Don’t run your Pi 4 without a case. That’s just criminal. Here are some great cases that can keep your Pi 4 cool and dust-free in any situation.
What to Look for in a Pi 4 Case
But all this flexibility can make it hard to find a good Raspberry Pi case. Some cases are meant for everyday applications, but others are made specifically for smarthome setups, entertainment centers, or intensive applications (which can generate a lot of heat).
So before shopping for a Pi case, you should stop and think of what you need. Here are some of the features that you might need in a Pi 4 case:
- Heat Dissipation: If you plan to use your Pi 4 for intensive actives or extended periods, then you should probably get a nice, cool case. Aluminum cases with fans and heat-sinks are the coolest option, but most people can get away with the bare minimum, like a case with one fan or decent ventilation.
- GPIO/Module Access: All of the Pi cases listed in this article provide easy access to the GPIO and module pins, but some give a bit of extra wiggle room for cables. If you want to use accessories like camera modules or with your Pi, then try to find a case with extra cable room.
- Assembly: Most Raspberry Pi cases are really easy to assemble. But some cheap cases are made from stacked pieces of acrylic (like a case that’s been sliced into bologna), and they’re really a pain to assemble. If you don’t feel like dealing with that extra work, then shell out for a more expensive case.
- Labeling: Clear or unlabeled cases can make it harder to locate the Pi 4’s ports. If you want a case that won’t confuse your family or roommates, then try to find one that’s opaque and labeled.
Alright, now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start shopping for your new Raspberry Pi 4 case.
Before we get starts, it’s worth mentioning that the Pi 4 Model B is still a relatively new product. We’ll cover a lot of different cases in this article, but some popular case styles, like retro game console cases, aren’t manufactured for the Pi 4 just yet.
All-Purpose Cases (Great for Entertainment Centers)
Some cases, like the official Raspberry Pi 4 case, are meant to fit in just about any situation. These cases usually have attractive designs, adequate cooling, and ample room for cables. They’re also pretty easy to put together, although they tend to cost more than your typical Raspberry Pi case.
We’d suggest using these cases for media centers or desktops. If you plan to push your Pi to the limit, you may want to find an all-purpose case that comes with fans or check out the super cooling cases further in this article.
Here are a few fantastic all-purpose cases:
- Pi 4 Official Case: The official Pi 4 case from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It’s an attractive, easy to assemble case that leaves ample room for internal cables.
- Flirc Silver Case: This attractive, affordable, easy to assemble case is a great option for intense or casual Pi 4 projects. It effectively dissipates heat with its raised feet and aluminum heat-sinks, and you can easily access the Pi’s GPIO and main connectors through the bottom of the case. Flirc also sells this case with Kodi branding.
- Anidees Premium Case: Anidees’ premium Pi 4 cases are sleek, easy to assemble, and well ventilated. They also have noise-dampening feet, holes for wall mounting, and enough interior room for GPIO and main connector access.
- Anidees Extra-Tall Case: A high-quality case that’s easy to assemble. This case is nearly identical to the Anidees premium case, but it has a bit of extra headroom for cables and modules.
- Argon One Mini Computer Case: As of right now, this is the only Pi 4 case that actually looks like a computer case or game console. It’s well ventilated, comes with a USB-C power supply, has a removable magnetic top, and actually has a GPIO label printed on its backside for on-the-fly modifications.
- GeeekPi Fan ABS Case: A simple case that comes with a large 40mm fan. It’s easy to assemble or take apart, and it has two pre-installed wall-mounting holes.
Now that we’ve seen some (slightly expensive) all-purpose cases, it’s time to check out a few budget Pi 4 cases.
Budget Acrylic Cases
Acrylic Raspberry Pi cases aren’t as attractive as aluminum enclosures, but they’re very cheap. They’re usually made from stacked pieces of acrylic (like slices of clear plastic deli meat), so they can be a bit difficult to put together.
But for the price, they’re a great alternative to all-purpose enclosures.
Here’s a solid selection of cheap acrylic Pi 4 cases:
- TangYY Acrylic Case: A laughably cheap Pi 4 case that’s made from two pieces of acrylic. It comes with a fan and leaves plenty of space for extra cables.
- Vilros Acrylic Case: This clear acrylic case is made of two parts (so it’s easier to assemble than layered acrylic cases). It comes with a large 40mm fan and has narrow holes for GPIO and module access.
