How To Choose A Good Computer Case! (7 Tips For Case Shopping)

how to choose a good computer case

Your Case Means Everything!

If you’re wondering how to choose a good computer case then you are at the right place. Today we will be going over our 7 best tips to ensure you get the best case for you the first time around.

When choosing a computer case it’s important to know the features of what your case has to offer. Ensuring proper wire management, cooling, space/size, and ensuring all of your hardware will fit inside your case before you purchase. This will narrow down your results and help you determine the best case for your needs!

Our 7 best tips for choosing a good computer case are the following:

  1. Cooling
  2. Space/Size
  3. Durability
  4. Management
  5. Motherboard Size
  6. Component Size
  7. Extras

Cooling!

Cooling is everything when it comes to building your pc. Heat builds up inside of your gaming computers and if it is unable to shed that extra heat, you are on your way to a nightmare of concerns. Blue screens, fried components, and overall hardware failure is never a fun task to deal with in the pc realm especially when it is heat related.

Having proper cooling inside of your case is a must but fan direction and proper ventilation inside of your computer case is the absolute first thing that you should take into consideration before you even decide to purchase. Researching into your case is the absolute first step in building your computer and it’s for a good reason.

Some cases have such small ports/vents that when you are running big and powerful hardware, the case has no where to go with and the result is catastrophic motherboard heat/component heat which will surely lead to problems down the road. Understanding how to choose a good computer case comes from understanding how your computer case sheds the extra heat to keep it cool inside there first.

Your hardware will always be running with the computer on and if it cannot dispose of that heat correctly, your hardware’s capacitors can leak coolant and cause all sorts of problems.

Additionally regarding cooling, making sure that your computer can support proper cooling hardware is also a must watch. Most of the time a simple fan over top of your processor will fit without problems, however with all in one water cooled systems on the rise, you should pay very close attention to if your computer case can support the mount for a radiator/water cooled setup.

Many people over look this and eventually come back to having to purchase a new computer case because they want to switch to water cooling but their current case setup does not support it.

Size/Space!

The size of your towers case is a huge factor as well. Some people like small and simple styled cases that can be easy to port, or even just save up room in their desk/gaming area. However having the proper sized case to support a motherboard (which we will get into later) is also a giant overlooked factor.

When shopping for your case pay attention to how compact it is, how easy to hide/do wire management is, and most importantly make sure all of your components can fit inside of it easily. We can’t tell you how many times we have personally seen friends, families, or even people wanting us to build for them bring us their parts and have no where near enough space to fit everything in there.

Graphics cards and fans can be quite large these days and ensuring you cant mount all of your hardware inside of it is definitely a must. It’s very frustrating when you spend over $1000 on a computer just to end up having to ship a case back because it will not fit all of your hardware. Make sure it fits and cools well!how to choose a good computer case

Durability!

Cheap cases lead to early failure. We have seen many low end cases that are around $20-$40 that end up being just slim pieces of metal that bend and break very easily. Now while we don’t recommend taking your computer out and slamming on the floor if it’s on top of something, know that it can fall and not break is a great ease of mind to have.

Accidents do happen especially if you have pets, so just be aware before you open up your wallet and spend the money on something cheap. Additionally a lot of the cases now will come with a power supply unit shroud and have glass on the outside to show off your internals. The cheaper the case, the cheaper the materials are going to be during manufacturing.

The case is the home for your components, protect your investment and do it right the first time!

Management!

We all hate wires hanging out in the open and when you are choosing a case, we recommend picking one that is easy to mount all of your hardware in and making it look good. Practicing proper wire management will prevent shorts, frayed wires, and prevent any of your hardware from being damaged.

On top of that more of the higher end cases make mounting your hardware so much easier. Many of the newer and better styled cases will have slots for you to mount your cd drive, hard drives, ssd’s, etc… making it so much easier when you go to assemble your case. Over looking this specific feature will bring you right back to your base question of how to choose a good computer case.

