The 15 Best PC Cases of 2021

Best PC Cases

Source: Jaqobe

The 15 Best PC Cases of 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Jan 2, 2021

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We’ve been through a lot of cases on What in Tech.

Anything from the cheapest to the largest to the quietest (to name a few).

But after 100s of PC case reviews, which stand out as the top choices?

Today’s feature is here to guide you through the best computer cases for gaming, general use, streaming, and production requirements (e.g. video editing) in all shapes, sizes, and budgets.

Top Picks

Best of the Rest: Quick-Fire Picks

Overall Best PC Case: Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic

What a fantastic PC case this is.

From one of the best tower manufacturers in the business today; the PC-011 is simply incredible at balancing everything most users want: build quality, design, internal features, and airflow all at a fantastic mid-range price-point.

Starting with aesthetic: the PC-011 is not done justice by stock photos.

We also gave the PC-011 the best looking PC case accolade. With an exterior made of beautifully finished thick aluminum and dual full-length tempered glass windows, it has the nicest build quality in its price range (as durable as it is beautiful).

The tower looks slick on its own, but what really gives it such a unique presentation is how a completed, powered-on build looks with the case’s fantastic internal visibility (this feature’s cover photo is an example, but the chassis looks even better in person). We love how much aesthetic customization you have here; you can go all out with an RGB lighting build, or something more minimalist. Either way, the chassis looks great.

Many of the PC-011’s competitors will just have a half-length window on the side only (with a PSU shroud at the bottom). The full-length windows on 2 sides may seem daunting if you’re a novice builder and can’t hide your cables at the bottom, but the PC-011 is a dual-chamber PC case. This means it has an additional compartment behind the motherboard designed for your “uglier” parts (think PSUs, drives, and cable management). Not only does this mean that you can get an incredibly clean aesthetic in the main chamber, but your primary parts will have more room to breathe/benefit from better airflow.

But this is far from just a beautiful chassis.

The PC-011 is an ATX PC case, with great space inside for:

  • 8 expansion slots
  • 2 x 3.5″ + 4 x 2.5″ drive bays
  • GPU length up to 420mm (more than enough room for mainstream cards, and one of the best PC cases for RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090 graphics cards)
  • I/O front panel that includes a USB3.1 Type-C

We think the PC-011 is the best ATX case for gaming available, with its excellent space for GPU installation/breathing room, more than enough storage capacity (hidden in the second chamber for a clean setup), and a beautiful aesthetic to show off your fancy hardware.

But the cherry on top for its gaming capability (or even someone more focussed on production), is the cooling. With up to:

  • 9 x 120mm fans
  • 1 x 360mm, 1 x 280mm & 1 x 240mm radiators

This is a fantastic allotment for the dimensions of the case. Bear in mind that’s on top of the dual-chamber design that already gives you a great internal layout for ventilation.

We’ve included a choice below that we consider the best case for airflow, but the PC-011 really does have everything most builders will need in this respect. The fact that Lian Li has also managed to create such a beautiful and durable offering alongside its internal feature/cooling capability at a mid-range price is simply fantastic.

The last PC case you’ll need for a long time, we consider the PC-011 to be the best computer tower on the market today to satisfy most builder’s needs and simply can’t recommend it enough.

Best PC Case for Quiet Builds: Fractal Design Define R5

Now, as much as we love the PC-011, there is one competitor that makes the top computer case spot a very close race.

Fractal Design has been at the peak of the case manufacturing game for years, and their flagship Define R series has been refined over many iterations to the R5 which, without a doubt, is the best quiet PC case in the mid-range price point.

If you are more inclined towards a minimalist PC case, the R5 shines in aesthetic. With a beautiful, sophisticated steel build surrounding most of its exterior (the front is plastic to retain lightness when opening the front panel, but has a beautiful metal finish).

Fractal are the masters of the quiet computer case. The R5 is the epitome of that; with its windowless design and powerful sound-dampening materials throughout. Even with a powerful gaming/production rig running inside, you can expect to have something very close to silence.

The best part about all of the low-decibel capability? The R5 is still an excellent PC case for cooling. Many towers dedicated to quietness compromise by running hotter, but this Fractal offering still records excellent low temps in benchmarks, with capacity for:

  • Up to 9 x 140mm fans with 2 top-quality Fractal Design Dynamic GP-14 fans (designed for silent builds) included
  • Or up to 420mm top, 360mm side, 240mm bottom & 140mm rear radiators

This is a fantastic allotment, with both water cooling and fan cooling builders having great options here with the R5 being one of the best PC cases for overclocking if you also don’t want your setup to sound like a jet engine.

While you don’t need the hyper-clean internals that a window PC case demands, the R5 still has some decent cable routing facilities to keep your internal ventilation going well.

This Fractal chassis is a mid-tower case, with room inside for:

  • 7 expansion slots
  • VGA card lengths up to 310mm (enough space for most GPUs, but can be expanded up to 440mm with HDD cage removal)
  • 8 x 3.5″ / 2.5″, 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x 5.25″ drive bays
  • Decent, easy to use dust filters
  • Minimalist I/O top panel including USB 3.0, 2.0 & a fan controller (perfect to control noise depending on your task).

The R5 is one of the top computer cases for gaming; but as you can see from the incredible storage space, this would also be an excellent production chassis if your work demands a large quantity of hard drives (think video editors, rendering, etc.).

All-in-all, what makes the Define R5 so impressive is how it pretty much ticks all of the boxes.

It’s well-built, beautifully minimalist, runs cool, has one of the best sound-dampening setups, and has great internal room for whatever your build demands.

And all of that comes at a mid-range price?

If you like the idea of a quieter PC case, or simply prefer the aesthetic over the PC-011, know this is easily one of the best mid-tower cases that has ever been produced.

Best PC Case for Airflow: Corsair Obsidian Series 750D Airflow Edition

Next up is one of our favorite offerings from perhaps the biggest PC case brand today.

Corsair’s 750D Airflow Edition is, as the name suggests, a case designed to offer the best ventilation and cooling for mid-range builders. 

While the PC-011 and Define R5 has excellent cooling capabilities in their own right for gaming/production use, the 750D is even more impressive if decent airflow is your single most important objective.

This case has been around for several years simply because it hasn’t needed any serious refinement (why fix what ain’t broke?). With a build quality consisting of aluminum, high-quality steel, and tempered glass; the 750D is very durable and has a balanced aesthetic between the high visibility vs minimalist designs of our top two picks (with still enough window space for you to show off your beautiful internal hardware).

One of the best full tower PC cases on the market, you have room for:

  • E-ATX motherboard compatibility
  • 9 x expansion slots
  • GPU length clearance up to 450mm
  • 3 x optical/5.25″, 4 x 2.5″ & 6 x 2.5″ / 3.5″ hybrid drive bays

As you can probably tell, there is some serious room in this case for a powerful build; be it for gaming, streaming, or other high-end usages.

You’ll have no issues fitting mainstream graphics cards inside. Tied with its great airflow, this is one of the best PC cases for RTX 3080, 3090, or 3070 overclocking.

Speaking of airflow, this is what this 750D edition was designed to excel in, with:

  • Up to 5 x 140mm and 4 x 120mm fans (with 3 top quality 140mm fans included)
  • Or up to 1 x 360mm, 1 x 280mm & 1 x 140mm radiators

Not only are these cooling specs great, but you’re combining it with a case design that is internally and externally very well equipped for ventilation & cable management. You can achieve some really excellent temps in the 750D (and you certainly don’t need to max out the fan/radiator count to do so, the generously included 3 140mm fans would be enough to get a build up and running).

While we give the overall top PC case edge to the Lian Li and Fractal offerings, you can probably see why we still hold the 750D in high regard.

If your focus is on ensuring ventilation for a beastly setup, or if you prefer the balanced aesthetic of this Corsair offering, then know it’s one of the best full tower cases on the market today.

Best Budget PC Case: Phanteks Eclipse P300A Mesh

We appreciate some readers will be looking for the best cheap PC case options for a budget build. Phanteks, another classic manufacturer, has a fantastic offering in the P300A Mesh.

While we do explore an even cheaper computer case further below (the N200), this Phanteks case represents the best compromise between running at a much cheaper price range, while still retaining what we believe any good budget gaming, streaming or general use build will want.

The build quality, while not up to quite the same level as our top 3 picks, is still very impressive for the price. With a full steel exterior and tempered glass side panel, it’s a surprisingly beautiful case when you compare it to other budget options. The full-length mesh front panel excellent way to provide additional ventilation without loading up on fan purchases (there is a non-mesh edition if you prefer the design, but we would go with mesh if you’re looking to cool as cheap as possible).

This is a budget ATX case, still boasting good room inside for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • 355mm GPU clearance (enough for nearly all mainstream cards)
  • 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x 2.5″ / 3.5″ drive bays 

With all the GPU and storage room we think anyone would need on a low wallet, this is easily one of the best budget PC cases for gaming.

Cooling-wise, you have room for:

  • Up to 3 x 140mm + 1 x 120mm fans with 1 120mm fan included
  • Or up to 1 x 280mm + 1 x 120mm radiator (could be combined with a 140mm fan)

While this capability isn’t as high as the more expensive options on the list, there is enough here to comfortably cool a budget gaming/streaming PC.

We like how even at this price range, with the case already being relatively high quality, you’re still getting an included fan. You’ll want an extra 1-2 fans for most builds, but with the mesh ventilation design, this is a great little runner.

If you’re looking for the best cheap PC case for gaming, or another classic budget build, this is the best you’ll find on the market today.

Best PC Case for Watercooling & Large Builds: Thermaltake Tower 900

Now, if you’re looking for something more high-end, perhaps for an extra-large PC or to liquid cool your premium gaming/production setup, the Tower 900 is one of the best options available to you.

Thermaltake is another fantastic brand in the chassis business. Amongst their many great offerings, the Tower 900 really stands out in so many ways.

Starting with its aesthetic/build quality: the 900 is dubbed the “fish tank pc case”, with a wonderfully thick SGCC steel exterior and 3 durable full-size tempered glass windows. This is one of the sturdiest clear PC cases available today. It’s built to last and has a commanding presence due to its huge size. 

This is another chassis that isn’t done justice by stock photos. Not only does it have great visibility, but its also one of the best modular PC cases on the market, giving you incredible customization capability in how you setup your parts/cooling, you can get an amazing look. On top of that, the Tower 900 is a dual-chamber case, with room in the second hidden compartment for your cables, power supply, and drives (to hide away for aesthetic and ventilation purposes).

One of the top full tower cases available today, there’s room for:

  • E-ATX Motherboard support
  • 8 expansion slots
  • GPUs up to 400mm (with vertical mounting install options)
  • 1 x 5.25″, 6 x 2.5″/3.5″ & 2 x 2.5″ drive bays

With these specs, you have an incredible PC case for multi-GPU setups, serious overclocking, and other demanding build types (we like that there is an option for an optical drive too even though we appreciate most users no longer require this).

