View Full Version : The 10 Best Computer Cases Ever

04-14-2010, 01:52 AM
I love to mod computer cases, and over the past few years computer cases have gotten really cool. This change in the industry is easily a response to the modding community and I'm fine with that. Having a really nice case when you start a mod means you can do more aesthetically and worry less about fixing all the crap that didn't work right when you got it. Sometimes though, a company makes a case so nice that you don't want to touch it. Here are my top 10 cases, no mods needed.

Asus Ares CG6150

It looks good alright. This case surfaced at CeBIT in 2008 and sadly that's the last anyone ever saw of it. The surface of the case looks like carbon fiber, although it's probably plastic with a fancy paint job. One big drawback with this case that we'll see with many in the top 10 is that you have to buy an entire system just to get the case. Let's hope this one makes it to market.


Silverstone Raven RV01

This case is a good example of where the industry is heading. It has five 5.25 bays in front and room for six hard drives inside. The hard drives are mounted 90 degrees to how most traditional cases have them in both the x and y axis. This makes swapping drives easy without having to dismantle everything. The power supply is also mounted on the bottom of the case, a move that should have been made a long time ago. If you put the computer on a desk the cord doesn't have to travel as far, and power supplies weigh a lot, which makes a lot of cases top heavy. As far as looks go, this case is a little understated compared to a lot of the cases seen in the enthusiast realm, but the design decisions make sense, the age of side windows and cold cathodes is on its way out. It's not flashy, but it makes a statement. The best part about this case is that you can find them online right now for about $180.


Alienware Aurora ALX

Alienware has been hit or miss for me in the past. Most enthusiasts hate Alienware, because most people who own Alienware machines don't know much about computers. If they did, then they would not pay so much for the overpriced hardware that comes with the very nice cases. That said, Alienware's new cases are looking really nice, and they are starting to realize that they need to offer more than a nice case to sell to the enthusiast crowd. The new Aurora ALX and the Area 51 cases feature active venting, which means the vents on the top of the cases open when the machine starts to heat up during long gameplay sessions. It may be a gimmick, but it is a cool one. The best of the new cases is the Aurora ALX. I like the slung back look reminiscent of old hot rods a time frame which coincides with the Roswell incident. It's a connection I like and look I love. The bad thing is that to get a case with active venting you are going to have a starting point of $2,200. Again, they make some really smart design decisions by placing the power supply at the bottom of the case and mounting the hard drives pointed out the side, but I don't think the price is worth it. For $3-400 though, I would consider buying the case on its own.


HP Blackbird & HP Firebird

I love these cases. I really want one of each. Sadly, HP isn't making either of them anymore, so if you want one you are going to have to fight for it on ebay or get one refurbished online and still pay too much for it. Hopefully in a few years the prices will drop and I'll be able to get the cases before they disappear. These cases just look great. I love the mono-pod foot that sets the cases at an angle and gets them off the ground so air can be drawn in from the bottom of the case. These cases just look good. They also feature factory water cooling and a compartmentalized cooling solution, which means the air going over the hard drives is different than the air going over the power supply which is different than the air going over the video cards and CPU. It's a good solution working its way into a lot of new cases and is a nice way to hide wires even if a case has a side panel window.



Auzentech GMC R-4 Bulldozer

If you need a case that looks like it will kick a guy in the nuts, but has to fit in your closet sized dorm room, then this is the case. It's compact. Everything about this design is meant to cut back on size. The biggest feature in this regard is the vertically mounted disk drive, which cuts a good five inches off the case length and manages to keep a little heat on the outside of the case as well. It comes in five colors; black, white, orange, red, and green. The best part though, you can buy it right (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811110017) now and it will only cost you $80. You will suffer a bit in expansion as it only accepts one disk drive and two hard drives, but it looks good and can fit almost anywhere.


Cooler Master HAF 932

HAF, as in "High Air Flow", and that's not a joke. The case features three 230mm fans and one 140mm fan. To get an idea of what that means, most cases will sport two or three 80-120mm fans. Cooler Master is known for their high quality cases and this case is no exception. It has plenty of room for all your drives and looks mean to boot. It comes in black with either red or blue LED fans for about $160 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160&cm_re=Cooler_Mas ter_HAF_932-_-11-119-160-_-Product), but Cooler Master also has limited editions (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119212&cm_re=Cooler_Mas ter_HAF_932-_-11-119-212-_-Product) of the case that will run a little more.


Cooler Master Stacker 830

This is the case I use and I love it. Sadly, it is discontinued, but you can still find it online for $200-250. It's made of aluminum and features mesh all around for increased air flow. It's another case with unassuming design, but enthusiasts recognize it and praise it for being one of the easiest cases to work with. When my parents first saw the case they commented on how big it is, but I then dismantled the case in about 20 seconds and I had them drooling. The side panels unlock with a simple switch on the back and then slide off easily. The entire motherboard tray can slide out of the case. I installed all the hardware, including the biggest CPU cooler ever (http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/cpu/036/scorc1000_detail.html) and then slid the whole build back into the case no problems. I don't have the same experience with the other cases I've listed, so I'm more than a little biased, but it's easy to say that the best computer building experience you will ever have is likely to include this case.

