Builders don’t often put enough time or attention toward choosing the best PC case for their next build. Or they kist push the decision off until the very end of the part-picking process. They might first consider the CPU and graphics card that fits their needs and budget, then move on to picking a motherboard and storage.
But you really should consider your case options early. Getting the best PC case for your build is key, because it’s what forms the identity of your computer, dictating its looks and what fits inside, plus the noise levels in your room. It also massively affects the cooling potential of your rig as well. You can choose to go for one of the best Mini-ITX cases to minimize your system’s footprint on your desk, or you can get a chassis like Fractal Design’s Meshify 2 to house a big, butt-kicking workstation with lots of expansion possibilities.
Below we’ve gathered a list of the best PC cases from the dozens of models we’ve tested in recent years. As long as you check whether the parts you want to use will fit and you like the looks, one of these cases should keep you happy for several years to come.
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- Figure out what parts you have/want first. Before prioritizing looks, you’ll want to know what motherboard, graphics card, and cooler you’ll be using, plus how many drives you’ll want to install. This will dictate the size of the cases to consider.
- Cooling is key, especially in small cases. Airflow is important in choosing the best PC case, especially when it comes to high-end components in tight spaces. Check our cooler reviews for our cooling test results before buying, and remember that cases with glass fronts and tops restrict airflow and may need extra fans.
- Choose a chassis that you like to look at. Your case of choice is likely to spend lots of time in your peripheral vision. Don’t forget to check airflow and that your parts will fit. But after that, find something that appeals to you visually. Take the time to find a case that appeals to you visually. If you want to show off your case’s internals, a case like Hyte’s Y60 with its panoramic glass is certainly appealing. But know that generally speaking, the more glass found on a case, particularly in the front, the warmer your system is likely to run.
The Best PC Cases You Can Buy Today
We aren’t sure who asked for a case that mixed mid-century modern design (wooden slats and all) and high airflow, but we sure are glad that Fractal Design answered with its excellent North mid-tower. Available with either a mesh side (as we tested) or tempered glass, and in white with chrome accents on the IO and feet, or black with brass, this is arguably the prettiest PC case ever produced, period. And thanks to its pair of 140mm fans, and an included side bracket (for the mesh model) that can hold another pair of 140mm fans (not included), the North has excellent thermals as well. Just note that it can get noisy when delivering those temps. The glass side panel may help a bit on the noise front, but likely at the cost of at least some thermal performance.
If you don’t like this case’s looks, then the company’s Meshify 2 Compact (below), is probably a better option for you. But if you’re after a case that matches the pretty furniture in your living room, has lots of room for storage, and won’t break the bank at $130, nothing else comes close to the North. We hope Fractal’s bold move inspires other case makers to try something different.
Fractal Design’s Meshify 2 Compact offers an excellent foundation for simple ATX gaming systems, and a chassis that will stand the test of time well. It doesn’t go out of its way to be eccentric, rather providing the user with a classy chassis that will look good for a long time to come — a chassis you can grow up with.
And while its materials quality could be seen as a little lacking, this is a case where you pay for its excellent design, not only in looks, but also practicality: it has tons of cable management space, is laid out logically and with easy to access filters, a breeze to use and maintain as your daily driver.
The biggest catch to this case is its slightly steep price and lack of RGB, but we believe it’s worth paying just for how well thought-out its practical design is.
Read: Meshify 2 Compact Review
Phanteks has a history of delivering value and performance with its cases, and the Eclipse G360A is no exception. At $100, it costs about $10 more than the current price of the previous Eclipse P360A, but you get an extra RGB fan and support for larger 360 radiators at the top and front. And with the new G360A, all three fans feature PWM for better efficiency, noise output and control. If that isn’t worth an extra $10 to you, then you may want to scoop up the P360A while it’s still available.
Despite some quirks in its design, the Eclipse G360A is a truly great case for gamers on a budget. Heck, even if money isn’t a major issue, it’s still nice to get good airflow and attractive RGB without spending a lot. Sure you could pay more for something else, but the Eclipse G360A is proof that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a great breezy box for your PC parts.
With a starting price of just $100 (or $15 more if you want to add an RGB controller and more USB ports), Lian Li’ Lancool 216 delivers some of the excellent design features of its pricier O11D Evo and Lancool III cases, while adding a nifty PCIe fan mount, and large 160mm RGB intake fans. The top IO can be moved to the left side, near the bottom, if you’re going to keep the case on your desk.
