Best Cases

There's far more to consider than aesthetics when choosing a case. Good airflow is king when it comes to keeping things cool, and noise levels can be affected by everything from the number of fans to the shape of the fan mounts. Fortunately, we've already tested a bevy of cases over the years, and have prepared this awards showcase as a quick summary of the best models.

Best ATX Cases

6/19/17 Update: removed the Lian-Li PC-Q10WX and updated several links.

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Extended ATX cases are required to hold motherboards up to 13" deep (front-to-back). Though such motherboards still fit within the 12" north-to-south confines of ATX, many of these cases are also compatible with the eight-slot XL-ATX form factor.

Bigger isn't always better, as many builders don't actually need a bunch of drive bays or slots to hold all their equipment. Mini-ITX fits the performance of a standard tower into compact spaces such as home theaters and small desks, and some of these compact units even have carrying handles for easy transport to gaming events (LAN parties).

Smaller motherboards can always be installed in larger cases - e.g. Mini-ITX simply utilizes 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 so-called “oversized ATX” motherboards. Often mislabeled as E-ATX, these motherboards technically fall short of the actual 12" x 13" Extended ATX specification. Therefore, we recommend that prospective buyers of any “oversized ATX" motherboards look at the photos, descriptions and measurements of any ATX case before making a purchase.

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Best Extended ATX Cases





Best Micro ATX Cases

Best Mini ITX Cases





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Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware, covering Cases, Cooling, Memory and Motherboards. Follow him on Twitter.

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