Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us, and there are many great deals out there to choose from. We've already rounded-up the best gaming CPUs and video cards (along with their sales), but now we're selecting the best gaming cases for your hard-earned dollar.
Having assembled many PC builds this year, I realize that the case is the one component that you will see daily, so the aesthetic appeal takes high priority. Next, we look for a case that fits into your allotted budget, and the last thing we check for is proper air flow to ensure the temperatures inside the case remain as low as possible.
In this Black Friday & Cyber Monday gaming case sales round-up, we'll look at the best PC enclosure sales spanning the budget-to-enthusiast price spectrum. So, while others are waiting in line for sales, you can go online in the comfort of your heated homes. Starting with a list, as always:
Computer Cases for Gaming - Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales, 2013
$45 - High-End Case for an Ultra-Budget Price - Black Friday Sale
: Never before have we been able to list such a high-end case in the 'ultra-budget' arena. Thanks to Newegg's Black Friday sales, you can get Rosewill's mid-tower Blackhawk case for a pretty impressive 55% off. As featured in the "Cosmic Force" giveaway we just concluded, the Blackhawk is a great looking case that gives you a lot of room for full ATX installs, case modding, and most other intermediate build tasks. For starters, this case is very roomy, allowing up to 300mm of clearance for your VGA, or 420mm if you remove the HDD cage.
The Rosewill Blackhawk comes with five fans (2x120mm front; 1x120mm rear; 1x120mm side), two being blue LED fans, with room for up to seven fans allowing for great air flow. With support for mATX and ATX, you have more flexibility with selecting your motherboard. You also get eight expansion slots, six internal 3.5" bays, and three external 5.25" bays.
$70 - Budget - Corsair Carbide 500R + Rosewill Thor V2 Gaming Cases
While selecting a case in this category, I came across two that really caught my eye. I tried to select one over the other, but decided it was best to just list both. They are both very accessible, good-looking cases, so why leave either one out?
: The Carbide 500R has been out for a while now, and we've used it several times thanks to all of the features offered and the "super mid-tower" feel to the case. For those of you that do not prefer the usual black color that many cases come in, the 500R's white exterior is a nice change.
Beyond the look of it, the 500R ships with four fans stock, 3x120mm and 1x200mm, with room for up to ten fans. The spacious interior supports up to 450mm video cards, with removable hard drive cages to help optimize air flow. The clear, meshed side panel comes with a 200mm fan with a (for once) surprisingly fitting blue LED that goes well with the white finish. Extra features, like dust filters, a fairly intelligent cable management setup, and a fan controller are also included. If a white case is not to your liking, the black version of the Corsair Carbide 500R is also on sale.
: Just as the legendary Norse God of Thunder rained down lightning with his mythical hammer, Rosewill seems to be raining down sales upon Newegg. It's no secret that we loved this case when we reviewed it, and for good reason. Not only does this case look good, it also does air flow and cable management right.
The case ships with three huge 230mm fans installed, so you're ensured a capable cooling configuration while maintaining relative silence. An included fan controller allows further control over noise levels. This large case gives your ten expansion slots, five external 5.25" drive bays, and six internal 3.5" drive bays.
Honorable mention: Thermaltake Armor Reveo ($70): Smaller case, but packed with all the features you look for in a gaming case. Proper air flow, great design, and up to 310cm clearance for your GPU. The best feature of this case, to me, is the design and 'breathe' lighting effect of the LEDs. Also gives you cable management options and numerous expansion slots.
$100 - Mid-Range - Full-Tower Cooler Master HAF 932
: 'HAF' stands for High Air Flow, and Cooler Master definitely knows how to achieve that - like in this PAX video where they used 15 high-RPM fans. With 3x230mm fans and 1x140mm fan stock, similar to the Thor V2, you get great cooling and relative silence out-of-the-box.
This is a full-tower case, so there's plenty of room inside, including support for eATX motherboards. The HAF 932 has 7 expansion slots, six external 5.25" drive bays, and five internal 3.5" dive bays. There's over 320mm clearance for video cards, and room for just about any aftermarket heatsink. Also included is a clear side panel, but this one doesn't offer a fan controller.
$170 - Enthusiast Class - Full-Tower Level 10 GT by BMW + Thermaltake
: For those of you with a little extra to spend, this case offers more than just a "unique," streamlined look. Thermaltake's Level 10 GT was initially launched at ~$700 and bragged cooperation with BMW to design the enclosure.
This ATX full tower gives you lots of room for your components, eight expansion slots, four external 5.25" drive bays, and five internal 3.5" drive bays. With support for mATX, ATX and eATX boards, you get options with motherboard selection. You also get plenty of options with cooling, coming stock with 3x200mm fans and 1x140mm fan, with room for more as well; the odd design of the case forces air through more carved channels, theoretically accelerating the air as it goes and ensuring efficient cooling.
The improved cable management system also helps with air flow - just make sure you use it and route the cables cleanly. Color shift fans are a neat feature that allows the user to change the color of the fans through a fan controller on the top.
Let us know if you need any help in selecting the right case for you by leaving a comment below. If you plan on building your own PC, check out our forums for more in-depth support.
- Michael "Mikagmann2" Mann.