Looking for a good mid or full tower case for your new gaming rig? Here’s a look at our favorite mid and full-sized options for all budgets.
Most PC builders keep their cases through multiple generations of upgrades. So, you’re looking for something that makes installation easy, keeps your expensive components protected, looks great, and doesn’t cost a fortune. Unfortunately, the market for computer cases is completely saturated. So, what should you choose? Having used and had first-hand experience with today’s most relevant cases, here’s what we’d recommend based on overall value.
Mid Tower Cases From $50 to $150
In the $50 to under $150 mid tower case category, here are the 4 PC cases we recommend.
The Corsair 100R doesn’t reinvent the wheel. However, it’s one of the bestselling cases on the market right now because it’s full of features while minimizing price. It’s available in a $50 side panel edition as well as a closed $60 silent version.
The Corsair Carbide 100R features easy-to-install options. These include built-in SSD mounts, smart cable management, and tool-less drive mounts.
In addition to being user-friendly, the Corsair 100R also includes dual USB 3.0 front panel ports as well as support for full-sized GPUs. Included in the case are two fans with 5 overall mounting locations. Corsair has also included a fan controller (Silent Edition only) which is a surprising feature at this price point.
Aesthetically, it’s black on the exterior and interior, elegant, and fits in nicely in both a work and home environment. The silent version has padded side panels which eliminate noise and the windowed version allows those who prefer to display their case access to view their internal hardware.
Overall, we feel the Corsair 100R gives you the best overall value in a mid tower case in the $50 price range.
Phanteks P400s Silent Edition
The Phanteks P400s is another solid budget case that introduces additional aesthetics and features for around $30 more than the Corsair 100R.
For design, the P400s has metal panels painted elegantly in grey, white and black. In total 5 designs are available making it easy to match your preference for the color scheme. The top is plastic and includes optional panels to cover the fan mounting brackets in order to remove additional noise. A power supply cover is also provided.
Ambient lighting has been included on the bottom with one of ten colors.
For the front I/O, the P400s includes two USB 3.0, mic, audio jacks, the on and off switch, ambient lighting switch, and a 3-speed fan controller. Inside the front panel a triple 120mm, dual 140mm, or a 360mm radiator will work. Two 120mm fans come included with the case and of course, additional options can be implemented.
Sound dampening material is found on all sides but doesn’t leave this case quite as silent as many other quiet options on the market.
The Phanteks P400s is a good buy. We’ve been able to find it as low as $70 but it’s regularly priced at around $90. It’s a great all around liquid cooling option, is relatively quiet, and is a great enclosure for your PC hardware.
NZXT S340 Elite
The original NZXT S340 is still one of the most popular cases on the market and certainly an alternative to our previous two choices. However, we prefer the Phanteks P400s at a similar price point. That being said, there is a case for the newer NZXT S340 Elite which we felt deserved a mention here at a price of around $20 more than the standard S340.
The S340 Elite has a tempered glass panel that sets it apart from the original. This helps to eliminate those annoying scratches and marks you regularly get on plastic windows. This is one of the least expensive tempered glass options available with many other options, like the Corsair 570X, coming in at a price tag significantly higher.
Cable management here is simple with the re-usable plastic clamps that get rid of those zip ties we all use. NZXT does this better at this price point than anyone else.
The S340 Elite comes with a top 120mm fan as well as a rear 120mm fan. A CPU cooler of up to 161mm is supported, as well as up to 2 140mm fans on the front.
The S340 Elite is a great case. We recommend liquid cooling as the air intake is limited. It’s a great deal at $70 to $90 but you may find better if it’s the full retail price of $100.
Corsair Crystal 460X
If looks and aesthetics are important to you, we love the look of the Corsair Crystal Series 460X. With 4 sides of tempered glass, it certainly has eye-popping aesthetics. The features and design of the 460X come at a price as low as $120 and as high as $140.
The top I/O includes 2 USB 3.0, audio, 3 lighting buttons, and a power button. No brightness control is included for the lighting buttons.
