If you’re building a PC it’s really important to invest your budget wisely. Despite the importance of a good PC case to an overall build, this is often a place that custom builders opt to save some money to be able to invest in a better CPU, GPU or other important components that deliver better performance or features.
That being said, there are some very well specced and quality PC cases that are still very much on the budget side of the scale, and these often come in a range of sizes and aesthetics with some features that put them in fierce competition with more expensive and premium PC cases and designs.
To help you find a quality budget PC case, we’ve compiled a list of 7 of the very best available, taking into account their various features as well as their price and size to make sure no matter what your requirements are, you’re able to find a case that suits your budget and specifications, while looking good at the same time.
We’ve also included a small FAQ and buyers guide to give a little extra information and direction for newer builders and to help even experienced builders get a few reminders of what to look for in a quality PC case.
But first, let’s take a look at the cases themselves and what they have to offer.
Best Budget PC Cases Under $50 for 2021
Cooler Master is one of the most popular brands in the PC world, and their case designs in particular are both innovative and well thought out with many excellent features.
The MasterBox in particular is a very popular Micro ATX case that offers excellent space saving size and good portability, while still allowing you to accommodate a range of the best internal components available including space for a full ATX size power supply.
The case has a large window to view your completed internals and a very sleek aesthetic that will suit almost any environment.
The finishing is high quality and there are plenty of other excellent features such as a great magnetic dust cover, decent cable management behind the motherboard standoffs, and a well positioned I/O panel that can be adjusted to suit your needs.
It isn’t a particularly heavy or large case, and it has decent airflow however being a smaller size case, it doesn’t offer quite the same amount of airflow or cable management as you’d get from a larger Mid-tower or ATX sized case, and of course, this will limit your options a little in terms of componentry and cooling options.
It is a very good case however especially for those who don’t have a lot of space for a larger PC.
- Large Window
- Well-positioned I/O Panel
- Micro ATX Size capable of fitting a full ATX power supply
- Good cable management
- Good dust cover
- Relatively small
MSI is another household name in the PC industry, and their recent foray into case design with the MAG Series FORCE is a great start, thanks to a range of excellent features including a tempered glass side panel, excellent airflow, good cooling options, and a larger mid-tower profile that can accommodate a range of components and accessories.
There are large standoffs on the base to help with lower airflow, and there are mounts for liquid cooling that allow the installation of a 240mm radiator which could provide astonishing cooling performance in such a reasonably sized PC case.
The tempered glass side panel is a real highlight as most side panels at this price point are acrylic or plastic, and this shows how high performance this case is despite its price.
The cable management is very good with a shrouded PSU slot that can also house most of the cables and keeps the core components such as the GPU and CPU free of dust and blockages that may be caused by cables being open in the base compartment of the case.
The design is asymmetrical and this may not be to everyone’s taste, but this case is one of the very best-specced at this price and offers excellent all-around performance for its size also.
- Tempered glass window
- Good airflow
- Great cable management
- Good standoffs
- Included case fan
- Asymmetric design may not suit everyone
The Deepcool MATREXX is another mid tower solution with a range of great features and excellent cable management, however, the cooling may leave a little to be desired.
The case features a tempered glass window which is very nice and a 210mm compartment that can fit most mainstream components with plenty of space to spare.
There are decently sized intakes at the front edges of the case, and a magnetic dust proof mesh at the top and bottom of the case to prevent dust ingress while the fans work.
The cable management on this system is again superb with a shrouded lower and rerouted PSU cabling for improved GPU accessibility.
- Glass Window
- Great cable management
- Good dust proofing
- Sleek aesthetic
- Cooling could be better at the front
This option from AeroCool has some nice features at a competitive price, including RGB front panel lighting and a very sleek and good looking matte finish.
The side window is acrylic which is a small letdown compared to some other glass designs, and this may make it more prone to scratching and smudging compared to glass.
The cable management is excellent however and the cooling is also fair, with the ability for the case to mount a 240mm liquid cooling radiator and several 120mm fans around the case.
The RGB front panel and LED lights are a very nice touch and are easy to control, with several lighting options depending on the mood you want to create.
The floor standoffs are sturdy and provide good clearance, and the i/o panel is well located.
As a mid tower the case can accommodate most components quite comfortably, and offers an excellent compromise between internal size and the space it takes up in the room.
