How to choose a PC Case?

No matter if it is a high-end gaming rig or just a simple desktop for home use, buying the right PC case always matters, even if it is a budget build.

How to choose a PC Case?
How to choose a PC Case?

If the CPU is considered the heart of a system, then the PC case is the body that holds everything together, including the motherboard, graphics card, power supply, and wires. At a minimum, the user should at least buy a PC case of the right size to fit it wherever they need to easily.

Table of contents

What makes a good PC case?
Airflow
Support for water cooling
Form Factor
Cable Management Features
RGB Lights and Glass panel
Mounting Trays
Connectivity
Does Size Matter
What’s your budget?
Conclusion

Even if a PC case is not a component that determines how powerful a computer is, it definitely enables the computer to work more efficiently without overheating. In general, PC cases are the cheapest component to get while building a PC. Still, some manufacturers offer high-end PC cases that not only allow you to show off your components that reside inside through those beautiful glass side panels but offer inbuilt cable management systems, cooling, and airflow solutions so that it can work at optimal temperatures.

This article covers why choosing the right PC case for your computer is important and what features you should go for while building your own PC. It is always a good idea to invest in a high-quality PC case.

What makes a good PC case?

Believe us or not, but there are actually many things that make a PC case good or bad. Fortunately, we are here to list everything that you need to keep in mind while buying a PC case and help you out by allowing you to choose the one that is the best for your PC build. Here is a list of factors that you need to look into.

Airflow

Without a doubt, the most important thing that you should have with any system is a PC case with good airflow and especially on gaming PCs. Pairing up high-end processors and graphics cards with a cheap PC case with bad airflow is always a bad idea since it will reduce the overall performance of your PC and make it more likely to run into different issues as thermal throttling due to overheating.

If your main objective is gaming and you would like to overclock your system, whether it is your memory, GPU, or CPU, you will always need a clear-cut solution to minimize heat buildup inside your system.

There we recommend checking whether the PC case has enough space to fit in radiators and fans. Most ATX cases on the market come with 3 or more built-in cooling fans that provide excellent airflow for a reasonable price. It is always better to have more space for more fans, so look for some cases with extra fan mounts.

Support for water cooling

Ensure that your PC case always has support for water cooling because a high-end PC can only function well if it is equipped with some of the best cooling solutions. A PC with good cooling solutions and enough room to fit in fan coolers or air coolers can drastically improve your PC’s overall functioning and reliability. Radiators are available in many different sizes, starting from 120 mm all the way up to 420 mm hence we recommend taking a note of what size radiators your PC case can fit in. Moreover, beefier coolers for your processors require more headroom than regular CPU coolers; thus, size also comes into play.

Form Factor

Your case’s size depends on your working environment and where you wish to keep your system. PC cases are available in a range of sizes, and these 4 are the most common ones:

Full Tower Case

The largest available size with tons of inner space for components.

Mid-Tower Case

The smaller version of full tower cases with enough room to fit ATX size motherboards and fit in large GPUs

Micro-ATX Case

The perfect option for most gaming builds with high-end components.

Mini-ITX Case

The best option to go with if portability is a priority.

Cable Management Features

No one likes a cluster of wires and cables inside a box, and your PC must look nice and tidy not only from the outside but also from the inside. Proper cable management makes your build look nicer, and the cable clearance also improves airflow. Other than that, installing other components becomes much easier since the comp0onents inside are easier to manage on a system with good cable management features. PC cases on the market often come with cable routing sections and are equipped with rubber grommets that allow for a cleaner looking PC.

RGB Lights and Glass panel

Let us not kid ourselves. Having RGB on your rig elevates the aesthetics of your setup to a whole another level. PC cases with built-in RGB lighting are most famous among gamers, while others find such flickering lights annoying. In the end, it is all about personal preference when it comes to deciding whether you want RGB lighting on your PC case or not. Most PC cases also come with a side glass window panel that enables you to flaunt your RGB lights inside the system and all the powerful high-end components. Glass panel is a must if you have RGB lighting inside your system do not want the looks to go to waste.

Mounting Trays

There is nothing more important than storage on a device for a programmer, artist, or designer. Even for gaming, it is better to have a considerable amount of storage on your system to install games. Good computer cases provide you with SSD and Hard disk drive trays to easily place and install as many storage devices that you would need. The trays also provide easy access to the SSDs and HDDs whenever the user needs to give a clean and tidy look to your PC. Since 5.25-inch hard disks and optical drives are becoming obsolete, many manufacturers only offer PC cases with 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drive trays. Make sure that your PC case has enough mounting and drive trays to accommodate your SSDs and HDDs.

