Choosing the best PC case for your build often gets overlooked, or pushed off until the very end of the part-picking process. When building a new PC, you might start off choosing one of the best gaming CPUs and the best graphics card for your needs and budget. You’ll then want to pick the best motherboard for your system, and perhaps some storage devices. But builders frequently overlook the case, thinking of it as just a box to put your components in.
But the truth couldn’t be further from that. Getting the best PC case is key, because it’s arguably what forms the identity of your computer, dictating not only its looks but also what fits inside, the noise levels in your room, and the cooling potential for your rig as well. You can choose to go for a small ITX case to minimize your system’s footprint on your desk, like Phanteks’ excellent Evolv Shift 2, or you can get a chassis like Fractal Design’s Meshify 2 to house a big, badass workstation with endless expansion possibilities.
Below we’ve compiled a list of the best PC cases from the dozens of models we’ve tested. As long as you check whether the parts you want will fit and you like the looks, one of these cases should keep you happy for years to come.
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If the best PC case for you is something premium and compact, Louqe’s Raw S1 is a niche Mini-ITX case that, while limited in expansion and cooling capacity, does feature a very compact footprint and some of the most stunning design and materials I’ve seen in years. It is expensive at $330, and at the time of writing, it isn’t widely available. But you can buy it direct from the manufacturer.
If you’re looking for something more mainstream, we recently reviewed the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact, a good option for understated ATX systems. And there’s Thermaltake’s ITX The Tower 100 if you’d like something that’s a more unique showpiece.
Meanwhile, although not a candidate for this list, we’ve also built a system in Singularity Computer’s Spectre III chassis — a $1400 open case designed purely for liquid cooling, and it’s a truly stunning piece of kit. This adventure started with assembling the case itself as it comes flat-packed, followed by building a sweet system into it that we called ‘Blue Shift’
While these cases aren’t strictly all on our list of best PC cases below, they’re still worth considering if you like the way they look and have (or plan to buy) components for a PC that fits within their specs.
- 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.
The Best PC Cases You Can Buy Today
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
If you’re in the market for a no-fuss, built-like-a-tank, high-performance, competitively priced PC case and don’t mind this model’s somewhat boring appearance, we can do nothing other than recommend the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh.
Aside from being a great performing case, the Lancool II Mesh is also a dream to work in and offers unparalleled flexibility. The case is heavy, but feels extremely solid and is clearly meant to last.
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?
Phanteks’ P360A comes in at a street price of just $66, and that isn’t much especially if you consider its feature set. Sure, it won’t blow you away with quality materials or extreme silence, but it comes with all the essentials needed for simple, budget-minded ATX gaming systems while still offering a fun bit of flair.
Behind the mesh front panel you’ll find two 120mm addressable-RGB fans, which provide the chassis with class-leading thermal performance at perfectly acceptable noise levels. This is a case that’s more than capable of dealing with today’s high-TDP GPUs, and a 240mm radiator mount at the top can be used with an AIO to keep your CPU cool too.
And as a cherry on top, Phanteks also throws in an addressable-RGB strip along the side of the chassis, along with an excellent software-free RGB controller, creating a very complete and easy to use ‘just throw parts at it’ package.
Read: Phanteks P360A 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 $135 noq, 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.
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.
Antec’s P82 Silent takes case design in a slightly different direction than most ATX cases do these days, instead focusing on silence and understated looks. While this means that you won’t be able to mount an AIO at the top,thanks to the closed panel there for sound dampening, the P82 Silent is an excellent air-cooling case for systems that need to draw less attention.
Priced at $60, the build quality is in-line with what we’d expect featuring mostly painted steel and cheap plastics, but the case comes with three quiet fans and a fair amount of damping material to keep it all hush hush.
With room for up to ATX motherboards, more than adequate cable management, and surprisingly good thermal performance despite the quiet intentions, the P82 Silent is a great value for those seeking a quiet PC.
Read: Antec P82 Silent review
The be quiet! Dark Base 700 is in a class of its own. At first glance it may seem like just another case with a tempered-glass side panel. But upon further inspection, it’s clear how much time and effort went into the design. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more versatile, high-performance enclosure.
It’s clear that be quiet! put a great deal of thought into the design of this chassis’ filtration system. Every intake fan mounting location in the Dark Base 700 is equipped with a washable nylon fan filter. Gaining access to filters requires removing the front panel, but even though the front and bottom filters are extremely long, maintenance and cleaning is a snap.
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.
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.