Top 10 Best Computer Cases of 2017
An assembled processor is a the best option, better than the best laptop if you have specific computing needs such as gaming, as it allows you to add or remove components with ease. An assembled processor will not only cost less but also give more power and flexibility as compared to a laptop, allowing you to carry out the tasks with ease. And the first thing you need to consider while assembling a workstation is the processor case.
This is because all the components you will be using for your setup will be stored in the processor, 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.
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
Therefore, future requirements should be accounted for, as well. Some factors that you should keep in mind while buying a base unit include – size, compatibility, price and aesthetics. Size totally depends on what kind of components are you going to use.
If you’re planning to use additional water coolers or big graphics cards, then a full tower will be a good choice. We’ve taken all the factors into account while reviewing the products, to make your job of selecting the right processor case for your needs easier.
NZXT Phantom 410 Mid Tower Computer Case
Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Alum/Steel Tower Computer Case with Window
MasterBox Lite 3 Micro ATX Mini Tower
MasterBox 5 Mid-tower Computer Case with Internal Configuration
MasterBox 5 Black & White Mid-tower Computer Case
Enermax Ostrog GT ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Rosewill Gaming ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Corsair Carbide Clear 600C Inverse ATX Full Tower Case
Rosewill B2 SPIRIT ATX Full Tower Gaming Computer Case
Azza CSAZ-GT 1 Full Tower Computer Gaming Case
Buyers Guide Questions
What is a Computer Case?
A PC case, simply put, is an enclosure within which the components of a mainframe, excluding the monitor, mouse and keyboard, are contained. It is also known as a chassis, system unit, base unit or simply just cases and they are the best way to secure your internal hardware.
It is important to note that PC cabinets differ and these different sizes are called form factors. When looking to purchase a workstation cases you need to consider what motherboard and power supplies you will be using as they must be compatible to enable them to work in harmony together.
When you’re building a personal workstation 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 PC 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 PC 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 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 PC cases of a desk top workstation, except it would be empty, so as to hold all the parts of the personal workstation to be built. Laptops also have cabinets, although these are not easily removable and therefore when talking of PC cabinets you will generally be referring to desk top mainframes.
The front portion of the cases will usually contain the power and rest buttons. There usually is a few small LED lights which show power status and hard drive activity and can also be designed to give indications of other internal processes that are taking place. The buttons and the lights will connect to the motherboard directly. The motherboard is secured inside the case for protection from the elements.
You can get different sizes of PC tower, mini-tower, mid-tower and full-tower and HTPC which is your home theatre processor. The mid-tower is the size that most people use in their homes, offices and schools. Full towers are much larger and they are often used by hard-core gamers and people who need good graphics and high end components to make their processors faster and remain cooler with liquid cooling, they are often PCs that are overclocked, or overworked in layman’s terms. The smaller options like the mini-tower are basic and are a lot more difficult to maintain due to their size
The case will contain expansion bays to accommodate optical drives, USB ports, DVDs and other media devices. These are located on the front of the case for easy access. The back of the case will allow for the power supply to be mounted as well as other connection cords such as for the screen, mouse and keyboard if they are not wireless connections.
What are Computer Cases used for and are they Necessary?
The short answer to whether a PC case is necessary is yes and you will need the best one you can get to build the best processor you can. There are many varied reasons for this and many benefits to using them. The main reason is protection. Your workstation components are delicate and can be easily damaged, you require a place that is safe and secure to store them in.
Protecting your components from dust, toys, liquids and animals as well as many other external dangers is vitally important to your workstation operating at maximum efficiency. The case acts as a buffer against the outside environment and the hard shell of the PC case will provide the protection your components needs.
Another vital aspect is to have all of your component in one place as well as keeping the components hidden behind that hard outer shell. Some more enthusiastic gamers and hard-core PC geeks like to see their components at work, most of us do not, so the processor case offers a way of hiding the internal workings of the processor and keeping them safely tucked away.
For those that enjoy seeing how the components are working you can get PC towers that have windows on the side for your viewing pleasure. The PC case or chassis also offers another vital aspect to allow your mainframe to operate at its best and that is cooling. In order for your workstation to operate properly and not overheat you need to cool your components down.
This is accomplished by using fans or other coolant devices. If you did not do this, your PC could overheat and even get so hot that it will stop working altogether. The PC case incorporates special vents which allows some of the air generated by the fans to escape but directs the rest of the air to cool down your hardware contained within the case. These fans can be quite noisy so an additional benefit is to reduce the noise made by them.
The processor case is designed to keep you different parts together and allow them to be accessed easily by the user. It allows you to access the USB ports and power button along with the disc drive which can be opened any time.