This is the one case I told myself I would never cut a hole in and I never will. This case needs nothing to make it incredible. It already is.


NZXT Rogue

Now, it only supports a Mico-ATX motherboard, but it's purpose built for LAN parties. It even comes with a carrying strap to make it easier. It's important to note that Micro-ATX motherboards are smaller, but they aren't less capable. Dual video cards, lightning fast CPUs, DDR3 ram, four 3.5" HDDs. It's all possible. Not only that but there's room enough for up to five 120mm fans. You can buy it today for ~$120. I know that these cases are supposed to be ten that you would never want to take a dremel to, but I just had to include link to an incredible mod (http://thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17346&highlight=NZXT+rogue) based on this case. That said, it's easy to call this the ultimate small form factor case (http://thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19460&highlight=NZXT+rogue).


Zalman TNN 500AF & Zalman TNN 300

I used to be into having 800 fans and every color of LED in my case. My cases were flashy and loud, but they kept my components cool. Now that I'm older, I like my cases to be a little more tasteful, understated. The Zalman TNN 500 & 300 cases are the the epitome of an understated case. TNN is for "Totally No Noise" and that's no joke. This is achieved by using the entire metal case as a giant heat sink. Heat pipes move the heat from your components to the finned side panels that act as giant passive heat sinks. The concept is genius. Sadly, its execution isn't perfect. First off, it costs $1200, which is enough to build a really killer gaming machine. It comes with an included silent 400W power supply, which is high quality, but lacks the power necessary to run ultra high end processors and video cards. It's sad really, because a case this incredible demands hardware to match. I can't imagine spending $1200 on a case and then placing $500 worth of mediocre hardware inside. You still have to marvel at the concept. It is beautiful.

The little brother of the TNN 500AF is the TNN 300. It's smaller, and only costs $800, but again the love is killed by its 350W power supply. Nonetheless, if you need a case that is completely silent, these will do the job superbly. For now, it remains an inspiration to me as a case I will try to emulate in my own builds.



Acer Predator ASG7700

This case is another one of those cases that you can only get if you buy a complete system, which means that it's overpriced. I don't care though, it's great. It's orange, my favorite color. It has a great front bezel that hinges up on top of the case to reveal vertical vents that run the entire height of the case. One of the best features of the case is four hot swappable hard drive bays in the front of the case. I should say that cases like this one can be bought alone, but they will lack the drive bays in the front and will likely not be as nice. It will be close, and you will be satisfied, but it wont quite do it like this case would. This case is also discontinued, but you can find them refurbished online for $1400, but you will get a full build and not just the case. See why you want this and not the Zalman TNN 500?



I love to build cases. I love to mod cases, but sometimes the manufacturers get it right and you don't have to do anything to make a case what it should be. Are these the 10 best cases ever? Did I get it wrong? Are there cases that I missed, or are these cases garbage for one reason or another? Let me know in the comments and maybe you'll see a follow up article.

04-14-2010, 07:13 AM
I'm sorry, but in my opinion most of those are pre-modded junk. Best cases ever made are the Antec P-180 series.

I guess all that flashy plastic just doesn't do it for me. The plainer the case the better, and the more modding potential it has.


04-14-2010, 10:08 AM
well yea thats the point of this thread. its a list of his top 10 favorite pre-mods. He states in the beginning that these are the cases he thinks are cool and in no need to mod. I agree. I love all of these cases. none I've ever seen in person, but they're all cool as hell :D nice write-up!

04-14-2010, 10:23 AM
good list, i also love the thermaltake level 10, for some reason i also always liked the monarch hornet cases http://www.techimo.com/articles/index.pl?photo=64

04-14-2010, 10:38 AM
Nice list. A few of my favs are on there as well.

04-14-2010, 01:27 PM
Nice list. Almost wish it was a poll to vote on what you agree with. Of those, the GMC R-4 Bulldozer is my Fav

04-14-2010, 01:54 PM
I'm sorry, but in my opinion most of those are pre-modded junk. Best cases ever made are the Antec P-180 series.

I guess all that flashy plastic just doesn't do it for me. The plainer the case the better, and the more modding potential it has.

Some of the cases are flashy, and others are more subdued. The CM 830 is incredible to work with, it's all aluminum, and it looks good without being flashy. I tried to make sure that every case brought something that few other case did. Whether it was vertical disk drives, or active venting, or hot swap HDD bays I wanted there to be more than flashy plastic and I think every case on the list delivers in that regard in at least some way.

good list, i also love the thermaltake level 10, for some reason i also always liked the monarch hornet cases http://www.techimo.com/articles/index.pl?photo=64

I didn't include the Level 10 because I read some reviews about poor build quality, and at $800 everything should work perfectly. That said it is a really good looking case. I think that concept is a good one to base a mod on.

Nice list. Almost wish it was a poll to vote on what you agree with. Of those, the GMC R-4 Bulldozer is my Fav

Ask and you shall receive.

