When building a brand-new PC, how much do you prioritize a good case? Given that it’s going to hold all your expensive hardware, help keep it cool, and add various features to your build, a quality chassis should be high on your shopping list.

Every year we round up the best cases in categories that cover form factors and price points. We base our decisions on expert reviews, buyer’s comments, and our own experiences, making sure only the most desirable products rise to the top. Here are our best computer cases of 2018.

Best for Enthusiasts

Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X

Great | Differentiating Features
Optimal internal design, top-quality cable management, fan hub design is great, can hold 19 drives, dual system support.

Good | Most Have It
Integrated lighting looks awesome, excellent manual

Average | Competitors May Be Better
Pricey, thermals aren’t the best

Phanteks is a name that regularly appears in more than one category every year, and for good reason: the Dutch company makes stunning cases, and the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X is no exception. A successor to the excellent Evolv ATX, this new version upgrades an already excellent case to one that's as versatile as it is attractive. Despite being classed as a mid-tower, it supports not only E-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards, but also dual-system support, thanks to the optional ITX upgrade kit—though this will also require Phantek’s Revolt X PSU.

While it might not be as huge as some other high-end cases—not always a bad thing—the Evolv X can still pack six SSDs and four 3.5-inch drives, or you can buy the extra caddies and increase that number to a massive 19 drives. There’s also support for radiators up to 420 mm in the front, 360 mm on the top, and a 140 mm radiator in the rear, as well as up to seven fans (three are included).

Cable management, always a strong element of Phanteks’ cases, is as excellent as always in the Evolv X. Velcro straps and tool-less panels help hide all that messy wiring, the latter of which is used to hold the six SSD bays.

Other features include integrated digital RGB Lighting, a USB 3.1 gen 2 port, integrated fill and drain ports for watercooling, dual tempered glass doors, and an efficient universal fan hub that’s virtually concealed at the top of the case interior. You also get the usual excellent manual from Phanteks, and accessories that include a vertical GPU mount and an anti-sag bracket for your graphics card.

The worst thing about this case may be the price. At around $200, it’s not cheap, and perhaps some of the optional extras should have been included as standard, but it’s less than some high-end competitors. It's also far from the best when it comes to thermal performance. Nevertheless, it’s still a fantastic product.

Alternative

BeQuiet Dark Base Pro 900 rev 2.

Last year’s winner, BeQuiet’s Dark Base Pro 900, remains an excellent choice for enthusiast case builders, and the successor builds on the original with some extra bells and whistles. The rev 2. can still hold a massive number of drives and is fantastic for water cooling. Features such as the Qi wireless charging point and modular interior remain—you can reposition the fully removable motherboard tray, which supports E-ATX and XL-ATX mobos, at three different vertical heights, and it’s also possible to fit it upside down for an inverted layout.

Some of the upgrades in this version include the top and bottom parts of the tempered glass being painted black, the addition of USB 3.1 Type-C gen2, the fan controller now supporting 8 PWM fans, new plastic drive slot covers, and improved Silent Wings fans. Also, one of the few criticisms of the original case has now been addressed: this new revision comes with a PSU shroud.

While it’s a great case, a couple of aspects do now feel a little dated, and that near $300 price tag is very steep.

Just as good

Corsair Obsidian 1000D: If you value size above all else and have some very deep pockets, you might want to check out Obsidian’s 1000D. The 900D was massive, but this is 30 percent bigger. It can hold two systems, 18 fans, four 480mm radiators, and a small family (possibly). It’s also over $500. If you want something cheaper, smaller, but just as good from Corsair, check out the Obsidian 500D RGB SE.

NZXT H700i: NZXT’s cases all have a distinct look to them; a combination of sleek and stylish without being over the top. This mid-tower is no different. It's also great for builders, has superb cable management, and can fit up to E-ATX mobos. It even comes with a smart hub that uses the company’s CAM software, utlilizing machine learning to find the perfect point between noise and performance for your fans. Thankfully, four fans come pre-installed, and you also get a couple of RGB strips.

ThermalTake View 71 TG: As the name suggests, ThermalTake’s View 71 is all about the tempered glass, with four panels covering the case. You also get a vertical GPU mount, E-ATX compatibility, a modular design, 3-way radiator support, and much more.

Best Enthusiast Case Under $150

Fractal Design Define R6

Great | Differentiating Features
Excellent interior flexibility, watercooling support, power supply shroud and storage plate gives a clean look

Good | Most Have It
Minimalist, sleek looks, fan hub

Average | Competitors May Be Better
USB Type-C doesn’t come as standard

Fractal’s another regular name on these lists, with the Design Define R5 winning our 'Under $100' category a couple of years ago. The tempered glass version of its successor, the R6 TG, can be found for $149.99, and it’s a bargain price for what is an excellent case.

Like other Define cases, the key word with the R6 TG is minimalist. As such, it looks incredibly clean and stylish. There’s a cheaper version available without tempered glass, but an extra $20 lets you show off your hardware.

