Best Full Tower Gaming Cases for the Money 2016
If you get a good full tower gaming case for your rig, you'll be able to use it not only for the lifespan of this machine but for several upgrades to come. I've used some good desktop cases and some really poor ones in my day. That being said, I think most manufacturers are doing a better job in 2016 of recognizing some of the design flaws with their previous cases and implementing better designs. I like the new hinged side panels that cases are offering now as well as full-length side panel windows.
I like the new hinged side panels that cases are offering now as well as full-length side panel windows. This allows you to not only see all of that premium hardware but also get to it painlessly. I also feel like manufacturers are doing a better job of handling customization needs for PC builders and especially at the full tower case size. At this size, they know they can assume you're not going with a standard build. This is especially true now that most mid tower cases are a bit larger.
Gaming rigs need a lot more cooling, expansion, and tweaking features than your typical office or even editing computer needs. Before I get into my list of what I think are the best full-tower computer cases, I thought I'd talk about the criteria I used in the process.
Best Full Tower Cases for PC Gaming - Main Criteria:
- Natural Airflow and Cooling Options: All full tower cases come with cooling options, but what fans does it come with and how does the airflow within the case work?
- Expansion and Design: Having a full tower is all about being able to fit all of your peripherals and make the best performance machine available. I've taken this into consideration as well as the overall design. For example, I've looked at whether these models have a window panel, USB 3.0 in the front I/O, temperature monitoring, or other desirable features. Case materials were also taken into consideration as far as quality and type.
- What You Get for Your Money: This is more of a criteria in the under $200 price range simply because if you care about the above characteristics, then you are clearly more concerned about options than the case's overall price.
Budget Full Tower PC Cases Under $100
Phanteks Enthoo Pro
If you're looking for value, the should be at or near the top of your list. At just under $100, it's in the same price range of many mid-tower cases and yet has the same features of many full-tower cases in the $150 range. Phanteks Enthoo Pro full-tower
The case itself comes in an unimposing brush aluminum design without windows for around $90 and with for around $100.
In addition to a sleek the case, it comes with a 1 x 200 mm fan in the front and a 1 x 140 mm fan in the back. The best part is that these are mid-range fans that you won't mind using. While many manufacturers place what I'd call sub-par fans in their cases, these fans retail for around $14 to $15 and are from Phanteks' performance SP series.
I also like is the dust covers on the bottom front, front, top, and power supply. These, along with the cable management, and easy-to-install features that Phantek provides, makes this case hard to pass up.
A Good alternative to the Phanteks Enthoo Pro would be the recently released NZXT Source 530. For around $90 it gives you a ton of value.
Full Desktop Towers Under $150
Corsair 750D and 750D Airflow
I've been using Corsair's cases for several years. While most of my experiences have been positive, there have been a few cases that have been less than stellar. The same can't be said about as it's truly in a class of its own. the Corsair 750D
This case has two options for design including the more business-like fully brushed aluminum front and the airflow-centric front mesh design. Not only does the case look good, it also does away with the plastic parts that many other cases use in favor of aluminum and steel pieces. This makes the case feel extremely rigid and capable of handling the extensive water and cooling options it has the space to fit.
Overall I can't recommend it more. It looks great, has great space and airflow options, and is easy to work with.
Here's another case I like from Corsair in the same price range. The hinged side panels and huge window make it easy to access and great to look at. Comes in white and black.
Computer Cases Under $200
Cooler Master HAF X Full-Tower Case
If you're willing to spend $200 on your computer case, then you want something that will last you a long time. The HAF X is one of the sturdiest and best-looking models on the market. It is made of steel, mesh, and polymer.
Cooler Master installed four large fans in the case itself and designed the internal workings to be air-friendly. This is a premium set-up at an ideal price.
If you're coming from a mid-tower case to a case like this one, then you'll notice right away just how much easier it is to manage all of your cables.
This is a huge case and is really only a good idea if you have a lot of space on or under your desk. See the picture above for a size comparison between the HAF X and the HAF 932.
