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Whether you plan to build an office PC to place under your desk or a gaming PC to put on it, buying the right PC case is much more important than you might think. It not only houses all other components, that you spent a lot of money on, but it also protects them from damage. It not only serves as a showcase of your hardware adorned with RGB lights but also keeps it safe from dust and debris.
At a minimum, you need to choose a PC case that is the right size for your needs and offers enough space to hold all your hardware components. However, in addition to protecting your components, the best PC cases offer much, much more: they have spacious interiors, good airflow and support for water cooling, are soundproof, have mesh panels, tempered glass side windows, and RGB lights. They can also be future-proof by offering lots of slots and I/O ports for further upgrades along the way. Moreover, the PC case is the only component of your desktop computer that could still be relevant and usable 5 or even 10 years in the future.
Thus, with so many options out there, how do you decide which PC case is best for you? There are a lot of factors to take under consideration: first and foremost the airflow. A good PC case plays a key role in the cooling process of your system. Keeping all internal components cool — and noise as low as possible — is essential to having a system with good performance.
And then there’s the format. Do you want a PC case the size of a tower as big as a small cabinet, or an ITX frame as small as a shoebox? A full-size PC case can house a giant E-ATX motherboard, but it will also take up a lot of space under or on top of your desk. Small form factor PC cases can accommodate only mini-ITX motherboards and smaller graphics cards. Mid-tower PC cases are the most common choice: they support all types of ATX motherboards — including some E-ATX ones — and high-end GPUs.
Lastly, we get to the fun part. Modern PC cases have dozens of extra features and options that you need to consider such as I/O ports, liquid cooling options, tempered glass side panels, and RGB lighting.
With hundreds of models and variants available, where do you start? Well, at least you’re in the right place. But before we list the best PC cases we recommend here are some buying tips:
Quick buying tips
- Make a list of all internal components. Aesthetics are important, but first you need to determine the format of the PC case depending on the size of your motherboard, GPU(s), and cooling options.
- Cooling is critical! Especially if you choose a mini-ITX PC case in which you intend to cram many components. Airflow is the most important factor, especially if you intend to use high-end components.
- Choose a PC case you like. Unless you intend to hide your new desktop computer under your desk, you want to choose a PC case that you like to see every day.
Things to consider
Before choosing a PC case, you need to know which components you are going to put into it. You need to know the size of the motherboard, the length of the graphics card, how many expansion slots you will need, and how many fans or radiators you intend to use.
You have to know all these before buying a PC case. That’s why we’re going to talk about them in more detail.
Motherboard form factor
Before buying a PC case, you need to know the form factor of the motherboard. The three most popular form factors are ATX, Micro-ATX, and mini-ITX.
PC case form factor
Since there are motherboards of different sizes, there are obviously smaller PC cases that cannot accommodate larger form factors. On the contrary, larger PC cases can usually accommodate smaller motherboards, but always make sure to check compatibility before making a purchase.
There are three popular types of PC cases and each one is compatible with different types of motherboards:
- Full-tower PC cases boast a huge chassis and can contain E-ATX, ATX (by far the most common), micro-ATX, and mini-ITX motherboards. Their size is due to the extra components they can house (water cooling solutions, lots of internal hard disks and SSDs, 3 or 4 graphics card configurations, and more than one 5.25” drive bays) rather than for exceptionally large motherboards. They also offer plenty of space to facilitate the installation process!
- Mid-tower PC cases are the most popular and can accommodate most motherboards (from mini-ITX to even some E-ATX models) as well as a couple of graphics cards and at least four hard disks/SSDs.
- Mini-ITX PC cases are the opposite of full-tower PC cases and can only accommodate mini-ITX motherboards — although there are some that can also contain a Micro-ATX motherboard (these PC cases are called mini-towers and are quite rare). Some of these cases may be as small as a next-gen gaming console but are also incompatible with certain hardware components such as liquid cooling radiators, tall CPU heatsinks, and high-end graphics cards — always check the maximum length of the GPU before purchase.
