How to Choose the Best Case for Gaming

base case for gaming 1Your PC case will be the new home of all your expensive computer hardware and is responsible for protecting and cooling them, so even though it won’t directly affect gaming performance it’s still an important piece of the puzzle for a new custom build.

You will want to get your hands on the very best case for gaming for your particular budget, and by that I mean one that is functional, sturdy, and visually-pleasing too.

But not all cases are created equal and in this article we will take a comprehensive look at the important factors when choosing the right case for your needs.

You will most likely have your case for years so you will want to make a wise purchase and pick a good one with one eye on the future to take into account any future upgrades you may wish to make.

Size

First of all, you need to figure out which size (also known as the form factor) you want for your new gaming PC. There are three main choices here, mini tower, mid tower, or full tower. The decision will come down to the components you want to fit inside of your build and any potential future upgrades.

Personal preference and how you will use your PC also comes into play. For example if you want your build to be easily portable to take to LAN parties or a friends house, a full tower is going to be a huge pain as they can resemble a small dinosaur in both size and weight. A mini tower would be ideal for this situation, but you will need to get smaller components to be able to fit them all inside.

For the majority of those building a typical gaming desktop setup with standard sized components, a mid or full tower is ideal to give yourself plenty of room to work with and allow for efficient cooling. Mid towers are the most popular choice and offer a good balance between overall case size, which is not too big and not too small, and the internal space which can fit the majority of component selections with room to spare for future upgrades.

Quality

The actual material that your case is made of affects the overall durability and quality, as well as its potential for cooling your system.

Cheaper cases tend to be made of plastic and this is obviously not the optimal choice, but some plastic cases hold up alright and do a decent job and if you’re on a super tight budget you won’t really have much choice. Just don’t be too surprised if your plastic case starts to fall apart easily.

If you want a high quality case, metals such as aluminium or steel are the way to go and they are not only more solid and durable but provide more effective cooling than plastic cases.

Cooling

The cooling efficiency of a case is another important factor when choosing the best case for gaming. High-performing PCs built for gaming will produce more heat than the average PC, so you need a way to effectively reduce this heat to cool your system and protect your components.

You should aim to get a case that has good natural ventilation, which is determined by the actual shape and structure of the case. A good way to find out whether a particular case is heat-friendly is by reading customer reviews from different sources (amazon and newegg are great for this).

Although don’t just form your opinion from a single review and try to get a balanced perspective from reading multiple reviews. Expert hardware review sites are also useful here, or you can check out my own case reviews for ideas.

Fans

As well as the case’s natural airflow capability, case fans play a part in the overall cooling of your system. There is no set number of fans that you need as every build is different, and fans vary in size and speed too. The larger the fan the better, and large fans produce less noise too.

Most decent cases will come with a few built-in fans, but you may need to buy extra fans depending on your setup, so check to see how many and what size fans your case supports. Again, reading reviews of different cases comes in handy to gauge what sort of fan setups work well with certain components.

Cable Management

When it comes to cable management some cases are easier to work with than others, so you may want to take this into consideration when choosing a case.

Good cable management maximizes airflow inside of your case, and also makes a completed build look infinitely sexier than a case full of messy cables especially if your case has a see-through panel to show off the finished product.

Drive Bays and Expansion Slots

Cases have different sized bays for installing hard drives, solid state drives, and optical drives such as DVD or Blu-ray drives. Most modern cases will have plenty of bays for any type of setup but if you have specific needs then make sure you pick a case that covers your bases. Also, you may need a certain amount of expansion slots for add-on cards and multi-GPU setups.

USB Ports

Again, most decent cases will have ample front and rear USB ports to satisfy most, but if it’s important to you and/or you plan on utilizing a small army of USB devices then it’s a good idea to check how many ports there are. USB 3.0 support is also something you’re going to want these days.

Extra Features

There are a ton of other case features you will find in PC cases these days so let’s take a look at the most common ones you should familiarize yourself with when choosing the best case for gaming.

  • Tool-less Design: This can be a great feature for beginners because it allows for very straightforward assembling without having to use screws and a screwdriver. Some builders would argue though that some tool-free cases, if not designed well, can be a hassle as they won’t secure your components as well as using screws will.
  • Dust Filter: Having a removable dust filter in your case is handy for managing dust, especially if it’s one that you can safely cleanse in running water (remember to leave it to completely dry before putting it back in your case).
  • Fan Speed Controller: Besides looking cool, a fan controller allows you to manually adjust how fast your case fans run. When your system is not in full throttle you can slow down your fans to reduce noise, and then crank them up when gaming for maximum cooling.
  • Liquid Cooling: Only recommended for advanced builders, a liquid cooling setup can maximize cooling for monster high-end systems. If you’re going down this route you’ll need to select a suitable case that can accommodate your liquid cooling setup.

Aesthetics

Last but not least is the style and look of your case which may be important to you. There are a gazillion different styles out there so pick one that suits your taste. Some cases also have cool features like LED lights and see-through panels which usually look awesome.

How Much To Spend?

If you’re building a budget gaming build then it shouldn’t produce too much extra heat and therefore a decent┬ácheap case will usually do the trick. On the other hand if you are putting together a beast of a system then you’ll need something more suitable that can efficiently protect your expensive components.

base case for gaming 3To give you a general idea of how much of your overall budget you should allocate to the case, with a tight budget of under $500 for your build you should be able to get away with a case between $30-50, a medium build of around $500-800 will tend to require a better case around $50-80, and for a high-end build of anything over $800 you’ll most likely want a top-notch case costing anything over $80.

These are just general guidelines as you can get any case you want so long as it will fit your components and take good care of them, but you’ll tend to find these ranges are fairly accurate and it gives you something to work with especially for the newbies out there.

Hopefully after reading this article you are now in a great position to buy the very best case for gaming for your particular needs and wants.

Shares
Share This