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How we test PC cases

Updated: Jun 14, 2022 2:14 pm
How we test PC cases 10

We put all PC cases through a comprehensive set of tests and examinations, so we can directly compare and rate each one accurately and against direct competition. This enables you to get the perfect case to suit your individual needs and aesthetic.

We have a long list of questions that we work through when assessing the quality of every PC case that we look at.

How we test PC cases 10

Aesthetics, build quality and design

  • What is the weight? What are the dimensions?
  • What quality are the filters, thumb screws, panel joints, shroud, drive bays, drive trays.
  • Are the cutouts in optimal places? Are the grommets high quality or do they fall out?
  • Are there gaps between panels where air can escape?
  • Do panels or the chassis easily bend/ creak?
  • How easy do panels and features snap into place (for example, glass front panel with magnets, ball joints, screws)?
  • Are screw holes properly aligned and machined?
  • Does the case look good? 
  • Does this case do anything different or innovative?
  • How easy is it to remove the tempered glass?
  • Is the internal layout functional?
  • Is there space for watercooling?
  • What is the max GPU the case can support?
  • Where are the fan placements? 
  • We detail radiator and fan support (what different ways can you configure an AIO?).
  • How many ports are there and are there enough on the front?
  • Do the cables reach where they need to with ease? Are the cables flexible? Do you need to move around drive bays and brackets to optimally cable manage? Is there room for fan controllers?

Performance

  • We take idle temperature before running stress tests on the CPU and GPU using Cinebench and Blender. We then take temperatures again, using Afterburner and HWiNFO. 
  • We stress test GPU and CPU across the following games at highest settings and record temperature. 
  • All of the above are done with out-of-the-box fans. Where applicable, we redo the tests with an additional fan and with the front panel off.  
  • We use a smoke machine to record a visual airflow video.

How we score – criteria & weighting

We score PC cases out of 5 stars with the following weighting wing weighting. As some categories are more important than others we assign different weightings to ensure that the overall score has the highest level of accuracy.

Performance (50%)

Performance is the most important aspect of a PC case. We focus heavily on airflow and acoustics, as the PC needs to run as efficiently as possible. How a PC case performs in these tests weighs heavily on our scoring.

Build quality (20%)

A PC case needs to be well constructed and built to last. We take a closer look over the quality, inspecting for gaps, issues, and blemishes.

Functionality and features (20%)

The PC case needs to have a logical layout that makes building an easier task. We also like to check for impressive features that enhance the product and aren’t just for show.

Aesthetics (10%)

Aesthetics matter the least when it comes to a PC case but in a world of RGB lighting and tempered glass PC cases, we still want a case that looks good on the desk/floor.


WePC guides to buying the best PC case

The perfect PC case isn’t just about utility, although performance is hugely important. Your perfect PC case will also need to match your style and aesthetic – you’re going to be looking at this every day so make sure you like it. We put every PC case we get through rigorous examination and testing to give you the ultimate confidence when buying. If you’re looking for the best PC case that money can buy you should check out our best PC case article. We’ve also got a number of other comprehensive buyer’s guides.  

📌 Learn more

If you want to learn more about prebuilt computers in general and what custom PC builders you can trust, we have a dedicated page listing the major providers in North America and the UK. We also answer questions on how much a PC is and the associated costs around a gaming PC. Take a closer look at the PC Vs Console, prebuilt vs custom PCs articles, and we can assist you with building your own gaming PC.

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