The LanCool 216 isn’t a quiet case, but its thermal performance is excellent – especially if you add a rear 120mm below the GPU mounts, via the included bracket. There are hundreds of cases around the $100 price point, but the 216 stands out thanks to novel features for its price, great airflow, and solid design, with superb cable routing. We just wish an extra fan for the PCIe bracket were included in the price.
Lian Li’s PC-O11 Dynamic has been a staple, go-to PC case for pretty builds in recent years, but its days might be numbered. The O11D Mini was inspired by its design, but had a few issues. But now, the O11 Air Mini comes in as a brilliant alternative.
Priced at just $110, you get a lot for your money with this case, including three PWM fans, bits of pretty aluminum, a glass panel, handsome looks, plentiful IO, a brilliant internal design and full ATX compatibility.
The chassis features an unusual side-by-side chambered design, but building in it is a breeze and its performance is well up to snuff by modern standards. With this many features, great handsome styling, and such value for money, it’s a case that easily earns its place on this list.
With just two of the company’s F120Q Airflow case fans behind a skeletal frame with a perforated front panel, the NZXT H7 Flow manages to deliver excellent temperature and noise level numbers in our testing, beating or competing well against pricier chassis with more fans and glass panels. It’s also a pleasure to build in, with good cable management and a $130 MSRP that’s quite reasonable in this era of seemingly ever-increasing prices.
The primary missing feature here, which will feel refreshing for many builders, is the lack of any RGB to light up your system. That, combined with the boxy look and perforated front means this case isn’t the prettiest on our list, but it can certainly look good with some tasteful lighting delivered via your components, extra fans or a light strip. And if you don’t like the look of the fully vented front and you aren’t that concerned about keeping your temps a low as they can go, the non-Flow H7 model has a solid front, but with everything else we loved about the H7 Flow.
Read: NZXT H7 Flow review
Cooler Master’s HAF 700 Evo packs in loads of unique features, like an edge-lit RGB glass grille front with a circular LCD display, an infinity mirror to hide ugly bits of the interior while showing off your pretty components and five front USB ports. There’s also room for up to 12 drives and EATX server-class motherboards, plus clearance for the largest graphics cards and coolers.
But Cooler Master didn’t forget about performance with its HAF 700 Evo. It lands at or near the top of our testing charts, thanks to two huge 200 mm intake fans and a trio of smaller 120 mm spinners. Plus, with 18 fan mounts, airflow can get even better.
The only downsides of the HAF 700 Evo are its $500-plus price, the fact that it weighs over 50 pounds empty, and the dust filter is behind the front panel, which is difficult to remove. If you’re after great looks and great performance with loads of room for high-end parts, Cooler Master’s flagship HAF is hard to beat.
Fractal offers a thoughtful, versatile design aimed at ease-of-use, and delivers a very pleasant and enjoyable building experience with the Meshify 2. Whether you use this case as a system where you just want to deliver tons of airflow and room for expansion, a workstation with tons of hard drives, a server, or high-end custom liquid cooling, the Meshify 2 will find a way to accommodate your build. For that, along with thermal and acoustic performance that is in-line with what we expect from a mesh front, it earns a rare five-star rating.
The Meshify 2 doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to case design, instead gently chiseling away at it to refine the experience. There’s only one thing about it that you need to ask yourself before smashing the buy button: Will you really use the room for storage or cooling parts, or can you buy a smaller case and save yourself some space and money?
Lian Li hasn’t been quiet about its upcoming case launches, but when it did finally launch the Q58, it blew us away. This is a 14.3 liter Mini-ITX case that costs just $130 in its base variant, and it packs great looks, excellent cooling potential, and a flexible internal design.
The basic frame is made from steel, and each side houses a half-glass, half -perforated steel. The front face and the top plate are made from fancier, prettier aluminum, giving the case a very premium feel overall. The GPU can draw fresh air straight from the side, but you can still see its pretty RGB through the glass, and you can squeeze a 280mm radiator into the case’s roof.
