17 Best PC Cases You Can Buy in 2020

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Best computer cases in 2018
So, here it is – the moment when you need to buy a new PC case. At first sight, it seems to be nothing special or difficult at all. But if you do have such thought it means that you are either a real pro or a complete tyro.

Anyway, looking for a new computer case as well as anything else we want it to be first-grade, good-looking and at the same time affordable. But if the question of design and price is quite clear and simple, the quality issue is much more complicated.

Buying a new PC case we should be aware of all its technical details and know necessary terminology not to look like a fool while listening to the sales assistant’s speech or reading the goods description on the net. In order to help you make a right decision and select the cream of the crop, we prepared the ultimate list of the best PC cases currently available and a handy buying guide (below the list of PC cases) which will guide you through everything you need to know about PC cases on today’s market.

Best Super-Tower Cases


A PC Case that Proves that Size Really Does Matter

corsair obsidian 1000d
CORSAIR OBSIDIAN 1000D is a very elegant, but large PC case designed for people who need a two-computer device in one or are just fans of spacious cases and good air flow. Thanks to its construction, this case supports up to two motherboards (up to an E-ATX and a mini-ITX), two PSUs and offers a separate front panel for each of the two boards with their own Power and Reset buttons, along with USB connectors.

CORSAIR OBSIDIAN 1000D is built out of aluminum, with a tempered glass front and side panels and it supports various cooling and storage options. There is enough space for four massive radiators, up to eighteen fans (eight in front), along with five 3.5” and six 2.5” drive bays, which is enough even for the most demanding users.

Unfortunately, although OBSIDIAN 1000D is an exceptional product, its price tag is just too high when compared to the majority of other cases. For that reason, unless you are in a demand for a two-motherboard case, better skip this one and choose one that is more fit to your budget.


  • Space for two motherboards

  • Not that great cable management
  • Expensive

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Thermaltake View 91 RGB PLUS

A PC Case Built for the High Demanding Users

thermaltake view 91 rgb plus
For people searching for a high-end workstation case that is sleek-looking, spacious and offers quality cooling at the same time, there is no better choice than the Thermaltake View 91 RGB PLUS. Yes, it is a bit expensive, but on the bright side, it gives a lot for that price.

There is space for up to 12 drives (either 2.5” or 3.5”), 20 120mm fans or 18 140mm/eight 200mm ones (it comes already equipped with four 140mm Riing PLUS RGB fans), enough room for up to four radiators from 280 to 480mm in size and utterly amazing, enough room for a 600mm long graphics card.

With Thermaltake View 91 RGB PLUS you just get it all: a unique design, great storage, and cooling capacity that almost has no match among the other products. What’s even better is that, other than the aforementioned high price and a rather heavy weight of 30kg, there are no other drawbacks. In other words, with this one, you can’t go wrong.


  • Plenty of space for fans and radiators
  • Quality build
  • Tool-less design

  • Price

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Best Full-Tower Cases

be quiet! Dark Base PRO 900 rev.2

A Good Foundation for a Top-class Systems

be quiet dark base pro 900 rev 2
be quiet! Dark Base PRO 900 rev.2 comes as an improved version of the 2016s case, with some rather interesting new features such as the new fan controller, three 140mm Silent Wings 3 fans, support for USB3.1 Gen 2, PSU cover and a LED strip support.

With a good, but rather outdated design, this new case version offers plenty of features and enough flexibility for a serious PC build, including the high-end rigs. be quiet! Dark Base PRO 900 rev.2 is spacious enough for up to 14 2.5” drives or seven 3.5” ones, it has 10 fan mounting positions, it supports large cooling systems, graphics cards with 472mm in length and E-ATX motherboards.

Although there are plenty of cases in its class that offer more appealing aesthetics, more features and better performance, be quiet! Dark Base PRO 900 rev.2 still presents a quality altogether option, mostly due to its spacious metal/aluminum build, great versatility and very silent performance, a combination of features that not that many cases can offer.