The top panel can be separated so you can choose between a steel cover for soundproofing or open ventilation for better airflow and cooling, while the interior lets users position the six universal SSD/HDD trays however they see fit. There are also two SSD mounts behind the motherboard tray, an integrated PWM fan hub, and you even get a 5.25" drive bracket—for those who still use optical drives.

The R6 is also very flexible, with the modular storage plate allowing users to choose between a standard layout for holding a larger number of storage drives, or an open layout that allows more room for water cooling hardware.

One criticism of the R6 is that you’ll have to pay a little more for a version with a USB Type-C port, but you’ll find few cases of the similar quality at this price point.

Best Mini-ITX Case

NZXT H200i

Great | Differentiating Features
CAM-powered Smart Device for controlling lights and fans, good support for liquid cooling in a smaller case

Good | Most Have It
RGB lighting, tempered glass

Average | Competitors May Be Better
No front USB Type-C

Mini-ITX cases are as popular as ever, partly because of how much power you can pack into a small form factor these days. Once again, it’s NZXT that takes the crown in this category, thanks to what is essentially a smaller version of the H700i, which is one of our top enthusiast picks.

NZXT won the ‘Best Mini-ITX’ last year with its still excellent Manta. The design of the H200i is quite different from that case, being noticeably smaller and more angular, but that doesn't mean it’s any less good-looking or stylish. The red, blue, and white color options really pop against the case’s black base coat.

At around $120, the H200i is at the higher end of the price range for a mini-ITX case, but it does come with tempered glass, an all-steel construction, a PSU shroud, an integrated LED strip (more can be added), and a CAM-powered smart device for controlling the fans and lighting.

Cable management can be a pain in small cases such as this one, but there are plenty of channels and a velcro strip to keep everything tidy. And the thermal performance is also excellent, outperforming all its competitors.

Three 2.5-inch drive bays, a single 3.5-inch bay, and being able to support up to four fans is good for a case of this size, and there are liquid cooling options with space for radiators at the front and back. No USB Type-C, sadly, but this is still a brilliant chassis for those wanting a small build. If you can live without the smart hub and lights, the H200 version is even cheaper.

Alternative

Streacom DA2

Streacom is no stranger to unconventional case designs, having been responsible for the DB4 Cube and other fanless cases. With the DA2, it’s the internal layout that really sets it apart. Rather than featuring traditional bays for components, it uses a universal bracket system that lets you mount most hardware anywhere in the case, giving it incredible flexibility. Amazingly, you could fit a full gaming system with a 280mm radiator into this 17.5 liter box.

Best HTPC Case

Silverstone Milo ML04

Great | Differentiating Features
Great design, excellent price, easy to work on.

Good | Most Have It
Sleek A/V looks, can hold five 2.5" drives.

Average | Competitors May Be Better
Low profile expansion cards only, cable management can be an issue.

There are two main attributes we look for in a good HTPC: It resembles an expensive piece of A/V kit that belongs in the living room, and it has enough storage space to hold all your media content. Which is why we still regard the Silverstone Milo ML04 as the best choice in this category.

Available for $100, the case’s low-profile design and brushed aluminum cover make it look like a much pricier piece of kit. The power button sticks out of the lockable front door, giving you that extra bit of physical security, behind which lies the two USB 3.0 ports, audio input, and microphone jack.

Even thought the ML04 measures just 350mm deep and 105mm high, it can hold both Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX boards, allowing a lot more options when it comes to builds. There’s also plenty of storage space for such a small case: a 5.25" bay that can also hold one 3.5" drive or two 2.5" drives, two more bays that can hold 3.5" or 2.5" drives, and a fourth bay that holds just one 2.5" drive. This means the Milo ML04 can support a total of five 2.5" drives or three 3.5" drives.

The four 80mm fan slots, along with the oversized slots above the CPU and on the side of the case, help keep things cool. And while building inside the ML04 is a lot easier than with most HTPCs of this size, cable management can be an issue, especially if you pack it with drives. The size also limits the expansion cards to the low-profile variety, but that’s unlikely to be an issue – it’s not like you’re going to be playing Crysis 3 on it. You could always use a riser and install a full size single-slot card above the motherboard, but that would limit the height of the CPU cooler.

If you’d prefer a bigger case but still want HTPC looks, an alternative is the Grandia GD08. It still looks like it belongs in a living room but fits motherboards up to E-ATX in size, can accommodate GPUs as long as 13.6 inches, features twelve drive bays, and has room for four 120mm fans.

