Picking the right computer case is a monumental decision. Perhaps even more important than choosing the motherboard. The frame you choose decides what components will actually fit inside. It affects how easy your system will be to build, how air will flow across your components, and how your computer will fit into your gaming setup. PC chassis come in a variety of sizes, from miniscule Mini-ITX systems meant to sit on your desk, to massive full towers designed for maximum expandability.
With this in mind, we’re going to look at 23 of the best computer cases to start with for your next system build, spanning a spectrum of sizes, shapes, and price points.
These aren’t just cases that look pretty. Some are our personal favorites, cases we've built our own rigs with. Others come highly recommended by do-it-yourselfers and professional reviewers. We’ve dug through buyer feedback and reviews to find cases that are as cleverly designed and reliable as they are attractive.
A note on affiliates: some of our stories, like this one, include affiliate links to stores like Amazon. These online stores share a small amount of revenue with us if you buy something through one of these links, which helps support our work evaluating PC components.
One of our new favorite cases, the Riotoro CR1080 is smaller than some mini-ITX and micro-ATX cases, but somehow manages to fit a full size ATX motherboard within its frame. Building in it feels a bit like dabbling in black magic, with the end result being a ludicrously compact system with a full size GPU. The CR1080 is designed with room for a 120mm liquid cooler and even an optical drive if you need one.
The split compartment keeps the PSU and storage isolated, which is nice for cable management and access to your drives. There's room for a hard drive and two 2.5-inch SSDs. The plastic side panel (smartly bowed out to make room for GPU cables and air coolers) and a few other touches make the case feel a bit more budget than premium. Considering the $80 price tag and a better compact design than any other ATX case we've built in, that's not such a bad thing.
Price: $130 (£100) on Amazon
Form Factor: Mid tower
If you’re looking for a perfect mid tower, this is it. The NZXT H440 mixes together a nice blend of conservative styling, useful features, and great build quality. One of the H440’s most notable features is a shroud at the bottom of the case, which pairs perfectly with the large side window to create a very clean look. Even better, it comes with four fans pre-installed, which is more than enough cooling for a system build—although there’s always room for liquid cooling.
The H440 makes it easy to achieve a professional-looking build,” Steven Walton wrote in his TechSpot review. “it runs cool with four 140mm fans from the factory, and it supports huge gear like 360mm radiators or up to 11 HDDs via mod. What's not to love?”
Fractal Design Define R5
Price: $106 on Amazon
Form Factor: Mid tower
Silence is golden and the Fractal Design Define R5 comes with sound dampening material to drone out the sound of spinning fans and any bleeps or bloops emanating from the motherboard. Sporting a plain but all steel exterior, this is also a good choice if you don’t want a PC that screams that it was built for gaming.
Improving on the popular Define R4, the updated model features a slightly retooled “ModuVent” system for airflow in and out of the top of the case, velcro cable management straps, as well as a few other improvements.
Price: $60 (£49) on Amazon
Form Factor: Mini-ITX
We first saw the Cougar QBX at Computex and it immediately impressed us. Now that we've gotten our hands on it and built a rig inside of it, we can confidently say that it's one of the best mini-ITX cases around. It's got a sleek exterior, a great price, and an incredibly compact design for how much you can fit inside of it—with enough room for an ATX power supply and full length Graphics cards.
Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5
Cooler Master reinvented itself recently with fewer new models but more versatile cases. The MasterCase is the flagship, a solid mid tower case with customization potential. Here's what our case guru Alex Campbell wrote:
"The MasterCase series is does so many things right, it's hard to find fault. The case offers great airflow, and a level of modularity that really hasn't been matched in any other case of its class.
Aside from the cooling options, nearly everything can be removed or moved using thumb screws. That includes hard drive cages, the ODD cage, 2.5-inch rive mounts, the works. Basically, there are few cases that offer this many options in one package, and fewer still that are this easy to build into. Both noobs and advanced builders alike will find something to love in this case."
Fractal Design Node 804
Price: $100 (£80) on Amazon
Form Factor: Micro ATX Cube Case
Going with a small case does not mean settling for a lower-powered system. Take the Fractal Design Node 804, for instance; thanks to a dual chamber setup you can fit Micro ATX board with a full-size GPU and long power supply. All the while, there’s no need to worry about cramped conditions as Tweaktown’s Chad Sebring explains, “things look a bit cramped when first looking at this, but once we start installing the gear, we find quite a bit of room is available in this design.”
Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX
You don't need to pay this much for a mid tower case, but if you want a case that makes you whistle under your breath, the Enthoo Evolv is for you. As our resident case obsessee Alex wrote:
"Phanteks really offers something special with the Enthoo Evolv ATX. Just like its smaller, ITX-sized sibling, the Evolv adopts a styling methodology that departs slightly from the boxiness of most cases. While the rectangular prism shape is still the basis, interesting cuts make the case look high-tech like futuristic body armor. The tinted window also helps maintain a subdued appearance while allowing the build to show off its innards.