If it were not for the CPU cooler, the processor would reach hazardous temperatures. While all PC components are designed to operate at relatively high temperatures without getting damaged, this doesn’t mean that excessive heat is a good thing. If your components overheat, they will get damaged or will not work at full capacity (thermal throttling).
Therefore all PC cases need good airflow. Most of them come with pre-installed fans, some even with integrated RGB LEDs.
Our advice is to buy a PC case equipped with at least two fans, but three is the ideal number. One (or two) of them will suck fresh air through the front of the case while the other one will exhaust the hot air through the back. This combination will maintain a constant airflow passing overall internal components taking away all excess heat.
Most cheap PC cases include only one fan – thus system temperatures and performance will likely suffer – so you need to add the cost of another fan before deciding if they are worth buying.
Many modern PC cases are eliminating 5.25” drive bays to remove airflow obstructions for the front fans. This way they can have a perforated or mesh front panel which allows lots of fresh air to flow through it. Obviously, you don’t want such a PC case if you need this type of bays.
A water cooling system can keep your PC case’s internal temperatures constantly low. It is not necessary to install one since the classic fans do a decent job, but it is a now reliable alternative method. Water cooling uses a coolant-filled radiator and pump circuit, which poses a risk since the liquid can spill onto your hardware if something goes wrong.
However, the increase in hermetically sealed all-in-one systems has made liquid cooling solutions more popular in recent years. If you intend to use such a method you need to pay special attention to the support provided by the PC case – you will not be able to use liquid cooling in most mini-ITX PC cases, while many mid-tower PC cases only support radiators up to 240mm long.
Keeping your PC clean is really important. A system clogged with dust, domestic pet hair, and dirt is a computer that easily overheats. Dust filters prevent most of that debris from reaching your fans and consequently your internal components. Also, make sure to configure your fans for a positive air pressure inside the case (more intake fans than exhaust fans) to prevent dust from being sucked inside the case via the unfiltered air intake of the frame.
Expansion slots and bays
In general, PC cases come with three different types of bays:
- 2.5” bays used for SSDs
- 3.5” bays used for hard disks.
- 5.25” bays used for optical drives (DVD and Blu-ray).
And then we have the expansion slots. These are located in the back and are used by graphics cards, sound cards, network cards, etc.
A good PC case must offer options for cable management. Most modern PC cases have openings in the motherboard’s tray for cables to pass through and leave enough space behind the back panel to collect and secure these cables.
Silence is golden
Nobody likes to be disturbed by the noisy fans of the PC case. Soundproof PC cases keep your system quiet, often using acoustic damping materials on the inside of the chassis panels. These materials, unfortunately, tend to hinder the flow of air, so sound-dampening PC cases often reach slightly higher internal temperatures. Some premium PC cases can keep fan noise to a minimum while optimizing airflow through the use of large 200mm fans that run at low speeds (and thus produce less noise).
Last but not least, make sure you like the look of the PC case you are about to buy! You’ll see it every day for years to come, so this is not a superficial consideration. PC cases are nowadays available in all kinds of colors, materials, and designs.
Often extras are the biggest differentiating factor when buying a PC case. The more you spend on your PC case, the more goodies you will have. Here’s a quick overview of the extra features you’ll find in modern PC cases:
Tool-less design: in the old days, installing something in a PC case required a Phillips screwdriver. No more. Tool-less design is almost universal in mid to high-end PC cases, with thumbscrews and snap-on/twist-on fastening mechanisms.
CPU cooler cut-away: some PC cases include a large opening behind the processor, which allows you to replace the CPU cooler without having to disassemble the motherboard from its tray. It’s not a feature you will often use, but if the need arises, it’s a godsend.
Front panel connectivity: even the cheapest PC case features at least a couple of USB 2.0 ports and at least an audio jack on the front. Many modern PC cases also include a USB 3.0 or a USB-C port and even RGB lighting controllers.
