Great builders know there's far more to consider than aesthetics when choosing a case — thinner panels tend to rattle, while thicker panels hold both noise and heat. Airflow is king when it comes to thermal efficiency, and acoustic efficiency can be affected by everything from the number of fans to the shape of fan mounts. Fortunately, we've already tested a bevy of cases over the years, and have prepared this awards showcase as a quick link to the best-rated models.
October 2016 Updates
New contributing writer Avery Little broke into reviews with the sturdy and stylish Dark Base Pro 900 full tower, while Chris Miconi returned to the fold with an award-winning PC-Q34 mini-ITX cube. Meanwhile, Cooler Master's MasterBox 5 and Zalman's Z9 Neo mid-towers were picking up Recommended and Approved awards for providing readers with quality and performance at an extra low price.
Cooler Master and Corsair switched things up a little with mid-tower cases that provide the cooling space of a full tower. The MasterCase Pro 3 accomplishes this by using a Micro ATX motherboard, while the extra-wide Carbide Air 740 gets there by mounting the power supply and drive trays behind the motherboard tray. Both received our stamp of approval.
Our Best Picks
Everyone knows that smaller motherboards can be installed in larger cases, as Mini-ITX simply uses four of the mounting holes from the standard ATX specification. Yet the reverse is sometimes also true, as many ATX cases are designed to hold oversized ATX motherboards up to 10.6" deep. Often lumped into the EATX sub-category, these motherboards actually fall short of the 12" x 13" Extended ATX specification.
So, a case that can hold 12" x 10.6" motherboards can't really be called EATX because it doesn't have 13" of space, even though the 12" x 10.6" motherboard that you plan to install may be labeled as EATX. Therefore, We recommend that buyers of oversized ATX motherboards look specifically at the photos, descriptions and measurement in our ATX case reviews in order to reveal a greater number of potential purchasing options.
Best ATX Cases
Best Extended ATX Cases
Best Micro ATX Cases
Best Mini ITX Cases