Buyers Guides Cases

Best PC Cases to Buy Under $300

FI_Best Cases Under $300

With such a huge number to choose from, finding an excellent PC case can feel like a bit of a daunting task. At the higher-end of the market, you also come to expect far more from a case as far as features, connectivity and build quality is concerned. That’s why we’ve rounded up our favourite cases under $300, to show just what can be achieved at the very top end of the market.

Best PC Case Under $300: MSI MPG Gungnir 300R Airflow

Read on for our full testing, but here’s our quickfire verdict:
PRT_MSI Gungnir 300R Airflow

The MSI MPG Gungnir 300R Airflow is an extremely impressive case, offering a solid set of features and maximising airflow, while coming in at a more than fair price point. The Gungnir 300R offers an innovative rotational GPU tray, a plethora of space for large components, including E-ATX motherboards, while providing plenty or perforations and ventilation to allow air to freely move through your chassis. This case is extremely accommodating despite its size, making it a perfect option for a plethora of different builds.

$111.24 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-23 05:46:23 ET

The Best Cases to Buy Under $300

1. MSI MPG Gungnir 300R Airflow

Original Review by Jay Harris: MSI MPG Gungnir 300R Airflow Review – Some Unique Design Choices
$111.24 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-23 05:46:23 ET

The MSI MPG Gungnir 300R Airflow is a perfect case for those looking at a great blend of features, aesthetics and performance. This case maximises airflow via an expansive, mesh front panel and a trio of 120mm RGB fans up front. The white colorway offered by MSI also offers a welcome alternative to the black design on offer, and is a great choice for those after a slightly different look to their build.

Heat dissipation is a clear focus of the Gungnir 300R, but it is certainly not the only area of note. The rotational PCI-E slots at the rear allow you to chop and change the orientation of your graphics card, facilitating both vertical and horizontal installations. There is ample GPU clearance within the Gungnir 300R with 360mm of length clearance, great for popping in even top-end GPUs. There is also an included GPU support bracket in this case that feels robust, and will reduce graphics card sag.

MSI MPG Gungnir 300R AirflowSpecification
Case SizeMid-Tower
Pre-Installed FansFront: 3x 120mm RGB
Rear: 1x 120mm RGB
Max Fan Support7x 120mm
Max Radiator SupportFront: Up to 360mm
Top: Up to 360mm
Rear: Up to 140mm
Motherboard SupportUp to E-ATX
GPU Clearance360mm
CPU Cooler Clearance175mm
Front IO2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A
1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
1x 3.5mm Combo Jack

While the Gungnir 300R Airflow is a very well-rounded case, it isn’t by any means the flashiest in this roundup. While the white or black colour options look clean and sharp, the case has no other external design cues of note. Other chassis in this lineup offer innovative features like an LCD screen, or push visuals up with metal accents, diffused RGB strips or creative ventilation.

Pros

Cons

Suggested Article: The Best PC Cases to Buy for an RTX 4090 PC Build

2. Lian Li O11 Vision

MPI_O11 Vision Full Build
Original Review by Jay Harris: Lian Li O11 Vision Review – The O11 Makes an Astounding Comeback!

Those looking to pick up a PC case under $300 that priorities looks above all should closely consider the Lian Li O11 Vision. Building upon the original design of the O11D series, this chassis boasts seamless glass panels across the entirety of the case, providing a huge window into your PC build that does a great job of showing off all of your components in their full glory.

As is expected of a Lian Li case, there’s a massive focus on modularity, providing you with plenty of tools and space for custom liquid cooling. The O11 Vision also offers a seamless building process by sporting a plethora of tool-less panels, while also allowing you to build much of your PC outside of the case thanks to the adjustable motherboard tray.

Lian Li O11 VisionSpecification
Case SizeMid-Tower
Pre-Installed FansNone
Max Fan Support8x 120mm
Max Radiator SupportSide: Up to 360mm
Bottom: Up to 360mm
Rear: Up to 240mm
Motherboard SupportUp to E-ATX
GPU Clearance455mm
CPU Cooler Clearance167mm
Front IO2x USB 3.0 Type-A
1x USB Type-C
1x 3.5mm Combo Jack

The O11 Vision has ample space for a mass of varying components, offering 455mm of graphics card clearance and supporting multiple 360mm liquid cooling radiators too. There’s a huge amount of room here for high-end and enthusiast-level PC builds.

Our biggest concern with the O11 Vision is airflow. Where the Gungnir 300R prioritises ventilation, Lian Li’s O11 Vision has replaced most sides with glass. There isn’t a huge amount of perforations across this chassis, which does result in weaker thermals when compared to some alternatives.

We’ve also built a full system with this case, so you can see exactly how a build looks within this chassis!