  • Wireless Qi charging

  • Troubling PSU mount

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Cooler Master Cosmos C700M

The Best Quality PC Case there Is

cooler master cosmos c700m
Great quality usually means a higher price, and Cooler Master Cosmos C700M is no exception. Nevertheless, its unlimited list of features, combined with excellent performance and great design make it worth it. Of course, if you can afford it.

This PC case offers basically everything that a user might need: easy reconfiguration, future-proof design, even integrated ARGB lighting. There are numerous expansion options (five 3.5” drive bays, four 2.5” drive bays, eight card slots, one 5.25” external bay, etc.), good connectivity with four USB3.0 ports and one USB3.1 Type-C port and a kinda modest two-year warranty, considering the chassis’ excellent build quality.

Cooler Master Cosmos C700M provides very quiet operations, and more importantly, excellent thermal performance that puts it above the cases such as NZXT H710i or is quiet! Dark Base 700. The main reason for such quality thermal management is a good air-flow design, as well as three large 140mm fans in the front and one 140mm fan placed in the rear end of the chassis that are included in the package. There is also room for three additional 140mm fans on top and two 140mm ones at the bottom, but also enough place for all sorts of liquid cooling, including the multiple 420mm radiators.

Overall, Cooler Master Cosmos C700M is a very large high-end Full-Tower PC case, with great characteristics and looks, and, without a doubt, the best PC case you can buy for your gaming adventures.


  • Quiet
  • Great thermal performance
  • Good cable management
  • Versatile

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

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Thermaltake View 71

Great Case With Vertical GPU Placement

thermaltake view 71
The Thermaltake View 71 Tempered Glass RGB Edition Full Tower Chassis features excellent cooling support and expandability surrounded in tempered glass for a one of a kind view. Swing open full window tempered glass panels for easy access with all panels properly spaced for optimal airflow. Three 140mm Riing RGB fans, Vertical GPU mount and 3-Way radiator support are included in each build.


  • 140mm Blue Riing Fan x 2 Pre-installed
  • Great Design
  • Vertical Radiator Viewing

  • No PCI-e extension cable
  • Heavy

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Corsair Obsidian 750D

Stylish PC case

corsair obsidian 750D - Best looking PC case
This full-tower computer case is aimed at building a powerful PC system. Corsair Obsidian 750D provides both air and water-cooling options. There are Dual 140mm front intake fans and a low-resistance mesh panel for quiet air-cooling performance, required by GPUs and DRAM. Its tool-free drive bays are removable, so you can easily control the chassis space.

It’s minimalist but at the same time, elegant exterior makes Corsair Obsidian 750D one of the best looking PC cases. What is more, it’s highly compatible as it supports E-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX, XL-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards.


  • stylish
  • cable management
  • high compatibility
  • modular drive cages
  • innovative SDD brackets

  • bottom radiator needs better clearance
  • high price
  • no air intake on the bottom

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Phanteks Enthoo Pro

Good cheap PC case

phanteks enthoo pro - Good cheap PC case
Behind a brushed plastic and aluminum cover there is hidden a hefty engine for a first-grade computer system. Phanteks Enthoo Pro has good cooling features – 200mm fan in front and 140mm fan in the rear, and some extra space for additional fans.

There is also a multiple radiator support as well as improved cable management. This computer chassis provides closed HDD panel and removable SSD bracket. Besides, there are four USB ports. Phanteks Enthoo Pro can host ATX, EATX, mATX and SSI EEB motherboards.


  • spacious interior
  • improved cooling system
  • good cable management
  • not expensive
  • 5-year warranty

  • plastic cover
  • inconvenient access to top fan filter

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Cougar Panzer EVO RGB

A PC Case with a Great Value for Money

cougar panzer evo rgb
There are not that many cases that are as satisfying on many different levels as Cougar Panzer EVO RGB is. With a distinctive, assertive design followed by great thermal performance and numerous expanding options and features, this case brings everything that the die-hard gamers or computer enthusiasts might need.