How do you Choose a Suitable Computer Case?
PC towers come in several shapes and sizes, with several built-in functions and accessories. Picking the right mainframe case is integral to the long-lasting nature and good performance of your homemade personal workstation. The first decision you will have to make is what type of case are you needing, mid-tower, mini-tower, full tower or an HTPC. There are basic differences between these options that will determine which one is right for you and we will have a look at them below.
Once you have decided what type of PC case you need, if it be a mid, mini, HTPC or full tower case to suite your self-built gaming PC, you have to look at some other factors that depend on your usage, preferences and the needs of the workstation you are building. There are many different reasons for building a PC, but whether it is to play games, work on spreadsheets and word documents or as a home PC for the family to use for playing movies or surfing the net. Choosing the right materials, cooling systems and size is important and we give you a run down on what to look for when deciding which one you should select.
Motherboards come in different sizes and therefore you will require different housings or towers to accommodate them. Case form factors are named for the motherboards they support. Some of the most common ones are ATX, Micro ATX or mATX, FlexATX and Mini ITX. ATX motherboards are the most common of the four and it measures up to 12 inches by 9.6 inches. The mATX can fit in a smaller enclosure than the ATX motherboard.
The smaller motherboards can fit into the larger towers but obviously it will not work the other way round. Smaller systems may be good for when you need to have a small case for workspaces with little space, but the larger form factor towers can provide for multiple components and peripherals so are more desirable. Many of the branded system that are prebuilt and have preinstalled software, are usually a mix of standard form factor and proprietary designs. Finding cases for NLX and LPX are difficult and very expensive as they use riser cards for their expansion slots.
Although it may seem that size must go along with from factor there are also variations in size in a few crucial respects. These are the overall dimensions and number of exposed and internal bays. The fact is though that if the case needs to hold an ATX motherboard it needs to be large enough to do just so. Some towers will be just big enough to do that, others will have plenty of space to spare.
The shape and size of a case must be aligned to what your needs. If you are looking for a case that can fit into small places, low shelves or narrow gaps, then you need to choose the right one. When looking at the different sizes and shapes you can select between either a desktop or tower case. Tower cases are the more popular towers on the market. They are tall and their motherboard will stand upright. These types of cases come in three heights, mini-tower, mid-tower and full-tower. Desktop cases will be wider than a tower case and not stand as tall. The motherboard in these type of cases lie flat.
There are two kinds of cooling systems used in PCs, and workstation towers are generally built to hold both: Water Cooling, Air Cooling. The best one for you depends on what you are planning to use your processor for.
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 PC 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 PC case that can hold them. PC towers 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 PC case and the motherboard’s mount to see if there is enough room for the fan that they have chosen for the chassis. Computer towers 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 processor 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 disorganised. Thus, the provision would have to be made to shift the internal components accordingly.
Bigger processor cases also feature more expansion slots. These slots offer places for more video cards and upgrades for the workstation. However, a smaller workstation case offer a compact look and do not take up as much space beside the processor. A smaller processor case also tend to cost lesser than the larger ones.
Most new expensive processors have features such as rubber-lined holes known as grommets used to organise 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 processor case.
Tool-less organisation features, such as plastic locks holding the processor 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.
Managing cables, and the ease with which the case can be opened and examined are other factors to look out for. 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.
When looking for the perfect form factor for your PC 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 processor case. The size of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) you are going to install is a major factor as well, as most will 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. A smaller case 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 of the workstation cases fit in regular sized PSU’s, some are expanded to fit in much larger PSU’s, and certain workstation cases are built to hold smaller, more expensive PSU’s.
A very important aspect to consider when selecting your processor case is the material used to construct it. The material used to construct the case must allow it to support all internal devices. Most every mainframe case will use steel, plastic or aluminum, but it can of course be constructed from glass or wood as well. Each of these materials have advantages and disadvantages.
A steel case is generally a lot heavier than any other type of case. They have a fairly good cooling system and are also usually well priced. Because they are heavier than any other type of case, they are difficult to move around but they are also very sturdy.
A case that is built with plastic as its main component are cheap and lighter than a steel case, but they do not cool as well as a steel case will. Plastic can also be negatively affected by the heat from the components as well.
The most popular mainframe case material that is used in manufacturing is Aluminum. It is a very durable material that is also lightweight. Aluminum also provides the best cooling performance, especially when they are compared to a plastic type of case. The downside of aluminum is that they come with a higher price tag than other case materials.