Integrated lighting: RGB lights are in fashion. Whether you love or hate them it is now easy to find a PC case that meets your aesthetic taste.
How much does a PC case cost
Once you’ve decided on the type of PC case you need, the next step is to figure out your budget.
For $50 or less, you’ll end up with a PC case with few extra features. Try to choose one that has at least two fans, one in the front and the other at the back, to maximize airflow. If not, you can always add one later provided there is the option.
Things become really interesting in the price range between $50 and $100 — $100 is the sweet spot for a PC case. As always, be sure to double-check the various dimensions and keep an eye on additional features depending on your personal preferences or specs needed by your build. Some PC cases have plenty of fans for superior thermal performance; others focus on silent design. And aesthetics also begin to be important with many models that feature tempered glass side panels and RGB lights.
Once you can spend over $100, you can buy a PC case that excels both in performance and acoustics, and one with abundant connectivity options and useful features. Building materials also tend to be more premium, with aluminum and tempered glass becoming much more common than in mid-range PC cases.
Here are our favorite choices for the best PC case you can buy today
Below we list the best PC cases in 2021 for all sizes and price ranges. We made sure to include high-quality models from reliable manufacturers. In addition, regardless of size and style, our recommendations have spacious interiors that promote excellent airflow. If you are interested in learning what sets them apart from most other PC cases, read on:
Fractal Design Meshify C: the best under $100
We’ve tested many cases that cost less than $100 and we have to admit that some are pretty damn good.
Fractal Design manufactures mostly high-end cases, with a minimalist design and a premium feel. The Meshify C (Check on Amazon) is a tribute to simplicity and performance.
The front of the case is entirely made of a mesh material that improves airflow, while fan positioning ensures that both the CPU and GPU get a lot of fresh air. Meshify C has a unique design but doesn’t compromise on functionality.
It’s smaller than many ATX cases and thus suitable for someone looking for a case that doesn’t dominate the desk, but it can still contain any configuration you have in mind, except for very extreme builds. Configurations with multiple video cards and water cooling are definitely possible here. In addition, the tempered glass side panel and matt black coating make it a great choice if you want to avoid the classic gamer build, full of RGB lights.
It comes equipped with two pre-installed 120mm fans (one at the front that sucks fresh air and one at the back that extracts hot air). You can also add another two 120mm at the front (or just two 140mm fans), and one 120mm fan at the bottom, for a grand total of seven fans.
As for water cooling, you can mount a 360mm radiator on the front panel and/or a 280mm radiator on the top panel.
The power supply cage at the bottom can accommodate a standard size PSU while the strategically placed rubber grommets and cutouts help with cable management.
Ultimately, if you can’t spare more than $100 for a new case, but you don’t want to compromise on quality, the Fractal Design Meshify C is, in our opinion, the best budget PC case currently on the market.
NZXT H510: a valid alternative
The H510 (Check on Amazon) is yet another brilliant PC case from NZXT. This compact and affordable mid-tower case challenges Fractal Design’s popular Meshify C (Check on Amazon) and features the classic NZXT sleek look that we all love. Following the norms of its predecessor, the H500, this case does not bring anything spectacular; however, it has everything that most users may need, like good cooling performance, quiet operations, and, of course, a stylish look; it’s also packed with features such as the included fans, a PSU shroud, support for liquid cooling and an awesome cable management system.
The H510 has a minimalist appearance and is branding-free – except for the small NZXT logo on the front panel – but exudes quality; in fact, even when its fans spin at top speed, the case remains relatively silent.
It offers seven expansion slots (plus two vertical) – it can hold graphics cards up to 381mm long (or 325mm long when the front radiator is installed), supports up to three 140mm fans or up to four 120mm fans – comes with two Aer F120mm fans pre-installed -, supports liquid cooling (can hold a 280mm radiator at the front and one 120mm in the rear) and has the side panel made of tempered glass which gives this case an even more professional and refined look. The glass side panel makes it possible to introduce RGB lights inside your case for a fantastic gaming setup.
