Some PC builders consider the case to be nothing more than a necessary utility for organising components. Buy the cheapest black rectangle that can house a CPU and GPU without running into thermal troubles and be on your way. Others, however, see them as a blank canvas for expressing ideas and interests. These folks have quite literally thought outside of the box to merge technology and art and create something not only beautiful but functional.
We dug up some of the wackiest, wildest, and coolest PC cases and case mods ever created. As you’ll notice, some come from the hands of capable DIYers while others are (or were) sold by PC hardware makers.
Stay with me here. Yes, what you see above is a taxidermied beaver. So, why is it on a list of the best PC cases? Because inside that dead beaver are all the components you need to run Windows! I shit you not. This is the Compubeaver, a marvellous if somewhat disturbing creation by artist Kasey McMahon.
The Compubeaver was made in 2007, so you won’t find an RTX 3080 behind those buck teeth but the system had decent specs for its time, including an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 160GB HDD. It’d be reasonable for you to ask how the hell McMahon made this work, but there’s no need because the artist left us a detailed (and hilarious) guide on how to build your own Compubeaver (because obviously, you’ve been thinking about it).
Let’s take a breather from that last one and move on to a PC case made by a gaming hardware company. You’d think this one would be more “normal,” and while it’s no rodent, the InWin Diéy looks like it could explode at any moment if it decides to not turn sentient. Look past those possibilities and this sci-fi orb is quite beautiful.
The large, full-tower case reminds me of those lights we’ve all seen at IKEA except covered in RGB scales made of plexiglass. InWin calls those “wings,” and there are 80 of them that open upward so you can access the components. Fuelling the HAL 9000 vibes, the Diéy supports virtual assistants with offline functionality.
Ever seen BattleBots? Well, this next PC case looks like a challenger. Built by Diego Gutierrez, a Brazilian military policeman, this two-legged PC was inspired by the ED-209 robot from Robocop. Made of acrylic and PVS, the “ROBO RONE” has two rotating machine guns up front and RGB-illuminated pistons on its upper shell that pulse up and down.
The machine gun-wielding robot is equivalent to a standard ATX case and houses components that, for the time, are befitting of such a menacing machine. These include an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPU, and two 240GB SSDs.
Doom 3: Project Mars City
Video games often inspire PC builds, but few cases are designed as meticulously as the Doom 3: Project Mars City. Built in the early-2000s around the release of Doom 3, the vision for this case was to create a structure that looked like it belonged in the Doom universe. The build started with a simple Antec case before evolving into something that looked like it had been magically conjured directly from the classic game into the real world.
We could write essays about this build, but creator Paul Capello did the hard work for us by posting his build log on the TheBestCaseScenario forum and uploading multiple YouTube videos (in 480p, so please excuse the top shot) that show the build from every angle. We encourage you to check those out for the high-res images — the level of detail is staggering.
PC gamers are likely familiar with the gaming hardware brand Corsair and may have even heard about its Bulldog mini-ITX living room PC, but they probably didn’t know somebody turned that case into a car. And not just any car, but an American muscle car: a Pontiac GTO with the obligatory flame paint. Fittingly, the components, which act as the engine for your PC, fit underneath the hood while the grill serves as ventilation.
Completing the transformation are hydraulics for keeping the hood open (no prop-rod here) and working headlights. This hot rod, built by modder Lee Harrington, was featured at Computex in 2017.
You can leave your car in the garage when you have a motorcycle like this one. Inspired by the Kawasaki H2R, this pink PC build looks like it could ride away from you at any moment. Instead, it has components powerful enough to play modern games at high frame rates, including a Ryzen 7 3700x CPU and an ASRock Radeon RX 5600 XT GPU. Sadly, this motorcycle case is not for sale (trust me, I checked), but at least we can enjoy its beauty via this YouTube video.
This next case isn’t something out of a Star Wars movie, though I wouldn’t blame you for thinking as much. The Deepcool Tristellar may not look like something from this world, but you could, at one point, purchase one for your own build. The tri-pointed star contains three compartments covered in textured steel covers with mesh wire finishing off the futuristic appearance.
Listings for this case can still be found on Amazon and Newegg, though it is out of stock everywhere we checked (like everything in the PC builder world right now). We don’t expect it to ever go back on sale, but you might give those links a try (or look for an aftermarket one) if you need this monstrous three-pointed structure as badly as we do.
Voltron Castle of Lions
Long before Voltron: Legendary Defender, the original animated TV show Voltron had ‘80s kids glued to their CRT TVs. If this gives you a hit of nostalgia then you probably remember the Castle of Lions, an Altean battleship, and the home of Princess Allura. Well, here is that part-castle, part-ship transformed into a fully functioning PC.
The creator of this build, who goes by @voltronPCguy (apt, huh?), found an old Castle of Lions toy in his mum’s attic and spent three years transforming it into a desktop computer. All of the components are neatly housed in the central chamber and the components, from the fans to the cords, maintain the colourful visuals of the 1984 toy. You can see more images at PCPartsPicker.
Lian Li PC-Y6B
By car, by motorcycle, and now by boat, the Lian Li PC-Y6B is a PC case in the shape of a luxury yacht. When it entered the market six years ago, it was expensive ($US440 (A$616)) and impractical, but the fact that you could buy it on Newegg or even see one in person at Micro Centre sets it apart from others on this list. It’s a refreshingly ambitious and wholly unnecessary product: something we wish there was more of nowadays.
I stumbled across this gem at Computex 2019 amid a collection of off-the-wall PC builds. What stood out to me about this particular case is how all of the materials used, from the copper piping to the chrome-plated I/O board, complement the old-fashioned typewriter. I’m also a sucker for when old tech meets new tech, and Mark’s Fabrication’s build is a stunning example.
The Syber Cube from CyberPowerPC is another unique PC case with a cube-shaped design covered in tempered glass so you can gawk at your kit inside. Having seen this case in person, I can attest to its room-dominating presence. Yes, there is RGB lighting inside, but the real showstopper is how the case tilts the cube at an angle for a more aggressive stance.
Want a case you can actually buy? This Louvre-like pyramid goes for $US400 (A$560), making it more affordable than others on this list. This aluminium ATX prism consists of four tempered sheets of glass positioned in a triangle shape. An RGB fan at the top illuminates the vast interior with colourful lights.