Best PC Cases 2019: Our Tested Picks for Your New Build

There's far more to consider than attractive looks when choosing a case. Good airflow is key when it comes to keeping your components cool, and noise levels can be affected by everything from the number and type of fans you use to the shape of the fan mounts. Size is also important. You need a case that's big enough to accept the components you have today, as well as what you might want to add in the future.

Choose the right case and it could serve you well through multiple PC builds, thus saving you hundreds of dollars. Pick one that you don't really like to look at, or that doesn't fit the GPU you decide you want a few months down the line, and you might be looking to replace it before that new case smell starts to fade. But with hundreds of available options, from closet-like EATX chassis to tiny sub-shoebox-size Mini-ITX models, where do you start? You're in the right place.

Quick Shopping Tips

  • Figure out what parts you have/want first. Aesthetics are important, but before you get to that, you’ll want to know what motherboard, graphics card, and cooler you’ll be using, plus how many drives you’ll want to install. This will dictate the size and shape of the cases you should be considering.
  • You probably don’t need a huge tower. Multi-card setups seem to be on the wane, storage is always getting denser (plus with an M.2 SSD, your SSD is physically smaller than ever), and coolers are getting more efficient. So unless you are building a component-packed workstation or you just like the looks and upgradability of a full-sized tower, something smaller will probably serve you well.
  • Cooling is key, especially in small cases or with lots of components. Airflow is important, especially when it comes to high-end components in tight spaces. Check our cooler reviews for our cooling test results before buying, and remember that cases with tempered-glass fronts and tops often restrict airflow and may require additional fans.
  • Tiny cases are tougher to build in. This is especially important if you’re a novice builder, but even veterans can find it tough to fit components in a small Mini-ITX chassis. There’s no doubt that compact builds with powerful parts are impressive and space-saving. But remember to set aside extra time and patience—and double-check those key component dimensions—before attempting to build a tiny PC.
  • Choose a chassis that you like to look at. Unless you don’t care about aesthetics at all and are going to be shove your new system far under your desk, your case is likely to spend lots of time in your peripheral vision. Don’t forget to check airflow and that your parts will fit. But after that, find something that appeals to you visually, whether that be a glass-enclosed rainbow of RGB LEDs, or a simple black box with smooth lines and lots of top-mounted USB ports. There are tons of case options out there. You should take the time to find one that appeals to you visually.

Best PC Cases of 2019

1. Cougar Panzer Evo RGB

Best High-End ATX Case

Rating: 4.5/5 (Editor's Choice)

Type: Full Tower | Motherboard Support: ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX | Card Length Supported: 390mm (15.4 inches) | Storage Support: (0) 5.25", (2) 3.5", (4) 2.5" | Included Fans: (4) 120mm Vortex RGB LED

Pros: Great thermal performance Four fans included Built-in Fan ControllerWhisper quiet Impressive RGB lighting Four Tempered glass panels USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port Good build qualitySolid construction

Cons: ExpensiveFingerprint Magnet Not true E-ATX

Read Review: Cougar Panzer Evo RGB

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2. be quiet! Silent Base 601

Best Mid-Range ATX Case

Rating: 4/5 (Editor's Choice)

Type: Mid Tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX (E-ATX support up to 12 x 10.7 inches) | Card Length Supported: 449mm (17.6 inches) without HDD cage | Storage Support: (3) 3.5” (+ 4x optional) (6) 2.5” (+ 8x optional) | Included Fans: (2) 140mm

Pros: Very quiet at idle / daily desktop use Great dust filtrationBuild quality Easily accommodates large system components

Cons: Poor thermal performance under load Higher-than-expected acoustics under load No USB Type-C

The Silent Base 601 isn’t perfect. But solid design, great features and quality craftsmanship make this ATX case an excellent option, so long as you're okay with the absence of tempered glass (in the base model) and RGB lighting. It’s extremely quiet in most use cases, has excellent dust filtering, and is roomy enough for large components.

Read Review: be quiet! Silent Base 601

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3. Riotoro CR500 TG

Best Budget ATX Case

Rating: 4/5 (Editor's Choice)

Type: Mid Tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX | Card Length Supported: 320mm (12.6 inches) | Storage Support: (2) 3.5” (2) 2.5” | Included Fans: (2) 120mm LED, (1) 120mm

Pros: Great price Tempered glass side pane Good fit, finish and performance Great looks

Cons: Not a true dual-chamber designCase uses expansion slot knock-outs

The Riotoro CR500 is a great-looking chassis with compelling features and solid performance. Buyers looking for a stylish base to house their entry-level hardware will find good value here, despite a few drawbacks.