What is different from the old H500 is the addition of a Type-C USB port. This is coupled to a USB 3.1 port, an audio jack, as well as the reset and on/off buttons, all located on the top panel of the chassis.
Overall, the H510 is a PC case that offers great versatility and usability, and a great value for money, which make it suitable for both experienced builders and beginners alike.
Cooler Master Cosmos C700M: best for PC enthusiasts
Cases designed for PC enthusiasts have several elements in common: they are huge, heavy, incredibly versatile, and very expensive. The latest version of the Cooler Master Cosmos ticks all these boxes.
And although it costs much more than average PC cases, its thermal performance, great multi-layout design, built-in ARGB (Addressable RGB) lighting, and an almost unlimited list of extra functions justify the asking price.
C700M’s biggest attraction is its versatility. Its modular layout allows you to place the motherboard in the standard position, inverted, or even rotated by 90 degrees.
This case also comes with a mounting bracket for the graphics card and a PCIe riser cable, which allows users to mount the GPU horizontally or vertically, or rotate it by 90 degrees to showcase it even more.
The cable management is inspired by server racks, with plastic strips arranging cables into different channels, Velcro straps to tie them down and cable covers to keep everything out of sight.
With four pre-installed fans (3×140mm at the front and 1×140mm at the back; can accommodate nine fans in total), numerous expansion options [nine drive bays (5×3,5″, 4×2.5″), eight PCI slots, one 5.25″ external bay], good connectivity (4xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 3.1 Type-C), and excellent thermal performance, the C700M is a great option for experienced PC builders.
The C700M is also perfect for those who love water cooling. It has support for several 420mm radiators and has enough space for water pumps and reservoirs.
Finally, two parallel strips of ARGB LEDs go from the top panel to the front and end up at the bottom. The light is reflected against Cosmos’s distinctive aluminum handlebars which have a matte finish. The side panel is made of tempered glass and has curved edges.
The only problem with this case is its price. Not everyone can or should spend (Check on Amazon) on a case, but this is a specialized, premium, purpose-built chassis for PC enthusiasts willing to spend a lot of money to have the best stuff. And make no mistake, the Cooler Master Cosmos C700M is one of the best PC cases, if not the best.
Corsair Obsidian 1000D: the best high-end PC case
If you’re going to build it, make it big! The Corsair Obsidian 1000D (Check on Amazon) can accommodate 18 fans and has enough space for four 480mm radiators. This PC case is thus built for the extreme.
And what can be more extreme than two PCs in one case? Yes, you read correctly the Corsair Obsidian 1000D can accommodate two full-fledged PC systems. The most obvious case would be a PC gamer/streamer that needs both a gaming PC and one for streaming.
Apart from the generous amounts of space and airflow, the case includes an RGB-illuminated front panel, with integrated intelligent lighting and fan control using Corsair’s integrated Commander Pro controller.
This is also the priciest PC case on this list, but if you want to take things to the next level, this is the way to do it!
Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL: best gaming case
The Lian Li O11 Dynamic (Check on Amazon) was a huge success and this new XL version has the same layout and one of the most beautiful and intelligent designs on the market. The brilliant combination of brushed aluminum smoked tempered glass on the front and side and the multiple RGB modes give this case a look and feel like no other on the market.
It is, of course, a PC case designed for water cooling; it offers plenty of space to mount the kit in any configuration, has a toolless design and many options for cable management.
With the increase in size, compared to its predecessor, it is now even easier to install larger systems. This case also comes with four hot-swappable bays (which can accommodate both 2.5″/3.5″ hard drives and SSDs) plus six other bays for 2.5″ SSDs. Finally, it offers eight standard expansion slots on the back and with the ability to mount the GPU (up to 169mm in height) vertically.
