Hardware July 10, 2020
Hardcore gamers understand that the best gaming PC case must offer a lot more than just space to pack the motherboard and other components. Factors like the design, price, airflow and cooling must be seriously considered.
We’ve taken all the trouble for you. In this guide, we selected 10 of the best PC cases for gaming. And a bonus you shouldn’t miss.
Here’s a brief overview of the best gaming cases we selected. To understand why we picked them, read on to the reviews.
|Best Gaming Case||Case||Design||Form Factor|
|Best Full Tower Gaming Case||Cooler Master Cosmos C700M||Full tower|
|Best Mid Tower Gaming Case||Corsair Crystal Series 570X RGB||Mid-Tower|
|Best Looking PC Gaming Case||Cooler Master Cosmos C700P||Full Tower|
|Best Budget Gaming Case||Phanteks Eclipse P300A||Mid-Tower|
|Best Budget Mid Tower Case||NZXT H510||Mid -Tower|
|Best Cooling Case For Gaming||Phanteks Enthoo Pro Glass||Full Tower|
|Best Micro-ATX Gaming PC Case||Corsair Carbide 280X||Mid Tower|
|Best Gaming Case For Dual Build||Phanteks Evolve X||Mid Tower|
|Best Modular Gaming Case||be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900||Full Tower|
|Best High End Gaming Case||Corsair Obsidian 1000D||Super Tower|
Decision making isn’t a common skill when shopping for anything. The reason for this is simple – there are way too many good and bad products to decide upon. However, things become a lot easier when you have a clear picture of what you’re gunning for, and how much you’re willing to spend.
Understand your core components
The first step to choosing a gaming PC case is having a clear understanding of the components you have. And what components you’d be installing on your gaming case.
If you’re about to build a gaming rig from scratch, it’s smart to make a mental, or preferably written, note of the core components that make your case tick.
Here are some basic components you should consider:
The motherboard is arguably the most important component in any gaming rig. We can’t tell what type of motherboard you have, but we can accurately guess that you’ll want to buy a PC case that fits your board nicely,
There are four traditional motherboard sizes:
There’s also a XL ATX motherboard which is bigger variant of the ATX.
Each of the aforementioned mobos come with different size implications. This is telling in the number of onboard port and slots which they can support. And of course the measurement.
A typical ATX motherboard will have at least five PCI-Express slots. The smallest is the mini-ITX board which usually has between two to four SATA ports and PCI slots.
In terms of measurement, the Micro-ATX board usually measures 9.6 x 9.6 while the Mini-ITX is comparatively smaller at 6.7 x 6.7inches. Both boards would fit into smaller form factor cases. However, you’ll have trouble fitting the standard ATX and E-ATX boards into smaller form factor PC cases.
Hence, when buying a gaming PC case, you must choose a case that gives your mobo enough space to breathe. The importance of taking this advice cannot be overemphasized.
Gaming enthusiasts never joke with their graphic cards, and this is quite understandable. The graphic card goes a long way to determine how much you enjoy your gaming experience.
It must be said that graphic cards are quite fragile and can easily get damaged. They also don’t come cheap. This is why you need to put them into serious consideration when choosing a gaming PC case.
The graphics card is installed into a PCI-E slot on your motherboard, but you will struggle to install your card if you choose a case that doesn’t support the card length you have.
With a positive understanding of your GPU length, you can now move on to confirm other components before deciding on the PC case form factor to buy.
We’ve heard complaints from PC builder who lost thousands of dollars due to the poor thermal performance of their expensive units. Not a surprise when one considers the tremendous amount of heat generated by processors, the GPU, high-performance RAM and many others.
This challenge has forced enthusiasts to take great care in choosing an efficient cooling system for their expensive hardware.
Coolers vary between air cooling and liquid cooling. Fans and radiators are popular components here.
If you already have a cooler, like a radiator, for instance, you’d do well to choose a PC case that provides enough space to allow you to mount it. Or the case comes with preinstalled fans and radiators.
Also, you need to seriously consider the cooling system being used by the PC case you decide to go for. A gaming PC case often ends up producing more heat than regular cases. This means cooling must be efficient.
Stacking your case with fans isn’t the best idea. Besides the extra cost and annoying noise, they’re most likely to produce, you won’t get the necessary one-directional airflow within your case.
In the end, the life-span of your components will be determined by one – and that’s your PSU.
Most gaming enthusiasts have some PSU lying around and it’s important to note its size before buying your new case. Although some cases, particularly Micro-ATX cases, usually come with built-in power. However, a preinstalled power supply isn’t the best for gaming PCs.