To take such an intense build further, you have some seriously capable cooling capability, with room for up to:

  • 13 x 120mm fans
  • Or 1 x 480mm & 1 x 560mm radiators (or other smaller variations of these sizes)

This case is big, but there aren’t many other cases at its dimensions that provide this level of cooling. We rank this as the best PC case for liquid cooling not just for the number of radiators, but the incredible modularity in the chassis that will really allow you to get the exact setup you want (not just practically, but aesthetically).

The Tower 900 is a beast in build quality, cooling, and internal space. If you’re someone looking after a unique aesthetic, or you’re serious about building something truly monstrous, we think you’ll love this chassis.

Cheapest PC Case for Gaming: Cooler Master N200

Now, while we would recommend you at least try and go with our top budget option (the Phanteks P300A) if possible, we appreciate some readers will be looking for the best computer tower we can comfortably recommend at very low price ranges.

We did a full feature on this recently, and the clear stand-out is the Cooler Master N200.

This cheap Micro ATX case is a little smaller than our other picks, in the mini tower form factor. But for a super budget build, mATX PC cases are exactly what you should be looking at.

So why does the N200 stand out? Well at its incredibly low price tag, you’re still getting:

  • A case from a reputable manufacturer (many super-cheap computer cases are from lesser-known brands).
  • A build quality superior to its other competitors at the same price point
  • 2 120mm fans – this inclusion is simply fantastic for the price and, combined with the mesh ventilation around the case, will be enough to get a budget setup going
  • Great GPU space for a budget gaming mATX case: up to 355mm (more than enough for nearly all cards)
  • 1 x 5.25″, 3 x 2.5″ & 4 x 3.5″ drive bays (we can’t imagine any budget builder needing even half of these bays)

The N200’s specs really are very impressive for the price. The fact that you’re getting 120mm fans is especially excellent as they could’ve easily included 0, and we’d still be highly recommending it for budget builds!

If you’re looking at gaming, we would recommend adding an extra fan or 2 eventually (with the N200 supporting up to 4 x 120mm) but this won’t be essential to get the build started if you’re on an extra tight budget.

If you’re looking for a non-gaming PC case for a general use build, then the fans included will be all the cooling you need.

If your budget can’t stretch any further than the N200, know that you’re still in luck, Cooler Master has really knocked it out of the park for those after the cheapest computer case possible.

Best Micro ATX Case: Thermaltake S100

Much of our list has been focused on the top ATX computer cases. For those interested in the best Micro ATX PC cases for gaming, streaming, or other use, we consider the S100 to be the best option.

Coming in at a very impressive price, the design of the S100 is beautiful. With a slick SPCC steel exterior and full-length tempered glass window, you’re getting an aesthetic and build quality rivaled by little else at the price point. We like that the window is an easy-access magnetic swivel design too. Too many PC case windows are still screw-based. The S100’s approach is way nicer and makes the building process more pleasant.

As you’d expect even from the best mATX cases, there’s a reduction in internal feature space; but still more than enough for most builders, with:

  • 4 x expansion slots
  • VGA lengths up to 330mm (enough for nearly all mainstream cards)
  • 2 x 2.5″ / 3.5″ and 2 x 2.5″ drive bays
  • Can host up to 6 x 120mm fans (with 1 pre-installed)

All the specs are decent for a chassis with this dimension range; with more than enough storage/GPU space for gaming or most other setup types.

We like that on top of having a pre-installed 120mm fan, the case can host up to 5 more. This is great for the form factor and gives you everything you need to cool even a powerful GPU.

Simply put, the S100 is an excellent all-rounder. It could be 20% more expensive and we’d still highly recommend it. Because of its very competitive price, we consider it to be the best mini-tower case for the average mATX build.

Best Mini ITX Case: Thermaltake Core V1

We’ve recommended the Core V1 many times in our various PC case features, and it’s no surprise that it comes out as the best smaller form factor PC case available.

The V1 is one of the most popular PC cases for Mini ITX builds ever (and for good reasons). Not only does this tiny chassis come at a very competitive price, but it also manages to balance its small size with some great cooling (for its form factor), build quality, and internal feature set.

For design, Thermaltake has created a fantastic cube PC case with a full SPCC steel & tempered glass exterior. This is a durable little unit and would comfortably act as a portable computer case as many ITX builders demand. Our favorite design choice is the focus on mesh for the front panel and other areas around the chassis.

It can be really difficult to reach acceptable temps in this form factor, but the Core V1 is very capable of that with its design, alongside an included 200m fan and room for 2 further 80mm fans. The 200mm fan is meant to act as the main cooling, and the fact that this is included at an already low price-point makes the V1 feel like a steal. 

In terms of other specs, we consider this one of the best mini ITX cases for gaming, with room for:

  • 2 x expansion slots (standard for form factor)
  • 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x 3.5″ hidden drive bays
  • Graphics cards lengths up to 285mm 

The GPU clearance is, of course, lower than larger cases. 285mm will still suit most cards (perhaps not RTX 3090s), but of course, check all the dimensions before you complete your build (that goes for power supplies & CPU coolers too).

The storage capability is perhaps the most impressive part of this case. We’ve seen larger ITX cases with only 1 x 2.5″ drive bays. The fact that you have great room for your HDDs & SSDs is one thing, but the way the case also manages to hide them in covered areas really adds to the sharp aesthetic.

We love the Core V1. Whether you’re looking at a Mini ITX case for gaming, streaming, or general use, this chassis provides so much utility for its price.

We’re comfortable in considering it the best mITX PC case for most builders and, providing you know the limitations of the form factor, think you’ll love it.

Alternative Quick-Fire Picks (Best of the Rest)

The above cases are our absolute top picks for a majority of situations. That said, we’ve reviewed a lot of cases, and some stand out as being excellent alternatives, or perfect for people after a less common aesthetic/build requirement – the below cases are still very much worth considering.

Best Dual System PC Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 1000D

Ranking at the top of our premium PC case feature, this is the best full tower case for those with no budgetary constraints who want to either achieve immense cooling or a dual system setup (perfect for production and streaming).

Alternative High-End PC Case: Thermaltake Core P8

The Core P8 is an incredible offering for those after high visibility and high cooling. It’s the perfect place for a beautiful RGB build if you purchase fans separately. You can create both a powerful and beautiful machine with it. See our full write-up here.

Most Unique PC Case: Antec Torque

For those after something truly head-turning, the Torque is an incredible option and has a motherboard tray that is deceptively simple to work with despite the intimidating look. We talked more about it in our best-looking cases feature.

Best Mid-Range Budget Alternative: Phanteks P400

The P400 is the perfect pick for someone who doesn’t quite have the budget for the P-011/Define R5, but can stretch a little further than our best cheap PC case picks. Read more here.

Best High-End Micro ATX Case: Corsair Crystal 280X

We’ve recommended the 280X in a lot of features through What in Tech. If you’re after the best mATX case for gaming at a premium price-point, this case is perfect for you. Read our full take here.

Best Mini ITX Premium Case: SilverStone LD03B

A fantastic PC case from a classic manufacturer, the LD03B is perfect for ITX builders who want something a little higher-end than our top Core V1 pick.

Best Mini ITX Case Alternative: InWin A1 Plus

Last but not least, from another great PC case brand, is a case we’ve featured several times before. With a beautifully unique aesthetic and included PSU, this is a fantastic option if the design speaks to you.

Best NZXT PC Case?

We know some gamers may be wondering what the best NZXT options are. The only reason we haven’t included a pick from them in this list is the above choices tend to beat out in most of the major categories slightly.

But make no mistake, NZXT are still a fantastic PC case manufacturer and one of the best for budget/mid-range stylish options, our favorite options are detailed here.

Best RGB PC Case?

To be clear, many of the windowed cases on this list would make great high-visibility options to show off ARGB fans and other illuminated parts (especially our top Lian Li pick, you can see an example of how good a build can look with the PC-O11 in this feature’s cover photo).

That said, if you want to purchase a PC case with RGB fans readily included (or in-built ARGB elements) we have another full feature on just that.

What's Next?

The 5 Largest PC Cases for High-End Builds in 2021

Largest PC Case Cover

The 5 Largest PC Cases for High-End Builds in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Nov 17, 2020

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After 100s of PC case reviews, we’ve been through many different shapes and sizes of chassis on What in Tech.

Amongst them, some extra-large towers have really stood out for those looking at creating something particularly powerful.

If that sounds like you, today’s feature will take you through the largest PC cases we recommend for top-end gaming/production builds. 

Top Picks

Largest PC Case (Best Pick): Corsair Obsidian Series 1000D

Now, there are a couple of chassis picks further below that are a tad larger in terms of external dimensions. But in terms of internal space and capability? The 1000D is comfortably our pick as the best super tower case for gaming or high-scale production use today.

Featured previously on What in Tech, the 1000D is an absolute powerhouse. Starting with the build quality, it has one of the slickest and sturdiest combinations of thick steel, aluminum, and tempered glass we’ve ever seen. It’s a case that is not done justice by stock photos. Only once powered-on with beautiful internal components shining through will you see just how fantastic this extra-large chassis can look.

The crowning feature of the 1000D (aside from its excellent cooling, which we’ll discuss later) is that it’s a dual system PC case. This means it supports an independent Mini ITX motherboard-based PC working alongside your main ATX or EATX motherboard setup (in other words, 2 PCs inside the same chassis !). There’s a lot of potential utility for premium work/gaming builders with this, and it also makes the 1000D the best streaming PC case available for high-end content producers.

Inside this super tower is room for:

  • 10 x expansion slots
  • GPU length clearance up to 400mm (enough for any mainstream card with room to spare for airflow, one of the best PC cases for RTX 3090 builds)
  • A great front I/O panel, with 2 x USB 3.1 gen-2 type C USB ports amongst the classic inputs (all beautifully backlit with RGB)
  • Accessible but nicely hidden bays for up to 5 x 3.5″ & 6 x 3.5″ drives
  • Up to 18 x 120mm fans (stock configuration up to 10 x 120mm + 3 x 140mm)
  • Or up to 4 x 480mm + 1 x 240mm radiators (stock configuration up to 2 x 480mm, 1 x 420mm + 1 x 240mm)
  • Triple-chamber layout to maximize cable management and airflow of both the main and secondary systems (as well as room to hide “uglier” components like PSUs)
  • Included smart fan controller if you want to add RGB fans to your build

As you can see, with some of the most insane specs we’ve ever seen on a PC case, the 1000D isn’t just extra-large but adds some really unique features with its size.

Between the triple-chamber design, dual system capability, and fantastic room for hardware/cooling, you don’t just feel like you’re getting the largest PC case, but one that has been meticulously designed to make use of that space.

The only case we’ve seen come close to its cooling capacity is the fantastic Thermaltake Core P8. But that case does not have the same large space for ventilation and airflow. The 1000D is the best PC case for airflow, cooling (fan or water cooling) we’ve ever seen.

Whether you are intending to intensely overclock a gaming build or keep a demanding production setup performing optimally, you really can’t get better than this.

Largest PC Case for Silent Builds (Best HTPC Case): Nanoxia Deep Silence 6

Our next choice is for those builders who have a specific requirement for an extra quiet super tower PC case. The Deep Silence 6, while not reaching all of the highs of the 1000D, has some very impressive features (particularly in storage) and would make a great music production PC case, server chassis, or some other high-end work that requires optimum noise-reduction.