Dynamic XL also sports a modular design that offers great flexibility. The interior of the case is, in fact, divided into two sections: the main chamber, that houses the motherboard, the GPU, and all associated components, and a secondary chamber, behind the motherboard tray, with room for the power supply, storage units, and cables. This unique layout allows you to install fans and even radiators at the bottom of the case.
The front I/O ports are pretty standard, but it’s nice to find a Type-C USB one.
The only “drawback” is its price (Check on Amazon), but this is one of the best PC cases featuring one of the nicest designs out there!
Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X: best dual system PC case
Phanteks is a well-known PC case manufacturer and for good reason: the Dutch company produces some of the most amazing cases we have ever reviewed, and the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X (Check on Amazon) is no exception.
The successor to the excellent Evolv ATX (Check on Amazon), this new version upgrades an already excellent case to one that is more versatile and more attractive. Despite being a mid-tower case, it supports dual system builds, thanks to the optional mounting kit (Check on Amazon) and the Phanteks Revolt X PSU (Check on Amazon).
Cable management, always an important feature in Phanteks cases, is as excellent as ever. Velcro straps and secondary panels help hide all that messy wiring.
Other features include built-in RGB lights, a USB-C 3.1 gen 2 port, support for water cooling, dual tempered glass panels, and an efficient fan control hub.
Thanks to all these high-end features and its overall versatility, the Phanteks Evolv X is one of the best cases ever made.
Fractal Design Define 7: best silent PC case
Fractal Design products are known for their incredible build quality and useful features. Define 7 (Check on Amazon) follows this trend and is the successor to the brilliant R6 (Check on Amazon) which was aimed at those PC users who love silent operation. The interiors, color options, and tempered glass options all remain the same, with small and targeted upgrades that make this the best silent PC case we’ve tried in recent years.
In a similar way to the Fractal Design Define R6, this is a plain case but its functionality is second to none. Its vast size grants you plenty of room to work inside, while it also supports water cooling. It also sports a dual layout (open space or extra space for SSD/hard drives), excellent cable management, a ventilated top panel that improves thermal performance, a dedicated port to fill up the coolant, and a Nexus+ 2 PWM hub for fan control management. Add to all this the solid build and proven design of Fractal Design and this is one of the best mid-range cases ever.
The noise dampening performance is very close to its predecessor, with the addition of small but significant improvements that make a difference. The airflow is worse since the front panel has a door, but if you are interested in this case’s silent operation you are already OK with the trade-off. The front, side, and top panels all boast noise damping materials and thus offer excellent acoustic isolation.
If you’re looking for a high-level thermal performance, a set of useful features, and silent operation the Fractal Design Define 7 is a truly amazing case!
NZXT H210i: best mini-ITX PC case
The NZXT H210i (Check on Amazon) is the upgraded version of the H200i (Check on Amazon), our previous winner of “the best mini-ITX PC case”. The H210i inherits everything that made its predecessor so great, plus a couple of welcome upgrades like the latest version of Smart Device V2 — a controller that supports up to three fans and two RGB strips all manageable via CAM software — and, finally, a second-generation USB 3.1 Type-C port.
If you want a compact, high-quality PC case, the H210i is the ideal choice. It features the same solid construction and pleasing aesthetics as its bigger siblings but manages to fit everything inside a miniaturized chassis that offers enough space for modern systems of liquid cooling – two 120mm fans are already included and there is room for two more in the front panel that can be accompanied by a 240mm or 280mm radiator -, excellent thermal performance and many options for cable management.
And while you can hide everything you don’t want to see under the power supply cover, the stunning tempered glass side panel allows you to show off the rest of your system.
Moreover, the H210i is not so small as to limit you when choosing components: it can house graphics cards 325mm long and a CPU cooler 165mm tall. There are RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards out there that measure less than 325mm and this means that unlike other mini-ITX cases that force you to use low-profile graphics cards, in the H210i you can easily fit any high-end graphics card.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a feature-rich mini-ITX PC case that doesn’t limit the amount of performance you can get from your system, the H210i is the ideal choice.