The 460X comes with 3 front LED intake fans that can be color controlled on the top I/O to show one of 10 colors with various effects. Optionally you can also install 2 x 120mm top fans.
The 460X keeps components cooler than the S340 Elite, has a better look to it, better fan configuration, but also costs around $50 more. We also found it to be a more difficult install overall. You’ll have to decide whether that’s worth it or not. If looks are important, we’d have to say it is. More popular is Corsair’s Crystal 570X; however, we feel that the 460X gives you a better design and layout overall, for less money.
Full Tower Case Enclosures from $100 to $300
Want something a bit larger? Take a look at our full tower enclosure picks from $100 to $300.
Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower
While this case is now a couple of years old now, it’s still the one we like the best for around $100. The Enthoo Pro represents innovation while maximizing features for a budget price. It comes in a windowed or no window version and includes green and white colors as well as the standard black.
The front panel includes 4 USB ports including 2 USB 3.0, audio jacks, and the reset buttons.
Included with the Phanteks Enthoo Pro is a front 200mm fan as well as a rear exhaust fan. Dual 120mm and 140mm fan support are also available. The top includes a mesh for keeping the case cool. There’s enough space for a custom liquid cooling setup here and there are designated reservoir mounting holes. Overall, it has most anything you’d want for your cooling setup.
The Enthoo Pro has a windowed side panel (optional no window) as well as an angular panel to showcase the logo. The exterior is plastic that mimics brushed aluminum while maintaining a low cost. It’s black, elegant, and includes stealth covers. The Enthoo Pro sits quite a bit above the ground with sturdy case feet and has plenty of dust filters for keeping your internal components clean. There’s also a power supply bracket that comes with the windowed version only.
The initial routing is done for the Enthoo Pro and velcro can be used on the back of the case to keep the rest of your cables under control. It’s not the most extensive system we’ve seen out there, but is a good one at this price bracket.
Overall, the Phanteks Enthoo Pro gives you the best value you’ll find in a full tower enclosure at the around $100 price point. If you want room and features and don’t mind having some of the aesthetics of the more expensive cases, it’s definitely one to consider.
Corsair Obsidian 750D Full Tower
If you’re looking to maximize features rather than tempered glass, the Corsair 750D and 750D Airflow edition is a good place to start. The design includes a stylish black aluminum fascia. The aluminum fascia along with sharp angles of the case give it a sharp look that’s appropriate in a variety of environments.
On the inside, you get a plethora of toolless drives that are removable. This makes it even easier to use your custom design. The back of the case includes built-in SSD mounts which makes it easy to install.
The 750D comes with two 140mm intake fans and a 140mm exhaust fan. These are the airflow optimized fans which are very functional. Of course, there are many other options for mounting. No fan controller is included, which is a bit unfortunate. Radiator support is very strong with 240 and 280mm in the front and this is an inexpensive alternative to something like the 900D for most. A 280mm could also be installed on the top.
The front I/O includes reset, audio jacks, 2 USB 3.0, and 2 USB 2.0 ports.
The back panel of the 750D includes over an inch of cable management space. There are plenty of cable management hooks and other options included; however, you’ll likely need to use additional options to keep everything in place.
The 750D gives you a lot of features, strips down what’s not necessary, and comes out on top in value because of its focus on the consumer. It’s a good value full tower case at around $150.
Corsair Graphite Series 780T Full Tower PC Case
Corsair has another similar case at around $175 that’s worthy of noting here. The 780T, available in black and white, has a sleek design consisting of rounded corners and latched side panels. The 780T is a few years old now, but as such gives more value than new cases in its category.
The front panel includes 4 USB ports including 2 USB 3.0, 2 audio jacks, a reset button, and the power switch.
We won’t get too detailed with the 780T here as it’s very similar to the 750D with the exterior design modifications. Like the 750D it looks great and has stellar functionality at the price point.
Cooler Master Cosmos C700P Gaming Case
At the higher end of the market, we like the C700P that comes in at right around $300. Released in 2017, it has all of the newer features that high-end enthusiasts are looking for. Specifically, it targets the water cooling and modding community that have been waiting patiently for this upgrade.
