No matter how powerful your graphics card is, a PC is not complete without a PC case. Nowadays, there are many choices to choose from depending on the build you’re going for. Some, for instance, like their PCs shining with bright colors, while others prefer an inconspicuous design. If you’re reading this article, though, then we assume you prioritize price as well.
However, the issue with budget cases is that they leave out a few aspects to get the price so low. But don’t worry because if you continue reading, you’ll see our top 10 picks with the least compromises—some even have advantages over their more expensive counterparts. There’s also a buying guide to fill you in about all the necessary factors to look for in a PC case.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Table of Contents
Here are some key points to consider:
Scale the size according to your motherboard.
Get a case with multiple fans and honeycomb panels for better airflow.
Go for a sturdy build to ensure longevity.
Get a case with multiple inputs in the front panel.
Look for feature-packed cases for better functionality.
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
In order to ensure that it can accommodate the size of parts you want to fit in, you should get a case proportional to them. A good point of reference is your motherboard's size. If your case fits this, it often means that it can also take in the other components.
A full tower case, for instance, can house the largest motherboards called Extended ATX. It can also accommodate smaller-sized hardware. On the other hand, a Mid Tower case can only support up to the standard 12 x 9-inch ATX motherboards. Its more compact size is a good blend between portability and function, though.
Going even smaller, we have the Mini Tower case that can only support up to Micro-ATX motherboards. Finally, the Mini-ITX case, while the most portable, suffers the most in terms of compatibility. It can only fit Mini-ITX motherboards that tend to be pricey and have unorthodox designs.
If you’re sporting the new RTX 3080 or equally powerful hardware, you need to get a case that allows adequate airflow. This is because these components get hot, and when they overheat, they significantly shorten their lifespan. In addition, PCs are often designed to shut down at 100℃ automatically, and you don’t want that happening in the middle of work or gaming.
A good case should have the ability to support fans in multiple locations. Ideally, you’d want one in the front, top, and back. Similarly, it’s also best to get a case with grilled honeycomb panels, as, unlike solid panels that tend to trap hot air inside, these allow air to move in and out of the case freely.
It’s also worth noting that size plays a bigger role in cooling. If you want to upgrade your fans to an AIO cooler that can shave off 10-20℃, it’s best to get Full or Mid Tower cases, as these parts can reach up to 36 centimeters.
Build quality is what manufacturers mostly skimp out on to bring the costs down. Ideally, though, you may want to choose between steel or aluminum, as these give the most benefits. For instance, their durability, soundproofing, and scratch resistance are often unmatched by any other material.
You can also find several budget cases made from hard plastics like polycarbonate or ABS. These are often sturdy enough as long as you exercise precaution. However, if you want to get the most out of a plastic build, get a case with heat-resistant materials like thermoplastics, as these can withstand the heat from your components much better.
Most PCs have various ports like USBs and audio ports in the back. However, if you have a lot of external devices, it can be difficult to reach the rear just to find the correct port. To resolve this issue, get a case that supports front panel connectivity.
Essentially, these are various port connections accessible from the top or side of the case. They do, however, require a little more work, as you have to connect the panel to the motherboard. But in exchange, they allow you to connect your external devices without any difficulty.
Some cases do more than house your PC's components. With features like a dedicated drive bay and cutouts, you often get more functionality or ease of use when doing your build. Here are some of the most sought-after features when buying a PC case.
Nowadays, the trend is to use smaller NVME Solid State Drives (SSD) as these can be fitted directly to the motherboard. However, that doesn’t mean hard drives and SATA SSDs have become obsolete!
If these devices are still part of your build, we suggest looking for a case with drive bays or mounting points. These are often an extra 2.5 to 3.5 inches in your case to put your storage devices in. Not only do these protect the parts from heat and sudden movement, but they will also make your PC look tidier in the end.
Power Supply Units, or PSUs, convert electricity to energy your computer can use. While they can be placed and used externally, these are large and boxy components that connect by many cables. With that said, having a power compartment to store these will keep your build neat and free of eyesores.
Just note that not all power supply units are the same. A rectangular shape is generally compatible with most Mini Tower cases and above. More irregular shapes, though, like cylinders, are designed for Mini-ITX form factors and will need additional research if you want to place them anywhere else.
