You’ve put a lot of research, hard work, and money into your gaming PC case. However, especially if you made a gaming computer build, you will need a case to protect your hard work and keep the hardware cool when you may be overclocking your CPU. Plus, let’s be honest– finding a sharp case to show off our craftsmanship through a tinted window backlit by RGB lighting? Yes, please.
However, there’s so much more to look at when you’re picking a case. This guide was written to give you the best options available from our perspective at GameGavel, but we also made sure to include a buying guide to clarify some of the trickier tech jargon while offering some considerations to keep in mind when looking for a case.
Also, many of these cases are compatible with different types of ATX, like mini, micro, and XL. There’s honestly a great option here for any gamer, regardless of budget or premium needs. We’ve got the whole kit ‘n kaboodle.
Top 5 ATX Cases
A lot of consideration went into the choices listed here. The evaluation process was based on price comparative to value, durability and protection, cooling ability, aesthetics and lighting, and both internal and external size.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best ATX cases out right now to protect your CPU baby. 🖥️ ✨
Best Choice: Thermaltake V200 ATX Mid-Tower Chassis
Pros & Cons
- 16 Lighting Modes via I/O Port
- Built-in PSU Cover
- Supports Mini ATX, Micro ATX, and ATX Motherboards
- No bay for an optical drive
- Drive Bays: 3 x 2. 5″ + 2 x 3. 5″
- Dimensions: 17. 6″(H) x 8. 3″(W) X 17. 3″(D)
- Fans: Front: 3 x 120mm, 2 x 140mm; Top: 2 x 120mm, 2 x 140mm; Rear: 1 x 120mm
- Radiator Compatibility: Front: 1 x 240mm, 1 x 280mm; Rear: 1 x 120mm
Thermaltake V200 Review
I’ll admit that sometimes I have some trouble trying to decide which is the “best” of our recommendations; however, this one was easy and took maybe three seconds of thought. Thermaltake has plenty of other options too, and some higher quality, but this is a gorgeous chassis with 4 pre-installed fans and room for more, 3 front USB ports, and RGB lighting.
Another fun aspect of this case is that there’s plenty of room for cord storage to keep your aesthetic as sleek as possible. Making it even easier, the side, bottom, and top panels are all interchangeable. There’s so much room for customization here; your case will definitely feel as custom to you as your build itself.
It’s difficult to find places to critique here. However, as with all things, the case has some cons to be aware of. Firstly, there’s no bay for an optical drive, which may or may not be a negative depending on what you’re looking for. Other than that, the manual that comes with the case is a little wordy and archaic.
However, if you’re looking for a great case at a great price, this may very well be the best choice for you. Otherwise, check out our guide on the best mid-tower cases.
Premium Pick: CORSAIR Carbide AIR 540 ATX Cube Case
Pros & Cons
- Dual Chamber Direct Airflow Path
- 3 custom Air Series AF140L intake and exhaust fans included
- A bit spacey
- Only one dust filter
- Drive Bays: 2.5”, 3.5”, 5.25”
- Dimensions: 16.3 x 13.1 x 18 in
- Fan Compatibility: up to six 120mm or five 140mm fans
- Radiator Compatibility: Top: 240mm or 280mm radiator; Front: a 240mm, 280mm, or even 360mm radiator
CORSAIR Carbide AIR 540 Review
If you need a minute to stare at this case, I won’t hold it against you. It’s about as sharp as a tuxedo (if not more so). Plus, the cube design is really appealing, but it also means more internal space. Luckily, it has so many more pros than just its appearance. It is a CORSAIR, after all! This is the girl you take home to mom in the form of a computer case.
This case is exceptionally easy to set up. Due to the dual-chamber build, you can put the hardware on one side and hide the cords in the other, with plenty of room and cable slots to keep the case tidy.
The build is sturdy and solid, so there are no worries about your dog getting in and eating your motherboard. Well, depending on your dog. The point I’m trying to make here is that this case will stand the test of time and stretch your dollar.
This case is big– which is great on the inside, but maybe not so great on the outside. It takes up larger square footage than most cases might, which is the trade-off for the interior roominess. The case also only has one dust filter, used on the front fans. It may be worthwhile to get extra dust filters to keep the case clean and dust-free.
If water-cooling is your primary concern, check out our guide on the best cases for water cooling for more buying options.
