Top 10 Best Computer Cases of 2017
An assembled computer is a much better option than a laptop if you have specific computing needs such as gaming, as it allows you to add or remove components with ease. A self-assembled PC will not only cost less but also give more power and flexibility compared to that of a laptop, allowing you to carry out the tasks with ease. The first thing you need to consider when assembling a PC is purchasing the best computer case for your build.
This is because all the components you’ll be using for your setup will be stored in the computer case, so it is better to go for a chassis that is capable of handling your present and future requirements. You might want to add fancy features such as lights and LEDs at the sides or you may end up needing more space for adding other components in the future. Therefore, future requirements should be accounted for, as well.
Some factors that you should keep in mind while buying the best case include – size, compatibility, price and aesthetics. Size totally depends on what kind of components you are going to use. If you’re planning to use additional water coolers or big graphic cards, then a full tower chassis will be a good choice. We’ve taken all the factors into account and reviewed the best from top brands such as Corsair, NZXT, Phanteks while reviewing the best computer cases for gaming.
Best Computer Cases for 2017
- 1. NZXT Phantom 410 Mid Tower Computer Case
- 2. Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Alum/Steel Tower Computer Case with Window
- 3. MasterBox Lite 3 Micro ATX Mini Tower
- 4. MasterBox 5 Mid-tower Computer Case with Internal Configuration
- 5. MasterBox 5 Black & White Mid-tower Computer Case
- 6. Enermax Ostrog GT ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
- 7. Rosewill Gaming ATX Full Tower Computer Case
- 8. Corsair Carbide Clear 600C Inverse ATX Full Tower Case
- 9. Rosewill B2 SPIRIT ATX Full Tower Gaming Computer Case
- 10. Azza CSAZ-GT 1 Full Tower Computer Gaming Case
Can't Find What You're Looking For?View More Computer Cases
Buyers Guide Questions
What is a computer case?
A computer case, simply put, is an enclosure within which the components of a computer, excluding the monitor, mouse and keyboard, are contained. It is also known as a chassis, system unit, base unit or simply just case.
When you’re building a personal computer for yourself, you will have to store your hardware in an enclosure, and a chassis proves to be just that for you. It provides ventilation, protection and allows you to keep your hardware connected in a single place, keeping your homemade personal computer compact as well.
The motherboard, the power supply unit, ATX boards, LED’s and buttons, the fans as well as all the other required components to make up a computer are stored within the chassis and can be accessed by opening the side panels, typically the left one. The right side panel accesses the space behind the motherboard, which is generally the space devoted to the cable management, as having the cables in anywhere else may clog up the air flow within the case.
It is generally in a simple cuboidal shape, but is sometimes cubic as well, and tends to be made of plastic and metal. It looks like the typical CPU case of a desktop computer, except it would be empty, so as to hold all the parts of the personal computer to be built.
Thus, a computer case is a box which contains all the components of a self-built personal computer, typically for gaming and such purposes.
What are computer cases used for and are they necessary?
Computer cases are used to store the internal parts of a self-built personal computer. They tend to hold the contents of an ordinary CPU and keep them in order so that the system works correctly in an efficient manner. It’s essential to choose the best pc case for your pc build.
A chassis provides many advantages:
- It provides a standard format to install hardware that has not been bought within a computer, so it helps you build a personal computer on your own. No matter which vendor you go to for the particular part, all these parts will be of the same size will fit in in the same location in the computer case. Thus, this helps in the lowering of production costs, as the computer is able to be built easily by the user by themselves. Customization of the computer is also allowed thanks to this chassis, as the user is allowed to pick and choose the components to be attached to the chassis according to their own preferences and requirements.
- Computer cases enable easy replacement and upgrading of the components. As they are all individually purchased and attached by the user, and can be accessed easily from the side panels of the chassis, replacement and upgrading become much easier to do, rather than in a store-bought computer, wherein it would become harder to access and replace parts within the computer.
- The main function of a computer case is to offer protection. Exposed parts of a computer, such as the delicate exposed circuitry of the motherboard and other such internal parts from the dust, erosion, being pushed, broken and having things spill on it. If left open, these parts would easily be rendered unusable by physical factors. Thus, for protection, they are placed inside the chassis.
- Vents and fans within the computer case provide air circulation and prevent the overheating and damage to the internal components of the personal computer.
Thus, when building your own personal computer, having a computer case in which to store and build the internal parts is not only useful but is also an essential step.
How do you choose a suitable computer case?
Computer cases come in several shapes and sizes, with several built-in functions and accessories. Picking the best computer case is integral to the long-lasting nature and good performance of your homemade personal computer.
