June 25

Best Tempered Glass PC Case

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Table Of Contents

As the old adage goes: “You shouldn’t throw stones if you live in a glass house”. It’s obvious that this saying was conceived way before the advent of tempered glass.  Tempered glass is four times stronger than normal annealed glass and it is way safer since it doesn’t shatter – it crumbles. Hence why it’s used in the rear windows of vehicles, shower doors, microwave ovens, etc.

So it makes sense that PC case manufacturers would start integrating it into their designs and builds. It has both practical and aesthetic value.

And that’s why it’s become so common to see a PC case with some form of tempered glass paneling. Which one is the best though and why? Once again, we at Game Gavel are here to help you narrow down your searches and find the best-tempered glass case for you.


Top 5 Tempered Glass PC Cases

While you may be lulled into thinking that even the best gaming PC cases are nothing more than square or rectangular containers for your more important components to go in to, they’re actually just as (or even more) important as the parts that go into them. PC Cases seem to be getting more and more advanced. So advanced and feature-rich that calling them chassis feels disingenuous. They’re more than just metal shells.

There are surprisingly a lot of buzzwords and jargon worth knowing. So we felt that it was important to include a buying guide as well as answer a few FAQs near the end of this article.  The buying guide should give you a better understanding as to why (and how) we chose the PCs in our list. It should also give you enough information to help you spot a good-tempered glass PC case on your next outing.

Best Choice: NZXT H500i

Pros & Cons

  • Comes with easy to use and well-designed CAM software
  • Excellent cable management makes building even easier
  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Very robust design and construction
  • Provides simplified water-cooling installation
  • Impractical fan placement
  • HDD cage makes it hard swap-out drives after installation

Key Features

  • All steel construction
  • Adaptive noise reduction
  • Built-in RGB and digital fan controller
  • Pre-installed channels and straps for easy cable management
  • Full tempered glass side panel
  • Water-cooling ready

Specifications

  • Form Factor: Mid-Tower
  • Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: W: 210 mm H: 460 mm D: 428 mm | W: 8.26” H: 18.11” D: 16.5”
  • Weight: 7 KG | 15.43 lbs.
  • Radiator Support: Front: Up to 280mm, Rear: 1x 120mm
  • Expansions Slots: 7
  • Drive Bays: 2.5”: 2+1, 3.5”: 2+1
  • I/O Ports: 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A 1x Audio/Mic

NZXT H500i Product Review

NZXT is a Los Angeles based computer hardware manufacturer that has been around since 2004. For those who are unaware, the company’s name is pronounced as ‘next’ and they build some of the best modern computer cases for water-cooling.

The H500i is no different. It’s a solid cabinet primarily made out of steel, save for its tempered glass panel which makes looking in at your components feel strangely like voyeurism. Since the glass panel is held in place by a single screw, it’s easy to remove and replace.

The case has enough holes, channels, and straps to make managing your cables a joy. It has actual Velcro straps near the rear – a cable management feature that we thought we would never need but now seems like a no-brainer.

Because of its adaptive noise reduction, it’s as quiet as a six-year-old on Ritalin. It comes with two 120MM fans which are built to be silent by design. The PC has terrific airflow and stays well ventilated. It’s also water/liquid cooling ready. It’s compatible with both AIO (All-In-One) and custom loop configurations.

The H500i has plenty of build space in its interior. It comes with seven expansion slots which is pretty standard for a mid-tower PC case. The only problem we really had was with the rear fan placement. It seems to interfere with larger motherboards. Luckily, it can be shifted and/or removed.

The hard drive cage must be removed in order for you to install or swap out hard drives. We feel that this was a poor design choice as it makes swapping out your hard drives unnecessarily harder than it should be.bAll in all, the H500i sports a slick design and gives its owners an ease-of-build that not many other glass panel cases can provide. We can’t recommend it enough.

Premium Pick: CORSAIR Crystal 570X – Red

Pros & Cons

  • Utilizes a magnetic mesh to make swapping out components easier
  • Liquid/Water cooling ready
  • Plenty of radiator space
  • Excellent and easy cable management
  • Sturdy steel exterior frame
  • Built-in LED Control
  • Comes with three RGB fans
  • The PSU shroud doesn’t have an endplate

Key Features

  • Made up of four tempered glass panels
  • Includes three pre-installed RGB fans
  • Removable fan trays
  • Velcro cable straps for cable management
  • Direct airflow cooling
  • PSU and drive covers
  • Features 3-button RGB controller

Specifications

  • Form Factor: Mid-Tower
  • Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Dimensions: W: 234 mm H: 480 mm D: 512 mm | W: 9.21” H: 18.89” D: 20.15”
  • Weight: 10.7 KG | 23.72 lbs.
  • Radiator Support: Front: Up to 280/360 mm, Rear: 1x 120 mm, Top: 2x 140 mm
  • Expansions Slots: 7
  • Drive Bays: 2x 2.5”, 2x 3.5”: 2
  • I/O Ports: 2x USB 3.0, Type A 1x Audio/Mic

CORSAIR Crystal 570X – Red Product Review

Corsair requires no real introduction. They’ve been manufacturing and producing high-quality computer hardware since the mid-’90s. From high-quality gaming keyboards to top tier gaming mice, Corsair is the go-to brand for many elite gamers.

