Best PC Cases of 2019 & 2020 – Our 7 Computer Case Recommendations

Best PC Cases

After nearly 90 hours testing 7 different computer cases, we’ve concluded that the Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB SE is the best PC case on the market. It has a sleek tempered glass design and plenty of cool features. Whether you’re a professional or a first-time builder, you’ll love this case.

The recommendations are of solid construction, have spacious interiors, and promote excellent airflow. If you’re interested in seeing what sets them apart from other cases, then read on.

Top Pick
Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB SE

Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB SE

Best Gaming Computer Case

The Corsair Obsidian 500D is a premium case with a price to match but is very much worth it. The design is phenomenal with glass in every direction and comes with RGB fans as standard!

A brilliant combination of brushed aluminum and smoked tempered glass gives this case a look and feel like no other case on the market. It supports liquid cooling with heaps of space inside to mount your liquid kit and has plenty of cable management options.

Corsair’s RGB fans come with a fan controller along with three pre-installed  RGB fans. This chassis is incredibly good-looking and works wonders in terms of functionality too!

Mini Pick
NZXT H210i – Mini-ITX

NZXT H210i – Mini-ITX

Best Mini-ITX PC Case

This NZXT is a mini-ITX case, meaning it’s a smaller form-factor than the rest of the cases on this list. It has a tempered-glass window to see inside the system, built-in RGB lighting, and a fan controller. With excellent airflow, this case is a perfect fit for anyone looking to build a mini/micro system.

The NZXT H210i is an incredibly well-designed case, aesthetically and functionally. It takes after its bigger brother the H510i. Despite its smaller form factor, it features clever SSD mounts, a PSU shroud, fan controller, and a tempered glass side panel.

The case has great radiator and fan mounting capabilities, which is impressive for a case of this size. You can set up a custom loop or an air cooling solution easily, whichever you prefer. It comes with two 120mm fans pre-installed to provide you with ample airflow out of the box.

If you’re interested in building a computer with a lower profile, or you don’t like big bulky cases, you should consider the NZXT H210i. It has all of the features you’d want in a case compacted into a mini-ITX design.

Cooling Pick
Cooler Master Mastercase H500P

Cooler Master Mastercase H500P

Best Airflow Computer Case

The Cooler Master Mastercase H500P is a premium case that is guaranteed to help with the airflow. The case maintains low temperatures, even when the PC is running under a heavy load. It has room for 200mm intake fans and has strong cable management options too.

This is one sturdy case and it has some heft to it due to its size. It’s white on the inside and out accented by some black. It has a tinted-acrylic window in the middle of the top panel, and it has space for mounting 3 x 120/140mm fans, or two 200mm radiator fans. Like many products from Cooler Master, the case was designed with extraordinary cooling performance in mind.

It has ventilation holes on both sides of the top and front panels. The top of the case also has 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0 ports, a large power button, microphone jack, and headphone jack.

Mid-Tower Pick
Nzxt H510 Elite

Nzxt H510 Elite

Best Mid-Tower PC Case

The NZXT H510 Elite is another brilliant addition from the case manufacturers. This mid-tower case features that classic design we have all come to love from NZXT and it is once again packed with features. With RGB fans, a PSU shroud, drive mounting and impressive cable management coming as standard, it is hard not to love this case.

 

You really can’t beat this mid-tower case’s aesthetics, it's stunning. NZXT, as many will know, are builder-friendly for both beginners and veterans.

Even when the fans are running at full blast, the case remains relatively quiet.
Aside from a small NZXT logo on the front panel, the minimalistic looking case is free of branding yet oozes quality.

We recommend this case in a lot of our best PC builds for its excellent airflow and style.

Silent Pick
Fractal Design Define R5

Fractal Design Define R5

Best Silent Computer Case

It’s a premium case with a higher price tag, but worth the money thanks to its wonderfully quiet nature and brilliant airflow.

One of the most simplistic designed cases we have featured but its functionality is like no other case on the market. Its vast size supports liquid cooling and has plenty of cable management options.

This case will be extremely quiet even when dealing with heavy stress but this can be improved even further with some silent case fans. A great silent pick!