Pros

Cons

3. Thermaltake CTE T500 Air

MPI_Thermaltake CTE 500 Air Snow
$164.98 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-23 05:46:23 ET

Stepping things up a notch, and the Thermaltake CTE T500 Air is a Full Tower case geared towards enthusiasts that need ample space for custom liquid cooling. This chassis can house up to a 420mm AIO at the front, with space for a 360mm cooler on the rear. You’ll find ventilation spanning across the entirety of the case, which is great for airflow, and a range of different internal component configurations for radiator positioning.

Much like the Gungnir 300R, the CTE T500 Air massively prioritises airflow, with the Full Tower stature allowing you to leverage much more internal space, with little restrictions by way of GPU, cooler or motherboard size. This is further complimented by the motherboard tray, which allows you to rotate the motherboard 90 degrees, providing alternative ways to style your system and options when it comes to airflow pathways.

Thermaltake CTE T500 Air Specification
Case SizeFull Tower
Pre-Installed Fans3x CT140 140mm
Max Fan Support11x 120mm
Max Radiator SupportFront: Up to 420mm
Top: Up to 120mm
Rear: Up to 360mm
Motherboard SupportUp to E-ATX
GPU Clearance385mm
CPU Cooler Clearance195mm
Front IO1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
2x USB 3.0 Type-A
1x 3.5mm Combo Jack

While the T500 Air is a rather impressive case, the size of this chassis makes it hard to fit in many gaming setups. Thermaltake have done a good job adding plenty of features in to the internals, but not every potential buyer will need the flexibility that this mammoth form factor provides.

Pros

Cons

4. be quiet! Shadow Base 800 FX

MPI_bequiet! Shadow Base 800 FX
Original Review by Jay Harris: Be Quiet! Shadow Base 800 FX Review – Expensive but Flashy!
$199.90 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-23 05:46:23 ET

Those looking for a PC case that offers an awesome blend of features and performance, should look no further than the bequiet! ShadowBase 800 FX. With four pre-installed RGB fans including, of which three are located at the front and one is at the rear,. you aren’t short on airflow. Complimenting the lighting that these fans provide are a pair of RGB strips at the front of the case. When switched on, you’ll see the RGB lighting come to life, all of which can be synchronised using your motherboard or the cases included RGB controller.

While the Shadow Base 800 FX is a Mid-Tower case, it still provides ample space allowing you to build a range of different systems. With support for 420mm liquid cooling radiators, and 430mm of graphics card clearance, this case does cater to those building an enthusiast-level system with large components.

Thermaltake CTE T500 Air Specification
Case SizeMid-Tower
Pre-Installed Fans4x Light Winds 140mm
Max Fan Support8x 140mm
Max Radiator SupportFront: Up to 420mm
Top: Up to 420mm
Rear: Up to 120mm
Motherboard SupportUp to E-ATX
GPU Clearance430mm
CPU Cooler Clearance180mm
Front IO1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
2x USB 3.2 Type-A
1x 3.5mm Combo Jack

The Shadow Base 800 FX from be quiet! is a solid case overall, and you can expect thermals to be well optimised based on the sheer amount of ventilation this case offers. However, we feel the price of this case is a little high considering the available feature set, meaning it may be worth looking elsewhere if you’re after a little more value for money at this price point.

Pros

Cons

How We Test Cases

To inform our product recommendations, we’ve tested and analysed a plethora of cases to ascertain what kind of building experience they offer, and if airflow is optimised across each design. This allows us to forge a solid overview of each chassis, providing you with a discussion of the value-proposition that all of these cases offer. There are a number of factors we take into consideration when testing cases, these are:

  • Size
  • GPU and CPU Cooler Clearance
  • Radiator and Fan Capacity
  • Design
  • IO Support
  • Motherboard Support
  • Pricing

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much GPU Clearance Do I Need?

Upto 400mm of GPU clearance is going to be more than sufficient for most GPU installations. Keep in mind that front mounted fans and radiators may impede on this clearance, beyond the case specifications.

Is Tempered Glass or Mesh Better for a PC Case?

Tempered glass is generally better for aesthetics, while mesh cases provide more ventilation and airflow options.

Are Pre-Installed Case Fans Important?

Pre-installed fans are likely to save you time and money during the building process, providing crucial airflow to keep your components cool.

editor
Jay Harris is an expert in everything PC hardware! With a degree in Cybersecurity, and a PC hardware background Jay has all of the technical knowledge required to make informed recommendations. Jay is an avid keyboard builder and gamer, with a major passion for tech. In fact, Jay's personal rig boasts a white RX 7900 XTX graphics card, inside of the Lian O11D Mini - a true enthusiast's dream!