The computer case is made up of four tough tempered glass panels securely locked into place and supported by a steel interior frame. It comes with three quality LED RGB fans whose lighting and effects can be customized using the integrated push-button controller. Give them a red glow and they’ll all individually look like the eye of Sauron perched up on Barad-dûr.

While this is a nice touch, some users may feel that there isn’t a lot of variance in the effects or glow colors. Luckily, they can be replaced if you feel the need to. The glass panel screws are easy to remove which means all panels can be detached. This increases customizability as well as makes building a lot easier. The case has some of the best cable management we’ve seen.

Just like the NZXT H500i, it comes with Velcro straps and a set of neat channels to run your cables through. It even comes with a covered channel that is secured in place through a thumbscrew. The cabinet’s interior is spacious. There’s room for three well-sized radiators on the back, top, and front of the case. It’s also compatible with a plethora of Corsair liquid-cooling options.

We don’t feel like it’s necessary because the case uses Corsair’s patented direct airflow cooling to stay well-ventilated. The case provides plenty of build room. From the way the cables are managed to the way the bays and slots are organized, you can really tell that this PC was made for neat hardware exhibitionism.

Because of the glass paneling, you can expect that it’s heavy, expensive, and not very portable. However, we feel that the price is still reasonable for what you’re getting here. If you’re the type to show-off the size of your graphics card or the overall quality of your build, then this Case is definitely for you.

Best Value: Thermaltake V200

Pros & Cons

  • Well Priced
  • Panel design makes for easy building
  • Decent compartment space
  • Light but sturdily built
  • Quiet
  • Affordable
  • PCI / PCIe backplates are hard to remove
  • Back fan placement a little impractical
  • Badly written owner’s manual

Key Features

  • Three Pre-installed RGB fans (and one Black rear fan)
  • A built-in dual-mode controller
  • 16 LED color modes
  • 4MM thick tempered glass side panel
  • Built-in PSU cover
  • Tool-free HDD installation

Specifications

  • Form Factor: Mid-Tower
  • Motherboard Support: Mini ITX, Micro ATX, and ATX
  • Dimensions: W: 204 mm H: 446 mm D: 439 mm | W: 8.3” H: 17.6” D: 17.3”
  • Weight: 7.1 KG | 15.65 lbs.
  • Radiator Support: Rear: 1x 120mm
  • Expansions Slots: 7
  • Drive Bays: 2.5”: 2+1, 3.5”: 2+1
  • I/O Ports: USB 3. 0 x 1, USB 2. 0 x 2, HD Audio x 1, RGB button x 1

Thermaltake V200 Product Review

Thermaltake is known for the production of cooling and heat efficient hardware. They’ve been around for over two decades now. While it doesn’t have the same multi-tempered glass panel design of the CORSAIR Crystal 570X, it does have a singular 4mm thick window that can be used to check up on your components without opening your PC.

The V200 comes with four pre-installed fans. Three front RGB fans and a black one at the back. The front fans have 16 different lighting modes that can be switched and configured with the top RGB light button. In addition to this, the chassis comes with a built-in switchboard that synchronizes between the fans and a supported 12V header motherboard of your choice.

The fans aren’t just cosmetic; they complement the V200’s excellent airflow. They’re also surprisingly quiet. The buttons and I/O ports are located on top of the case, near the end. This can be either good or bad depending on how and where you plan on seating your computer. A lot of cases these days are designed this way.

Another notable feature is the PSU cover which helps neaten up the look of your interior components. While it does this spectacularly well, it does make installing a new PSU a little harder. On the whole, the Thermaltake V200 is great value for money. I can’t see a compelling enough reason for you not to buy this case.

