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Long-gone are the days when the only role of a computer case was to hold the other components together. Sure, that’s still among its primary functionalities, but there are some other aspects to take into consideration as well when choosing a PC case for your next build. First and foremost, the format of the case will determine the size of the motherboard and cooling options you can go with – two elements that will dictate what you can and cannot opt for when it comes to choosing the rest of the components. Then there’s the number of bays, internal space and cable management capabilities to consider. Last but not least, aesthetics – you want your PC to be blazing fast, but you also want it to look good, right?
Cases come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from small form factor (SFF) cases that can be as small as a book, all the way up to full-tower or super-tower cases that can put a nightstand to shame in terms of size, and everything in between. If you’re not a fan of extremes, though, and want a good balance between size and feature, the mid-tower format is what you’re looking for. Here’s a list of the best mid-tower cases you can’t go wrong with.
When it comes to computer cases, Corsair is a synonym for quality. Even though the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 is among the company’s most basic cases, it still lives up to its name, providing exceptional value for its price of only $60.
The SPEC-01’s design is basic and functional: its large vertical grill on the front gives it an imposing look while also being able to shelter two 120mm/140mm fans, whereas the widened side panels allow the installation of tall CPU coolers and great wire management possibilities. The generously-sized left panel window will also allow you to show-off your components.
Internally, the Carbide SPEC-01 shows its true Corsair DNA with its attention to detail – the case supports mITX, mATX and ATX motherboards, with the motherboard tray being fitted with multiple cutouts to allow for easy cable routing, as well as a larger cutout in the CPU area to accommodate coolers with big backplate. GPUs of up to 420mm can fit comfortably, along with up to four HDDs or SSDs, and two 5.25” optical units.
In terms of cooling, the case supports a decent setup: 1 x 120mm fan in the back (suitable for 120mm AIO coolers), 2 x 120mm on top and 2 x 120mm/140mm in the front. A small letdown is the fact that, by default, the case only comes with one included vent: a 120mm red LED fan in the front, but that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
The Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX is like a Rolls Royce of mid-tower cases, combining exquisite looks with premium build materials and a plethora of features, but also a hefty price tag. The Enthoo EVOLV ATX will set you back roughly $140, but it is worth every cent.
Let’s start with the aesthetics: the case is built to impress. Combining a minimalist design and luxury building materials we normally find in high-end smartphones, namely aluminum and glass, the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX is ready to house your components in style. Speaking of components, the case is quite spacious, being able to fit the usual mini-ITX, mATX and full ATX, but also E-ATX boards up to 264mm wide.
The interior of the case follows the minimalist and clean approach, coming with a big cage that covers the PSU and some of the storage bays. Since we mentioned storage bays, it’s worth mentioning that the case supports a whopping 11 drives: 8 x 3.5”/2.5” drives (5 bays included) and 3 dedicated 2.5” drives (2 bays included). The design is fully modular, so individual bays can be added or removed as needed.
Storage is not the only chapter where the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX shines – the case also provides top-notch cooling capabilities, with three 140mm fans out of the box (fan controller included!), but supporting a maximum of five 140mm fans, or up to seven if you opt for 120mm fans. Liquid cooling was not neglected either, so you can fit a 120mm, 240mm, 280mm or even 360mm radiator either in the front or the top.
Some systems are built to be subtle; others are built to stand out. Builds that use the Thermaltake View 27 are in a league of their own, though, as the case makes it impossible to go unnoticed. Coming with a unique design featuring a curved window panel that stretches from the side of the case all the way over the top side, the View 27 offers a splendid view of the internals. The daring look is complemented by the tinted window front panel which can hide up to three 120 mm fans.
Motherboard support is the usual for mid-tower cases (mITX, mATX and ATX), but there’s another non-standard feature when it comes to graphics cards: you can go with a classic setup and neatly install the graphics card in its slot on your motherboard, or go in showcase-mode and install the card at a 90 degree angle using a PCI-E riser cable, thus showing it off in a unique way.
With the exclusive features out of the way, the Thermaltake View 27 also offers some decent figures in the other departments: four 2.5” drive bays, two 2.5”/3.5” drives, support for GPUs of up to 410 mm and up to 360mm radiator support for the front. Coming with a price tag in the ballpark of $70, the Thermaltake View 27 is a steal!
While cases such as the Thermaltake View 27 practically scream for attention, the Fractal Design Define R4 falls at the exact opposite side of the spectrum – not a peep! Silence is the definitory trait of the Define R4, but its sober yet elegant design is not to be neglected either.
The Fractal Design Define R4 doesn’t come with a glass side panel nor any fancy front panel design, and the reasons for this are simple: the case was not intended to attract attention, but rather to be subtle and quiet, so all panels come fitted with high-density sound dampening material on the inside. In an additional effort to advocate for silence, the Define R4 offers a very generous 170mm clearance for the CPU cooler, allowing for the installation of even the largest (and quietest) air coolers out there. Out of the box, it comes with two 140mm silent fans, but it can host an additional five fans.
When it comes to numbers, the Fractal Design Define R4 does not disappoint either: 10 storage bays (8 for 2.5”/3.5”, 2 for 2.5” only), two 5.25” bays, 7+1 expansion slots and up to 430 mm GPU compatibility.
Another excellent example of minimalism comes in the shape of the NZXT S340. The case relies on an all-metal build and a clean simple design to achieve its massive look. A contributing factor to the clean design is the PSU shroud that also covers the three 3.5” hard drive bays, while two 2.5” bays are placed on top of the cover to allow you to show off your SSDs.
Since a clean look implies no dangling cables, NZXT came with a creative solution to hide the power and data cables by routing them behind a strip of metal that extends from the PSU shroud all the way to the top of the case. The PSU shroud hides all the other cables, allowing for an exceptional cable management throughout the case.
