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OCC Best Mid ATX Computer Cases 2018

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This article has been updated as of October 13th, 2018

 

OCC Top Pick: #1 NZXT H500i Compact ATX Mid-Tower

Every few months a new craze hits the computer enthusiast scene. We at OCC are always looking for the best products to review and recommend to others. So far this year, tempered glass and RGB lighting have been the bee's knees. Our top pick for a computer case is the NZXT H500i Compact ATX Mid-Tower. We spent countless hours looking into what would suit everyone's needs while keeping good performance (airflow) and still be at a reasonably priced case. The NZXT H500i is what we settled on, so let's break it down why this is the case everyone has been raving about and consistently a top seller!

Image courtesy of https://www.nzxt.com

 

Let's start off with the two variations of this model. The H500 and H500i both have the same base features, supporting things like the standard dual fan 280mm all-in-one (AIO) liquid coolers (NZXT Kraken), tempered glass, easy/clean cable routing, and filtered air intakes. These are things people expect in 2018. If you are digging the look, but not really into the RGB elements, then the non-i variant (H500) will be best suited for you. It comes also at a slightly discounted price, but still within the same price-tier as its counterpart.

Now if RGB lighting is part of your computer build plans, NZXT has that covered with the H500i. The "i" doesn't stand for anything in particular that we could uncover, but it isn't a far stretch to use the word "integrated" with RGB effects. This includes two RGB LED strips, fan controller, and the ability to vertically mount the GPU (PCIe extension cable sold separately). Once everything is installed, it will surely be the centerpiece of that extra special build.

Sometimes it becomes harder to write about what makes a case amazing, versus not such a great deal when everything is seemly top-notch on a spreadsheet. Well, I'm happy to report the only thing during our research that constantly came up negative was the fact that this case isn't good for the extra high rollers. By that, I mean E-ATX motherboards and, by proxy, X299 and X399 support. That would be Intel (X299) / AMD (X399) platforms for the respective workstation class CPUs, if you are not familiar with those larger form-factor motherboards and much more expensive platforms. If you are planning on going with either of those platforms, be aware that most of the motherboards are E-ATX form factor and simply will not fit inside a large portion of cases on the market. Just be aware that this isn't a "fits all" case, but it's very close.

All in all, it is not a bad setup and the whole NZXT case line is very appealing to the eyes with different color schemes to pick from. However, if that larger motherboard (E-ATX) is in your parts list or you are simply not a fan of the NZXT lighting software, then one of our alternate choices may be a better fit. NZXT does have the NZXT H700i, which supports the E-ATX motherboard spec if that is the only thing holding you back from buying the H500i after drooling over the images.

 

 

OCC Top Pick:
NZXT H500i Compact ATX Mid-Tower

Pros:

  • Tempered glass
  • RGB LEDs lighting (H500i model)
  • Price point
  • Good airflow

Cons:

  • RGB LEDs is controlled by NZXT software
  • No E-ATX support
  • Limited AIO cooler support 

 

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Newegg

 

 

 

 

 

OCC Runner-Up: #2 Corsair 570X RGB ATX Mid-Tower

Queue Corsair! We did a little digging and found this gem called the Corsair 570X RGB listed under the Crystal Series. Even if an RGB light show isn't your thing, this case will make sure the computer is front and center when people come over to visit. It's beautiful to look at on top of the actual build quality Corsair is known for. The 570X comes with tempered glass on all sides, with three included RGB fans in the front for controlled airflow across all the vital components. If you are worried about dust getting in, Corsair thought of that also and built dust filters into all the intakes to keep the inside just as clean without needing to take everything apart to dust it.

What makes this case a real winner is the fact that a wide range of Corsair AIO liquid coolers fit and even the Corsair H150i 360mm for those who need the best cooling possible in an AIO configuration. Then if you grab that Corsair Vengeance RGB memory, it will be really easy to take this case to the next level and show off that perfect computer you have been dreaming of.

 

Image courtesy of https://www.corsair.com

 

What makes this the runner-up instead of top choice? Well, it was a hard decision, but since this case doesn't support E-ATX either, that became a null and void point for or against the 570X. Mainly what stands out is you will have to be extra good at cable management. This is because the back panel is glass also, making it visible in most desk setups. Anyone with even a little bit of OCD will be annoyed by the cables if it's not properly organized.

Another possible issue (depending on the user) is the RGB controls. These are not integrated into the motherboard RGB header or any Corsair software. The 570X lighting is controlled by an RGB panel in the rear. Not the best solution or idea considering Corsair already has an ecosystem and software like the Commander Pro/Lighting Node Pro. Nonetheless, this case once properly set up, looks amazing and has the build quality to back it up.

 

OCC Second Pick:
Corsair 570X RGB ATX Mid-Tower

Pros:

  • RGB fans
  • 360° of tempered glass
  • Good airflow
  • Wide range of AIO cooler support

Cons:

  • No RGB software
  • No E-ATX support
  • Needs good wire management 

 

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Newegg

 

 

 

 

 

OCC Runner-Up: #3 Phanteks Eclipse P300 ATX Mid-Tower

We at OCC understand affordability is just as important when picking out hardware. Therefore we present the following: the Phanteks Eclipse P300! This case would be considered a budget product, but with a twist! It is made by Phanteks. Phanteks is known for very high-quality cases across the board and even on the lower tier product lines. The P300 is a mid-size tower with minimal exterior flare to keep it simple and affordable.

If RGB fans and LED strips are your jam than this will not be a good choice. However, if you are on a budget but want something that isn't looking like total trash on the desk, Phanteks has you covered. Basic things are still supported that are in higher end product lines, like the massive MSI GeForce RTX 2080 that top out at 327mm still fits, which is just shy of the 330mm width of space inside the P300. On top of that, front mounted AIO CPU liquid coolers are also supported if you choose to go that route.

Phanteks also snuck in a few extra features for good measure with "some" E-ATX motherboards (up to 275mm width) supported and built-in wire management for those who like to keep the wires tidy inside.

Image courtesy of https://www.phanteks.com

So what is the catch to the Phantek P300? Well, as hinted in the above paragraph, this case does not have any sort of major RGB elements (besides a very small and limited LED strip). It is also of course well within the budget/low-end tier, so extra fans and decent RGB lighting is forfeited in favor of build quality and basic necessities. We recommend this case for various reasons and Phanteks is a good quality brand with many upgrade paths and product lines.

 

OCC Third Pick:
Phanteks Eclipse P300 ATX Mid-Tower

Pros:

  • Build quality
  • Sleek design
  • Some E-ATX supported
  • Tempered glass option available
  • Entry-level price point

Cons:

  • No RGB fans
  • Basic RGB lighting (small LED strip)
  • Only one fan Included
  • Okay airflow (without more fans)

 

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Newegg

 

Alternate Choices:

We have a few alternate choices to our best picks, but in favor of time management and reader's fatigue, the cases listed below will have links directly to our reviews so you can read them at your leisure. None of these are listed in any sort of order like from worst to best, but of course, they all have some quirks and different sizes to consider. I suggest a little research after reading the review by checking out the company page before buying, just in case it doesn't fit your needs and anything we happened to overlook. We give all these cases our approval, but just not the top choices this time around.

Also, don't forget to make sure to continually check back in a few months for the next round of cases. We are always updating this list!

  1. Phanteks Enthoo Pro/Luxe
  2. be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900
  3. VIVO CASE-V08
  4. Corsair Carbide SPEC-OMEGA RGB
  5. mean:it 5PM ARC Red


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