Best Airflow: Rosewill CULLINAN V500 Red

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious
  • Great value for money
  • Red LED lighting that can be controlled via remote
  • Interior dust filter a little shoddy and hard to lock into place
  • The accompanying manual isn’t user-friendly or detailed enough

Key Features

  • Double ring LED fans
  • 3-Sided Tempered Glass
  • E-ATX support
  • Water Cooling Radiator Support

Specifications

  • Form Factor: Mid-Tower
  • Motherboard Support: Mini ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, and EATX
  • Dimensions: W: 223 mm H: 490 mm D: 477 mm | W: 8.78” H: 19.30” D: 18.78”
  • Weight: 10.5 KG | 23.15 lbs.
  • Radiator Support: Front: 1x 360 mm | Top: 1x 280 mm
  • Expansions Slots: 7
  • Drive Bays: 2.5” 2, 3.5”: 4 + 2
  • I/O Ports: USB 3. 0 x 4, Audio In and Out, Fan Speed Control

Rosewill CULLINAN V500 Red Review

Rosewill is another well-established company among gamers and enthusiasts. They’ve been around since 2004, providing high-quality gaming and IT products.

The Rosewill Cullinan V500 is a blend of ventilated steel and tempered glass. It’s made up of three tempered glass panels; one in the front and one on each side. The side panels are held in place by thumb-screws so they’re easy to remove.

The case is built for optimal airflow. It comes with 4 Case fans (3 front and 1 back) and has enough room for three additional top case fans. That’s more fans than my music has. That’s more turbines than an old aircraft carrier.

While the V500 is well-ventilated, it can’t compete with a truly great open-air PC case but most open-air cases cannot contend with the V500’s looks. You’re also assured that your components are protected by both tempered glass paneling and steel.

Since it’s a pretty sizeable mid-tower case, it has ample room for an EATX motherboard and a hefty graphics card.  The cable management is average at best. You’ll have to do most of the work to ensure that your cables are neatly packed and organized since the rear area is so small.

It doesn’t utilize an all tool-free design but building into it is pretty intuitive and easy save for the front panel connectors which are a little tricky to work with. The manual isn’t very clear on how you set them up, so you’ll have to play with them a bit and exercise some troubleshooting of your own.

The Cullinan V500 is reasonably priced, sturdy, and gorgeous. It’s a great way to showcase your build’s quality.

Best mATX Case: CORSAIR Crystal 280X Micro-ATX Case

Pros & Cons

  • Has an excellent filtration system
  • Compatible with a plethora of liquid Corsair cooling options
  • Exceptional cable management
  • Quiet
  • Easy to open
  • Compact
  • Pricey
  • Heavy for a Micro-ATX case
  • Doesn’t have any USB 3.1 Type-C support

Key Features

  • Dual Chamber Layout
  • Utilizes three tempered glass panels
  • Dedicated drive compartments
  • iCUE enabled

Specifications

  • Form Factor: Micro-ATX
  • Motherboard Support: Mini ITX, Micro ATX
  • Dimensions: W: 276 mm H: 398 mm D: 351 mm | W: 10.9” H: 15.7” D: 13.8”
  • Weight: 7.1 KG | 15.65 lbs.
  • Radiator Support: Top: 1x 240 mm, Front: 1x 240 mm, Bottom: 1x 240mm
  • Expansions Slots: 4
  • Drive Bays: 2.5”: 3, 3.5”: 2
  • I/O Ports: USB 3. 0 x2, audio and mic jacks

Corsair Crystal 280X Micro-ATX Case Product Review

You should not be surprised to find another Corsair cabinet on this list. If you were in the mind that only mid-towers come with tempered glass paneling then you were wrong. The Crystal 280x uses Corsairs patented double cage (dual-chamber) design to help you hide your cables and PSU in the back while showcasing your motherboard and graphics card in the front.

If you’re familiar with software development, it’s like the pretty front-end (presentation layer) covering the ugly backend (data access layer). But the separation doesn’t just give you cosmetic value. It makes building and cable management a lot easier.

The case is well ventilated and has PSU dust filters for the bottom, front, and back. While the rear chamber covers are made from steel, the front is covered by three thick tempered glass panels. The top and front glass panels can be removed, making building far easier.

The rear’s front metal cover can also be removed so you can have easy access to your cables and hidden components.  It’s surprisingly roomy for a Micro-ATX cabinet. It can house up to two 3.5” drives and three 2.5” drives. The 280X also has enough room for up to six 120mm cooling fans and is liquid cooling ready. The top, front, and floor can each fit a 240 mm radiator.

Although it’s compact, it’s deceptively heavy, weighing in at about 15 lbs. and that’s without any additional components installed. If you’re interested in this case or Micro-ATX cases in general, why not check out our guide on the absolute best micro-ATX cases?

Tempered Glass PC Cases: Buying Guide

They aren’t just cases, in the same way, your skin is more than just tissue. It protects you while simultaneously helping you stay cool. From the epidermis to the dermis and hypodermis. It’s layered and intricate in the same way PC cases are (or can be).

