At first glance, you might think that all cases for your computer are the same. They all have sides on them and controls to turn the computer on. That means you can just buy whatever is the cheapest right? Wrong! Computer cases are not created equal. A better quality computer case will make it easier to build your computer and will also allow your computer to run cooler too.
You need to be sure that the case has enough room inside to hold your hardware. For instance, if you are using a long video card be sure that the case supports the card that you have. There is nothing worst than getting to the video card installation and realizing the case is not long enough for your hardware. You will also want to be sure that the case has enough internal drive bays to hold all the storage you want and enough external bays for your optical drive and other hardware.
The cooling system is one of the most important parts of the computer case. Some cases come with no fans at all on the low end and some high-end cases will come with multiple fans. If you are using moderate to high-end hardware you will need at least one fan and preferably two. Just be warned that the more fans you put inside the case, the louder the computer will be when operating. Listening to the hum of fans inside your computer all day can drive you crazy.
Some cases will have clear side panel so you can see inside to get a look at your hardware. That looks cool and it also allows you to visually ensure that your fans inside the computer are working and makes it easy to see when so much dust has collected that you need to clean your machine out. You will also want to look for a case that is easy to use. Better made cases won't have sharp edges to cut you up and they will have designs that need no tools to install. One particularly important feature to look for if you change components a lot is a mainboard tray that has a cut out for the CPU cooler or a removable mainboard tray.
1. Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case - This is a very nice looking case that has a simple and functional design. The case has enough room inside for taller graphics cards and it has IO ports on the top for easy access. The cooling system out of the box includes a 140mm top fan and a 120mm rear fan to keep things cool. It also has a cut out on the back of the mainboard tray to make installing and removing CPU coolers very easy. The case is also very cheap at about $60.
2. Cooler Master HAF ATX Mid Tower - When it comes to cases for gaming computers the Cooler Master name is right up at the top of the list. This case is one of the more stylish options for a gamer and has a large front fan with red LEDs for extra bling. That giant 200mm fan has an on and off switch to reduce the noise if you don’t need all the cool performance. The case also has a bottom fan to help keep the PSU cool. Other features include no tools needed for installing drives inside the case, it supports long video cards and tall CPU coolers. This case is also ready for liquid cooling as well. The cooling system includes 200mm top and front fans as well as a 120mm rear fan with bottom and dual side fans optional. The case sells for about $100.
3. Cooler Master HAF 932 - This case looks a lot like the other HAF case on the list, but it is very different. The 932 has a USB 3.0 port on top and is a full tower case with more room inside for hardware. It has tool free drive bays and has dual USB 3.0 connectors on the front. The inside of the case is painted black as well. The case supports liquid cooling and has a fill port on the top for reservoirs. The case has 120mm fans for cooling and an air intake on the bottom with dual 120mm fans for the PSE. The case also has wheels to make it easier to move around and a platform on top to store your phone and other stuff.
4. SilverStone Micro ATX HTPC Case - This case has a flat desktop profile that is intended to be put into your entertainment center for your home theater PC. The case is black with a brushed aluminum front that makes for a very attractive case. The cooling system is three 120mm fans that are silent and it supports 2.5-inch HDDs. The case is 325mm deep so it will fit inside more home theater cabinets. You can pick up this HTPC case for slightly under $90.
5. Thermaltake Level 10 PC Case - This is hands down my favorite computer case on the market today. It looks very futuristic and has an awesome design. The case has a bunch of compartments that the hardware goes into and comes with a cooling system that packs in three 200 mm fans. It also has room for a 24cm radiator for water cooling too. The case has dual USB 3.0 ports and five hot swap drive bays. The only downside here is that the case is over $250.
6. NZXT Phantom Full Tower - NZXT is one of my favorite computer case companies. This company has some rally cool designs for its cases and the cases work very well too. You don’t see a white computer case often and this white case looks great. It also has the space for seven fans and it comes with a pair of 120mm fans, a rear 120mm fan, and a top 200mm fan. It also has a fan controller to reduce the noise that will support five channels at 20W per channel. The case needs no tools to install drives and has space for larger video cards and up to seven HDDs.
7. MyOpenPC Doma Pro - If you are the sort of geek that is always tweaking or changing hardware a normal computer case just won't cut it. What you need is a case like the Doma. This thing has a plastic shell that is completely open .You can bolt your hardware down and still have complete access to all of the hardware to overclock or tweak all you want. The case works with ATX, mATX, and ITX mainboards and has a spot for a PSU. The case sells for about $45.
8. Antec LanBoy Air Modular Case - This case is made from mesh and plastic and it looks really awesome. The case has a customizable design, just about every part of the case can be removed to be customized, and the shape can be changed to suit your needs. The drives are suspended in air and should run very cool. It has room for video cards up to 16-inches long and has support for up to ten fans for high-end cooling. The case can be had with yellow or blue accents. The case isn't cheap though at $175.