Best Computer Cases

Updated February 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

6 Models Considered
1 Experts Interviewed
163 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best computer cases

Last Updated February 2019

Choosing the right computer case is more than just an aesthetic decision. It’s literally the roof over your expensive computer hardware that keeps it safe from damage, so it’s important to choose carefully. It may not seem like a complicated decision, but there are a number of factors you need to consider in order to choose the one that’s right for your needs.

The hundreds of options out there can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never purchased a computer case before. But by focusing on a few key factors, you can narrow down your choices and quickly locate the one that suits you.

Here’s a short guide to walk you through the process, including some of our top recommendations.

If your computer case has a side panel and you want the inside to look neat, choose a case with a PSU shroud to hide the power supply unit and its wiring.

Key considerations

Size

The most important consideration when choosing a computer case is size. Cases typically come in one of three sizes: mini-tower, mid-tower, and full-tower. The right one for you depends on your computer hardware. Before you choose your case, think about what kind of hardware you plan to use in your computer and how much room it will take up. Then, approximate what size case you’ll need in order to fit all the components.

  • Mini-tower: A mini-tower case is a smart choice when space is at a premium. At about 14 inches tall, some can even fit inside a small cabinet to be stored out of the way. But the downside is there isn’t a ton of room inside for housing extra hardware. Some can’t even support full-length graphics cards.

  • Mid-tower: A mid-tower case should be plenty for most people. It’s large enough to accommodate most standard motherboards, with plenty of room left over for storage, graphics cards, and other components. The size varies from one model to the next, but you can expect it to be around 18 inches tall and less than 8 inches wide.

  • Full-tower: If you need something larger, a full-tower case may be more your style. It can accommodate large water-cooling system, a ton of storage, and multiple graphics cards, and still leave plenty of room to add new components in the future. The downside is that these cases are large. Some can be as tall as 24 inches, and they’re usually longer and wider than mid-tower cases, as well as more expensive.
CAUTION

Tempered glass panels can be brittle, so be careful when handling them.

Computer case features

Once you’ve narrowed down the size you need, you can turn your attention to other features.

Aesthetics: The style of the case is especially important if it’s going to be visible. These days, there’s almost no limit to the choice of materials, colors, and designs, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something you like. But be mindful of how the style you choose affects other concerns. For example, tempered glass panels can display your computer hardware nicely, but they come at the expense of reduced airflow. Certain materials or design elements may also raise the price of the computer case, so this is something to bear in mind.

Airflow: Choose a computer case that has at least two fans: one in the front and one in the back. Cases with a single fan may be more prone to overheating, especially if you’re using it for gaming. The best computer cases have some extra fan mounts if you want to add more later.

Assembly: Your computer case should be simple to assemble, and all the components should fit snugly without forcing them and without pieces popping off on their own. Most computer cases today employ a toolless design, which helps speed up the assembly process considerably. Components can be snapped, twisted, or screwed together with thumbscrews. Your case should include assembly instructions.

Before choosing a case, it’s a smart idea to read through some customer reviews in order to get an idea of how easy or difficult the assembly process is. Some cases have issues with the thumbscrews and holes not lining up precisely, and this can prove challenging when you’re trying to put it together.

Cable management: Cable management features help to tidy up the inside of your computer case while also allowing for improved airflow. Choose a computer case with a cutout in the motherboard tray and preferably rubber grommets to prevent the wires from getting damaged on sharp metal edges. Some computer cases also have mounting points where you can attach cable ties.

Dust filters: It’s crucial to keep the case clean so the computer functions optimally. Too much dust and debris can make your computer run hotter and possibly overheat. A dust filter can help prevent dust and other debris from getting inside the case in the first place.

Front panel: If you plan to attach a number of USB connections, headphones, and other external devices, it’s smart to go with a case that puts these ports within easy reach. Check the front panel of the case you’re considering to be sure it has enough of the ports you need.

Soundproofing: If you’re easily distracted by loud computer fans, you might want to invest in a soundproof case. These cases have sound-dampening materials on the inside so you don’t hear as much noise when the computer is running. However, bear in mind that these materials also compromise airflow.

EXPERT TIP

If you plan to water-cool your computer, be sure that the case you choose is large enough to accommodate the size of the radiator you’re going to use.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Not all computer cases include 5.25-inch drive bays, so if you need to include one, be sure your computer case can accommodate it.


Staff  | BestReviews

Computer case prices

Computer cases start at around $50 and can easily cost $200 and up. The price depends on the size of the case and its features. If you’re on a budget and don’t need to accommodate a bunch of fancy hardware, you should be able to find something that appeals to you for $50 or less. Unless you need a full-tower case or one with some unique features, you shouldn’t need to spend more than $150. There are plenty of well-made mid-tower cases available for around $100 to $150.

Tips

  • Consider purchasing a case with a little more room than you currently need. This is important if you think you might add more fans or other components to your computer in the future.

  • Consider the space where you plan to store the computer case. Be sure to choose something that will fit comfortably in the area you have available.

  • Consider Integrated lighting. It can add a nice touch, especially if your computer case has tempered glass panels.

  • Consider a case with grill panels. This can help improve airflow and keep your hardware cooler.

Other products we considered

The Thermaltake V20 RGB Edition Mid-Tower Chassis is a great, lightweight mid-tower case with a sleek black exterior and 16 LED modes. Users are pleased with the airflow and how easy it is to manage the cables and install new components, thanks to the option of removing all the panels. The best part is the surprising affordability, given all the features. Another option worth considering is the Phanteks Eclipse P400 Mid-Tower Case. It’s available in three colors and has a stylish tempered glass panel in the side. It includes magnetic dust filters and two fans, with the option to support water-cooling radiators up to 360 millimeters. It also has Velcro ties on the back of the case to help with cable management.

Cheaper computer cases tend to be made of lower-quality materials and may be more prone to scratches and dents.

FAQ

Q. What are the most important hardware components to focus on when choosing a computer case size?

A. It’s crucial that the computer case can accommodate the motherboard you plan to use. You can figure this out by checking the case’s spec sheet online. You should also double-check that it’s large enough to house the graphics cards you plan to use, along with any CPU coolers or liquid-cooling system you plan to use.

Q. Are cable management features really that important?

A. That depends. Some people care about it more than others, but proper cable management can help improve airflow in the case, so that’s one reason to consider it. Plus, if you have a computer case with a tempered glass panel, it will probably look neater if the cables are organized rather than scattered randomly about the case.

Q. What’s the difference between RGB and LED lighting in a computer case?

A. LED lights are a single color, while RGB lights can be customized to produce thousands of different shades, so you can choose the one you like best. RGB lighting has become popular in computer cases because of the customization factor, but don’t worry if yours doesn’t include it. You can always purchase these lights separately and add them to your case.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Production Assistant
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kailey
    Kailey
    Writer
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Samantha
    Samantha
    Writer
  • Vukan
    Vukan
    Post Production Editor

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