PCs are a forest of cables and wiring. The clean builds you see are products of good cable management, and you can only do this if your motherboard tray has cutouts to route the wirings through.
Often, budget cases simply have large holes punched in. While these do the job, they can still leave a bundle of cords in the back, making the case more difficult to close. In line with this, you can try getting a case with rubber grommets or tie-off points to clean your build further.
If you want to showcase the guts of your build, you may want to opt for a case with a glass panel. Its transparency lets you see the machine come to life. This is especially true if you have RGB; the industrial look of the various components emphasized by the lighting makes up for a cyberpunk-esque aesthetic.
However, note that a glass panel also reveals dirt on your PC. Hence, if your location is particularly dusty, you may want to do some regular maintenance so as not to taint the look of your machine. Similarly, because your components get hot, you may hear some creaking now and then as the glass expands due to thermal expansion.
Click to purchase
The Budget Case With Everything You Need
Mesh Mid Tower Case｜DLM21
Get the Best Airflow With This Mesh-Focused Case
Best for Sleeper Builds
Anyag Gaming Case
Combined Solid and Honeycomb Panels for a Sleek Build With Good Airflow
Microtron Micro ATX｜T2X
Stylizes Your Gaming Aesthetics
Strike Mid Tower Case｜CG72
Showcase an RGB Build With This Case
Micro ATX Case｜Wind 01
Diffuses RGB to Reduce Eye Strain
A Tilted Case for Better Heat Management
Horizontal Mini ITX Case｜M03
A Horizontal Case To Build Something Different
Ice ITX PC Case｜Beatles II
Fit Big Components in This Small Case
If you want to secure your PC's upgradeability, get the Synrad One! Its full tower size can fit larger motherboards that support 40-series graphics cards. It also comes with space for simultaneous use of fans and a water cooling system, allowing you to pack strong components in it without worrying about overheating.
Furthermore, it sports four cutout locations for your cables, so you can organize them more efficiently and achieve a neat build. Plus, with support for up to three storage devices, it permits you to have ample space for your games, software, and work files, making this a versatile option for both work and play purposes.
The DLM21 proudly wears its honeycomb-oriented design on its sleeve. With openings on the front, side, and top panels, this case is one of the best options to get proper airflow. It supports up to five fans, but if you want to upgrade in the future, it can also fit a 240-millimeter water cooler for better cooling.
However, its extra openings may cause the case to collect more dust. Fortunately, its openable side panel allows you to clean the inside without having to disassemble the chassis fully. Its large cutouts are also beginner-friendly, as they can support a large bundle of cables without difficulty. This can surely leave you with a sleek, clean look after finishing the build.
If you like old-school designs, then the Sycat 2168 is for you! It combines what we love best about classic cases and the functionality of modern ones. The inconspicuous matte black design is something you'll want when building a sleeper PC.
Amazingly, it also supports the latest components while providing adequate cooling. It even has a side grill to release the heat from your graphics card! Its only shortcoming is its outdated front panel connectivity. While there are three USB ports, only one supports high-speed data transfer. Thus, using the other two may take a while for you to access, copy, or move files.
Some people find the honeycomb look of PCs unappealing. However, at the same time, they don't want to risk experiencing the usual heating problems associated with solid panels. If that sounds like you, then the Anyag Gaming Case is a perfect option to get the best of both worlds.
This PC case sports a solid panel at the front, but it has a carved-out portion in the center where a honeycomb grill is installed. This combination creates a uniform-looking build while still providing good airflow for your components.
With its small size, it certainly needs all the cooling it can get! Fortunately, its dust filters can help keep debris out of your fans for better performance. Additionally, its superior cable management capabilities will let you marvel at your build when looking at it from its tempered glass.
The Vulcan V2X incorporates gaming aesthetics in a sophisticated way. With semi-rounded edges and gold accents, it will definitely draw viewers' attention, especially with RGBs further highlighting its details. Just note that your lighting may not appear as bright or color-accurate due to the logo on its clear panel.
