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Which PC case should you buy? This guide will help you

Whether you consider your computer the heart of your home office or just stow it away from your desk, buying the right PC case is important .

At least you want one to choose The PC case is the right size for your needs and can accommodate all your hardware and USB devices. However, some PC cases offer much more. Spacious innards, lower temperatures, subdued sound, comprehensive water cooling and chic hard glass panes or RGB lighting are just the tip of the iceberg. She . This is just the first step in your DIY journey. Also read the PCWorld instructions for creating a PC.

Editor's note: Last updated with the information in the PC case news section and some changes to our recommendations.

PC Case News [19659006] Prices of legal cases have slipped up on Chinese products as a result of US tariffs. Expect to pay a bit more – about $ 10 to $ 25 – than a year ago.

NZXT released the H510 Elite at the end of July, and as the name implies, this is a less sophisticated version of the Ultra NZXT H500. Highlights include a Smart Device v2 controller and a front USB-C 3.1 port. In addition, two 140 mm RGB front fans, tempered glass and additional room for maneuver will be integrated into the minimalist design. See how we nudge and nudge the case in the above video and then go to the NZXT website if you want to buy it for $ 170.

  in win 209 in win

A render of the In Win 309 and the RGB control software.

The In Win 309 Mid-Tower Camera features 144 addressable RGB lights on the front panel, which allow you to create glowing replicas of your favorite retro gaming imagery. It also has 12 built-in lighting modes for on-the-fly light shows. There are plenty of cooling options, but no details: prices and availability for this stunning enclosure have not yet been announced.

Tiny PCs also need love, and the MasterCase H100 from Cooler Master ($ 70 on Amazon) offers many loving details to MITX enthusiasts. It's quick, easy, and complete, as you can see in the video above, and bears the signature of the H Series of Cooler Master in the form of a large 200mm RGB front fan. This small tower measures 312 x 216 x 301 mm (12.28 x 8.5 x 11.85 inches) with a declared volume of 17.6 liters.

Size matters for PC cases

First of all, think about the size you need. There are three main body sizes: Full Tower, Mid Tower and Mini-ITX.

Both full tower and mid tower enclosures fit on standard ATX motherboards – by far the most common motherboard size. Both can also be used for smaller Micro ATX motherboards. The exact size varies from case to case, but most of the center towers reach a height of about 18 inches and a width of about 8 inches. Mid-tower PCs are probably the most common form factor and provide ample space for systems with a closed loop CPU cooler, some graphics cards, and storage space .

<img src = "https://images.idsg.net/images/article/2017/09/pc-case-100736288-large.jpg" border = "0" alt = "PC Case [19659017] Ben Patterson / IDG

Full-Tower PCs are large

Full-Tower enclosures are massive . They often measure more than 20 inches in height and are longer and deeper than the center case of the tower, making it ideal if you are one of the rare people using a solid Extended ATX motherboard. (Asus' X399 motherboards for AMD thread ripper chips are EATX .)

Also, consider a full-tower enclosure, if you plan on using your rig with full (or custom) water cooling, lots of storage space, or 3 and 4 way graphics card setups more fans and 5.25-inch drive bays, and the extra room to build is sure to be nice.

Mini ITX enclosures are the complete opposite of full-tower PC-Gs ehäusen, which were built for tiny Mini-ITX motherboards. Some of them can be surprisingly small and even fit into home theater cabinets, but the cramped conditions can lead to compatibility issues with specific hardware. Do not expect liquid cooling or a big honking CPU cooler in most Mini-ITX cases. Also, some Mini ITX enclosures do not support full-length graphics cards. Confirm the maximum length before you buy. After all, there's not much room for extra hardware in this space-constrained enclosure, so you'll have to limit yourself to relatively simple system configurations. They are perfect for visiting LAN parties!

  Bitfenix Portal Bitfenix

The Bitfenix portal gives Mini-ITX enclosures a unique touch. game.

Sometimes you can see mini-tower enclosures that fit between Mini-ITX and mid-tower enclosures to hold Micro-ATX motherboards. They are rarer than the others.

PC Case Price Considerations

If you've decided on a PC case, you'll need to figure out your budget next.