The Deep Silence 6’s build quality, as you would expect for a high-end silent PC case, is very thick steel (one of the most sturdy/durable cases we’ve come across). Surrounding a large portion of the exterior is also some industrial sound-proofing material to maximize noise isolation. It’s one of the quietest PC cases available today (impressive considering its size). Aesthetically, everything about the case looks “professional”, like it’s designed to really make an impression for high-budget production.

This super tower PC case has room for:

  • HPTX / XL-ATX Motherboard support (one of the very few cases to have it, but you can still reap the value of the case with ATX or E-ATX)
  • 10 x expansion slots
  • GPU length clearance of up to 400mm (perfect for all mainstream cards)
  • 4 x 5.25″ external, 2 x 3.5″ external (with adapter), 10 x 2.5″/3.5″ internal (up to 13 with adapter) & 2.5″ internal drive bays
  • Up to 8 x 140mm + 1 x 120mm fans with 5 140mm quiet fans pre-installed + front panel controller to allow you to balance performance and noise depending on the situation
  • Up to 1 x 360mm, 1 x 280mm & 1 x 140mm radiators (that can be combined with some of the fan setup).

The Deep Silence 6 has some simply fantastic specs across storage in particular. Combined with its silent design, we rank this as one of the best server PC cases or something for media/HTPC builders available today. Not only is the drive bay allowance incredible out of the box, but the fact that you can add to it further with adapters is a bonus (not to mention, if you’re like most people and don’t need 4 x 5.25″ drive bays, you can use them to massively expand your storage).

There is also plenty of cooling capability, and we appreciate the 5 included 140mm fans that will be enough for a majority of builds in here. If you are looking for a gaming super tower, the 1000D is probably the better choice with its additional cooling and triple-chamber layout. However the Deep Silence 6 could still aptly run a powerful gaming machine if achieving a low decibel level means more to you.

Simply put, the Deep Silence 6 is an incredible chassis and easily the best silent super tower available today.

Largest Budget PC Case: Corsair Graphite 780T

While “budget” and “largest” don’t go very well together, the 780T, despite still being a fair bit pricier than the average budget chassis, is notably lower than every other extra-large case close to its size while still being decently featured in its own right.

The case design is striking. With thick, curved steel engulfing much of the case’s exterior, the 780T feels built to last and has a rather unique aesthetic. One design feature we really appreciate is the latched handles on most of the case’s panels, with it being one of the easiest chassis we’ve seen to quickly access/re-close once finished.

This extra-large full tower has room for:

  • 9 x expansion slots
  • Graphics cards up to 355mm in length (more than enough for most, but double-check dimensions if you’re buying a premium GPU)
  • 2 x 5.25″, 2 x 2.5″ & 6 x 3.5 /2.5″ combo drive bays
  • Deep and well laid-out cable management facilities
  • Up to 10 x 120mm fans with 3 x 140mm fans included (2 with red LEDs)
  • Alternatively, combine a smaller fan setup with up to 2 x 360mm radiators

With these specs, it’s clear that the 780T does a fantastic job of retaining lots of internal capability despite costing less than half our two top picks.

With plenty of room for high-end GPUs and cooling, this would make a great choice if you’re after one of the largest ATX cases for gaming (plenty of overclocking potential here).

Simply put, if you want an extra-large PC case that is only a hair above the usual mid-range price bracket, the 780T is the ideal choice.

Largest PC Case with Unique Design: Cougar Conquer 2

I think you’ll agree that the chassis image speaks for itself!

If you want your extra-large PC case to also turn the heads of any guest that comes to your house, this is the ideal choice. The Conquer 2 is a crazy PC case with a wonderfully unique design. 

Covered in thick metal panels and 4 tempered glass windows, the Conquer 2 has one of the nicest build qualities we’ve seen from any chassis. The aesthetic is made extra unique by the ARGB lighting on the front side of the case (including the pre-installed ARGB fan at the bottom). This is a strong example of a case that cannot be done justice by stock photos. With some RGB or top-end components alongside it, the Conquer 2 looks incredibly striking.

Inside this large ATX full tower is room for:

  • 8 expansion slots & 2 for vertical GPU installs
  • VGA lengths up to 400mm (more than enough as a PC case for RTX 3080, 3070, or 3090).
  • 2 x 2.5″ / 3.5″ & 2 x 2.5″ drive bays
  • Up to 6 120mm fans
  • Alternatively up to 1 x 240mm & 1 x 360mm radiators

You may find some of the above specs underwhelming compared to our other top choices. There is a key difference though: the Conquer 2 is an open-air PC case that is clearly designed to be presentable at all angles. This means that the cooling solutions will be more than enough for even a powerful gaming setup due to the amount of open airflow and ventilation the case gets. Additionally, the drive bays are a tad lower because they are all designed to be hidden (but let’s be real: unless you’re building a server, HTPC, or something with very high storage requirements, the drive bays enough will be plenty, especially for gaming).

It looks like the Conquer 2 would be difficult to build in, but Cougar included a fantastic feature: a detachable sub-chassis. Essentially you can remove a tray from the middle of the case where your motherboard & main components will sit. This doesn’t just make building smooth, but possibly easier than many other more traditional PC cases!

You are, of course, paying a premium for the incredible design of the Conquer 2, but it is a true marvel to behold. If you want to build a powerhouse in not just one of the largest gaming full towers available, but one of the most unique, the Conquer 2 is for you.

Largest Full Tower (Alternative Pick): Cooler Master Cosmos C700M

Our last pick is an honorable mention if you want an overall alternative to the 1000D (in the same price range). The C700M is another supersize PC case designed for high-end builds.

With a beautiful, thick aluminium//steel/dual-curved tempered glass hybrid case design accompanied by some tastefully subtle ARGB lighting, the C700M is beautiful and another example of a case not done justice by stock photos. We appreciate also the handles neatly added to the top of the case; don’t underestimate how hard it can be to carry an extra-large chassis!

The specs lean the C700M towards being more of a gaming full tower, with:

  • 8 x expansion slots
  • GPU lengths up to 490mm (320mm with HDD bracket, still enough for most cards)
  • 1 x 5.25″, 4 x 3.5″ / 2.5″ combo & 4 x 2.5″ drive bays
  • Up to 9 x 140mm fans (with 3 pre-installed)
  • Up to 2 x 420mm, 1 x 240mm & 1 x 140mm (420mm reduce to 360mm if 5.25″ drive cage is installed)

There are some decent specs available on the C700M, certainly enough for a powerful gaming/production/video editing PC case. But you can probably see why, for the same price range, we rank the 1000D above it; with our top pick’s super cooling and storage availability. We also consider it to have a slightly better ventilation design (with its triple chambers & airflow setup) plus the nice option to set up a dual system.

None of this is to say the C700M is a bad case however, it has a lot going for it and we included it for a reason, if you’re looking for one of the largest PC cases and this Cooler Master offering fits in with your personal aesthetic, it’s a great choice for a very high-end build.

What's Next?

The 10 Cheapest PC Cases Worth Buying in 2021

Cheapest PC Case

The 10 Cheapest PC Cases Worth Buying in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Nov 17, 2020

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Though we love to recommend cases in all shapes, sizes, and price-ranges, we know that some readers are on very tight budgets.

That’s why today’s feature will take you through the Cheapest PC cases for gaming, work, and more.

We’ve specifically chosen very cheap PC cases that are still worth purchasing, and some options are on the list may cost a tiny bit more for having great extras for a budget build (e.g. fans included) so read each one before you judge on price alone!

Top Picks

Best of the Rest: Quick-Fire Picks

Overall Best Cheap PC Case: Cooler Master N200

Now yes, there are some cheaper towers around (we go over them further below).

But if you’re looking for the best value cheap PC case, and especially the cheapest PC case for gaming we would recommend, the N200 is your best choice.

Why? Well, you’re not just getting a very cheap Micro ATX Case, but also:

  • Decent build quality for the price from one of the best PC case brands, with extra ventilation and mesh panels to maximize airflow.
  • 2 x 120mm included fans (fantastic for the price) which combined with the airflow design, will be enough to get a build up and running
  • Perfect space for a budget gaming PC case with 4 x expansion slots and GPU lengths up to 355mm (more than enough)
  • Great storage space with up to 3 x 2.5″ & 4 x 3.5″ drive bays (more than enough for budget builds)
  • 5.25″ optical drive bay space if you require a DVD/CD drive.

This really is an excellent package. We really appreciate the inclusion of the 2 fans at this price-point (pretty unheard of, especially from a large manufacturer). Assuming you’re looking at purchasing a graphics card in the low to mid-range price point; then all of the included cooling will likely suffice, but you have options to expand with up to 2 further 120mm fans in the future if needed.

If you’re a non-gamer looking for something without a GPU, then this will handle your needs without spending any more money on additional fans.

There are other features in this case that we’re shocked to see at this price point: decent cable management, USB 3.0 port on the front I/O panel, and an all-around decent layout to work in as you’re building.

There’s a reason we’ve featured the N200 multiple times before. When we think of the cheapest PC case worth buyingthere really is no greater contender.

Cheapest PC Case for Quiet Build: Fractal Design Core 1100

Another surprisingly cheap PC case from one of the best manufacturers in the chassis space (and the best for silent builds), the Core 1100 is the cheapest Fractal Design case around, but still retains some of the company’s signature features.

The build-quality is simple as you’d expect for the price, but the front of the case has a nice aluminum-brush finish to give this case a deceptively slick aesthetic.

The 1100 has been designed to provide a reduction in noise through its build, with a vibration dampening setup on the 3.5″ drive bays (a common noisy part) and the included high-quality Fractal 120mm fan. 

You’re of course not going to get the same silent PC as you would with the mid/premium-tier choices, but at this price range? You can’t expect much more (if you’re really dedicated to a silent PC, there are some excellent choices if you can consider a larger budget).

This is one of the cheapest mini-tower cases around (which is the most common form factor for budget builds), with room inside for:

  • 4 x expansion slots
  • GPU length clearance up to 350mm (enough for any budget card)
  • 2 x 3.5″ HDD or 3x 2.5″ HDD/SSD or 1x 2.5″ HDD/SSD or 1x 3.5″ HDD bays
  • 2 x 5.25″ optical drive bays
  • Room for additional 1 x 120mm & 1 x 92mm fans

As you can see, the specs aren’t quite up to speed for gaming with the N200. We’d definitely recommend our top pick over this for that purpose.

But if you’re looking for the cheapest HTPC case or something for office work? This would be a decent quiet runner.

Cheapest PC Case for Airflow: Zalman S2

Now, as capable as the N200 is for a cheap gaming PC case, if you’re looking to purchase a premium GPU, or you simply like to have a windowed PC case, the Zalman S2 will likely be your better choice.

The first ATX case on the list, this is one of the cheapest mid towers available. What makes that more impressive is that the S2 comes with 3 pre-installed fans. Simply unheard of for an ATX case at this price.

