Computer cases still get plenty of attention from both industry experts and consumers. Other PC product areas are steadily shrinking, but new brands of computer cases still crop up regularly. The result is that you can still see innovation in this area. Brands that cost a little more are the ones that truly give you your money's worth. We tested 11 cases on build quality, noise reduction, and their ability to get rid of hot air.
When you put a five-year-old computer case next to a recent model, you have to conclude that case manufacturers are indeed doing their best to keep on developing and improving a rather basic product. We've seen improvements such as more user friendly and silent mounting systems for internal storage, simplified installation thanks to openings in the motherboard plate, and more space in general.
Other enhancements include improved cable storage, connections on the front panel, standard fan controllers, and space for water coolers (including radiators) and other types of cooler. The material used is no longer just 0.9mm thick steel. We now have composite materials, and the use of dampening materials, foam, aluminium, and rubber-like plastic.
Additionally, we've noticed that the finishing inside cases has improved. The sharp edges are gone, holes are nicely rounded and covered in rubber, and the boring grey or off-white on the inside has been replaced by black.
If you are planning on assembling a serious high-end system, then it is advisable to avoid the cheapest case you can find, as cooling will be very important. Modern components may run more efficiently than ever, but if you put them together in one case, they become more power-hungry than ever before. This means more heat for the case to dispose of. There are significant differences in how well cases do this. The "hottest" computer case is more than 16 degrees warmer than the "coolest" one when the fans are blowing at full blast. You can read the rest of 11 computer cases tested, from £70-£110 on Hardware.info.