Author: Bob Buskirk
One of my most common questions I get when one of my friends is building a new computer is, “What case should I get?”. Your case is a very important part of your system. It is what you are going to see each time you sit down at your desk, the first thing someone is going to see at a LAN party and the case you are going to have to deal with when you decide to upgrade your system. This past year we have reviewed a lot of great cases, but a few really stick out from the rest. Our list of the best cases of 2012 are drawn from only the cases we have reviewed this year. So if you think an awesome case is off the list that may be why. Read on to check out what we consider the best cases of 2012!
Cooler Master Cosmos II (Review)
Right towards the end of 2011 Cooler Master announced the Cosmos II Ultra Tower and we finally got our hands on one in February. This case has a lot to live up to as the original Cosmos and the Cosmos S were great cases. Let’s just say this case blew both of them out of the water! Cooler Master called the Cosmos II an Ultra Tower and it sure lived up to that name as it was the largest case we reviewed all year. Inside the case you have room for up to 13 hard drives, 5 included fans with support for up to 10 fans, 2 hot swap hard drive bays, and it can fit motherboards up to XL-ATX. For being such a large case it has very clean lines and looks sleek. The front door of the case slowly slides down to reveal your optical drives and both of the side panels swing out for easy access to your hardware inside. If there is something missing from this case I really do not know what it is. We still use this case to this day as a display case when we travel to LAN parties and for a permanent home for our X79 system.
NZXT Switch 810 (Review)
After the huge success of the Phantom we were wondering what NZXT was going to do next. At CES we got our first look, it was the Switch 810. This first thing that made this case stand out was that it was white. Since the Switch 810 we have seen many white cases come out this year. This case has to be one of the most thought-out cases I have seen in awhile. Whether it was the different cooling options, the hard drive cages or the removable fan filters everything in the case serves a purpose. This is a large case supporting XL-ATX motherboards and watercooling with top 360/420mm and bottom 140/240mm radiator support. All of this sounds great but actually my favorite feature of this case is the small white LED on the back of the case that allows you to see all of your connections back there. So many times you are reaching back there trying to plug something in, but you cannot see it. This simple LED solves that problem and should be on every case. We love this case so much we have 3!
Corsair Vengeance C70 Gaming Case (Review)
Corsair makes our list for the second year in a row and they definitely deserve it. Themed cases are nothing new and honestly I was surprised when Corsair decided to come out with one. Corsair did a great job with the Vengeance C70 though. While it is designed to look like an ammo box and have that military feel, it is not overdone. Corsair added some nifty side panel latches, 2 metal handles at the top and some pretty cool buttons on the front. The thing that really surprised me about this case was how easy installation went. I did not run into a single issue at all and that rarely happens. This is the perfect gaming case as it is not that large, has the military theme, side panel window and installation is super simple.
NZXT Phantom 820 (Review)
It is not often that two cases from the same company make this list. Usually there is a single case by each company that really catches my eye but for NZXT they really did a great job on the Phantom 820. If the Switch 810 was the case for the beginning of the year the Phantom 820 is the case for the end of the year. NZXT’s original Phantom was awesome and really got NZXT’s name out there so when I heard they were coming out with a new Phantom I was pretty excited. The Phantom 820 in my opinion is the best parts of the Switch 810 and Phantom cases put together, oh yeah add in some new features as well! The Phantom 820 still keeps the same look as the original Phantom, but with updated lines and lights. Inside you can fit 6 hard drives, 4 optical drives, XL-ATX motherboards and of course you have more than enough room to route your cables and keep them all out of the way. NZXT has added their HUE lighting system in the case and you also have a 4 channel digital fan controller. For those looking to do some watercooling you have top 280/360mm and bottom 240/280mm radiator support. This case really does have it all.
So that is it, our list of the best cases of 2012! If you think a case is missing off this list let us know in the comments!