When you’re putting together a new computer system, it’s easy to skip over the importance of choosing a PC case that suits your needs. Sure, a case won’t do anything for your in-game performance level, nor will it improve how fast your renders process. But when you’re picking out a case, you probably wonder what PC case should I get?
You want one with enough room for expansion, something that looks stylish and sleek and possibly even gives it LED lighting. As you try to find the best PC case for your rig, remember that a PC case can do a lot more than protect the guts of your main machine. A well-made case can stand out as one of the more impressive aspects of your build.
10 Best Factors to Consider for Buying a PC Case
When shopping around, be sure to take note of any features that may help you customize your rig further down the line or otherwise accentuate its presence – these can go far beyond simple aesthetics.
Size of PC Case
If you want your PC to be future-proof, size matters. To figure out how much room you’ll need for its hardware, inspect the kind of board it has. No matter the size case you have, if it is incompatible with the motherboard, your PC will feel empty and won’t run. There are many shapes and types of cases for people with different needs.
The question is how to pick a PC case, what is better mid-tower or full tower. You can almost always fit a smaller motherboard in a bigger case. But you might feel like something’s missing when you do so. A larger case gives you room for clearance and enables better cable management and additional liquid cooling. You can choose a bigger case size for adding more GPUs and getting more out of the remaining space.
Quality Material Used
Build quality can make a big difference in a computer case. Cheaper cases are often built with the cheapest materials available and tend to show more scratches. A lighter weight also typically indicates a thinner metal panel, which ultimately means it will wear down far quicker than a sturdier case. On the one hand, higher-end cases usually include perks such as entirely metal construction and sturdy frames, which enhance their durability and longevity of use.
Of course, some builders are only looking at the price while choosing PC case. They don’t realize that the quality of the product has most likely suffered to get to that price point. There are certain benefits to using a cheaper case, like the possibility of having extra money available for customizing. Cases at this lower end tend not to have high-quality materials. Quality does come with a cost, so be prepared if you choose to cut corners when purchasing your case.
Aesthetics for Perfect Look
PC building is a practical art, especially since the design of one’s computer case has become more critical than ever. Aesthetically speaking, cases can now be made entirely out of glass. However, your personal preferences will play an important part here, irrespective of whether or not you like glass-body PCs.
Some like RGB lighting because of how well it goes with glass. Some prefer clean and unassuming matte black exteriors, while others very much appreciate the aggressive and angular design that has become somewhat synonymous with “gaming.” Only you can decide what type of case you find aesthetically pleasing or if you even care about the aesthetics of a computer case at all.
Radiator or Airflow System
Another important aspect of any chassis is its airflow capability. When thinking about how to choose PC case fans, there’s a misunderstanding that the larger its chassis, the cooler air it can accommodate. However, that is not entirely true. What matters more is the design of the internal airflow system that dissipates heat from the inside of your case.
Some computer cases already come with preinstalled fans, while some allow you to add your own. It is important to ensure you have enough fans in your case since this is the only way to increase airflow. Although it goes without saying, it might be worth mentioning that cooling down your computer is very important – not just for how it works, but also because of overall health concerns. Be sure to prioritize maximizing airflow in your computer by checking its cooling components.
When picking a PC case, you can remain sure that it will have a less noisy system. But sometimes at the expense of airflow. Make sure there is enough airflow in your PC case. It is essential because airflow allows for better heat reduction. Allowing too much heat buildup in your system can lead to malfunctions and instability. So, we recommend avoiding excessive noise and taking care of things about proper fan placement and maintenance.
When choosing a PC case, consider the amount of airflow available. If it has a good amount, the fans will be more efficient at removing heat from the machine and making sure that everything stays cooler. Fans are also essential to maintain solid performance because they help move air over important components. When you’re building a custom liquid cooling system, it’s important to think about this since larger cases can accommodate larger radiators, meaning they’re great for higher-end water cooling solutions.
Transparent Body to Look Components
Clearance between the PC case and the components is necessary for getting better airflow and heat dissipation. If major components are roomy enough to fit into the case, then minor components should be. Lay all your components out on your workspace to see how much space they take up.
The size of a GPU can extend beyond the length of the motherboard, so it may require you to ensure that both will fit in width. Given that liquid cooling parts are longer than traditional fans or heat sinks, be sure to calculate for this extra space when determining whether the PC case is big enough for liquid cooling.
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Though it may be tempting to buy a case that comes with a power supply unit (PSU), you ‘shouldn’t do this if you’re building your gaming rig. A good PSU is essential for most computers, whether used with home media centers or PC gaming. If you plan on investing money in an expensive gaming setup, make sure you purchase a PSU of sufficient quality.
When it comes to bundled power supply units (PSUs), we recommend that you always check what you’re getting as part of the deal as often as possible as they may not necessarily be reliable. While a case is an excellent investment, if the PSU is incredibly cheap or does not have enough wattage per component, thus not being a good fit for your needs then it’s something to consider looking further into.
Cables can often be the bane of a PC builder’s life. So, it is really important when someone discusses how to pick out a PC case. For many, this is the first thing they address when building their system and deciding where to put everything. We call “cable management” isn’t really about cables at all—it’s about space.
More specifically, it’s about space behind the motherboard in the side panel of your case – an area that is opaque and often hard to see through by its very nature. A good case will allow you to ditch hogging multiple power strips back there. A case with enough room for all the cables will look great and give you extra space to slide, wrap, or even hide your cables if needed.
The more components you have when building a computer, the more cables you’ll need to manage and keep track of. The number of cables would double if we included the cabling for lighting your case with RGB lights. Each component needs its cable, and having a lot of RGB components can make things confusing
Aesthetically, cable management is vital because you wouldn’t want your hardware to look cluttered inside your case. It also contributes to the cooling process because too many cables in a small area can cause overheating and raise your hardware’s temperature. It causes them to either overheat or work harder than necessary.
You may choose between rubberized holes that fit into grommets or cutouts. Whatever style you go with, make sure they have a convenient way for you to store all the excess wire in the case, so it doesn’t get in the way when opening it.
SSD and HDD Drive Bays
Storage is essential, and you should always make sure that you have enough place to store your drives. An SSD (Solid State Drive) is faster than an HDD (Hard Drive Disc). If you need an SSD, be sure to check for a case with brackets already inside the back cover. For HDDs (hard drive discs), make sure there are sleds (or guides) within your case that will help you insert them into their respective spot.
If you install a hard drive disc in your machine, make sure it has its sled bracket. If you’re installing an SSD, no special mounting hardware is needed as they’re completely stable. Most new cases don’t contain CD/DVD drives these days. So keep in mind that you drive bays requirement before making any purchasing intent for a PC case.
When you’re shopping for a new case, does it matter what PC case you get. The answer is yes, as you need to get something from a good brand. There’s a lot of cheap stuff out there, and it can get expensive when you constantly have to replace parts because they’re made poorly or break easily. So, buying from a brand that you know and trust will save you time and money in the long run.
The way to go when you want quality computer cases is not with a generic brand. Some of the most prominent names in this area include Corsair, Thermaltake, Fractal, Cooler Master, Lian Li, MSI, and NZXT.
Budget Affordability Concern
One of the most important aspects of a budget rig is not blowing past its projected budget. There’s no sense in spending more than $150 on a case as you can usually get away with the sub $80 price point if you look around for deals anyway. However, if you plan on investing a lot of time and money into your build, there are enthusiast cases that will run north of $200-$250, or more in some cases. It’s important not to spend a ridiculous amount of money on your case. One can typically spend 10-15% of the allocated budget depending on the type of computer built.