You may have a monster graphics card, a sweet water-cooling setup, and multi-colored braided cables, but your rig's potential is wasted if they're crammed into a case that doesn’t complement the hardware. It’s that time of year again when we update the list of the best PC cases. We’re at the point now where many manufacturers are bringing out revamped versions of older classic, some of which make it onto this list. If there’s one thing we know for certain, 2017 is a good year for lovers of tempered glass.

There are several factors that dictate the quality of a PC case, and usually only those products that tick all the right boxes while offering a little something extra make it onto this list.

Best for Enthusiasts

be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900

Great | Differentiating Features
Incredibly customizable, Qi charger, fantastic water cooling support, three motherboard height settings, huge number of storage options, five color LED switch and fan controller at front

Good | Most Have It
Loads of space inside, very quiet, beautiful looks

Average | Competitors May Be Better
No PSU shroud, expensive, no air intake on the bottom

When it comes to picking a case with a breathtaking number of features, customization options, and storage setups, as well as loads of internal space and gorgeous looks, we still feel that the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 (read our full review) sits at the top of the pile. Now that it's available for around the $220 mark, it’s a case that you can show off with pride without breaking the bank.

First thing you’ll notice about this case is that it looks stunning. Whether you choose the orange, black, or silver trim, the Dark Base Pro 900 screams quality. At 14.39 kg and 23 inches tall, it’s around 4 inches shorter and 4kg lighter than Corsair's Obsidian 900D, but still a satisfyingly large, sturdy case. And that gorgeous, tinted tempered glass window is the icing on the visual cake.

Probably the best aspect of this case is its completely customizable, modular design. Not only can you reposition the fully removable motherboard tray (which supports E-ATX and XL-ATX mobos) at three different vertical heights, but it’s also possible to fit it upside down for an inverted layout. That flexibility extends to the drive bays - you can have as many or as few as you wish inside the Dark Base Pro 900. Each of the seven cages can hold either a single 3.5" drive or a pair of 2.5" drives, and there’s a 2.5" mount on the motherboard panel, meaning you could stick a total of fifteen 2.5" drives in this case. Additionally, it comes with two 5.25" bays, should you need them.

With its customizable approach, the case is fantastic for water cooling systems, with space for radiators up to 420mm at the top and front, along with a 280mm radiator in the base and a 140mm radiator in the rear. Fan-wise, it comes with three 140mm PWM SilentWing 3s, but there are plenty of options for adding more; you can fit three 140mm fans, four 120mm fans, a single 180mm fan, or one 200mm fan in the top panel. If you remove the 5.25" drive bay an additional front 140mm fan can be installed, and, depending on your power supply length, 120mm or 140mm fans can also be placed in the base.

The 20mm of clearance behind the motherboard tray, along with the numerous grommets and velcro straps, mean that cable management won’t be an issue in the Pro 900. And the sheer size of the case also helps in this department.

While it may seem like a bit of a gimmick, the additional Qi charger that sits on the roof of the Dark Base Pro 900 is a quick and easy way of charging one of the 1000+ compatible devices. It's a feature that simply adds a little something extra to the case. Combine all this with the five color LED switch and fan controller at the front, excellent airflow, and, of course, the fact it’s extremely quiet, makes it our pick for top enthusiast case. The only minor points being the price ($220), a lack of a PSU shroud, and no air intake on the bottom.

Ultimately, the number of customization options offered by the Dark Base 900 Pro mean you can swap its interior layout around so often, you may never want to buy another case again.

More to Choose From

There are a few notable runners up in the enthusiast category:

  • Corsair Obsidian 900D: 2016's enthusiast choice remains an absolute beauty of a case, and one of the best around for water cooling setups. It’s so big you could live in it, supports two PSUs, and has five radiator mounting points. But this sturdy, spartan chassis doesn’t come cheap – it’s around $340 on Amazon.

  • Cooler Master Cosmos II: The flashy Ferrari to the Obsidian’s luxury SUV. The two cases share a lot of similarities, though the Cosmos now tends to be cheaper, and picking between the two is often a matter of taste. Its aluminum frame, solid steel panels, and fully painted interior exudes quality. The company recently released a 25th anniversary edition of the case that adds a host of new features, including windowed side panels.
  • Phanteks Enthoo Primo: Another great case that fits a ton of hardware and makes for excellent water cooling setups. The Enthoo Primo may not be as gargantuan as other cases, but its quality is just as high. The Primo runs for about $275.

