Best PC Cases : Best PC Cases & Towers Review

It’s funny that selecting the best gaming PC cases is always very low on the list. But be warned: If you ignore our PC case comparison, you run the risk of buying the wrong PC tower. Because not only the form factor has to be right for your PC case, it also has to be coordinated with all components.

With the best PC cases, your gaming CPU and gaming graphics card will stay cool and dust-free. You can find exactly the right PC case. We have created this purchase advice and leaderboard.

Here you will find the best PC cases of all sizes and shapes – from ATX cases, Mini ITX, Micro ATX to Big Towers, everything is included. You can find out what is important when choosing your gaming case in the guide below. The Best PC Cases –

At a glance : The best PC cases

In the following, you will find all of our PC case recommendations. In a list of the best, sorted from small to large (mini-ITX to big tower) and inexpensive to expensive. Please look at us if a PC case is not in the “perfect” category because the limits are now floating here. Note: This is not a technical PC case test but a listing of the market’s best models based on in-depth research.

The best mini ITX PC cases in comparison

  • Thermaltake Core V1 Cube | Best cheap mini-ITX
  • NZXT H200i | Best mini-ITX PC case

best Micro-ATX cases

  • Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L | Best affordable micro-ATX case
  • Cooler Master Silencio 352 | Best micro-ATX PC case under 100 Dollars
  • Corsair Crystal 280X | Best micro-ATX case

Best midi tower ATX PC cases

  • Sharkoon TG5 | Best cheap ATX
  • Corsair Carbide Series 275R | The alternative to the Sharkoon
  • be quiet! Pure Base 600 | Best and quietest ATX under 100 Dollars
  • Fractal Design Define R5 | Best value for money
  • Lian-Li PC-O11 Dynamic | Best ATX case for water cooling
  • Corsair Crystal 570X | Best PC case under 200 Dollars
  • Corsair 500D RGB SE | Best high-end ATX case

Best Big Tower PC Cases (EATX)

  • Phanteks Enthoo Pro | Best affordable E-ATX case
  • Cooler Master MasterCase H500P | Middle class & best airflow
  • be quiet! Dark Base PRO 900 | Best high-end  for case modders
  • Corsair Obsidian 1000D | Best premium EATX  case

The best Mini-ITX PC cases in detail

Compact, versatile, and often full of surprises – the best Mini ITX cases are the real exotic ones. By far, the most efficient use of the space in a PC case. Not a single centimeter is wasted here.

When assembling in such a small PC case, you can sometimes feel like building a ship in a bottle. Occasionally frustrating, but ultimately very satisfying and definitely not for inexperienced PC builders. In some cases, you may need to forfeit disk space to increase performance with larger graphics cards.

Still, a mini ITX build can actually target 4K gaming by making effective use of the space for your hardware and choosing the right parts.

Thermaltake Core V1 Cube – Best affordable Mini-ITX case


  • Mainboard: mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 276 x 260 x 316 mm
  • Case fan: front 1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm or 1 x 200mm; Back 2 x 80mm
  • Card slots: 2
  • CPU cooler height: 140mm, graphics card length: 285mm, power supply length: 200mm


The Thermaltake Core V1 has a lot to offer for a smaller. Cube-style PC case in which a lot of hardware can still bestow. At an unbeatable price, the Core V1 offers less space than other mini-ITX towers. But still enough space for standard-size graphics cards, an ATX power supply, and even water cooling.

An air cooler with a closed-circuit would easily fit. If you want to tinker with something yourself, you would have to get creative. At around 22 liters, it is still a little larger than “medium-sized” ITX cases. But much more compact than a normal mid-tower case.

This affordable case comes with a large 200mm fan attached to the front. This huge fan does an excellent job of ensuring good airflow in the cube.

NZXT H200i – Best Mini ITX with lots of space


  • Mainboard: mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 349×210 x 372 mm
  • Case fan: front 2 x 120/2 x 140mm; Back 1 x 120mm, top 1 x 120mm
  • Card slots: 2
  • CPU cooler height: 165mm, graphics card length: 325mm, power supply unit length: 311mm


Mini-ITX is not always about building the smallest PC imaginable. Sometimes it’s just about having a smaller PC than a “normal tower” and using as much power as possible. The NZXT H210i isn’t tiny, and some may claim that it approaches the design of a microATX case. But the extra space for the hardware makes it a versatile PC case that is easy to build in.

