabinet? Often it will have a locked drawers for hardware such as a CD drive or DVD drive. Some have expandable drive bays with each having two or three bays. These bays can also be configured to accept either vertical or horizontal disk drives.
What kind of computer components do you need in your gaming cabinet? Usually you will find that a full-sized graphics card with an integrated motherboard is the norm along with a CPU with either Hyperthreading or Turbo sockets. Other popular features are either an optical drive or a Firewire port. Depending on your use, you may also want to consider additional devices such as a keyboard, mouse, monitor and keyboard combination, a mouse pad, and a headset. You may even need to add an external monitor if your current monitor is too small to fill your needs.
What should you look for in a gaming cabinet? First of all, you want one that has good quality construction. Many cabinets have rubberized front panels to prevent dust from gathering. There should be at least four adjustable stable points on the front panel where you can place monitors and keyboard mouses. There should also be at least five external cable management compartments where you can store your standard nine-pin connectors and other hardware such as an optical drive and scanner. The fifth cable management section should house your cables for your audio speakers.
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If you look online, you should be able to find a number of designs that feature one of these five drive bays. For optimal cable management, the five sections of the front panel should have five separate cable management compartments – two on each side. Each section should have a rubberized top to prevent overheating.
Another important feature is good thermal Transfer Factor (TTF). The Gaming Cabinet’s front panel should have at least a 23mm clearance from the front panel to the bottom of the computer. There should be at least a half-inch clearance between the bottom of the front panel and the underside of the motherboard. The TTF measurement can be found on the product page when you are inspecting the entire product. If the manufacturer does not provide a copy with the package, you can always contact the company with questions about their thermal transfer factors.
The fifth and last cable wire should have two separate prongs and also have at least a half inch clearance. Ideally, there should be five separate cable management compartments with five separate cable channels – two on each side. If the Gaming Cabinet has two side doors, they should have five separate doors and also have a five-inch clearance between the doors and the bottom of the computer.
It is also important to take note of the aesthetic qualities of your Gaming Cabinet. There should be ports for your CPU, your graphics card, an external power port, and a USB port for connecting various peripheral devices such as phones or cameras. If there are doors, it is important to see how well those doors seal to prevent steam buildup. Lastly, it is also important to see that the back of the unit can be completely sealed to prevent water from leaking out and damaging the internal components.