Built to last, covered with four tempered glass panels and equipped with four 120mm Vortex LED RGB fans that can be reinforced with additional four, and plenty of space for the most demanding air and liquid cooling systems, Cougar Panzer EVO RGB delivers a great thermal performance in a wonderful RGB LED package that can be further improved with the installment of a Cougar RGB controller and additional four LED strips.

With space for four SSDs and two 2.5”/3.5” HDDs, which is normal for its class, and thanks to the good connectivity options that include the USB3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connector, what Cougar Panzer EVO RGB definitely well-settled and presents one of the best deals for a PC case on the market right now.


  • Excellent thermal performance
  • Quality build
  • Great RGB lighting

  • Not true E-ATX

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Best Mid-Tower Cases


A Decent PC Case for an Average Price

deepcool matrexx 55 add-rgb case
DEEPCOOL MATREXX 55 ADD-RGB Case doesn’t bring anything unique or mesmerizing to the users, its major selling point is its affordability and a good-enough set of features for a mainstream gamer or a PC enthusiast.

This case has just the right amount of everything, PSU shroud, tempered glass panels, two 2.5”/3.5” bays and two additional 2.5” drive bays, place for six 120mm or five 140mm fans, support for three radiators that may be from 120mm till 360mm in size depending on the position. It also supports E-ATX motherboards and VGA cards with up to 370mm in length. All in all, everything that most users may need is there.

One of the main features of this mid-tower case is its rather attractive appearance, thanks to its addressable RGB system with five different lighting modes (can be controlled through the dedicated RGB button) and great support for various RGB software such as the ASUS Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light, etc.

Altogether, DEEPCOOL MATREXX 55 ADD-RGB Case is a good budget option for not those demanding users that are looking for a quality RGB most of all.


  • Price
  • Appearance

  • Poor cable management

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NZXT H710i

One of the Best PC Chasses Available

nzxt h710i
If you are a more demanding PC enthusiast or a gamer, with a need for a lot of storage and expansion capabilities, NZXT H710i is a case for you.
It is spacious, built out of steel, with a tempered glass side panel and discrete RGB strip – premium looks and durability in one. There is a lot of storage space (two plus two 3.5” drive bays and seven 2.5” drive bays), seven card slots and even a place for a vertical GPU mount.

NZXT H710i comes with four pre-installed AER fans (three 120mm in front and a single 140 in the rear) that are fully controllable over the CAM software and offers enough space for additional three 120mm or two 140mm fans at the top of the case. Also, there are plenty of options for liquid cooling and the possibility for the installation of numerous radiators with a size of up to 360mm.

NZXT H710i comes with a two-year warranty, offers easy installation, very quiet performance, and most importantly, provides a solid air-flow that guaranties for good heat management of every configuration.

All in all, if you want the best-looking PC case that will provide quality performance at the same time, this ATX Mid Tower chassis should be your primary option.


  • Sleek design
  • Spacious
  • Good air-flow
  • Very silent

  • Problematic CAM software

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Cooler Master MasterCase H500

A Premium Looking PC Case for Half the Price

cooler master mastercase h500
For anyone looking for a touch of a high-end PC case, but at an affordable price, Cooler Master MasterCase H500 comes as a great choice. You will get not only the premium looks but also a great set of features that would satisfy even the most demanding users.

A quality built, with swappable front panel, decent storage capabilities (two 2.5”/3.5” drive bays and two 2.5” SSD drive bays) and great cooling options with support for four-six fans, depending on their size (from 120mm till 200mm) and positioning, and up to three radiators (from 120mm till 360mm in size depending on the location) – Cooler Master MasterCase H500 comes as one of the best affordable PC case options on the market.

With full ATX support, tempered glass side and front panel, and coming already equipped with two 200mm RGB fans and an RGB controller, Cooler Master MasterCase H500 presents a full-package product that is just predestined for success. If you want a case with a bit of exclusivity for a great price, this is the one to purchase.


