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The 5 Best NZXT Cases in 2021

Best NZXT PC Case

The 5 Best NZXT Cases in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Jan 1, 2021

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There’s nothing like a good looking PC case.

And NZXT is the master of balancing design with affordability.

One of the best PC case manufacturers around, they’ve built up a fantastic line of towers refined over many different versions.

But with those versions comes a lot of variety.

So we’ve built this feature to guide you through the best NZXT PC cases for gaming, streaming, production, and general use setups.

We’ve selected the top options for different sizes/budgets, and we’ll explain the differences between NZXT case common models for those interested.

Top Picks

Overall Best NZXT Case: NZXT H510

This is one of the most popular PC cases on the market for a reason!

To start, we also consider this our best budget NZXT case pick.

It somehow manages to balance great build quality and internal features while maintaining a fantastic price-point.

The chassis exterior is built with a great SGCC steel material and a slick tempered glass window.

The finish, whether you choose: white, black, or a custom option, are all in matte. This gives the case a much more “premium” feel.

But it’s not just pretty.

The H510 is a “compact” mid-tower, supporting:

  • 7 expansion slots
  • VGA lengths up to 381mm (without front radiator installed, 320mm with)
  • 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x 3. 5″ drive bays, with an option to expand to one more of each (likely not needed for a gaming tower)

Despite its small dimensions for an ATX case, the H510 still boasts an impressive internal layout.

You’ve got more than enough room in here for a multi-GPU gaming computer case.

But how about cooling such a setup?

Well, you’ll have:

  • Up to 2 x 140mm & 2 x 120mm fans with 2 x Aer F120 case fans included, insane for the price
  • Up to 2 x 140mm & 1 x 120mm radiators (could be combined with 1 140mm fan on the top also)

This availability isn’t super impressive for an ATX PC case.

But between the great cable management facilities and decent airflow design, it is still going to be more than enough for gaming rigs and still can be considered a capable PC case for overclocking.

If you are worried about getting the best NZXT computer case for cooling though, read our high-end pick further below.

NZXT H500 vs H510 vs H510i vs H510 Elite:

The H500 was the previous version of the flagship case.

The only real difference between H500 and H510 is that the latter has an included USB Type C port on the front.

Either way, the H500 is becoming discontinued so the H510 is usually cheaper – stick to it.

The H510i is the same H510 case with a pre-installed Smart Device 2 fan/RGB controller & 2 RGB strips.

It’s you have the extra money, it makes a great RGB PC case and a nice basis for an illuminated build.

The H510 Elite is similar to the H510, but includes the Smart Device 2 controller, 2 vertical GPU expansion slots, and 2 NZXT AER RGB 2 case fans.

These case fans are some of the best RGB fans on the market and expensive to buy alone, so if you like the look of them it is a good deal.

However, the nicest aesthetic difference for the Elite is the beautiful tempered glass front window.

It really is a sharp, unique PC case and we were tempted to give it the top spot over the H510.

But ultimately, the differences between the models are mainly aesthetic.

So don’t fret if you can only afford the H510. We gave it 1st place for a reason!

When you consider the price-tag value, the H510 is the best NZXT ATX case on the market.

If you don’t have the budget for the high-end pick or H510 Elite, this is an amazing choice that will cover everything you need in a mid-range gaming/streaming/general use NZXT PC build.

 

 

Best NZXT Mini ITX Case: NZXT H210

And then there are those looking for the best NZXT ITX case.

We do have a more expensive tiny option further below, but with a budget in mind, there’s no beating the H210.

Despite the size, the H210 amazingly retains so many of the features and build quality that its larger brothers have.

You’re getting the same beautiful, matte SGCC finish steel/tempered glass exterior.

This NZXT mITX case still offers:

  • 2 x expansion slots (standard for mITX)
  • GPU Clearance up to 325mm
  • 3 x 2.5″ & 1 x 3.5″ drive bays

Bearing in mind you’ll only ever build a single-GPU on a Mini ITX motherboard, this case really does boast fantastic space.

In particular, fitting that amount of storage space is excellent for the form factor.

What’s even more impressive though is the amount of cooling:

  • Up to 2 x 140mm & 2 x 120mm case fans with 2 Aer 120 fans included
  • Up to 3 x 120mm radiators (with the option to add a further 120mm fan on the top)

It’s common for mini ITX PC cases to have 1-3 fans/ 1-2 radiators.

So the availability here is fantastic, the fact that you’re also getting 2 free high-quality ones in a cheap NZXT PC case is the cherry on top.

Bear in mind that in such a small chassis, you’re not going to get the same cable management/airflow as the other list picks.

But for a single GPU build, this case has more than enough, ideal as a portable computer case for gaming, or simply someone who likes a tiny tower.

If you’re looking for the smallest form factor, you really can’t get much better than this for the price.

This is easily one of the best budget ITX cases on the market (not just from NZXT!).

Best NZXT EATX Case / High-End Choice: NZXT H710

Our next choice is for those looking for an NZXT mid-tower case with a little more budget than the H510.

