Over the past few years, we’ve built up an impressive stockpile of case reviews, the most common of which are sub-$100 ATX mid-towers. This is a roundup of some of our favorites, wildly different in purpose and appearance but all solid, affordable enclosures for the average gaming PC. Our best cases feature includes temperature and acoustic testing, and build quality discussion for the top PC cases under $100.
Everything here is something we’ve worked with in person, either in the lab or at tradeshows; if you feel something is missing, it is likely that we simply didn’t test it. We’re trying to keep the list to things released in the past year (or so), which means chart-toppers of previous eras are being skipped.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us, and there are many great deals out there to choose from. We've already rounded-up the best gaming CPUs and video cards (along with their sales), but now we're selecting the best gaming cases for your hard-earned dollar.
Having assembled many PC builds this year, I realize that the case is the one component that you will see daily, so the aesthetic appeal takes high priority. Next, we look for a case that fits into your allotted budget, and the last thing we check for is proper air flow to ensure the temperatures inside the case remain as low as possible.
Continuing our Black Friday sales coverage (previous: gaming CPU sales), we now look to what is arguably the most critical component of any pure gaming PC: the video card. In this round-up, we'll cover some of the best video cards for gaming in 2013 (and the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales), including GPUs specifically for Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed IV, and other games.
This coverage spans the budget range through the high-end and enthusiast options. We're mostly focusing on single-card setups, but will make SLI/CrossFire suggestions as things move along. First, a list corresponding to the below items:
Having written many PC build articles this year -- and building even more on our forums -- we've seen just about every CPU + board combination out there right now. For anyone looking to swoop in on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, we've rounded-up a list of the best processors for gaming as of 2013. These CPUs span the budget spectrum up through high-end video editing and production rigs, so we should have your price range covered.
A quick table of what's below:
As with any modernized adaptation of an existing technology, closed-loop liquid coolers (CLCs) have become almost fad-like in their adoption. In part, this is because CLCs actually do have very legitimate advantages over traditional air coolers - they are highly noise-to-temperature efficient, for one thing, and have an aesthetic appeal for some users. The other part of this liquid cooling craze, though, I believe is attributable to a general doting of something new.
The thing is, not every liquid cooler is going to be inherently better than similarly-priced air coolers. Just having liquid in tubes (rather than copper-encased capillaries) does not make the units predisposed to superior cooling qualities; this said, a well-constructed liquid-cooling solution can certainly trounce a well-constructed air cooling solution -- it just comes down to the engineering in each product and consideration of other differences (noise). There's a reason we use radiators for large, hot things (cars, for one) in tandem with traditional air-cooling engineering (also found in car cooling systems in the form of air intakes, copper/aluminum sinks, etc.): Both have their place for optimizing maximized potential for thermal dissipation.