You get an ATX power supply in a full standard size, water cooling with two radiators and two 3.5-inch hard drives. With its punched-out side ventilation areas and an integrated RGB strip, it also offers a unique design. As a high-end case, you also get a full steel construction and, of course, a stylish glass side window (plus 2x120mm fans on top).

The H210i is also equipped with a Smart Hub, which mainly works with the Aer2 RGB fans and Hue2 peripherals from NZXT. If you don’t want any lighting or don’t need the smart hub, you can take a look at the reduced NZXT H200 *.

The best Micro-ATX cases in detail

If you want to build a gaming PC with a small form factor, it doesn’t always have to be a mini-ITX case. Because one of the more budget-friendly form factors is Micro-ATX. Micro-ATX cases are slightly smaller than the conventional ATX midi tower cases and slightly larger than the popular mini-ITX cases.

The nice thing about mATX cases and their mainboards is that they usually cost significantly less than the Mini-ITX variants. So if you want to build a compact system at a fraction of the price of an ITX rig, check out these Micro-ATX cases.

Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L – Inexpensive and compact


  • Mainboard: m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 381×230 x 387 mm
  • Case fan: front 2x 120 / 140mm; At the back 1 x 120mm, at the top 2x 120mm
  • Card slots: 4
  • CPU cooler height: 159 mm, graphics card length: 360 mm, power supply unit length: ATX


What immediately strikes you about the Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L is its unusual design. The special thing about this PC case is the removable filters at the front and top. Instead of the normal filters (which you see in most cases), the MasterBox has a cool design painted on it. Both filters are located on the top of the front of the case and are magnetic.

This model’s design officially supports two 120/140 mm fans (up to 240 mm coolers) on the front and two 120 mm fans on the top. If you want, you can also attach a 240 mm radiator to the top. Which then gets in the way of your mainboard. Practical: You can use the housing both horizontally and vertically, and the I / O panel can be freely attached. As the side window can be attached to all four sides.

Unfortunately, the Q300L only comes with a 120mm fan on the back. So you should probably add a few more fans. We also recommend installing a good CPU cooler. Otherwise, you will get heat problems here. If you are looking for a compact and affordable micro-ATX case, then get the Q300L.

Cooler Master Silencio 352 – whisper quiet


  • Mainboard: m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 378×200 x 453 mm
  • Case fan: front 2x 120; At the back 1 x 120mm, at the top 1x 120mm
  • Card slots: 4
  • CPU cooler height: 155 mm, graphics card length: 355 mm, power supply unit length: ATX


The “Silencio” lives up to its name. Not only does it look like a ninja, but it’s as quiet as one. And there is no shortage of features either! Because the Silencio 352 comes with noise-suppressing doors and side walls lined with foam.

The matt front panel gives it an elegant look. There are also two powerful XtraFlo fans at the front and rear for optimized airflow. 240 mm radiators at the front or 120 mm at the rear are also supported for water cooling.

But that’s not all. You get an SD card reader and two fast USB 3.0 ports, and space for up to 4 SSDs and 3 HDDs. Several dust filters (top, bottom, front) ensure improved system maintenance and the cherry on top of the cake.

The case is very well made, offers space for large GPUs, and did we already mention how quiet the part is? Only around 20 Dollars more expensive than our budget recommendation above, you really get a great price-performance here. We think that the manufacturer, CoolerMaster, offers an excellent case at a fair price.

Corsair Crystal 280X – Best high-end MATX


  • Mainboard: m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 351×276 x 398 mm
  • Case fan: Maximum 6x 120mm, 240 / 280mm radiator
  • Card slots: 4
  • CPU cooler height: 150 mm, graphics card length: 300 mm, power supply unit length: 180mm


The Corsair Carbide 280X is a successor to the popular Corsair Carbide Air 240 *. It has a similar form factor but has a sleek new design with three sheets of toughened glass.

Even the regular 280X has a fair price for such a solid PC case because it offers good processing quality, beautiful aesthetics, and, despite its compact design, plenty of space. Also, the design makes it easy to work in, and everything is tidy.

If you want to add one more, the 280X is also available in the RGB version, which contains two RGB 120 mm fans for fantastic lighting, but that costs you 50 Dollars.

Also, the Corsair 280X is characterized by an invisible secondary chamber in which you can hide the power supply, storage drives, and, above all, the cabling. The standard fans do not provide the best cooling performance, but there is space for water coolers on the front and top of the case.