Despite the larger material dimensions, you’re still getting the same great SGCC steel / tempered glass exterior expected from the H series.

This is also one of our favorite NZXT white case options, the coloring looks fantastic in this black and white aesthetic.

The H710 is the largest case on the list and the closest you’ll get to an NZXT full tower in their range today. 

The case can impressively fit EATX motherboards up to 10.7 inches.

You’ll have room for:

  • 7 x expansion slots (with 2 extra vertical ones on the H510i model)
  • VGA length up to 413mm
  • 7 x 2.5″ & 2 x 3.5″ drive bays (with room to expand with a further 2 x 3.5″ bays)

Tied alongside a high-end ATX setup or EATX motherboard, you’re going to have amazing potential for a very powerful multi-GPU build here.

The storage is also particularly impressive.

With these drive bay allowances (tied with a large motherboard with NVMe storage options) this is a superb PC case for video editing, server or production usage.

The H710 is also easily the best NZXT case for airflow and cooling, with:

  • Up to 6 x 120mm + 1 x 140mm fans (with 3 AER 120 + 1 AER 140 case fans included)
  • Up to 7 x 120mm radiators (or larger size combinations in smaller quantities on the top/bottom)

Tied with a great space for cable management, and massive internal dimensions that will naturally give you more airflow. If you’re looking for an NZXT case for watercooling or overclocking, this is the top pick.

With the 4 high-quality fans included, although this is the expensive case option, it still offers fantastic value.

NZXT H700 vs H710 vs H710i

Similar to the H500 series, the main difference between H700 and H710 is that the latter has a USB Type C port on the I/O panel.

But it’s also the new refreshed model, so more readily available and likely cheaper than buying a H700 now, so stick to it even if you don’t care about this port.

For the H710i, you’re also getting the Smart Device V2 fan/RGB controller and 2 RGB strips for illumination.

The only non-aesthetic difference is the addition of 2 extra expansions slots for a vertical GPU mount (great for presentation).

These additions do look great and are a perfect basis for a beautiful RGB build (but if you can only afford H710, don’t fret: you are essentially getting the same case feature-wise).

Simply put, the H710 is the best NZXT ATX case for gaming and high-end production builds if you have more of a budget.

 

 

Best NZXT Micro ATX Case: NZXT H400i

2021 Update: The H400 series is the last remaining Micro ATX case by NZXT, and unfortunately appears to be in lower stock levels this year.

If it’s not in stock when you click through to the Amazon page, we’d recommend picking up the H510 and running an ATX build. Or, if you’re more focused on compactness, pickup the H210 and go for ITX (alternatively, we have alternative great mATX options available in other features).

Next up is for those looking for the best NZXT mATX case.

The most impressive thing about this PC tower case is that it retains (and in some ways, exceeds) many of the same great qualities as the H510 despite its mini tower form factor.

To start, it has the same great SGCC steel/tempered glass build and matte finish.

The mini form factor also means it looks particularly great for an on-desk setup.

You’re getting excellent internal capability for the size, with:

  • 4 x expansion slots
  • 3 x 2.5″ & 1 x 3.5″ drive bays
  • Graphics cards up to 411mm

This is an ideal NZXT gaming PC case for dual GPU (the most you’ll get out of a Micro ATX motherboard, but more than enough for a powerful setup).

The cooling is excellent for the dimensions, with:

  • Up to 5 x 120mm fans with 3 x Aer 120 Case fans included
  • Up to 2 x 140mm & 1 x 120mm radiators (again, combinable with a top 140mm fan)

As far as Micro ATX cases go, there is still a decent amount of room in here for cable management and airflow.

Between this and the cooling capability, you’ve got one of the best Micro ATX cases for overclocking for a mid-range price tag.

Of course, you are paying a premium above the H510 for this.

But if you have the budget and want to stick to a smaller form factor, this is an amazing choice.

 

 

Smallest NZXT Case: NZXT H1

2021 Update: NZXT has unfortunately temporarily stopped selling the H1 due to a fault with the GPU riser component. They’ve already advised they plan to continue this line and we’ll still recommend it/update this page when it’s back around. But for now, if you’re after ITX, go for the H210 (or if you want a similar case to the H1 from another brand, the SilverStone LD03B

And last but by no means least is for NZXT builders looking for the smallest PC case they can find.

The NZXT H1 is a new ITX case that boasts what feels like wizardry to create a small console-sized PC case for gaming.

The features include:

  • A PCIe 3 riser card to vertically install a GPU
  • 2 x expansion slots / GPU lengths up to 305mm 
  • Beautiful SGCC steel and tinted tempered glass exterior.
  • 2 x 2.5″ bays (many larger ITX cases only have 1)

With this space, you’ll still have room for most major GPUs on the market (but in a case this small be sure to check the full dimensions when buying GPU).

This is also a PC case with power supply included.

It’s an integrated 650W 80+ Gold PSU with the chassis designed around accomodating it and is enough for a great ITX gaming build.

On top of that, you have a pre-installed AIO 140mm Liquid Cooler for your CPU.

This is designed to be the only cooling required in the tower.

