When it comes to finding the best PC case for you, there’s a lot to consider. First and foremost you have to consider airflow. Keeping your hardware cool (whether it’s a high-end system with one of the best graphics cards or just a basic PC with a cheap CPU) and noise levels as low as possible is paramount to good system performance and your own peace of mind. There’s a lot to consider when choosing the best PC case, even in that small facet of case design. A mass of variables affect it, from the number of included fans (and total fan mount locations), to sound dampening material and overall shape and design, the list is long.
And then there’s size. Are you looking for a cupboard-sized super tower, or a shoe-box-like ITX chassis? Choose the best PC case for you and it’ll serve you well through multiple builds, plus save some hard-earned cash in the long-run. That said, with hundreds of available chassis models and variants, where do you even start? Well, you’re in the right place. You’ll find a list of the best we’ve tested in varying categories below. But first, here are a few tips to steer your case buying in the right direction.
- Figure out what parts you have/want first. Aesthetics are important, but before you get to that, 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 and shape of the cases you should be considering.
- Cooling is key, especially in small cases or with lots of components. 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 tempered-glass fronts and tops often restrict airflow and may require additional fans.
- Choose a chassis that you like to look at. Unless you don’t care about aesthetics at all and are going to shove your new system far under your desk, it’s 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, whether that be a glass-enclosed rainbow of RGB LEDs, or a simple black box with smooth lines and lots of top-mounted USB ports. There are tons of case options out there. You should take the time to find one that appeals to you visually.
Best PC cases at a glance:
1. Fractal Design Define 7
2. Lian Li Lancool II Mesh
3. Phanteks Eclipse P300A
4. Fractal Design Meshify 2
5. NZXT H400i
6. Cooler Master Silencio S400
7. NZXT H1
8. Cooler Master Cosmos C700M
9. be quiet! Dark Base 700
10. Phanteks Enthoo Pro II
The Best PC Cases You Can Buy Today
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.
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.
If the Phanteks Eclipse P300A had a motto, it would be “less is more.” It succeeds at what it aims to do well and is an excellent choice for a beginner builder. It’s a simple, minimalist budget chassis at a nice $60 price.
Its mesh front panel also lends the chassis to a highly airflow-optimized design. Despite that it only comes with one fan from the factory, performance is acceptable thanks to the mesh front. We would still recommend adding at least one fan to blow air onto the GPU if you can spare the expense, but it’s worth noting that our test bed with the i9-9900K and the 2070 Super is far beyond what most shoppers in this segment would throw at this case, and the P300A’s single fan still managed to keep temperatures in check.
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?
Excellent performance, good-looking design, included RGB and fan control, and competitive price tag come together to make the H400i an excellent choice for MicroATX builders. The case gets a little noisy with fans running at top speed, and there’s no USB-C ports on the front panel. But if those shortcomings sound reasonable to you and your motherboard is smaller than full-size ATX, this case should be on your short list.
Read: NZXT H400i review
We don’t often find a case that’s lined with sound damping sheets for under $100, let alone one that has a damped front panel door with reversible swing. The Silencio 400 offers these, plus a hidden front panel device bay and adequate dust filtration, along with a classic look. Despite its slightly higher-than-average temperatures, the case’s exceptionally reduced noise gave it a great performance balance that could be perfect for your low-noise environment.
With a base that’s under 7.5-inches square and a height of just over 15 inches, the H1 from NZXT packs a lot of hardware into an incredibly small footprint. Concerns over its incredibly large price are mostly addressed via its inclusion of NZXT’s 650w, 80 Gold SFX modular power supply and built-in 140mm AIO liquid cooling system. Those custom fit components leave builders free to assemble their machines without the need to purchase custom-length cables, as may have otherwise been required to fit so much hardware into so small a space. With support for both AM4 and LGA 1151 processors plus graphics cards up to 12″ long, limitations are primarily left to your imagination.
Read: NZXT H1 review
You couldn’t ask for a more full-featured, future-proof chassis than the Cooler Master Cosmos C700M. Even with the higher than average price tag, the case’s thermal performance, integrated ARGB lighting, multi-layout design and laundry list of features definitely justifies the asking price.
Not everyone can or should spend $440 on a case, but but this is a specialized, high-end chassis specifically built for enthusiasts willing to spend their hard earned money to have the best. And make no mistake about it, the Cooler Master Cosmos C700M is one of the best.
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.