Money-is-no-object:

  • Our case pick for the Extreme machine, the Phanteks Enthoo Elite at $900 certainly has an extreme price tag, that said take one look at the case and you quickly realize why. I mean, empty it weighs 32 kilograms. It's a premium case, however it must be said that numerous negative reviews on Newegg specifically deal with damage on shipping, raising a warning flag for investing in such an expensive case.

Something to look forward to:

  • Expected for release some time next year, Thermaltake's Level 20 is a concept chassis that the company has been working on for a very long time. The case looks like it'd lend itself well to a modular type design, for example at the front of the case you can install radiators, fans, pumps and reservoirs like Thermaltake had in their Computex demo build, or you could simply fill it with storage drives. The glass panels all open on hinges providing easy access to the hardware inside. Coming from the Level 10's unique but also highly impractical design, the Level 20 not only looks better but I feel like this is a case you could easily live with.

Best Enthusiast Case Under $200

Phanteks Enthoo Luxe Tempered Glass Edition

Great | Differentiating Features
Gorgeous tempered glass adds to what was already an amazing case, can fit massive range of water and air cooling configurations, comes with reservoir mounting bracket and pump bracket, supports multiple motherboard form factors

Good | Most Have It
Plenty of room for 5.25"/3.5"/2.5" drives, great cable management, PWM fan hub, excellent construction

Average | Competitors May Be Better
Could offer some extra new features compared to the non-TG version

Our pick for the top case under $200 remains the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe, but we recommend paying a little extra for the newer Tempered Glass edition. Not only do you now get that gorgeous, hinged side panel, but there are also a total of four 140mm fans, 2.5-inch mounts in the main compartment for showing off your SSDs, and a whole new color option: grey.

While high-end cases represent a pinnacle for PC builders, not everyone is willing or able to pay well over $200 for their hardware's housing. If you fall into this category, then check out this updated case from Phanteks, which offers premium features and build quality at a very reasonable price.

While the Luxe TG is quite similar to the Enthoo Pro and original Luxe, this costlier model comes with a few more features, including those extra fans, sandblasted aluminum panels, an integrated LED lighting setup, and that beautiful tempered glass.

It’s obvious that the case is designed with water cooling in mind; the Luxe can accommodate radiators up to 420mm and even comes with a reservoir mounting bracket and a pump bracket. The numerous grommets and velcro straps, coupled with ample space provided behind the rear panel, mean the Luxe is an excellent choice for constructing a sharp, clean build. The inside looks even tidier thanks to the PSU shroud and metal panel that hides the storage cages.

While it may not support the same monstrous number of drives as some $200+ cases, the Luxe’s three 5.25" bays, six dedicated 3.5" bays, and two dedicated 2.5" bays should be more than enough for most people.

The only real downside to this case is that it gets dangerously close in price to our top pick, the Dark Base Pro 900. Both are great cases, and it may come down to personal preference/looks.

Cooler Master Incoming!

One of the most impressive cases we found at this year's Computex set for release later this year: the Cooler Master MasterCase H500P is the latest installment in the HAF (High-Airflow) series. The design manages to be aggressive but also clean and elegant at the same time. The tempered glass side panels and RGB LED lighting help give it some flare as well. Crammed at the front of the case are two 200mm fans which are again RGB lit. A clean build can be easily achieved with the help of a two-part PSU cover and several additional covers at the front and backside of the MB tray. The H500P should be available later this year, around September, and should retail for just $140.

Best Mini-ITX Case

NZXT Manta ITX

Great | Differentiating Features
Fantastic looks, a Mini-ITX case that can support two 280mm radiators

Good | Most Have It
Massive side window, PSU shroud, great cable management, fan hub for eight fans

Average | Competitors May Be Better
Large for a Mini-ITX case. SSDs appear upside down when mounted, no 5.25" bays, no grommets

You’ll find console-style Mini-ITX cases are becoming more popular these days, but we still prefer the stylized look and roominess of the NZXT Manta. Last year’s runner up, the smaller Fractal Design Define Nano S ($70) now shares the joint-honor of being our best Mini-ITX case, partly thanks to the varying prices of both cases.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Manta is its looks; it should come as little surprise to learn that the designer took inspiration from the Ferrari 458. Those curved steel panels (which are easily removed), large window and controllable LED system make it the kind of case your console gaming-only friend will stare at in envy.

But it’s not just a sleekly designed case, it’s also a highly functional one. The Manta is pretty big for a Mini-ITX, it’s almost Micro-ATX sizes, but this means you’ll have no problem fitting a large graphics card (up to 363mm in length) inside it. The roomy interior also supports one 120mm and two 280mm radiators. And though it will be a bit of a tight squeeze, this gives it great potential for custom loop cooling.