With a dual-chamber case design, the GPU and CPU are getting their own independent airflow in the case.

Of course in a case this small, you’re not going to get the cooling capability of a larger case.

But the fact that a case this small even exists for gaming is impressive in itself!

You’re still going to have a good cooling solution providing you don’t go hard on overclocking.

It’s one of the most expensive PC cases of its form factor, but with all of these features, you can probably see why.

For a high-end ITX build you’d of course need a compatible PSU and cooler anyway so it’s not like you’re paying a tall premium for just the case, there is a lot of value in the price tag.

If you’re building a portable gaming PC, focussed on style and have the budget, know that this is the best small NZXT case around.

Final Thoughts

Rest assured, the above are the best NZXT cases available today.

If you can’t afford the expensive options, don’t fret, we chose the H510 as our number one pick for a reason.

By all means, if you can fork out for the H1/H710 then great.

But the H510 will have everything an average gaming/production build will need.

Whatever the budget/choice, you’re going to love building in an NZXT tower!

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The 5 Best Blue PC Cases of 2021

Blue PC Case

The 5 Best Blue PC Cases of 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Dec 28, 2020

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Don’t want to be just another black and white PC builder?

If a pink or red chassis isn’t your style, there are some fantastic blue towers available.

Note however not all the cases of this color are worth going for; some we’d look to actively avoid.

This is why we’ve put together this feature to guide you through the best blue computer cases for gaming, streaming & production builds (video editing, etc).

Top Picks

Overall Best Blue Case: Fractal Design Focus G

This top pick was a fairly easy choice!

One of the best PC case manufacturers on the market, the Focus G is one of Fractal Design‘s case staples.

This blue mid-tower case has an excellent build quality for its price.

This includes a largely steel exterior, mesh front for increased airflow accompanied by 2 x high-quality Silent LL Series 120mm case fans with white LEDs.

These fans, alongside the awesome “petrol blue” coloring of the main chassis, give this an awesome design straight out of the box.

(And if you know Fractal, you’ll know that the fans will live up to the “silent” in their name).

Alongside the aesthetic, this blue ATX case has great internal space for:

  • 7 Expansion slots
  • VGA lengths up to 380mm
  • 2 x 2.5″ / 3.5″, 1 s x 2.5″ & 2 x 5.25″ drive bays

The VGA length capability and slots make this a great mid-range PC case for gaming.

The inclusion of 2 x 5.25″ drive bays is impressive in this day and age if you have use for them.

If not, there are many cheap brackets that can convert them into additional 2.5″ / 3.5″ drive bays if you’re looking for a high storage case for video editing or production work.

As far as cooling goes, you’ve got some good options here, with:

  • Up to 6 x 120mm fans (2 included)
  • Up to 1 x 280mm, 1 x 240mm & 1 x 120mm radiators

Combined with the mesh front plate, decent cable management, and good design for airflow, the Focus G is one of the best PC cases for cooling in its price range.

After reading all these features, you can probably see why we rate the Focus G so highly.

Whether you’re looking for a blue gaming PC case or one for production/personal use, this chassis hits an excellent sweet spot between features and value for money.

 

 

Runner-Up Best Blue Case: Silverstone Primera PM01

While not boasting the same blue exterior as the Focus G, the PM01 still looks great if you’re happy with a blue chassis based on LEDs.

Silverstone is another fantastic case manufacturer featured previously on What in Tech.

This white and blue PC case boasts a unique look.

With 3 x pre-installed blue LED case fans alongside multiple blue LED strips illuminating various sections.

All of these are nicely controllable from a slick LED button on the front I/O panel.

Another ATX case slightly larger than our top pick, you’ve got great space for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • Max graphics card lengths of 419mm
  • 4 x 2.5″ / 3.5″ & 5 x 2.5″ drive bays

That storage space is fantastic for the size!

We think the Focus G has enough of it for most builds but if you have a very intense storage demand (perhaps looking for a 4k video editing PC case or server) this would be an amazing option.

The increased size also lends itself nicely to cooling too, with:

  • Up to 7 x 120mm / 6 x 140mm fans with 3 x 140mm ones included
  • Up to 2 x 360mm & 1 x 140mm radiators

Between these options, you’ve got more than enough for a great overclocking PC case.

We ranked the Focus G above the PM01 because the price of the latter was about 20% higher at the time of review

Additionally, we also think someone looking at a blue PC tower specifically may appreciate having the largely blue exterior with options to add further blue LED case fans too.

But if you love the PM01 design, or need the slightly elevated features it has, then rest assured, it’s easily one of the best blue tower cases available.

 

 

Best Cheap Blue PC Case: DeepCool TX Tesseract SW

You may not have heard of DeepCool, but they’ve created an awesome budget blue PC case in the Tesseract SW.

With its exterior still impressively hosting some steel components (though mostly plastic) the build quality is good for the price.

With 2 x 120mm blue LED case fans pre-installed, in addition to the blue front lining against the mesh, the chassis looks great powered on.