So when you are looking for a chassis suitable for your self-built gaming computer, you have to look at four factors that depend on your usage, preferences and the needs of the computer you are building:
When looking for the perfect form factor for your computer case, the most important thing to look at is how compatible it is with your motherboard’s size. So, when you’re picking a Micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboard, you may pick a chassis that is smaller than usual. However, a bigger tower is used when using a large motherboard such as the Extended ATX motherboard is used.
The amount of hardware you are going to put inside it is also something to think about before buying the ideal computer case. The size of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) you are going to install is a major factor as well, as most cases restrict the area taken by the GPU. Hence, even if you have decided on a larger case to buy, you must check the amount of area given to the GPU if you have purchased bigger GPU such as the AMD Radeon R9 290X. Smaller computer cases may require you to remove a duct or accessory in order to fit in an exceptionally large GPU.
This same logic is used in case of PSU’s (Power Supply Units), as though most computer cases fit in regular sized PSU’s, some are expanded to fit in much larger PSU’s, and certain computer cases are built to hold smaller, more expensive PSU’s.
There are two kinds of cooling systems used in computers, and the best computer cases are generally built to hold both:
- Water Cooling
- Air Cooling
Water cooling systems are generally bulkier and need more space than air cooling systems, but they also tend to be more effective at their jobs, cooling the computer parts with more efficiency than the air coolers.
If you have decided on water cooling system, you must check how bulky the radiator and fans that comprise of the system are, and make sure that there are mounts within the computer case that can hold them. Computer cases generally have sufficient space and enough mounts in the top and rear to support a water cooling system, but one will have to buy a significantly large chassis in order to support a water cooling system without compromising on any other accessories.
Air cooling systems are easier to fit in, and one will only have to check the space between the back of the computer case and the motherboard’s mount to see if there is enough room for the fan that they have chosen for the chassis. Computer cases generally have space for an air cooling system as well, but one will have to check for the space provided in order to see if everything will fit after installing the fan.
Deciding on the space required for hard drives, sound cards, Ethernet cards, and video capture cards are just as important as finding space for the GPU and motherboard. At this point, you are also mulling on the look of the chassis.
Having a lot of USB ports, headphone jacks and buttons on the front and sides of the computer case may be convenient and good for people who do not care about appearances, but people who care about having a sleek and classy looking system would not want the connectors looking messy and disorganized. Thus, the provision would have to be made to shift the internal components accordingly.
Bigger computer cases also feature more expansion slots. These slots offer places for more video cards and upgrades for the computer. However, smaller computer cases offer a compact look and do not take up as much space beside the computer. Smaller computer cases also tend to cost lesser than the larger ones.
Having additional ports and expansion slots is always good for people looking to expand and upgrade their system in the future. However, in the end, it depends on the preferences of the user.
Managing cables, contraction materials and the ease with which it can be opened and examined are other factors to look out for.
Most new expensive computer cases feature rubber-lined holes known as grommets used to organize and route the cables behind the motherboard. This allows for better airflow and a more organised look, though these features are generally present in expensive and large computer cases.
Tool-less organisation features, such as plastic locks holding the computer case together for easy access, are good for any user in order to prevent too much struggle and a waste of resources when looking to upgrade and repair the system.
For some people, who travel or carry their computer cases along to places, or even swap out parts very often, the lighter the computer case, the better. For these people, computer cases made of light metals such as aluminum are more useful. When it is made of heavy materials such as steel or iron, it is harder to maintain and more bulky and thicker it becomes. However, this kind of computer case is also strong, and withstands more damage. Thus, it depends on how you use the computer and why.
Thus, using these four factors, you can choose from a variety of computer cases to find the one that best suits you.
There are three types of computer cases, based on your budget:
- Budget computer cases, at a rate of about $ 40, which are standard rectangular boxes that simply hold the components without adding anything to the finished computer.
- Midrange computer cases such as the Corsair, which sell for about $ 80 to $ 200, which generally have features like soundproof casing, cable channels for the routing of wires and extra connection ports. These cases tend to be bigger than the budget cases.
- High-end computer cases, cases that sell at over $ 200. These cases have several advantages, such as water cooling built into the case and huge However, to an average PC user, they may not be as useful as they look, and may prove to be too bulky or not worth the cost they are placed at.
Thus, with a little discretion and thought as to what your needs and preferences are, choosing the right PC case is easy.
Do computer cases come with fans?
Most computer cases, apart from the ones which are the cheapest of the lot, come with fans.
Cooling systems are integral to the long life of the computer, so all computer cases are provided with the provisions for an air cooling system or a water cooling system. So if a computer case does not come with a fan, as is the case with most low budget computer cases, they will come with provisions to attach fans to them.
Some budget cases come with fans, but these fans may be too small or placed in the wrong place on the case for optimum cooling. For example, some computer cases place two small fans placed on the top end of the case, which results in not much air circulating into the case. In these cases, the fans may have to be replaced and positioned in an ideal place.