The case is no slouch when it comes to air cooling, either. It ships with two 120mm fans in the front - both mounts also support 140mm sizes - and another 120mm fan in the rear. You can also stick a couple of 120mm/140mm fans in the roof, should you wish. And to top it all off, there's a fan hub for eight fans.

There are no 5.25" drive bays in the Manta, but these are becoming more of a rarity, especially on smaller form factors. Two 2.5" drives can be mounted on a plate to the right of the motherboard, with a 3.5" drive sitting behind them and another 2.5"/3.5" drive found on the floor. One problem here is that the SSDs will appear upside down when mounted, which isn’t a great look when peering through the glass.

That curved back panel allows an exceptional amount of room for cable management, and there are also plenty of holes and covers, but there’s a surprising lack of grommets. Nevertheless, the Manta allows a very clean build. Capping the whole thing off are dust filters on all the major intakes, a sturdy PSU shroud, and great airflow.

Other than the small negative points already mentioned, such as its large size, the Manta is a premium case that comes at a premium price – around $130. But if you want features such as gorgeous looks, excellent water cooling support and brilliant cable management, it’s worth the money.

Going Smaller

The other Mini-ITX case that shares the number one position is the Fractal Design Define Nano S. It's hard to pick between these two great and somewhat similar cases: both are large for Mini-ITX, have plenty of water and air cooling options, space for four drives, good airflow, and excellent construction.

The Manta has slightly better cable management, a sturdier and more stylish build, the ability to accommodate a slightly larger GPU, and that PSU shroud. Moreover, the fact that the Nano S places the GPU and PSU so close together can put people off Fractal Design's case. But a couple of areas where the Nano S has the Manta beat are its sound levels (it’s lined with noise deadening material) and price - you can find it for around $70 on Amazon.

Now let's say you can live with more restricted space for a powerful graphics card. There are plenty of cube-style chassis to choose from and most are inexpensive. The Cooler Master Elite 110 is an old favorite, going for just $40, it's a compact case with clean mesh styling, supports multiple fans and even liquid cooling. It can fit up to 210mm graphics cards and supports standard ATX PSUs up to 180mm.

The Thermaltake Core V1 is the Elite 110's main competitor, remains a cube-style case but it's slightly larger which rewards you with support for a full sized graphics card.

Best HTPC Case

Silverstone Milo ML04

Great | Differentiating Features
Great design, excellent price, easy to work on.

Good | Most Have It
Sleek A/V looks, can hold five 2.5" drives.

Average | Competitors May Be Better
Low profile expansion cards only, cable management can be an issue.

There are two main attributes we look for in a good HTPC: It resembles an expensive piece of A/V kit that belongs in the living room, and it has enough storage space to hold all your media content. Which is why we still regard the Silerstone Milo ML04 as the best choice in this category.

Available for around $75, the case’s low-profile design and brushed aluminum cover make it look like a much pricier piece of kit. The power button sticks out of the lockable front door, giving you that extra bit of physical security, behind which lies the two USB 3.0 ports, audio input, and microphone jack.

Even thought the ML04 measures just 350mm deep and 105mm high, it can hold both Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX boards, allowing a lot more options when it comes to builds. There’s also plenty of storage space for such a small case: a 5.25" bay that can also hold one 3.5" drive or two 2.5" drives, two more bays that can hold 3.5" or 2.5" drives, and a fourth bay that holds just one 2.5" drive. This means the Milo ML04 can support a total of five 2.5" drives or three 3.5" drives.

The four 80mm fan slots, along with the oversized slots above the CPU and on the side of the case, help keep things cool. And while building inside the ML04 is a lot easier than with most HTPCs of this size, cable management can be an issue, especially if you pack it with drives. The size also limits the expansion cards to the low-profile variety, but that’s unlikely to be an issue – it’s not like you’re going to be playing Crysis 3 on it. You could always use a riser and install a full size single-slot card above the motherboard, but that would limit the height of the CPU cooler.

If you’d prefer a bigger case but still want HTPC looks, an alternative is the Grandia GD08. It still looks like it belongs in a living room but fits motherboards up to E-ATX in size, can accommodate GPUs as long as 13.6 inches, features twelve drive bays, and has room for four 120mm fans.

Best Micro-ATX Case

Phanteks EVOLV mATX TG

Great | Differentiating Features
Loads of space for watercooling setups, dual swivel mount tempered glass side panels

Good | Most Have It
Stunning good looks and build quality, RGB LED illumination

Average | Competitors May Be Better
No more fan hub, could use more drive bays

There’s a reason why Phanteks makes another appearance on this list: the company's one of the best around when it comes to making gorgeous, functional cases. In this instance, it’s the stunning Phanteks Evolv mATX TG.