Best Value: Thermaltake Versa ATX Mid Tower Computer Chassis
Pros & Cons
- Windowless design
- Tool-free drive bay design
- Perforated metal mesh front and top panel
- Fans are a bit louder
- Drive bays: External Bay: 3x 5.25″; Internal Bay: 3x 3.5″ or 2.5″, 3x 2.5″
- Dimensions: 19 x 21 x 9 in
- Fan Compatibility: Preinstalled one 120mm rear exhaust fan, optional 2 x 120mm intake fans to optimize system ventilation with dust filter
Thermaltake Versa Review
Maybe it’s a midwestern thing, but I love getting a good deal. That’s exactly what you’re getting with this case from Thermaltake. At only $39.99 as of June 2020, the Versa is a steal. Luckily, the great price doesn’t do much to lower the quality whatsoever. There are plenty of internal and external bays, and the build is tool-free.
The panels are made of perforated metal mesh, which helps to encourage good airflow through the case. Plus, the power is mounted on the bottom of the case, making it sturdy and unlikely to tip. While the case is great, it does have a few downfalls. It has a smaller interior than some of the other picks listed, which makes it difficult to find room for an inner cooler.
The fans are louder than the other options as well, and there’s no window to see your work through. Ultimately, the Thermaltake Versa seems like a great option for gamers and techies looking for a great deal. But if you’re not sure this one’s right for you, check out our guide on the best budget PC cases.
Best Cheap Pick: ROSEWILL Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Pros & Cons
- Mini Tower
- Steel and plastic
- 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0, Audio In/Out Front Port
- Not that durable
- Drive bays: 1 External 5.25″ Drive Bays, 1 Internal 3.5″ Drive Bays, 1 Internal 2.5″ Drive Bays
- Dimensions: 13.9 x 14.2 x 6.9 inches
- Fan Compatibility: 1 x 120mm Front Fan & 1 x 80mm Rear Fan (both pre-installed)
- Radiator Compatibility: Front: 120mm
ROSEWILL Micro ATX Review
First and foremost, that price tag is definitely correct! As of June 2020, this Rosewill Micro ATX Mini Tower case is only $19.99 via Amazon. You’re not going to beat that price!
The case is cheap, but the quality isn’t. It’s really sharp to look at, with a beautiful external finish. It’s practical, too– it comes with an effective dust filter, and has pretty quiet fans, especially considering how much you’re paying for it.
As far as negatives go, this isn’t going to be anywhere near as sturdy as the cases in the $80 to $150 range. The materials are not quite as protective, which is one reason why the price is so great. The only other complaint we have is that the HD holders aren’t removable.
Usually, you get what you pay for, but this case really surprised me in that regard. It’s beautiful to look at and runs well. If you’re looking for more of micro ATX options, check out our guide on the best micro ATX cases.
Best Full Tower: Rosewill Gaming ATX Full Tower Thor V2
Pros & Cons
- 2x USB 3.0 & 4x USB 2.0 on the top-mounted I/O panel
- Advanced cable management
- Gaming type – Allow to swing top fins to increase airflow
- Extremely large
- Requires cleaning often
- Drive bays: Internal 3.5″ Drive Bays: 6
- Dimensions: 21.9 x 9.1 x 22.8 inches
- Fan Compatibility: Pre-installed with front 2x 120mm blue LED fan, rear 1x 120mm fan, top 1x 140mm blue LED fan (or optional 2x 120/140mm), and side 1x 120mm fan. It also supports 1x 120/140mm fan at the bottom and 1x 120mm fan (18mm thickness only) behind the motherboard
- Radiator Compatibility: Any conventional size
Rosewill Thor V2 Review
It was important for me to include a full tower on this list because if you have extra space and want to use it, Rosewill’s Thor V2 will fill it pretty nicely.
This case has fantastic functionality; the fans will keep your build cool even when you’re overclocking, and the fans are quiet even at the fastest speed. In fact, to build on functionality, this case has great features specifically for gamers, like the ability to swing the top fins for better airflow and cooler CPU.
However, because this case is pretty large, it attracts dust more and will need more frequent cleaning than the other selections. For owners of this case, though, it seems like a small price to pay for the great quality and extra features. This case is also heavy– about 30 pounds. If you want a light case, this is definitely not what you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a full tower with a good cooling capability and steady airflow, however, this is a great choice. If you’re interested in seeing more quiet options, check out our guide on the quietest PC cases.