Watercooling Pick
Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB

Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB

Best PC case for watercooling

The Vision S2 is part of Fractal Design's latest "Define" cases and its design is both elegant and minimalistic. Fractal offers some of the best quality in the PC case market. With stunning looks and plenty of room, this case would be perfect for a custom PC with or without watercooling!

This full tempered glass computer case is one of the best looking around. The Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB may have a complicated name but its aesthetics are simply superb.

This case comes with 4 pre-installed RGB fans and the entire case is surrounded by glass panels. You get your basic Fractal features with this case such as a PSU shroud and rubber grommets.

The case is very spacious for a mid-tower and with all that glass it carries some weight to it. That being said, its modular interior and an essive amount of tempered glass make it a dream for custom water-cooled PCs.

Budget Pick
Corsair Carbide Series 270R

Corsair Carbide Series 270R

Best PC Case for Beginners

Corsair’s Carbide 270R is beautifully simple and straightforward. Featuring a minimalistic yet sleek design, a spacious interior, plenty of features, and a budget-friendly price tag. It’s easily one of the best budget cases for beginner builders and veterans alike.

Despite the low price, Corsair didn’t cut any corners with the 270R. At first glance, you’ll notice many nice features including a side panel window, plenty of cooling options, hidden storage, and PSU Shroud, and a dedicated side panel for cable management.

It doesn’t have any flashy features or bright blinking lights, but that doesn’t mean the case isn’t visually pleasing. This case offers the most bang for your PC-building buck.

How we choose our recommendations

All of the computer cases on this list are here for a reason – we didn’t just pick random cases. First and foremost, we conducted a search to discover which PC cases gamers are into while trying to balance those with the highest reviews against those with the lowest price tags.

Reviews from various manufacturers were taken into account, as well as reviews from others in the PC gaming industry.

PC Cases: What you need to know

Before anything else, you’re going to want to know what parts you’ll be using with your case. You’ll want to know your motherboard form factor (ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX), graphics card length, how many drives you’ll be using, how many fans you need, whether or not you’re installing a radiator, etc.

All of these factors are important to take into consideration before buying your case. That’s why we’ll go over these things in some more detail.

Motherboard Form Factor

Before buying a case, you’ll need to know your motherboard’s form factor. The three most popular form factors are ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX, each of which being smaller than the former.

Being smaller means you have less room for components and that you’ll generally have fewer features. This isn’t bad if you don’t need a lot, but if you’re making a high-end gaming build or a mid-range build you intend to upgrade in the future, then you might want to stick with the classic ATX board.

PC Case Sizes

Since there are motherboards with different sizes, there will obviously be smaller cases that can’t fit the larger motherboards. However, larger cases can usually fit smaller motherboards; always be sure to double check compatibility before you make a purchase.

There are 3 prominent types of computer cases (although there are more) and each is compatible with different types of motherboards:

  • Full-tower cases are the largest cases and can work with ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX. Their large size is more meant for extra components rather than exceptionally larger motherboards.
  • Mid-tower cases are the most popular and can also work with motherboards that are as large as ATX.
  • Mini-tower cases sacrifice the larger ATX boards, but can still use Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX boards.

It’s important to note that smaller cases may accomplish everything you need while being cheaper than larger cases or more well made for the same amount of money.

Airflow and Water Cooling

If it weren’t for your CPU cooler, your processor would reach dangerous temps. While PC components are designed to operate at relatively high temperatures without being damaged, that doesn’t mean you want them to get too hot. If your components overheat, it will damage them and significantly reduce their lifespan.

When building a computer, it needs to have good airflow. Most cases ship with fans already installed, some even with built-in LEDs. It would also be wise to have additional space for aftermarket fans, or a radiator if you choose to use a water cooler. 

I would recommend having at least two case fans, but three or more is ideal. If you’re only using two, you’ll want one of them to draw in cool air while the other exhausts hot air. This system will keep a constant stream of air passing over your components, while at the same time drawing in cooler air and expelling warm air.  

Fan configurations vary based on your case and the level of airflow your system requires. For example, heavy overclockers would need more airflow to their hot components than the average builder.

Knowing how to pick the best case for water cooling can be tricky. Water coolers tend to have large radiators and pumps, so you’re going to want a case with plenty of space for the water cooler itself, not to mention the large radiator fans.

