The Best PC Cases in 2021
PC cases come in many sizes and configurations. And the thing is, best PC cases for some aren’t even near the best for others. Some users love silent PC cases, others prefer maximum airflow. Some users want the biggest case they can get, others adore small-form-factor cases.
While it’s impossible to decide on the best PC case around, it’s possible to make a limited selection of best PC cases in different categories. Today, we picked the best among full-tower, mid-tower, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX cases. No matter your preferences you will find an excellent case, just for you. Let’s start.
Best PC Cases to Buy
Newest Case to Look Out For
- Extremely open airflow design
- 2x 180mm fans either on the front panel or bottom of the case
- The new appealing design and high-quality build
We will start this comparison of PC cases with a new case you should look out for because it is scary good. We already know that Fractal and Lian Li are very good at their airflow designs but it is nice to see that Fractal finds innovative ways to get as much air inside of your PC as possible without looking like every other PC case on the market.
The Fractal Torrent was designed with the sole purpose of keeping your temperatures as low as possible with as many fans as possible. The Torrent comes with 2x 180mm/3x 120/140mm fans intake fans, 3x 120/140mm or 2x 180mm bottom fans and a 120/140mm rear exhaust fan.
This design is made with one purpose in mind – cooling your CPU and GPU to the maximum. The interior of the case is also open to make sure the cool air does not have any barriers and can get directly to your components.
The build quality of this PC case is extremely good and it comes with a lot of bells and whistles like a pre-installed fan hub, external cable straps, 4 SSD brackets, etc.
Overall this case is a beast and although new to the market it is already a fan favorite to beat even the most popular cases!
- Extremely good cooling
- Extremely good looks
- Very easy to work in
- All the modern features you would expect from a case
- Not cheap
- Other quirks might surface later on as the case is very new on the market
Lian Li Lancool 215
Jack of All Trades – Best Overall Thermals & Design
- Mid-tower case
- 2x 200mm ARGB front case fans
- Modern cable management and routing features
Considering the sheer amount of PC cases available on the market it is extremely hard to say that one specific PC case has it all.
At the same time, the Lian Li Lancool 215 is not the biggest, not the fanciest, does not have the best build quality or airflow, BUT at the same time it does everything we mentioned above to a good enough degree and when considering the price of the Lancool 215 it becomes an extremely good deal.
The case is very good at keeping your components cool and comes equipped with 2 massive mm front intake ARGB fans. It might not have all the bells and whistles but it has enough modern cable management and cable routing features to not give you any trouble at all.
It also comes with a 120mm fan for an exhaust so you have enough stock fans to have literally one of the best cooling on the market without investing anything in the case.
Considering the price at which this case comes in, it becomes really hard to not recommend it to anyone building a case and doesn’t want to splurge on the PC case.
- Extremely good cooling
- Very strong cooling power with stock fan configuration
- Can fit even the biggest of components
- Has a glass side panel that adds some style points
- Not the cheapest
- Doesn’t do anything particularly well (jack of all trades)
be quiet! Silent Base 802
- 3 Pure Wings 2 140mm fans
- Detachable top and front panels
- Detachable motherboard tray and top bracket for easier building and comfort
If you are looking for a PC case that is not simply a box of metal, but a well designed enclosure for your PC with a lot of features that simply make your life easier but won’t necessarily equate with cooling capabilities then the be quiet! Silent Base 802 PC case should be your main choice.
Starting with the fact that you have interchangeable top cover and front panel depending if you want airflow or silent operation, spring latches that hold the side panels in, insulation mats for improved noise reduction, a motherboard tray that can be inverted, and a detachable top bracket that is useful during the build process it is no wonder this case takes the mechanical excellence award.
Simply put this case exudes premium quality and the feeling of working with a professionally designed enclosure instead of just a tin box for your PC parts. Good job be quiet!
- Great cooling and silent operation
- Extremely high-quality build
- Very easy to build and manage your PC
- Might be pricer than other cases
Best Budget PC Case
- 2x D-RGB fans
- Mesh front panel
- Accessible price
If you are looking for a budget option for a PC case and are willing to invest 50-60$ then the Phanteks P360A is your best bet. The main reason for this is the fact that this budget PC case is still capable of cooling your components extremely well.
The case, although being 60$, comes with 2 120mm case fans with RGB features that make the case look quite good. Besides the RGB fans, the Phanteks P360A also comes with a light strip on the side of the glass panel for that extra glow.
The main reason this PC case is recommended is the mesh front panel that allows plenty of airflow, and the capacity to hold all modern hardware which can become quite chonky.
Another big reason to recommend this case is simply the fact that most budget cases come with no fans at all, and when you add those up you end up at 60$ or more anyways. With this in mind, you might as well get the P360A and have everything ready for your gaming build.