You need to have a basic understanding of your skin to keep it healthy, similarly to how you need to have a basic understanding of your PC case to have a healthy system. So in the following guide, we’ll cover a few key points you’ll need to consider when buying a PC case – whether it has tempered glass paneling or not.

Type of Case: Form Factors and Sizes

You’ll often hear or see PC cases being referred to or advertised according to the form factors of the motherboards they’re built for or compatible with. It can be a bit confusing sometimes. But here are the types/sizes of PC cases you’re bound to encounter.

NZXT Mini Tower Case

This should help you understand the relationship between motherboard form factor and PC Case type/size:

Small Form Factor (SFF)

These are known as mini-ITX cases. As such, they support mini-ITX or smaller form factors such as nano or pico ITX. They usually have up to 2 Expansion slots and at least one drive bay for a 3.5” hard-drive. They’re great as home theatre PCs or for basic gaming. Some of them are designed and built like gaming consoles. They can either be a desktop (horizontal) or tower (vertical) styled (or both).

Mini-Tower

These are known as micro-ATX cases. They commonly have 4 expansion slots and up to 6 3.5” drive bays. Great for creating an economy of space and they’re usually cheaper mid-tower PCs.

Mid-Tower

These are known as ATX cases. They’re still the most popular cases on the market. While they support ATX motherboards (and smaller), some have enough room to house larger EATX motherboards (like the Rosewill CULLINAN V500). They’re perfect for elite gaming as they can take up to three graphics cards and up to eight 3.5” drives.

Corsair Obsidian Series 750D Full Tower Case

Full-Tower: These are designed for motherboards with the EATX and ATX form-factor. Great as servers or gaming rigs for enthusiasts with large pockets. They can have up to 13 3.5” drive-bays and 10 expansion slots. You can also get super-towers and bench cases but these aren’t common.

Radiator Space: Is Your PC Water-cooling Ready?

Water-cooling is said to be 3000 times more efficient than air-cooling. It’s a lot quieter too. But compared to air-cooling, it’s still very expensive. You may still want your PC to be water/liquid cooling ready.

Right off the bat, you can tell a PC supports liquid cooling if it has space for radiators. Water/liquid cooling works by running liquid through a cooling block on the CPU/GPU which soaks heat that is then expelled through the radiator.

CORSAIR Carbide SPEC-06 RGB Tempered Glass Case Black And White

It is said that you should dedicate at least 120 mm of radiator space for each component you plan on cooling. Thicker radiators require fewer fins and take up less surface area. A good liquid cooling ready PC case should have at least a combined 240 mm surface area for radiators.

Expansion Slots – Your PCs Room For Growth

We briefly touched on this while discussing motherboard form factors and case type. The number of expansion slots a PC refers to the number of expansions cards it can accommodate, provided that your motherboard has enough PCI or PCI-E slots too. Most modern Mid-Tower cases come with seven expansion slots.

Tool-Free Design – No Screw Drivers Required

Over recent years, PC case manufacturers integrating tool-free elements into their designs have become more commonplace. Thumbscrews, shrouds, standoffs, twist-on and snap-on brackets and brackets replace flat-top screws. This means in most instances, the only tools you’ll need to build your computer with are your hands.

Corsair 460X RGB Tempered Glass case Yellow Blue And Green

This makes building far easier.


Watercooling Cases: Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Tempered Glass PC Case?

A tempered glass PC case is one that has paneling made out of tempered glass. To qualify as a tempered glass PC case, it at least has to have a panel with a tempered glass window.

How Tall Is an ATX Full Tower?

While some models deviate from the standard, popular ATX cases (full-tower) are usually 22 inches tall (or more).

Do PC Cases Come With Screws?

PC cases usually come with screws. Most paneling on PC cases is fastened to the steel frame by screws. These can vary from thumbscrews to flat screws.

PHANTEKS Eclipse P350X Tempered Glass Case

If, for some reason, you are missing crews for your PC case, you can order them from Amazon or find a perfect fit in your nearest retail store.

What’s a PSU on a Computer?

The PSU (Power Supply Unit) powers your computer’s internal components by converting AC power to DC power. The Power Supply Unit can be seen as your computer’s heart (or lungs).


 Final Words

In this guide, we learned that the best-tempered glass PC cases all come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You don’t have to be a former Silicon Valley CEO to afford one. You’ll find that every case in this guide is great to look at and well built.  If you’re a private person, it’s probably not a good idea to live in a glasshouse, but that shouldn’t stop you from putting your PC components in one.


Sources:

  1. Rudolph Gray, What You Should Know About Tempered Glass PC Cases, Main Tech Inc.

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