It is therefore imperative that you get a case that’s spacious enough to accommodate the PSU you have, or you’re buying. Many modern PC cases like the ones listed in this guide don’t come with a built-in PSU.
Now, let’s help you determine the size of your PC case.
Now that you have an understanding of your components and the key aspects of your potential new case, it’s time to decide on the form factor that fits you.
You won’t hear this everywhere but size does matter when choosing a gaming PC case. And size here, of a gaming case, has everything to do with the form factor.
The form factor is usually associated with the word “tower”. Hence, there are three expressions to determine case size:
There’s, however, a much larger variant known as super-tower, and we give a good example with the beastly Corsair Obsidian 1000D.
It offers unmatched portability, but a Mini-Tower case will most like be too space-constraining for a gaming PC case. The reason for this has already been explained in detail here. For one, they can only hold the smallest motherboard sizes and for two, your components could get fried with heat due to limited airflow within the case.
A Mid-Tower case is better suited for gamers and modders because most Mini-Tower PC cases can comfortably support ATX and MATX motherboards, including a few fans and radiators for efficient cooling.
So if you’re not looking to dig deep in your wallet for a PC case, you should consider a Mid-Tower case.
However, some mid-tower cases fall miserably short when you try to pack too many hardware components into it. Things like a sophisticated cooling system can’t be installed in a mid-tower case. It means scalability is compromised in the end.
A Full-Tower gamign computer case will easily hold everything you throw at it in terms of motherboard sizes (E-ATX and XL-ATX). Modders crave space to work their magic and they get it with full-tower cases. Also, full-tower cases always seem to outlast smaller variants. So if you’re not big on changing your case anytime soon a full-tower case will do you good service.
With your mind made on the size of case you’re buying, it’s time to choose how your case will look.
We like talking about aesthetics last because an eye-catching appearance may not necessarily mean mind-blowing performance. So we first look under the hood, before we drool on the outlook.
A brilliant looking PC case can indeed come at the cost of modularity. The beautiful exterior stops you from opening up your case at will to tweak it. Until you get through numerous screws.
Also, the design of your case eventually determines how much you end up spending on it. A good example of this rhetoric is the Corsair 280X which costs slightly more when you choose the RGB SE variant.
Still, it’s not bad to buy a case you like to look at since you’ll be doing that for quite some time. Here are things to consider when deciding on the design to go for.
Gaming PC cases always seem to light up the room and that’s because of RGB lighting. This RGB is even customizable for some models.
If you want that, then, by all means, get it!
Nowadays many PC cases come with side panels completely built with tempered glass. This gives you an unhindered look inside your case if the glass isn’t tinted.
There are two drawbacks with tempered glass cases, however. Firstly, they come at the cost of maximum airflow. Secondly, they’re hard to find at prices lower than $100.
Please don’t compromise on build quality for whatever reason. If you wouldn’t want to go shopping for another PC case in the next few years, then you shouldn’t go for a cheap case with a poor build quality.
We’ve seen many sub-$100 PC cases wear off almost immediately they get unboxed. It’s a sorry sight you shouldn’t experience.
Cases built with a combination of materials like tempered glass, steel and aluminum often break the $100 barrier but they offer better longevity.
Don’t forget to watch out for…
Not all gaming pc cases are spacious enough to stowaway your cables. So if you like your interior neat without cables cluttering your space, then buy a bigger PC case. A full-tower case would provide all the space you need to hide your cables.
However, some mid-tower cases also offer good cable management by including holes, hooks, rubber grommets and depth behind the motherboard to help hide your cables.
Front panel connectivity
It very likely you already have several external devices before setting out to shop for a gaming PC case. If you do, then you should consider the front panel connectivity of the case you’re about to spend some green buck on.
Even the most inexpensive PC cases come with a couple of USB-A 3.0 ports in the front. But for a gaming case that won’t cut it.
Besides the ports, the front panel should also hold controllers for fans and RGB lighting. Check the specs to confirm.
If you want a PC case with a built-in optical drive bay then you must do well to confirm it has it before buying.
The 5.25-inch drive bay which users don’t mind having in their case isn’t available in some of the recent PC cases being manufactured nowadays. This is because data storage has moved from optical disk drives (DVD/CD/Blu-ray drive) to high storage USB drives, cloud services and external hard drives.
The gradual phasing out of the 5.25-inch bay has made PC cases more aesthetic, as that space is now used for housing front intake fans or for accommodating bigger radiators (up to 360mm).
But there are still gaming PC cases built with the 5.25-inch drive bay. Check the specs.