Drive bays and Expansion slots

In general, cases ship with three different kinds of drive bays, each with their own uses:

  • 2.5-inch bays are generally used for SSDs (solid state drives)
  • 3.5-inch bays are used for standard mechanical hard drives.
  • 5.25-inch bays are used for optical drives (aka DVD or BluRay readers). However, many manufacturers have started to do away with 5.25-inch optical drive bays since physical disks are becoming less and less popular (or needed).

Cases will also come with expansion slots. These are found in the back of the case, and are used for graphics cards, sound cards, etc. That’s to say they are very vital.

Other Things to Consider Before You Buy a PC Case

When purchasing cases, there are certain things you will need, like support for your motherboard. But there are other things you will really want or value as quality of life improvements.

Cable management is a must

A good case has plenty of options for cable management. Most cases have holes in the back panel for you to run cables through, but some cases are better for cable management than others. For example, the holes may be there, but not in ideal locations. Some cases also don’t leave enough space underneath the back panel for cables.

Not only do poorly managed cables look bad, but they can also restrict airflow.

Quiet is Key

Nobody wants to be bothered by noisy case fans. If your case ships with fans, make sure they aren’t too loud – trust me, you’ll thank me later. Many popular cases, including all of the cases in our roundup, have been reviewed online. Before you purchase a case, make sure you look at their reviews. During testing, many reviewers will make note of not only the fans’ cooling performance, but also their noise levels.

Know the Case’s Build Quality

If you’re building a computer, odds are you’re investing a decent chunk of change. Damaging or destroying your components is the last thing you want to do – that’s why it’s important to buy a case with a solid construction (this is an even bigger concern if you move your PC around frequently). Side panel windows are okay, but make sure the glass is strong, and the case is sturdy.

Our 7 Best Computer Case Recommendations

Now it is time to look at each case, examine the pros and the cons, discuss the cases’ design, and any notable features.

Top 7 Best PC Cases 2019

Product Details
Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB SE

Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB SE

  • type: Mid-Tower
  • motherboard support: ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX
  • dimensions hxwxd: 500 x 237 x 507mm
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Nzxt H510 Elite

Nzxt H510 Elite

  • type: Mid-tower
  • motherboard support: ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX
  • dimensions hxwxd: 460 x 210 x 428 mm
  • space above motherboard: 2" (50mm)
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Cooler Master Mastercase H500P

Cooler Master Mastercase H500P

  • type: Mid-tower
  • motherboard support: ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX
  • dimensions hxwxd: 542 x 242 x 544mm
  • space above motherboard: 1.5” + 1.5” recess (39mm + 39mm)
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Fractal Design Define R5

Fractal Design Define R5

  • type: Full-Tower
  • motherboard support: ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX
  • dimensions hxwxd: 521 x 232 x 451 mm
  • space above motherboard: 1.5" (38mm)
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NZXT H210i – Mini-ITX

NZXT H210i – Mini-ITX

  • type: Mini Tower
  • motherboard support: Mini- ITX
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Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB

Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB

  • type: Mid-Tower
  • motherboard support: ATX / mATX / ITX (EATX up to 285 mm wide)
  • dimensions hxwxd: 465 x 233 x 543
  • space above motherboard: 3" (76mm)
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Corsair Carbide Series 270R

Corsair Carbide Series 270R

  • type: Mid-Tower
  • motherboard support: ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX
  • dimensions hxwxd: 509 x 210 x 460mm
  • space above motherboard: 1.5” (39mm)
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#1

Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB-SE

This tempered glass monster from Corsair is absolutely top drawer. The Obsidian 500D RGB features 3 sides of tempered glass and is arguably the best tempered glass case currently available. This eye-catching case ships with 3 x 120mm fans mounted which look fantastic through the glass panels.

One of the best features to this case is the fact the two tempered glass side panels are hinged so open with ease giving you instant access inside! This case supports 120, 240, 280, and 360mm radiators if you wish to water cool your system. It has plenty of drive bays for both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives, great cable management options, and commendable airflow thanks to the pre-installed case fans and a spacious interior.

With Corsair you know you are getting a sturdy well-built case that won't let you down and despite the case being a bit pricey, it’s well worth the investment. A top-notch case perfect for anyone, especially the PC enthusiasts!