Another well-loved aspect of this case is its build quality. The black-coated steel creates a nice sheen comparable to higher-end cases. It also utilizes its large size well, adding space for your storage devices and your power supply as well! With its cable cutouts and front panel inputs, this product is also one of the most straightforward and functional cases to build in.
Unlike other cases in this price range, the Strike CG72 sports RGB strips in its front panel to highlight its design. It also works best with other components that light up, such as fans, RAM, and graphics card, to further showcase your PC's lighting.
It incorporates side grills at the front to make up for the solid panel. Fortunately, its larger size plays well with this, as it has enough space for proper airflow. However, users have expressed that its dedicated cutouts do not fit to scale, which means cable management can be somewhat tricky.
With an acrylic side panel, INPLAY's Wind 01 blurs the light from your RGBs at just the right amount to showcase their aesthetics without being overbearing. This helps reduce eye strain, especially when the case is near you. Furthermore, since it diffuses light, you can place this near your monitor without worrying about glare reflecting into your peripheral vision.
Also, its honeycomb front panel provides adequate airflow so long as you install relatively strong fans. Users, however, have found cable management to be difficult despite the dedicated holes in the back. Its lack of dedicated space for the power supply also means that larger components will have little room to release heat.
The aggressive looks of the Keytech Cyborg aren't just for show. Its forward-tilted design is angled to release hot air from its components quickly, utilizing the multiple openings on its rear and top panels. Furthermore, because of its width, it's perfect for housing larger graphics cards at the expense of your motherboard size.
However, this is not the easiest case to build in. The tilt can make it hard to mount the fans without someone holding them up. In addition, the borders on its panels take up movement space, making it difficult to route your cables. But if you're willing to commit to the case, it will leave you with a nice-looking build ready to take on pro-gamers.
Most PC cases are oriented vertically. Hence, they're also dubbed tower designs. But Joyee's M03 goes against this by supporting a horizontal orientation where you can lie the case down on your table without damaging your components or the chassis itself.
Apart from that, it also supports a VESA mounting system, which means you can attach it to the back of compatible monitors. However, its small size makes this exceptionally difficult to build in, especially when dealing with cables and larger pieces. With that said, it's best to search first whether your parts are compatible or hire a professional to build the PC for you.
The Beatles II tries to pack everything in its small form factor. Despite being a Mini-ITX case, it can support a graphics card, a power supply, and even a single drive bay. However, it can only do that by changing the orientation you usually build in, specifically the graphics card, as you have to mount it upside down to fit.
The downside of this case is its cooling issues. Users have seen temperatures go up to 94℃ in just under two minutes. Mostly, this is due to the power supply taking up what little space this case already has. If you want better heat management, it's best to use your power supply externally and only put it in during travels or cold weather.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
To regularly maintain it, wipe the surface of your PC with a dry cloth to remove the dust. You can also use wet fabric, but this can pose more risks. For the inside, you want to brush the components with a soft-bristled brush or an electrically-powered air compressor. Unfortunately, canned versions of the latter contain aerosol, which can short out electrical parts.
For deep cleaning, you'll have to remove each part and reinstall them after cleaning. Each manufacturer has recommended steps to clean their products. Thus, if unsure, it's best to consult the manual or otherwise hire a professional.
In most cases, the stock fans are usually enough to cool your rig. However, nothing's stopping you from getting better airflow, so long as they fit the case. In addition, higher-end fans also tend to be quieter and produce less whine during higher rotations per minute.
Aside from upgrading your fans, some quick fixes can keep your PC from heating up. One most-used method is to change where it is, ideally away from windows where heat from the sun can come in. You can also leave a 3-5 inches gap between the wall and the PC. This allows the hot air to dissipate rather than be bounced back to the case.
Most of the time, it's okay to upgrade to larger cases, provided that you're using standard-shaped components. Otherwise, you must first confirm whether the parts you have will fit the new case. If yes, the next factor to look out for is whether your components are properly cooled after transferring, preferably below 80℃.
So you got your shiny, new case and you're looking to fill it in. Well, search no more! Below are articles listing down components you need to finish your build. Check them out and checkout now to get all the parts you need in one go.
Author: Dane Lozano
Editor: R. Victoriano
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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