The GPU clearance length is actually a tad less at 330mm; but this will still be more than enough for nearly every card (just check length before purchasing). The reason we like this case for airflow (other than its incredibly valuable 3 fan inclusion) is its:

  • Decent ventilation setup, with mesh and other vents surrounding most sides of the case
  • ATX form factor, meaning there’s a little more room to breathe within the case (you can still set up an mATX motherboard within it if you wish)
  • Room to install an additional 5 x 120mm fans in the future (not necessary for a budget build, but nice to have the option for overclocking/dual-GPU setups at a later date)

The build quality is perfectly serviceable for the price range, with the option to pay a tiny bit more for a tempered glass side (but an acrylic window is fine if you’re on a tight budget).

This cheap ATX case also has room for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x 2.5″/3.5″ drive bays (perfectly decent for a budget setup)
  • Front I/O panel that includes a USB 3.0 port

What else is there to say, if you want an incredible deal on a larger chassis for a gaming build, the S2 is the cheapest ATX case with the level of airflow it offers.

Cheapest PC case with RGB Fans: MUSETEX 903-N4

Our next option is for those after something a little flashier.

Of course, with the introduction of RGB fans, comes a slightly higher price-tag, but the 903-N4 is still a very cheap deal for what you are getting. On top of the 4 included RGB fans (with front I/O light controller), you’re also getting a case with a decent build quality that includes 2 x tempered glass windows (many non-RGB cases at this price don’t even include one!)

This is certainly the best looking PC case on the list; and what’s more, with its included fans and decent internal ventilation, you’re still getting one of the cheapest gaming PC cases with good cooling out of the box.

This ATX tower has room for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • GPU lengths up to 380mm (this will almost certainly be enough for you).
  • E-ATX motherboard support (unlikely suitable for a budget build but a nice option nonetheless)
  • 3 x 2.5″ & 3 x 3.5″ drive bays – more than enough for gaming, also great for a budget media PC case
  • Option to add an additional 2 x 140mm fans (but not required)

As you can see, excellent specs for a cheap gaming PC case, or simply someone looking for a chassis for non-gaming that’s a little head-turning.

Yes, there is a slightly cheaper option for a case with LED fans.

But this cheaper choice only offers fans that output static colors, not RGB. The 903-N4 is, by far, the cheapest RGB PC case. The difference is that you can actually customize and change the colors of the RGB lights. In cheaper cases, they are usually a static rainbow-color, which isn’t nearly as good for creating your own style/aesthetic.

If you can’t afford the more luxurious light-focussed PC cases, the MUSETEX 903-N4 is the best cheap PC case with RGB fans without question.

Quick-Fire Picks (Best of the Rest)

While the top 4 picks are what we consider the cheapest PC cases worth buying for a majority of gaming or budget work needs, we appreciate there will be some users with more specific requirements, and perhaps some more who are looking specifically for a case as cheap as possible regardless of value inclusions like fans. The picks below are worthy for you to consider if you fall into one of these camps.

Cheapest PC Case (Under $30): HEC HX210

The cheapest PC case we can find that is suitable for a “traditional” build. There are some quality drops here compared to the above picks that we don’t think is worth the saving (with significantly less value when you consider fans), but you could certainly still build a budget setup with this.

Cheapest ATX Case with Fan: Zalman T6

If you want an ATX case, but don’t feel the need to have 3 fans like the Zalman S2 (or you simply prefer a windowless chassis), the T6 is another great value pick.

Cheapest Tempered Glass PC Case: DEEPCOOL MATREXX 30

This isn’t just the cheapest Micro ATX case with tempered glass, but the cheapest in any form factor. With a fan and decent mesh layout, this would be good for a budget build (but if you’re looking at gaming, you’ll want to add at least 1 more fan, ideally 2).

Cheapest Gaming ITX Case: Thermaltake Core V1

For those after a cheap ITX case for a gaming build, one of the best Mini ITX cases happens to be a very cheap offering, read more about it here.

 

Cheapest Non-Gaming PC Case: Goodisory 05

The cheapest PC case on the list (and the cheapest we could find). This could only be recommended to someone with very basic needs (e.g. a budget HTPC case) due to its tiny size (no room for GPU). If you have even remotely serious non-gaming requirements, we’d recommend the N200 or Core 1100 over this.

Cheapest Micro ATX Case Alternative: Rosewill SRM-01B

One of the most popular cheap PC cases, we don’t think this option is as good as the other Micro ATX choices on the list, but it’s still not a bad deal if you prefer the style/inclusions.

What's Next?

The 5 Best PC Cases for First-Time Builders in 2021

Best PC Case for First-Time Builders

The 5 Best PC Cases for First-Time Builders in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Nov 15, 2020

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We know that for those new to PC building, picking every part can be overwhelming, especially the basis of what you intend to build everything in!

Don’t worry, today’s feature is here to guide you through the best PC cases for beginners available today.

Top Picks

Best of the Rest: Quick-Fire Picks

Best PC Case for First-Time Builders: Fractal Design Define R5

This isn’t just the best PC case for beginners, but one of the best PC cases available today in any category.

There’s a lot to love in the R5 which is why we’ve featured it many, many times. If you’re not familiar with Fractal Design, they are, without question, one of the best PC case manufacturers in the business and a perfect starting point on your journey.

Starting with the build quality: you’re getting thick, solid steel on most of the exterior (and a metal-finished plastic front, designed to be lighter for airflow but still looks as excellent as the rest of the outside). The whole case has a beautiful, minimalist design and feels as good as it looks. When considering the best computer case for first-time builders, we like that the R5 has a windowless design for 2 reasons:

  1. The sound-dampening material used on all sides (including the windowless panel) makes this one of the best silent PC cases on the market (something that Fractal is known for). This is great for new builders who don’t have to worry about the fine intricacies of getting a quiet build (reducing vibrations from certain parts, etc.)
  2. It’s always good to be a little clean with your internal setup for airflow. But with a windowless design, a new builder doesn’t have to be obsessed with extremely neat cable management (but if that’s something you do want, don’t worry, the R5 has plenty of capability).

This is a mid-tower/ATX case, which is the best form factor for a beginner to build in (plenty of space, ATX motherboards are easy to find and you’re very unlikely to run into any size compatibility). With room inside for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • Graphics cards up to 310mm (this will be enough room for a majority of cards, but you can remove one of the HDD cages to increase this to 440mm, which is very easy to do).
  • 8 x 3.5″ / 2.5″, 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x 5.25″ drive bays
  • Up to 9 140mm fans with 2 high-quality Fractal Design Dynamic GP-14 fans pre-installed

All these specs check out for a beginner; you have the perfect gaming PC case for a first-time builder with great graphics card room and fantastic airflow/included fans (the fact that you can upgrade your cooling to include an additional 7 140mm fans is fantastic if you ever want to pursue overclocking, but for a beginner, there is more than enough to get your base build cooled).

The storage capability of this case is also fantastic, we expect for first-time builders you’ll just be looking at 1 SSD & potentially 1 HDD, but there’s an option to add so much more at a later date if you want your build to also operate as a server PC case or something else with high storage requirements (video editing, production work, etc.)

With great internal cable management, a really intuitive layout, and easily removable doors on both sides, there’s so much to appreciate here for every type of builder.

We love that you don’t have to compromise and get a PC case “for dummies”, the R5 has everything a great gaming/work build needs, but just also happens to be the best PC case for first-time builders too!

Runner-Up Best ATX Case for First-Time Builders: Phanteks P400

Another case that we have featured countless times and consider to be the best chassis that Phanteks (another classic PC brand) has ever produced.

The P400 is a really fantastic balance between build quality, design, cooling performance, space, and price (it’s certainly the best tempered-glass PC case of its price range).

Although our favorite pick is the R5, if you are more drawn toward a PC case with a window, then this will be the better choice for you.

The P400 has a thick steel exterior and full-length tempered glass that are deceptively high quality and aesthetically pleasing for the case’s price-range (topped off by that slim, understated LED lighting you see at the bottom of the front). It really is a great looking chassis built to last.

Another ATX case, this beginner tower has space for

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • Graphics card lengths up to 395mm (will be enough for close to every GPU on the market)
  • Space for 2 x 2.5/3.5″ & 2 x 2.5″ drive bays (with the possibility to add 4 more 2.5/3.5″ spaces with the purchase of additional trays, but this will be unnecessary for new builders).
  • Air cooling: 6 x 120mm fans with 2 high-quality 120mm fans included

As you can see, like the R5, this case has all the room and cooling to get you off to a great start. There’s a little less in the way of fan slots on the P400. But really, this won’t matter for a majority of builds (certainly not for beginners), you can get very far with the cooling in the case, and it has a superb internal ventilation design (you really will be fine with the included fans alone if you’re not overclocking and keep the internals fairly neat).

Similarly to the R5, there is a great inner layout that aids cable management and ease of installation. You of course have to be a little more careful removing a tempered glass window, but this is something even a first-timer builder will be fine with.

If your idea of the best beginner computer case includes a window to show off you cool hardware, then the P400, with its fantastic value and quality, is for you.

Best Budget PC Case for First-Time Builders: Lian Li LANCOOL 205

As great as the Fractal and Phanteks offerings are, we appreciate some of you will be looking for an extra cheap PC case suitable for beginners.

The best chassis that hits the mark is the LANCOOL 205 from Lian Li, another one of the top PC case brands in the business (we’ve kept this list focussed on high-quality producers, as think the last thing a beginner wants is to be worrying about subpar manufacturing quality).

This is another case with a deceptively high-quality build for its price. Boasting a fully SPCC steel /tempered glass exterior (a little thinner than our top picks, but still great for the budget). Like the other choices, the LANCOOL 205 also a decent internal layout that provides even a budget gaming PC build with good airflow and ventilation.

This chassis is an ATX case, with room inside for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • 350mm GPU clearance length (enough for nearly all mainstream cards)
  • 4 x 2.5″ & 2 x 2.5″ / 3.5″ drive bays
  • Up to 5 x 120mm fans with 2 included

We love that the LANCOOL 205 still comes with 2 fans pre-installed at its low price, which will be enough to get a beginner gaming PC case up and running. The rest of the specs also match nicely with what a budget build will be looking for, with plenty of hardware space. You won’t have quite the same noise cancellation and airflow as the top choices, but this case still does a fantastic job for the price.

Simply put, if your wallet can only stretch as far as the LANCOOL 205, know you’re still getting an excellent product, and what we consider the best cheap PC case for first-time builders.

Quick-Fire Picks (Best of the Rest)

While the top 3 picks are our top choices for the best PC case for beginner builders, we’ve added a couple of extra choices for those with more specific requirements may want to consider.

Cheapest PC Case for First-Time Builders: Cooler Master N200

While the LANCOOL 205 is the better PC case for beginners, we know some of you will be on very tight budgets. The N200 is an absolutely ridiculous value offering for first-time builders. with its Micro ATX form factor, it will be a little tighter to build in but still more than doable, read more about it here.

Cheaper Define R5 Alternative for First-Time Builders: Fractal Design Meshify C

If you like the style, quality, and quiet-focus of our Define R5 pick but want something a bit cheaper/with a window, the Meshify C is perfect.