- Very good airflow
- Good build quality for a budget case
- Extra D-RGB features for nice aesthetics
- Less mechanically excellent (obviously, since this is a budget case)
- A bit flashy with all the D-RGB
Lian Li Lancool II Mesh Performance
Best Out of the Box Thermal Performance
- Mesh front, bottom left panel, and honeycomb vents
- Included 3x 120mm ARGB fans
- Great build quality
If you want to just buy a PC case and put your components in without ever worrying about thermal performance then your best bet is to buy the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh. As the name implies the main feature of this case is the front mesh panel, honeycomb vents and left shroud panel that allows for A LOT of air to come and go.
Added to this are 3 ARGB 120mm fans that come with the case in order to keep it cool at all times. You even have modular PSU shroud covers that can be removed so you can stack even more fans inside for extra cooling capacity.
Besides the cooling capacity, this case supports up to 9 drives, great cable management, flip panels and shrouds, and an overall good quality design.
If you do not want to research for cheaper airflow cases then just get the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh.
- Best cooling with a stock PC case
- Has spots for even more fans in the case
- High-quality design and features
- Can be hard to find in stock sometimes
How To Choose A PC Case
There’s a lot to consider when looking for a new PC case. Let’s talk about the most important things.
Picking The Right Size
There are three main PC case form factors. We have humongous full tower cases, which can host any motherboard along with multiple GPUs and a bunch of fans or multiple water-cooling radiators.
Mid-tower cases are mainstream. They aren’t huge but can host full-size boards (ATX) along with dual GPUs, multiple fans, and large radiators. Some mid-tower cases can host large, EATX motherboards, but that’s not a common feature.
Small form-factor cases include Mini Tower and Mini ITX cases. The first ones are made for MicroATX and Mini ITX motherboards and are between mid-tower and Mini ITX cases when it comes to size. Not big but not super small.
Finally, Mini ITX cases are perfect for HTPC and low-profile gaming builds. They support Mini-ITX motherboards and, in very rare cases, mATX boards. Also, their airflow usually isn’t the best. But they offer compact footprint. Mini ITX cases take much less space than any other form factor.
Most PC cases are built to provide high airflow. But there are also cases built for maximum silence. They use various methods to reduce the noise. Such as silent case fans, special padding that soaks the noise from HDDs and fans, soundproof metal covers, and more. Do note that many quiet cases provide solid airflow, just don’t expect superb results.
Think About Features You Need
After you decided about the size and whether you want a silent or a regular PC case, it’s time to look for specific features you need. First of all, every case that comes into consideration has to have tool-less design and solid cable management. That’s the basis of every quality case. Additional features include:
Drive Bays – decide how many drive bays you need for your storage devices. Even smaller cases can host a large number of hard drives and SSDs so smaller size doesn’t have to mean just a couple of drive bays.
And make sure you’re satisfied with the number of bays because you won’t be able to increase them in the future. Except by getting a new case.
Number Of Fans Supported – another important thing to look for. If you want a high airflow case, make sure it can house plenty of fans. Just remember that even two fans can be enough for a solid airflow.
Radiator Mounts And Water Cooling Support – water cooling is more popular than ever so many cases support radiators for AIO liquid cooling systems.
Mid-tower and smaller cases usually support up to 280mm radiators. Some mid-tower cases have enough room for 360mm radiators.
When it comes to pumps and custom loops, look out for that. Some cases may come with space for one or two radiators but they won’t have enough room for a proper pump.
Dust Filters – another interesting feature that seems unimportant but can come handy. Cases with multiple dust filters make cleaning inside of the case much easier. All you have to do is to remove the filters and suck the accrued dust with a vacuum cleaner.
Cut-Out On The Back Of The Motherboard Tray – if you’re into custom air coolers for your CPU you might look for the CPU cutout at the back of the motherboard tray. The cutout allows users to replace the cooler without removing the motherboard, which can make the process much simpler and faster.
Space For The CPU Cooler – if you like huge air coolers for your PC, make sure the case you want has enough room for your cooler. There are some huge coolers that even full-tower cases cannot house.
Space For Graphics Card – last but not least, always check that the case you’re interested in is long enough for your graphics card. This is a small oversight that can completely ruin your setup. Each PC case lists max graphics card length in its official spec sheet. Do not forget to check that before buying a case.
Carrying Handle – there are great PC cases out there that feature a carrying handle. If you’re moving your rig often, think about getting a case with a handle attached.
Don’t Forget About The Front I/O Panel – The front I/O panel is the last thing many users look for in a PC case, but it can be important. For instance, if you have a VR headset a front placed HDMI port along with multiple (more than 2) USB 3 ports is a godsend.
Also, if you have a bunch of chargers and other USB accessories hooked up to your PC all the time, it’s handy to be able to hook them all to the front of the case.
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