The best ATX PC cases in detail

ATX cases are pretty much the “standard” for gaming PCs. Here you have enough space for any hardware that you want to install, but of course, you also need more space on your desk. Since ATX is also the most common form for mainboards, you have more choice than with the other sizes.

So if you need enough space for systems with a custom water cooler, multiple graphics cards, and hard drives, ATX is your case choice. We think ATX cases are still the best choice because you get the most flexibility.

Sharkoon TG5 – Inexpensive with good value for money


  • Mainboard: ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 465×220 x 452 mm
  • Case fan: front 3x 120; Rear 1 x 120mm, top 3x 120mm; Radiator 120mm front
  • Card slots: 7
  • CPU cooler height: 167mm, graphics card length: 400 mm, power supply length: 205mm


Sharkoon is known for its budget products with a good price-performance, and the TG5 can also convince them. Overall, the Sharkoon TG5 is a good PC case at a reasonable price. Because for around 70 Dollars, you get two windows made of tempered glass, four LED fans (available in white, red, green, blue, by the way), and enough space for components. In any case, you get enough space for long graphics cards and high CPU fans, but you are limited to water coolers.

Since this is a budget case, some material savings are made here: quite thin steel and too large-meshed dust filters are not optimal. We would like to see a fanless version of this case to reduce costs further and possibly get slightly better material.

All in all, however, the TG5 from Sharkoon is a good case with a first-class price-performance for everyone who likes LEDs (attention, the fans are NOT RGB). Everyone who wants a lot of housing for every Dollar invested will find their choice here.

Corsair Carbide Series 275R – Alternative to the Sharkoon TG5


  • Mainboard: ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 460×211 x 455 mm
  • Case fan: front 3x 120mm / 2x 140; Back 1 x 120mm, top 2x 120mm; Radiator 360mm front, 120 back, 240 top
  • Card slots: 7
  • CPU cooler height: 170mm, graphics card length: 370 mm, power supply length: 180-225mm


The Carbide 275R is one of the newer cheap PC cases from Corsair and could appeal to the minimalists among you. Apart from a small logo on the front, the 275R dispenses with additional branding to achieve a clear design for purists. While the design may be kept simple, the functionality is far from that. And it’s also much more than just a minor upgrade of the 270R.

Because the Carbide 275R supports a 360 mm cooler on the front and up to six 120 mm fans. There is also a side panel made of reinforced glass, excellent cooling potential, good radiator support (you could install a water-cooled CPU and GPU without space problems), good cable management, and enough space for hard drives.

At a modest price of around 65 Dollars, the 275R is a great alternative to the Sharkoon TG5 we just introduced. Suppose you don’t like LEDs and prefer a “clean” setup. We recommend this case 100%. You can’t go wrong here, especially at a price.

be quiet! Pure Base 600 – Quiet ATX PC case


  • Mainboard: ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 445×220 x 492 mm
  • Case fan: front 1x 120mm / 1x 140; Above 2x 140 / 3x 120; Radiator 1x front (360), 1x top (360), 1x rear (120)
  • Card slots: 7
  • CPU cooler height: 165mm, graphics card length: 425 mm, power supply length: 210mm


With the Pure Base 600 from beQuiet, you get a really whisper-quiet PC case, which leaves comparable competitors behind in terms of noise. Thanks to the sound-absorbing filling foam and the sealed casing, it is simply quieter than other PC cases in this price range.

The beQuiet Pure Base 600 uses the same high-quality materials as other, more expensive Be Quiet! Models. Unfortunately, the PC case is limited by below-average cooling and poor cable management and makes it less optimal if you want to overclock.

All in all, however, the case offers decent equipment and, as the name suggests, quiet operation. Also, fan control has been integrated into this stable and well-made design. So if you are looking for a hushed PC case, then grab it here.

Fractal Design Define R5 – Quiet and powerful


  • Mainboard: ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 451×232 x 521 mm
  • Case fan: front 2x 120/140 mm; Above 3x 120/140 mm, below 2x 120/140 mm, behind 1x 120/140 mm, side 120mm
  • Radiator: 1x front (360), 1x top (420), 1x rear (140), bottom (140)
  • Card slots: 7
  • CPU cooler height: 180mm, graphics card length: 440 mm, power supply unit length: 190mm


The alternative to the Purse Base 600 – a bit more expensive, but with better cooling options and lower temperatures.