It won’t give you the same level of silence as the R5, but it makes up for that with improved airflow; easily one of the best budget towers for beginners to consider. Read about it here.

What's Next?

The 8 Best PC Cases with Fans Included in 2021

PC Case with Fans

The 8 Best PC Cases With Fans Included in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Nov 15, 2020

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While many PC cases include fans nowadays, most budget builders want to know not just that a tower comes with them, but that they’re reaping the maximum value.

That’s why we’ve put together today’s feature to guide you through the best PC cases with fans included.

These picks will focus on value, with either cheaper cases including 1-2 fans/decent ventilation perfect for a budget builder, or choices slightly more expensive that still offer an excellent deal by including a larger RGB fan/cooling setup.

Top Picks

Best of the Rest: Quick-Fire Picks

Best PC Case with Fans Under $50: Cooler Master N200

Deciding the best budget PC case with fans included was a no-brainer for this feature.

The N200, from one of the best PC case manufacturers in the game, is an absolutely incredible value purchase. Of course, you’re not going to get the same level of product as some more expensive options, but it’s still well ahead of its similarly-priced counterparts.

The build quality is a nice mix of steel, plastic, and metal for the mesh (again, great for the price). I like the choice of mesh on this case, alongside the vents on the sides, top, and rear; Cooler Master have clearly recognized that purchasers of the N200 don’t want to then purchase lots more expensive fans, so the cooling out of the box is already suitable for your budget gaming PC build (or something for general work).

This case comes with a very generous 2 x 120mm fans installed (1 on the rear & 1 on the front). You could install up to 3 more if you wish to later. But between the mesh and surrounding ventilators, you have all the cooling you need out of the box here.

This is a Micro ATX case, the perfect form factor for a budget builder (not too big you’re paying for unnecessary material, not too small you’re worried about specialist parts), with room inside for:

  • 4 expansion slots
  • 4 x 3.5″, 3 x 2.5″ & 1 x 5.25″ (optical) drive bays
  • Graphics card clearance up to 355mm length (more than enough for most mainstream cards)
  • 1 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 on the front I/O panel (many cases this cheap will have less)

We can’t reiterate enough what an impressive budget offering this is.

The fact that you get a case from one of the best PC brands, with a slick design, build quality, 2 120mm fans, decent ventilation, and enough space for a great gaming build is really impressive.

This isn’t just the best micro ATX case with fans, but the best cheap PC case with fans available today.

Best PC Case with RGB Fans: MUSETEX T400-MN8

For those with a slightly larger budget who want to not just increase their cooling, but build in something with a more eye-catching aesthetic, MUSETEX’s T400-MN8 is a very impressive value offering.

If you told me you could get a decent quality mid-tower with 8 addressable RGB fans & 2 sides of tempered glass at this price before I saw this? I would have thought you were lying!

But that’s exactly what you get with the MN8. If you don’t know, RGB fans that are addressable can be customized in a huge variety of ways to behave as you want. This can mean anything from what color each light is, to how the lights are animated (they can fade on and off at various speeds or even flare up in sync with your music). What’s more, the system includes a remote control to change the lights easily (a nice touch, as this can get tiresome if going through software).

The tempered glass windows are full-length, which we always appreciate in showing off a great aesthetic (especially one focussed on RGBs). There is enough room in here for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • Up to 380mm GPU lengths (all you’ll need for nearly every card)
  • 3 x 2.5″ & 2 x 3.5″ drive bays

As far as gaming PC cases with fans included go, this is an ideal budget option, considering you have all the space you need for a card and the ridiculous inclusion of cooling inside the case gives you a great basis for overclocking if you desire.

MUSETEX isn’t as big a brand like say, Cooler Master, but we still consider them worthy of inclusion, with their various flagship cases being well-received for quite a while now.

As insane as the N200 offer may be, the MN8, with its dual tempered glass and ARGB fans, is the best value PC case with fans on this whole list; if you want an RGB case, this is a fantastic budget choice.

Best ITX Case with Fan Included: Thermaltake Core V1

Now for those readers looking for a small pc case with fan inclusion for a budget build, I have good news.

One of the most popular ITX cases on the market, the Core V1, also happens to be a fantastic value offering. At its low price, it only includes 1 fan, but that is a 200m fan that is as nearly as large as the case and combined with the great ventilation and mesh design, is enough to cool your ITX build on its own (with an option for 2 x 80mm fans in future if you do want to upgrade).

But large fan inclusion and decent airflow for its size isn’t the only reason this is a great case. The V1 has a deceptively high-quality build for its price, with SPCC steel and tempered glass surrounding its exterior (not to mention its incredibly unique cube tower design).

Quite largely considered one of the best budget ITX cases for gaming (or just any build with a focus on aesthetic), there’s space inside for:

  • GPUs up to 285mm in length (smaller than larger cases as you’d expect, check the GPU you’re looking at beforehand, but this will still be large enough for most cards)
  • 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x 3.5″ drive bays (both hidden)

The storage space, in particular, is really impressive for a case of its size (with many similar cases only having 1-2 2.5″ drive bays). You of course won’t get the cooling that you would in our larger choices, but still more than enough for a budget gaming PC.

NOTE: If you’re looking at the Amazon reviews for this case, know that a majority of the very low ratings are for a different Thermaltake Core series cases (the V200), if you specifically look for the V1 reception, you’ll see it’s largely very positive for all the reason’s we’ve discussed.

This isn’t just one of the best mini ITX cases with fan inclusion, it’s one of the best value small chassis on the market. If it suits your style, you’ll love it for a budget build.

Best ATX Case With Fans: Fractal Design Focus G

We know that not everyone is into the big “flashy” aesthetic that a case like our MUSETEX pick above provides, so we wanted to offer a gaming PC case with fans that is more traditional and also from one of the best chassis brands in the business.

Fractal cases are always top quality, and the Focus G, despite its lower price tag, is no exception. Featured several times on What in Tech previously, this mid-tower case doesn’t just come with cheap fans, but a pair of high-quality Silent LL Series 120mm case fans. Fractal is known for silent builds, and while this budget offering isn’t as quiet as its flagship choices, it will still be the quietest PC case on this list.

Inside is room for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • GPU clearance up to 380mm (more than enough for most cards)
  • 2 x 2.5″ / 3.5″, 1 x 2.5″ & 2 x 5.25″ drive bays

There’s plenty of graphics card/storage room in here for either gaming pc or someone looking for more of a sever/production build.

There’s lots of smaller “quality of life” features in the case too, like decent cable management, airflow (nicely aided by the mesh front plate), and the inclusion of optical drives are great for anyone still using older media (if not, they can easily be converted into more storage space).

Alongside the decent ventilation and included cooling is the option to add up to 4 more 120mm fans (not that you’ll need these on a budget setup though, just an option for later on if you want to consider overclocking).

If the other cases don’t hit the mark for you (perhaps you want more of a minimalist choice from a big brand, and your budget is a little above the N200) then know this is one of the best computer cases with fans included for budget builders.

Quick-Fire Picks (Best of the Rest)

While the top 4 choices are what we consider the best budget PC cases with fans included, there are a few extra options worth considering in certain situations that we thought worth adding (and are still worth considering if they more comfortably match your requirements).

Best Budget Case With RGB Fans: Montech X1

If you want a cheap PC case with RGB fans and the MUSETEX top pick is outside of your price-bracket, the Montech X1 will be the best choice for you.

Cheapest PC Case With Fan Included: DEEPCOOL MATREXX 30

Although we would recommend pushing you to purchase the N200 if you can stretch your budget a tiny bit further, we respect some builder will literally be looking for the cheapest PC case with fan inclusion that will get their build up and running. The MATREXX is the cheapest choice we’d recommend for just that (only 1 fan included but with enough ventilation for a budget build).

Cheapest ATX PC Case With Fan: DEEPCOOL MATREXX 50

The larger brother of the pick directly above, if you are after the cheapest ATX PC case that also has that classic, tempered glass look, this is it (we would recommend purchasing a cheap second 120mm fan with this as a minimum, however).

Best ATX Case With RGB Fans Alternative Pick: Thermaltake V250

If you prefer an RGB case to be with one of the larger brands, this is your best value option. One of Thermaltake’s flagship budget models includes a beautiful tempered glass design and 3 high-quality RGB fans.

What's Next?

The 10 Best Premium PC Cases in 2021

Premium PC Case

The 10 Best Premium PC Cases in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Nov 15, 2020

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In the many, many PC case review lists we’ve done, we nearly always include a high-end pick for those builders that have the budget to create something truly cutting-edge.

Today’s feature is here to present the top choices from all of those options, and detail the best premium PC cases for gaming, production work, and much more (in all shapes and sizes).

This isn’t simply a list of the most expensive PC cases, but options that really bring something worthy to the table for their price-tag.

Top Picks

Best of the Rest: Quick-Fire Picks

Overall Best Premium PC Case: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL

The greatest PC case from what we consider the best manufacturer in the game right now, the Dynamic XL is an incredible offering for creating both a beautiful and powerful build.

The build quality and design of the O11 D XL are fantastic. Stock photos do not do this case justice at all. You are getting a full, thick aluminum exterior with a beautiful finish that doesn’t just look good but also feels very solid and durable. Accompanying that exterior is a subtle RGB light on the front and 2 full length high-quality tempered glass windows.

We really can’t overstate how beautiful this chassis looks with a completed build, powered on, the full-length glass on both sides gives amazing visibility for a premium build. You may be thinking there is a little too much exposure with the internals, but this is a dual-chamber PC case. This means there is a large dedicated compartment in the hidden side of the case that is designed to host your “uglier” parts (think your PSU, cables, etc). This helps in not just creating a clean setup, but one that has a fantastic room for airflow.

Speaking of airflow, this case really excels in cooling and is one of the best premium PC cases for gaming & overclocking available, with:

  • Up to 10 120mm fans
  • Or up to 3 360mm radiators

Tie this in with the efficient dual-chamber layout and you have a simply incredible case for performance.

In terms of hardware space requirements, this is one of the XL’s main strengths. Being a premium full tower case, it has enough room for pretty much any powerhouse build:

  • E-ATX Motherboard Support
  • 8 expansions slots (and vertical installs)
  • 6 2.5″ & 4 2.5″ / 3.5″ drive bays
  • Graphics card lengths up to 446mm. Size-wise this is one of the best PC cases for RTX 3080, 3090 & 3070 GPUs

As you can see, whether you’re looking for a premium gaming PC case or something more for production/server use, there is an incredible capability for all of this in the XL. Despite its high-end price range, it’s still one of the cheaper options on this list (and amongst its premium competitors).

By this point, you can probably see why we love this choice so much. With its incredible value in mind, this is comfortably our pick for the overall best premium computer case.

Best Premium PC Case for Silent Builds: Fractal Design Define 7 XL

Now as much as we love the top Lian Li pick, if there is one premium tower very closely following it, it’s this powerhouse choice from Fractal, one of the other best brands in the case business.

