By Gabe Carey
When you’re building a new computer, especially a gaming PC, one of the first things you might put to the back of your mind is buying the best PC case. It’s tempting to think that because PC cases don’t actually contribute to the actual power of your computer, that it’s just a trivial component that doesn’t really matter. However, we struggle to think of anything worse than having a shoddy PC case fall apart, causing you to tear apart your computer only to reassemble it inside of another chassis. That’s not even taking into consideration airflow and thermal performance.
The best PC cases will put an emphasis on optimizing airflow, with plenty of space for fans, with the metal interior leaving plenty of room for air to flow unobstructed. Some may even come with space for a water-cooling loop. Plus even if you’re not going to be gaming, instead focusing on browsing the web, or just writing like we do, aesthetics and build quality go a long way.
We know that it can be overwhelming seeing how saturated the PC case market is – and even more so now that Black Friday is right around the corner, that’s why we’ve taken the liberty of creating a list of all the best PC cases you can buy today. Every PC case on this list has been rigorously tested by TechRadar and meets our quality standards. As an added bonus, every case on this list can be considered affordable, and that’s even before any discounts you can score, thanks to Black Friday on the horizon. So, sit back, relax and check out some of the best PC cases out there. You’ll find something great, we promise.
The Cooler Master Cosmos C700P looks at portability like it was some kind of bad joke. And it’s pretty easy to see why, at 22kg (or 48.5 pounds), it’s likely going to exceed 32kg (or 70.5 pounds) by the time you’ve built your entire rig into it. Don’t take that to mean that the Cosmos C700P is a bad case, it just makes it one you’ll have to lug around by its upper rails. Otherwise, the C700P is beautiful and flexible, thanks to Cooler Master’s decision to offer RGB lighting and support six different system orientations.
There are very few PC cases that look anything like Fractal Design’s Meshify-C. It’s even rare to see a chassis that even vaguely resembles it.. Given that the entire front of the case is made of mesh material sectioned off into many polygonal shapes, the Meshify-C has a unique aesthetic, and it does so without compromising on function. With two fans pre-installed, interior cooling is (forgive us) a breeze, even if the Meshify-C is held back by a number of obstacles.
Nanoxia Deep Silence 4, as it’s name suggests, was crafted with the sole purpose of being quiet as a mouse. This silence-focused case is a well-balanced Micro ATX case that’s affordably priced and even accommodates some of the biggest, most powerful graphics cards with its spacious interior. The fact that you’ll rarely hear it go above 30 decibels is just icing on the very taciturn cake.
Mini-ITX is ever so slowly getting closer and closer to finally toppling the now seemingly ancient Micro-ATX form factor, so, it only makes sense that this hot form factor has made its way into NZXT’s new H series case lineup. And unbelievably enough, NZXT has managed to incorporate a lot of the same features as its Micro ATX and mid-tower equivalents, with mesmerising, built-in and Smart Device-controlled RGB lighting and an adaptive noise sensor that sees improvement only by way of the Grid+ V3 fan controller.
When you first look at it, the Phanteks Evolv Shift X appears more like a sound bar than a PC case, but this helps it vanish into any living area or studio setup. It’s flexible to the point that it looks natural placed under a TV just as it does atop a desk, next to an equally high-end monitor. It may only be compatible with Mini-ITX mobos, which seems crazy given its size but the Phanteks Evolv Shift X offers tons of space for components and liquid-cooled loops. If this case is a little too large for your preference, there’s also the more manageable and smaller Phanteks Evolv Shift.
Fractal Design has scored a second entry on this list, and they deserve it. The Define R5 is yet another mid-tower case exhibiting a beautiful style. The metallic and blue LED-lit face of the case is simple, yet elegant, and is accompanied by noise dampening materials throughout its interior. In spite of the detachable ModuVent panels and drive trays not being tool-lessly accessible, the Fractal Design Define R5 is otherwise painless to build a computer inside of. Not only that, but it’s not as expensive as you would expect from a PC case with such a pretentious name either.
Even if you’re trying to avoid spending a fortune on your build, it’s probably not a great idea to not settle for the absolute cheapest PC case you can find. For the most part, cheap cases don’t really incorporate proper ventilation and airflow, not to mention you’ll end up buying your own fans and cable management supplies. The Corsair Carbide Spec-04, on the other hand, shows up even some of the more expensive cases. It does so with rubberized feet, an included LED fan and tons of room to spare for additional fans and components.
This case is for the Razer fans out there. While the green snake-adorned company doesn’t manufacture its own PCs, it has partnered with several OEMs in the past to add its signature green-infused flare to a handful of desktop PC cases. This includes the Antec Cube, a small form factor chassis that supports Mini-ITX motherboards and is shaped like an italic font (but backwards). Complete with lots of space, either for an initial build or future expansion, the Antec Cube is also compact enough to travel with.
- While you’re at it, we’ve found the best gaming mouse you can buy
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