Cooling-wise, the S340 can fit 2 x 120mm/140mm fans (or a 120mm/240mm/280mm radiator) on the front, one 140mm fan on top and one 120mm fan or radiator on the rear side. A dust filter is also included in the front.
With a GPU clearance of 364mm, the NZXT is not exactly the most spacious case out there, but it’s worth keeping in mind that only very few video cards are actually longer than that; with this being its only downside, and coming with a price tag of roughly $70, the NZXT S340 is definitely a great pick.
Rumor is that, with the SUPPRESOR F31, Thermaltake took a swing at Fractal Design’s Define R4, and it’s quite easy to see why – the two cases are very similar in terms of aspect and soundproof-oriented approach. While both the Fractal Design Define R4 the Thermaltake SUPPRESSOR F31 comes with sound-dampening fitted panels, the latter it also aims to attract attention with its aesthetics by coming with a windowed side panel.
On the interior, the SUPPRESSOR F31 might not allow for a look as clean as the NZXT S340 or the Phanteks EVOLV, due to the lack of a PSU cage, but good results can still be achieved as cables can be routed behind the motherboard via the numerous cutouts. A solid advantage of the F31 is its modular design: the two 5.25” bays and a cage that can host 3 x 3.5”/2.5” drives can be easily removed if not needed, clearing up more space for water cooling components or extra-long video cards. (up to 420mm, to be precise).
The price tag of the Thermaltake SUPPRESSOR F31 is slightly lower than the R4’s, making it a suitable replacement.
Another Thermaltake entry on our list is the Thermaltake Core V31 Liquid Cooling Certified, and we’ll let you take a guess what its standout feature is. We’ll even give you a hint: it has something do to with cooling.
Leaving the joke aside, Thermaltake’s Core V31 really is a cool case (no joke!): it can house up to 8 fans, as follows: 1 x 120mm in the back, 3 x 120mm/140mm fans on top, 2 x 120mm/140mm in the front and 2 other 120mm fans in the bottom. Of course, the top fans can be replaced by a radiator as large as 360mm, and so can the front ones (installation of a 360mm radiator will require the removing of the ODD and HDD cages).
Aside from cooling, the V31 can also host a motherboard coming in an mini-ITX, mATX or ATX format, video cards of up to 420mm (maximum 278mm with the HDD rack in place), and numerous storage units (2 x 5.25” bays, 3 x 3.5”/2.5” bays on a modular cage, 4 x 2.5” behind the motherboard).
Aesthetics-wise, the Core V31 ranks somewhere in the middle of the scale – it doesn’t make you want to take its picture because of how cool it looks, but it doesn’t make you want to look away either.
The Carbide Series 100R Silent Edition is Corsair’s view of an affordable yet fulfilling PC case. While it is definitely not for enthusiasts looking to show-off, it does offer some enthusiast-level features once you’re ready to look past its slightly dull design.
For starters, the Corsair 100R was created with mixed audiences in mind – it looks sober enough to fit in an office environment, but also attractive in its simplistic way to fit perfectly in a home-theater or casual setup. Regardless of the environment you’ll use it in, you won’t hear it whine, seeing as it is designed to be dead-silent. All panels are fitted with premium soundproof material, which is quite impressive considering its price tag below the $70 mark. For that money, the 100R packs some nice features: 2 120mm fans included (coupled to a fan controller, nonetheless), four drive bays, 7 expansion slots and support for large GPUs of up to 414mm.
You can’t put a ring on a PC, on matter how much you love it, but you can put said PC in a Phanteks Enthoo PRO M Acrylic, and it will pretty much mean the same. Designed to provide enthusiast-grade aesthetics and features, minus the “breaking the bank” part, the Enthoo PRO M Acrylic is one gorgeous case, to say the least.
Phanteks opted for a full-size acrylic panel for the left side, which provides a clear view of the internals of the case. To make those internals look at their best, the Enthoo PRO M comes with a PSU shroud, multiple rubber inlay-fitted cable cutouts and fully modular drive bays – all in an effort to allow you to make the most out of your build. Speaking of bays, there’s a total of 11 of them (8 x 3.5”/2.5”, 3 dedicated 2.5”). Versatility expands to the cooling department as well, the Enthoo PRO M allowing for a various mix of cooling options by supporting up to 3 x 120mm fans or 2 x 140mm fans in the front and top, along with a 120mm fan in the back. The front or top fans can be replaced by large radiators – up to 360mm, and there’s even support for a liquid reservoir, indicating that Phanteks really wanted the Enthoo PRO M Acrylic to look cool and stay cool.
Priced slightly under the $100 mark, the Phanteks Enthoo PRO M Acrylic delivers a solid bang for the buck.
Corsair is renowned for putting qualify first and price second when it comes to its products, but sometimes you got to adapt to the market, and when said market wants cost-effective products, you have to deliver. That’s exactly what Corsair did with the Carbide Series 200R – it adapted to the needs of users that were on tight budgets but still wanted Corsair-level quality, and thus the 200R was born.
Being a budget case, the Carbide Series 200R doesn’t boast any exotic features, nor does it wow a crowd with its looks. However, it does do its job of keeping its internals running in mint conditions just well. In fact, the 200R comes with a surprising amount of options for its price: 4 x 3.5” bays, 4 x 2.5” bays and even 3 x 5.25” bays, albeit none of them are removable. Perhaps even more spectacular is the cooling part: while the 200R’s support for AIO is limited to a 120mm AIO cooler you can mount on the rear, it totally makes up with its air cooling options, being able to host no less than 7 fans in the front, rear, top, bottom and even side – seriously impressive for an entry-level case.
Featuring a price tag of only $60, the Corsair Carbide Series 200R is a great pick if you’re building on a tight budget.