Top Affordable Full Tower ATX Computer Cases/Chassis
Picking a case for your computer can be a hassle. In some cases you make a decision and months or years later it turns out some feature or dimension is inadequate and you need something else. In this list I will outline some of the best cases in the full tower range that offer more modern features and are certain to be future proof. Why full tower cases? Because the larger size means you will not be short on space in the future. To compensate for this however, many of the cases in this list will be on the lighter side. The case itself will be at least under 30lbs (13.61 kg). Targeted price range is typically below $160 with the ability to find the case on sale for a significant bit less than this.
Some criteria for this list would be good airflow, removable drive cages and fan filters.
Phanteks Enthoo Pro
This case comes in both black and white, with the black version coming in two flavors. There is the windowed version of the black and white that comes in usually at $99.99. This case, for the price, is a significant deal. The plain no window version of the black is $10 less and also lacks a cover for the lower area where the power supply is installed. This case features dust filters for the top, bottom and front. It has an integrated fan controller that takes a PWM signal and applies that to connected fans. It has a sleek front which is brushed plastic but has that aluminium look to it. The front IO is covered by a door adding to the uniformity of the look. Internally it features space for mounting two fans on the drive cages. This is a feature not too often seen in even higher end cases. The case features many more bonuses which you can explore on phanteks site
It weighs 11.9 kg (26.24 lbs) or 11.4 kg (25.13 lbs) without window and PSU shroud
Corsair Obsidian 750D
This case has both size and weight on its side. Coming in at just 9.7 kg (21.38 lbs) it is one of the lightest cases here. It is well made with a nice sophisticated look to it. The front is brushed aluminium and there are dust filters on all the intakes. It lacks some of the features of a few of the cases here - such as a fan hub - but it makes up for this by being lightweight and presenting tons of room for airflow etc. The massive and tinted side window adds greatly to its appeal. The MSRP is the highest here at $159.99 but this is a corsair case and that is the usual premium one can expect. It is possible to find it on sale for near $139 with free shipping on some sites.
Check out all the features here: http://www.corsair.com/en/obsidian-series-750d-full-tower-atx-case
NZXT Phantom 530
For those who are into a bit more of a flashy look, this case won't disappoint. It has the same sophisticated clean look of the previous cases, but now with a bit more character. It comes in red, black and white with a MSRP of $129.99. The price ranges with availbility and retailer however. It features a fan controller, front and bottom dust filters and a lot of space on top for radiators and the like. The black or red are my recommendation since white tends to get yellow. Of course it features the removable drive cages and includes SSD mounts. Not as many or refined as the 750D but it puts SSDs out of the way and the mounting works well. The case also features an internal mount for 120 mm or 140 mm fans which can be angled slightly depending on where you want the fan to blow. It weighs 10.5 kg (23.15 lbs.). Read more about the NZXT Phantom 530 here:
Thermaltake Core V71
This case is huge and does weigh a lot. I wasn't sure where to put it in this list but I knew it had to be here somewhere. It is unique in that removing all the drive cages gives you a massive obstruction free space in the front for the two included 200 mm LED fans in the front to blow in wonderful cool air on your components. This case is marketed for uber water cooling but the airflow seems the star for most users. There is a 200 mm fan on the top with space for two 200 mm fans and a 140 mm fan is included in the back. All vents are filtered except for the back 140 mm. It includes a more limited fan controller which is harder to get to that the rest of the cases mentioned. It also includes a less impressive solution for SSD mounting. It could have been the case that many more SSDs could be mounting on the back but the benefit of their approach is that you can mount full 3.5" HDDs on the back as well. For SSDs you can always put them anywhere anyway since they do not have moving parts. Its MSRP is $159.99. It is often on sale for as low as $99.99 with mail-in and instant rebates. The weight is 13.2 kg (29.1 lbs.). For more on the Core V71, go here:
NZXT Source 530