Other, more expensive computer cases may come with water cooling systems mounted within the case itself, and thus will not require any installation of fans as the cooling system would be more than enough for a personal computer.
How many case fans do you need for gaming?
Generally, it depends on the complexity of the computer system.
Some computer systems may require more energy to work, some lesser. It depends on the components of the computer. The GPU tends to be the problem and the part of the computer which heats up the most. Thus, if the GPU has an exhaust type shroud instead of an open shroud, which is cooler, and if the computer has more than one GPU, it may have a tendency to overheat, which means more fans would have to be bought for the computer case.
Again, if the monitor has a high resolution, if you have a CPU which demands more energy, if the computer is regularly overclocked and if G-Sync and V-Sync are used, the computer case may require cooling as it would overheat. However, if these factors are not present or reduced, the computer would not have a tendency to overheat and would not require several fans.
Fans in the computer cases tend to have positive and adverse effects. On the one hand, it increases air circulation and cools the system, but on the other hand, it brings dust and particulate matter into the computer case, and could slowly damage the system by doing so.
Thus, for gamers, it is always better to buy either a single large fan for exhaust or a smaller one for air intake, to promote air circulation. The bigger the fans bought, the less work done to promote more air inflow and the quieter the system would be.
Gamers who do not wish to play their game to the rhythm of a fan would prefer a single larger fan for their computer cases. However, for machines with a greater cooling requirement, two large fans would do.
Do computer cases come in different sizes and how do I find the right size to buy?
Computer cases all come in three sizes, each of which is made to suit the buyer in a particular way, supporting a particular kind of usage and individual components that fit into them. The three types are:
- Medium Tower
- Large Tower
- Small Tower
These three types of computer cases are made to suit certain kinds of components and users.
Full Towers are large computer cases which can hold just about anything. From radiators to custom water loops to large Extended-ATX motherboards, they can hold dual Power Supply Units, optimized cable routing hardware and custom liquid cooling loops as well.
They can fit in all the types of hardware with room to spare, but end up on the expensive side of the spectrum. They may also be seen as extraneous and bulky, and so most people do not go for these cases, as not many people require a radiator or cooling loop inside their computer cases, especially for soft-core gaming and browsing.
Thus, if you have a lot of hardware and money to spend, this is the computer case for you.
Medium Towers like the Corsair are the old reliable, most people go for this one as it is not too tiny, and yet not too expensive. It has room for all the necessary hardware and can hold a GPU, a Power Supply Unit, a motherboard, a hard drive, an SSD, fans, and so on.
So if you are looking for a computer case with enough space for the basics for a low price, the Medium Tower is for you.
Small Towers are made for travelers who want smaller PCs, and people who are heavy LAN gamers. They can house small motherboards like the Mini ATX or the micro ITX motherboards, and are compact, portable and still have room for the very basics, such as a Power Supply Unit, a GPU and a fan.
Therefore, if you are a person who travels a lot and wants a small computer case, or a gamer who participates in LAN conventions, the Small Tower is for you.
Which one to go for?
We have selected this as the best of our review – If you’re setting up a gaming rig, you cannot afford to ignore the computer case, as you may need more space to add additional components. The NZXT Phantom 410 Mid Tower Computer Case can be a good choice if you are not on a tight budget. With a 240 mm dual radiator water cooling solutions and adjustable interior fan slot, this chassis will help keep the components properly cooled. It has a cooling capacity of up to 8 fans, which is great for gaming requirements. It has removable HDD cage that gives more room for adding extended video cards with ease. The Phantom also has up-to-date internal 2x USB 3.0 headers that are connected directly to the motherboard to allow seamless USB connectivity. This computer case also features HDD rails for easy hard drive replacement, making this product a top pick.
The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Alum/Steel Tower Computer Case is a well-designed computer case that is made of aluminium. It features top quality cooling fans – two in the front and one at the rear to allow optimal airflow at the CPU and GPU. This chassis also has Phanteks’ preinstalled Hoop-N-Loop cable ties that ensure easy cable management. Quick release panels allow you to reach the fans and dust filters with ease, which results in better cleaning. Further, you can also remove the dust filters. The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Alum/Steel Tower Computer Case also has a swing door for easy access. Overall, this is a premium choice product, and it will definitely be a good choice for any gaming rig.
The MasterBox Lite 3 Micro ATX Mini Tower is another good product that you can buy for your setting up your gaming rig. It features With the Optical drive cage capable of handling all the storage, remaining is open space which can be used to add additional components later. You can add a 120 mm water cooler in this computer case to keep the components properly cooled. This also ensures proper cooling of the components, which is very important if you’re a hardcore gamer who loves playing for long hours at a stretch. It’s quite small and compact but can easily fit a full-size video card. So, if space is an issue, you this chassis will be the best choice for your gaming rig, as it takes up very little space. Overall, the MasterBox Lite 3 offers a great value for money.