ATX Cases: Buying Guide
Now you know the best ATX cases to choose from; however, if you’re new to the hobby, there’s probably a lot of jargon and key concepts you may not have down pat just yet. Luckily, we’re here to help! This guide describes some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a great ATX case, including airflow, aesthetics, motherboard compatibility, and tower types.
Airflow and Cooling: Prevent Overheating to Keep Your Motherboard in Tip-Top Shape
A major factor to consider when buying your case is airflow– which sounds simple enough, but it’s a little deeper than just air moving through the case.
Airflow is crucial to your motherboard’s performance and overall health. Good airflow helps with cooling, and cooling prevents overheating, which may happen a lot if you’re a gamer who focuses on overclocking to get top speed. In fact, gamers especially need to focus on cooling their builds, so this should be a top consideration if you want to keep your CPU as fast as it can be.
Aesthetics and Lighting: Show Off Your Computer Build
A lot of people who build their own computers are proud of their work, and rightfully so! If you’re looking to show off your build, you should consider getting a case that focuses on aesthetics.
Aesthetics basically refers to how your build looks, and specifically for this situation, how it looks in the context of the casing. A lot of cases come with lighting systems, generally RBG (red, blue, green), but some can get pretty complex as well. If you want a certain color lighting, you’ll need to check what is available for the case you have.
Motherboard Compatibility: Make Sure Your Case Has the Internal Storage Necessary for Your Motherboard
This article is focusing on the ATX motherboard specifically, but there are several other motherboards in the same family that ATX cases may or may not work for. It’s important to know what kind of motherboard you have to see if it’s compatible with the case you want to buy. Further, if your build has extra bulk, you’ll want to look for something with a larger internal space.
Tower Type and Physical Footprint: Choosing a Case That Fits Your Space
Usually, an ATX chassis is going to come in either mini-tower, mid-tower, or full tower. Occasionally you’ll be looking at small form factor cases as well, but for optimal cooling, you’ll want at least a mid-tower.
It’s important to find a case that will have the interior spaciousness you need, but it’s also important to remember that the case will have to go somewhere– probably on the floor next to your setup. Because of this, it’s important to consider whether or not the case’s square footage is worth considering, and if it is, how much space you can give up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between ATX and AT?
The ATX motherboard was tech supercompany IBM’s response to the AT (the latter of which is now defunct due to the improvements made with ATX). ATX made the AT obsolete by being much smaller, allowing port customization, and serving as a middleman before the computer hooked directly into the power supply.
What Is the Difference Between ATX and BTX?
IBM’s motherboards started with the AT, then moved to the ATX. Now, the BTX is a motherboard available created to address the overheating potential in the ATX board.
BTX focuses on maximizing cooling and airflow, though to do so, the consumer needs particular hardware arranged in a particular format. Despite the improvements BTX made, the market preferred the ATX’s simplicity and kept the ATX standard. BTX is used in some computers, rarely.
Can any motherboard fit in any case?
Unfortunately, different motherboards will need different case sizes. Luckily though, the smaller your motherboard, the more room you have to work with. However, if you have an XL ATX, you’re going to need a case big enough to contain it and all the required parts and cords associated with it.
Should I Get a Mid or Full-Tower Case?
It depends on your needs– cases aren’t a “one size fits all” product by any stretch of the imagination. If cooling is the most important aspect in your hunt for a case, you will want to get a full tower, which cools better and has more room for bigger, better coolers (especially if you’re water-cooling). However, for a lot of people, a mid-tower case has more than enough room to hold your hardware and a suitable cooler for your ATX.
What Is the Smallest ATX Computer Case?
The smallest computer case you can get is the SFF, or “small form factor.” This will save you a lot of space, but it generally won’t offer a gamer the performance he or she needs to keep up with an overclocked CPU. However, SFF cases are perfectly suitable for offices or smaller workspaces. Sometimes it’s nice to have a more minimalistic approach, but if you game, you’ll probably want something bigger.
The bottom line is that, as tech hobbyists, we are proud of what we do. It’s exciting to come up with a lightning-fast build, especially when you might have budget restrictions or other difficult factors that made your work a challenge.
Consequently, our ATX cases are the frames for an artist’s painting, and the right frame can really “make” a painting. Or heck– maybe you just really want a purple CPU. No matter what your goals are, remember to look for cases that are durable, have the level of cooling capacity you need, are compatible with your motherboard, and look like a million bucks (of course!). Game on!
- Steve Lander, The Disadvantages of a Computer With a Small Case, Chron