Overall, this is a good case and is easily one of the best full-tower cases on the market. You pay a premium for a case this size, but Cooler Master has added enough features to make it worthwhile.
Material: Steel and Plastic
Compatiblitity: Micro ATX, ATX, Extended ATX, and XL-ATX
Expansion: 6 x 5.25" external, 4 x 3.5" internal, and 9 expansion slots
Front I/O: The front I/O includes 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, Audio, MIC, e-SATAm, and one 1394 port.
Cooling Options: Includes four fans in total: one 140mm rear, one 200 mm top, one 200mm side, and one 230 mm front red LED fan.
Weight: 31.6 pounds
Warranty: two years
Two of My Personal Favorites
In terms of value it's hard to beat the NZXT Phantom full-sized case. It has a great look, plenty of interior space, and includes a rear 1 x 120mm fan, 2 x 120mm side fans, and 1 x Top 200MM led fan as well.
Honorable Mention Under $100
NZXT Phantom: Best Overall Value
If you're looking for a full-tower case in the under-$100 to $110 price range, then NZXT's Phantom is one of your best bets. It won the Tweaktown Must-Have Editor's choice award and is one of the best full-tower cases available for the money.
The Phantom includes four fans: two 120mm side fans, a 120 mm rear fan, and a blue LED top 200mm fan. It has seven cooling options altogether It also has quad water-cooling cutouts for those who want to use your own kit. Another less noticeable feature is that the mesh is made with larger holes for increased internal airflow.
For the money you can't go wrong with the NZXT Phantom. Internally, it has a spacious interior and plenty of expansion for your peripherals.
Material: Steel and plastic
Compatibility: The Phantom is compatible with E-ATX, ATX, MICRO-ATX, and ITX motherboards.
Expansion: Bays and slots include 5 x 5.25" external, seven 3.5" or 2.5" internal slots, and seven expansion slots.
Front I/O: The front in and out ports include an HD audio, Mic, two USB 2.0, and one e-SATA port.
Cooling: Included in this case are two 120mm side fans, a 120mm rear fan, and a blue 200MM led top fan. Other fan options include a 140 mm front fan, 230mm side fan, and a 200mm top fan.
Weight: 24.25 pounds
Warranty: two years
High-End Full-Tower Cases
Above the $200 mark, there are many number of good options. If you're looking for good overall value, then I'd recommend you take a look at the Thermaltake Level 10GT, the Corsair Obsidian 800D, the Cooler Master Cosmos II, and the NZXT Phantom 820.
Why I'd Go with the Thermaltake Level 10 GT:
Probably my favorite of these is the Thermaltake Level 10 GT, which you can find on sale from $250 to $300. Overall this case is huge, uses quality materials, and is designed with a handlebar so you can take it with you. Cable management is easy and intuitive and it can fit any component inside.
Airflow and Cooling
This case is made for good airflow, but is it quiet because of the quality fans. It comes with one 200mm top fan, a 200mm front intake fan, a side 200mm intake fan, and a rear 140mm exhaust fan. You can also add a bottom 120 x 120mm intake fan. The included LED fans can be customized by using two different rotating color patterns or set at red, green, or blue.
Material: Steel and plastic
Compatibility: This case is compatible with micro and standard ATX as well as extended ATX motherboards.
Expansion and Drive Bays: This case includes 4 x 5.25" external drive bays, one external 3.5", five internal 3.5" drive bays, and eight expansion slots.
Front I/O: Ports in the front of this case include two USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, an e-SATA, and an HD Audio port.
Security Features: This case comes with locks for Front HDD Access, the side panel, and rear peripherals.
Warranty: The Level 10GT comes with a standard three-year parts and labor warranty from Thermaltake.
What's your favorite full tower case enclosure?
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Hopefully I've given you a few good options to think about when it comes to a full-tower computer case. If you liked this post, then find others like it on my profile. Also don't forget to check out my YouTube channel and subscribe for more up-to-date gaming news.
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