If you spend something $ 50 or less, you will probably end up with a nondescript, inconspicuous case with a few extra features. Choose a fan with two fans, one at the front and one at the back, to maximize airflow and support cooling. However, you will not always find the option in this price range.

One of the best budget PC cases I've incorporated is Deepcool's Tesseract ($ 50 at Newegg ). This affordable mid-tower offers plenty of freedom of movement, the already mentioned duo of case fans and numerous drive bays – even if it is not suitable for very long graphics cards like the nasty Asus ROG Strix. That's solid for the price. We will talk about more recommendations towards the end of the article.

The price range of $ 50 to $ 150 has improved significantly in recent years. In the middle area there are big differences in design and construction. As always, check the dimensions to make sure your desired PC case is suitable for all your hardware. You should also keep an eye on extra features. They are much more common in this price range, especially when costs are rising.

<img src = "https://images.techhive.com/images/article/2017/02/amd-ryzen-1800x-build-7-100711184-large.jpg" border = "0" alt = " Brad Chacos

The lack of 5.25-inch drive bays can clog a lot of it. Powerful hardware in the Corsair Carbide 400C.

The features depend entirely on your personal preference or the specifics of your build Cabinets are equipped with more fans for better performance, others focus on quiet design, and some, especially most Corsair cabinets, no longer have 5.25-inch drive bays for better airflow. In this price range, you'll find that in some cases water-cooling compatibility comes into question, along with better details on cable management, tool-less design and aesthetic details like RGB lighting or tempered side panels Glass: We'll be working on the feature details soon, but about $ 100 is the ideal price / performance factor for buying a PC case.

If you go above $ 150, you should expect a PC case that excels in both performance and acoustics, and features plenty of connectivity options and convenient features. Some of them are huge ; Here you will find most full-tower enclosures. Building materials tend to be more fancy in high-end enclosures, with aluminum and tempered glass being used much more often than budget and mid-range enclosures.

You can also find wild concept cases like the motorized In Win H-Tower. It opens like a flower (video above) or the car-style Cougar Conquer ($ 350 on Newegg). However, be careful when buying a PC case that is also an offbeat flagship. Often they sacrifice functionality for their exotic forms.

Aesthetics of the PC case

Make sure you like the look of your PC case! They will stare at it in the years to come, so this is not a superficial consideration. Every online retailer displays PC cases from different angles on their business pages. So there is no excuse for buying ugly products.

PC cases are available in all sorts of colors, materials and designs. If you do not want to spend time beautifying your interior wiring, pass on suitcases with side windows.

 ryzen 3 1200 gaming pc 97 Brad Chacos / IDG

This case has a side window, but I removed the entire side panel for this image.

Buy a PC case: features to watch out for

In addition to basic dimensions and price, feature support is the biggest differentiator when buying a PC case. The more you spend on your case, the more goodies you get. Here is a brief overview of many of the features found in modern PC cases, from practical extras to practical details.

Drive bays and SSD mounting points: Make sure a PC case has enough 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drive bays to accommodate your storage drives. In some cases, mounting points for SSDs are located on the back of the motherboard tray. And if you need a 5.25-inch bay on the front of your PC to house an optical drive, a fan controller, or whatever, make sure your case contains it. In some cases, 5.25-inch bays have been released to improve air circulation from the fans on the front, especially in multiple Corsair cases.

  Hard drive without tools Marco Chiappetta / IDG

Tool-free holders that make it easy to mount hard drives.

Toolless Design: In the past, a Phillips screwdriver was required for virtually everything in a PC case. No more. The tool-less design is nearly universal for medium and large enclosures with thumbscrews for internal mounting and snap-on or other tool-free mechanisms in drive bays.

Cable Management : Look for a chassis with cut-outs in the motherboard compartment that allow you to route cables through the back of the chassis. Out of sight out of mind. In budget PC cases, usually simple, huge holes are punched in the motherboard drawer, while the middle options often have rubber grommets in the holes to make things even more tidy. In some cases, tie-downs or even cable covers are located behind the motherboard drawer to keep the wiring clean.

Next Page: Other PC Case Features, Our Preferred PC Cases

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