- 1 Top 7 Best Computer Cases Compared
- 1.1 #1 ROSEWILL Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case – Top Pick
- 1.2 #2 Corsair CC-9011075-WW Carbide Series 100R Mid Tower Case – Honorable Mention
- 1.3 #3 Thermaltake V200 Tempered Glass RGB Edition 12V MB Sync Capable ATX Mid-Tower – Best Fan Customization
- 1.4 #4 NZXT H510 CA-H510B-W1 Compact ATX Mid-Tower – Best for Cable Management
- 1.5 #5 Cooler Master MasterBox Pro 5 RGB ATX Mid-Tower – Best Flexible Configurations
- 1.6 #6 Rosewill TYRFING ATX Mid Tower Gaming PC Computer Case – Best Value
- 1.7 #7 Corsair Crystal 570X RGB Mid-Tower Case – Best Design Aesthetic
- 1.8 How We Decided
- 2 Computer Cases Buying Guide
Finding the best computer cases can be a daunting task since there are so many options on the market. The best gaming PC has to start somewhere and the starting point is usually the case. To create our selections, we narrowed down our criteria by focusing on size, drive bay and card expansion options, ease of installation, airflow, and front panel connections. These considerations are going to be the most important features that impacted our selections.
Because of this, we opted for the Rosewill Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case as our Top Pick and Best Budget choice. In addition to the extremely modest price, you’ll find that this computer case is designed with customization and functionality in mind. The front panel supports USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, while you have two 2.5 and 3.5-inch internal drive bays and four expansion slots. While there’s one pre-installed 80-millimeter fan in the rear panel, you can install an additional 120-millimeter fan in the front panel for enhanced cooling.
Top 7 Best Computer Cases Compared
#1 ROSEWILL Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case – Top PickWHY WE LIKE IT: A budget-friendly low profile micro-ATX mini tower computer case that offers multiple USB, audio and microphone jack front panel ports, two internal drive bays and four additional expansion slots for 2.5 and 3.5 drives. Comes pre-installed with one rear panel 80-millimeter fan and can install an additional 120-millimeter fan in the front panel.
Computer cases don’t have to be expensive to be functional, and that’s why the Rosewill Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case is not just our top pick and one of the best PC case options on the market but also our best budget selection. The modestly priced case features a sturdy plastic and steel exterior with expansion in mind. This compact design can accommodate Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX motherboards as well as graphics cards up to 11.81 inches long. The front panel features one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, an audio-out jack, and an audio-in microphone jack.
You’ll like that two internal drive bays can accommodate 2.5 and 3.5-inch drives, with the ability to upgrade in the future with four expansion slots. For cooling, you’ll get a pre-installed 80-millimeter fan in the rear panel, and for improved performance, you can add a 120-millimeter fan in the front panel. This computer case is ideal for office use. Check out more computer accessories.
#2 Corsair CC-9011075-WW Carbide Series 100R Mid Tower Case – Honorable MentionWHY WE LIKE IT: Enhanced functionality for more complex computer builds combined with tool-free installation for an easy to assemble final product. Two USB 3.0 ports, four SSD drive bays, cooler compatibility, a built-in 120-millimeter fan plus five additional fan mounts, and a flush side panel window round out the top benefits.
If you’re a gamer, cooling is the thing that matters most to you. And this is why the Corsair CC-9011075-WW Carbide Series 100R Mid Tower Case is a smart choice. Optimal performance is easy to achieve thanks to the pre-installed 120-millimeter fan and the additional five fan mounts for improved airflow and cooling. You can also add an optional cooler as this computer case is compatible with select Corsair coolers that are up to 5.9 inches tall and nine inches long.
Installation is a breeze with this tool-free case. Use the built-in thumb screws to install your 2.5 and 3.5-inch drives. Add as many as four SSD drives as well. Other features such as two USB 3.0 ports, audio in and out ports, and a flush side window help to make this computer case a compelling option. Now that you have a good case you need some computer speakers.
#3 Thermaltake V200 Tempered Glass RGB Edition 12V MB Sync Capable ATX Mid-Tower – Best Fan CustomizationWHY WE LIKE IT: A sleek and RGB light accented tempered glass computer case with tool-free installation. This cooler compatible case supports two 2.5-inch HDD drives, three 3.5-inch HDD drives, multiple front and rear radiator installations, and as many as six fans across the front and rear panels.
