Raspberry Pi computers are incredibly imaginative devices for people who like tinkering with electronics, and like work on small projects. We know that there is a lot you can do with these small and cheap computers. You can use them as retro emulators, add a screen and use it as a small display, and much more. The possibilities appear to be near limitless.
Now, you can use these computers with or without a case. But we recommend you do so with a case. You’ll want something that can protect the board, and a case can even add some aesthetic appeal to your Raspberry Pi. There are a plethora of options available, and a lot of them are easy to find straight from Amazon. But there is more to that story than you might initially think. It can be kind of hard to pick between all these options.
This is mostly because everyone has different use cases, and not all cases will work with every specific situation. However, if you know what you’re looking it’s not hard to track down the right cases. Here are some of our personal favorites when it comes to Raspberry Pi cases. Note that we’re only looking at Raspberry Pi 4 cases in this guide, not other models.
First on our list is the Argon Neo case. This is one of the more stylish, and better passively cooled cases on this list. It has access to all the ports and is small and lightweight. It works with HATs, CSI/DSI modules, and looks quite sleek while doing so. This case has little to no tradeoffs, and that’s why it tops our list.
Normally with other cases, you have to pick between protection, style, and access to all the connections. This isn’t a problem with the Argon Neo as it has everything you might need and more. It’s an attractive looking case that uses a gunmetal-gray design on the top and on the sides. The bottom of the case is black shiny plastic. An aluminum plate will cover the surface of the Raspberry Pi 4. This plate uses an included thermal pad to attach both the CPU and RAM for passive cooling.
You’ll be happy to know that this has generous cutouts for GPIO pins and even the CSI ports. Fitting a standard HAT on the Neo is quite easy. You don’t need an extender or a ribbon cable, as there is plenty of room inside. The top is removable and magnetic, which adds to the sleek look. You’ll need to remove this top if you want to use a camera module though. Passive cooling is also quite strong with this one.
Pimoroni is a very popular brand when it comes to Raspberry Pi 4 accessories. This is why the Pibow Coupe 4 is so popular among Raspberry Pi 4 owners. For people who prioritize ease of access, the Pibow Coupe 4 is an excellent choice. While it may not be the most protective looking thing in the world, it gets the job done quite well.
For people who want easy access to all the GPIO pins, this Raspberry Pi case is a safe option. If you want to add a HAT on your Raspberry PI, the Pibow Coupe 4 makes things very accessible. It’s not completely sealed and leaves the GPIO pins untouched. There is enough room to run as many cables as possible in this case. This includes access to the camera and displays CSI ports. There are also a couple of color options available.
You can get it in Ninja, Red, and Rainbow colorways. The Ninja is a stealthy black color, but the rainbow looks like the most flashy option and will brighten up any desk. This case does not have a cooling solution, but the CPU is uncovered so you can add your own heatsink on here. Even with a heatsink on top, you can easily add a HAT on top. This colorful case comes together in layers that you need to assemble manually around the Pi and tighten down with included screws.
There is a lot of open-air around the CPU and the side area. This allows the board plenty of room to breathe. While this doesn’t provide a lot of protection around the ports, ease of access is much better. Pimoroni makes similar cases for the Pi Zero and other models.
Next up, we have another very popular choice among Pi enthusiasts. This one is the Flirc Pi 4 case in minimal looking silver color. In terms of design, this is the best-looking case out there. It has a lot to offer, from the design to the passive cooling capability. No wonder it’s such a popular choice. It has a lot of other things to offer as well, so here’s a quick breakdown.
Hands down, this is the best choice when it comes to fit and finish. The exterior is made out of aluminum, and it feels quite solid. It takes the Raspberry Pi from an unassuming board to sleek looking mini PC. The manufacturing process is quite good here, and the overall quality looks great. It also fits the Raspberry Pi 4 perfectly. The GPIO ports are easily accessible through the bottom of the case.
You can even use a standard-sized HAT with this case, and it includes a heatsink for it. It comes with a thermal pad and four screws. Thermal pads for both the RAM and the CPU are also included here. After some thermal testing, we were left quite impressed with this case. At both idle and load, the Flirc case helps out a lot. It might get close to the throttling threshold, but not near enough to slow down the Pi 4.
The only problem is that you might have some trouble with certain GPIO cables. Sure, there is a lot of clearance but manually removing the PI4 from the case and adding it back to the case can be a bit of a pain. If that’s not a concern for you, this is an excellent case and a very smart choice as well.
The Raspberry Pi 4 serves its purpose as an affordable little computer. So, it makes sense if you don’t want to overspend on a case for it. While the Flirc case and the Argon Neo both look good, you might be able to get away with something considerably cheaper. The MazerPi case happens to be just that, and it’s a great budget-friendly option.
The MazerPi includes a lot of accessories in the box. This includes the case itself, a heatsink for the processor, a fan, and of course, thermal pads. Remember that this isn’t a passive cooling case, so the fan will be something you’ll need to take into account. Unfortunately, the fan included here isn’t exactly silent. It’s not loud either, sure, but it is audible so you’ll have to deal with that. This design works with the Pi 4 Model B perfectly.
For a cheap case, it is relatively easy to install and use a well. The build quality isn’t all that great, but that’s to be expected for the price. Still, it feels a bit flimsy and doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Thankfully, the fan does cool the chip quite well, and you’ll notice a drop in temperature anywhere from 10-13 degrees. The GPIO ports are easily accessible from the side of the case.
Overall, this is a decent case for the price. There are a few caveats such as the audible fan and the build quality, but those aren’t major concerns in the long run. Turns out you can get away with a cheap case like this one.
Next on our list is yet another MazerPi. They are definitely doing something right to land twice on this list. This Armor case is a great option and is worth considering for sure. If you are mainly focused on thermals and performance, this one is a safe bet. However, it does make some sacrifices in other areas. It’s up to you if you want to deal with them.
First off, while this case is quite protective, it doesn’t really look the part. To be fair, some people are fond of this aesthetic and like having the heatsink and ports on show. However, we have to say that cases like the Flirc and Argon Neo look much better than this one. It’s tolerable, but the fact that you can see the wires for the fans doesn’t earn a point in terms of looks. Thankfully, this case does have one major redeeming quality.
Like we said in the beginning, this case is focused purely on thermals. It comes with Dual fans constructed that cool the CPU as well as the other components. This makes sure that the Pi 4 is always running cool. It does make a major difference as you’ll notice a huge drop in thermals with both of the fans running. The fans are a bit quieter here, unlike their previous case on this list.
Apart from aesthetics, this does have a few more minor flaws. One of the big ones is that it can be a bit hard to put together. Instead of using Phillips head screws, this one uses proprietary screws instead. Be careful when applying the thermal pads as well, as they can break if you are too hasty. If you can deal with all of that for great performance, this is a good case for just the thermal efficiency.