Best PC Cases 2019: Our Tested Picks for Your New Build

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
Here are the best cases for custom PC builds. Our recommendations take cooling and noise into account, and most sell for less than $100.
Best Cases : Read more

THOMAS SODERSTROM
@Crashman

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
 
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1_rick

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In the info block at the top, the "review" link for the H200i goes to the Define R6 review; it's correct at the page bottom.
 

Scrotus

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Why are front panel USB ports, power switches, activity lights, etc. placed on top of cases? If I interpret correctly a desktop computer indicates it is placed on your desktop. My last 3 or 4 cases had everything on top and I couldn't see them without standing up and the hard drive activity light was out of sight while I'm sitting in my normal position. I wish they would start putting front panel stuff on the front panel and not on top of the case.
 
The pc O11 dynamic will get a 2/5 in Tom's review cuz they test it at stock fan configuration. Maybe that's why it's not in the list XD.

But you still have the pc o11 air and Lan cool one to test! Reviews for the lancool one digital asap plz!
 

invisiblezombie

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A lot of cases aren't available in this part of the world and computer parts are priced at 50% or higher premium against US prices. Amongst those that were, I found Corsair Obsidian and Corsair Carbide cases generally good but overpriced. Personally I liked the Corsair Obsidian 750D most, but purchased what I consider the next best case and much better value for money - the Antec 1100 V2. Being the first desktop I assembled myself, the Antec 1100 made the job a lot easier.
 

kep55

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Why do so many of the top cases have glass panels? Glass is a bit of a thermal insulator, add unnecessary weight, and serves no practical purpose in a PC case. If you want to see all your gear, don't bother putting it a case.
 
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fredfinks

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I had the Lian Li A20. It was an expensive beast, and a damn good case, but i find Fractal Design's cases to be more practical, same build quality - if not better, and definitely quieter.

The thin aluminium of the Lian Li was prone to vibration.
 

fredfinks

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It's a legacy name thing from a time when your CRT monitor sat upon a PC case that was designed to be laid flat & sit on a desk. It then served as a distinction between laptops & other equipment.

If you have your mid-tower case on your desk you are doing it wrong.
Its noisier and it eats up valuable desk real estate. Its a big stupid box on a desk - F it off.

'But how else can we look at the purty lights?!' they might ask. That's where it all went wrong.
 

turkey3_scratch

Polypheme
Herald


It's not about seeing it, it's about seeing it presented in a fashionable manner. It's sort of like a museum. Every piece of artwork is framed, has special lighting on it, there is a lot that goes into taking something and putting it inside of a case for viewing and making it look, for lack of a better word, cool.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Why are ports on top? Because it's a design holdover from full towers that used to sit either on the floor or in a cubby next to the floor. Added with multiple optical bays, floppy bays etc that ate up higher access (the bottom being all fan space, that left the top as the most viable spot. It's also more practical in the sense that a USB plug sticking out the front of a case is definitely in a bad spot when ppl or animals go past, they get broke off quick.

Why TG? Why not. It's really no more of an insulator than giant plastic side panels or even the sheet metal sides used in more premium cases. It does allow for better visibility of the interior and is far less prone to scratching than acrylic. It also does not cloud over like acrylics can with age and heat.

Personally, a heavy case is a bonus to me, lightweight cases in a tower design on a desktop just feel flimsy and are prone to knock-overs by cats or ppl not watching where they are going. A solid, heavy case goes nowhere, no matter how hard you slam the vacuum into the desk.

There's been all kinds of pc's built in open air, even the ones designed to hang on the wall like a picture, just a little glass in front to protect from direct contact. They have one thing in common. The owners spend more time cleaning out the dust than they do gaming or using the pc. A case does a lot more than be a box designed to hold the components, it's also for protection of the components from outside abuse (like when the cat jumps up on the desk, or your 3 yr old discovers she can throw dolls) and they also protect the components from excessive, immediate dust. Pull the side panel off if you want to, just invest in multiple cans of compressed air, your cleaning regimen will go from every few months to every couple of days.
 

2Be_or_Not2Be

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What's ironic, though, about top-mounted USB ports is that dust in the air will naturally settle into those top-facing ports. Probably most, if not all, of those top-facing ports don't have dust covers either.

I like Phanteks' cases that have side-facing USB ports. It shouldn't get too much dust, it won't stick out the front, and it's usually easy to access whether the case is on your desktop or floor.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
I agree. Side facing usb is a bonus. Usb sideways is far stronger and able to take more abuse than horizontal where reliance is all on the solder joints. It's also a much cleaner look and far lest prone to having stuff like dust or coffee accumulate in the port.

Article was a little confusing though after reading the op statement. Still trying to figure out how "and most sell for less than $100" fits into all that when all but 1 case was over $100 by a decent margin.
 

cgigoux

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Given the high score (4.5/5) and the fact that it was quieter, just as cool, and marginally cheaper than the Cougar Panzer, I'm surprised that the Cooler Master SL600 wasn't on the list.
 

Rob1C

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All the ADs in this article show Amazon.CA pricing is double other prices.

If that means they pay double wages (but in Canadian dollars) that's excellent, otherwise it's the opposite.
 

alextheblue

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I had the Lian Li A20. It was an expensive beast, and a damn good case, but i find Fractal Design's cases to be more practical, same build quality - if not better, and definitely quieter.

The thin aluminium of the Lian Li was prone to vibration.
I like most Fractal Design cases quite a bit. Good value, solid build quality, excellent layouts. I mean all of the major case vendors have good and not-so-good designs, but I like what I've seen from most of the Fractal lineup. Especially the Define series. Not a big fan of NZXT cases for the most part.
 
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"Best Budget ATX" for over $100? You can get cases for well under $50 and the title isn't for gaming cases or server cases. Corsair, Fractal Designs, and Cooler Master all have ATX cases under $50 so either you need another category, i.e. "Best Cheap ATX", or you need to realize the average computer user doesn't have several thousand to blow on an expensive system.
 
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Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
"Best Budget ATX" for over $100? You can get cases for well under $50 and the title isn't for gaming cases or server cases. Corsair, Fractal Designs, and Cooler Master all have ATX cases under $50 so either you need another category, i.e. "Best Cheap ATX", or you need to realize the average computer user doesn't have several thousand to blow on an expensive system.
If we read the article:
"Given this chassis’ solid thermal performance and respectable noise levels, the asking price of $60 seems like a bargain to us. "
Steven simply hasn't yet found a case to replace it in that position after the price went up.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
+1 My exact thought. In my opinion Phanteks makes the best higher end cases for the money. Really should take a look at the Enthoo EVOLV X glass it has a wonderful mix of cooling, space, good layout, even rgb if you like and its quiet.
Oh for sure. I just built a PC in an Enthoo Pro M and have been extremely pleased with the end result. For $100 this case can't be beat currently and it is a beauty to look at.
 
Wish there was a best 'no-frills' budget category, especially for micro ATX. Not everybody needs or even wants built in RGB lighting and controllers, glass side panels, etc. Would be nice to see the best options that just focus on practical/quantitative aspects like temps/air flow, # of fans included, noise, dust filters, ease of use/cable management, etc.
 
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