Although the design of the Fractal R5 is minimalist and you don’t see any glass or fancy RGB here, it is one of the best PC cases for low noise levels and optimal airflow. The Fractal Design Define R5 offers a very spacious design that offers you various construction options inside. There is enough space for water coolers, thanks to the modular removable drive bays.

Therefore, this case is perfect for high-end systems that generate a lot of heat and noise, as the R5 can handle both relatively easily compared to other models in this price range. So if you are looking for an upgrade to the Pure Base 600 and want to get a little more out of your system (but still want it to be quiet!), Then the R5 is your choice.

Lian-Li PC-O11 Dynamic – ATX perfection for water coolers


  • Mainboard: E-ATX, ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 446x 272 x 445 mm
  • Case fan: above 3-2x 120/140 mm, side 3x 120 mm, below 3x 120mm
  • Radiator: 1x side (360), 1x above (360), below (360)
  • Card slots: 8
  • CPU cooler height: 155mm, graphics card length: 420 mm, power supply length: 190mm


Are you looking for a PC case that is perfect for water-cooled setups? Then check out the Lian-Li PC-011 Dynamic! It is essentially an ATX standard case with hardened glass on the front and side and a beautiful look. The “open” look makes it ideal for RGB setups, especially since you can really see everything here.

You get three removable panels (one on the front and one on each side), making assembly easier. This makes installing a water cooler in the exposed ceiling area effortless, but the model is only suitable for that. Because no fans are pre-assembled here, and the fan placement is a bit unusual (none on the front).

However, you get good cable management, an extra chamber to “hide” the power supply, clean artistry, and at least some aluminum on the front panel. So if you are planning a water-cooled system with a lot of RGB, this could be your choice. For everyone else, however, this PC case is too expensive for what it really offers.

Corsair Crystal 570X – Best ATX under 200 Dollars


  • Mainboard: ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 480 x 234 x 512 mm
  • Case fan: 3x front, 2x top, 1x rear
  • Radiator: Up to 360mm
  • Card slots: 7
  • CPU cooler height: 170mm, graphics card length: 370 mm, power supply unit length: 225mm


Just take a look at the Corsair Crystal 570X, and you will know why it ended up in our list of the best. This beauty is clad in tempered glass on four sides and has three RGB fans for an impressive display of the interior of your build. The 570X has more to offer than looks.

Although glass can pose a risk to heat, this PC case is well ventilated and can accommodate six fans and all types of cooling systems. For optimal airflow, we recommend installing a fan on the back. It’s a shame that this is not pre-installed.

The complete filtering of the top and front panels keeps dust away, and the cable management is also intelligently solved. We think that the Crystal 570X is an ideal PC case for many of you – thanks to a good balance between good temperatures and moderate volume. If it weren’t for the high price, but for the money, you also get something on offer here.

Corsair 500D RGB SE – Absolute Premium ATX


  • Mainboard: ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 500 x 233 x 507 mm
  • Case fan: 3x 120 / 2x 140 mm front, 1x 120 mm rear panel, 2x 120/140 mm above
  • Radiator: front: 360/280 mm, top: 280/240 mm, back wall: 120 mm
  • Card slots: 7
  • CPU cooler height: 170mm, graphics card length: 370 mm, power supply unit length: 225mm


The Corsair 570X is not enough for you, and we want to add another one? Then take a closer look at the Corsair 500D RGB SE.

The Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB is a premium case with a steep price, but it is very worthwhile. With a phenomenal glass design and three built-in 120mm RGB fans (including fan controller) as standard, the thing looks a lot!

A brilliant combination of brushed aluminum and tempered smoked glass gives you an incomparable appearance. Alternatively, there is also the 500D version with a complete aluminum front, if that’s what you prefer (you can also save 100 Dollars here!).

Otherwise, radiators up to 360mm are supported. You have a lot of space for assembly, numerous cable management options, a USB 3.1 Gen2 port, plenty of space for hard drives, and other hardware is there, and optimal airflow is guaranteed.

This PC case not only looks excellent but also offers you everything a gamer’s heart desires. However, the RGB version is costly, which is why you should definitely take a look at the normal 500D version.

The best EATX PC cases in detail

Full tower cases are massive. They often measure more than 50cm in height and are longer and deeper than midi towers. This makes them ideal if you want to use a massive Extended ATX motherboard.

You can also consider full-tower cases if you intend to fill your build with extensive (or even tinkered with) water cooling, memory setups or multi-graphics card setups. Full tower cases often support more fans and 5.25-inch drive bays. And the extra “freedom of movement” is nice when building.

