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Best PC case 2018: top cases for your desktop computer

If you’re thinking about either buying or building one of the best gaming PCs, you might want to start thinking about picking up one of the best PC cases. Sure, a case isn’t as exciting as the best graphics cards, but all of those shiny and expensive components that you’re about to buy are of pristine quality, so why not match that with one of the best PC cases you can buy today?

We know that next to graphics cards or CPUs, the best PC cases can seem trivial or superfluous. However, they can be one of the largest contributing factors for future expansion. And when you add the thermal benefits the best PC cases can offer on top of that, you can optimize your computer’s performance in a major way.

We don’t have to tell you that heat is bad for PC hardware, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep it at the front of your mind when you’re building your PC. The best PC cases will reduce the amount of heat your PC components are exposed to – which will make them last longer. At the end of the day, a top PC case is of utmost importance.

One of the first things you’ll notice is that the market for the best PC cases is absolutely saturated with brand names and knockoffs. It’s truly stressful for anyone unfamiliar with PC hardware to navigate. Fortunately, you can trust TechRadar to have your back, as we’ve made a list of the best PC cases we’ve had the chance to use over the last year, each striking a golden balance between price, performance and utility. We tested them ourselves, so you can be confident that the best PC case for your needs is here on this list.

Cooler Master Cosmos C700P

The best full-tower PC case

Form factor: Full-tower | Dimensions: 639 x 306 x 651mm (L x W x H; 25.2 x 12 x 25.6 inches) | Mobo compatibility: Mini-ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, E-ATX (12 x 11 inches) | PSU support: Bottom mount, ATX PS2 | I/O: USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C x 1, USB 3.0 x 4, fan speed and RGB control buttons, audio in/out (supports HD Audio) | Includes: 2 x 140mm front fans, 1 x 140mm rear fan

The Cooler Master Cosmos C700P looks at portability and simply scoffs. This 22kg (or 48.5 lbs) behemoth isn’t exactly the most lightweight case on the block. Don’t take the lack of portability to mean that the Cosmos C700P isn’t a great case, it is, but it just means that, if you want to carry it around, you’ll have to take advantage of the upper rails. Still, despite its thickness, the C700P is flexible and beautiful, thanks to Cooler Master’s decision to implement full RGB lighting and support for six different system orientations. 

Fractal Design Meshify-C

The best mid-tower PC case

Form factor: Mid-tower | Dimensions: 395 x 212 x 440mm (L x W x H; 15.6 x 8.3 x 17.3) | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x HD audio in/out, power button, reset button | Includes: 2 x Dynamic X2 GP-12

There are very few PC cases that look anything like Fractal Design’s Meshify-C. It’s even rare to see a chassis that even vaguely resembles it.. Given that the entire front of the case is made of mesh material sectioned off into many polygonal shapes, the Meshify-C has a unique aesthetic, and it does so without compromising on function. With two fans pre-installed, interior cooling is (forgive us) a breeze, even if the Meshify-C is held back by a number of obstacles. 

Nanoxia Deep Silence 4

The best Micro ATX PC case

Form factor: Small form factor | Dimensions: 380 x 200 x 480mm (W x H x D; 15 x 7.9 x 18.9 inches) | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, HD audio in/out, power button, reset button, two-channel fan control | Includes: 2 x 120mm fans, 2 x modular HDD cages for up to five hard drives

Nanoxia Deep Silence 4, as it’s name suggests, was crafted with the sole purpose of being quiet as a mouse. This silence-focused case is a well-balanced Micro ATX case that’s affordably priced and even accommodates some of the biggest, most powerful graphics cards with its spacious interior. The fact that you’ll rarely hear it go above 30 decibels is just icing on the very taciturn cake.   

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Phanteks Evolv Shift X. 

NZXT H200i

The best Mini-ITX case

Form factor: Small form factor | Dimensions: 210 x 349 x 372mm (8.3 x 13.7 x 14.6) | Mobo compatibility: Mini-ITX | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x audio/mic, 3 x fan channels with max 10W per channel output, 1 x RGB LED port support up to 4 x HUE + LED strips or 5 x Aer RGB fans | Includes: 1 x Aer F120 Case Version top fan, 1 x Aer F120 Case Version rear fan

Mini-ITX is ever so slowly getting closer and closer to finally toppling the now seemingly ancient Micro-ATX form factor, so, it only makes sense that this hot form factor has made its way into NZXT’s new H series case lineup. And unbelievably enough, NZXT has managed to incorporate a lot of the same features as its Micro ATX and mid-tower equivalents, with mesmerising, built-in and Smart Device-controlled RGB lighting and an adaptive noise sensor that sees improvement only by way of the Grid+ V3 fan controller. 

