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The 7 Best Budget PC Cases Under $150 for 2023

Building a new gaming PC or workstation doesn‘t have to break the bank. While it‘s tempting to splurge on a high-end case with all the bells and whistles, you can still get excellent performance and quality from more affordable options.

In this guide, I‘ll be sharing my top picks for the best budget PC cases under $150 in 2023. I evaluated over two dozen different sub-$150 cases across various brands, taking into account criteria like:

  • Build quality – Sturdy construction from quality materials
  • Size & compatibility – Can it fit your components like GPU, CPU cooler, drives etc.
  • Aesthetics – Style, color options, window etc. Matches your tastes
  • Cooling – Smart layout to allow sufficient airflow and cooling capacity
  • Cable management – Keep your build neat with routing options and space

I‘ll summarize the key pros, cons and ideal usage scenario for each recommended budget case. You‘ll also find advice on choosing a case that aligns with your PC build needs and getting the most out of cheaper cases.

Let‘s dive in!

1. Top Pick: Montech Air X ARGB


Price: $89.99

The Montech Air X hits the sweet spot for price versus performance when it comes to budget cases. This mid-tower chassis sports a beautiful tempered glass front panel that shows off the three included 120mm ARGB intake fans.

The mesh top, rear and base provide ample ventilation for good thermal performance. You get a PSU shroud for clean cable management in the back chamber area. Rubber grommets allow passing power cables through to the main section easily.

With support for mATX, ATX and E-ATX motherboards, liquid CPU coolers up to 360mm and graphics cards over 300mm long, the Air X works for most standard builds. The white variant pictured above looks fantastic, giving off premium vibes belying its reasonable price tag.

Ideal for: Mid-range gaming rigs wanting RGB bling and good cooling without breaking the bank.


  • Slick aesthetics with ARGB intake fans
  • Good airflow and cooling capacity
  • Generous clearance for long GPUs and tall CPU coolers
  • Excellent value for money


  • Cable management could be better
  • Only two pre-installed fans

2. Runner Up: Phanteks Eclipse P300A


Price: $69.99

The P300A from renowned brand Phanteks offers a minimalist, subtle look that‘s a contrast to the loud styling of many gaming cases. The metal mesh front panel keeps things sleek while allowing air intake for the GPU, CPU and other components.

Inside you get a convenient velcro strap system to keep cables neat and out of sight. The PSU cover assist further by shielding cables underneath. With support for mATX and ATX motherboards, liquid CPU coolers up to 240mm and graphics cards over 300mm long, it meets the needs of most standard builds.

The P300A lacks RGB lighting which helps keep costs low. But it remains a well designed, no-fuss case perfect for budget gaming rigs.

Ideal for: Clean, minimalist budgets gaming builds focused more on value than flash.


  • Understated, professional aesthetics
  • Good cable management options
  • Airflow-focused design
  • Side tempered glass window


  • No pre-installed fans
  • No RGB lighting

3. Best Micro-ATX: Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L


Price: $54.99

The MasterBox Q300L lets you create a powerful yet portable mATX gaming rig on a tight budget. The handle on top makes it easy to transport to LAN parties or a friend‘s place. Or you can opt to use the included stand brackets for vertical operation.

Despite the small size, you still get a tempered glass side window along with customization options like interchangeable acrylic top and bottom panels. The perforated front and top allow decent airflow from an additional case fan or CPU cooler that you install. There‘s room for a full sized GPU, tower air cooler and two drives making it quite capable for a micro-ATX case.

Just be prepared to get creative with cable management in the compact space. But overall the MasterBox Q300L opens up mini-gaming rigs to budget buyers.

Ideal for: Portable micro-ATX gaming builds for students or frequent LAN party goers.


  • Unique customizable aesthetics
  • mATX motherboard support in compact size
  • Carry handle and vertical operation
  • Side tempered glass window


  • Tricky cable management
  • No fans included
  • Airflow could be better

4. Best Expandability: Montech X3 Mesh


Price: $129.99

The Montech X3 Mesh lives up to its name with mesh front, top and side panels that offer maximum airflow and cooling capacity. Combined with support for a towering 165mm tall CPU coolers and 180mm long PSUs, you can equip some beefy hardware in this budget pick.