A tempered-glass side panel, good acoustic and thermal performance, and three 120mm fans are included, two of which feature red LED lighting. Overall, this is a great chassis for not a lot of money.

Read Review: Riotoro CR500 TG 

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4. NZXT H400i

Best MicroATX Case

Rating: 4/5 (Editor's Choice)

Type: Mini Tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX | Card Length Supported: 411mm (16.2 inches) | Storage Support: (1) 3.5", (4) 2.5" | Included Fans: (3) 120mm

Pros: Good-looking tempered-glass design Strong thermal performance Included RGB lighting and fan control Reasonable price

Cons: Slightly noisy at full fan speed No front-panel USB-C ports

Excellent performance, good-looking design, included RGB and fan control, and competitive price tag come together to make the H400i an excellent choice for MicroATX builders. The case gets a little noisy with fans running at top speed, and there’s no USB-C ports on the front panel. But if those shortcomings sound reasonable to you and your motherboard is smaller than full-size ATX, this case should be on your short list.

Read Review: NZXT H400i

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5. NZXT H200i

Best Mini-ITX Case

Rating: 4/5 (Editor's Choice)

Type: Mini Tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX | Card Length Supported: 325mm (12.8 inches) | Storage Support: (1) 3.5", (4) 2.5" | Included Fans: (2) 120mm

Pros: Good looking tempered glass and steel design Strong thermal performance Included RGB lighting and fan control Reasonable price

Cons: Top fan placement may conflict with some configurations Slightly noisy at full fan speed No front panel USB-C ports

Despite its small size, the H200i the commands a strong lead in our thermal benchmark, running several degrees cooler than competing chassis. Its $130 (£107) price tag isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the best-performing Mini-ITX cases we tested in well over two years.

The H200i’s strong performance-per-dollar value, coupled with its good-looking steel and tempered glass design and its included RGB lighting and fan control make it an excellent product for those considering a compact build.

Read Review: NZXT H200i

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6. Cooler Master Cosmos C700M

Best High-End Showcase PC Case

Rating: 4.5/5 (Editor's Choice)

Type: Full Tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, (E-ATX support up to 12 x 10.7 inches) | Card Length Supported: 490mm (19.3 inches) | Storage Support: (5) 3.5” (4) 2.5” (+ 5x converted from 3.5) | Included Fans: (4) 140mm

Pros: Excellent thermal performance, liquid cooling support and cable managementQuiet under full load Expandability Modular design allows for a variety of configurations USB-C port Multiple GPU configurations Includes GPU riser cable and four 140mm fans

Cons: Price Heavy Requires two USB 3.0 headers or a 20-pin splitter cable for all four front panel USB 3.0 ports Reconfiguring the motherboard layout may be tough for beginners

You couldn't ask for a more full-featured, future-proof chassis than the Cooler Master Cosmos C700M. Even with the higher than average price tag, the case's thermal performance, integrated ARGB lighting, multi-layout design and laundry list of features definitely justifies the asking price.

Not everyone can or should spend $440 (£388) on a case, but but this is a specialized, high-end chassis specifically built for enthusiasts willing to spend their hard earned money to have the best. And make no mistake about it, the Cooler Master Cosmos C700M is one of the best.

Read Review: Cooler Master Cosmos C700M

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7. be quiet! Dark Base 700

Best XL/EATX Case

Rating: 4.5/5 (Editor's Choice)

Type: Mid Tower | Motherboard Support: E-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX | Card Length Supported: 286mm (11.2 inches)/430mm (16.9 inches with HD cage removed)| Storage Support: (7) 3.5, (9) 2.5" | Included Fans: (2) 140mm

Pros: Good thermal performance Great looking chassis Embedded lighting Tempered-glass side panel Low noise Excellent filtration system

Cons: Price Only two 140mm fans (three would be ideal at this price)

The be quiet! Dark Base 700 is in a class of its own. At first glance it may seem like just another case with a tempered-glass side panel. But upon further inspection, it’s clear how much time and effort went into the design. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more versatile, high-performance enclosure.

It’s clear that be quiet! put a great deal of thought into the design of this chassis’ filtration system. Every intake fan mounting location in the Dark Base 700 is equipped with a washable nylon fan filter. Gaining access to filters requires removing the front panel, but even though the front and bottom filters are extremely long, maintenance and cleaning is a snap.