Noise and vibrations from a gaming PC case can quickly become quite annoying. If it irritates you more than most, you should go for a case built with sound-dampening materials. An example is the Cooler Master Silencio S600 which we truly loved.
However, PC cases built to be sound-proof often compromise on airflow. If you’re going for one, you should be prepared to add some extra liquid coolers to your build.
It doesn’t hurt to have a clean PC. Keeping your unit clean increases its performance and longevity. But cleaning the interior of your case can be quite a tedious task. That’s why dust filters are important.
Dust filters ensure that dust, debris and dirt don’t get to your internal components like fans, motherboards and GPUs.
Before picking our PC Cases, we studied a vast number of options. While some gamers prefer flashy hardware, others are down for something more minimalist design.
Our tech team went to work to ensure every need is met. We looked carefully at the specs of the various models and considered the pros and cons of each model.
To narrow down our list to the top 10 recommendation you’re about to see, we analyzed reviews by verified purchasers, not digital marketers or bots.
Now, here are the PC cases we chose.
You’ve seen the crazy features. There isn’t much more to say about this beastly piece of hardware from Cooler Master.
The Cooler Master Cosmos C700M attempts to break records in terms of features and aesthetics. Although it comes at a pretty bogus price tag, the case flaunts the specs to match any top-dollar offering.
This PC case was built with hardcore gamers in mind. In terms of thermal performance, it impressed our tech team. Cooler Master also threw in some flair in terms of ARGB lighting and its smooth finish with tempered glass panels, aluminium and steel to booth.
If you’re thinking of going all out for a Best Full Tower Gaming Case then you should seriously consider the Cosmos C700M from Cooler Master.
The Corsair Crystal Series 570X tops the chart for the best mid tower gaming case for 2020. It also comes at a fairly decent asking price.
There’s plenty to write home about the aesthetics and build of this smashing case. What’s not to like? Perhaps the limited space for cable routing inside. Besides that, you’ll instantly fall for the Corsair Crystal Series 570X due to the build quality and thermal performance.
The 570x flaunts tempered glass panels and three RGB fans which comes together to give your interior rig components an astonishing look.
On top of the full top-panel and face-panel filtration, there are six fans around it to keep your gaming rig properly ventilated, cool and dust-free.
The Cooler Master Cosmos C700P is another monstrous PC case that deserves special recognition. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a gaming case with the feature it offers, as can be seen from the specs listed.
The price tag is weighty but it offers the performance and builds to back it up. The case comes with a cute handlebar, a beautiful curved tempered glass panel and a superb color scheme.
The Cosmos C700P comes with a larger footprint so it’s quite heavy, weighing a mammoth 22..2kg/49pounds. However, it offers lots of space for your build, hence, you don’t have to worry about airflow or cable management.
The Phanteks Eclipse 300A packed ruggedness and flamboyance into one interesting gaming PC case. The most interesting thing about this case is that it comes at an insanely affordable price. Less than $100.
Besides the toughness of this case, Phanteks ensured that there’s a lot of airflow on the Eclipse 300A by including a mesh front panel on the chassis. However, the case only comes with one factory fan. You can include an additional fan if you want more air for your GPU and can spare the expense.
Even with just one fan, the Eclipse 300A still managed to produce quality cooling with just one single fan intact.
Cooler Master has some expensive PC cases which have already been looked at here. However, the Cooler Master Silencio S600 is one PC case that offers more value than its asking price.
For just about $100 you get a mid-tower case with a sleek design and neat interior. This gaming case is built with sound dampening material to ensure it operates with whisper-quiet sound.
The design makes it not the best PC case for airflow, hence your components may get a bit heated up. But it makes up for this trade-off with other cool features and a smooth finish.
The NZXT 510 debuted in mid-2019 and rose quickly up the charts for rig builders. The NZXT 510 is a mid-tower case with a flamboyant design and smashing features that makes it one of the smart choices for the price tag.
The NZXT 510 comes adorned with tempered glass on the side panel and some white aluminium finish to go with. Inside the case, there’s enough space for cable routing to keep things tidy. It all speaks of quality and reliability.
The bottom line is you get a pretty decent case at an equally decent price.
The Phanteks Enthoo Pro Glass is an enormous PC case with class and flamboyance in equally good measure. The biggest selling point of the Enthoo Pro Glass is the cooling system.
This case offers efficient water cooling and airflow. Inside, there’s ample space for cable management and other components like cables, drives and Power Storage Units (PSU).
The tinted tempered glass on the case makes it look even more beautiful than in pictures. This is one full-tower case you won’t regret spending money on.
The Corsair 280X has become popular since Corsair announced it as a replacement for the Air 240. Although the Air 240 sports a similar form factor with the Corsair 280X, there were several improvements on the 280X that makes it stand out.
