Best PC Cases of 2019 – Our 7 Computer Case Recommendations

best pc cases 2019

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/Micro Pick
NZXT H400i

NZXT H400i

Best Micro-ATX PC Case

NZXT is a Micro-ATX 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 H400i is an incredibly well-designed case, aesthetically and functionally. It takes after its bigger brother the H700i. 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 has room for two 140mm fans in the front, two on the top, and a single 120mm fan can be installed on the back, all of which give ample airflow.

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 H400i. It has all of the features you’d want in a case compacted into a micro-ATX 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
Fractal Design Meshify-C

Fractal Design Meshify-C

Best Mid-Tower PC Case

The Fractal Design Meshify C is our favorite mid-tower case due to its minimalist design, cooling support, functionality, and its modest price tag.

You really can’t beat this mid-tower case’s price to performance ratio. It’s 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 “Fractal” logo on the front panel, the Meshify C's minimalistic looking case is free of branding.

We recommend this case in a lot of our best PC builds for the simple reason of brilliant value for the performance.

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
NZXT H440

NZXT H440

Best PC case for watercooling

The H440 is one of NZXT’s most popular cases. Its design is both elegant and minimalistic. If you can get by without 5.25-inch drive bays, and you’re looking for an excellent case for water cooling, the NZXT H440 should be on the top of your list.

The H440 is spacious enough for you to fit a water cooler, and it ships with three of NZXT’s FN V2 120mm fans pre-installed in the front panel, spinning at a rate of 1200RPM.

NZXT’s decision to remove 5.25-inch drive bays from the case allow hard disks to be positioned farther apart from one another than in more traditional case designs with 5.25-inch bays. Moreover, the top fan is on the same level as the CPU cooler, which gives a more direct route for hot air from the CPU to be exhausted.

The case’s three 120mm fans bring plenty of cool air from the front of the case to keep the components running smoothly. Furthermore, the lack of 5.25-inch bays leaves plenty of room for a water cooler. Lastly, the case can support a water cooler’s large radiator fans. If you’re serious about overclocking your CPU with a water cooling solution, this is the case for you.

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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Fractal Design Meshify-C

Fractal Design Meshify-C

  • type: Mid-Tower
  • motherboard support: ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX
  • dimensions hxwxd: 440 x 220 x 400 mm
  • space above motherboard: 1.2" (31mm)
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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 H400i

NZXT H400i

  • type: Micro-Tower
  • motherboard support: mATX, Mini-ITX
  • dimensions hxwxd: 393 x 210 x 421mm
  • space above motherboard: 1.5” (39mm)
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NZXT H440

NZXT H440

  • type: Mid-Tower
  • motherboard support: ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX
  • dimensions hxwxd: 510 x 210 x 476mm
  • space above motherboard: 1.5” (39mm)
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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

The 500D RGB SE is one of Corsair’s newest additions to their beloved Obsidian series. We know this is a matter of opinion, but we think it looks amazing. It becomes the focal point of any room, and it catches your eye as soon as you walk through the door.

Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB SE unbox

Image taken from Anandtech

The case ships with three 120mm fans mounted on the front panel, ringed with colorful LED lighting. The fans can be seen in action through the case’s front tempered glass panel. It also supports 120, 240, 280, and 360mm radiators if you wish to water cool your CPU.

The side of the case also has a large tempered glass window, allowing you to see inside the case. Offering plentiful support for liquid cooling and plenty of cable management options, the 500D is equally as functional as it is good-looking.

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.

The case is a bit pricey, but it’s well worth the investment, especially if you’re building an enthusiast PC and you want a top-notch case to house your components.

#2

Fractal Design Meshify-C

Fractal Design is known for high-quality purpose-built cases but more recently they are becoming known for great value! Noise-canceling features have been sacrificed to bring consumers an altogether great case at an affordable price. With the addition of a tempered glass panel, this case has lots of style whilst also offering a great case to build with.

Though it may not be a world beater in either performance or price, the case has great airflow straight out of the box and it oozes quality. This case can provide you with some decent liquid cooling support and at a relatively low price which makes the Fractal Design Meshify C worth considering.

#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.

