Best Of The Best, Part 2: Who Makes The Most Elite PC Case?

Another Look At Elite ATX Cases

If you missed part one of this three-part series, be sure to check out Best Of The Best, Part 1: Who Makes The Most Elite PC Case?

We began our search for the cream of the crop in ATX cases by first setting up some fairly stringent qualifying criteria. Any case over $180 could compete, but every case would be judged primarily on whether or not it was worth more than enclosures priced under that mark. After filtering out more ordinary offerings, we were to choose cases offering the highest construction and material quality. Then, after turning away even the most common high-end cases, we'd look at feature sets to help us determine a winner.

Because we're getting our hands on high-priced hardware, we'd need to briefly suspend our normal value-oriented analysis in favor of a more cost-based approach. But we still ended up receiving a few value-oriented parts. Stuck side panels and low-cost materials are no way to win in a round-up of premium kit.

In this part two of three, we compare a trio of cases that really are worth at least as much as our $180 entry point. They would have been a great way to wrap up our coverage. However, a handful of late entries give us enough hardware for a third feature; we'll all have to wait a little while longer to learn the ultimate winner of this face-off.

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Height22.4" (w/o feet)22.3"23.0"
Depth22.8" (w/o handle)22.3"23.8"
Space Above Motherboard4.4"3.2"2.7"
Card Length20.2"18.1"14.5"
Weight23.8 Pounds23.3 Pounds29.7 Pounds
Front Fans (alternatives)None (2x 120 mm)2x 140 mm (None)2x 200 mm (2x 140, 3x 120 mm)
Rear Fans (alternatives)None (1x 120 mm)1x 140 mm (1x 120 mm)1x 140 mm (1x 120 mm)
Top Fans (alternatives)None (4x 120 mm)None (3x 120, 2x 140 mm)1x 200 mm (2x 140, 3x 120 mm)
Left Side (alternatives)NoneNone (None)1x 230 mm (9x 120 mm)
Right Side (alternatives)NoneNone (None)None (None)
Drive Bays
5.25" External11 (4x mounts)ThreeTwo
3.5" ExternalNoneNoneOne***
3.5" InternalTwoSixEight
2.5" InternalTwo4 + 6*Eight*
Card SlotsEightNineEight
Noise Dampening
*Shared on 3.5" tray **w/o Center Cage ***By 5.25" Adapter Tray
Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • blackmagnum
    Answer (YMMV): Thermaltake Level 10 GT.
  • Crashman
    13773314 said:
    Answer (YMMV): Thermaltake Level 10 GT.
    You know the original Level 10 was probably "more elite",2594-5.html
  • vertexx
    Hope the Phanteks Enthoo Primo is part of the final - will we have to wait another 2 months for that?
  • ykki
    I wish that they would use the new powercolor devil 13 290x (their version of the 295X2) for their tests
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Who makes the most elite cases? Corsair and NZXT, no need for investigation :) Still, a nice roundup.
  • Drejeck
    There are some cases CNC made, you should talk about this indipendent manufacturers. On SweClockers I saw the best mini ITX computer ever made, with 2 ssds, 2 fans, a picopsu and a discrete graphic card with riser card.
  • Drejeck
    Anyway my guess was Lian-Li and Silverstone
  • eklipz330
    isn't this a purely subjective article? how can this be quantified?
  • Neve12ende12
    I don't know much about cases, but I have an Azza Hurrican 2000 and I think it is pretty badass
  • firefoxx04
    Phanteks Primo plz