- RGB lighting
- Side window
- Nice matte finish
- Good cable management
- Decent cooling
- Side window is plastic and may be prone to scratching
Zalman have made some excellent cases in recent years, and the S series are some of the most popular, particularly the S4 with its very reasonable price and minimalist aesthetic that suits more professional and nondescript builders who aren’t keen on the RGB craze or asymmetric designs many brands are currently obsessed with.
The S4 has some excellent features including a side window, good floor standoffs, and pretty good air cooling and flow.
The cable management is great thanks to the shroud system that covers the PSU and lower area of the case internals, however, there is also plenty of space for large components such as graphics cards and CPU coolers, as well as liquid cooling systems.
The only downside is the plastic window which is prone to scratching.
- Side window
- Good standoffs
- Minimalist design
- Good air cooling
- Great management
- Less eye-catching than some designs
If space is the main concern for you, the ROSEWILL Micro ATX case may be a good option for you as it’s very small and portable but still offers you capacity for some decent components and offers ok cable management despite its small size.
Air flow is a bit of a concern, however, there are some other great features including a side window and an included case fan.
The case may not be as refined or attractive as some others, but it will fit almost anywhere and has decent performance at a very good price.
- Micro ATX Case
- Ok cable management
- Side window
- Poor airflow
- Can’t accommodate larger components
The Raidmax Blazar ATX is another great option featuring burnished metal panels and a smoked plastic side window, as well as RGB lighting on the front panel.
The cable management is fairly good thanks to the lower shroud and routing arrangement, while the cooling is ok despite a sealed front panel.
The main drawback is the plastic side window which may be prone to scratching and is smoked which obscures some of the internal views of the case.
- Burnished metal effect
- Smoked plastic side window
- RGB Front panel
- Good cable management
- Decent airflow
- Side window is plastic and prone to damage and scratches
In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to look at some of the most important features to consider when looking for a good PC case if it’s a budget option or a more premium choice.
Good cable management is key to a decent case, as you need somewhere to keep your system’s various wires and connectors organized and out of the way of the main componentry.
Disorganized cabling can cause a host of issues, causing your computer to run hotter, blocking airflow, causing dust build-up, and making it more difficult to maintain and preserve your PC in the long term.
Good airflow is essential to keep your PC healthy, and even the most rudimentary cases should have openings for pressure management and options to mount case fans, particularly if you’re planning to use your PC for gaming or other intensive uses.
While this may not be important to everyone, good aesthetic choices can make even budget cases look presentable and neat.
While many of the best features will be the reserve of premium cases it is possible to find some entry-level or budget cases that offer a range of good features from windows to RGB lighting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you use a budget PC case?
Budget PC cases can be a great way to save money for the cash strapped builder, and if the budget is tight this is one of the best ways to find a few extra dollars to invest in more important components such as the CPU, graphics card, or even other things such as peripherals.
Budget PC cases may lack some of the flagship features of more advanced and expensive designs, and lack nice touches such as windows, tempered glass or even plastic versions, as well as in case lighting, fans, and quality construction.
Budget cases will also have simpler, more basic cable management making your build a little less ‘pretty’.
However, budget cases are great at one thing, getting your build put together for a great price, and offering a platform on which you can start putting together a build.
There are also some admirably specced budget cases nowadays, meaning you can actually get some nice features if you know where to look.
If looks aren’t important to you, or you need to scrape as many dollars together as possible then a budget case is a great option for you, and they can always be swapped out at a later date.
If however, you do want a rig that looks visually stunning and offers the latest innovations in airflow design, cable management and features, a more expensive case may be the option for you and will make it much easier for you to use your PC over the long term.
What size case should you use?
When building a PC, the PC case is one of the most important components, after all it’s what will house your expensive and sensitive computer parts and keep them safe, as well as help to keep them organized and cool.
There is a range of PC case sizes, from mini-ITX cases to full towers and everything in between.
If you’re short on space, the smaller cases will naturally be a good choice for you, however, this will severely limit the amount of space you will have inside the case and have a bad effect on the airflow of the case and what components you can fit inside of it.
While there are many great small form factor components and admirable performance is possible, full towers offer the very best in cooling potential and the biggest most powerful components.
Naturally, these come at a cost in space, and these machines can be quite large and require plenty of room for the tower, the peripheral and to allow proper airflow around the case which many people simply can’t squeeze into their office or home.
You’ll need to weigh up all these needs and try to find the best version for you.