A small ATX case, the SW still manages room for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • 310mm GPU max length
  • 3 x 2.5″, 4 x 3.5″ & 2 x 5.25″ drive bays

The GPU space is definitely less than the other choices, though you’ll still be able to get a powerful card (or 2) in here.

Although you definitely could go for an ATX motherboard, if you’re building a cheap setup in a case this size, we’d recommend building a Micro ATX PC instead (these boards are usually better for budget builds, especially in compact cases).

You can still get 6 x 120mm fans in the SW which is great for the size.

You’re not going to get the same airflow, cooling, or cable management as you would in our top picks, and we wouldn’t suggest this as a case for water cooling.

But with its fan capability, it’s certainly still capable of providing decent cooling for a budget gaming computer.

We would certainly recommend the top picks above the SW.

But if it’s the furthest your budget can go, know we’ve happily included it for a reason. It’s easily the best budget blue PC case on the market.

 

 

Best High-End Case: InWin D-Frame (Signature Motorcycle Steel)

Our premium pick is one of the most unique PC cases on the market, perfect for enthusiast builders.

With an incredible design, the D-frame manages to tick so many boxes from aesthetic to quality to feature capability.

To start, this is an aluminum PC case (the best PC case material for premium builds) with this metal used for its base and piping.

Over the top is a thick tempered glass window that beautifully displays a completed build (stock photos don’t do it justice).

It’s an open-frame PC case to maximize airflow/presentation (and making it a surprisingly portable PC case for carrying).

But the real wonder of the D-frame is that it’s not just pretty, offering:

  • 8 x expansion slots
  • GPUs up to 330m in length with vertical mounting options
  • 3 x 3.5″, 2 x 2.5″ & 1 x 5.25″ drive bays
  • Space for 4 x 120mm case fans
  • Subtle cable management options despite the large visible exposure

This may not sound like much for an ATX tower.

But for its dimensions, it’s fantastic and more than enough for a gaming PC with overclocking potential.

The same goes for the case fan availability. Bear in mind that while 4 x 120mm seems low, an open-frame PC case will give you lots more natural airflow than a standard chassis.

If you’re looking for one of the best-looking cases on the market for a truly unique presentation, this case is a wonderful option.

 

 

Best Blue EATX Case: Thermaltake View 71 Tempered Glass Edition

The View 71 is easily the best blue full tower case available today.

It may be much more subtle in its blue lighting than other cases on the list.

But combined with a few additional blue LED case fans and RGB parts, this will easily end up being one of the best-looking cases for an EATX setup.

This is largely down to its excellent build quality, starting with a high-quality SPCC steel exterior.

Covering that exterior are 4 beautiful, thick tempered-glass windows shrouding the front, top, left & right sides of the case.

These windows are tinted, which may sound counterintuitive for a build focussed on lighting, but LED case fans/hardware always looks better through a slight tint.

If you’re buying an E-ATX case, the focus also needs to be on what feature availability you’re getting for a high-end build (whether gaming or production).

The View 71 is fantastic in this regard, with:

  • 8 + 2 (vertical mount) expansion slots
  • VGA lengths up to 410mm (without HDD rack)
  • 4 x 2.5″ / 3.5″ HDD rack and hidden bay for up to 3 x 3.5″ or 3.5″ drives

Alongside an EATX motherboard, you have incredible space in here for a very powerful multi-GPU gaming/streaming PC or a rig perfect for video editing with the amount of storage you can achieve.

Now, how about cooling all of that?

Well, the View 71 provides the most cooling options out of any blue PC case, with:

  • Up to 6 x 140mm & 2 x 120mm case fans with 2 x excellent quality blue ring LED fans included
  • 3 x 420mm, 1 x 240mm & 1 x 140mm radiators

As you can see, there’s an eye-popping amount of cooling capability.

Combined with a great internal airflow design and fantastic capable management facilities to maximize the cooling further.

This is easily one of the best PC cases for overclocking and liquid cooling, 

If you have the budget, are building a high-end gaming PC (or production setup) and the InWin D-Frame doesn’t meet your space requirement, this is hands down the best blue PC case on the market for large builds.

More Blue Computer Case Options?

We’d highly recommend the above picks for a blue PC case.

But if none of them suit you, we’ve included a couple of additional options:

Blue build based on a PC case with LED fans

  1. Purchase a case that can show off a lot of internal light
  2. Install blue LED case fans inside the tower
  3. If you want to take it further, you can also buy an RGB motherboard that will give you onboard lighting and utility to add further blue strips

Spray paint a PC case blue

If you’re willing to do a little DIY, you can paint a case yourself using a white pc case as a base (we provide an overview of how to do this here).

Best Blue Micro ATX Case or Mini ITX Case?

We always try to include recommendations for builders looking at smaller form factors.

As far as blue computer cases in a mid-range price range go though, there simply aren’t any we would recommend.

If your heart is set on these sizes, we would suggest following our steps just above on getting a clear pc case with blue LED fans.

Our top budget pick (the Tesseract SW) is also on the small side for its ATX form factor and wouldn’t be bad for a budget micro ATX gaming PC.