NZXT H200i: a valid alternative
Every passing day the mini-ITX format becomes more popular and will likely soon replace the Micro ATX format. This makes total sense: a Micro ATX build is still way too big if your intent is miniaturization; a mini-ITX build, on the other hand, is the ideal solution, especially given the possibility of creating a powerful PC using a tiny modern motherboard.
The NZXT H200i (Check on Amazon) is essentially a scaled-down version of our favorite mid-tower, the H710i. The NZXT H200i is designed with Mini ITX builds in mind and its mission is to “shrink down” a high-end system into a compact and minimalist package.
Like its bigger sibling, the H200i integrates many of the same features as its Micro ATX and mid-tower equivalents, like NZXT’s “Smart Device” hub, two fans, an LED RGB strip, and the cable management system with Velcro fasteners. An acoustic sensor also helps determine the optimum balance between cooling and noise (Intelligent Adaptive Noise Reduction) and adjusts the fan speed accordingly using the CAM software.
With ample support for liquid cooling solutions and full-size components, the H200i is the perfect compromise between smaller ITX builds and larger, medium-sized towers.
Cooler Master MasterCase H500: best RGB case
For those looking for a high-end but affordable PC case, the Cooler Master MasterCase H500 series (Check on Amazon) is a great choice – be it the H500P, H500M, or H500. It boasts premium looks and a great set of features that will please even the most demanding users.
It has a quality built, a replaceable front panel (you can choose between an ultra-fine mesh front panel for better airflow or an acrylic window for better aesthetics), offers full ATX support, features a partial power supply cover that does not trap heat inside, has decent storage capabilities (two 2.5″ or 3.5″ hard disk slots plus two SSD slots) and excellent cooling options as it supports four to six fans depending on their size (120mm/200mm) and positioning, and up to three radiators (120mm up to 360mm in size).
All H500 models have the front and side panel made of tempered glass and feature two huge 200mm RGB fans at the front – the latest versions use addressable LEDs (ARGB). These two iconic fans are the identification mark of the H series in terms of both design and functionality as they are able to operate quietly while moving high volumes of air thanks to their size. Its other unique feature is its hunchback profile. The “hump” contains a plastic handle that is very useful for lifting and transporting your PC.
Ultimately, the Cooler Master MasterCase H500 is a complete product that is predestined for success and definitely one of the best PC cases on the market. If you want a somewhat “exclusive” case at a great price, this is the one to buy.
Corsair Carbide 275R: the cheapest
While most gamers appreciate the “RGB era” there are still PC builders who prefer a minimalist approach.
Enter the scene Corsair’s latest PC case, the Carbide 275R. Apart from the small logo on the front panel, the 275R focuses on a clean and elegant design for those who are obsessed with minimalist style. But while the design is minimal, the functionality is not.
The Carbide 275R has room for a 360mm radiator at the front, a 240mm rad at the top and a 120mm rad at the rear, and for up to six 120mm fans. It also boasts a tempered glass window and provides plenty of room for cable management. Last but not least this case weighs just 15.7 pounds.
With its modest price tag of (Check on Amazon), the 275R is probably the best cheap case you can buy in terms of features and definitely the best PC case for beginners – as well as advanced users looking for a budget PC case.
Lian Li O11 Dynamic: the best for most people
The only bad thing with the Lian Li O11 Dynamic (Check on Amazon) is its incomprehensible instructions manual. However, if you already know how to build a PC, putting it together shouldn’t be a problem.
The Lian Li O11 Dynamic is a mid-tower case made of tempered glass (front and side panel) and brushed aluminum with few bells and whistles but enriched with an addressable RGB strip, ample storage capacity (it has six trays for a 2.5” hard disk or SSD and four trays for a 3.5” hard disk with hot-swap function) and, of course, excellent cooling capabilities. It can hold up to three 360mm radiators and nine 120mm fans, more than enough for even the most demanding gamer and overclocker.