Read Review: be quiet! Dark Base 700

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29 comments
    Your comment
  • abryant
  • Peter Martin
    Lol. No thanks. Lian-Li for me
  • 1_rick
    In the info block at the top, the "review" link for the H200i goes to the Define R6 review; it's correct at the page bottom.
  • Scrotus
    Why are front panel USB ports, power switches, activity lights, etc. placed on top of cases? If I interpret correctly a desktop computer indicates it is placed on your desktop. My last 3 or 4 cases had everything on top and I couldn't see them without standing up and the hard drive activity light was out of sight while I'm sitting in my normal position. I wish they would start putting front panel stuff on the front panel and not on top of the case.
  • joedavies87
    Why isn’t Phanteks on this list?
  • Lucky_SLS
    The pc O11 dynamic will get a 2/5 in Tom's review cuz they test it at stock fan configuration. Maybe that's why it's not in the list XD.

    But you still have the pc o11 air and Lan cool one to test! Reviews for the lancool one digital asap plz!
  • invisiblezombie
    A lot of cases aren't available in this part of the world and computer parts are priced at 50% or higher premium against US prices. Amongst those that were, I found Corsair Obsidian and Corsair Carbide cases generally good but overpriced. Personally I liked the Corsair Obsidian 750D most, but purchased what I consider the next best case and much better value for money - the Antec 1100 V2. Being the first desktop I assembled myself, the Antec 1100 made the job a lot easier.
  • kep55
    Why do so many of the top cases have glass panels? Glass is a bit of a thermal insulator, add unnecessary weight, and serves no practical purpose in a PC case. If you want to see all your gear, don't bother putting it a case.
  • fredfinks
    1781000 said:
    Lol. No thanks. Lian-Li for me


    I had the Lian Li A20. It was an expensive beast, and a damn good case, but i find Fractal Design's cases to be more practical, same build quality - if not better, and definitely quieter.

    The thin aluminium of the Lian Li was prone to vibration.
  • fredfinks
    2134812 said:
    Why are front panel USB ports, power switches, activity lights, etc. placed on top of cases? If I interpret correctly a desktop computer indicates it is placed on your desktop. My last 3 or 4 cases had everything on top and I couldn't see them without standing up and the hard drive activity light was out of sight while I'm sitting in my normal position. I wish they would start putting front panel stuff on the front panel and not on top of the case.


    It's a legacy name thing from a time when your CRT monitor sat upon a PC case that was designed to be laid flat & sit on a desk. It then served as a distinction between laptops & other equipment.

    If you have your mid-tower case on your desk you are doing it wrong.
    Its noisier and it eats up valuable desk real estate. Its a big stupid box on a desk - F it off.

    'But how else can we look at the purty lights?!' they might ask. That's where it all went wrong.
  • turkey3_scratch
    3004 said:
    Why do so many of the top cases have glass panels? Glass is a bit of a thermal insulator, add unnecessary weight, and serves no practical purpose in a PC case. If you want to see all your gear, don't bother putting it a case.


    It's not about seeing it, it's about seeing it presented in a fashionable manner. It's sort of like a museum. Every piece of artwork is framed, has special lighting on it, there is a lot that goes into taking something and putting it inside of a case for viewing and making it look, for lack of a better word, cool.
  • Karadjgne
    Why are ports on top? Because it's a design holdover from full towers that used to sit either on the floor or in a cubby next to the floor. Added with multiple optical bays, floppy bays etc that ate up higher access (the bottom being all fan space, that left the top as the most viable spot. It's also more practical in the sense that a USB plug sticking out the front of a case is definitely in a bad spot when ppl or animals go past, they get broke off quick.

    Why TG? Why not. It's really no more of an insulator than giant plastic side panels or even the sheet metal sides used in more premium cases. It does allow for better visibility of the interior and is far less prone to scratching than acrylic. It also does not cloud over like acrylics can with age and heat.

    Personally, a heavy case is a bonus to me, lightweight cases in a tower design on a desktop just feel flimsy and are prone to knock-overs by cats or ppl not watching where they are going. A solid, heavy case goes nowhere, no matter how hard you slam the vacuum into the desk.