  • Appearance
  • Good price

  • Not that accessible controller

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Fractal Design Define R6

An “Old-School” High-End PC Case

fractal design define r6
If you are looking for a shiny case with a lot of RGB lightings installed, Fractal Design Define R6 will definitely not be among your favorites, simply because there is none of them whatsoever – not a single RGB light.

Fractal Design has decided to ignore the whole RGB hype and created a great quality product, with simple, yet stylish looks and plenty of storage and cooling options, with the addition of a very silent performance. With the Define R6 you are getting six 2.5”/3.5” drive bays and two 2.5” SSD drive bays, as well as support for up to eight or nine fans depending on the size (120mm or 140mm) and the position. You’ll also get up to four radiators from 120mm till 420mm (depending upon location), which is more than enough even for the most demanding cooling solutions.

Define R6 comes with a tempered glass side panel and support for GPU length of up to 440mm and E-ATX motherboards and generally presents a great well-rounded case with exceptional versatility. Therefore, although it is not among the cheapest chassis you can find, with this one there’s just no mistake.


  • Silent
  • Versatile

  • Price
  • No RGB

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CORSAIR Obsidian 500D RGB SE

A Great Looking Chassis with Excellent RGB Lighting

corsair obsidian 500d rgb se
Quality build and attractive looks, thanks to the combination of a clean line design with subtle curves and attractive RGB lighting, are the key selling points of the CORSAIR Obsidian 500D RGB SE. Made out of aluminum, with smoked tempered glass front and side panels, and with the addition of its quality features, this mid-tower case delivers a premium feel that makes a more-than-good overall product.

With excellent cable management, USB3.1 Type-C support, enough storage space (two 3.5” three 2.5” drive bays) and very good cooling options that include up to six fans depending upon size (three 120mm RGB fans are pre-installed) and support to radiators from 120mm to up to 360mm in size, Obsidian 500D RGB SE is equipped with everything that a mainstream case should have.

If you also add the CORSAIR Commander PRO that allows for full control over your cooling and RGB lighting to the equation, you’ll realize you are in possession of an all-around product that would be one of the best deals on the market today if there wasn’t for its high price.


  • Great build quality
  • Looks

  • Expensive

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Thermaltake View 37 ARGB

A Well-Priced PC Case with a Bit of Special Touch

thermaltake view 37 argb
Buying a unique product is very hard since the competition is constantly copying each other and for that reason, it is very hard for a buyer to feel special with any purchase. Luckily, Thermaltake View 37 ARGB allows for a bit of that special feeling.

Thanks to its elegant design that integrates a solid metal case with a transparent curved top-side panel, this chassis has managed to bring a new insight and a completely new perspective of its inside. Great looks are also followed by a good storage capacity (three 3.5’’/2.5’’ drive bays that can be expanded to four 3.5” or eight 2.5” ones with the help of brackets), quality cable management and numerous cooling options (support to up to eight fans and three different-sized radiators) that just add to its predominantly great value.

Unfortunately, its unique looks come at a price: lack of quality access to its top, which can drastically reduce its cooling potential, for instance. Consequently, although it is well-priced, Thermaltake View 37 ARGB isn’t for everybody, but is meant for those looking for simplicity above everything else.


  • Good airflow
  • Great cooling support

  • No PSU shroud

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Best Mini-Tower Cases


A Solid-Performing, Highly Attractive Mini-ITX PC Case

nzxt h210
NZXT H210 is a decent quality Mini-ITX PC, with good airflow and an affordable price. It offers a modern design, with clean lines and an appealing white/black color scheme that distinguishes it from the same class chasses.

Since this is a Mini-ITX, storage space and overall features are limited; however, they are still pretty good for this size and include three plus one 2.5” drive bays, one 3.5” drive bay and place for two expansion cards. NZXT H210 is fitted with two Aer F120mm fans (one in front and second in the rear end) and offers a space for two additional 140mm or 120mm fans at the top of the chassis. Liquid cooling is, however, limited either to 120mm radiators or one 240mm and one 120mm radiator, which isn’t much but is sufficient for the majority of builds.