For a blue ITX case, there is also a smaller version of our top-end pick, the D-frame mini.

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How to Limit or Turn Off Auto Updates on Steam – Quick Guide

How to Limit or Turn Off Auto Updates on Steam

Kaelum Ross

I

Jun 9, 2020

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Want to stop a Steam update that will inevitably slow your internet speed?

Perhaps a new “fix” is known to crash the game and you want to hold off until the devs resolve?

Whatever the reason, we’ve created a fast guide on the options you have to disable auto-updates on Steam.

Quick note before we start: Steam auto-updates by default for a reason. Which is why they make it close to impossible to fully stop.

For the most part, new versions will fix issues or add features, so only disable updates if you have a reason to (we only recommend this for single player games).

Table of Contents

How to Turn Off Auto Updates on Steam for Specific Games

To stop Steam from updating games one at a time, start at your Steam library and right-click the game in question and click “Properties”.

Once the window opens, go to the “Updates” tab and you’ll see an “Automatic updates” dropdown box.

Set it to “Only update this game when I launch it” as below.

Steam does not give you the option to completely disable auto-updates so this is the best you can do within the app.

If you want to then play a Steam game without updating, your best option is to play in offline mode.

How to Turn Off Auto Updates on Steam for All Games

Unfortunately, there isn’t a supported way to do this.

But below are the closest methods found.

Option 1 – Download Steam Games at Certain Times

If you’re doing this because you don’t want games downloads affecting your broadband speeds, you can schedule Steam updates.

Click “Steam” in the top left corner and then “Settings”

Then go to the “Downloads” tab and you will see an option to set a time window for Steam updates as below:

If you really want to ensure Steam doesn’t update games, you can set the schedule to something like 4-5am and then make sure Steam is off or in offline mode during that period/when you play games.

Option 2 – How to Limit Steam Download Speeds

Another effective way to deal with Steam slowing down your internet is to set a Steam Bandwidth Limit.

Going to the same settings menu as option 1 above (Steam – > Settings – > Downloads) you can easily set a download limit for Steam as below:

How to Access Previous Versions of a Steam Game

Some games allow you to play older versions on Steam.

To do this, once again right-click on a game in your Steam library and click “properties”.

Go to the “Betas” tab and click on the dropdown box.

If there are other versions available, simply click on the one you want and Steam will download that version.

(Our example uses Super Meat Boy, which uses an older version for speedrunners).

The 8 Best EATX Motherboards of 2021

Best-EATX-Motherboard

The 8 Best EATX Motherboards of 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Jan 13, 2021

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Sometimes, ATX isn’t big enough.

Perhaps you’re looking for a motherboard form factor that can accommodate the most high-end build/overclocking possible.

Whether it’s for the most powerful gaming PC, streaming rig, server, or even a production build, E-ATX is the way to go.

Which is why we’ve put together this feature on the best E-ATX motherboards available today.

(We’ve even included an XL-ATX choice for someone who wants the largest motherboard for their next monster setup).

Top Picks

Intel vs AMD EATX Motherboards

We’ve touched on this topic more in our motherboard CPU combos feature.

While AMD usually takes the top spot in the mid-range Micro ATX / ATX motherboard sizes, Intel is king for E-ATX.

There are simply more good options available between the Z490 and X299 chipsets in this form factor when building a very high-end PC.

This is why we’ve primarily focussed this guide on Intel options.

The picks below are some of the best options for Intel Core i9-9900K and 10th gen HEDT CPUs.

(But we’ve included a very worthy high-end AMD Extended-ATX motherboard pick for those interested).

Now, let’s get to it:

Overall Best E-ATX Motherboard: EVGA Z490 Dark

What a beast this is.

The EVGA Z490 Dark strikes an amazing balance between accommodating different types of high-end builders whilst also maintaining excellent value for its price.

Yes, it is an expensive motherboard. But considering the form factor’s purpose is usually for HEDT PCs, many other competitive picks are close to the 4-figure mark, this EVGA offering sits at around half of that.

We like the approach EVGA has taken with the Z490 Dark; specifically, they’ve reduced bandwidth consumption on certain elements that will not be used by an overwhelming amount of users.

The two main examples are the 2 dual-channel DIMM slots and max-2 SLI/crossfire GPU capacity (with 3 x PCIe x16 available onboard).

Sure, this sounds low if you’re after a HEDT motherboard and demand the greatest specs possible.

But the balance has been crafted around still providing enough capability for most users, while also allowing you to push as much as possible with overclocking your CPU, GPU, and RAM all at an impressive motherboard price.

To put it another way, 64GB of RAM (that could be 4800MHz+) and 2 (even 1) GPU on this board would make for a superb 4k gaming motherboard or high-end production desktop.

(If you’re one of the rare users who does demand more GPUs/RAM, say for very intensive rendering, video production, or a server PC build, then our premium picks below will be for you).

Speaking of overclocking; this is, of course, the crowning jewel of the Z490 Dark; with an oversized VRM cooler, great quality-of-life features surrounding the board (including a unique layout specifically designed to better transmit heat/bandwidth between integral parts), and a great software interface for the BIOs, you are really set up well here to do build something truly special.

