Best PC Cases 2018: 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 graphics card 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.

News and Product Updates

Cooler Master presented us a Cosmos that was too good to deny an award, even though it was too pricey for many of us to buy. The Cosmos C700M gave us all the performance, capacity, capability and features we could ask for, and might even prompt one of us to ask for a raise.

Why Trust Us

We've tested hundreds of cases over the years, from massive luxury models to tiny Mini-ITX budget chassis, with plenty of RGB-lit tempered-glass models spending time on our test bench in recent years. We build a full system in each case we review, and test airflow, temperature, and noise. Below you'll find our favorites among dozens we've tested, broken out by size and, with the most-common ATX category, price. 

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 M.2, SSDs are 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 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-enclosedrainbow 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 XL/EATX Cases

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Best High-End ATX Case

Best Mid-Range ATX Cases

Best Budget ATX Case

Best MicroATX Case

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Best Mini-ITX Case

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Best Tempered-Glass Case

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Best High-End Showcase PC Case

MORE: All Case Content

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  • 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
    Anonymous 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
    Anonymous 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
    Anonymous 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
    Anonymous 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.