Alternative

If you want something that’s equally sleek and looks at home in a living, check out Fractal Design’s Node 202. It can hold GPUs up to 310mm and CPU coolers up to 56mm in height, and you can even get a version with an integrated 450W SFX PSU

Best Micro-ATX Case

Phanteks EVOLV mATX TG

Great | Differentiating Features
Loads of space for watercooling setups, dual swivel mount tempered glass side panels

Good | Most Have It
Stunning good looks and build quality, RGB LED illumination

Average | Competitors May Be Better
No more fan hub, could use more drive bays

There’s a reason why Phanteks' case remains out top pick in the micro-ATX category: the Phanteks Evolv mATX TG is simply stunning.

The case is an evolution of the original Enthoo Evolv micro-ATX, introducing some new features to the three-year-old design while adding a couple of tempered glass swivel windows. The sandblasted 3mm-thick aluminum exterior exudes class and compliments those glass panels perfectly. And while it’s quite big for this form factor, it does mean the Evolv can fit an array of large GPUs and custom water cooling setups. The extra space also makes building inside the case a lot easier.

The front I/O ports have moved from their annoying position on the right side of the original Enthoo Evolv to the front of the case, hidden behind a stylish fold-up panel. In addition to the two USB 3.0, microphone, and headphone inputs, there's a brand new button for controlling the snazzy RGB lighting. There are four expansion slots at the back of the case. Storage wise, you get two 3.5-inch drive bays, which also accept SSDs, and two dedicated 2.5-inch bays. What’s especially nice is the way the right side window exposes the SSD caddy to show off your solid states.

The hinged side and removable front/roof panels make working in the Evolv a breeze. It supports 240mm and 280mm radiators in the roof and front, with the latter able to hold a 360mm rad if you’re willing to remove the HDD cage. There’s space for 120mm or 140mm radiators in the rear, and being designed for water cooling setups, you also get a pump bracket with the case.

The Evolv mATX TG features a selection of grommets and straps for some tidy cable management. It comes with two 140mm fans and can fit a total of six (120mm and 140mm). The good ventilation and intake fan position mean it’s one of the best cases in this form factor when it comes to cooling performance.

The biggest complaint is that the fan hub from the previous version has been omitted, and at $120, it’s not the most inexpensive. But the benefits far out outweigh these drawbacks.

Still Great

2016's winner in this category, the Bitfenix Phenom mATX, is still an excellent option. It features space for ten hard drives and five motherboard expansion slots, though its design, while stylish, pales in comparison to the dual tempered glass panels of the Evolv. At $73, however, it’s cheaper than Phanteks’ case.

Other options include the Fractal Design’s Node 804 ($150, above), which also supports ten storage devices, and the excellent Carbide Air 240 ($84) from Corsair. There's also the tiny but excellent and stylish InWin 301 (below).

Best Case Under $100

NZXT H500i

Great | Differentiating Features
A TG panel with great looks for under $100, excellent cable management and acoustic performance

Good | Most Have It
Fan hub, supports vertically mounted GPUs, includes RGB strip lighting

Average | Competitors May Be Better
No USB Type-C, hard drive cage must be removed to add new drives

We really are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a top-quality case for under $100, but NZXT’s replacement for its popular S340 is an excellent buy. So excellent, in fact, it’s hard to believe that this sells for under $100. There are two versions available, the H500 and H500i, the latter of which costs $99 and comes with some extra features, including a fan hub and a couple of snazzy RGB LED strips.

The case is unmistakeably an NZXT product, using the same minimalistic yet stylish design language found in the company’s other cases, such as that familiar H-series cable management bar. And the tempered glass uses a clean design that’s rarely found in classes at this price point. You might think there’d be thermal issues because of the lack of vents, but the case’s clever airflow means this isn’t a problem.

Cable management is a big plus here, with plenty of channels, guides, and a couple of velcro straps to keep things organized. The H500i is also a very quiet case—Tom’s Hardware notes that it’s almost inaudible at idle, and it even supports vertically mounted GPUs.

The case can hold up to three 2.5-inch drives and three 3.5-inch drives, four fans, and front and rear radiators. No USB Type-C, sadly, but the way this case allows easy system builds, combined with its numerous features and price, still make it a top pick at under $100.

Alternatives

There are plenty of other great cases available for those who don’t want to spend more than $100, including the Phanteks Eclipse P300. Featuring tempered glass, programable lighting, and excellent construction, it challenged NZXT for the title in this category—it’s also $40 cheaper at just $60—but the H500i just edges it by being easier to build in and more stylish. Sticking with Phanteks, the Enthoo Pro might just scrape in at $100, but it’s a fantastic case with multiple storage options, great design, and support for air- and water-cooling systems.

Corsair fans on a budget should check out the Carbide 275R. It offers the sturdiness, reliability, and clean design we’ve come to expect from Corsair, along with excellent cooling support (a 360mm rad and six 120mm fans), making it ideal for novice and experienced case builders alike. And if you're an InWin fan, check out the InWin 303, which is a beautiful and very popular tempered glass case available under $100.

Phanteks evolv image credit: MkaiL and 7he5tig. NZXT image credit: Think Computers. Node 804 image credit: Anandtech