#2

Nzxt H510 Elite

NZXT are no strangers to premium cases and this mid-tower H510 Elite is yet another from the company. At first glance, you instantly recognise it is from NZXT with the overall design being minimalist yet elegant. The price on this case is rather high but the quality speaks for itself and you get excellent acoustic performance. The case comes with a healthy amount of features, you get an integrated RGB strip to illuminate your case. Along with the case, we see two 140mm RGB fans pre-installed which adds a lot of aesthetic appeal to the case.

The case supports mini-ITX up to ATX sized motherboards and features a PSU shroud as standard. We see NZXT have added USB Type-C port and a vertical GPU mount which is always great in a tempered glass case. The case gives off a sleek feel with its two-tone glossy metal panels.

While the asking price is higher than average, the quality of this case is not only going to make your PC build look superb but it will simplify the process, as NZXT cases are notoriously easy to build in.

#3

Cooler Master Mastercase H500P

Cooler Master’s H500P falls somewhere in between entry-level and enthusiast, rendering it a fantastic case for both new guys and professional builders. The case achieves fantastic thermal performance thanks to its spacious interior and numerous case fans.

The MasterCase H500P has a gunmetal black finish. The exterior is constructed from plastic and steel mesh, but the case’s frame is entirely made of steel, which is also painted black to match the case’s color scheme.

The right side panel is covered with steel and the left side panel has a tempered glass window which allows you to see your components in action, not to mention the vibrant LED lighting inside the case. The front I/O panel has two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and two 3.5mm headphone jacks.

As far as motherboard compatibility is concerned, this case supports Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, and some E-ATX motherboards. The case ships without 5.25-inch bays, but you can install them later on. (You can find a dual 5.25-inch bay on Amazon for around $50.) The case’s dual position HDD cage can also house a pair of 3.5” or 2.5” storage drives. You can also house two 2.5” drive trays above the PSU cover.

Three fans come pre-installed in the case upon arrival from the factory. The front of the case has two 200mm RGB fans, which are compatible with any motherboard that has a 4-pin layout. The third stock fan is 140mm and can be found in the back. It’s a black exhaust fan without any special LED lighting, but it gets the job done.

The default fans are nearly inaudible, yet powerful. Moreover, the case has plenty of fan mounting options, including support for radiator fans if you choose to use a water cooling solution. The H500P is quite possibly one of the best editions to the MasterCase lineup yet.

If you’re unhappy with the default fan configuration, you have the option to install three 120mm or 140mm fans in the front of the chassis. In the back, you can mount a smaller 120mm fan if you wish, although we’d recommend you stick with the default 140mm, as they do a better job at lower RPMs, resulting in less noise.

The top of the case can support a 280mm or 360mm radiator for a water cooling system if you wish, and the back of the chassis can be used for a singular 120mm or 140mm radiator.

Overall, this case is striking, but looks aren’t everything. Fortunately, the H500P has more to offer than mere looks. There are plenty of drive bays, and the spacious interior allows for plenty of airflow, resulting in superb cooling performance.

#4

Fractal Design Define R5

The Fractal R5's design is minimal but it displays sheer class for a PC case and will look great as part of anyone's setup. sure it may not blow you away with tempered glass, fancy buttons or RGB but it is easily regarded as one of the best cases for low noise levels and airflow.  This is a very spacious case and offers you a wide variety of building options inside, there is even room for liquid cooling as the drive bays can be removed in a modular fashion.

This case is perfect for high-end builds that will produce a lot of heart and noise as it can deal with both relatively easy when compared to others in their price range. The R5 may be overkill for regular PC gamers/users but if you require noise levels to be kept at a minimum this silent pick has to be considered.

#5

NZXT H210i – Mini-ITX

The H210i from NZXT features the same tempered glass and steel design of their larger versions of this case and are available in the same different colours such as black and white, black and blue and also the one we feature here in the red and black. The H210i is a mini-tower(small) and only supports boards that are mini-ITX. Despite the H210i’s hefty price tag, there aren't many downsides to this case as it is one of the best performing Mini-ITX cases we have had the privilege of using.

The H210i’s strong performance and value are good enough reasons to purchase this alone but with its aesthetic steel and tempered glass design, it's a real sight for the eyes. For the price the case also includes RGB and the fan controller that comes with all the 'i' case models, a great mini pick!