The case is an evolution of the original Enthoo Evolv micro-ATX, introducing some new features to the three-year-old design while adding a couple of tempered glass swivel windows. The sandblasted 3mm-thick aluminum exterior exudes class and compliments those glass panels perfectly. And while it’s quite big for this form factor, it does mean the Evolv can fit an array of large GPUs and custom water cooling setups. The extra space also makes building inside the case a lot easier.

The front I/O ports have moved from their annoying position on the right side of the original Enthoo Evolv to the front of the case, hidden behind a stylish fold-up panel. In addition to the two USB 3.0, microphone, and headphone inputs, there's a brand new button for controlling the snazzy RGB lighting. There are four expansion slots at the back of the case. Storage wise, you get two 3.5-inch drive bays, which also accept SSDs, and two dedicated 2.5-inch bays. What’s especially nice is the way the right side window exposes the SSD caddy to show off your solid states.

The hinged side and removable front/roof panels make working in the Evolv a breeze. It supports 240mm and 280mm radiators in the roof and front, with the latter able to hold a 360mm rad if you’re willing to remove the HDD cage. There’s space for 120mm or 140mm radiators in the rear, and being designed for water cooling setups, you also get a pump bracket with the case.

The Evolv mATX TG features a selection of grommets and straps for some tidy cable management. It comes with two 140mm fans and can fit a total of six (120mm and 140mm). The good ventilation and intake fan position mean it’s one of the best cases in this form factor when it comes to cooling performance.

The biggest complaint is that the fan hub from the previous version has been omitted, and at $140, it’s far from cheap. But the benefits far out outweigh these drawbacks.

Still Great

Last year’s winner in this category, the Bitfenix Phenom mATX, is still an excellent option. It features space for ten hard drives and five motherboard expansion slots, though its design, while stylish, pales in comparison to the dual tempered glass panels of the Evolv. At $96, however, it’s cheaper than Phanteks’ case.

Other options include the Fractal Design’s Node 804 ($110), which also supports ten storage devices, and the excellent Carbide Air 240 ($90) from Corsair.

Best Case Under $100

NZXT S340 Elite

Great | Differentiating Features
Gorgeous TG panel and minimalist looks, amazing cable management, great for VR headset owners

Good | Most Have It
Exceptional build quality for price

Average | Competitors May Be Better
No front-facing USB type-C, some competitors have more drive bays

The Elite version of the much-loved NZXT 340 introduces a few new features to the case, including that beautiful tempered glass side window. It may be a bit pricier, but you can still get it for $100 or under.

The NZXT S340 Elite's steel construction and minimalist looks give it the appearance of a much more expensive product. That full-sized TG window displays your rig’s hardware perfectly, and the integrated PSU shroud keeps everything looking nice and clean. The Elite excels when it comes to cable management. It uses bars instead of grommets, and there are clamps along the rear to hold everything in place. Moreover, this compact mid-tower is one the easiest cases to work in and is recommended for both new builders and experienced PC enthusiasts.

You get two 120mm fans with space for two more 120mm or 140mm fans at the front. There’s also support for two 120mm/140mm radiators - or a single 240/280 variety - at the front and a 120mm rad at the rear. Drive space consists of two 3.5-inch bays and three spots for 2.5-inch SSDs, the latter of which are positioned so they can be shown off through the glass.

While VR still hasn’t quite taken off the way it was expected, the NZXT S340 Elite caters to Vive/Oculus owners through the addition of two USB 3.0 ports (along with two 2.0s) and a HDMI passthrough on the top panel. There’s also a magnetic “puck” that attaches to the case for hanging a headset, which doubles as a great headphone holder for non-VR owners.

More Choices At/Under $100

For those who value size and features over looks and tempered glass, the Phanteks Enthoo Pro is a great alternative for about $90 as is the Corsair Carbide 400, also for $100. Experienced builders will no doubt love its huge number of drive bays, as well as its multiple air and water cooling options.

Our previous choice here, the Fractal Design Define R5 has unfortunately become too rich, now selling for about $130. Last year we said "case builders will say you can’t get high quality cases for $100, but that simply isn’t true. No other chassis disproves this claim more than the Fractal Design Define R5. The size, weight, and visible construction quality of this case suggest its $100 price tag may be a mistake." Case in point, the Define R5 is now more expensive, but remains a great choice if you want a subtle yet well built quiet case.

Image credit: Dark Base Pro 900 RGB photo by ComputerBase, NZXT Manta photo by Evatech, Define Nano vs Manta photo by Hardware Canucks, NZXT S340 Elite photo by Gamers Nexus