When talking about connectivity, there is one USB3.1 port and one Type-C port, along with an audio jack at the top of the case. In other words: limited, but enough for most.

Altogether, one of the best affordable PC cases is in front of you.


  • Good cable management
  • Modern design
  • Good versatility
  • Build quality
  • Solid air-flow

  • Only one 3.5” drive bay
  • Faulty CAM software

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Phanteks Evolv Shift X

Just One Word: Masterpiece

phanteks evolv shift x
What can we say about the Phanteks Evolv Shift X case, except that it is the true masterpiece of craftsmanship and modern design? Utterly amazing, built out of aluminum and tempered glass panels, this case offers durability and a uniquely elegant design that is very rare on the computer market.

Although its size doesn’t suggest that, Phanteks Evolv Shift X is actually an SFF case, with the possibility to install only the mini ITX motherboards. Unfortunately, limitations are so common for this case, especially considering the available space. Thanks to it, or its lack, every piece of hardware that needs to be installed demands for a triple check before the purchase.

There are a lot of downsides, such as noisy operations and poor thermal performance, but also positive sides such as many storage options, space for up to four fans, two radiators and overall excellent environment for a great water cooling solution. In other words, this case is so damn amazing, but tricky as no other at the same time. What is even worse, if you purchase it, you won’t regret it not even a little bit.


  • High-quality finish
  • Amazing design

  • Poor thermal performance
  • Noisy

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A Great Budget PC Case for Mini ITX Builds

fractal design define nano s

If you are looking for an affordable, but feature-rich PC case for your mini ITX build, FRACTAL DESIGN DEFINE NANO S comes as a great option. Although it doesn’t bring as many options as its “bigger brothers”, this case still offers many cooling options with space for four 140mm or six 120mm fans and three radiators of various sizes. Also, there are three 2.5”/3.5” drive bays and two SSD 2.5” drive bays, excellent cable management, large side window and enough space for very powerful graphics cards.

FRACTAL DESIGN DEFINE NANO S is a great chassis, maybe not that attractive-looking, but still with a great value for the money, and a lot of space for different storage and cooling options and future expansions. This case is among the best options for mini ITX fans and a great way to save your budget but still, get an excellent altogether package.


  • Price
  • Cable management
  • Cooling options

  • PSU and the GPU very close to each other

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As you can see the modern market is rich in various PC cases of different sizes and with different options. So here is the guide to help you make the right choice.

All you need to know about PC cases before buying

1. ATX & ITX – what’s the difference?

Don’t panic if these abbreviations mean nothing to you. ATX, aka Advanced Technology eXtended, denotes a motherboard configuration specification or, simply put, a motherboard design. The most commonly used are Standard and Micro ATX boards. Standard ATX boards are 12×9.6 inches. As to Micro ATX, such motherboards can have the maximum size of 9.6×9.6 inches.

Another type of motherboard is Mini ITX of 6.7×6.7-inch size. Such boards are usually used in small-configured computer systems. There is also Mini ATX, which is slightly smaller than Mini ITX – 5.9×5.9 inches. One of the smallest form factors would be Nano ITX (4.7×4.7 inches) and Pico ITX (3.9×2.8 inches).

On the whole, the size of any PC case is determined by the board size it can support – usually big cases have larger motherboards and vice versa. But keep in mind that any computer case which hosts a motherboard with a bigger size can also support boards of smaller sizes.

Consequently, before selecting a computer chassis make sure what motherboard you would like to have in and then check whether a chosen PC case corresponds to your needs. If you are working on a powerful gaming machine you can find more details about suitable motherboards here.

2. Common form factors of PC cases

Obviously, all PC cases have different size and shape. Thus, there are special terms which denote these characteristics. The first one is desktop case. Such computer case has a horizontal design and is widely used in business environments in order to save the space as it can be easily placed under the monitor.

The next one is SFF, i.e. Small-Form-Factor. Well, the term speaks for itself – cases which belong to this category are more compact than desktop cases but at the same time have almost the same options. SFF cases support motherboards which are smaller than Micro ATX (usually these are mini ITX boards). They can look like shoeboxes, cubes, and book-sized cases. Thanks to such compact construction SFF cases are very popular with gaming and home theatre computers.

