This is the third article in a series where I am looking at finding the best desktop PC I can build for myself in $1,200 or less with a small monthly budget to improve it as we go. The last article, I showed off the standing desk I got on a budget which is the perfect setup.
So where do we go from here? For some people, it’s all about the CPU. Others it’s about the video card. For me, it’s being practical with the best case that is actually going to house this whole thing. I’ll have a couple of other pieces that need to be included with it including a power supply, keyboard, and mouse, but those are straight forward.
Before we go, I have my own expectations for a case that need to be met that not everyone may have.
- No liquid cooling. I don’t need my three year old shaking the standing table to then ruin my computer.
- Minimalism is my thing. I want something that is sleet and beautiful by itself.
- Give me room to expand. I will probably be adding more hard drives quickly, so I want to have the ability to do so if I want.
- Lights are fun, but not necessary. Function and cost over design.
Here are the three best cases I found in my search for a great PC.
Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window ATX Mid Tower Case
This case is 20.6″ x 9.1″ x 18.3″ in size, has 8 internal 3.5 bays, 2 internal 5.5 bays, no power supply, and a cover for the front to hide any optical drives or USB ports. Upside is the look. Downside is only two 5.5 bays.
Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case
This has dimensions of 21″ x 9″ x 21.6″ with 6 internal 3.5 bays and 3 5.25 external bays. The pro side is it’s a traditional design with lots of vents but is boring.
Corsair 760T White ATX Full Tower Case
The dimensions of this case are 22″ x 9.7″ x 22.4″ making it the largest of the three and has a sweet door to easily access the inners, but it is not special with the number of bays and is very price. Not worth the cost.
The case I went with is the Fractal design. It makes me think of what a desktop by a computer geek should be. Not showy, not boring, and enough room to be powerful.
Some extra pieces that I have for my case:
Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
Cobra E-3lue Wired Optical Mouse
Logitech K120 Wired Standard Keyboard