The idea of a desktop computer that’s as beautiful as it is function can be pretty alluring. The Thermaltake ATX Mid-Tower comes with a full-length power supply cover and combines massive customization with a three sleek RGB LED backlit front panel fans and tempered glass side panel for a computer case that will make your friends jealous. Cycle through 16 modes with the RGB controls.
More importantly, increase performance with a maximum capacity of six fans across the front and rear panels, and the ability to accommodate front panel radiators between 240 and 280 millimeters or a rear panel radiator of 120 millimeters. Install as many as five HDD drives, two 3.5-inch drives, and three 2.5-inch drives. Best of all, installation is a breeze thanks to the tool-free built-in thumbscrews. To ensure you achieve the best performance possible the Thermaltake is best compatible with extreme liquid cooling configurations. You might also want to read about the best printer for computer.
#4 NZXT H510 CA-H510B-W1 Compact ATX Mid-Tower – Best for Cable ManagementWHY WE LIKE IT: Keeping your cables organized is easy with the included patented cable routing kit on this computer case. A front port that supports USB-C, two included 120-millimeter fans with a maximum capacity for seven fans, a tempered side glass panel, seven expansion drive slots, and up to 10.7-inch motherboard support for Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX and EATX models.
Keeping your cables organized within your computer case can be difficult. But the NZXT H510 Compact ATX Mid-Tower has a proprietary cable control kit that keeps them organized and features channels and straps for a straightforward and easy to manage system. Cables aside, you can also prioritize cooling with this computer case. This case comes with two 120 millimeter fans that can be installed on the front panel but can accommodate a total of seven fans. If you’re looking for a gaming computer specifically, check out the best computer for VR.
And it features a removable bracket that can support 240-millimeter radiators. You’ll also like that this case supports up to seven 2.5-inch drives and three 3.5-inch drives. Additionally, the front panel features USB-C connectivity for modern electronic compatibility. Speaking of modern, check out the best router for gaming.
#5 Cooler Master MasterBox Pro 5 RGB ATX Mid-Tower – Best Flexible ConfigurationsWHY WE LIKE IT: Convenient configurations are possible with this computer case that was designed with flexibility in mind. Three RGB backlit 120-millimeter fans, a capacity for an additional rear 120-millimeter fan, dual radiator support in the front and back panels, and a maximum cooler height of 158 millimeters, seven expansion slots, two 2.5 and 3.5-inch drive bays, and two SSD bays.
Flexible mounting is a major issue for anyone who likes to build their computers or feels that they might need to make frequent upgrades. The Cooler Master MasterBox ATX Mid-Tower is designed with this type of user in mind. This computer case comes standard with three RGB backlit 120-millimeter fans and the capacity to support an additional rear 120-millimeter fan and a 360-millimeter front radiator.
Make your computer as fast as possible with two 3.5 and 2.5 drive bays, seven expansion slots, and two SSD bays. And for improved airflow, install a cooler up to 158 millimeters to optimize performance. Speaking of performance, read about the best gaming PCs desktop computers.
#6 Rosewill TYRFING ATX Mid Tower Gaming PC Computer Case – Best ValueWHY WE LIKE IT: A modest price gives you a computer case that can support radiators and coolers while also accommodating full-size ATX, microATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards. Front-panel USB 2.0, 3.0 and I/O ports and a larger interior that can support larger VGA cards and CPU coolers explain why this is on our list.
A sleek computer case combines with customization to give DIYers as much freedom as possible. This mid-tower computer case can support full-size ATX, microATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards. More importantly, this case can support larger components. VGA cards as large as 400 millimeters long and coolers up to 160 millimeters can easily fit in the case. If you are looking for a gaming computer specifically, you may want to also look at best computer for VR.
If you’re concerned about overheating, this case is ideal for creating an optimized system with improved airflow and the ability to accommodate radiators and coolers. Improve performance with three internal 2.5 and 3.5-inch drive bays, seven tool-free expansion bays, and two external 5.25-inch drive bays. For displays, check out the best gaming monitors under $200.