04-14-2010, 02:04 PM
Here comes a double post. I thought I should add this video review of the Raven RV-01


04-14-2010, 02:08 PM
I like the bulldozer and the predator cases best. The Bulldozer has a very nice feature with the unconventional optical drive bay and the Predator has some nice edgy-ness over itself (I also like the color)

I also think that a case that you mod yourself always looks better than a pre-modded case. Though these cases show that you can have a nice case without working yourself into sweat

04-15-2010, 12:13 AM
The Stacker's near the top, no question. It's a true classic. In my mind, the Antec 900 deserves a mention as well - 'modular' front panel (read: solid column of 5.25" bays for any purpose you want) gone mainstream, with an at-the-time fresh appearance that didn't go totally overboard. The later 1200 and 902 took this a step further, arguably, with their black interiors, but the 900 was the first to get there. Collins has a point with the cleaner P180 as well.

04-15-2010, 01:20 AM
http://benchmarkreviews.com/images/reviews/cases/Cooler_Master_CM690/cm690_nvidia_angle_right.jpg this is probably going to be the next case I buy. I love it. that cm 830 is sex too. and gotta love the HP Blackbird. First time I saw that case IRL I drooled all over my shirt. lol

04-15-2010, 02:11 AM
Looking at what some of you guys have said I read some reviews. The Antec 900 is good, but the overall build isn't as good as the HAF 932; there's no toolless mounting, no cable management holes in the motherboard tray, so side facing hard drives. The Antec 900 and CM HAF 932 are similar in so many ways, but the 932 just does it better.

I like the Antec P-180 though. It's hard to say it's better than any of the cases in the list, but it's easily as good. More and more I want a silent computer with no lights and no windows. The P-180 seems like a good choice for that.

Also, I'm considering adding the Vento 3600 to the list, but that case seems the most to me like a classic beige box with fancy plastic strapped to it. To go in the top ten it would have to knock another case off, and I'm not sure which one it would be.

04-15-2010, 10:05 AM
I thought the Stacker 830 that he mentioned was always so plain and boring. I've also always loved the Silver NZXT Lexa


04-15-2010, 11:52 AM
I find it a little odd that there's so much love the the P180 - I have one - sitting in my spares pile, because I despise it lol. I'm kinda biased because I don't really like cases with doors, but I bought it at the time because it was rated as pretty much the best case money could buy without getting a second mortgage.

I previously had a Savrow SR-71 which I really did like - again bought because it was the best available at the time. Right now my PC is in a Thermaltake Element-T, having just been moved from an Antec 900 which I found a little cramped, especially once I put the Frio I just reviewed in there. The T gives me a little more space, but is a semi-budget case and there are some minor niggles which are starting to build up a little. I'd still recommend it at the price point, without a doubt, but I usually go for a slightly higher budget.

Top of my current wishlist is the Silverstone TJ07 which is a little out of reach atm and I keep glancing at the Coolermaster HAF. The ONLY problem I have with the HAF is that, if I buy one, I'll end up thinking "Should have waited and got the TJ07" - every time I get close to either, the wife or bank manager starts coughing loudly and reminding me about the frankly stupid amount of money I spent on my server case - Lian Li 343-B.... And there is the small fact that I have 3 or 4 perfectly good spare cases lying around.... (P180, 900, TT V5 black - review coming soon on that one)

04-20-2010, 04:13 PM
I lost interest in the plastic-y pre-mods after I had a XION II with a crazy amount of lights and led's in it, back in 05-06ish.

Now, I'd go with something like the TJ-07, 800D, PC-A05, PC-V1000/1200/2000/2100, ATCS 840. I do very much enjoy my P180 Mini, even if it is the size of a standard ATX midtower.

04-20-2010, 04:32 PM
I lost interest in the plastic-y pre-mods after I had a XION II with a crazy amount of lights and led's in it, back in 05-06ish.

I had the same thing happen to me after I got NZXT Nemesis. After that is when I got the CM Stacker 830. All aluminum, no lights, just a good looking case.

I think some on the list might be plastic-y (maybe the Predator, Ares, and Bulldozer) but I think all on the list offer more than a sculpted plastic front bezel. Am I right or wrong?

04-22-2010, 11:43 AM
a good reason why I love my armor...no lights (factory anyways), its simple, 11 5.25" bays, HUGE (read: easy to work in), all the 5.25" bay covers have foam air filters which work somewhat well. the only thing I dont like is that the PSU is mounted on the top and sideways, makes for a LARGE case.

02-25-2011, 03:37 PM
I love to build cases. I love to mod cases, but sometimes the manufacturers get it right and you don't have to do anything to make a case what it should be.

You never HAVE to do anything - but we like to anyway :p

If for no other reason than just to stamp yourself on the case and say, without a doubt - MINE!

02-25-2011, 07:22 PM
I remember the Predator case. Damn that thing was awesome.

02-25-2011, 09:14 PM
Wheres the vento 3600 case?


: P

02-26-2011, 07:18 AM
Like the predator, love the bulldozer. Never put much stock in standard cases but those 2 are nice!

02-26-2011, 05:29 PM
Where is the old Chieftec Dragon? Still to this day is my favorite case.