But the case can also be reconfigured to sacrifice some AIO and storage options in favor of fitting an ATX power supply, which is a great way of achieving some cost savings in combination with opting for the plain PCIe 3.0 riser cable. Throw another $30 in, and you can also get a version of this case with a PCIe 4.0 riser cable, ready for RTX 3000 and RX 6000 (and future) graphics cards. There are few things not to like about the Q58.
Read: Lian Li Q58 Review
The Evolv Shift 2 stands out at first glance for its its towering, small footprint design and beautiful anodized aluminum panels. Priced at $100 for the mesh version and $110 for the variant with TG and an addressable-RGB fan, it easily earns a spot on our Best PC Cases list.
With a small footprint and beautiful finish in both the tempered-glass and mesh variants, the Evolv Shift 2 is perfect as an SFF PC for use in the living room, moving around the house wherever you need it or taking to LAN parties. The easily accessible top IO makes plugging devices in a breeze too. Building in it was tight, and came with the typical frustrations associated with Mini-ITX systems, but I still managed a build within about 3 hours, and the end result was well worth the effort.
Read: Evolv Shift 2 Review
Corsair’s 4000X RGB is a sleek gaming tower that comes with two glass panels and three RGB spinners. Priced at about $135 now, it’s not cheap, but its design is thoroughly considered and as you build with it, it’s clear where Corsair’s gaming and PC building pedigree comes from. Indeed, the 4000X RGB (as well as the similar 4000D airflow), is an extremely easy and convenient chassis to build a system in, and everything just makes sense.
While it won’t blow you away with premium materials such as aluminum, the dark tinted glass ensures that you only see RGB lighting inside the case, allowing you to be a little sloppy with cable management because you won’t see it anyway. Add to that Corsair’s class-leading RGB ecosystem, and you’ve got a very pretty case that’s convenient in use and always looks good, no matter what you install inside it.
Alternatively, if you’re after something with a bit more flexibility, the Lian Li Lancool III RBG is an impressive option with movable front IO, excellent cable management and lots of internal space. But priced about $30 more than the Corsair case, with somewhat noisy fans and CPU thermals that weren’t quite as good as we’d expect from a mesh front case with three 140mm spinners, it’s not as easy to recommend as Corsair’s 4000X RGB.
A dual-layout (open or extra storage) interior, vented top panel, dedicated water cooling fill port under the top filter, and a Nexus+ 2 PWM fan hub add to the Define 7’s extremely solid construction and top-notch fit/finish to make it a sure hit with performance enthusiasts. If you’re looking for top notch performance with a strong feature set, the Fractal Design Define 7 is worth the money.
Phanteks’ Enthoo Pro II is a very unique chassi, offering the most seamless dual-system support we’ve ever seen. And its new fabric mesh front looks really great, especially when you get close to the case.
Thermally and acoustically, the Enthoo Pro II also performs phenomenally well. Of course, the mesh does let more noise out than a closed-front case would, but if you’re careful in your component selection and only pick quiet parts, it should all remain very tolerable.
Other PC Cases We Tested:
9/25/2022: Montech Sky One Lite
With a sub-$100 price, a mesh front, RGB light bar and a hinged glass side panel, Montech’s Sky One Lite looks like an impressive deal on paper. But our testing saw it running a little warm and loud. This, combined with its otherwise fairly uninspired design means it doesn’t really stand out in this crowded space against excellent options like Phanteks G360A.
9/4/2022: Ssupd Meshroom S
Lian Li spinoff Ssupd (sunny side up design, in case you were wondering) offers up an interesting mesh-covered rectangle with the Meshroom S. It’s compact at 9.7 x 6.6 x 14.2 inches and technically supports up to ATX motherboards and large 13-inch graphics cards. It’s thermal performance was also great in our testing. But it’s expensive for what it is, at $160, there really isn’t any attention paid to cable management, and because of its inverted design (with the motherboard ports facing the bottom), you’ll have to use the included right-angle HDMI cable, or furnish your own right-angle DisplayPort cable. The case also comes with a PCIe 4.0 riser cable, but it only works with sub-ATX-sized motherboards. If you plan on installing an ATX board, you’ll need to supply your own longer riser cable if you’re going to install a GPU (perhaps one of the best graphics cards).
Read: Ssupd Meshroom S review
Discounts on the Best PC Cases
Whether you’re buying one of the best PC cases on our list above or a different product, you may find some savings by checking out the latest Corsair coupon codes, Newegg promo codes or Micro Center coupon codes.
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