What is so impressive about the 7 XL is how it manages to so easily balance optimum noise reduction with excellent cooling/performance. Usually, you are sacrificing significant airflow when you add the industrial quality sound-dampening panels to a case like the 7 XL has, but this chassis is known to still perform better cooling-wise than many of its louder competitors.

The build quality on the Define 7 XL is beautiful and sturdy; with a monolithic design, it is deceptively striking in person. It’s also a huge space for your setup, with some very impressive specs:

  • Up to E-ATX Motherboard Support
  • 9 x Expansion slots & 3 for vertical install options
  • 359mm graphics card clearance (up to 549mm with certain modular components removed, but 359mm is enough for nearly all cards)
  • Drive bays included: 8 x 2.5″ / 3.5″ (up to 18 available), 2 x 2.5″ (up to 5 available) & 2 x 5.25″
  • 30mm cable routing space (not as good as a dual-chamber but still decent).
  • Up to 9 x 120mm fans (with 3 x high-quality Dynamic X2 GP-14 silent fans included)
  • Or up to 2 x 480mm, 1 x 280mm & 1 x 140mm radiators

As you can see, some of the availability here is insane. This would be a fantastic option as a premium server PC case with all of its storage space.

When choosing between our two top picks, it’s really down to personal preference. You’ll see that the 7 XL has some impressive specs that in many ways beat the O11’s, and for builders focussed on silence, this is definitely the best choice for you (it is, without doubt, the best silent premium PC case for gaming). We gave a slight edge to the Lian Li offering because it still has all of the specs you need for an extremely powerful build; but also offers such a beautiful aesthetic and a dual-chamber layout to maximize airflow and clean design.

Again though, this is a personal preference choice. If you prefer the look of a minimalist PC case, one that is close to silent, or one that has an even crazier amount of storage capability, then the 7 XL is a simply incredible PC case and perfect for you.

Most Innovative Premium PC Case: Antec Torque

The Torque speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

One of the most unique PC cases on the market, this Antec tower is special not just because of its incredible aesthetic, but because it has some fantastic performance to match.

But let’s start with the design. The Torque’s exterior is made of 14 uniquely curved aluminum panels and double-sided tempered glass. The finish across the whole case is incredible. As good is it looks in photos, this is another example of a case that simply cannot be done justice unless you have it in person with a powered-on build.

This premium ATX case has room inside for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • Graphics cards up to 450mm length
  • 1 x 2.5″ & 1 x 3.5″ drive bays
  • Compatible with E-ATX motherboards up to 12″ x 11″
  • Up to 6 x 120mm fans or 2 x 360mm Radiators

The storage space is a little lower than our top choices as this case is obviously designed to be exposed from all angles, so its space to hide less-attractive drives is minimal. That said, there is still more than enough space here for a premium gaming PC with 1 SSD & 1 HDD.

Speaking of gaming, perhaps the best feature of this case (aside from its design) is its incredible cooling capability. While 6 x 120mm fans may not sound like much for a premium gaming tower, know that this is an open-air PC case. Your GPU and CPU will be exposed to maximized airflow with the openings surrounding the case, with more than enough capability for overclocking in this machine.

This is one of the most expensive PC cases around today, and you are of course paying (partially) for its fantastic aesthetic. But what we really love about the Torque is that it is a beautiful balance between form and function. Yes, this is the case that will get all of your friends and family to turn their heads; but it’s also a case that can still inform an incredibly powerful PC build.

Best Premium PC Case for Cooling: Thermaltake Core P8

Now if the Antec Torque isn’t in your style (or budget), another incredible option for aesthetic and cooling is the high-end choice in the Thermaltake Core series: the P8.

We have featured this series in many, many articles because of its fantastic versatility as a choice for wall mounting (optional) and clear design.

The P8 really stands at the top of this series. As you can probably tell by the image, if you equip this chassis with some RGB fans and hardware, you have a simply incredible base to show off a beautiful internal setup. With a top-tier build quality compromising of an SPCC steel exterior with 3 thick tempered glass windows surrounding the other sides; the P8 feels as good as it looks, and that’s saying something.

Inside is a space for a seriously powerful premium gaming PC build too, with:

  • 8 x expansion slots
  • GPUs up to 320mm in length (without water cooling reservoir, 280mm with)
  • E-ATX Motherboard support (up to 12″ x 13″)
  • 1 x accessible 2.5″ & hidden HDD bracket to host up to 3 x 3.5″ or 6 x 2.5″ drive bays
  • Up to 18 x 120mm fans
  • Or up to 2 x 480mm, 1 x 360mm & 1 x 240mm radiators

The cooling capability of the P8 is simply insanewith the most fan/radiator allotments we have seen in any chassis (especially impressive as it has no room for side fans with its glass cover). Combined with some nice openings around certain parts of the case, you have one of (if not the) best premium PC case for cooling a powerful gaming/production build, perfect for overclocking.

We love that this case still manages room to hide its main storage drive bay too, with the PSU shroud also nicely covered by another allotment perfect for an RGB fan.

What else is there to say, not only does this case look incredible, but it performs that way too; if this style suits you, it is a fantastic pick.

Best Premium ITX Case: NZXT H1

For those looking for the best smaller form factor PC case, then this new offering from NZXT is a fantastic option.

Another case featured several times for its incredible achievement in chassis architecture, the H1 is special because it has been specifically designed to be as low volume and “tight” as possible while retaining enough room for airflow and a mainstream graphics card (this is one of the best ITX cases for RTX 3080 & 3070 GPUs, but as always with this form factor, remember to check dimensions beforehand as GPU size will vary depending on the brand).

The H1 accomplishes this task by having an included high-quality water cooler and AIO CPU liquid cooler specifically design for the case pre-installed. Not only does this make the case deceptively high-value despite its premium price-tag, but it also means the case isn’t having to accommodate for a wide range of PSUs/coolers with more generic space requirements.

The H1 is carefully designed with everything inside having a distinct purpose, including:

  • gorgeous SGCC steel/tinted tempered glass design – this is the best premium mITX case build quality we have seen to date
  • A dual-chamber layout that gives fantastic ventilation to the allotted GPU space (up to 305mm x 128mm for your card).
  • 2 x 2.5″ drive bays

We like that they still managed to include 2 SSD slots. We wouldn’t be surprised to see something this small have only one.

The dual-chamber design is perfect to give some independent ventilation to the GPUs and CPUs (with the included AIO cooler being the only intended thermal solution in the case, making the H1 deceptively quiet for an ITX case also).

I know we’ve been over it a couple of times, but it really cannot be overstated how impressive the design and performance of the H1 is; of course, you’re not going to get the cooling of a larger case, but if you’re focussed on a tight form factor, the H1 can easily handle a high-end ITX gaming build.

This is, without a doubt, the best premium mini ITX case on the market.

Quick-Fire Picks (Best of the Rest)

While the 5 chassis above are the picks we wanted to highlight, there are some other really excellent options in the premium markets that we wanted to present. If they fit your needs/style preferences more, know that these are still excellent choices.

Alternative Best Premium PC Case for Airflow & Cable Management: Corsair Crystal Series 680X RGB

One of the most featured cases on What in Tech, the 680X has the largest dual chamber of any premium PC case and is therefore perfect for a clean inner build, good cable management, and airflow (read more about it here).

Best Build-Quality Premium PC Case: Asus ROG Strix Helios GX601

With one of the sturdiest builds we’ve ever seen and some strong handles on the top, this case is built like a tank to be a portable premium PC case (with one of the most beautiful subtle in-built RGB lightings also, read more about it here).

Best Unique Premium PC Case: AZZA CSAZ-802F

Another incredibly unique choice, this cube PC case doesn’t just look pretty but performs well too. If this design speaks to you, know it’s an excellent choice.

Best Premium Micro ATX Case: Thermaltake AH T200

If you’re looking for a premium mATX case, the T200 fits the bill perfectly; with fantastic style and no compromise on airflow (there’s also an ATX version if you prefer the design over the Antec Torque).

Best Premium PC Case for Watercooling Alternative: Thermaltake Tower 900

While the Core P8 takes our top cooling spot, this “fishtank pc case” has been featured many times for not only its excellent unique presentation and sturdy build, but the freedom to create some really fantastic liquid cooling setups, read more about it here.

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The 5 Best Green PC Cases of 2021

Green PC Case

The 5 Best Green PC Cases of 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Dec 23, 2020

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Every popular chassis seems to be black or grey.

What about those after something a little…different?

There’s plenty of options around, be it pink, white, blue or red.

But today’s feature is here to guide you through the best green PC cases available on the market today.

Top Picks

Best of the Rest: Quick-Fire Picks

Overall Best Green PC Case: darkFlash DLM22 Mint Green

Out of the limited green desktop cases available on the market, this top pick was a bit of a no brainer.

The DLM22 has been recommended on What in Tech in several previous features for its fantastic value and aesthetic.

Starting with the design: with great SPCC steel build quality, beautiful shape, and a very aesthetically pleasing mint green finish, the DLM22 looks fantastic. Stock photos do not do it justice. With its tinted tempered glass window and fully green interior, any impressive inner hardware is going to shine beautifully through this (we really are impressed that the internal coloring isn’t just black/metal, which many cheaper cases do if they are in a unique color).

This is a green Micro ATX case and strikes a good balance between having great space for hardware while not being too bulky and large for a case clearly designed to look sharp. With room inside for:

  • GPU clearance up to 350mm (more than enough for mainstream cards)
  • 4 x expansion slots
  • 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x 3.5″ drive bays
  • Up to 5 x 120mm fans (or 1 x 120mm & 1 x 240mm radiator with room still for 2 fans at the front)

Between this space and the decent airflow in the case, this is the best green PC case for gaming or general production builds at the low-mid tier price range.

We would usually add a cheaper choice in our features, but the DLM22 is really not just the best overall option, but the best budget green PC case (we rarely see a chassis this good & stylish at such a low price-tag).

A small additional nice touch is the tool-free magnetic window on the side. After going through years of clunky doors with screws and other contraptions, this is a really handy, elegant idea.

What’s left to say? The DLM22 is very impressive for its price. With everything that the average gaming/work build needs in a stylish design.

This is, without a doubt, the overall best green PC case available today.

Runner-Up Best Green PC Case: CUK Mantis

While this is more of a green and black PC case than a straight, clean single color; once the green RGB lighting is up and running, the CUK Mantis shows off a great, unique aesthetic.

The Mantis has an awesome, intriguing design; with raised diagonal panels on the front and top that hide some beautifully subtle green LED lighting. On the main side is a full-length tempered glass window that covers the 6 x included green HALO fans. While the price may seem fairly high, once you count the fact that your cooling and case RGB solution is already fully set up, it’s a great deal.

This is a full tower green case, with room for:

  • GPU clearance up to 360mm length (enough for nearly all mainstream cards)
  • 7 x expansion slots
  • 3 x 3.5″ & 2 x 2.25″ drive bays

The Mantis has everything you need for a powerful gaming build, and with the included fans, you’ll have a great PC case for airflow too.