It should also be pointed out that this case can house 420mm long graphics cards and that it provides eight expansion slots in total.
It features three removable panels, the front, and the two sides. Of course, this helps enormously during the building phase. Installing a liquid cooler at the top, for example, is a child’s play. In addition, it also offers robust cable management.
Last but not least, the front panel, in addition to the regular on/off and reset buttons, also includes four USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, HD audio connections, and a button for controlling the RGB lights.
And you can find this case in a range of special editions from Razer (Check on Amazon) and Republic of Gamers, with each adding its own charm to the already impressive frame.
All in all, if you are looking for pure quality and are not afraid to rely on a relatively new Chinese brand the Lian Li O11 Dynamic is definitely a great choice.
Phanteks Eclipse P400A Digital RGB: our favorite
The Phanteks Eclipse P400A Digital RGB case focuses on airflow, with a wire mesh front panel placed in front of the three RGB fans with a built-in 3-speed controller. It also features tempered glass, numerous Velcro straps for cable management, and four hard disk/SSD drive bays with enough room for four more using the optional bracket. And all this for just (Check on Amazon).
Through engineering improvements, Phanteks was able to create a new chassis that gives users some of the best possible thermal performance while still keeping dust out of your system, thanks to the ultra-fine mesh design of the front panel.
And although it’s completely perforated, the front panel is still very durable (it’s made of steel) thus it doesn’t flex easily. Phanteks also retained the removable design of the original P400, which makes fitting super easy.
The P400A comes in white or black and with or without fans – but the Digital RGB version with integrated fans is a better value. It sports 3x120mm ARGB (Addressable RGB) fans, already pre-installed behind the front panel that can be controlled via buttons on top of the case. However – and this is weird – the P400A Digital RGB doesn’t include a rear fan.
The Phanteks P400A is one of the most popular PC cases in the world and now you know why.
Phanteks Eclipse P300A Mesh: best bang for your buck
The Phanteks P300A is the smaller sibling of our favorite PC case: the Phanteks P400A Digital RGB.
If the Phanteks Eclipse P300A had a motto, it would be “less is more”. It succeeds in its intent and is an excellent choice for novice PC builders. It is, in fact, a simple and minimalist case that costs “just” (Check on Amazon).
While not the cheapest PC case on this list [the Corsair Carbide 275R costs (Check on Amazon) but includes 2 fans] the Phanteks P300A Mesh offers the best bang for your buck.
Its mesh front panel grants the chassis with a highly optimized airflow design. Although we were not particularly impressed by its thermal performance when compared with that of its bigger and more premium sibling – the P400A Digital RGB – the problem is the lack of fans. The P300A Mesh comes equipped with only one fan (rear/exhaust). However, its performance was acceptable thanks to the front mesh panel – testing it with an Intel Core i9-9900K coupled with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti the single rear fan of the P300A managed to keep the internal temperature under control. That being said, we recommend adding at least one more fan (front/intake).
Even with the inclusion of 2 more fans (this case offers space for 3×120mm/140mm fans and one 280mm long radiator) the P300A still costs less than the P400A Digital RGB (Check on Amazon), but at this point, we strongly recommend the latter.
In addition, its build quality, while not premium, is very impressive for the price. With the all-steel chassis and tempered glass side panel, it is a surprisingly beautiful PC case if you compare it to other budget options.
Despite being a “cheap” PC case, it boasts plenty of interior space and can accommodate 4×2.5″ drives and 2×3.5″ drives, high-end graphics cards up to 355mm long, and offers 7 expansion slots.
Last but not least, this PC case also manages to dampen a lot of fan noise. Unfortunately, it is not equipped with RGB lights, but for beginners, this is a convenient mid-tower PC case with lots of potential.