Phanteks Enthoo Pro – EATX entry-level model


  • Mainboard: EATX, ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 535 x 235 x 550 mm
  • Case fan: 2x front, 3x top, 1xH, 2xU
  • Radiator: Up to 360mm
  • Card slots: 8
  • CPU cooler height: 192mm, graphics card length: 472 mm, power supply unit length: 318mm


A large PC case doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money. The Phanteks Enthoo Pro offers enough space to install a huge GPU without costing the world.

Plus, it doesn’t feel like a compromise either. Because this case is solidly built and thanks to its slim, black look with a side wall made of hardened glass, it also looks good. Also, there are premium functions such as modular drive bays that you can install without tools.

Regardless of whether you set priorities for storage space, the space for your components, or the cooling – you can adapt the Enthoo Pro to your requirements. Practical cable management options and Velcro straps also ensure that everything is in its place.

Thanks to its design, this PC case offers excellent air circulation and space for several coolers and fans. While only a front intake and a rear exhaust fan are included, there is room for up to four more.

Also, reservoir mounts are included with the housing, giving you complete freedom of choice when positioning the water cooling system. A special feature here is the high modding friendliness because the entire housing is processed with screws and can be dismantled down to its individual parts.

You should definitely have a screwdriver ready because the chamber in which the power supply is located can only be removed with such a screwdriver.

Ergo a perfect PC case for everyone looking for an affordable all-rounder EATX with plenty of space for hardware.

Cooler Master MasterCase H500P – Best airflow


  • Mainboard: EATX, ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 542 x 242 x 544 mm
  • Case fan: front 3x 120 / 140mm, 2x 200mm; Above 3x 120 / 140mm, 2x 200mm; Rear 1x 120/140
  • Radiator: Up to 360mm front and top, 1x rear up to 140mm
  • Card slots: 7 + 2
  • CPU cooler height: 190mm, graphics card length: 412 mm, power supply length: ATX


In terms of price, the H500P from Cooler Master is somewhere between EATX for beginners and enthusiasts. Thanks to its spacious interior and numerous case fans, the PC case achieves a fantastic cooling performance through good air circulation. But that’s not all: This beautiful RGB housing even offers space for up to 360 mm radiators on the top and front so that you can really reach the next level of your cooling.

With the high-quality tempered glass side panels, all the fan brackets, covers, ingenious cable management, quiet operation even under load, and first-class artistry, you get something for your money. Also, three fans are pre-installed at the factory, which means you have less to screw: There are two 200 mm RGB fans on the front of the case, which are compatible with any motherboard with a 4-pin layout. The third standard fan is 140 mm tall and is located at the rear.

At most, Coolermaster sets the bar high when it comes to case design and some manufacturers should learn from this.

be quiet! Dark Base PRO 900 – A dream for modders


  • Mainboard: EATX, ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 586 x 243 x 577 mm
  • Case fan: front 3x 140mm; Above 3-4x 120 / 140mm; 2x 120/140 below; Rear 1x 120/140
  • Radiator: Up to 420mm front, rear, top
  • Card slots: 8
  • CPU cooler height: 185mm, graphics card length: 472 mm, power supply unit length: 284mm


The Dark Base Pro 900 case is big enough to support the largest mainboards and radiators with dimensions of up to 420mm. Plus, it offers full modularity for things like an inverted motherboard layout and even some nifty features like Qi wireless charging or pre-installed LED lighting. So you can completely adapt the part to your specific requirements.

Also, of course, there is the quiet operation for which the manufacturer beQuiet is known and a PWM fan controller. The processing quality is also excellent, but you can expect it at this price.

Where the Dark Base Pro really scores is the modularity. So if you are looking for a larger PC case for fantastic water cooling, this part is worth looking at with a unique appearance and quiet operation. But if you can do without things like glass cladding and a Qi charger, then the ATX version * would be the better deal for you.

Corsair Obsidian 1000D – The ultimate PC case


  • Mainboard: EATX, ATX, m-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: 693 x 307 x 697 mm
  • Case fan: front 8x 120mm; Above 3x 140mm; Rear 2x 120/140
  • Radiator: front 2x 480mm, top: 1x 420mm, rear 1x 240mm
  • Card slots: 8 + 2
  • CPU cooler height: 180mm, graphics card length: 400 mm, power supply unit length: ATX


The final boss among the big towers. The Corsair Obsidian 1000D is a giant that can accommodate the largest and most blatant systems. Because this super tower has an impressive height of 70cm and offers enough space for 13 fans and up to four massive radiators installed at the same time.