Most PC’s are a standard size and black in color. When you consider changing this it is called Case modding, this is when you choose a style that suites your aesthetic likes, customizing your style, color and more. A few years ago a processor case was only available in one basic color and style. Plain boxes. But today in 2017 there are many different styles available. A mainframe case will come in a variety of different colors now, not only that but also every style under the sun from a basic old style cube to wild and outrageous.
Some have windows in the sides or top panels to allow you to view the internal workings. Some have special effects such as LED lights, some even have specific designs, these types are popular with gamers and processor geeks, and however, most prefer the classic look but with updated color schemes. There are very few limitations to what you can do with your workstation case these days, in fact the only limitation is your imagination.
A lot of PC cases on the market are sold with a power supply included. But the power supply that comes standard may not be the right one for the system that you want to install in your case. Choosing the right size power supply which is suited to what you need to run your custom built processor is imperative. Or if you like a certain case although it does not have the correct power supply, you should make sure that you purchase an additional power supply which will substitute for the included power supply.
An example of this would be if you want a premium gaming system and a standard ATX case is what you decide on, you should consider that the power supply that is included may not be strong enough to power large graphics cars or water cooling and any other peripherals that require a lot of power to run.
When choosing a processor case you should consider how easy it will be to install your hardware. Choosing a case that is easy to access will reduce the amount of time you have to spend in building your workstation. Also, having a case that is easy to access is beneficial in the long term as you may want to add new hardware. Some of these features may include a removable motherboard tray, removable drive cages, and tool-less expansion mounts, panels and drive rail systems.
Being able to remove the motherboard will make it easier to work on other areas and having tool-less systems means no screws or screw drivers are required. Choosing a case that has easy installation features will save you time and a lot of frustration and is a nice to have when considering which processor case you want to buy.
Processor cases are no longer merely a place to house your mainframe system. It offers additional features that make your life easier and adds value. These include things like clocks, digital thermometers that will monitor components within the case along with fan controllers to allow you to control the cooling performance of your workstation. Some of these new and improved features will allow easier access to USB ports, head phone jacks and microphone jacks.
There are three types of processor cases, based on your budget: Budget PC cases, at a rate of about $ 40, which are standard rectangular boxes that simply hold the components without adding anything to the finished workstation.
Midrange PC cases, 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. This type of case tends to be bigger than the budget cases.
A high-end workstation case that sell at over $200. This type of case has several advantages, such as water cooling built into the case and huge structures. However, to an average workstation 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 mainframe case is easy.
These are some of the aspects you need to keep in mind when you are considering which mainframe case will be perfect for your needs. When deciding which one to purchase it is always best to read online reviews, consider the comments of other people who have bought the different cases and make sure that you understand exactly what your processor needs in the way of hardware that you will have to install into the case in order to get the functionality you desire.
Once you have done all of this and read through our list of things to consider when purchasing a workstation case you will be good to go. Building your own processor is exciting and getting exactly what you need instead of settling what standard processors have to offer is the best way to go especially for gamers and people who need their workstation to perform high end tasks that require high end hardware
Do Computer Cases come with Fans?
Most processor 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 processor, so every mainframe case is provided with the provisions for an air cooling system or a water cooling system. So if a processor case does not come with a fan, as is the case with most low budget processor 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 workstation 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.
If you are not using your standard air cooling system but a liquid cooling system you will also require fans, however not as many as you would need for air cooling. In fact the fans in your water cooling system will serve an important function. Just remember when purchasing your case that you select one that can accommodate a water cooling system.
How many case fans do you need for gaming?
Generally, it depends on the complexity of the processing system.Some processor systems may require more energy to work, some lesser. It depends on the components of the processor. The GPU tends to be the problem and the part of the mainframe 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 mainframe has more than one GPU, it may have a tendency to overheat, which means more fans would have to be bought for the processor case.
Again, if the monitor has a high resolution, if you have a processor which demands more energy, if the workstation is regularly overclocked and if G-Sync and V-Sync are used, the workstation case may require cooling as it would overheat. However, if these factors are not present or reduced, the processor would not have a tendency to overheat and would not require several fans.
Fans in the processor case tends 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 workstation 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 workstation case. However, for machines with a greater cooling requirement, two large case fans would do.
When looking at water cooling instead of an air cooling system then you need to consider which fans you would want, there are certain cases that are designed to accommodate liquid cooling systems. These liquid cooling system does not always require case fans however it is always best to have as much cooling
as possible and a fan added to your cooling system will make it function more efficiently. You can use any fan for your water cooling system however there are certain ones that will give you better performance than others. Some of the qualities that makes for a great radiator fan. The shape of the fan makes a great difference and having a square shaped fan is more efficient than a round shaped frame.
