Best PC cases 2023: the best cases to build your rig
Here are our favorite PC cases right now
The best PC cases are often overlooked, and that’s a shame. Because while you might need the best GPUs and the best CPU to play the best PC games, you’re going to need something to house all of those expensive components. And after you’ve just spent hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars getting the right parts for your build, you’re going to want a PC case that is just as premium.
And I totally understand that it’s tempting to go for the first and cheapest PC case you find. It’s just a housing for your components, right? And while any PC case will technically work, not all of the best PC cases are equal. There are some out there that will radically improve the operating temperatures of your computer, allowing you to squeeze out some extra performance.
You see, when you’re shopping for one of the best PC cases, you’re going to want to balance three factors: price, aesthetics and airflow. There are PC cases out there that look amazing, but are absolutely awful at getting air into your system, which you need to cool everything from your graphics card to the best RAM.
I went ahead and gathered some of my favorite PC cases that strike a nice balance between these factors and gathered them all here. While I haven’t built systems in each of them, I’ve at least seen them in action.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
How to pick the best PC case
📐 Pick a size: mATX, ATX, E-ATX, or Mini-ITX
💧 Decide whether you’re going to be using liquid cooling or air cooling
📏 If you’re using a liquid cooler, make sure the case has room for the radiator
🤔 Make sure your graphics card will fit
✅ Look at the features on the front panel and decide if they fit your needs
1. Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh
The best PC case on the market
Cooler Master H500P Mesh PC case specs:
Dimensions: 21.4 x 9.5 x 21.3 inches | GPU clearance: 16 inches | Front panel ports: 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 1 x HD Audio in/out | Motherboard support: E-ATX, ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX
✅ Great airflow
✅ Great aesthetic
❌ Kind of expensive
When you’re building a PC, heat is always going to be a factor, especially with modern components like the Intel Core i9-13900KS and RTX 4080 – you’re going to need a PC case with great airflow. I’ve been using the Cooler Master H500P Mesh as my PC case for something like two years now and it has never let me down. Not only does the mesh front panel allow for great airflow, even coming with two 240mm fans in the front, but it’s incredibly open on the inside, making it super easy to tinker.
I’ve practically built four or five PCs in this case from how often I’ve upgraded my PC in my time with the H500P and it’s a cinch every single time. The open design also makes the huge volume of air sucked in through the front easily circulate through every single component, making for excellent temperatures all around.
You’d think that a PC case with this much airflow would have a problem with dust, and it really doesn’t. I’m notoriously bad at remembering to clean out my PC, even if I’m constantly getting on everyone’s case to remember to do it, and even after a couple months of neglecting it, I can open my rig to completely clean components. (though the fans are usually a different story).
This is always going to be my de-facto recommendation to anyone looking for a PC case. It’s my favorite case I’ve ever built in, hands down.
2. Corsair iCue 5000X
The best mid-tower case
Dimensions: 20.5 x 9.6 x 20.5 inches | GPU clearance: 15.7 inches | Front panel ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x HD Audio in/out | Motherboard support: ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX
✅ Completely surrounded by tempered glass
No matter what, if you go for a Corsair PC case, you’re going to get a luxury product. The Corsair iCue 5000X takes that to the extreme. Not only is the case surrounded on all sides by tempered glass, making any RGB in your system absolutely pop, but it’s completely open on the inside. This makes it easy to build in, and when you’re done building you’re going to want to show it off.
The only real downside is that the tempered glass limits airflow to a certain extent, which means you’re going to want to pair this PC case with a liquid CPU cooler to mitigate high temperatures, especially with a high-end processor. But, honestly, if you’re building a PC with this case, you’re likely going to be using liquid cooling anyway because it just looks cooler.
And while the Corsair iCue 5000X is a bit expensive, that money is going towards the premium materials and aesthetics you’re getting. It comes out of the box with RGB fans and pretty much no matter what you do, the PC you build is going to look as expensive as it probably was.
3. Lian-Li A4H20
The best mini-ITX case
Dimensions: 12.8 x 5.5 x 9.6 inches | GPU clearance: 12.7 inches | Front panel ports: 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x Mic, 1 x HD Audio | Motherboard support: Mini-ITX
✅ Smaller than a PS5
✅ Can fit a triple-slot GPU
❌ Not very flashy
Ask any seasoned PC builder about Lian-Li PC cases and their eyes will probably light up. Lian-Li is the PC enthusiast’s PC case brand of choice, building no-nonsense PC cases with excellent airflow without sacrificing aesthetics. Pretty much every case the company makes is virtually guaranteed to satisfy, but the Lian-Li A4H20 is special because of its size. It’s literally smaller than the PS5, and can fit a triple-slot graphics card that can easily outpower the console.
The A4H20 can fit up to a 12.7-inch graphics card inside, despite being just 12.8-inches long itself. That means it can totally fit the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, despite fitting in your entertainment center. The myth of gaming PCs being too unwieldy for your living room is effectively busted with this PC case.
However, this is a PC case I’ve never built in myself, though I have sat over the shoulder of someone building a PC in this case. Any PC case this small is going to be kind of hard to build in, so I can only recommend it to seasoned builders, or to someone who has a seasoned builder helping them. The difficulty is mitigated by every panel of the PC being adjustable or removable, which means you won’t have to perform surgery just to install your RAM or do cable management.
The only real downside here is that you’re not really getting any fancy glass side panels or RGB lighting. But considering how tiny this thing is, that’s totally worth it.
Why trust my PC case recommendations?
I’ve been reviewing, building and playing on the best gaming PCs for about as long as I remember, and I’m notoriously picky when it comes to PC components. I despise cases that are all show, leading to high temperatures or even damaged parts, just for the sake of having a fancy-looking design.
And while The Shortcut does get money from our affiliate links, that doesn’t motivate my picks at all. I’m more concerned with recommending products that are actually worth your time and money.
Let me help you pick the best PC case
If none of the PC cases here strike your fancy, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter. I’m always more than happy to help folks find the right PC case for their space and needs and will respond as soon as possible.
Even empty, it is *really nice ... when I pulled the first glass panel on a white Corsair 5000X QL, the whole thing practically radiates power and purpose. And art. The QL includes three 120 intake fans and one exhaust, all-white with LEDs on both sides of each fan. I was hesitant at first, but airflow channels around the glass work well for a 7700X/7900XT combo. Plus, if I had a 200W CPU and one of Nvidia's bragship graphics, easy peas, just remove the front/top glass, since all intake openings have a magnetic air filter.
Seriously, unpacking this thing and assembling a computer inside makes you feel like an old-world artisan at the peak of their skill, imbuing silicon and metal with light and life. The quality and features of the 5000X are so good, the price feels like a steal.