The full ATX and E-ATX motherboard support provides you flexibility for future expansion or running multi-GPU setups. Seven expansion slots and 400mm long graphics card clearance cement the upgradability story.

Despite the giant size, Montech still kept niceties like PSU shroud, rubber cable grommets and an ARGB lighting strip controlled by handy remote. There‘s great value here in a budget case ready to support advanced configs.

Ideal for: Enthusiasts planning major expansions or future multi-GPU setups.


  • Great expandability for E-ATX motherboards
  • CPU coolers up to 165mm in height supported
  • Seven expansion slots for multi-GPU
  • Lots of interior space


  • Big and heavy
  • Styling a bit plain Jane

5. Best High Airflow: Cougar MX330


Price: $74.99

The Cougar MX330 mid-tower prioritizes airflow for keeping even hot high-end components cool. The full mesh front panel lets cool air flow in smoothly across the large included 120mm fan and optional two other 120mm intake fans if you desire.

Further helping is support for 360mm front mounted radiators for powerful liquid cooling setups. The 120mm rear exhaust fan rounds out strong thermal performance that belies the MX300‘s reasonable asking price.

A tempered glass side makes your gear visible while two SSD trays, seven expansion slots and 400mm of graphics card clearance hit all the right notes for compatibility too. Just expect basic aesthetics reflective of this case‘s purely functional goals.

Ideal for: Powerful rigs needing maximum airflow to prevent thermal throttling


  • Mesh front panel optimizes air intake
  • 120mm rear exhaust and optional front fans
  • Supports tall 360mm liquid cooling radiators
  • Seven expansion slots for GPU and devices


  • Looks are plain Jane
  • No RGB lighting or extras

6. Best RGB Lighting: DeepCool MATREXX 55 MESH


Price: $89.99

Want killer RGB lighting effects but don‘t want to spend too much? The DeepCool MATREXX 55 MESH delivers exactly that with an integrated 4-sided RGB fan at front visible through the mesh panel.

You can customize colors and effects to match your build‘s theme via the integrated control button. A large mesh side panel shows off internals bathed in the lighting goodness. A PSU cover, grommets and 20mm of rear cable clearance further assist clean builds.

This ATX mid-tower case can fit your standard components like large GPUs, tower air coolers and liquid CPU coolers without issue. If you‘re willing to forgo some functionality for brilliant RGB style, the DeepCool MATREXX 55 MESH delivers good value.

Ideal for: Budget gaming builds wanting OTT RGB aesthetic


  • Slick integrated 4-sided RGB intake fan
  • Lighting fully customizable
  • Mesh panels aid airflow
  • Cable management options included


  • Only one pre-installed fan
  • Basic build quality

7. Best Small Form Factor: SSUPD Meshlicious


Price: $149.99

The SSUPD Meshlicious mini-ITX case cuts no corners in enabling compact, yet mighty gaming rigs. Despite measuring just 14.3 liter in volume, its all-mesh panels can fit beefy triple-slot GPUs up to 328mm long and sizable air coolers up to 160mm tall.

Incredible hardware support in a tiny footprint makes the Meshlicious perfect for dorm rooms, public transport and other tight spots where a towering PC would be unwieldy. The high-quality PCIe 4.0 riser cable enables vertical GPU mount, assisting the diminutive dimensions.

Just note cable management will require some planning in this space constrained chassis. But overall if you need a trim yet uncompromising platform for gaming or content creation, the SSUPD Meshlicious is a superb choice under $150.