The Corsair 280X comes in an attractive chassis with triple tempered glass; it also has an RGB SE variant which comes at a higher premium.
Overall, the Corsair 280X impressed us in terms of cooling, build quality and performance under load (noise and vibrations). If you get the RGB SE variant highlighted here, you get a couple of 120mm RGB fans to go with.
The case also flaunts a secondary chamber where you can stowaway your PSU and storage drives.
Phanteks always seem to come up with the sleekest gaming PC cases in the market. The Phanteks Evolve X was another massive win for the company.
Everything checks out with this PC case, especially in terms of cooling, airflow, cable management, dust filtering and the overall design.
Interestingly, this case allows you to fix two systems (an ITX and ATX) into this mid-tower case comfortably.
However, the Phanteks Evolve X comes at a high premium but it truly makes up for its price tag with its performance and features.
be quiet! isn’t popular for their PC cases, but they beat down the competition with their Dark Base Pro 900 which hit the market not too long ago.
We found the Dark Base Pro 900 highly modular with a smashing interior. Expectedly from be quiet! this case is a show stopper in terms of silence and dust filtration. Surprisingly, it comes with enough space to hold any size of motherboard you care to fit into it.
The Dark Base Pro 900 also performs remarkably well in terms of cooling – this isn’t a surprise since it has space to hold radiators of up to 420mm in size. Finally, this case comes pre-installed with wireless Qi charging, which wasn’t a regular feature in PC cases before 2020.
You will never be limited by space if you can lay your hands on the Corsair’s Obsidian 1000D. The 900D from the company was also a mammoth PC case, but standing an intimidating 27 inches tall, the 1000D sets new records for size, space and airflow that’s almost unmatchable in the market.
It’s undoubtedly that this is a colossal Super tower PC case for gaming or whatever purpose you choose to put it. The Obsidian 1000D can house up to 18 fans and of course any radiator or motherboard size you throw at it.
In terms of design, there’s RGB lighting on the front panel and the smart lighting can be controlled from the I/O panel.
Still have questions after reading our detailed guide? Let’s attempt to answer the ones we usually get from first-time rig builders and other regular buyers.
How much does it cost to build a decent gaming PC case?
This depends on your definition of decent. If you’re crazy about aesthetics and performance you should be ready to spend above $100 to get something that fits you.
A decent gaming case shouldn’t leave a hole on your wallet. But you shouldn’t sacrifice quality for money. Like we’ve seen people cram a nice rig into a $40 case. Bad idea. If you do, you might end up paying a lot more when your pricey components get busted by heat or stress.
What are the recommended specs for a modern gaming PC case?
A modern gaming PC case shouldn’t come in a smaller form-factor than the aforementioned. This is because you don’t want severe space limitations due to the components required for a gaming PC build, like fans, radiators, larger motherboards (ATX, E-ATX and XL-ATX), and longer graphic cards.
A modern gaming system will produce quite some heat, hence it requires an efficient cooling system to temperature in check. Your case should support at least up to two 140/240mm radiators and six 120mm/140mm fans with at least two preinstalled.
Gaming requires a lot of GPU power. A modern gaming PC case should support graphics cards up to 18.5 inches in length.
An enthusiast can tell a modern gaming PC case from an ancient by simply looking at the front panel.
A modern case should have more than one of the recent USB 3.1 port, and multiple USB 3.0 ports. It should also have ports for 3.5mm audio jack. And buttons for fan control and RGB lighting.
Build quality should be up there for a recent gaming PC case. Features like RGB lighting and see-through or tinted tempered glass panels are popular features with PC cases nowadays.
How much temperature does a gaming PC case generate?
This is an important question. We’ve even heard users ask ‘if a gaming PC can heat a room in winter?’ Sounds funny but logical, since there’s so much buzz about the heat generated by gaming PCs.
A gaming PC case will generate between 65-700C of heat when running. Expect higher temperatures (up to 75-800C) when playing graphically demanding high-end games like Grand Theft Auto V, Crysis 3, and Hitman 3. The GPU, CPU and PSUs are the major culprits for this.
A gaming PC case should be slightly different from a regular PC case. Size alone is enough disparity. We make bold to say this given that a Mini-Tower case will always make a poor choice for a gaming PC case.
This guide has been pretty exhaustive with regards everything you need to know before hitting Amazon or any hardware store to shop for a case. You can take a second look at the detailed pro tips for buying a gaming PC case above before checking our reviews to make your mind up.
If you still nurse some concerns regarding buying a gaming case, hit us up in the comments section and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.