The best budget PC cases of 2023 can upgrade the look and feel of your gaming rig for less than $100.
The case is often saved for last when building a computer, but it can also take the most time to decide. It’s the outer shell of your rig, protecting the valuable components that power your favorite games and programs. It’s easy to run low on budget once it’s time to decide, but getting a great case doesn’t have to cost more than your budget GPU. Here are three affordable options to make your gaming computer-in-progress look fresh.
The Fractal Design Node 202 keeps everything tidy
If you plan to move your budget computer around, be it to a living room or hotel, size can be the deciding factor. Enter Fractal, an established computer case manufacturer famous for its solid pricing and tasteful gamer vibe. The Node 202 is its budget ITX offering, which is perfect for traveling gamers or those who greatly value their desk space.
The Node 202 is an ITX case, meaning that it’s much smaller than the standard ATX configuration. It measures 13 inches long, 14.8 inches deep, and just 3.2 inches tall, including the risers. The case is absolutely tiny, but it still puts in effort for cooling with thermal routing that keeps hot components far from each other in the system. Despite its small footprint, it still supports graphics cards up to 310 millimeters in length.
The Fractal Node 202 is perfect for a gamer on the go or someone who wants as much clear space around their workstation as possible. It’s incredibly tiny, making it one of the best PC cases for ITX builds under $100. Gamers who use integrated graphics or APUs should be happy to know that it fits most factory CPU coolers just fine to boot.
H510 scores major style points for its clean metal plates
NZXT has a reputation for solidly-built cases with understated looks, though budget options haven’t always been its strong suit. That changes with the H510. This sleek miniature monolith matches well with nearly every other piece of gaming gear and costs just under $90.
The compact ATX case with seven PCEi lanes and four cooling slots, two of which come with preinstalled fans. For those with a slightly higher budget, there are also H510i models with mesh fronts and even glass front options if you want to show off your fans. The base model measures 16.85 inches tall and 18.11 deep. Its width is a little less spacious at 8.27, but that’s still plenty of room for serious hardware and proper cable management.
If the PC case’s section of the budget is under $100, but you still want the best option for looks, the H510 is a solid pick. It combines a clean and sleek look with a completely metal exterior, and the extensive fan slots and glass window still leave room for self-expression. NZXT’s midsize case is a very mature option for any PC gamer on a budget.
The Cougar MX330 is one of the best budget PC cases under $100
Cougar isn’t the most established company in the components game, but the company has drawn attention with the MX330. This small case is very widely recommended to builders on a budget that still want some gaming flair. It comes with a coarse mesh front for better air cooling and an inch or so of lift above the ground, giving the PSU some room to breathe.
The MX330 measures 18.6 inches tall and deep at 7 inches wide. It’s compact but still reserves 350 millimeters of room for a beefy graphics card. With integrated space for two SSDs and HDDs simultaneously and room for six 120-millimeter fans, it has the cooling to support cutting-edge chips and budget CPUs alike. The 330 also comes in other slightly-pricier variations that include RGB lighting or pre-installed fans.
This case is squarely aimed at low-budget builds who still want a full list of features. The MX330 wouldn’t stand out at a LAN with its plain looks, but it features plenty of fan slots and plenty of space to fit nearly all hardware in a compact size. The base model costs just $55, and $20 more can net you a full suite of fans to go with it. If you want to cut costs for better parts elsewhere, the Cougar MX330 is an excellent choice.