The Corsair 1000D has a unique three-chamber design with practical storage compartments and pull-out cooler trays for easy installation in addition to the excellent cooling support. There is also an RGB-illuminated front panel with integrated intelligent lighting and fan control, thanks to the integrated Commander Pro controller.

From aluminum, smoked glass, massive RGB fans, and infinite cooling potential – you get everything here. If you are really bored, you can use the Corsair Obsidian 1000D is a dual-system case, which combines two separate systems in one PC case. Think about it – a gaming PC and streaming rig in the same case. Of course, the whole thing has its price, but that’s why this is our absolute high-end recommendation.


When it comes to housing, people often underestimate how difficult it can be to choose the perfect housing. Many details are often underestimated or immediately forgotten. When it comes to the dimensions alone, you not only have to look at the form factor of the case but also that the mainboard fits, the radiators for the water cooling must fit, if you want to install an optical drive, there should be space for it and so on.

The most important quick tips for buying best PC cases

Here are the most important quick tips for buying best PC cases:

  • Check your hardware: First, determine which hardware you have installed or want to have BEFORE you buy. Aesthetics are important, but before you deal with them, you need to know which motherboard, graphics cards, and CPU cooler you will be using in the PC case. Possibly how many drives you want to install. This will determine the size and shape of the models that you should consider.
  • Size does NOT always matter: You probably don’t need a huge big tower for your rig. You see, more and more graphics cards less and less, storage media are getting smaller (with an M.2 SSD, your SSD is physically smaller than ever before), and coolers are becoming more and more efficient. So if you don’t want to build a packed hell machine or just want the look and upgradability of a large tower, a smaller PC case will do for you. Please save your money and get a fast graphics card (provided it fits into your dream case: P).
  • It’s all about the cooling: Especially in small housings or with many individual components, cooling is of decisive importance. Airflow is important, especially when it comes to high-quality components in tight spaces. Keep in mind that PC cases with tempered glass fronts and sides often restrict airflow and may require additional fans.
  • Small is harder to build: Everything is more difficult to install in small PC cases. This is especially important if you are a beginner. But even for professionals, it is difficult to install components in a small mini-ITX housing. There is no doubt that compact designs with powerful performance are impressive and space-saving. But don’t forget to spend extra time, patience and check the dimensions of key components before attempting to build a compact PC.
  • Optics: Choose a PC case that you like optically. Except you don’t care about aesthetics, and you pack the PC far under your desk anyway. Otherwise, the thing will often be in your eyes, so you better get something that you have fun with.

We have listed the most important terms, and details that you should pay attention to when buying your new best PC cases.

The form factor of the motherboard

At the beginning of the PC purchase, there is the CPU choice, which influences the type of motherboard, which in turn determines the design of the case. The most common motherboards are Standard-ATX (or just ATX), Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX (or sometimes just ITX).

Standard ATX boards are 305mm x 244mm in size and the most common shape on the market because you will find the most space for hardware on them. Micro-ATX boards are up to 244mm × 244mm in size, usually even smaller if they are only equipped with two RAM slots, and Mini-ITX determines all mainboards with dimensions of 170mm x 170mm. As a rule of thumb, you can say that an ATX case also has space for a Micro-ATX and an ITX mainboard, but this is not always the case. If you are planning to do that, be sure to find out more here before buying.

The form factor of the case

This determines the actual overall size of the case and, in most cases, of course, depends on the mainboard size, but not always here either. The most common terms that are especially important for gamers are mini-ITX, micro-ATX, midi tower, and full tower.

PC cases designed for mini-ITX boards are also more common than SFF or Small Form Factor, while when buying an ATX board, you should purchase at least one midi tower. It is also important here that these terms only roughly adhere to the mainboard standards and do not necessarily determine the housing design.

Especially in the mini-ITX area, there are narrow but very high housings, and then there are more cubic ones. Depending on the application, you should not only focus on the form factor,

Slots for graphics cards and Co.

The openings on the back of the case usually house the connections for internal PCI cards such as graphics, sound cards, or capture cards. Of course, the number depends on the size of the case, but there are also differences here.

There are full towers with only seven, but also some with up to nine slots. Manufacturers do not make the slot covers reusable, so if you want to remain flexible and plan to use many PCI cards and exchange them again and again, pay attention to this. Otherwise, in a few months, there will be large holes on the back of your PC that offer space for dust to accumulate inside.

