One of the first things you should consider when assembling a new computer (especially a gaming PC) is buying one of the best PC cases. Your chassis is one of the most tempting things to cheap out on, as it doesn’t directly contribute to the power of your computer. However, the best PC cases are far from trivial or superfluous – your case can determine what components you can fit inside your new rig. And, we haven’t even started to dive into the benefits a good case can deliver for thermal performance and airflow.
Heat is the mortal enemy of PC components, so it only makes sense to try and mitigate it as much as possible through airflow. The best PC cases focus almost entirely on optimizing airflow, with room for lots of fans and a spacious interior that allows air to flow freely to all the components that need it. Plus, even if you’re not going to be pushing your new build to the bleeding edge, looks and build quality go a long way – even if you are just browsing Facebook.
Trust us, we know how crowded and intense the PC case market is just as well as anyone else. And that’s why we’ve taken the time to build this list of all the best PC cases available in 2017. Every chassis on this list has been personally chosen by the TechRadar team, so you know they meet our quality standards. Plus, every case on this list is affordable, so no matter what your budget looks like, if you want one of the best PC cases around, you can rest assured that we will be able to find you something.
Cooler Master Cosmos C700P
The best full-tower PC case
Form factor: Full-tower | Dimensions: 639 x 306 x 651mm (L x W x H; 25.2 x 12 x 25.6 inches) | Mobo compatibility: Mini-ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, E-ATX (12 x 11 inches) | PSU support: Bottom mount, ATX PS2 | I/O: USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C x 1, USB 3.0 x 4, fan speed and RGB control buttons, audio in/out (supports HD Audio) | Includes: 2 x 140mm front fans, 1 x 140mm rear fan
Physically controlled RGB
Universal, multi-orientation design
Controversial frame rails
The Cooler Master Cosmos C700P looks at portability and simply scoffs. This 22kg (or 48.5 lbs) behemoth isn’t exactly the most lightweight case on the block. Don’t take the lack of portability to mean that the Cosmos C700P isn’t a great case, it is, but it just means that, if you want to carry it around, you’ll have to take advantage of the upper rails. Still, despite its thickness, the C700P is flexible and beautiful, thanks to Cooler Master’s decision to implement full RGB lighting and support for six different system orientations.
Fractal Design Meshify-C
The best mid-tower PC case
Form factor: Mid-tower | Dimensions: 395 x 212 x 440mm (L x W x H; 15.6 x 8.3 x 17.3) | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x HD audio in/out, power button, reset button | Includes: 2 x Dynamic X2 GP-12
Freshly designed in multiple ways
USB 3.0 cable is too short Front
PSU dust filter is hard to remove
There are very few PC cases that look anything like Fractal Design’s Meshify-C. It’s even rare to see a chassis that even vaguely resembles it.. Given that the entire front of the case is made of mesh material sectioned off into many polygonal shapes, the Meshify-C has a unique aesthetic, and it does so without compromising on function. With two fans pre-installed, interior cooling is (forgive us) a breeze, even if the Meshify-C is held back by a number of obstacles.
Nanoxia Deep Silence 4
The best Micro ATX PC case
Form factor: Small form factor | Dimensions: 380 x 200 x 480mm (W x H x D; 15 x 7.9 x 18.9 inches) | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, HD audio in/out, power button, reset button, two-channel fan control | Includes: 2 x 120mm fans, 2 x modular HDD cages for up to five hard drives
Onboard dual-zone fan controls
Not many extras
Nanoxia Deep Silence 4, as it’s name suggests, was crafted with the sole purpose of being quiet as a mouse. This silence-focused case is a well-balanced Micro ATX case that’s affordably priced and even accommodates some of the biggest, most powerful graphics cards with its spacious interior. The fact that you’ll rarely hear it go above 30 decibels is just icing on the very taciturn cake.