The reason for this is that a round frame will allow air to escape. The square shaped case fans cover the entire radiator and thereby prevents any air escaping and enhancing the performance of your water cooler.
Do Computer Cases come in Different Sizes and how do I find the Right size to Buy?
PC cases all come in various 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 types are the Mid-tower, Full-tower and Mini-tower as well as the HTPC PC case. The size of the processor case will determine whether you can use a water cooler and other high end systems in your custom built workstation, gamers and overclockers will require a different size processor case than your general office worker, so before you decide which one you need, you must be clear on what you need your workstation for. There are a few main types of processor cases and we cover them all there for you.
These are the most common kind of processor cases. You will recognize them as they are used in your home, in schools and in offices. Mid-tower cases stand around 18 inches high. They have decent cooling systems and can cope with high volume but not with heavy overclocking. They usually have two to four external bays which include DVD/CD and Blu-Ray drives and USB drives.
One of the most popular types of workstation cases. It has room for all the necessary hardware and can hold a GPU, a Power Supply Unit, a motherboard, a hard drive, an SSD, case fans, and so on. So if you are looking for a processor case with enough space for the basics for a low price, the Medium Tower is for you.
Full towers in comparison with mid or mini-towers are much larger, they stand around 22” high and are not common in offices or homes. These types of processor cases have excellent cooling capacity either with air cooling or liquid cooling. The full tower can have up to 16 drive bays and will allow for the addition of high-end components to your processor, the high end components tend to be large and need a lot of space. The full tower cases are for the processor enthusiast, hard-core gamer and people who tend to overclock their machines.
They are generally easy to upgrade and maintain as they provide plenty of room for expansion internally and offer great accessibility due to the large frame. These along with server cases will provide plenty of room for your cable management, as with all the components you can include in this case you will need this. It allows you to hide the cable bundles from the power supply components, if you do not do this they will hand down in the case and prevent proper airflow which can lead to damage to your components due to overheating.
Full Tower cases can hold anything from radiators to custom water loops to large Extended-ATX motherboards, they can hold dual Power Supply Units, optimised 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 processor cases, especially for soft-core gaming and browsing.
You also get the much smaller options such as the mini-tower cases. These cases are not really upgradeable and are difficult to maintain due to their small size. Cooling performance is also not great as they cannot accommodate as many case fans as the mid-tower or full-tower cases. They will stand about 13 to 16 inches high and take up very little room on your desk or work station. They are one of the least imposing cases on the market and not the most popular as their capacity for components is very low.
Small Towers are made for travelers who want smaller workstations, 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 processor case, or a gamer who participates in LAN conventions, the Small Tower is for you.
HTPC PC Cases
The HTPC or home theater PC cases are not the norm. These only house the components needed for your personal mainframe and then the ability to view and record music, video and photographs. They are usually very compact to enable them to sit comfortably in a TV stand or any home theatre setup.
Often these types of cases house just enough of a combination to enable your room’s media devices to function from one place and are not proper mainframe that are fully functional. The component are not large and therefore the case is not every large and much wider than a standard mid, mini or full tower case.
These cases are very similar to tower cases, the main difference between the two is that in tower cases the motherboard is designed to stand upright and in desktop cases are designed to have the motherboard lying flat. Desktops are not as tall as a tower case and they are a lot wider than tower cases and will suite people who need a smaller case that can fit in tighter spaces.
However it must be noted that if you chose a case that does not have a spacious internal area you will be limited as to the amount of hardware you can install in your case. Desktop workstation cases are usually reinforced so that a monitor can be placed on it to conserve space. Desktop workstations do not have as good cooling abilities as your larger tower type cases as there is less space available to install fans.
They are good to use as standard family PCs, and work processors, however they will not make good machines to use if you are planning on heavy gaming which need large graphics cards or if you are planning on overclocking your machine as its cooling performance is not a great as it must be to accommodate that kind of usage.
Selecting the correct size and shape of your PC case is imperative to building the best customized workstation you want. Consider the space you have available to you and what you need your workstation to do. If you are a hard-core gamer or a professional photographer that will require high end graphics cards you need a case that will support larger than standard cards. There are not only the above mentioned tower cases but also desktop cases. Tower cases are the most popular today.
If you’re setting up the best gaming rig, you cannot afford to ignore the PC cases, as you may need more space to add additional components. The NZXT Phantom 410 Mid Tower Computer Cases is one of the best and 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 box 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 PC 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 Cases are a well-designed mainframe case that is made of aluminium and one of the best on the market. It features top quality cooling fans – two in the front and one at the rear to allow optimal airflow at the PC 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 Cases 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 processor 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.