The Top 10 Best PC Cases

Here at The Tech Buyer's Guru, we've reviewed more PC cases than any other category of product - over three dozen in all, with more reviews being added every month! So it's with good authority that we present this list of the top 10 cases on the market. Now, to be clear, we didn't target specific prices, like best $30 case, $50 case, $100 case, and so on, because frankly, sometimes, there is no "best" case at a given pricepoint. We also didn't target having a certain number of small, medium, and large cases. We simply picked the cases that we think represent the state of the art in the PC industry. Going forward, some of our guides may have a bunch of gamer-oriented mega-towers, while at other times, we may list exclusively small form factor cases. Who knows... only time will tell!

For Summer 2020, there's one theme that rises above all others, and it's not RGB and tempered glass... that was the last few years! In fact, while RGB effects are incredibly common these days, what we're seeing in the very best cases this year is a move to improve airflow. Reviewers have really been focusing in on this topic lately, potentially in response to the move to cover cases in glass, which certainly looked nice, but brought with it a significant performance penalty. Now manufacturers are finding a way to provide cool RGB effects that work in concert with high airflow mesh designs, and we really like this move to combine the best innovations in aesthetics and performance, both of which are without a doubt important in case design.

By the way, unlike a lot of other categories of PC components, cases can be used in multiple systems over time, making them a very good place to invest in the best you can afford. With that said, we're seeing more rapid advancement of PC case design than ever before, with new USB connectivity standards, new fan standards, new cooler standards, and new layouts to account for the move from big drives to tiny M.2 drives. So while you may want to keep a case for two or three generations, it may not be in the interest of your own sanity!

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The Top 10 PC Cases - Summer 2020

  • Case:

    Silverstone SG13

    The SG13's form factor may be nothing new, but no one has done shoeboxes better than SilverStone, and the SG13 is its best. With room for video cards up to the Nvidia-reference 10.6" long (and ideally reference height as well), there's always a top-end GPU that will fit, even if most will not. And because it puts the GPU right up against a mesh intake, it doesn't starve those high-end GPUs of air like so many other cases. Just one tweak we highly recommend: don't use an ATX power supply in this case, even if it will technically fit. Instead, get the SilverStone PP08 adapter and install an SFX unit, like SilverStone's SX500-G. This will increase CPU cooler clearance from 61mm to a much more impressive 82mm.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more about this case in our full build video!

  • Case:

    Silverstone Fara B1

    If you're building a budget-oriented PC, whether for home office, business, or gaming use, you simply cannot go wrong with the SilverStone Fara B1. With its tasteful, timeless design, accented by a stylish tempered glass side panel, it will look good anywhere, and it also has plenty of space for high-end components, including video cards up to 12.7" long and CPU coolers up to 165mm tall. Note that this case is also available with a full mesh front panel, sold as the Fara R1 (R is for airflow!).

    The Guru's Tip:

    One of the things we absolutely love about this case is that unlike just about every other budget offering, it allows you to install dual Arctic P14 140mm Fans behind its front mesh panel. That in turns allows for amazing airflow in this compact case!

  • Case:

    SilverStone ML09B

    So, from our point of view, this is the reference small office PC case. It's tiny, at just 7 liters, but it's also highly configurable, allowing you to install up to four 2.5" drives, an optical drive, and a compact dual-slot video card! Yes, there are smaller cases, and yes there are cheaper cases, but none are as attractive or usable as the ML09. Note that it does require the use of an SFX power supply, and we recommend the SilverStone SX300, which has just the right wattage for the kind of system you can actually install in this case.

    The Guru's Tip:

    For a high-powered office system, one nice option is to remove the optical drive bracket and included 120mm case fan, and install in their place a high-performance low-profile CPU cooler - with these components removed, there's 70mm of clearance. That's enough room for even the class-leading Noctua NH-L12S, although we recommend the NH-L9x65 for an easier installation experience. Learn more about the case in our full ML09 review.

