When it comes to self-built personal computers nowadays it is very easy to get carried away. Before you know it you have so much RGB lighting you are beginning to worry about your ocular health and your liquid cooling system could fill up a local aquarium. For those of us who prefer a less flashy, more efficient combination of PC parts, we might venture into more subtle options.
To give you a headstart on your next DIY project I’m going to list some of the best minimalist PC cases money can buy based on the overall design, airflow, ability for cable management, the interior, and much more!
Cooler Master MasterBox NR600 Mid-Tower
Cooler Master has succeeded at making an admirable mid-tower case that not only serves as a budget-friendly option but also a case that is intelligently designed for airflow. Sitting at a very reasonable sub-$100 USD price tag, this quietly stylish case comes equipped with a mesh front panel that helps promote cross-ventilation inside the interior of the case instead of rotating stale air throughout the guts of your tower.
It is surprisingly sizable for a budget case and comes equipped with two 120mm fans while allowing room for quite a few more. It can fit any graphics card you will find (410mm) and is compatible with ATX. The tempered glass side panel allows a peek into the interior and the sleek, quiet black tone takes the focus away from the case and emphasizes the internal parts.
The Masterbox NR600 is an ideal case for someone who wants to build a computer on a budget and realizes the majority of his money should be allocated towards more important pieces of the puzzle. With its incredibly reasonable price and respectable airflow, this is an ideal choice for someone looking for a cheap, capable case that won’t cook the motherboard.
Corsair 5000D Mid-Tower
If your main goal is to keep the inside of your computer cool, the Corsair 5000D has enough fan mounts to chill a walk-in closet. It comes with two included 120mm fans but offers room for 10 total (or two 360mm radiators), which is only a little absurd. The front panel is a stylish series of triangular holes shaped in octagonal patterns that help promote more external air into the inside of the Chassis. Keeping with the simpler design style of this quietly beautiful case you have the options of black or white for the color.
For those of us who enjoy our cables being proudly displayed somewhere that no one can see them, this versatile case offers a hidden cable channel that effectively removes them from view. On top of this cable channel, it offers a good bit of storage behind the motherboard to store more cables should you need to. If you need extra storage, this beast can effectively hold up to four SSDs and two HDDs without issue. The GPU space is more than enough for any graphics card currently in rotation and this case is most compatible with ATX motherboards.
The Corsair 5000D will run you in the ballpark of 150-175 USD and weighs in a little over 23 pounds. While it may be on the pricier side its beautiful design, emphasis on airflow and optimal solution for loose cables puts this as an obvious contender for one of the best PC cases out today.
Corsair Carbide 275R Mid-Tower
Just because something is humble in design does not mean it is poorly designed and the Corsair CARBIDE 275R is a stunning example of that very fact. This stylish outer shell comes with a very easy-to-understand interior for those who are first-timers to building their own PC. Despite its simplistic interior design it still offers a variety of options for cooling, customization, and cable management. The side panel is the familiar tempered glass that has become a staple of PC cases in the last few years.
Like the previous entry, the Carbide comes equipped with a cable cover that allows the often annoying cables to be comfortably sat away in an inconspicuous black sleeve. Those worried about internal temperature can breathe easy knowing this machine can fit up to six 120mm fans without issue, or a 360mm radiator if you are looking towards water cooling. The Carbide is made to be compatible with an ATX Motherboard and allows up to 370mm of room for your GPU.
The Carbide 275R is a good alternative for those who don’t want a front mesh cover on their PC and want a more smoothed-off and rounded finish to the outside of their case. This aesthetically appealing chassis will run you more than 100 USD, which while on the pricier side is well worth it for what is offered in this case.
be quiet! Silent Base 802 Mid-Tower
Are you the type of person who feels personally slighted when your PC speaks out of turn? Well, as the name suggests, the Silent Base 802 is a perfect case for you but offers the added benefit of versatility. There is a strange balancing act that comes into play with cases where you hope they stay quiet while also not searing the pricier parts of your personal computer. The Silent Base 802 comes equipped with two interchangeable front and top panels that are either a sleek full-bodied black panel or a highly breathable mesh panel to allow more airflow, depending on which you prefer or need at the time.