Form factor: Small form factor | Dimensions: 210 x 349 x 372mm (8.3 x 13.7 x 14.6) | Mobo compatibility: Mini-ITX | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x audio/mic, 3 x fan channels with max 10W per channel output, 1 x RGB LED port support up to 4 x HUE + LED strips or 5 x Aer RGB fans | Includes: 1 x Aer F120 Case Version top fan, 1 x Aer F120 Case Version rear fan
Built-in Smart Device RGB control
Adaptive noise reduction
Ugly color options
Mini-ITX is ever so slowly getting closer and closer to finally toppling the now seemingly ancient Micro-ATX form factor, so, it only makes sense that this hot form factor has made its way into NZXT’s new H series case lineup. And unbelievably enough, NZXT has managed to incorporate a lot of the same features as its Micro ATX and mid-tower equivalents, with mesmerising, built-in and Smart Device-controlled RGB lighting and an adaptive noise sensor that sees improvement only by way of the Grid+ V3 fan controller.
Phanteks Evolv Shift X
The best home theater PC case
Form factor: Small form factor | Dimensions: 170 x 650 x 274mm (W x H x D; 6.7 x 26.1 x 10.8 inches) | Mobo compatibility: Mini-ITX | PSU support: SFX, SFX-L, ATX (160mm max) | I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, power button, RGB button | Includes: 2 x 140mm fan, 1 x power supply cover, 1 x pump bracket, 2 x SSD bracket, 1 x PCIe x16 Riser cable, 1 x 8-pin CPU extension cable
Plenty of room for beefy components
Massive for Mini-ITX
When you first look at it, the Phanteks Evolv Shift X appears more like a sound bar than a PC case, but this helps it vanish into any living area or studio setup. It’s flexible to the point that it looks natural placed under a TV just as it does atop a desk, next to an equally high-end monitor. It may only be compatible with Mini-ITX mobos, which seems crazy given its size but the Phanteks Evolv Shift X offers tons of space for components and liquid-cooled loops. If this case is a little too large for your preference, there’s also the more manageable and smaller Phanteks Evolv Shift.
Fractal Design Define R5
Form factor: Mid-tower | Dimensions: 232 x 451 x 521mm (W x H x D; 232 x 451 x 521 inches) | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, audio in/out, power button with LED, HDD activity LED, reset button | Includes: 2 x Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 140mm fans, velcro straps
User-friendly (and handsome) design
Definitely not tool-less
Fractal Design has scored a second entry on this list, and they deserve it. The Define R5 is yet another mid-tower case exhibiting a beautiful style. The metallic and blue LED-lit face of the case is simple, yet elegant, and is accompanied by noise dampening materials throughout its interior. In spite of the detachable ModuVent panels and drive trays not being tool-lessly accessible, the Fractal Design Define R5 is otherwise painless to build a computer inside of. Not only that, but it’s not as expensive as you would expect from a PC case with such a pretentious name either.
Corsair Carbide Spec-04
Form factor: Mid-tower | Dimensions: 492 x 201 x 433mm (L x W x H; 19.4 x 7.9 x 17 inches) | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x headphone port, 1 x microphone port, power on button, reset button | Includes: 1 x 120mm LED front fan
Premium look and feel
Compelling price point
Only one USB 3.0 port
Inputs located on right side
Even if you’re trying to avoid spending a fortune on your build, it’s probably not a great idea to not settle for the absolute cheapest PC case you can find. For the most part, cheap cases don’t really incorporate proper ventilation and airflow, not to mention you’ll end up buying your own fans and cable management supplies. The Corsair Carbide Spec-04, on the other hand, shows up even some of the more expensive cases. It does so with rubberized feet, an included LED fan and tons of room to spare for additional fans and components.
Form factor: Small form factor | Dimensions: 365 x 250 x 460mm (H x W x D; 14.4 x 9.8 x 18.1 inches) | PSU support: ATX | I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, I/O button, audio in/out | Includes: 1 x 120mm rear exhaust fan mount
Ample space for power and cooling
Integrated fan controller
Less than satisfactory performance
This case is for the Razer fans out there. While the green snake-adorned company doesn’t manufacture its own PCs, it has partnered with several OEMs in the past to add its signature green-infused flare to a handful of desktop PC cases. This includes the Antec Cube, a small form factor chassis that supports Mini-ITX motherboards and is shaped like an italic font (but backwards). Complete with lots of space, either for an initial build or future expansion, the Antec Cube is also compact enough to travel with.