If you’re building a budget PC and you need an affordable case to put it inside, in this guide, we’ve rated and reviewed seven of the best cheap PC cases under $50 to help you find the right case for your build.
If you’re looking to build a new gaming PC, but you’re working with a tight budget, the first component that you’ll want to scale back on is your case. While computer cases do play important roles in the cooling process, they won’t have as significant of an impact on your system’s performance as your other components will.
And, for the most part, you can get adequate cooling and airflow out of a cheaper case. So, while certain cases might lure you in with their aesthetics, the reality is that you’re going to be able to build a more powerful system if you minimize the amount you spend on your case and allocate the savings to more important components (like your processor, graphics card, and RAM).
Fortunately, though, spending less on your case doesn’t mean you can’t get a nice-looking chassis that has decent airflow. In fact, there are quite a few different cheap PC cases that will give you enough room to house just about any single GPU setup and there are plenty of nice-looking options as well. And, in this guide, we’re going to take a look at seven of the best budget PC cases under $50.
Also Read: Which PC Case Size is Best for Your Next Build?
Quick Look at the Best Budget PC Cases
We’ve provided a quick look table below that highlights our top picks for the best budget PC cases across a few different categories. We’ve made our picks for the best value option, the best airflow option, the best budget case with a tempered glass side panel, and the best mini-ITX option.
*To read our overviews on each of the four cases listed above, simply click on the “Read Review” link to jump to our rundown on that specific case. You can also keep scrolling further down this post to find out three Honorable Mention picks.
Best Cheap PC Case:
While we do like the Thermaltake Versa H18 listed below, the AeroCool Bolt is an option that offers pretty much all the same features, but in a bigger mid tower format and with some RGB lighting thrown in. The Bolt comes with a tempered glass side panel, one preinstalled fan, a grilled front panel (to help with airflow), an RGB strip on the front panel, and a full length PSU shroud.
And, it gives you all that for just slightly over $50.
That’s a steal of a deal. And, if you didn’t think you’d be able to build a budget system that performs well and looks good, this case might just change your mind.
Its only downside is that the front panel is only grilled/meshed on half of the panel. This should still provide adequate airflow, but a fully grilled front panel would have been more ideal.
However, the 355mm GPU clearance that the Bolt offers is enough to house even an RTX 3080 Ti. So, this is a cheap PC case that can house a very powerful system.
The bottom line, though, is that if you’re looking for a nice-looking case that you can build an affordable gaming PC in, the AeroCool Bolt will give you plenty of room, good airflow, and nice aesthetics, all for right at ~$50.
Affordable High Airflow:
Thermaltake Versa H18
Thermaltake’s H18 micro-ATX case and the AeroCool Bolt are our picks for the best airflow options among cases under $50. The H18 is an all-black case that will give budget builders a nice-looking chassis that will provide adequate airflow for their components.
The H18 can support graphics cards up to 350mm long and CPU coolers as tall as 155mm. With 350mm of clearance for the graphics card, that means the H18 can house pretty much any graphics card currently available.
It can also support three different radiators at the same time (on the front, top, and back of the case) with the ability to hold a radiator as long as 280mm (on the front of the case). So, if you want to put a 280mm AIO cooler in this case, you definitely won’t be lacking for options that will fit inside of it.
As a micro-ATX case it can hold both micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards.
Ultimately, for right about $50, the Thermaltake Versa H18 comes with the room, clearance, and airflow necessary to house a high-end gaming computer. So, if you are looking for a budget-friendly case that you can use to build a solid system with, or a case that you can grow into in the future, the H18 is a solid option that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Budget Tempered Glass:
Most budget PC cases don’t get a lot of love, but FSP’s CMT260 is probably an even lesser known option. However, it is one of the cheapest PC cases out there. Its biggest feature is probably its tempered glass side panel as you typically won’t find tempered glass on a case in this price range.
Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t come with a fully-ventilated front panel—which will restrict airflow. In most cases, this won’t have a drastic impact on system performance, but over the long run, a fully-ventilated front panel will help in ensuring your components stay cool.