  • Case:

    Phanteks P400A White

    Phanteks has made a name for itself with its sleekly-designed and quality materials, but until recently, it has focused that heavily on performance. That all changes with the P400A, which takes the classic style of the P400 and gives it a full-mesh front panel, and then adds three sweet-looking digital RGB fans to complete the look.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We happen to think the white version of this case is really eye-catching, but you can also go with a more traditional black version.

  • Case:

    be quiet! Pure Base 500DX Black @Newegg

    Here it is, the best case under $100. What makes the Pure Base 500DX a winner? A thoroughly modern design. be quiet! went back to the drawing board with this case, looking at what PCs actually need today. And that means a whole lot of space for big CPU coolers, 140mm fans (three are included!), excellent airflow, and tasteful, integrated ARGB lighting that doesn't limit your fan choices. What do modern PCs not need? A dozen 3.5" drive cages, for one, so those are almost entirely gone in the 500DX, which is just fine with us.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more about this case in our full review.

  • Case:

    Lian Li Tu 150-WA Silver

    When it comes to high-end ITX cases, there are an increasing number of options, but most cost far too much, in our opinion, because they are essentially one-offs from small companies that have very little production volume. In fact, many of them use a single manufacturer for that production, and it's Lian Li. Why not go to the source, then, and pick up the TU 150, which looks fantastic, and in typical Lian Li fashion, offers high-end materials, including a magnetic, retractable top handle.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This case does not come with fans, and we recommend you equip it with Scythe Kaze Flex 120mm fans front and rear.

  • Case:

    Lian Li Lancool II Mesh RGB

    Simply put, Lian Li is back. While nearly every case it has released over the past two years has received major praise, we think the Lancool II Mesh RGB brings all of Lian Li's latest innovations together in a way that makes it unbeatable. Four hinged panels provide unmatched access to the interior, a mesh front panel provides ample airflow, and ARGB fans hidden behind that panel provide the cooling while providing the aesthetic punch that sets this case apart from previous Lian Li cases. Truly, this case has it all!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Lian Li sells a similarly-priced case simply called the Lancool II Mesh, but we think the ARGB effects give it a lot more appeal, and they don't add much, if anything to the price.

  • Case:

    Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh White ARGB @Newegg

    If you want extreme cooling, there simply is no better case than the H500P. Yes, you can spend more, but no, you can't get more airflow. Its dual 200mm front fans suck in huge amounts of air through the front mesh panel, and look good doing it thanks to the RGB lights built into them. You also get a huge top compartment that can swallow just about any CPU cooling radiator, including the massive Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280mm, which we know because we tried!

    The Guru's Tip:

    You can read our full review right here. Note that Cooler Master is very slowly phasing in a grey model with ARGB lighting, which you can see here. We don't know when there will wide availability of this model, but it will have the same MSRP.

  • Case:

    Cooler Master MasterCase SL600M Black

    The SL600M is by far the most innovative case in this guide, and it's also probably the worst-selling model of all the cases we list. That's because it's somewhat misunderstood. While positioning the motherboard and video card just like a standard case, it shifts airflow 90 degrees, giving it a true chimney effect. That avoids a mess of cables at the top of the case that previous-gen cases that rotated the entire motherboard created. We believe that in a few years, all cases will be designed this way, and people will look back on the SL600M as the case of the future.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The one misstep that Cooler Master made in designing this case was closing off the rear panel. That unnecessarily traps GPU exhaust heat in the case. We suggest that if you get this case, you equip it with a liquid CPU cooler with a radiator positioned on the top panel, which will take full advantage of the chimney cooling effect, unlike an air cooler.

  • Case:

    Cooler Master MasterCase H500M @Newegg

    The H500M packs in everything you could want in a high-end gaming case. You get four tempered glass panels (plus an optional mesh panel for the front to increase airflow), sweet ARGB lighting, a huge, and a well-designed interior that can fit just about any cooling gear you can think of.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Honorable mention goes to the Cooler Master Cosmos C700M, which looks even better, but at about $200 more is a bit harder to recommend.