The other great SSD storage options that you’ll enjoy for a high-end build is 2 x M.2 110m storage (up to 32GBps) & 1 x U.2 NVMe.

With the fantastic Z490 chipset, this one of the best LGA 2000 motherboards around, giving you compatibility with Intel’s latest 10th gen processors, you’ll be able to achieve some incredible processing power.

The EVGA Z490 has many more great features that we could take all day describing, from a good featured I/O panel to great onboard audio.

While this is certainly one of the best gaming motherboards today, we would go further and say it has all you need if you’re building a high-end production PC too (unless you need the extra RAM/GPU capability as mentioned above)

Simply put, if you’re looking at an EATX PC and don’t want to fork out double the price for the high-end picks below, this is a no brainer.

Runner-Up Best E-ATX Motherboard: Gigabyte X299X AORUS Master

If you’re going for an Intel E-ATX motherboard, we’d highly recommend our top pick as the chipset will better suit you for the latest 10th Gen Intel CPUs.

That being said, if you are interested in X299X chipset, this Gigabyte motherboard is a feature-packed option..

This board offers:

The above are just the highlights. 

There are a bunch of additional onboard/BIOs features that make this a premium motherboard (anything from excellent onboard heatsinks to great build quality for durability in a heavy EATX PC Case).

Combined they make this the best motherboard for overclocking on X299 at its respective price-point.

With the incredible graphics card, storage, RAM, and cooling capability, you’ve got a great motherboard for video editing, gaming, streaming, and production.

As good as the Aorus Master is, it’s still on the CPU chipset that is becoming outdated compared to our top pick’s one, so bear that in mind.

That said, if your wallet is thick but not so thick that you’re looking at the pricier picks and are interested in building with an X299 CPU, then this is a good E-ATX mobo pick for you.

High-End Best Intel E-ATX Motherboard: MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE

And now we come to the choice for those who care more for power than price.

Brand new to the market, this MSI motherboard is simply incredible.

To start, it’s built on the Z490 chipset / LGA 1200 socket, which combined with the features below, easily makes this one of (if not the) best motherboard for Core i9 10900K and other 10th gen CPUs.

  • 3 x PCI-e x16 slots
  • 4 x DDR4 RAM slots with max speeds up to 5000 MHz+
  • Fantastic I/O panel with Intel JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller
  • 3 x M.2 storage outputs with Frozr heatsinks, and an adapter for a further 2

You may be asking yourself, “why does this board have less max RAM/GPU slots than our runner-up pick”?

Well, while we love the high RAM/GPU approach, the Z490 GODLIKE has chosen alternate bandwidth allocations.

Each motherboard can only circulate so much power and this MSI offering puts more into its CPU chipset, overclocking potential, and other features.

We’re sure you’ve also noticed that this is perhaps the best looking motherboard on the market.

With a fantastic array of headers for an RGB build, wonderful LED lighting, and an OLED screen to act as a “dashboard” for your computer status.

With a host of onboard features and incredible thermal solutions across the board, reviews are quickly finding that this is one of the best motherboards for overclocking available.

You’re going to get incredible high FPS 4K gaming if tied with the right CPU/GPUs, and a future-proofed production machine with the insane RAM overclocking.

If budget isn’t a concern, and your only question is “how do I achieve the most power” for your Intel build, this is the one.

High-End Best AMD E-ATX Motherboard: MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE

Now, we’ve focussed on Intel E-ATX mobos as there are better options for them in most of the price ranges.

But for a premium choice, MSI released an AMD version of our top Intel pick that is just as impressive.

This AMD offering stands out for a few reasons, but the biggest is that it’s one of the best X570 motherboards on the market perfect for Ryzen 9 CPUs.

The X570 chipset enables PCI-e 4.0 support which will give you incredible bandwidth/performance for top-end GPUs/M.2 storage.

While this bandwidth may not be fully exploited with all current hardware, you easily have one of the best motherboards for an RX 5700 / other 5000 GPUs as these can take advantage of it.

Let’s breakdown the spec highlights:

  • 4 x PCIe 4.0 x16 slots with 4-way Crossfire support
  • 4 x DDR4 slots with up to 128GB RAM OC’ed up to 5000Mhz+
  • 3 x onboard high-performance M.2 storage with an M.2 XPANDER-Z GEN 4 PCIe adapter allowing for 2 more, all with excellent thermal control
  • Incredible build quality, design and light features (including onboard lights, RGB header availability and OLED screen)
  • Fantastic onboard audio and Wi-Fi

As we’ve stated above, you can make an incredible gaming build with 2-3 GPUs.

But if you’re looking for more, this is perhaps the best Quad-GPU motherboard available today.

Additionally, the thermal solutions across the board will give you incredible overclocking capability, with benchmarks showing amazing OC performance on this board for RAM, CPUs, and GPUs.

The top of its class, the GODLIKE is one of, if not the best X570 motherboard on the market.

If your heart is set on AMD and this is out of your price range, there are good options in other form factors.