#7 Corsair Crystal 570X RGB Mid-Tower Case – Best Design AestheticWHY WE LIKE IT: A four-panel tempered-glass mid-tower case that prioritizes cooling, cable routing, and performance customization. USB 3.0, three RGB back-lit fans with a maximum capacity for six fans, and tool-free installation help to round out the key features.
If you’re looking for a computer case that has shelf appeal as well as functionality, the Corsair Crystal Mid-Tower Case features four tempered-glass panels that showcase your DIY computer building skills. Three RGB backlit 120-millimeter fans come standard with this computer case while you can also increase capacity for a total of six fans.
More importantly, you’ll appreciate the cable system to keep your cables organized, and the improved airflow system that’s strategically designed with elevated drive cages to prevent additional components from blocking ventilation. Now that you found a case, check out the best printer for home.
How We Decided
Computer cases are an essential prerequisite if you’re thinking of building your computer. DIY computer enthusiasts know that it can be better to build a computer from scratch as it allows for customization. Based on your needs, building a computer on your own can allow you to create a computer with better airflow and ventilation, improved performance and with a stylish exterior that looks great on your desk. They are a far cry from the best tablet computer in terms of size.
To discover the best PC cases the market has to offer, we began by focusing on the computer case size. Size is going to be one of the most important factors you need to use to determine if a case is going to work with your needs. There are three standard sizes — full-tower, mid-tower, and mini-ITX. But we prioritized mid-tower models as this is the most common size and can work with most motherboards, graphics cards, radiators, coolers, and drives. If you’re looking for a more niche option, you can also take a look at the best computer for VR.
Next, we looked at customization. “Customization” is a bit of a broad term, but we focused on how easy it was to expand storage, add graphics cards, as well as install additional fans, coolers, or radiators. This meant that we prioritized models that featured a wider range of expanding slots and even included options that accommodated larger graphics cards and coolers.
We continued our process by focusing on airflow and cooling support features. A computer that overheats will stall and offer poor performance. So, we prioritized brands that included multiple fans to improve airflow. But we also emphasized models that offer additional fan mounting options on the front and rear panels. Along with this, we also highlighted computer cases that were designed for installing coolers and radiators.
Some people are also motivated to purchase based on aesthetics. And to that end, we included a range of tempered glass models that often included RGB back-lit fans for a computer tower that looks as good as it runs. While this isn’t a must-have, you’ll find that of the tempered glass models we featured, almost all of them feature customization, increased fan capacity and the ability to customize storage and power. After all, some people want the best nas hard drive and others might prefer something else.
Finally, we reviewed the front panel features. In general, even the most basic computer case featured at least one or more USB ports — typically at least USB 2.0 — as well as audio in and out jacks. But if you rely on options like USB-C, you’ll find that it’s quickly becoming a standard feature for computer cases, and comes standard on many of the models included in our guide.
Other popular options include the Fractal Design Define 7, the Corsair Obsidian, the Corsair Carbide 275R, the Dark Base 900, and the ENTHOO Evolv X.
Computer Cases Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Case Size
Just like if you were going to a store to buy a pre-built computer, computer cases come in a range of sizes with the most common options being full-tower, mid-tower, and mini-ITX. The one you select is going to depend on a range of factors. Common issues will include the space where you plan to set up your computer, whether you will be wall mounting it versus standing it on a stable surface and the complexity of your build. If you have multiple drives, fans or cards, you need to find a computer case that can easily accommodate those components without impacting performance. When it comes down to it, the best PC case for you will be the one that meets all of your requirements.
- Open Air vs Mountable
As the name implies, an open-air computer case is designed to be placed on a stable surface whereas a mountable option is designed to be securely connected to a wall. The version you choose is going to depend on where you plan to keep your computer as well as whether you can securely mount your computer to the wall. If you’re thinking of getting a mountable computer case, always confirm that the case is rated for the weight of your components to prevent damage to the wall or the computer parts.
- Drive Bays and SSD Mounting Points
Your computer case isn’t going to be very functional if it doesn’t have accessible drive bays and SSD mounting points. Always confirm that the case you’re planning to buy features enough bays to accommodate the total number of 2.5 and 3.5-inch drives you plan to install — even for future upgrades. Likewise, many cases come with pre-built mounting points on the back of the motherboard for SSD drives. If this is a feature you need, keep it in mind as you narrow down your choices.