This is the little brother of the NZXT Phantom 530. It features much of the same features but at a much lower price of $89.99 MSRP and a lighter weight. There would be the expected reduction in build quality as well but for everything it offers it is a really good deal. The integrated fan controller is included. It comes with intake dust filters, a side panel window. The obvious major difference in this case is that it is a more muted look though it does have some of the NZXT angular design. It weighs 9.2 kg (21.28 lbs.). Read more about it here:
Phanteks Enthoo Luxe
The big brother of the Enthoo pro. Well, maybe the big sister. She's nicer in many ways but seems to have frequently eaten up more of the food that her little brother and is thus a bit on the heavier side. There are some small variations in design, such as the front panel. There is also the unique addition of LED accents along the edges of the case. The Case can be found for $149.99 on Newegg with <$6 shipping so that puts it in competition with the core v71 and 750D. It is a quality case but the weight brings it down. It comes up to 13.9 kg (30.64 lbs.). Compared to the v71 it lacks the roomy design and easy modularity. Read more about it here:
SilverStone RAVEN Series RV03
A unique design for a case which features the components being oriented in a horizontal position relative to how they would be in a regular case. The aim is better thermals with bottom fans blowing up at the vertically installed GPU and blowing cool air through the CPU cooler fans that are facing down as well. This hot air is then exhausted up through the top of the case. This takes advantage of the principle of hot air rising and the design does give some good thermals. It weighs just 12.5 kg (27.56 lbs.) and retails for $139.99. Read more about the numerous features here:
NZXT Switch 810
They call this case an ultra-tower. It has the same accommodations as a full tower and is very good when it comes to features. It includes the fan hub seen in the phantom and source but adds much more room to this and the interesting addition of being able to open or close the top ventilation. All these cases from NZXT include a rear IO led switch by the way. This helps you when plugging something into your system in low light conditions. Typically I feel my way around since the back is out of sight anyway, but this is a nice addition. This also is the only case in this list so far that has included a hot-swap bay for a 3.5" or 2.5" drive with SATAIII support. The case weighs 14.42 kg (31.79 lbs.). This is a little over 30 lbs. but I am not quite sure if it is accurate. Both Amazon and Newegg list this as 20 lbs. for the case but the NZXT site is likely more accurate. The hard thing is figuring out if the NZXT information is for the case and accessories while the retailer data is for the case alone. The MSRP is $169.99 but it can be found for $149.99 on Newegg and likely lower elsewhere. Newegg also offers it refurbished for $119.99. Read more here:
Corsair Graphite Series 730T
This case is a less expensive take on the 760T - which does not make this list due to its price. The MSRP of the 730T is $139.99 and that for the 760T is $189.99. The main difference between the two seems to be in the design as the 760T comes with a massive acrylic side panel while the 730T is opaque with just fan mounting options. The 730T includes similar SSD mounting to the 750D and also removable drive cages. These cases allow the cages to be mounted vertically either right by the front or a little further inside where a bottom fan might be mounted. It weighs 11.9 kg (26.24 lbs.). The design is solid and rugged with unique feet included. It comes with 2 front 140 mm LED fans that add to the tough design. Read more here:
Cooler Master Cosmos SE
I am not a big fan of this case but I really do like the inclusion of a handle. My current case is a Cooler Master Storm Scout and the handle comes in handle for carrying it around. In the end, no matter how light your case, the components you put in will add some more weight that often makes a handle very nice to have. It is well built, looks fancy and has a lot of important features including removable drive cages. It is light at 10.8 kg (23.8 lbs.) and retails for around $159.99 with current sales taking it below $130 with mail-in rebates and promo codes (Newegg). Read more here:
There you have it. A small selection of some of the best cases in the full tower range. If you are looking for an affordable case that will likely offer you anything you may want, need or never have use for, these cases are sure to provide. I have personally gone with the Phanteks Enthoo pro but I would certainly be happy with any of these at the right price. The Phanteks provided great features at an unbeatable $99.99 price point. The list is not set in stone, feel free to check each out and find what's best for you.