#6

Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB

Fractal Design are well known in the PC community for their no-nonsense, high quality, premium computer cases and the Define S2 Vision RGB doesnt disappoint. First impressions of the case are great as long as you like tempered glass. That's right this baby has four glass panels, on the sides, at the front, and on the top. The price is fair considering you are getting of stellar quality full to the brim with features and this case breaks the usual Fractal status quo.

As you would expect from a Fractal Design mid-tower, you get top class airflow performance out of the box. The airflow comes from the four 120mm RGB fans that come pre-installed and look fantastic through the glass panels. While the case doesn't feature the noise dampening power of the Define R5, it still has pretty good acoustic performance too.

The case is comprised of mostly glass and steel and has a great weight to it, which is a definite positive unless you travel with your computer all the time. The case features a PSU shroud as standard and the panels don't require any screws! That's right, they just pop off in a very satisfying way. This is a mid-tower PC case however there is some wiggle room for E-ATX support as long as the motherboard is only a maximum 285mm wide. To deal with all the cables and fans this case can handle, we see a PWM fan hub pre-installed at the back. This PWM fan hub frees up space on your motherboard and makes the build more aesthetically pleasing.

If you ahve the cash then this case will not disappoint you, it looks fantastic with a fully built system inside. Moreover, its a high performer too and will certainly give you sufficient airflow. The Fractal Design S2 Vision RGB is the perfect way to showcase a build with plenty of eye-catching features.

#7

Corsair Carbide Series 270R

The case measures in at 509 x 210 x 460mm (HxWxD) and weighs approximately 13 lbs. The exterior of the case has a sleek, low-profile design with a large side-panel window on the left side of the case.

Taking a look inside, you won’t see any drive bays in the front of the chassis. However, there are two 2.5-inch drives hidden behind the motherboard tray. Closer to the front of the chassis – but still kept out of sight – you’ll find two 3.5-inch bays.

Corsair Carbide Series 270R unbox

The motherboard tray offers six different locations to pass wiring through along with 13 wire tie-off points. Clearly, cable management was a big focus when designing the case.

The case can support ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX boards. If you intend on using a Micro-ATX board, or especially a Mini-ITX board, you’ll want to make sure your PSU’s cables are long enough to be used with the wiring holes.

Below the motherboard tray, there is a large PSU cover. The front of the case is vented, allowing air to flow freely throughout the chassis.

The windowed version of the 270R ships with a pair of 120mm fans, one of which has red LED lighting in the front, and another in the rear. As far as water cooling support goes, the 270R can support a 360 or 280mm radiator in the front, but the back of the case can only support a 240mm radiator. Keep in mind that, if you decide not to mount a 240mm radiator in the front, the case also supports either two 120mm fans or a singular 140mm fan.

Corsair Carbide Series 270R unbox 2

The front I/O panel has two USB 3.0 ports, a power and reset button, and two 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks.

When it comes to picking the best PC case, airflow is essential to keep in mind. The 270R has a spacious interior, and – thanks to built-in cable management options – superb airflow. There’s plenty of room for additional fans and radiators, storage drives, graphics cards and CPU coolers.

It’s easy to work with and chocked full of extra features, which is why it’s great for both beginners and experienced builders alike.

Conclusion

Although often overlooked, the importance of a PC case cannot be overstated. Your case protects the rest of your components and provides them with airflow to ensure they’re running at a stable temperature.

  1. If you want the best PC case for gaming overall, go for the Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB SE. One of the nicest looking cases on the market.
  2. If you would like the best mid-tower case then go for the NZXT H510i as it offers fantastic airflow and is really easy to build with.
  3. The Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB is the best case for anyone who’d like to do any water cooling, thanks to the spacious interior and radiator support.
  4. The Cooler Master MasterCase H500P has some of the best airflow available for a case this size thanks to having plenty of places to mount fans.
  5. If you’re after a smaller form factor, the NZXT H210i is the best mini-ITX case.
  6. If you’re after the best budget case, we recommend this mid-tower case, the Corsair Carbide 270R.
  7. The Fractal Design R5 is the best case silent case, as it has an intuitive design that helps keep the noise down and features fantastic airflow capabilities.

We hope this helped to choose a good case for your needs whether its airflow or for that water cool build.

We would like to know what case you went for to house your build in and also if you have any alternate suggestions we should look into!