Connectivity

The essentials of a computer reside outside or within the PC case itself. Headphone jacks, microphone jacks, and USB ports are necessary for every computer user, and for completing productivity, tasks are essential. USB ports enable you to plug in external devices and storage whenever you need them. With advancements in technology, PC case manufacturers include new-gen USB 3.0 thunderbolt ports and Type-C ports for faster transfer speeds and connect newer devices. Some PC cases even come with built-in RGB headers and USB 3.0 headers for more convenience.

Does Size Matter

The size of the case or its form factor is easily the most crucial aspect of play while choosing a PC case. Although nowadays PC cases are available in many different sizes, there are generally 3 types used by the general consumer.

Full tower

Full tower PC cases are the largest available on the market. They are generally bought by people when they need tons of headspace inside their system to accommodate all the different hardware components and PC parts such as the motherboard, graphics cards, and PSUs. This is the best option to go with if you have a large ATX motherboard or if you want room for a dual graphics card setup with Nvidia’s SLI system and AMD’s Crossfire technology. Moreover, you get enough space for cable management.

Mid-Tower

The mini-tower PC case is the downsized version of the full tower case. These PC cases are the most famous among gamers as they provide enough room to fit components that an average gamer might need and come with built-in RGB lit fans and other features such as hard disk and SSD trays and grommets for easier cable management. A mid-tower case can easily hold an ATX motherboard or a smaller one, but some cases even provide enough room to fit e-ATX motherboards.

Mini-ATX

Mini-ATX PC cases are the smallest out of all the available sizes. These cases are what define portability and convenience in terms of saving space. Mini-ITX cases are not really famous among regular PC users due to the lack of enough space for future upgrades. Nonetheless, these cases are a great option for many gamers who want a powerful rig all inside a small package that is reasonably portable to some extent. The user can even carry such cases to LAN parties.

What’s your budget?

Any decent PC chassis will cost you around the 60 to 100 dollar mark from a budget standpoint. If you have the money, you can even opt for some of the higher-end options above the 100 dollar mark, but for most scenarios, these PC cases are overkill and would not provide you with more than what you will require.

Under $30

Under the $30 mark, PC cases are generally local ones that cover the basic needs, such as 1 to 2 USB 2.0 ports in the front panel and the audio jacks. These PC cases are available in most sizes from Full-tower to mid-twoer, and some come with an included cheap power supply. We recommend not going for these unless you are very tight on your budget since the PSUs provided with these cases are unreliable and unstable. Moreover, the build quality is subpar and definitely not a good investment for the long run.

Under $70

The PC cases that fall under this category are the ideal choices for most cases, especially for gamers. Fo just under 70 dollars, you not only get the basics that you would expect from any decent PC cassis, but you get more than that, such as mesh design, dust filters, and sometimes even 1 or 2 drive strays to tore your SSDs and HDDs. Manufacturers like NZXT, Fractal, Thermaltake, and Corsair offer excellent PC cases for this price that come with a glass window side panel, fan mounts for 140 mm and 120 mm fans, drive trays, dust filters, and All-in-One cooler support. You can also check out the Cougar MG110 Mini Tower PC Gaming Case, an excellent choice for most gaming build in this generation.

Above $100

Under this category falls all the high-end PC cases that are built to perfection for excellence. These chassis offer RGB headers inside them that let you connect the power pins of all the different RGB components such as GPUs and your motherboards. Equipped with cable management facilities such as rubber grommets and cable routing holes help you push your PC airflow performance to the maximum. These PC cases offer edge to edge glass side panel instead of the typical ones. The ones from Corsair and CoolerMaster come with support for a range of AIO water cooling systems, full-length dust filters, and addressable RGB lightings. For maximum airflow and air-intake, these cases come with pre-installed radiators and cooling fans too.

Conclusion

Just as we already discussed, it is always better to invest in a good quality durable chassis. Such PC cases, built with the best quality materials, last longer than the cheap ones and give you room for future upgrades and installations. RGB lighting features and purely subjective and depend on whether the user wants it or not, but when it comes to airflow and cooling, such aspects should not be overlooked as they decide your PC’s efficiency. In the end, it all comes down to your budget, and we recommend that with going with something above the 30 dollar mark since such cases offer you the best features that you will need right now and in the future. Building a PC is all about future-proofing.