The case is made of a mix of plastic and aluminum that give it a modern and sleek look. It also has aluminum feet and handles that make it easier to move. The handles are removable if you’d prefer to go without.
The tempered glass is curved which makes it look amazing on the front panel side. These panels are magnetic and open up from the side for easy access.
The front I/O has a plethora of features including 4 USB 3.0, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2, lighting customization, and fan settings.
The new cosmos has some serious ambient lighting on the top and bottom that’s customizable. These colors can be controlled by the motherboard or disconnected altogether if you’d prefer.
The front includes 2 140mm fans (a back 140mm fan is also included). Mounting a 280mm fan here wouldn’t be an issue or you could even add an additional 140mm fan. In terms of full support, the C700P supports up to a 420mm; however, the drive bays would need to be removed.
This huge case is pricey but delivers a lot of what enthusiasts are looking for. It’s stunning, easy to work with, has enough room for just about any configuration, and features an unforgettable curved tempered glass window in the front. In fact, it’s all most could hope for, for the price of $299.99.
6 Tips Before You Buy a Computer Case
Here are a few tips you should think about before buying your PC case. More information can also be found in my Desktop Case Guide.
1. The Case Should Come Last
When you’re building a gaming PC your computer’s case should be one of your last considerations. Knowing the size and number of graphics cards you want to use along with your motherboard, CPU cooler, drives, power supply, and all of the rest of your hardware will give you a good indication of what type of case you’ll need. If, for example, you want to build a Home Theater PC with an ITX motherboard, then most likely you’ll need to go with an ITX compatible case.
Choosing a case with plenty of fans and built-in mesh ventilation is always a good idea as keeping your components cool extends their longevity. Airflow typically begins in the front and gets ventilated out the back, but can get blocked if you put your case inside of your desk. As room temperature and placement is a factor, your best bet is to put your case in a naturally open and cool area.
If putting your case on a desk or cabinet is necessary, then consider purchasing components that use less energy, and therefore, emit less heat. Ventilation holes and fans can also be used to force cooler air in and hot air out.
While fans are good for ventilation they’re often heavy on the noise side. Placing your PC beneath your desk should help to restrict some of this; however, it’s still often a nuisance for those who are easily bothered by noise. Ultimately, choosing a case that’s quiet by design and has integrated silent fans may be the best bet for those who need silence. Another option is to simply purchase quiet fans to replace the noisy ones in your case.
4. Size and Compatibility
While motherboard sizes are standard ATX, case sizes and their compatibility with motherboards vary significantly by model and manufacturer. Case sizes are listed as mini, micro, Mid, and full-sized towers. Mini ITX cases, not to be confused with mini towers, generally hold compatibility for Mini ITX motherboards alone while Micro, Mid, and Full-sized towers may offer additional support that varies from case to case. Look at the manufacturer’s technical details if you have any questions about a case you’re considering.
You’ll also want to take a look at the length of your graphics card and size of your CPU cooler to make sure they aren’t too long or tall for your computer case. Most dimensions and sizes can be found in the manufacturer’s specifications. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, then try consumer reviews on sites like NewEgg to see if anyone has had a similar question.
5. Design and Materials
Most cases today are made of steel and ABS plastic. These relatively inexpensive materials are cheap, durable, and easy to work with. Aluminum is also a lightweight option for those willing to pay up; however, it’s not quite as sturdy. What’s more is that despite rumors that aluminum cases keep your internal components cooler this is simply not the case.
As far as design is concerned I typically like to get a case that has a side window panel and a PSU that’s bottom mounted in order to free up the top for exhaust fans.
6. Budget and Rebates
PC cases come up on rebates all of the time and can save you as much as 50% on the cheaper models. Below, I’ll give you my picks based on what rebates are available right now.
Overall there’s a lot of really good cases and many of which I didn’t feature on this page. What do you think of the picks? Did you find something good this month? Be sure to let me know in the open discussion area below.