Best overall

Phanteks P400S

The P400S by Phanteks is a stunning case, priced at less than $100 — depending on what color variation you opt for. The case itself is a mid-tower, sporting ample room for even the largest of GPUs and has a bunch of handy features that make for a gorgeous yet functional PC build.

Bottom line: Everything you need for the foundations of a new PC.

One more thing: Has full RGB lighting support for ASUS, GIGABYTE, and MSI motherboards.

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Why the Phanteks P400S is a stunning PC case

The P400S can be purchased in a number of color variations, as well as with or without a tempered glass window panel. What makes this an exciting case to consider is the price. At below $100, it's possible to pick up a sleek chassis with a tempered glass panel, something that can be hard to come by. There's ample space within the case, which can accommodate even the beefiest of graphics cards, and there are numerous cable management points to keep everything looking tidy.

The front of the Phanteks P400S sports two vents with separate dust filters to prevent unwanted particles from getting inside. There's also the usual power and reset buttons, as well as fan and RGB controls. The latter which supports ASUS, GIGABYTE, and MSI motherboards allowing for fully synchronized lighting effects. It's all clean too without a drive bay.

In total, there are four bays for storage drives to be attached to. Two also support 3.5-inch drives. Having no drive tray in the main area helps keep everything looking neat and tidy, and the added benefit of a PSU shroud takes it one step further.

  • Seven PCI slots.
  • Front audio and USB 3.0 ports.
  • Air filters for the front, top, and bottom intakes.

For cooling, there are a total of five fan mounts, which can provide more than enough airflow for keeping a PC cooled even when under heavy load. Overall, it's a well-made case that looks more expensive than it actually is. Sure, it's not the most advanced case around and there aren't really any mind-blowing features included, but it gets the job done and looks excellent.

Best for customization

CaseLabs Magnum SMA8

The Magnum SMA8 by CaseLabs is bulky, heavy and built like a tank. It's the father of cases when it comes to the full-size form factor and for good reason. There is so much room inside this chassis that you'll likely struggle to fill it up if you're not planning a custom water-cooled setup with multiple GPUs. It's easy to install and upgrade components with access to pretty much everything. There are also some handy features that make it a modder's best friend.

Starting at $599, it's not cheap. In fact, it's worth around the same as a mid-tier PC build, but it's so worth it if you have the available budget and need extra room.

Bottom line: Need to do a little case modding on the side? This is the case for you.

One more thing: Handy modding features include panel removal for painting to give your PC a personalized touch.

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Best for Style

NZXT Noctis 450

The Noctis 450 by NZXT is very cool looking. From the mesh grill on the front to the numerous access points located inside the chassis for effective cable management, this case is ready to not only look good on your desk but also ensure that those looking into the panel on the side will be able to see a neat, clean-looking PC configuration.

Bottom line: Looking for style? Check. Looking for practicality? Check. The 450 from NZXT has all that and more for $129.99.

One more thing: The NZXT Phantom 410 is also worth a mention, should this particular model not be the perfect match.

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Best for space

Cooler Master MasterCase

The Cooler Master MasterCase is an exciting investment for people who enjoy switching up their configurations, allowing the owner to swap out specific parts of the chassis for supported optional extras. Want to swap the top exhaust points for external bays? Go right ahead. Need to take out the front and add in noise insulation, drive bays and more? That's certainly possible.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a modular case to accommodate different setups and configurations, look no further than the Master Case. It's a worthy alternative to products from Fractal Design.

One more thing: Take a look at the various accessories that can be purchased to add new functionality to the chassis. The Pro unit will set you back around $105.

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Best Mini PC

Thermaltake CORE V21

Little cases like Thermaltake's Core V22 are perfect for media PCs and storage boxes. It can fit an M-ATX or Mini ATX motherboard and accompanying components, but there's ample room in such a small chassis just in case you want to throw in a GTX 1080. Another bonus of the Core V21 is the price.

Bottom line: Thermaltake's Core V21 is ideal for LAN storage PCs or media hubs deployed for the big screen. It's not the smallest in its segment but is worth consideration at just $60.

One more thing: It may be worth investing some more funds in a modular power supply to help with mitigating the number of cables laying around inside the case.

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Conclusion

Choosing a case to purchase depends on your requirements and personal needs. That said, if you're new to PC building and simply need the best case for the buck to get started, you really cannot go wrong with Fractal Design and the company's Define S range of options.

Best overall

Phanteks P400S

The P400S by Phanteks is a stunning case, priced at less than $100 — depending on what color variation you opt for. The case itself is a mid-tower, sporting ample room for even the largest of GPUs and has a bunch of handy features that make for a gorgeous yet functional PC build.

Bottom line: Everything you need for the foundations of a new PC.

One more thing: Has full RGB lighting support for ASUS, GIGABYTE, and MSI motherboards.

See at Amazon

Updated January 17, 2018: We refreshed our guide to make sure we're only recommending the best PC cases for your next build.