Still,though, at just under $50, the FSP CMT260 is one of the cheapest PC mid tower tempered glass PC cases currently on the market. So, if you’re looking to save some money, it wouldn’t be the worst route to go.
Overall, for a little under $50 you get a nice-looking case that has a tempered glass side panel, some RGB-lighting on the front panel, and enough room inside to house a solid system.
Budget Mini-ITX Case:
Thermaltake Core V1
Another Thermaltake case that comes in under $50 and is worth mentioning is the Core V1. The Core V1 is a mini-ITX case and it was also one of our choices for the best cube-style cases as well.
Despite its compact size, it can still hold graphics cards that are up to 260mm long and CPU coolers that are up to 140mm tall. So, while you can’t fit a longer graphics card in this case, or a taller heatsink, there are plenty of low-profile graphics cards and low-profile coolers that will work with it. In fact, you can fit a mini RTX 3070 inside of the Core V1, which means you won’t be limited in the kind of gaming-specific system you can build in this case.
Again, the case is a mini-ITX form-factor so you will only be able to fit a mini-ITX motherboard inside of it.
In the end, if you don’t have a huge budget, but you still want to build a small form-factor gaming PC, the Thermaltake Core V1 will allow you to do so without having to spend a ton of money on your case.
Honorable Mention #1:
Much like the AeroCool Bolt and the FSP CMT260, the AeroCool Cylon is a bit of a lesser known option. Aerocool is an established PC hardware brand, but they don’t have quite as much name recognition as the more well-known brands (Cooler Master, Thermaltake, NZXT, Corsair, etc.) However, like the Bolt, the Cylon is another solid option in the under $50 price range. It comes with a full-length PSU shroud, an acrylic side panel, and an RGB strip on the front panel of the case that stretches from the bottom of the panel to the top of the panel.
It can also hold graphics cards up to 371mm in length and CPU coolers up to 155mm in height. And, it can house radiators/AIOs as long as 240mm on the front of the case.
The case has a really nice-looking design, but the one downside is the lack of ventilation on the front panel. It does come with the option to install two 120mm fans on the PSU shroud to help remove heat from your graphics card, though, but the solid front panel won’t allow for as much air intake as you might want.
Still, though, this might be the best looking case under $50 when all things are considered. And, it is the only option on this list to come preinstalled with RGB lighting. So, if you prefer aesthetics over airflow, this wouldn’t be a bad option.
Honorable Mention #2:
Thermaltake Versa H17
Thermaltake’s Versa H-Series is a solid lineup of budget-friendly cases. We’ve provided a picture of the Thermaltake Versa H18 above, but the Thermaltake Versa H17 is a good option as well.
The H17 is a micro-ATX case that offers GPU clearance up to 350mm long and CPU cooler clearance up to 155mm tall. Unlike the H18, though, the H17 doesn’t come with a grilled front panel. That’s not ideal as it will not allow for as much airflow as some of the options listed above.
However, the H17 is also one of the cheapest PC cases on this list and so if you’re looking to save a little bit more, it’s worth considering.
But, ultimately, we recommend one of the more ventilated options listed above.
Honorable Mention #3:
The MasterBox Q300L is another impressive budget-friendly PC case. This one comes in at a little over $50 (as do a majority of the cases on this list—thanks inflation), but it is still a solid option for anyone who is looking for an affordable option to house their components.
The case comes with two easy-to-remove dust filters on the top and front panels of the case. The Q300L also offers quite a bit of flexibility in where you can place the I/O panel by giving you the ability to place it in six different locations.
All-in-all, while we like some of the other case options listed above a bit better, the Q300L will be an excellent option for anyone who prefers its aesthetics and unique feature-set.
Will A Budget PC Case Work for Your Build?
While you might be tempted to spend more on your case, if you’re trying to build a budget gaming PC, you might be sacrificing overall system performance for a nicer-looking case. However, any of the budget-friendly PC cases listed above will help you get a solid overall case that will still keep you under budget. So, if you need a cheap PC case for your upcoming build, one of the options above should work for you.