Make sure it can support everything you are about to put in it before you purchase it to avoid the nightmare of wire management and have to fabricate some crazy pieces just to mount your hardware. Trust us, it’s a lifesaver having all of these features when it comes to assembly time.

Motherboard Size!

This is probably if not the biggest deal in the entire selection of your computer case. We recommend running a ATX case because that usually supports all shapes and sizes. However lets so you go with a micro atx case and try to put a atx motherboard inside, you will instantly notice it will not fit.

A basic rule of thumb is, after you have picked out your motherboard, take note of what size it is. It will say something like micro atx, itx, full, or atx. You should always match your case size first and make sure it will fit the board you are dropping into it.

This is why we recommend just purchasing an atx sized case because you never know, in the future you may decide on a different motherboard that might be larger. Having a micro atx sized case may not fit it and now you just had to double up on your wallet instead of just buying 1 piece.

Ensuring the proper case size is insanely important and this is why it’s probably one of the most important pieces of hardware you will spend on your computer. Many people overlook cases as it’s just the “storage” for all of your components, but it does so much more than that.

Component Size!

how to choose a good computer caseSo as slightly stated above, the style of case you choose should always be based on the components that is going into your computer. When you are choosing a good computer case, most of the manufacturers do have it posted on what the longest length it will allow for your gpu (graphics processing unit/graphics card). If you purchase a case that supports a 240mm graphics card length and your gpu is 242mm, you could force it/do some trimming but you take the risk of breaking hardware or damaging the case.

Additionally as stated above, water cooling is on the rise with the AIO water cooled system. Ensuring that your case does have the option to mount the radiator and fans and to be able to run the tubing correctly is an absolute must. Some people start with something basic and simple like fan cooling, but eventually switch up to water cooling.

Without looking into this they usually eagerly pick up their water coolers and go to install it then bump into a problem, it doesn’t fit. There’s no where to mount it and then they are stuck having to shovel out more money for another case.

Not to mention now that were on the subject of cooling, fan size also is different from each case. Determining what size fans you want to run is another important and often overlooked thought that you should have when choosing a good computer case. Some cases support a 80mm fan in the back then the rest 120mm. Some cases support nothing but 140mm fans, etc….

A nice rule of thumb to go by is simple, make sure your components fit, and make sure that it supports up to 140mm fans all the way around. 140mm is a common fan size and being able to install anything 140mm and below is a nice feature to have. You have huge flexibility and flexibility is a nice tool to have when it comes time to assemble!

Extras!

Last but not least it’s time for the fun part! Extras! Many cases now these days have a slew of different options available to make your rig just look nice! While this isn’t a important factor, many people do want fun and exotic looks on the computer cases just to spice it up and make it look like a mean gaming machine!

RGB lighting is absolutely one of the most awesome extras your computer case can come with. Spicing it up with random colors, patterns, movements, etc…. can make your tower stick out like a sore thumb and even give it that wow factor. Set yourself apart from the rest of the world with a RGB setup! Additionally if your tower doesn’t come with RGB, you can however always add RGB strips/fans like these corsair fans.

Additionally as mentioned above there’s the glass panel sidings instead of pure metal or mesh. This will allow you to see inside of your towers and show off your parts, lighting, etc. A pretty simple feature that is absolutely awesome at the same time!

Our last final extra that is more of a better performance tweak is the high speed front 3.0 usb ports. Not every case comes armed with them, but if your motherboard supports it then you surely should look into getting a case that has that function installed. It simply snaps onto the motherboard port and there you go, faster usb ports!

Final Thoughts!

So as a quick recap and a quick small little “guide list” and most importantly on how to choose a good computer case, we recommend purchasing in this order:

  1. Choose a board/processor
  2. Choose your graphics card
  3. Choose your cooling system/fan setup
  4. Check fitments
  5. Add extras

By following this list you should easily be able to pick our the perfect case the works well for you, keeps cool, and even better, looks awesome! Also don’t forget to try your parts out in pcpartpicker.com for fitment/compatibility concerns.

Need some help determining a motherboard/processor? Check out how to pick a motherboard/cpu for your rig and get gaming!