If that isn’t good enough for you it also comes with noise reduction mats that are outfitted to the sides and front of the pc that will further eliminate sound. This case also comes with three pre-mounted 140mm fans to make sure you don’t have to sacrifice silence for a normal internal temperature. This case is also very compatible with first-time builders and offers a relatively painless foundation to build on (as painless as first-time PC building can ever be). The Silent Base 802 is made primarily for ATX motherboards and has 432mm’s of GPU space or 287 if the HDD cage is installed.
This combination of minimal noise and impressive temperature regulation is something truly incredible about this case. Depending on which style of case you purchase this case will run you $150+, or potentially up above 200 USD. It’s a more expensive case, there is no getting around that so if you have recently bankrupted yourself purchasing an inflated graphics card, this may not be the case for you. But for those silent surfers looking to minimize the noise their tower makes without overheating the case, this is an ideal (if not expensive) choice.
DeepCool MACUBE 110
In the interest of those more focused on simplicity in both style and size, the DeepCool MACUBE 110 is a slightly smaller alternative to the previous entries that is primarily compatible with micro ATX and mini ITX. Weighing in at a dainty 13 ½ pounds this tower is a perfect fit for an apartment, van, or RV where space is in short supply. While it is more compact than a mid-tower it is considered a bit bulky for a mini but compensates for that by offering ample fan space (six 120mm fans can be stuffed in), 2 HDD, or SSD’s depending on preference, and gives the GPU a not-insignificant amount of legroom with 320mm’s.
This tower is incredibly affordable at a sub-$75 price tag and still offers quite a bit for the budgeted price. Its side panel is the industry standard tempered glass that allows a bit of window shopping. What makes it unique is the side panel is entirely magnetic for easier access than those you would otherwise have to go at with a screwdriver. Like most minimalist pc cases, you get the choice of black or white for this tower though black may run you higher in price.
If you are comfortable with a micro ATX motherboard and wanna save money on your case, this is a great choice that offers a lot more value than the price would suggest. You may want to add in a fan with your purchase however because the default fan and obstructed front panel could cause some heating problems down the line. Outside of that, this is an excellent choice for anyone in the market for a more tightly packaged choice of chassis!
Factors to Consider
Brand, Build Quality, & Price
We will start with the obvious. Of course you want to find the highest-quality PC case possible for the cheapest price possible.
Generally, we are more concerned with build quality than the actual brand name on the product.
When we are dealing with the “guts” of a computer, buying from a reputable manufacturer is worth every penny. But with a PC case, the materials used and the quality of the build are the only things that matter — we don’t have to be concerned with software or apps.
Building a computer can be expensive, and we wholeheartedly endorse saving money on the case if it allows you to spend more on other components.
Size & Space
Before buying a PC case, you need to be self-aware about how much computing power you need/want. Whether you want a slim-line PC or you plan to pack the device with as more storage as possible, it is important to know before choosing a case.
Fan options are almost unlimited when building a PC. Many people subscribe to the school of thought that you can’t have too many fans. Be sure to keep this factor in mind when deciding on a case. Airflow is probably the #1 benefit that can be achieved by choosing a PC case wisely.
A minimalist setup is going to be ruined by loose cables. There is no quicker way to destroy the esthetic of your setup than with a mess of cables. Be sure that you choose a case that can manage and effectively hide the cables, especially if the minimalist look is your priority.
There is no shortage of choices when it comes to the more simplistically designed cases on the market today. You would exhaust a few months going through all your options, but this is an excellent place to start. Whether you want something on the less pricey side or a tower that looks like the Washington monument with a bit of tempered glass on the right side, best of luck on your next computer build!