While this case takes most of its cues from the ITX model, this aluminum chassis does have some features that allows it to depart from it sibling. The hard drive brackets in the case look a lot more like shelving than a cage. For people who want to water cool with a custom loop, space has been allocated for reservoirs. radiators and pumps. Builders with all-in-one closed-loop cooling systems will find room for 240mm radiators too."
Corsair Graphite 760T
Price: $190 on Newegg
Form factor: Full tower
Big side windows have risen in popularity over the last few years and the Corsair Graphite 760T represents the inevitable evolution of this trend. Rather than having a traditional side panel made of metal or plastic, the 760T’s flanks are made almost entirely out of transparent polycarbonate. Looks aside, its a huge full tower case with nine expansion slots for quadruple SLI or three cards taking up three slot with plenty of room to spare for water cooling.
Anandtech also had some equally great things to say about the case. “The Graphite 760T offers a great variety of options and combinations, allowing each end user to find their desired balance between thermal performance, acoustics, and cost,” Anandtech’s E. Fylladitakis wrote. “It is aesthetically attractive without being too aggressive, offers good stock thermal performance without being too noisy, and is very versatile without being too expensive.”
EVGA Hadron Air
Price: $127 (£144) on Amazon
Form Factor: Mini-ITX
The EVGA Hadron Air is a small, and very unique, mini-ITX chassis. It comes with a slightly cost premium for its size, which is largely thanks to its built-in 500-watt U1 style power supply (normally used to power servers). The most notable feature of this case is its compact design that still allows users to pack in a powerful components like the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan.
Hilbert Hagedoorn of Guru3D spoke highly of the cutest and most tiny chassis from EVGA:
“Yeah, you can build a PC that is massive in performance whilst being small in size. Combine that with decent enough airflow and the sheer looks then I have to say that EVGA's Hadron is a nice first Mini-ITX chassis release, it offers a massive amount of features for what is the smallest form factor. It is tiny and cute and if you do things right, it'll be grand in performance.”
Phanteks Enthoo Pro
Price: $100 (£87) on Amazon
Form Factor: Full Tower
With most budget cases costing around $100 you don’t expect a lot of luxuries, but the Phanteks Enthoo Pro comes with a surprising number of bells and whistles including rubber grommets, dust filters for every intake, and even a power supply cover to neatly hide all your cables.
The Enthoo Pro is a very affordable and surprisingly fully featured full tower case that will also show off your internals with two side windows.
NZXT Phantom 410
Price: $90 (£74) on Amazon
Form Factor: Mid tower
NZXT makes some very solid cases and the Phantom 410 is a very good, feature-packed mid-tower chassis. The frame, like many of NZXT’s cases, is very reminiscent of Alienware, with a bit of the company’s own personal flair making the design unmistakable even from afar.
The Phantom 410 is an affordable $99 mid-tower that comes with an adjustable rear fan set on slits rather screw holes, integrated fan controller, rubber grommets, and an almost completely tool-less design; altogether this makes the 410 an accessible case for first time builders. At the same time, experienced builders can take advantage of the ample clearance for a 240mm top radiator.
NZXT Phantom 820
Price: $200 (£196) on Amazon
Form Factor: Full tower
The NZXT Phantom 820 is essentially the Phantom 410’s bigger, full tower brother. Everything about the 820 is bumped up with more hard drive caddies, expansions slots—and just overall, a ton more room. Liquid cooling aficionados will also especially like this case because it supports a top 360mm radiator as well as a bottom 280mm radiator. For even more cooling the case can also be equipped with an additional 140mm rear fan and three 200mm fans.
Corsair Obsidian Series 900D
Price: $330 (£270) on Amazon
Form Factor: Super tower
Speaking of top-of-the-line builds, the Corsair Obsidian Series 900D is a giant PC case ready to house the biggest of builds. Standing in at just a little over two feet, this “super tower” features an extra compartment at its base for a massive water cooling block, dual PSUs, or 12 additional storage drives. Users can also pack in an absurd number of liquid cooling reservoirs with room for a 360mm block on the front and top of this frame.
In HardOCP’s 900D review, Steve Lynch listed his many likes of the case including its “solid construction, bold looks, and sleek styling combined with a strong focus on functionality.”
Price: $60 (£165) on Amazon
Form Factor: Mid Tower
The BitFenix Ronin is another affordable and well equipped computer chassis. There isn’t much to complain about as it comes with tool-less sleds for both HDDs and SSDs, and dust filters all around. BitFenix also designed it to handle easy swapping of CPU coolers, if you like to mix up your build by testing air coolers versus liquid. It can handle a 240mm liquid cooling radiator, and is a big enough mid tower to hold a couple graphics cards.
There’s even a neat stealth cover to hide the storage bays and cables tucked along the base.
Fractal Design Arc Mini
Price: $102 (£74) on Amazon
Form Factor: Micro ATX
Here’s a precious little case. The Fractal Design Arc Mini is about the closest thing you can get to a chibi computer—a miniature mid-tower, basically. Aside from the adorable aspect of this chassis, we can personally vouch for it as a great platform to build a small computer in. It’s solidly built with all the trimmings including dust filters and room for big graphics.
