If you’re thinking about building or buying one of the best gaming PCs, you might want to consider grabbing one of the best PC cases. Sure, they might not be as exciting as the best graphics cards, but all of those shiny and expensive components need to go somewhere right? Why not put them in the best PC case you can find today.
We know that next to CPUs or graphics cards, the best PC cases can seem kind of dull. However, they can be a huge boon to your build, and a big contributing factor for future expansion. And, when you consider the thermal benefits that the best PC cases have, you can really optimize your PC’s performance in a big way.
We don’t need to tell you that heat is bad for your PC hardware, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay special attention to cooling when you’re building a PC. The best PC cases will mitigate the heat your PC components generate, which will make them perform better and last longer – and keep you cooler in the summer.
When you pull up Amazon or Newegg, looking for the best PC cases, you’ll immediately notice just how saturated the PC case market is. This can make it hard for the uninitiated to find the best PC case for their needs. Don’t worry, though, we here at TechRadar have your back, as we’ve made a list of the best PC cases we’ve had a chance to use over the last year – each striking that golden balance between price performance and utility.
Corsair Obsidian 1000D
The best full-tower PC case
Form factor: Full-tower | Dimensions: 693 x 307 x 697mm (L x W x H; 27.3 x 12.1 x 27.4 inches) | Mobo compatibility: Mini-ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, E-ATX (12 x 11 inches) | PSU support: Bottom mount | I/O: USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C x 2, USB 3.0 x 4, fan speed and RGB control buttons, audio in/out
A wise man once said ‘if you’re going to do it, do it big’. And, while we’re not sure if anyone has ever actually said that, the Corsair Obsidian 1000D is certainly an example of doing it big. Packed front to back with up to 18 fan mounts and room for four 480mm radiators, this is one of the best PC cases for keeping your system cool no matter how many high-end components you pack into it. What’s more, this is a dual-system case, meaning you can fit two complete computers. Just imagine having your streaming machine packed into the same case as your gaming rig.
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
It is extremely rare to see any PC case that even vaguely resembles the Fractal Design Meshify-C. Given that the front of the case is entirely made of a mesh material sectioned off into an array of polygonal shapes, the Meshify-C has a unique style – without compromising on function. With two fans pre-installed, 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.
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 Series SPEC-04 Tempered Glass
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
If you’re looking to save a few bucks, while still getting one of the best PC cases, look no further than the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-04 Tempered Glass. Not only does it have plenty of space for airflow, it also has a deceptively large amount of space for future expansion, meaning that even at this low price point, you won’t have to worry about fitting a full-sized graphics card. And, when you’re done building, the tempered glass side panel will allow you to show off your handiwork.
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.
Phanteks Enthoo Elite
The best dual-system PC case
Form factor: Full-tower | Dimensions: 270 x 750 x 615mm (W x H x D; 10.6 x 29.5 x 24.2 inches) | PSU support: E-ATX | I/O: 4 x USB 3.0, 2 x Mic, 2 x Headphone, 2 x Reset button, RGB control wheel, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 Type-C | Includes: 5 x Premium 140mm fans
There’s a certain sect of the PC enthusiast crowd that will spare no expense for the latest and greatest equipment, and that’s the crowd Phanteks is appealing to with the Enthoo Elite. There isn’t a single component of this case that can’t be moved around to optimize your build – you can even configure it to support an entire second system on an Mini-ITX board. This is an extremely expensive chassis, but if you’re looking to build an ultimate dream machine, you’re definitely going to want to look at this case.
- While you’re at it, we’ve found the best gaming mouse you can buy
- Not into gaming? The best mouse of 2017 is multi-purpose