Drive bays

There are three common sizes of drives: 2.5, 3.5, and 5.25 inches. The 5.25-inch drive bay is the name given to the large, elongated openings that are usually found on the front of the case and in which optical drives find their home.

So if you are planning to install a 4K Bluray drive or DVD burner for your backup copies, make sure you have enough slots. Normally, PC cases from the mid-tower size upwards have enough slots, but if you choose a tower that focuses more on soundproofing, it may not have a single slot. By then, you should know how to install an operating system from the USB stick. The 5.25-inch bays can also contain displays that give you information about your hardware’s status (temperature, fan speed, etc.) or control elements for case fans are installed. Extensions with more USB plugs or audio ports can also be installed here.

Very rarely, you can still find a 3.5-inch shaft on the front today. For example, if you are a photographer who wants to install an SD card reader, you should pay attention to fact of the day.

On the other hand, where there is plenty of space for 3.5-inch drives is inside the case. 3.5 inches is the common size for mechanical hard drives, which will probably make up most of your internal hard drive space. These are usually installed on the front under the optical drives or the underside in front of the power supply unit.

It is essential here that you do not get in the way of any water cooling. If, for example, there is no space for a radiator on the top, or if you want to install two systems (graphics and CPU cooling), you will, in many cases, not be able to avoid installing a radiator on the front. A lot of space for hard drives can quickly be lost. What you can pay attention to here is the so-called modularity.

Many PC cases today come with so-called modular drive cages, which make it possible to change the hard disk installation’s location within the case. Last but not least, you will probably want to install at least one SSD on which your operating system runs.

SSDs come in 2.5-inch sizes, and many case manufacturers have provided different places for them. In some cases, they can also be installed in the cages instead of the mechanical hard drives, behind the mainboard, between the circuit board and the sidewall. There is often space to hide them or, if you want to place them more visible, there is also the possibility in some cases to install them directly in the main chamber in front of the mainboard.

In rare cases, housings offer so-called hot swapping. There are special plugs in the housing for this, on which you can install and uninstall a hard drive within seconds without having to fiddle around with cables. Sometimes you don’t even have to open the case, as the slot provided for this is accessible from the case’s front.

Optical drives with slim-line and/or slot-loading functionality are a prerequisite for small housings in particular. Slim-line refers to those that you probably also know from laptops, that is, slim ones that are equipped with a drawer. On the other hand, slot-loading describes the type that can also be found in newer game consoles such as the PS4 or Nintendo Wii, which do not have a drawer but rather “spit out” the discs.

Another trend that simplifies installation and maintenance in the housing is tool-free installation. Many manufacturers now give you the option to attach your drives without screws. Instead, you usually get accessories made of plastic, which are then plugged in and then fit into the respective slots.

Accessibility of the back of the mainboard

Depending on the type of CPU cooler, you may have to attach a so-called backplate to the mainboard. In most cases, PC cases already have openings in these places, but depending on the size of the backplate and the cooler, you should also pay attention to this opening’s size. Otherwise, you could be forced to remove the entire mainboard for maintenance or replacement purposes.

I/O panel and front I/O

The I / O panel and the front I / O are the two places on the PC case where you can find most connectors, e.g., for USB and audio. While the I / O panel is rather unimportant when buying a case, as supplied with the mainboard, you should not ignore the front I / O.

In many cases, especially with small cases, you will not necessarily find them on the direct front but one of the two sides, so if you plan to place the PC with one side directly against the wall and then find out that you can no longer access the USB plug or even the on/off button, you would be spared trouble with a little planning.

Thumb Screws

Knurled screws – better known by their English name as “Thumb Screws” – are the screws that have been used in housings for a few years. Instead of relying on a screwdriver for normal screws, you can loosen and tighten them with your fingers. Ideally, these are also secured in such a way that they cannot be removed even if you unscrew them.

Tempered Glass – Tempered Glass

One of the biggest trends in recent years and the latest craze on the housing market is the use of real, so-called “tempered” (or “tempered”) glass. If you wanted to present the aesthetically pleasing interior of the case to the outside world a few years ago, you still had to fall back on plexiglass.

This had the disadvantage that, on the one hand, it was easily scratched and also looked less valuable. This has now been remedied with the introduction of tempered glass.

You have to pay attention to: If you choose a PC case surrounded by glass on all sides, you can also see everything inside. There are no places where you can hide a tangle of cables, and so a PC case that is beautiful in theory can quickly reveal small wiring sins in practice.