Phanteks Evolv Shift X

The best home theater PC case

Form factor: Small form factor | Dimensions: 170 x 650 x 274mm (W x H x D; 6.7 x 26.1 x 10.8 inches) | Mobo compatibility: Mini-ITX | PSU support: SFX, SFX-L, ATX (160mm max) | I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, power button, RGB button | Includes: 2 x 140mm fan, 1 x power supply cover, 1 x pump bracket, 2 x SSD bracket, 1 x PCIe x16 Riser cable, 1 x 8-pin CPU extension cable

When you first look at it, the Phanteks Evolv Shift X appears more like a sound bar than a PC case, but this helps it vanish into any living area or studio setup. It’s flexible to the point that it looks natural placed under a TV just as it does atop a desk, next to an equally high-end monitor. It may only be compatible with Mini-ITX mobos, which seems crazy given its size but the Phanteks Evolv Shift X offers tons of space for components and liquid-cooled loops. If this case is a little too large for your preference, there’s also the more manageable and smaller Phanteks Evolv Shift.  

Fractal Design Define R5

The best silent PC case

Form factor: Mid-tower | Dimensions: 232 x 451 x 521mm (W x H x D; 232 x 451 x 521 inches) | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, audio in/out, power button with LED, HDD activity LED, reset button | Includes: 2 x Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 140mm fans, velcro straps

Fractal Design has scored a second entry on this list, and they deserve it. The Define R5 is yet another mid-tower case exhibiting a beautiful style. The metallic and blue LED-lit face of the case is simple, yet elegant, and is accompanied by noise dampening materials throughout its interior. In spite of the detachable ModuVent panels and drive trays not being tool-lessly accessible, the Fractal Design Define R5 is otherwise painless to build a computer inside of. Not only that, but it’s not as expensive as you would expect from a PC case with such a pretentious name either. 

Cooler Master H500P Mesh

The best high airflow case

Form factor: Full-tower | Dimensions: 544 x 242 x 542mm (L x W x H; 21.4 x 9.5 x 21.3 inches) | Mobo compatibility: Mini-ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, E-ATX (12 x 10.7 inches) | PSU support: Bottom mount, ATX PS2 | I/O: USB 3.0 x2, USB 2.0 x2, Audio in out (supports HD audio) | Includes: 2x 200 x 25mm RGB fan, 1x 140 x 25mm fan

Cooler Master has made a name for itself for, well, cooling – and the Cooler Master H500P Mesh is further evidence of just how cool they are. The H500P has plenty of space for airflow, even accommodating up to 360mm radiators on the top and front for when you really want to take your cooling to the next level. Add on top of that the RGB lighting and tempered glass side panel and you have the potential to build something beautiful with this case. You should do it. 

Corsair Carbide Spec-04

The best budget PC case

Form factor: Mid-tower | Dimensions: 492 x 201 x 433mm (L x W x H; 19.4 x 7.9 x 17 inches) | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x headphone port, 1 x microphone port, power on button, reset button | Includes: 1 x 120mm LED front fan

Even if you’re trying to avoid spending a fortune on your build, it’s probably not a great idea to not settle for the absolute cheapest PC case you can find. For the most part, cheap cases don’t really incorporate proper ventilation and airflow, not to mention you’ll end up buying your own fans and cable management supplies. The Corsair Carbide Spec-04, on the other hand, shows up even some of the more expensive cases. It does so with rubberized feet, an included LED fan and tons of room to spare for additional fans and components.  

Antec Cube

The best PC cube case

Form factor: Small form factor | Dimensions: 365 x 250 x 460mm (H x W x D; 14.4 x 9.8 x 18.1 inches) | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, I/O button, audio in/out | Includes: 1 x 120mm rear exhaust fan mount

This case is for everyone who loves Razer. While Razer’s PC manufacturing has been limited to the Razer Blade (which we love), it doesn’t manufacture its own desktop PCs. However, Razer has partnered with Antec to add its signature green-infused flare to the Antec Cube, a small form-factor chassis that supports Mini-ITX motherboards and is, well, a cube. Complete with a deceptively high amount of space for future expansion, the Antec Cube is also compact enough to travel with. 

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