Rosewill Thor V2
Price: $130 on Amazon
Form Factor: Full Tower
Rosewill, Newegg's house hardware brand, is better known for producing keyboards and computer peripherals, but it also makes a bang up full tower called the Thor V2. The case is largely made of metal and up top there are also chevron shaped vents, which users can close to stop dust from settling inside the frame.
It’s not a show-topper of a PC chassis like the Corsair 900D or Cooler Master HAF X, but the Thor V2 is a fully featured full tower case for an affordable price. And it has a really, really big fan on its side panel.
Price: $85 (£63) on Amazon
Form Factor: Mini-ATX/Micro-ITX
Another case we use in one of our personal rigs, the BitFenix Prodigy has a short and stout shape. It’s only 14” tall and has plastic handles on both the type and bottom, though they are a bit flimsier than they look. The handles and small form factor allow your rig to be a very portable machine, but, as is the problem with most mini-ITX cases, leaves you less room for cable management. There are vents with removable filters on the top and bottom of the case, and the bottom set of handles keeps your PSU fan from resting directly on a surface.
The Prodigy also comes in six different colors, though some of the brighter ones are becoming increasingly rare. We went for the bright “half-life” orange, but the standard black or white cases tend to be on the cheaper side. The inside of the case has removable drive trays, leaving space for at least eight drives if needed.
Corsair Carbide 200R
Price: $55 (£50) on Amazon
Form Factor: Mid tower
Currently the best selling case on Amazon, the Corsair Carbide 200R is just a good standard case. It’s reasonably priced, won’t take up a huge amount of space on or under your deck, and doesn’t look too bad either. It definitely has a few problems, namely its drive cage's quality and placement, but it's a good choice on a budget.
Rosewill Dual Fan Mini Tower
Price: $30 on Amazon
Form Factor: Mini tower
Speaking of budget cases, the Rosewill Dual Fan Mini Tower is just that. It’s a small, well made case for only $30. That’s an appealing thought right off the bat, and though it’s surely not without problems at that price point, it also has great reviews on Amazon to back that up.
C. B. Smith says: “I've put together three systems for family members using this case, and I don't think you can beat it for the cost. This is a very clean looking case with no bling so it doesn't looks cheap. As others have noted the case material is light weight but once the side panels are installed the case is solid.”
Corsair Carbide Air 540
Price: $130 (£109) on Amazon
Form Factor: Mid tower
Recommended to us in the comments below by reader jom jim. A case all about good airflow, the aptly named Corsair Carbide Air 540 has two separate chambers to separate your graphics card and CPU from things like drives and your PSU. This lets cool air hit the parts that need it the most.
It’s essentially a large cube instead of the traditional tower case we think of, but the space is used well and it allows for a unique layout inside. Additionally, the larger area inside would make for an easier working area if this is one of your first builds.
Cooler Master Haf XB EVO
Price: $93 on Amazon
Form Factor: Mid tower cube
A bit different than most, the Cooler Master Haf XB EVO lets you cram the components of a mid tower system into a squat, portable box. It supports ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards, up to 3-way SLI/CrossFire, and a tower CPU cooler up to 180mm.
The Haf XB's steel body utilizes direct front-to-back airflow over the CPU and mainboard to promote cooling performance, and can support 240mm radiators. Additionally, the side panels (which feature rigid carry handles for portability) and top mesh can be quickly removed, transforming the system into an open-air test bench.
CaseLabs Mercury S8
They say once you've built in a CaseLabs case, you never want to build inside anything else. With reconfigurable innards, CaseLabs cases are fully customizable, and feature enough space for tons of massive components.
The Mercury S8 isn't the largest of CaseLabs' offerings, but it's close. And at $530 for the quick-ship model on Amazon, it isn't cheap either. (You can also order a customized version , but with a ~10 week delay.) Even so, it's worth the price tag.
One of CaseLabs' features is its Flex-Bay system which consists of a series of 5.25" bays that can fit everything from optical drives and fan controllers to reservoirs, fans, 3.5" bay devices, and of course, HDDs and SSDs. The Mercury S8 features nine of these, along with eight PCI slots and a motherboard tray that fits up to E-ATX or SSI EEB boards. Simply put, it's a massive case with more than enough room for nearly anything you want to pack inside. But FYI: the S8 ships flat-packed, so if you pick one up, plan on putting it together yourself, IKEA-style.
Stepping away from Rosewill's budget roots, the Cullinan is a mid-tower case with gorgeous tempered glass side panels. The side panels are held up by rubberized locator pins and secured with slotted thumb screws, making for easy removal and replacement.
The Cullinan has space for 360mm of cooling in the front and on top, with the usual 120mm at the rear. There’s a nice magnetic dust filter on top of the case and a PSU shroud inside to hide messy cables and the 3.5-inch drive bays, while on the backside of the motherboard tray there’s space to mount 2.5-inch SSDs.
Our one gripe is that there is only a half inch of space behind the motherboard tray, and that's not including the space taken by the SSD trays. This means you have to flatten your cables out instead of bundling them together if you want any hope of replacing the back glass panel. Luckily the PSU shroud provides a bit of room to hide cables.