PC cases come in many shapes and sizes. They will house your PC's components big and small. Not only do you get far more for your money nowadays, including RGB lighting and even built-in fan controllers, but most modern cases make it a cinch to put together. With enough elbow grease, you'll end up with an awesome gaming PC you can show off to the world.
The best PC case offers a jumping-off point for your dream gaming PC build but can also be the finishing touch that makes your machine stand out from the rest. You have a wide selection to choose from, too. Some of us like to go big and flashy, while others prefer a more minimalist approach. And of course, you can buy a prebuilt gaming PC if you want, but most people will tell you it's not the same as putting your own blood, sweat, and tears into a PC case that reflects your truest self.
You do need to consider a handful of things before you plunk down any change on a new PC case. What kind of motherboard are you installing? How big is your graphics card?
Much like the original Cooler Master Cosmos, the C700P is a hefty beast with a similarly large price tag. However, we'd argue that it's worth the expense. A beautiful handlebar design, curved glass panel, and sleek color scheme are matched by features that'll support even the most high-end components (including E-ATX motherboards and oversized GPUs).
A larger footprint means that you won't be pushed for space either, making it a delight to build into. What's more, the RGB lighting is subtle enough that it won't distract you while you game. Yes, this is a lot to spend on an enclosure. However, those willing to go all out on a build will get a case with everything they need to create a stunning PC.
One of Corsair's best cases, the Carbide 275R, might be the ultimate minimalist's case. Aside from a small "sail" logo on the front panel, the 275R ditches additional branding for the sake of a clean design for the style-obsessed. While the design may be minimal, the functionality isn't.
Unlike NZXT's similarly minimal S340, the Carbide 275R can support a 360mm radiator in the front and up to six 120mm fans. With a modest $80 price tag, the 275R is a good case for beginners and advanced users looking to create a sleek custom loop.
Phanteks has made some incredible cases over the years, but the Evolv X stands out as an excellent chassis for anyone looking for a mid-tower instance with a little something extra. That extra being the ability to slide two systems into its pleasing form—there's room for an ITX system in the top to go above the main ATX system. It's a bit of a squeeze for sure, but it is possible.
If your demands aren't quite so crazy, then you'll find it roomy to build in, and there are enough neat little touches and funky design choices to cover almost any build you have in mind. There's space for all-in-one liquid coolers in the top (up to 360mm) and front (up to 420mm); it comes with a universal fan hub, three Phanteks Premium 120mm fans, and has cable-hiding flaps in the rear so that it looks good whichever side you look at. You can slide a frankly ridiculous amount of storage into it as well.
The NZXT H210i is a slightly updated version of the H200i that boasts a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port on the front panel. Apart from that, it's the same case, which is itself essentially a miniaturized version of one of our favorite mid-tower chassis, the H710i. Built to support mini-ITX builds, the H210i is all about packing a high-end system into a compact, minimalistic package.
Like its bigger brother, the case comes equipped with NZXT's smart hub and includes two fans and one RGB LED strip. With plentiful support for liquid cooling and full-sized components, the H200i is the perfect compromise between smaller ITX builds and larger mid-sized towers.
If mini-ITX is your thing, see more recommendations in this guide to the best mini-ITX cases.
If you’re the type of gamer that requires total concentration, a quiet PC case can be critical. Once your PC starts heating up and fans begin blowing at full force, your once-silent PC can quickly turn into something that resembles a roaring jet engine. It’s times like these when a silent PC case can come in handy, and nothing does the job quite like Cooler Master’s Silencio series.
The Silencio S600 mid tower looks simple on the outside, but the interior is filled with intelligent engineering and high-quality sound dampening materials to help drown any unnecessary noise. Usually, this comes with a severe compromise for airflow, but the S600 does a pretty decent job of moving air and keeping things cool despite its silent properties.
Speaking of roomy builds, the Corsair Obsidian Series 1000D is a behemoth of a PC case ready to house the biggest and baddest systems. Standing tall at a staggering 27.3-inches, this "super-tower" features enough space to house 18 fans and up to four massive radiators installed simultaneously.
The 1000D features a unique triple-chamber design with convenient french-door-styled storage compartments and telescoping radiator trays for easy installation in addition to the stellar cooling support. Because it is 2021, of course, there is also an RGB lit front panel I/O with built-in smart lighting and fan control courtesy of Corsair's integrated Commander Pro controller. The Obsidian 900D has long been a top choice for massive, over-the-top builds, and it only fits that the 1000D was designed to knock it off its throne.
Initially known for its silent power supplies and fans, be quiet! It entered the case market with a big splash and has done quite well in a short period since its first case launch in 2014. One of its more recent cases, the Dark Base Pro 900, remains one of our highly recommended full towers thanks to its sleek design and enthusiast-friendly interior.
The Dark Base Pro 900 is large enough to support the biggest motherboards and radiators up to 420mm in size. The case also features total modularity with options for an inverted motherboard layout and even some nifty features like wireless Qi charging and preinstalled LED lighting.
The worst thing about the Lian-Li PC-011 Dynamic is that its instruction manual is incomprehensible. However, if you already know how to build a PC, piecing it together shouldn't prove too difficult.
For the most part, it's a standard tempered glass mid-tower case with a few bells and whistles to make it all worth the enduring trial and error of the PC building experience. For one, it has three removable panels—one on the front and one on each side. Naturally, this makes for an easy installation. Incorporating a liquid cooler in its exposed ceiling area is an effortless undertaking.
The best PC case FAQ
How big a case do I need?
The key question here is how big is your motherboard? A full-size PC case supports the giant E-ATX boards but will take up a ton of space under or on your desk. Small form factor cases like the NZXT H200i can only accommodate Mini-ITX boards and restrictive for other components like big GPUs. Mid-tower PC cases are a much more common choice that supports all ATX and a handful of E-ATX boards. Size does indeed matter, after all.
Once you’ve decided on the case size, the fun part happens next. You can consider dozens of features and options like I/O ports, cooling configurations, windows, airflow, and lighting, and that’s to get started.