But if you have the budget, know that you really can’t get much better than this.

Best Budget E-ATX Motherboard: MSI X299 Pro

If you’re going for an E-ATX build, whether for high-end gaming or production, we’d recommend the picks above, especially the 10th gen Intel choices.

That being said, what MSI manages to fit into this cheap EATX motherboard is insane for the price if you’re looking at a X299 chipset.

This includes:

  • 8 x DDR4 RAM slots for up to 256GB memory (up to 4200Mhz)
  • 4 x PCIe x16 slots with capability for up to 3-way SLI GPU builds.
  • 2 x M.2 storage outputs
  • Decent RGB header options available (though check our other feature if a lot of light is important to you).

As you can see, you still have the utility here for a high-end build for gaming, streaming, and other production rigs.

If you’re in the video editing business (or similar), it’s the RAM offers an insane amount of future-proofing for memory (though to be clear, most users do not need to buy 8 slots worth of RAM).

You don’t have the same level of onboard features for overclocking/cooling as you do on the above boards, but it’s still capable of great clock speeds across your hardware.

The issue with this pick for budget builds is that it’s a X299 motherboard; we think most budget builders are going to significantly prefer Motherboard/CPU combos that are either LGA 1151, budget LGA 1200, or AM4.

But if your goal is focussed on the best cheap extended ATX motherboard, the MSI X299 Pro fits the bill better than any other.

Best XL-ATX Motherboard: Gigabyte X299X AORUS Designare 10G

2021 Update: The XL-ATX mobo market is very slim these days, so much that there is no current recommendation for motherboards on any Intel 10th gen chipsets. We’ve kept this recommendation at the bottom of our list if you are happy to be after a X299 build but in nearly every case, we’d recommend looking at our E-ATX picks above.

We’ll start by repeating what is said in our complete guide to motherboard sizes:

You don’t need an XL-ATX motherboard over an E-ATX one for a large high-end build.

The options above will give you more than enough for a premium gaming motherboard (or for production, streaming, etc).

That being said…

If you simply want more space to play with in a “super tower” PC case, we included this as it’s still a fantastic pick.

A Socket 2066 motherboard, the AORUS Designare boast:

  • 8 x DDR4 RAM slots for up to 256GB memory at 
  • 4 PCIe x16 outputs capable of 4-way CrossFire or SLI builds
  • A fantastic I/O panel including 2 x Thunderbolt 3 connectors
  • Great Onboard Realtek ALC1220-VB HD audio
  • Gorgeous LED lighting with great RGB header support for an RGB build
  • Fantastic build quality with lots of port reinforcement, good for such a large setup

When you can combine this colossal graphics card capability with all of the onboard thermal solutions/excellent BIOs, you have one of the best gaming motherboards for overclocking.

Its price-point sits in between our top picks and high-end picks, and we’d say that’s about right for what it offers.

If you’re looking to build an absolute monstrous PC both in power and size, this is perhaps the best XL-ATX Intel motherboard available.

Alternative Quick-Fire Picks (Best of the Rest)

The top 6 picks are our main choices for the best extended-ATX motherboards. However, we’ve included a couple more options just in case you have very specific requirements.

Cheapest E-ATX Motherboard: EVGA X299 FTW K

Due to the volatile nature of Motherboard prices on Amazon, it’s possible that our top budget pick may be cheaper at the time you’re looking. But usually, the EVGA X299 is the cheapest option for EATX builds if you’re comfortable with the X299 chipset.

Best TRX40 E-ATX Board: ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha

If you’re after the best E-ATX motherboard for AMD, but are more inclined towards the TR40 chipset over the mainstream CPUs, the Zenith II Extreme Alpha is your best bet.

What's Next?

The 10 Best RGB PC Cases of 2021

Best RGB PC Case Cover

The 10 Best RGB PC Cases of 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Jan 1, 2021

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Let’s be honest.

Aesthetic is a massive factor when buying a PC case for your exciting new build.

Sure, if you’re building a gaming, streaming, or production PC, you want it to have decent cooling, space, and build quality too.

But why not both?

We’ve put together this feature to go over the best RGB computer cases on the market today.

They’ve been chosen not just based on pretty lighting, but their ability to perform/overall value.

Whatever shape, size, budget, or function you’re looking for, we’ve covered the best RGB case options for you below.

We’re aware beauty is in the eye of the beholder which is why we’ve included a lot of different design options, including some extra ones within certain categories –  we recommend looking through the whole list if you’re picky.

So without further ado…

 Table of Contents – Top Picks

Overall Best RGB PC Case: Corsair iCUE 220T RGB Tempered Glass

This is an awesome chassis from Corsair, one of the best case manufacturers around.

A lot of this list is more focused on cases with in-built LED lighting (instead of LED fans), but the iCUE 220T packs an incredible value with its fan inclusions.

Let’s start with the design.

The exterior is made of good quality steel and thick tempered glass on the side/front.

These windows are slightly tinted, which may sound counter-intuitive for an RGB computer case.

But having strong LED lights shine through tinting actually provides a way more sophisticated look (don’t worry, they’ll still be bright!).