    There's been all kinds of pc's built in open air, even the ones designed to hang on the wall like a picture, just a little glass in front to protect from direct contact. They have one thing in common. The owners spend more time cleaning out the dust than they do gaming or using the pc. A case does a lot more than be a box designed to hold the components, it's also for protection of the components from outside abuse (like when the cat jumps up on the desk, or your 3 yr old discovers she can throw dolls) and they also protect the components from excessive, immediate dust. Pull the side panel off if you want to, just invest in multiple cans of compressed air, your cleaning regimen will go from every few months to every couple of days.
  • abeid19
    WHERE IS THE EVOLVE X !
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    1011591 said:
    Why are ports on top? Because it's a design holdover from full towers that used to sit either on the floor or in a cubby next to the floor. Added with multiple optical bays, floppy bays etc that ate up higher access (the bottom being all fan space, that left the top as the most viable spot. It's also more practical in the sense that a USB plug sticking out the front of a case is definitely in a bad spot when ppl or animals go past, they get broke off quick. <snip> There's been all kinds of pc's built in open air, even the ones designed to hang on the wall like a picture, just a little glass in front to protect from direct contact. They have one thing in common. The owners spend more time cleaning out the dust than they do gaming or using the pc. A case does a lot more than be a box designed to hold the components, it's also for protection of the components from outside abuse (like when the cat jumps up on the desk, or your 3 yr old discovers she can throw dolls) and they also protect the components from excessive, immediate dust. Pull the side panel off if you want to, just invest in multiple cans of compressed air, your cleaning regimen will go from every few months to every couple of days.


    What's ironic, though, about top-mounted USB ports is that dust in the air will naturally settle into those top-facing ports. Probably most, if not all, of those top-facing ports don't have dust covers either.

    I like Phanteks' cases that have side-facing USB ports. It shouldn't get too much dust, it won't stick out the front, and it's usually easy to access whether the case is on your desktop or floor.
  • Finstar
    Too much be quiet, yuck.
  • Karadjgne
    I agree. Side facing usb is a bonus. Usb sideways is far stronger and able to take more abuse than horizontal where reliance is all on the solder joints. It's also a much cleaner look and far lest prone to having stuff like dust or coffee accumulate in the port.

    Article was a little confusing though after reading the op statement. Still trying to figure out how "and most sell for less than $100" fits into all that when all but 1 case was over $100 by a decent margin.
  • cgigoux
    Given the high score (4.5/5) and the fact that it was quieter, just as cool, and marginally cheaper than the Cougar Panzer, I'm surprised that the Cooler Master SL600 wasn't on the list.
  • Rob1C
    All the ADs in this article show Amazon.CA pricing is double other prices.

    If that means they pay double wages (but in Canadian dollars) that's excellent, otherwise it's the opposite.
  • alextheblue
    Quote:
    I had the Lian Li A20. It was an expensive beast, and a damn good case, but i find Fractal Design's cases to be more practical, same build quality - if not better, and definitely quieter. The thin aluminium of the Lian Li was prone to vibration.

    I like most Fractal Design cases quite a bit. Good value, solid build quality, excellent layouts. I mean all of the major case vendors have good and not-so-good designs, but I like what I've seen from most of the Fractal lineup. Especially the Define series. Not a big fan of NZXT cases for the most part.
  • AndrewM97
    "Best Budget ATX" for over $100? You can get cases for well under $50 and the title isn't for gaming cases or server cases. Corsair, Fractal Designs, and Cooler Master all have ATX cases under $50 so either you need another category, i.e. "Best Cheap ATX", or you need to realize the average computer user doesn't have several thousand to blow on an expensive system.
  • Crashman
    Quote:
    "Best Budget ATX" for over $100? You can get cases for well under $50 and the title isn't for gaming cases or server cases. Corsair, Fractal Designs, and Cooler Master all have ATX cases under $50 so either you need another category, i.e. "Best Cheap ATX", or you need to realize the average computer user doesn't have several thousand to blow on an expensive system.
    If we read the article:
    "Given this chassis’ solid thermal performance and respectable noise levels, the asking price of $60 seems like a bargain to us. "
    Steven simply hasn't yet found a case to replace it in that position after the price went up.
  • JamesSneed
    Quote:
    Why isn’t Phanteks on this list?


    +1 My exact thought. In my opinion Phanteks makes the best higher end cases for the money. Really should take a look at the Enthoo EVOLV X glass it has a wonderful mix of cooling, space, good layout, even rgb if you like and its quiet.
  • g-unit1111
    Quote:
    +1 My exact thought. In my opinion Phanteks makes the best higher end cases for the money. Really should take a look at the Enthoo EVOLV X glass it has a wonderful mix of cooling, space, good layout, even rgb if you like and its quiet.


    Oh for sure. I just built a PC in an Enthoo Pro M and have been extremely pleased with the end result. For $100 this case can't be beat currently and it is a beauty to look at.
  • TJ Hooker
    Wish there was a best 'no-frills' budget category, especially for micro ATX. Not everybody needs or even wants built in RGB lighting and controllers, glass side panels, etc. Would be nice to see the best options that just focus on practical/quantitative aspects like temps/air flow, # of fans included, noise, dust filters, ease of use/cable management, etc.