- Tool-less Design
If the idea of needing tools to finish your computer’s assembly isn’t appealing, look for computer cases that promote tool-less assembly. Essentially, these types of cases allow you to easily snap or twist components into place or use built-in thumb screws to securely fasten parts.
- Front Panel Connections
Are you the type who’s constantly looking for a free USB port? If you’re always connecting an external device to your computer, then you need to prioritize front panel connections such as USB, thunderbolt, and even older connections like auxiliary cables. As opposed to digging around the back of your computer, front connections can be easier to use.
An overheated computer will crash — not to mention you can end up damaging critical components. Airflow and included fans should always be a priority when you’re shopping for a computer case. As a general rule, the more fans you have, along with a case that’s designed to optimize airflow, the better your computer’s performance will be. At a minimum, don’t consider a computer case with less than two fans. Some computer cases will feature designs that allow you to install additional fans. But also be mindful of what’s designed to sit next to the fans. Anything that will obstruct airflow will impact performance. The best computers are all about performance.
- Dust Filters
Dust is more than just an unsightly issue that can make your computer dirty. Excessive dust buildup can also impact performance and lead to issues like overheating and throttling. To avoid this, look for computer cases with dust filters.
A noisy computer can become a nuisance, especially if even when it’s not being pushed to capacity, you can hear it a mile away. If you’re looking for a quiet operating experience, prioritize a computer case with built-in sound-dampening materials. But this feature can be a tricky option as sometimes the materials that help to minimize sound can also reduce airflow.
- Radiator Compatibility
This is an optional feature that you’ll strongly want to consider if you’re planning to install a radiator. Mini-ITX cases typically aren’t compatible with radiators. Likewise, even mid-tower computer cases might be limited to radiators up to 240 millimeters and with specific placement options. But if you’re planning to install a heavy-duty radiator, be prepared to spend more money.
Computer Cases FAQs
I like the sleek look of a glass computer case, what do I need to know?
A tempered glass case has great shelf appeal but comes with drawbacks. While it’s nice that you can see your computer components in action, you might end up sacrificing on airflow. Glass computer cases are notoriously brittle and can make computers run hotter as compared to traditional cases.
What can I expect to spend on a computer case?
Unsurprisingly, computer cases come in a range of prices to meet your budget and needs. Depending on what you’re able to spend and the features you need, you can find a quality computer case for as little as $30 that includes two fans a range of drive bays and SSD mounts. Of course, if you’re looking for a computer case that’s complete with all the bells and whistles or that prioritizes aesthetics along with other essential features, you can expect to spend significantly more.
What is the most important thing I need to consider when purchasing a computer case?
There are a range of factors that you need to consider. And in truth, each person may find that there are specific features that are more important to them than to someone else. However, in general, the most important step in narrowing down your options is the size of the computer case and the components you plan to install. By default, certain components like radiators or opting for multiple drives will automatically prevent you from purchasing a mini-ITX computer case. So, always keep your build in mind to ensure that you’re purchasing a computer case that’s functional for your needs.
What ports do most laptops come with?
Modern laptops come with a variety of ports and slots, including but not limited to a USB 3.1 port (the latest standard for USB Type-A ports not to be confused with the USB 3.0 or USB 2.0), a USB Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, a Thunderbolt 3 port, and a HDMI port. The USB 3.0 port can be referred to as the USB 3.1 Gen 1, while the original USB 3.1 is known as the Gen 2. The Gen 2 offers transfer speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second, while the Gen 1 offers half this at 5 Gbps.
What does "form factor" mean?
The form factor is a hardware design aspect that defines and prescribes the size, shape, and other physical specifications of components, particularly in electronics. When it comes to buying PC cases, they are usually referred to by three form factors, but the terms more accurately refer to the size of the motherboards they host.
What is a drive bay in a computer?
Drive bays are standard-sized areas that allow you to add hardware to your computer. The majority of drive bays are fixed inside the case, but some can be removed. Four common drive bays include the 5.25″, 3.5″, 2.5″ or 1.8″ drive bays. Just be aware that these names do not refer to the width of the bay but to the disks used. When buying a case, another factor to consider is how many drive bays the case supports. For instance, the New Obsidian 500D features 2 3.5in drive bays for mechanical storage and 3 2.5in drive bays for fast SSD storage.
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