Some other terms which you can face while looking for a PC case include mini-tower, mid-tower and full-tower cases. Mini-tower cases are under about 14-16 in high, what coincides with the size of desktop cases. They usually have only one or two external bays and support micro ATX boards.

Mid-towers are about 17-21 in high and have from two to four external bays. And if mini-towers can host only one GPU, this type of cases can support up to two. Recently there has also appeared a new term – midi-tower, which presupposes a case smaller than mid-tower but larger than mini-tower. Midi-towers are with two to three external bays. Still, this term is quite interchangeable with mid-tower.

As to the full-tower cases, they have a height from 22 to 27 in. Full-towers usually have from five to ten externally accessible drive bays and are supposed to stand on the floor. They support ATX, EATX or even XL-ATX motherboards. All towers which have more than 27 inches in height are called super or ultra towers.

We also can’t but mention MOD-tower. This is a case system which can be modified by putting new cases on its top in order, for example, to add more cooling capacity.

Nevertheless, we have to underline the fact that different manufacturers provide different definitions for their case forms. It’s all up to provider how to call its PC case models. Thus, always clarify the accurate size of computer case you want to purchase.

3. Drive bays

Driving bays can be of different size – 5.25-inch, 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch.The biggest one, i.e. of 5.25-inch format, is used with an optical drive. This can be either a DVD burner or a Blu-ray drive. Such bays are widely used for hosting of front-panel devices, e.g. temperature readouts or fan controllers. They can be also applied during the installation of additional panels for extra ports on PC front side. Such 5.25-inch bays are used in SFF or mini-tower cases.

The second type of drive bays is used for the installation of platter-style hard drives. Some of the tower cases have 3.5-inch bays. As to the 2.5-inch bays, they can be easily implemented even in the tiniest parts of the case thanks to their compact size.

4. Cutaway for CPU cooler

Obviously, your new PC case will host a cooler. Therefore, one of your tasks is to check how well a chosen computer case is adjusted for a CPU cooler you plan on buying. Note that most of the top-notch CPU coolers need a backing plate or other mounting hardware which is installed from the board underneath.

5. I/O shield

This part of PC is placed on the back of computer case. It has special cutouts for different ports of the board and serves as a protection of the motherboard while inserting cables to the pre-cited ports.

But bear in mind, that I/O shield comes together with a motherboard but not a case itself. Consequently, I/O shields aren’t interchangeable between different boards but they can be used for different PC cases because they have almost the same standard dimensions – 1.75×6.5 inches.

6. Motherboard tray and standoffs

First of all, let’s clarify what motherboard tray is. In fact, it’s just a place where a board is located. A motherboard tray is placed at the bottom of a computer case and has special holes for the motherboard standoffs. By the by, if earlier most of the trays were removable nowadays it’s quite an uncommon thing.

As to motherboard standoffs, these are small brass-looking spacers that you can find between a board and a case. Standoffs are screwed into the PC case and have a motherboard fixed to them. Note that they help to prevent an electrical short as they raise the board above the case and as a result, the soldered parts don’t contact it.

You can usually find these brass bits in a small bag which comes together with a PC case. Their installation is not complicated because there are special marks near the holes in the tray, which will help you to find a necessary hole for this or that standoff.

7. What is PSU?

PSU (Power Supply Unit) serves to traffic electricity to such computer components as motherboard, drives and fans. PSU looks like a big box and it’s typically placed either at the top or at the bottom of PC case. It is mounted by means of screws through the backside of the computer case with a special big-sized cutaway, which also plays a part in the ventilation process.

Today most of the tower cases support ATX (i.e. full-sized) power supplies. Those PC chassis which belong to the category of compact SFF cases have PSU of SFX form factor, in other words, those of a smaller size.

