The best computer cases you can buy

Your amazing PC rig needs an amazing computer case. Here are the best

1302130 autosave v1 3 pc buildout 2016 guide
Greg Mombert/Digital Trends
One of the best parts of building your own computer is choosing a case. As the outermost part of the device, it’s the most visible, and therefore the most distinctive element of your build. It’s a good thing, then, that there’s an incredible variety of cases to choose from. We’ve selected a few of the best computer cases, with a few self-imposed limitations.

For our picks of the best enclosures below, we’re going to focus on the mid-tower form factor, which uses a standard ATX motherboard. It’s the most common choice for gaming or workstation builds, so if you’re trying to max out your Overwatch settings, it’s the right build. If you’d like something more compact, like a Mini-ITX or a media center build, most of the manufacturers offer a wide variety of enclosures — you can probably find something similar in appearance, if not in actual features.

The Best

Corsair Graphite Series 230T ($79)

We received the red, windowed version of this case with a Maingear review unit long ago, and have since used the case for a variety of test rigs and in-office gaming systems. And for good reason. Not only is the system spacious and easy to build in, but it has a fair amount of metal panels, considering the price point. That helps it carry a more premium look and feel that we notice while working in it; there’s a reason we used it in our PC building guide.

It’s available in a variety of colors, and with or without a side window, which should help those who are indecisive, or picky about their aesthetic choices. Despite Corsair listing it as “beginner friendly” on the product page, there’s plenty of room for extra drives, big graphics cards, long power supplies, and fancy lighting and cooling setups. For under $100, it’s hard to ask for much else from a computer case.

Available at: 

Amazon Newegg

The Rest

NZXT H700i ($200)

best computer cases h700i

NZXT has been around since 2004, but in recent years has begun to find its voice, making a name for itself among PC gaming enthusiasts with attractive cases and interesting accessories like the Puck cable management system. The H700i continues that ethos of challenging the idea of what such a product entails, offering a clean build and a whole heap of modern features to create a smart and capable chassis that would make a great home for any contemporary desktop.

The all-steel construction is a little heavier than some of the other entries on this list, at 27 pounds, but that gives it a sturdy frame to build your PC inside. It features space for three fans in the front and top and a single fan at the rear, with filters for inlets on the front panel and underslung PSU grill. It also supports custom and all-in-one watercooling loops, and a bespoke cable management system to prevent airflow impediment.

RGB lighting and fan speeds can be controlled through the CAM dashboard and NZXT even leverages machine learning to learn to optimize your system’s coloring and cooling to best suit you — augment it with a colorful memory kit if you wish. You can make sure everyone can see your fancy lighting set up too, with the built-in tempered glass side window. If you like the design of the H700i but want something a little smaller, there are micro-ATX and mini-ITX variants available too.

NZXT Store Amazon

Fractal Design R5 ($120)

Fractal Design R5

With a sleek appearance and an impressive variety of built-in features, not to mention a low price, the R5 from Fractal Design is a great choice for just about any system builder. It’s not as flashy as some of its contemporaries (the only full-metal piece is the aluminum front access door), but its wide configuration options make it a popular choice.

The case supports up to seven 140mm fans (two included) and an impressive amount of radiator options for water cooling, plus dampening covers for the fan slots you don’t use. It has slide-out trays for both internal hard drives, side-mounted SSD slots, dust filters for the front and bottom fans, and a quick-release system for the side panel. The R5 ranges in price from $85 to $150 based on the color (black, white, or titanium) and the optional case window.

Available at: 

Amazon Newegg

Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 ($110)

Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5

If you’re ready to upgrade to a bigger, more capable enclosure, CoolerMaster’s MasterCase series is an excellent choice. Its modular system allows most of the body panels to be removed for easy access to all components, and dust filters are included for the front, top, and bottom fans — even the 5.25-inch bays include filters.

The storage bays are separated into multiple removable racks, allowing for more interior space for cable routing if you don’t need extra drives, and SSDs can be mounted either opposite or below the motherboard. True to the company name, the case includes radiator mounting options on the front and rear, and a fully-separated bottom-mounted chamber for the power supply. The case even supports three 140mm front fans and a 280mm radiator at the same time, for extreme cooling.

Amazon B&H Newegg

ThermalTake Core P5 ($135)

Not satisfied with the boxy, standard selection of desktop cases? Something like the ThermalTake Core P5 might be just the ticket. Its open-air design requires frequent cleaning, but in exchange your system isn’t just a computer, it’s a showpiece. The panoramic case gives everyone full view of every system component, so make sure to keep your wire runs clean and tight. It has full support for open loop liquid cooling as well, and even has VESA mounts on the back to mount the whole system to a wall.

It’s a bit limited when it comes to drive space, with just three hidden slots and one exposed slot for either 2.5 or 3.5-inch drives, but there’s plenty of room for fans and radiators in exchange. Plus, the GPU bracket allows for vertical installation, to show off that powerful new GTX 1080. It’s certainly not the right case for everyone, or people with pets, but it makes a beautiful addition to a flashy gaming PC setup.

Amazon Newegg

Deals

Amazon discounts Garmin, Fossil, and Apple Watches for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and if you’re after a great gift for that special techie in your life, a smartwatch might be just the ticket. We’ve sniffed out the five best smartwatch deals available on Amazon right now.
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for February 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Mobile

Avoid scratches and dents with the 20 best iPhone 8 Plus cases

So you've got a new iPhone? Congrats! But with a glass design, and looks to die for, you'd best keep it safe. Not sure about the best case choice? Check out our guide to the best iPhone 8 Plus cases for some great ideas.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for February 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.
Deals

Walmart Presidents’ Day sale: Instant Pot, Google Home, and 4K TV deals

Presidents' Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to find deep discounts on 4K TVs, laptops, Instant Pots, clothes, mattresses, and furniture. And Walmart is offering deals on all of those things and more.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Computing

Wi-Fi helps connect all of our devices at high-speed, but what exactly is it?

What is Wi-Fi? It's a technology we all use everyday to connect all of our portable devices, but understanding how it works and how far it's come from its humble beginnings is another thing entirely.
Computing

In the age of Alexa and Siri, Cortana’s halo has grown dim

In a sea of voice assistants, Cortana has become almost irrelevant. The nearly five-year-old voice assistant is seeing little love from consumers, and here’s why it is dead.