- Miuzei Super-Cool Acrylic Case: A great budget option for anyone who wants to keep their Pi 4 as cool as possible. This stacked acrylic case can be tricky to put together, but it comes with a fan, a power supply, and heat-sinks.
- GeeekPi Acrylic Case: A cheap layered acrylic case that comes with heat-sinks and a fan. This is a good option for people who want a dust-proof cheap acrylic case.
But what if you need to push your Pi to the limit? Acrylic cases are great for casual Pi use, but they can’t dissipate heat as well as some specialized Pi 4 cases.
Super Cooling Cases for Heavy-Duty Applications
The Raspberry Pi 4 is a powerful little computer. It’s also really easy to overheat. If you’re sick of seeing that thermometer icon (and the throttling that comes with it), then maybe it’s time to buy a Pi case that’s build to dissipate as much heat as possible.
Just as a side-note, these cases are basically just wrap-around aluminum heat-sinks. They’re super thin, and it may be worth using one just to have a thin case (even if you don’t need the extra heat dissipation).
Here are our favorite cooling cases for the Pi 4:
- EleDuino Temperature-Controlled Case: This slim, attractive case is made from anodized aluminum and has built-in automatic temperature controls (along with a fan speed button). It comes with two silent fans and has pre-drilled wall mounting holes on its bottom.
- Artik Red Cooling Case: This affordable aluminum heat-sink case is a great way to keep your Pi 4 cool and accessible. It comes with two tiny fans and doesn’t block your Pi’s GPIO pins, PoE pins, camera module, or display module.
- Unistorm Aluminum Cooling Case: A super-slim aluminum heat-sink case with two fans (there is a fan-less model). This case doesn’t block the Pi 4’s GPIO pins, PoE pins, camera module, or display module.
All-purpose cases, budget cases, and cooling cases. We’ve covered a lot of ground here, and now it’s time to start getting into the weird stuff.
Some Raspberry Pi cases have built-in touchscreens. It seems like an odd idea, but a built-in display can be useful for controlling media centers, or for running on-the-go applications. They’re also useful for building Pi-powered smarthome devices, like controllers or hubs.
Here are some great Pi cases with built-in touchscreens:
- Jun-Electron 3.5-Inch: An easy to assemble 3.5-inch touchscreen case that includes heat-sinks and a fan. The touchscreen resolution is 320×480.
- TangYY 3.5-Inch: A solid little case with a 3.5-inch 320x480p touchscreen. It comes with a fan, heat-sinks, and a stylus.
- Longeruner 7-Inch: The Longruner sports a 1024×600 7-inch touchscreen display. It works well as a wall-mounted or a freestanding display and would make for a perfect media center or smarthome device. The Pi 4 can attach to the backside of this display, but you’ll need a Mini HDMI to HDMI cable to get things working correctly.
Just keep in mind that these displays can build up a bit of heat. If you plan to run them all day, then make sure that they get proper ventilation.
Racks for Pi Clusters
Raspberry Pi clusters are great for writing scalable software or performing resource-intensive tasks. But you can’t just lay a bunch of Pis in a mess across your desk like an animal. Instead, you must do things the civilized way and stack your Raspberry Pis in a gigantic nerdy tower. We’ll call it a quadruple-decker Pi sandwich.
These Pi racks work with the Pi 4B, 3B+, 3B, 2B, and B+. And yes, you can make clusters with mismatched Pis.
- iUniker 4-Layer Case: The iUniker cluster case can hold four Pis at a time, and it comes with four fans and a set of heat-sinks.
- Yahboom 6-Layer Case: This affordable Yahboom case can hold six Pis at a time and provides ample room for GPIO adjustments. This case doesn’t come with fans, but it has proper ventilation.
- Cloudlet 8-Layer Case: The gigantic Cloudlet 8-layer case is expensive, but it’s perfect for large Pi clusters. It comes with four large 50mm fans and can hold an 8-port switch under your cluster.
Don’t forget to buy a multi-input USB power brick for your Pi cluster. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck trying to hunt down extra power strips and USB bricks.
We’ve covered a lot of ground here today, from all-purpose cases to super tall Pi cluster cases. These cases should perfect for just about any project, whether you’re trying to build a media center or add some brains to your kitchen appliances.