PSU is one of the most important things for building powerful computers. But if you belong to the category of avid gamers then this element should be number one on your list as your PC will need more power than an average one. Here are some of the best power supply units for gaming.

8. Fan mounts

Fan mounts are surfaces inside a computer case, which are used for the installation of additional ventilation in your PC. They can be of different size – 80 mm, 92 mm, 120 mm, 140 mm and 200 mm. Still, 120-mm and 140-mm fan mounts are the most popular.

Some of PC cases have also got removable air filters, which cover the front face of the fan mounts. Such a filter would be a great additional supplement to your PC case as it reduces the amount of dust inside a computer chassis.

9. GPU clearance

This term denotes a space your GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) needs to fit in your PC case. As many modern PC cases have removable parts GPU clearance can vary. For example, if hard drive trays in your computer case can be removed it means that the space required for a video card can be also extended.

Usually, if a GPU clearance has more than 12 inches then it will be able to support almost any video card. Still, be especially attentive with very long cards. The point is that their power connectors, which extend from the trailing edge, can require some extra space in your PC case.

10. Drive sleds and drive stealthing

Drive sleds are usually made of metal or plastic and look like frames which slide in/out of a drive bay. They are used mostly with 3.5-inch bays but can also cooperate with bays of 2.5-inch size. Some PC cases have drive sleds which allow the drive to contact a backplane system with SATA data and built-in power connectors. In this case, the drives are hot-swappable.

Some of today’s computer cases have also got drive stealthing which presupposes an optical drive hidden behind a door or panel in order to bring a smooth look to the PC-case front side.

Drive stealthing can be achieved in different ways. It can be done by means of drive-bay cover with a flip-down door, which allows the drive tray to pop out. The other option is more popular with PC cases of premium class. In such cases, there is a special slot for the optical drive where you just put a disc. This is achieved via a slot-loading and trayless optical drive mechanism.

11. Types of optical drive

Some high-grade PC cases can also require special types of optical drive – slim optical drive or slot-load optical drive. A slim optical drive is much smaller and more fragile than a typical 5.25-inch bay device. This optical drive is mostly used in laptops with SFF form factor. Slot-load optical drive is used in PC cases with drive stealthing, so it goes with a tray for a slot-feed mechanism.

12. PC case ports

Ports which are a part of computer case are usually called Front I/O. They can be placed on the front face, on the top front of PC case or down one of its sides. These ports can include headphone and mic jacks, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports.

Your task is to make sure that your PC motherboard has all matching headers for ports of a new computer case. If it doesn’t then you’ll need to buy adapters or expansion cards in order to involve ports into the working process.

By the by, speaking of the headphone and microphone jack it should be mentioned that older and newer PC case models can have different connectors. Most of the computer chassis have a cable with a 10-pin header connector, which can be plugged into a pin-grid on the motherboard. It is also called “HD Audio” header. The older versions of PC cases usually have a forked cable provided with connectors for HD Audio and AC ’97 headers.

Some of the computer cases can also have two or four ports on the back of the case, which enable you to install water-cooling hardware inside the chassis. These ports stand usually in a line with silicone rim or a rubber. Such ports are called hose passthroughs.

13. Expansion slots

One more characteristic you should be aware of is the number of expansion slots supported by the PC case. Expansion slots are special spaces which can be found in the back of the case and are often covered by the metal strips, which can be removed. The number of such slots in the PC case can vary. But usually when the form factor of a case matches the size of the motherboard then you won’t have any troubles.

14. Thumbscrews and cables

Thumbscrews are used in order to keep together side panels of PC case and its inner hardware. The point is that thumbscrews may not require any screwdriver to add or remove different parts of a computer case. Still, very often it may not work and you’ll need to take a screwdriver for such changes.

Cable management denotes the number of special features a PC case possesses, which help to improve the airflow and make the interior look cleaner. It includes the number of cutaways, some extra space behind the board tray, quality of cable cutouts (whether they are lined with soft material in order to minimize the wire chafing or not) etc.

That’s it. Now you have enough knowledge to pick the PC case of your dreams.

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