COOLER MASTER MASTERCASE H500P unbox 2

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 H400i

This is a Micro-ATX case, so naturally, it’s smaller than the mid-tower cases on this list. NZXT’s H400i has tremendous cooling potential, as fan and radiator mounting potential are meritorious. Whether you want an air tower, custom loop, or an AIO (all in one), you can do it with the H400i.

The case allows for two 140mm fans in the front, two in the top panel, and a singular 120mm fan in the rear. Evidently, the case’s airflow is top-notch. This case ships with two AER F120 case fans in the front and one AER F120 case fan in the rear.

But wait, there’s more:

You can install a 280mm radiator in the front panel and a 120mm in the back as well, meaning the case is great for anyone interested in liquid cooling as well.

This chassis can house up to four 2.5-inch drives, but there’s only room for a single 3.5-inch, which is definitely a drawback. Moreover, there aren’t any 5.25-inch bays, which is also something to keep in mind.

NZXT H400i unbox

The case has a white finish with black accents and a large tempered glass window on the left side panel. Nevertheless, the interior of the case still feels spacious, allowing for good airflow and cable management.

Overall, the case has strong performance and a good price. It’s compact yet spacious design packs in plenty of features into a small case with great airflow and support for watercooling, too.

#6

NZXT H440

It’s safe to say times are changing, which may be why NZXT has decided to remove 5.25-inch bays from this case altogether. That’s right – the H440 doesn’t have any 5.25-inch bays, which means you can’t mount an optical drive.

Although this may be a drawback for some, it is definitely a positive for others. In fact, I haven’t had an optical drive installed in my PC for several years, without any issues. Since there aren’t 5.25-inch bays in this case, the interior is more spacious, which promotes airflow and leaves more room for radiators, fans, and GPUs.

NZXT H440 unbox

Without 5.25-inch bays, hard drives are installed differently, there are power connectors for up to 10 fans (which means incredible airflow), and the interior is compartmentalized. All of this is great for neat freaks.

Not only does good cable management look better, it also improves airflow. Keeping your components cool is crucial if you want to ensure they have a long life.

The case has a white finish with black accents, and a window on the left side panel. NZXT clearly went for a modern, minimalistic look with the H440, and it looks great. The case is sleek and refined, a style that is becoming increasingly popular.

NZXT H440 unbox 2

Image taken from Tom’s Hardware Review

All of the H440’s lighting elements can be found in the back of the case. NZXT’s logo is printed on the PSU chamber, as well as LEDs around the rear case fan and expansion slots. The lights are subtle, yet their presence compliments the case’s overall minimalistic and clean design.

NZXT H440 unbox 3

On the top of the case, the H440 has two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, in addition to HD audio connectors, the power button, and the reset button.

The black accent panels on the top and the front of the case serve as an entrance for air while there is an exit in the back. This means dust can only enter the case through the front cover and the PSU area. Thankfully, both have dust filters.

The case ships with three 120mm case fans in the front. The fans are NZXT’s FN V2s, which can spin at a maximum speed of 1200 RPM. If you’d like to replace them with 140mm fans, the front of the case has enough room for two of them. The case also supports 120, 140, 280, and 360mm radiators.

NZXT’s decision to ditch the 5.25-inch drive bays allows your hard disks to be positioned farther apart than usual, resulting in cooler temperatures. Moreover, the top fan is level with the CPU cooler, providing a more direct route for air to get to its destination.

The case is made from sound dampening material that’s approximately 6mm thick. It covers all surfaces except for the side panel window. The case’s superb fans keep internal temperatures low, and the fans are quiet too.

Powerful and quiet fans coupled with a case constructed from sound dampening material results in superb thermal and acoustic performance.

In conclusion, the H440 is one of the best case’s on the market, both from a functional and aesthetic point-of-view.

#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 Fractal Meshify C as it offers fantastic airflow and is really easy to build with.
  3. The NZXT H440 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 H400i is the best Micro-ATX 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!

1 Comment

  1. Major Reese says:

    I LOVE THIS SITE!!! I sat here for like 3 hours and all of these builds are amazing! I can’t stop looking at these good picks and the site is so easy accessible… It’s so great! Good Job.

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