The 9 Best Computer Cases

Updated August 05, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

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We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Sometimes, mainstream computer manufacturers don't offer exactly what you need. Hard core gamers, image and video editors, and complex data crunchers can build precisely the machine they want using one of these computer cases. They come in a variety of sizes and styles to accommodate and care for whatever hardware package you desire. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best computer case on Amazon.

9. Apevia X-Sniper2-GN ATX

The Apevia X-Sniper2-GN ATX mid tower has a green-tinted side window that will flicker and glow when your machine is running, adding excitement and energy to the room as you run your favorite games and programs. It also comes in three other colors.
  • accommodates 13-inch video cards
  • power supply mounted to the bottom
  • top vents susceptible to dust
Brand Apevia
Weight 14.8 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

8. Thermaltake CORE P5 ATX

Die-hard custom PC lovers are as proud of their computer's working innards as they are of a cool-looking case. The Thermaltake CORE P5 ATX open frame displays every circuit that's firing away inside your unit via three completely see-through walls.
  • superlative modular design
  • horizontal and vertical layouts
  • comes with 3-year warranty
Brand Thermaltake
Model CA-1E7-00M1WN-00
Weight 31.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

7. NZXT Phantom 410

The NZXT Phantom 410 will certainly attract the eye of anyone who sees it, and will always keep its cool even under pressure, thanks to its internal clearance that can accommodate 240 mm dual radiator water cooling systems.
  • myriad of front input ports
  • acrylic window for interior viewing
  • frustrating screw quality
Brand Nzxt
Model CA-PH410-R1
Weight 22.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Corsair Vengeance Series Military Green C70

The Corsair Vengeance Series Military Green C70 comes with three 120mm fans as well as mounting ports for an additional seven cooling mechanisms. Its army green exterior ought to give you a little added mental firepower to take on the competition.
  • tool-free optical drive bays
  • built-in cable clamps
  • bottom filters fall out easily
Brand Corsair
Model CC-9011018-WW
Weight 20.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. CM Storm Stryker Gaming

The CM Storm Stryker Gaming full tower has a central built-in carrying handle, making those rare times you need to move your system pleasantly easy. Its coloration and design make this unit reminiscent of a Storm Trooper's armor.
  • top-mounted fan controls
  • four durable feet
  • dual removable hdd cages
Brand Cooler Master
Model SGC-5000W-KWN1
Weight 34.4 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Corsair Carbide Series Air 540

The Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 is all about expansion. It has a significant amount of internal space for configuring your perfect machine, as well as a dual-chamber direct airflow drive to keep your inner workings safely cool.
  • large side panel window
  • quiet intake and exhaust
  • hot swaps can be difficult
Brand Corsair
Model CC-9011030-WW
Weight 19.9 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Cooler Master Scout 2 Mid

One of the most interesting features on the Cooler Master Scout 2 Mid is its set of ergonomic, steel-reinforced carrying handles, which make this one of the few towers that's relatively easy to take from place to place, should you want to take your computing on the road.
  • dual usb 3 ports
  • led switch on top panel
  • 162mm maximum cooler height
Brand Cooler Master
Model SGC-2100-KWN3
Weight 23.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Corsair Carbide Series Spec-01

The Corsair Carbide Series Spec-01 gaming tower is a top-selling model for many reasons. It combines a sturdy build with great cable management features and a slew of fan mounts, all things you'd expect to find on a unit much more expensive than this one.
  • several dust filters
  • huge side panel window
  • multiple versatile drive bays
Brand Corsair
Model CC-9011050-WW
Weight 11.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Phanteks Eclipse P400S Silent Edition

The Phanteks Eclipse P400S Silent Edition features a full metal body with an interior made entirely of steel and a side panel of tempered glass, allowing you to keep an eye on your tower's inner workings, which is not just entertaining but can help with maintenance.
  • rgb downlight offering 10 colors
  • full-size psu support
  • seven expansion slots
Brand Phanteks
Weight 22.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

What is a Computer Case?

A computer case is known by many other names including computer chassis, system unit, base unit, and tower. It holds the main components of a desktop PC and is necessary to building and maintaining a high-quality computer. The average computer case is made of steel or aluminum. These are the materials that you are likely to see when purchasing a desktop PC directly from a manufacturer.

Many times, when purchasing a case separate from the rest of the PC components, consumers are looking for something different and a bit more durable than the average computer case. These heavy duty computer cases are used primarily by gamers who need extra power and PC protection. They are also excellent choices for video editors who require strength and durability while running their programs for hours.

Computer cases can be purchased for practicality, design, or both. Most cases for gaming and video editing sit upright and provide front and back vents and multiple fans for cooling the unit during continuous use. Some can accommodate as many as ten fans. Others come with carrying handles for portability and even contain dust filters to keep the PC running as smoothly as possible. If you are excited to show off your home-built computer, you can purchase a clear case that proudly displays the internal features.

What Do I Need To Know Before I Buy?

Picking the right computer case is much more important than simply making sure it has a few USB ports. There are several things you will need to consider before settling on your final choice, especially if you are building your own computer for the first time.

First, determine the size and shape you need. Are you a gamer? Are you simply building a PC to see if you can do it? There’s not a lot to explain here. Once you know what components are going into your computer, you will be able to determine what size and shape your case needs to be. You can choose between a full tower, mid-tower, or mini-tower. Make sure you think about the size and shape of the cases interior in addition to its exterior.

Second, find out how many drive bays you need. If you’re heavy into gaming or video editing, drive bays are important. You need to have options for USB and DVD and CD-ROM drives. The smaller towers won’t hold as many components and will not provide as many drive bays.

Third, find out how many expansion slots you need and how many your chosen case will support. The more expensive, larger cases for gaming often have multiple expansion slots, but your average computer case won’t have a lot.

Fourth, how will your computer cool itself? Does it have space for multiple interior fans? Again, if you will be using your computer heavily and for long periods of time for gaming or video editing, you will need to have a strong cooling system. Find out the maximum number of fans, vents, and other cooling systems that you will need to expel the heated air and keep your system running smoothly.

Finally, decide on the design that you want. While it’s not crucial to the functioning of your system, face it. You like when something you put time and effort into building looks good. Do you want a tall, colorful tower with lights, bells, and (sometimes literally) whistles? Or do you want something basic and unassuming that will fade into the background of your home or office? No matter what you choose, make sure that it fits your personality and purpose.

A Brief History of the Computer Case

When the first computer cases were designed, they were built for practicality. They were clunky, unattractive, and ridiculously heavy. They were usually beige in color and needed a Phillips screwdriver and a small construction crew to even begin to access the internal components.

Over time, the manufacturers experimented with the design and began to add new, more user-friendly components so the cases appealed to a wider audience. Not only did they begin to improve the appearance, they also worked on adding components that were useful to a wide range of users. The evolution of the computer case is clear when examining the history of the computer itself.

The United States first noticed a need for computers (or a more efficient system) when attempting to compile data from the U.S. Government census. They found that it took them nearly seven years to fully compile the results. This is when punch-card computers were invented that took up an entire room. This was invented in 1890 in order to compile the 1880 census.

In 1936, Alan Turing invented the Turing Machine that was capable of computing anything. Over the years, many other inventors and engineers built on this concept until computers hit the public market in the 1970s. In 1976, Steve Jobs revolutionized the industry with Apple Computers and released the Apple I – the first computer with a single-circuit board.

By 1981, the first personal computer was introduced by IBM and, along with it, the first clunky, beige, heavy computer case. Over the next two decades, computers would develop by leaps and bounds providing us with the attractive cases and advanced features that we enjoy today.

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Last updated on August 05, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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