Lian Li Lancool II: best mid-range PC case
If you’re looking for a mid-range PC case that doesn’t compromise, the Lian Li Lancool II (Check on Amazon) features a steel frame instead of aluminum and is very competitively priced. Yes, it’s heavier than other ATX cases and its appearance is somewhat boring, but if all this doesn’t constitute a problem for you, then you’ve found a real deal.
In addition to its solid construction, it is also one of the most comfortable PC cases to work with and offers unprecedented flexibility in this price range. It features tempered glass panels with rear hinges and magnetic fasteners on both sides, RGB lighting and a PSU compartment that is easily accessible from both sides. Lian Li even added a series of cable covers on the back, to give the case an even cleaner look.
Cooling options are also great for a case of this size. The Lancool II comes equipped with three 120mm fans as standard, offers space to mount a 240mm radiator at the top and allows for the installation of additional radiators (up to 360mm) and fans (one in the back, two at the top and two above the power supply cover) up to 110mm thick.
The front I/O panel placed at the top features two USB 3.0 ports and one type-C port, that requires the Lancool II-4X cable (sold separately) in order to work.
All in all, it’s really hard to find a PC case with so many features that costs less.
be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2: the best for modders
be quiet! originally known for its silent PSUs and fans, has entered the PC case market in 2014 with a splash and achieved quite much in the short time since. The German manufacturer launched the Dark Base Pro 900 back in 2016. The current model is the second revision (Check on Amazon) of the original PC case and it manages to improve the quality of this slim midi to full tower hybrid.
The most important innovation here is that the 82.2-liter interior space is divided by the power supply cover into two chambers. The other minor change is the inclusion of covers for the unused drive bays which makes the system look even tidier.
It has space for a number of drives, expansion cards (up to 47cm long) and fans or radiators plus the possibility of installing the motherboard upside down. Other nifty features include the wireless Qi charger and pre-installed LED lighting. A button for controlling the RGB lights can be found on the I/O panel, which is now also equipped with a USB 3.1 Type C port.
This is the perfect solution for all those who desire the best high-end modular case.
Corsair Obsidian 500D SE: a great all-rounder
The other high-end solution from Corsair consists of the Obsidian 500D SE (Check on Amazon), a premium Mid Tower case, with a characteristic minimalist look, thanks to the elegant mix of smoked tempered glass and brushed aluminum, and several pre-installed RGB fans. The side panels open using a rear hinge, the USB 3.1 Type-C port on the front is a very welcome addition, while both the backlight and fan speed can be managed via Corsair’s Commander Pro controller.
Historically known for its full tower cases, Corsair took the excellent 900D, updated it, and shrank everything down to a more compact and streamlined midi tower, that still has enough space for everything you might need, from plenty of room for a liquid cooling solution to the convenient cable management system hidden behind the back panel.
If you find that the asking price of (Check on Amazon) is a tad much, you can always opt for the base version (the Obsidian 500D) that loses the smoked tempered glass front panel and all RGB fans and lighting control but also costs significantly less.
NZXT H710i: the best mid-tower PC case
Our newest favorite PC case is the NZXT H710i (Check on Amazon), released in 2019. The ease of installation and the overall quality are second to none. NZXT markets the H710i as a “smart” case thanks to the integration of its new intelligent hub powered by the company’s CAM software.
This hub uses machine learning to speed up or slow down the connected fans in order to find the optimal noise to cooling performance ratio. In addition, it controls the RGB LEDs.
The H710i comes with four pre-installed fans (1×140mm in the back and 3×120mm in the front) and two RGB strips. It also features a USB-C port in the front (along with 2xUSB 3.1 and 1×3.5mm jack) and it grants you the option of mounting your GPU card vertically using a PCIe riser.
These features already set the H710i apart from the competition, but the real star of the show is the cable management system on the back of the case. Four different cable routing channels with integrated cable ties make the process of channeling and hiding your cables effortless and extremely satisfactory.
The H710i is priced at (Check on Amazon), which is rather expensive compared to your run of the mill cases, but it is nevertheless the case that offers you the best bang for your buck.