Make no mistake, while we ranked the V22 as our favorite pick, if the Mantis’s aesthetic is more up your alley, then know that we included it for a reason, it’s still one of the best green computer cases on the market.

High-End Best Green PC Case: InWin D-Frame

If you’re looking for one of the most unique PC cases on the market that also does a great job in performance, the D-Frame is one of your best options.

Featured multiple times on What in Tech, this case is a bit of an architectural marvel (not really looking like a chassis at all) and its green version is wonderfully striking. As you’d expect in the price range, you’re getting a top-quality build, with the tubing/base all made of aluminum (the best metal for PC cases) and a thick, tinted tempered glass covering the top of the case.

This is an open-air design, which doesn’t just make it an amazing chassis for airflow, but also gives your parts high-visibility with its clear layout. 

It’s not just a pretty case, the D-Frame has won the acclaim is has due to its ability to perform and hold a suitably powerful build inside, with room for:

  • 8 x expansion slots (+ vertical install option)
  • 330mm GPU clearance
  • 3 x 3.5″,  2 x 2.5″ & 1 x 5.25″ drive slots
  • 4 x 120mm case fans
  • Great facility for cable management despite the large exposure around the whole case.

These specs are really impressive, considering how so much of the case is completely open. While the 4 x 120mm fan allotment may not sound like much for an ATX tower; you really won’t need more than this with the open-air design which compensates with great airflow.

We’re not trying to say you need to go out and spend this much money on a case to have a powerful build.

But if you have the budget, and are looking for the best green PC tower to truly show off your unique side, while retaining excellent hardware specs and performance, the D-Frame is for you.

Alternative Quick-Fire Picks

While the top 3 choices are the only green PC cases on the market right now we’d recommend, we appreciate that there isn’t a massive choice for this stylish color.

So if you’re a little pickier, we’ve included a couple of other options that would be the next best thing for setting up a green PC build.

Best Clear Case for a Green PC Setup: Thermaltake Core P3

The best alternative to a green-colored PC case is getting the best clear chassis on the market, the P3, and letting your green hardware do the talking (things like green fans, PSU cables, and other parts are more than enough to give you a colorful unique build and will look great against the dark base colors of the P3).

Best RGB Case for a Green PC Setup: MUSETEX Phantom 907

If you want your green aesthetic to come solely from fans, a great budget option is the Phantom 907, which includes 6 x addressable RGB fans. This would be more than enough to make your build shine in the unique color (just check a photo or video of the build in action to see what we mean!).

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The 5 Best PC Cases Without Windows in 2021

Best PC Case Without Window

The 5 Best PC Cases Without Windows in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Dec 27, 2020

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As popular as a clearer, tempered glass chassis is nowadays, what about those after a more minimalist PC case?

Whether it’s for a cleaner style, noise reduction, or anything else; today’s feature breaks down the best windowless PC cases available today for different budgets and sizes.

Top Picks

Best of the Rest: Quick-Fire Picks

Overall Best PC Case Without Window: Fractal Design Define R5

We really cannot speak highly enough of the Define R5.

Not only is this the best computer case without windows, but it’s one of the greatest towers on the market today in any category (and our favorite case from Fractal Design, who are undoubtedly the best brand for windowless options).

The build quality of this case is top-tier. With a majority steel (or metal finish) exterior that gives the chassis an understated but stylish look (stock photos do not do it justice).

Fractal’s towers are known for their sound-dampening abilities without notable compromise on performance. Building your setup in the R5 gives you a fantastic balance between silence and cooling, with this being the best windowless PC case for airflow, including room for:

  • Up to 9 140mm fans + 2 great Fractal Design Dynamic GP-14 fans included
  • Or up to 420mm top, 360mm side, 240mm bottom & 140mm rear radiators

This is a really impressive allotment for a windowless ATX case. The form factor often offers a lot less (not that you need to have all 9 fans to run a computer well, maxing out will help you if you’re going for overclocking or a seriously powerful setup). The R5 has been known to actually outperform many of its open-air competitors for running an intensive setup.

We love the R5 for its hardware space availability too, with room for:

  • 7 expansion slots
  • VGA cards up to 310mm in length (if you need to, removing the HDD case can up this to 440mm, but most mainstream cards will fit in the 310mm space).
  • 8 x 3.5″ / 2.5″, 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x optical drive bays

Between the cooling and internal space, this is easily our top pick for the best windowless PC case for gaming; but beyond that, this is also a great chassis for anybody with high storage needs (think video editing, production work, or server builds).

What else is there to say? Between its fantastic build quality, cooling performance, sound dampening, and space for powerful hardware all rolled into a mid-range price, the R5 ticks all the boxes and is, without doubt, the overall best PC case without a side-panel window.

Best Budget PC Case Without Window: Corsair Carbide 200R

As much as we love the R5 for gaming and work builds alike, if you’re looking for a cheap windowless PC case, the 200R is a great substitute for its price.

One of the best cheap cases by Corsair, this chassis has a steel exterior. Albeit a thin material with a basic finish, we still respect that Corsair has not gone for plastic in such a low-price PC case. It looks and feels decent compared to its budget counterparts.

This windowless chassis is a compact ATX case, with decent room for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • Graphics cards up to 420mm in length
  • 3 x 5.25″, 4 x 3.5″ & 4 x 2.5″ drive bays
  • Fan setup: Up to 8 x 120mm fans (2 included)

For its size and price, the 200R has an impressive allowance for fans and hardware.

You are, of course, not going to get the same level of cooling & sound dampening as the R5 (but again, with its low price in mind, it’s a great offering).

We like also that even at this budget, Corsair hasn’t avoided including 2 fans which will be enough to get your build up and running.

If your wallet is tight, know that we’re confident in this being the best cheap PC case without a window on the market today.

Best Premium PC Case Without Window: Fractal Design Define 7 XL

As you may have expected, we’re back to Fractal, who simply excel at providing the top windowless PC cases.

This next option is for their top range model that is perfect for anybody trying to build the most powerful silent PC setup they possibly can (there isn’t a case on the market that could do this better).

The Define 7 XL is a huge E-ATX case, with incredible space for:

  • 9 Expansion slots with a further 3 for vertical install options
  • 359mm GPU clearance (or up to 549mm when removing some modular case parts)
  • Drive bays included: 8 x 2.5″ / 3.5″ (up to 18 available), 2 x 2.5″ (up to 5 available) & 2 x optical″
  • 30mm routing space for cable management
  • 9 x 120mm fans (with 3 x Dynamic X2 GP-14 included)
  • Or  2 x 480mm, 1 x 280mm & 1 x 140mm radiators

Yes, that’s right, this case has pretty much everything you could need, even in a powerful high-end build.

With incredible storage space, this is one of the best server PC cases or something for a media/gaming library.

Speaking of gaming, between the excellent cooling capability of the 7XL, and its monumental space for hardware, you have the best windowless PC case for overclocking, multi-GPU setups, and much more.

What’s more impressive is how this case can still retain very low decibel levels with such a large space for noisy hardware inside. It manages to achieve this through its high quality (beautiful) build, industrial sound dampening panels, great cable management facilities, and modularity for non-required components (e.g. HDD cages, removing unneeded case parts reduces rattling).

While the R5 will suit a majority of gamers and other builds well, if your goal is to create the most powerful build possible in a PC case without glass, this is your best option.

Small Form Factor Windowless PC Cases

While the top 3 picks are our favorites for your typical gaming or work-related build, we’ve added a couple of extra quick-fire picks for great cases in smaller form factors.

Best Micro ATX Case Without Window: Cooler Master N200

A ridiculously cheap offering for windowless Micro ATX case builds that still retains a great quality for gaming and production setups alike. The fact that it includes fans at its price is insane, we’d still be recommending it if it didn’t

While you can look at the best Fractal mATX option if you have a higher budget, know the N200 has nearly everything the average mini-build needs.

Best Mini-ITX Case Without Window: SilverStone SG13

From a classic minimalist manufacturer, the SG13 is a fantastic quality windowless ITX case.

Like mATX, Fractal offers great windowless options for mITX, but SG13 is the best pick for a budget/value build (which we know many smaller form factors target).

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The 5 Best Console-Style PC Cases in 2021

Console Style PC Case

The 5 Best Console-Style PC Cases in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Dec 28, 2020

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In the world of PC cases, there’s an overwhelming amount of good looking, unique cases out there.

But what about those after the classic console-esque aesthetic, akin to a PlayStation/Xbox?

Today’s feature will guide you through the best console-sized PC cases for your next gaming build.

Top Picks

Overall Best Console-Style PC Case: Fractal Design Node 202

What a fantastic chassis this is.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to our top premium pick further below, the Node 202 is the perfect choice for creating a console-style aesthetic.

The reason we rank the Node 202 at the overall top is due to the impressive balance between its tight, slim, Mini-ITX form factor, and intelligent, internal design that allows you to install a powerful mainstream GPU within its size limitations.

Its steel/plastic hybrid design looks very slick, with a high quality finish and sturdiness that makes the chassis feel particularly premium.

Inside, there is room for:

  • A separate GPU chamber that can accommodate a video card up to 310 x 147 mm
  • 2 x 2.5″ drive bays
  • Room in the GPU chamber for 2 x 120mm fans (impressive for the shape/size, but bear in mind these will have to compete with the GPU dimensions)

The hardware you can install within the Node 202 is really impressive considering it’s unique, slim form factor.

It doesn’t just look the part, you have room in here for a serious console-style gaming PC build; with a majority of mainstream graphics cards being installable (check your choice before installing!).

While you’re (of course) not going to get the same airflow as a larger “traditional” case (ATX, etc.) the ventilation design in the Node 202 is fantastic, with its separate GPU chamber that segregates cooling; not to mention the optional fan mounts if your build demands them.

Overall, while we love the premium NZXT H1 pick below (and think anyone reading should also consider that chassis), the Node 202 is the best console-sized PC case for gaming or general/media use available at an average budget and performs incredibly well for its form factor.

Runner-Up Best Console-Style PC Case: SilverStone ML08

Coming in very closely behind the Node 202 is a worthy alternative (if it suits your need more) in the ML08.

Its steel body and reinforced plastic shell looks as high quality as it feels, with this chassis easily doubling as one of the best portable PC case choices.

With room inside for:

  • An independent graphics card chamber for a dual-expansion slot card up to 330 x 121mm
  • Oversized vents designed to provide fan-less cooling setup for the tight layout
  • 2 x 2.5″ drive bays
  • Some convenient install features, such as its tool-less drive bays/dual chamber design

The internal dimension in here are still very impressive for the case’s external size, with the GPU slot still being large enough for most popular choices (remember to check!).

We rank this a tad below the Node 202 as its GPU width allowances are slightly less, and there is no optional case fans (though the case performs surprisingly well with its oversized vents).

The GPU length allowance is notably longer, but we expect the width to be the main consideration point for your installation as very few cards are over 310mm (having extended width is also nicer for airflow on most cards).

But all things considered, this is still an excellent option and easily one of the best console-sized cases available; don’t hesitate if you prefer it over the Node 202.

Best Budget Console-Style PC Case: Thermaltake Core V1

This pick is a bit of a side-track from the more standard console-like PC cases we’ve featured in the rest of the list.