Speaking of lights…

This case includes 3 x high-quality CORSAIR SP120 RGB PRO fans.

These are addressable RGB fans each including 8 separate LEDs.

You’re then also getting an iCUE Lighting Node CORE fan controller included.

This will give you the ability to control your 3 included fans (and up to 3 more) with the fantastic Corsair iCue software.

But it’s not just a good looking PC case.

The iCUE 220T is a compact mid-tower case designed for an ATX motherboard (or smaller).

With space for:

  • 7 expansion slots
  • VGA lengths up to 300mm
  • 2 x 3.5″ & 2 x 2.5″ drive bays

For a gaming PC case, you’ve got room for a powerful GPU build despite it being about 30% smaller than the average ATX tower.

Cooling wise, you’ll be getting:

  • Up to 6 x 120mm fans (with 3 included)
  • Up to 1 x 360mm, 1 x 240mm & 1 x 120mm

It’s impressive that despite being one of the smallest ATX cases around, there’s still room in here for an impressive amount of airflow.

That includes a full-length PSU shroud to aid your cable management, the build is deceptively capable of good ventilation and would manage well for overclocking.

Side-note: we also wanted to shout out the iCUE 220T mesh edition. Which we’ve featured previously on What in Tech, it has a similarly great spec/value if you prefer the mesh front panel design.

Reading the above build quality, RGB fan/controller inclusion, and space, you’ll see why we’ve ranked this case at the top spot.

Tied with further RGB hardware you can achieve an incredibly unique aesthetic.

But even out of the box, the iCUE 220T still looks amazing and is one of the best value PC cases on the market.

Runner-Up Best RGB PC Case: MUSETEX Phantom 907

We don’t often give such a small manufacturer a high accolade as the larger brands often beat them out.

But MUSETEX has created a really impressive PC case for RGB builders at an insane value-point (we nearly gave it the #1 pick and it should be considered as much as the Corsair 220T for many of you).

The build quality is great, with a steel exterior and 2 sturdy tempered glass windows covering the side and front panels.

You’re getting an incredible 6 x pre-installed RGB fans.

These are also connected to a fan controller that works with an included remote with plenty of features.

It might not be made for the top of the line Corsair/ASUS RGB software.

But you’re getting an incredible amount of customization. Anything from static colors to having your lights change to music/your voice.

Tied with further RGB hardware, it’s hard to imagine needing much more out of an RGB ATX case.

The 907 has good space too, with:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • Maximum GPU lengths of 380mm
  • 3 x 2.5″ & 3 x 3.5″ drive bays

As you might expect from the above, this chassis is slightly larger than the top Corsair PC case, with a good amount of room not just for more hard drives/SSDs, but pretty much any mainstream graphics card on the market (including RTX 3090, 3080 & 3070s).

It even boasts support for EATX motherboards (though we recommend our high-end pick below if you’re looking for an EATX RGB case).

Cooling wise, you’re already set with the 6 x included fans and some good cable management/airflow features.

Between the space and included fans, it’s not just pretty; the 907 is also a great RGB gaming case for overclocking.

That said, if you were looking at liquid cooling, we’d recommend the other cases on this list (as much of the value comes from the included fans).

Simply put, the Phantom 907 is one of the best RGB PC cases available for mid-range builders.

With its great space on top of the included cooling, you’ve got awesome options here for anything from a gaming PC to streaming to a video editing rig.

Best Budget RGB PC Case: AeroCool Klaw

If possible, we’d recommend forking out a slightly more for the other picks on the list.

But with that being said, the AeroCool Klaw is a very impressive offering if you’re looking for a mid-tower RGB case on a very tight budget.

With an SPCC steel exterior, ABS plastic front, and tempered glass side panel, you’re still getting a fairly good build quality (though not quite on par with the more expensive options).

But the RGB is where this case really shines.

Included you’ll have:

  • 3 addressable RGB strips running down the front of the case (all controlled via a button on the front I/O panel)
  • 3 x pre-installed RGB ring fans (also fully addressable)

These fans aren’t the same quality as our top picks, but for the price, it’s a very decent value point.

This RGB ATX case includes space for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • GPUs up to 370mm
  • 2 x 2.5″ /3.5″ & 4 x 2.5 ” drive bays

If you’re building a budget gaming PC, we assume you’re looking at a single GPU setup, which this case can definitely perform well with.

Cooling wise, you can have up to 6 fans (with the 3 RGB 120mm fans included).

We wouldn’t recommend going down the liquid cooling route in this cheap RGB PC case.

The cable management/airflow won’t be quite as decent as our top offerings but you’ll still be able to cool a budget gaming PC without concern.

If you’re looking for the cheapest RGB PC case possible, you could go even cheaper with the AeroCool Bolt.

But we’ve chosen the Claw as our top pick because, with just a little bit more money, you’re getting the 3 RGB fans included.

As far as PC cases with RGB capability go, this is the best value-point for those with a slim wallet.

Sure we’d recommend some of the other cases, but if this is what fits your budget, you’re still going to have a great time with the Claw.