When building your own PC, the computer case will dictate much of the rest of the process. It sets up your selections for motherboards, drives, devices, fans and more. When you don't have a ton of cash to spend on a new PC, keeping the price point at $50 can get you pretty far. Also, this price point allows you to use more of the budget towards the CPU, motherboard or other components where you want big performance.
There are many cases available in the marketplace, and even Amazon has lots of cases under $50. There is a lot to choose from these days and each case has its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are a couple of points to consider when choosing your new case:
1 - First off you'll want room. Just like a house foundation you want the ability to layout everything without cramming it together. Look for plenty of drive bays and options for fans. Having the extra space gives you the ability to have room to upgrade and/or add more components down the road. In addition, having the extra space allows for easier airflow through the case to keep your components cool.
2 - Window or not to window? Many cases come with side windows for the coolness factor. It's great to show your friends how cool all your components look in the case, but if you don't care to show off the components, save that cash and get more features in your case. On a similar notion, the styling of your case is very important. You're going to have to live with it for years, so make sure you go through all the pictures on the website. Another physical feature to check for is ventilation options. It's a good thing if the case allows the power supply mounted in multiple places so you can maximize airflow. Watch out for the power supply pulling air from below the case, but it's not a showstopper if you really like the case.
3 - Lastly, be sure to read through all the reviews on the case. A lot of times you'll find other buyers ran into problems with components that won't fit, or poor fan placement, etc. In many "cases" you will not be able to think of all the scenarios you might run into and the reviews will help flush out the good, the bad and the ugly. In addition, once I narrow down my search to a couple of computer cases I like to search YouTube to watch how other buyers put their PCs together with the case. You can gain some great insight into your potential new computer case this way.
When I'm building a desktop PC, I would rather put the big money into the CPU and motherboard than the case, so I try to keep it under $50. There are so many options to choose from when buying a computer case that focusing on a couple of points may simplify the process. Look for a case with room, styling you can live with, and do your research on reviews. I recommend starting with computer cases under $50 and moving up from there if you don't find what you need. So don't be afraid to fail and get out there are start building your new PC today!