Also, keep in mind that sound insulation then takes a back seat, as insulation material can no longer be installed. You have to find out for yourself how much the volume in the case bothers you in a test.

The cable management

Good cable management is essential when it comes to aesthetics, especially for enclosures made entirely of glass. On the one hand, it depends on your patience. On the other hand, it also depends on the options that the PC cases offer you. Pay attention to how many openings the case offers you, how much space you have between the mainboard and the back wall, i.e.

Where most of the cables will run at the end, and whether there are special fastening points in the case where you can attach cables with cable ties or maybe you can even attach the supplied Velcro straps. Cable management is not only important for aesthetics. Many cables that hang freely in the room can disrupt the airflow, leading to increased temperature of your hardware and thus damage it in the long term.

The power supply

The power supply unit or the PSU (Power Supply Unit) is the part of the PC. That supplies the hardware with power. Most of the time, the power supply unit is installed in the tower’s lower or upper area. But this may differ in the case of smaller form factors or housings with special shapes (e.g., cubic). Depending on the area of ​​application, you should, therefore, pay attention.

Modularity also plays a major role here. Suppose you want to save space. You can leave out unnecessary cables with modular power supplies, and if you value aesthetics, you can replace cables with aesthetically pleasing ones. The size of the power supply unit is also important. For example, if you have radiators installed at the front and still need space to drive cages in the lower area, you should consider buying a slightly shorter power supply.

  • ATX – the most common form, is installed in most designs.
  • SFX – Small construction, special size for small PC cases
  • SFX-L – Similar to SFX, only a little deeper

The water cooling

Previously only traded in modder circles and among computer construction enthusiasts – today known as custom water cooling – has been a household name since the so-called All-in-One water cooling (AiO). If you decide to cool your hardware with water, you have to consider several things when buying the case (everything that applies to AiO water cooling also applies to custom water cooling. See the AiO more as a little brother does not do quite as much, but also involves less risk).

  • You need space. Even the smallest form of the WaKü contains a heat sink placed on the hardware, hoses that come from the heat sink and lead into a radiator on which a fan is also located. And this combination of radiator and fan is usually the one that takes up the most space. Not every PC case offers enough space between the mainboard and the top of the case. Sometimes RAM bars are in the way, and then the radiator has to move to the front, eliminating space for hard drives.
  • If you opt for custom water cooling, you will need even more space because these also come with reservoirs in which the liquid is stored. The large housings in particular already contain mounting plates to which these reservoirs can be attached.
  • Suppose there is not enough space. It is possible with custom water cooling to attach radiators to the outside of the housing. If you have to do that, make sure that the PC case has at least two: Round, mostly rubberized openings on the back.

The fans

Many PC cases come with pre-installed fans. But often, you want and should install additional fans so that the hardware gets enough cooling. On the one hand, pay attention to the quality of the already installed fans. On the other hand, make sure that you have enough installation points for fans and radiators. The most common sizes for fans are 120mm and 140mm.

Depending on the application area, you may also want to install fans up to 230mm in size. But, not every housing offers space for it. Some cases also give you the option of installing fans inside and attaching them at an angle to direct the air exactly where it should arrive. For example, if you have installed many hard drives,

The dust filters

The biggest enemy of a computer, besides natural wear and tear, is dust. No matter how your PC is cooled, the air has to go in, and air has to go out, and with air, always dust comes in. Many case manufacturers have long thought of installing easily removable dust filters. That you can (and should) clean quickly with a vacuum cleaner, but some don’t seem to care about them yet.

Suppose you value the longevity of your hardware. Then make sure that the housing is ideally completely dust-protected and that you can get the dust filter cleaned easily. It is important that when your PC is back to the wall, a dust filter that can be removed from the front is a blessing.

The RGB lighting

Another term that falls more into the area of ​​aesthetics than functionality is lighting using RGB LEDs. You have equipped your PC case made of tempered glass with the most beautiful water cooling system. You could find, and still, something is missing? Many cases already come with pre-installed RGB LEDs, which you can either control directly on the case or with the help of software on some mainboards.

Make sure that there are currently many systems from different manufacturers on the market. That does not necessarily have to harmonize with each other (NZXT Hue, MSI Mystic Light Sync, RGB Fusion, etc.). Suppose you do not want to have any LED strips directly in the field of vision. Make sure that there is enough space to hide them when buying the housing.

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