But we thought this pick still deserved a place if your idea of a console PC case is closer to a GameCube (or you’re simply flexible if the budget is right).

The Core V1 is a really impressive case for the price and has been featured many times previously on What in Tech.

The build quality is really quite impressive considering its low cost; with an SPCC steel/tempered glass design, covered with extended ventilations (important in a small case).

Being largely considered as one of the best Mini-ITX cases for budget gaming builds, you have great room in here for:

  • 2 expansion slots/GPU lengths up to 285mm
  • 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x 3.5″ hidden drive bays
  • 1 included 200mm fan + space for 2 x 80mm fans

As you can see, the length allowance on the GPU space is a tad lower than our other picks (but still good enough for many popular cards if you check pre-purchase).

The Core V1 makes up for this with its additional storage compartments and excellent cooling capability.

While we think the above picks better capture the essence of a console-style computer case, there is no chassis of those styles in the V1’s price range. It really is an excellent alternative.

Best Console-Style PC Case for Cooling (Premium Pick): NZXT H1

2021 Update: As it stands right now, the NZXT H1 is temporarily out of stock due an issue with the GPU riser. We have left this recommendation on as NZXT have suggested the case will be re-stocked shortly (likely in a month or two) and we still think this is one of the best console PC cases available. If you check the links it may be available. If not, we suggest the closest alternative to the style of case the H1 goes for is the SilverStone LD03B which is an excellent console-like alternative.

If we had to pick just one case to crown as the best console-style tower available today, this would be it.

Due to its price tag, we’ve given the H1 the “premium choice” label.

But before you cry at the price, know you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck beyond just a PC case with the H1.

On top of its incredible design/build quality (that we’ll get to shortly), the case is worth its price-tag due to the included fully modular 650W PSU and AIO water-cooler.

The NZXT H1 is special as it has been designed with this PSU and water-cooler in mind.

This has been done to remove any unnecessary size gaps that the other cases demand to be compatible with a wider range of SFX PSUs/cooling.

Everything inside the unit is carefully designed and has its place (no waste) with room for:

  • beautiful SGCC steel/tinted tempered glass design – this is easily the highest quality and best-looking console tower on the list and the closest thing you’ll see to an Xbox PC case
  • A dual-chamber layout that gives fantastic ventilation to the allotted GPU space (up to 305mm x 128mm for your card).
  • 2 x 2.5″ drive bays

It cannot be overstated how impressive the H1 is from both a design and performance perspective.

As good-looking as the unit is turned off, seeing your beautiful components light up through the tinted window (classily displaying them in the tight form factor) is a level of elegance you can’t really find elsewhere.

And the fact that the ventilation/integrated water-cooler work so well to provide cooling is something extra special in this form factor.

This isn’t just the best console-shaped PC case, but one of the best Mini-ITX cases available today.

Best Budget Console-Style Tower Alternative: SilverStone ML05

As much as we rave about the Core V1 as a budget pick above, we thought it sensible to include the cheapest console PC case option that matches the slimmer parameters.

The ML05 is the smaller brother of the ML08 and is the smallest PC case on the list with a tiny 7 litre volume.

With a similar, great build quality and design, as well as space for 2 x 80mm fans, 4 x 2.5″ drive bays and an optical disc driveyou can be forgiven thinking this is the ideal choice.

There is a big gap with the Ml05 though: it only has 1 expansion slot and is not designed for most independent/large GPUs.

Being more specialised as an HTPC case, you would need either a specialised GPU with 1 expansion slot, or integrated motherboard graphics for this to work for you.

We thought to include this as appreciated some budget PC builds looking for a console sized tower may be after integrated graphics if their focus was more on portability.

That being said, if you’re looking for the best console-sized computer case for gaming, the options above will be far better suited.

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The 10 Best PC Case Brands in 2021

Best PC Case Brand

The 10 Best PC Case Brands in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Dec 28, 2020

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After our endless amounts of case reviews over different categories, budgets, shapes, and sizes, it’s clear that some chassis brands have shined better than others.

But which manufacturer makes the best quality computer cases?

Today’s What in Tech feature breaks down the best PC case brands on the market today depending on what you’re looking for.

Treat this page as a hub, as we’ve got separate features on the best cases from each of these manufacturers in the links below.

Best PC Case Brands

Overall Best PC Case Brand: Lian-Li

Oh boy, was it hard to decide how to rank this top spot.

Specifically, the battle between Lian-Li and Fractal Design was neck and neck; with both manufacturers offering absolutely incredible cases across most typical buying criteria.

But as it stands right now, we have to give the accolade to Lian-Li.

You may not be as familiar with this manufacturer as say, Corsair or Thermaltake.

But they’ve been in the PC Case business for a long time. Their flagship models today strike an incredible balance between aesthetics, build quality, internal spec, airflow, and cooling capability.

All wrapped into price tags that feel too good to be true next to some of its competitors.

The PC-011 Dynamic, in particular, is what we consider to be the best PC case available today.

Lian-Li is a seasoned manufacturer on the top of their game.

You really can’t beat their top cases for overall value whether you’re after a PC case for gaming, streaming, or production (whether high-end or more budget-leaning).

All of this is why we consider Lian-Li the best computer case brand on the market today.

Best PC Case Brand for Silent Builds: Fractal Design

Now like we said, our number one pick on this list was very hard to finalize.

Fractal Design feels just as deserving to take the top spot.

With a similarly incredible execution in balancing quality, design, and internal specs with fantastic pricing, Fractal has been my personal go-to choice for PC cases for a long time.

There is one key area that separates Fractal and Lian-Li: noise vs airflow.

Fractal Design is the undisputed king of silent PC cases.

They manage to achieve this by surrounding their high-quality exteriors with sound dampening insulation, setups that minimize internal vibrations, and side panels that are (usually) covered in thick metal instead of thinner tempered glass.

With this approach comes a set of very minimalist PC case designs that are beautifully subtle and practically silent (particularly in their mid/high-end models).

With that increased insulation comes a slight loss in airflow/cooling capability.

Now make no mistake, for the amount of sound dampening Fractal achieves in its cases, they still perform very well in temperature benchmarks (often beating many cases that have more ventilation openings) and are more than capable of running a powerful PC.

We just think that for the average builder, the perks of slightly superior airflow and a case focussed on high visibility (for your beautiful RGB components!) will win you over.

But if having a quiet case is even a little bit important to you, know that Fractal Design is easily one of the best PC case brands today, and its flagship models are incredible products.

Runner-Up Best PC Case Brand: Phanteks

Phanteks are one of the more popular manufacturers on this list with a huge variety of great towers.

Among them is one of the best PC cases today in the P400, a great case for first-time builders, and some of the most innovative high-end cases in the Enthoo 719 and the EVOLV series.

Even Phantek’s cheap to mid-range cases are often built with a level of quality that you’d pay more for from many other brands.

We don’t think their offerings in the mid-range are quite as good as Lian-Li and Fractal.

But that’s only because the PC-011 and the Define R5/7 are such fantastic computer cases, it’s hard to compete with them.

But if your budget is a little shorter than those chassis, or is much higher that you’re looking for a specialist case like the Enthoo 719, then Phanteks are still well worth considering.

Best PC Case Brand for Premium Options: Thermaltake

One of the best selling brands on this list, Thermaltake has some fantastic cases on offer.

Although for your typical tower build, our top picks may provide slightly better value, Thermaltake has a couple of special things on offer:

Yes, you are paying a little more for some unique aesthetics, but design is a big factor when buying your case.

Thermaltake is, to put it simply,  a great choice if you’re looking to build something extra unique to show off.

Most Stylish PC Case Brand: NZXT

We’re sure most of you are very familiar with NZXT, and there’s a good reason for that.

Few other brands have made their mark through sticking to a slick, striking aesthetic as this manufacturer.

Most of the flagship models have decent SGCC steel build qualities with some beautiful matte finishes.

NZXT’s cases aren’t just pretty though; they also offer plenty of utility for a large variety of builds.

Their flagship H510 model in particular is a fantastic mid-range case, and we appreciate that they offer comparable quality across their mATX and ITX variants.

If the aesthetic of NZXT is up your alley, know their cases are a great choice for more than just looks.

Most Popular PC Case Brand (Best for Variety): Corsair

There’s probably not a person reading this who doesn’t have some dealing with Corsair.

This classic brand has had cases featured throughout tons of our reviews.

One case, in particular, has been featured more than any other to date: the Corsair Crystal Series 680X (one of the best premium cases available today).

Although we like cases like the PC-011 and the Define R5/7 over Corsair’s mid-range offerings, it is simply incredible how many chassis this brand manufactures at any one time.

Anything from unique designs, to RGB powerhouses to dual-chamber setups, one thing we really commend Corsair for is offering as much variety as possible for its enormous consumer base.

They’re a great brand to pay attention to if you’re focussed on picking something extra unique.

Best Traditional PC Case Brand: SilverStone

On the other end of the variety spectrum is SilverStone.

This classic manufacturer is great at sticking to what it knows best: making traditional-style no-frills PC cases.

And we don’t mean that negatively by any means.

SilverStone cases still look great and perform very well for the price, if you’re after something more minimalist (and aren’t interested in Fractal Design) then this should be your go-to.

Another area they shine in is in the world of horizontal PC cases; combined with their simplistic designs, SilverStone cases are perfect for someone looking for an HTPC case.

Great Unique Cases Alternative: InWin

While not taking any particular top spot, InWin is still a great PC brand that we particularly enjoy for creating some very unique offerings that perform as well as they look.

Cases like the D-Frame, 905, A1 Plus, and 925 have designs you simply won’t find from any other manufacturer; so don’t write them off.

Good All-Round Case Options: Cooler Master

Another very popular manufacturer, Cooler Master has made a name for themselves by offering a great variety of cases in all different shapes and sizes – particularly working well as a cheap PC case brand, with a huge array of budget options.

Both their cheap and premium options are worth considering; our standout choice from them is easily the Cosmos C700P  – this is one of the best choices for high-end enthusiast builds.

The only reason we don’t rank them higher is some of the other manufacturers above simply tend to offer more with their competing products in each price range.

Runner-Up Best Silent PC Cases: Be Quiet!

Last but not least is another option for those after a quiet PC case.

As much as we love Fractal Design, if for whatever reason you are looking for an alternative (be it aesthetic or stock/budget issues), Be Quiet!’s range, as the name would suggest, offer excellent noise-reduction solutions.

The Silent Base 801 in particular is a stand-out offering from them, which you can read more about in our coverage here.

 

Honorable Mentions

While the above are the best PC case brands on the market today, there are still some other great manufacturers that you shouldn’t look down upon if you’ve found something out of this list that takes your eye.

We have, for example, previously recommended cases from Antec, ASUS, Anidees, Cougar, Azza, EVGA & darkFlash.

None of these brands are bad, (Antec for instance once manufactured one of the most popular cases on the market).

It’s just that the above 10 will cover a large majority of user needs and be the best balance of build quality, price, and features.

But if you’re looking for something extra unique, check out our feature on just that.

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