Ideal for: Travel-friendly yet powerful mini-ITX gaming builds


  • Supports beefy GPUs despite tiny size
  • All-mesh panels offer great cooling capacity
  • Brilliant hardware support given compact form
  • Optional PCIe 4.0 vertical GPU mount


  • Cable management tricky
  • mITX motherboards limit expandability

How to Choose the Best Budget PC Case for You

Now that you‘ve seen my top recommendations, use this checklist of factors to determine the ideal budget case for your specific build:

  • Motherboard compatibility – Get a case tailored to your motherboard size. Most cases support ATX, with some accommodating smaller mATX or mini-ITX.
  • GPU clearance – Ensure your graphics card, including future upgrades, can physically fit inside the case‘s dimensions.
  • Cooling requirements – More powerful and hotter builds need prioritize cases with mesh panels, airflow focus and radiator support.
  • Drive bays – Older cases still have external 5.25" bays while modern ones focus on internal storage for 2.5" SSDs and 3.5" HDDs.
  • Power supply size – Cases often support standard ATX PSUs but some compact ones only work with smaller form factors.
  • Cable management – Features like rubber grommets and ample clearance make wiring easier for neat builds.
  • Aesthetic preferences – Front panel design, material choices and windows/lighting impact the look you want.

Ideally choose a case offering at least some room to grow, rather than the absolute bare minimum specs. This leaves you upgrade headroom before needing a whole new chassis.

5 Tips to Maximize Cheaper PC Cases

While budget PC cases can deliver good bang for buck, they often cut some corners versus premium alternatives. Here are 5 tips to overcome limitations and maximize what they offer:

1. Add extra case fans – Most budget cases only include 1-2 fans, so adding more assists cooling considerably. Position them thoughtfully as front intakes and rear exhaust.

2. Install fan and PSU dust filters – Lacking filtered intakes, budget cases can accumulate internal dust quickly. DIY filters mitigate this issue.

3. Sleeve and bundle cables neatly – Cheaper cases rarely have fully modular PSUs or shrouds. Roll up unused cables and sleeve them along with other wires for clean runs.

4. Apply sound dampening material – Adding acoustic foam lining internally reduces noise from spinning fans and whining components.

5. Attach RGB lighting strips – Affixable magnetic or RGB strips let you easily add lighting to spruce up plain budget cases.

With some savvy modification and customization along the way, cheaper cases can deliver results exceeding their price point.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are cheaper PC cases low quality?

A: Not necessarily. Many budget-friendly models from reputable brands now use decent quality materials like tempered glass, steel and mesh. Key is avoiding no-name generic cases with thin metals and flimsy construction prone to damage.

Q: What‘s the downside of getting a full tower case?

A: Full tower cases are the largest available, so they do take up considerable room on or under desks. This makes them less than ideal for compact dorms rooms or as an always visible living room PC. Moving them around is tough too given heavy weights exceeding 50 pounds.

Q: Can I turn a cheap plain case into a gaming rig?

A: Absolutely! Even basic office-style cases often still support standard motherboard sizes, PSUs and GPUs that gaming requires. From there it‘s easy to mod with things like mesh panels for better airflow or slick RGB fans for aesthetics. Paired with the right high end internal hardware, they will run games or creative apps smoothly.

Q: Is it worth paying more than $150 for a case?

A: Paying above $150 generally gets you premium materials like aluminum alloy rather than steel. You‘ll also see perks like integrated smart RGB lighting hubs and extra accessories. Ultimately case quality often levels out in the $100 to $150 range, with additional costs bringing diminishing returns. Exceptions exist if you‘re after something like small form factor console-sized rigs though.

Bring Your Build Vision to Life within Budget

Finding a PC case with the right set of features that works for your custom build is hugely important – but it doesn‘t have to leave your wallet empty.

As you‘ve seen from my top budget picks here, there are some excellent sub-$150 cases offering great hardware support, cooling competence and quality materials. Brands like Montech, Phanteks and more are doing a stellar job delivering value options.

Figuring out the sweet spot that balances capability, size, aesthetics and pricing for your ideal rig build is the key first step. From there, you can hunt down deals on cases that become the foundation for gaming, content creation and more – all without breaking the bank!

Have you built with any good budget-friendly PC cases recently? I‘d love to hear your recommendations below!