- The Corsair 7000D Airflow is the best overall PC case for airflow, with a steel front panel optimized for airflow, three built-in fans, and room for three 360mm radiators.
- The NZXT H9 Flow is a runner-up for best PC case for airflow, with plenty of fan support, great cable management, and support for 360mm radiators.
- The Lian Li Lancool II Mesh is the best budget PC case for airflow, with plenty of vents, support for three fans, and a low cost.
- The Fractal Design Meshify 2 Mini is the best compact PC case for airflow, with high-end features, plenty of ports, and support for multiple fans.
- The be quiet! Silent Base 802 is the best quiet PC case for airflow, with extra insulation to reduce noise, plenty of room for hardware, and compatibility with various motherboards and GPUs.
- The Thermaltake Core P5 is the best open-concept PC case for airflow, with a unique design, support for multiple fans and radiators, and versatility in installation options.
Building a new PC is exciting. However, there are a lot of things to think about. One of the more critical aspects you must consider is keeping your hardware cool. Fortunately, we have a list of PC cases that are the best for airflow, which will help keep everything running at comfortable temperatures.
Most PC cases come with vents, but some let hot air escape better than others. You don’t have to spend an excessive amount of money on a PC case optimized for airflow, but you can if you want something really cool (pun intended).
Before you buy a case for your next build, considering important features like vents, mounts, ports, and cable management is crucial. We’ve done the legwork, and you’ll likely find your next PC case in the following section. However, if you don’t find the case you want, we’ll teach you how to find one below.
Here are the best PC cases for airflow as chosen by the experts at History-Computer:
- Best Overall: Corsair 7000D Airflow Full-Tower ATX PC Case
- Runner-Up: NZXT H9 Flow Dual-Chamber ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case
- Best Budget Case: Lian Li Lancool II Mesh C RGB-S Mid-Tower Case
- Best Budget Case: Fractal Design Meshify 2 Mini Case
- Best Quiet Case: be quiet! Silent Base 802 Mid-Tower ATX PC Case
- Best Open-Concept Case: Thermaltake Core P5 Open Frame Computer Case
#1 Best Overall PC Case for Airflow: Corsair 7000D Airflow Full-Tower ATX PC Case
- 21.65 x 9.76 x 23.62 inches
- 40%-60% larger than a standard mid-sized case
- Compatible with mini-ITX, micro-ATX, and ATX motherboards
- Max GPU length 450mm
- Includes three CORSAIR 140mm AirGuide fans
- Can accommodate up to three 360mm radiators
The Corsair 7000D Airflow Full-Tower ATX PC Case is our selection as the best overall because it has plenty of vents and everything you need for your build. Naturally, the company leads the pack regarding PC builds, peripherals, and accessories. The cases are high-quality, functional, and visually appealing. Corsair also makes one of the best PC cases for airflow. Moreover, this case has all the space you need for your radiators and fans to keep everything nice and cool.
The case has a steel front panel optimized for airflow; it has three 140mm fans built-in and room for up to three 360mm radiators. Cable management can be a significant hiccup in PC cases designed to maximize airflow. The 7000D does have Corsair’s RapidRoute system making it easy to manage cables. Furthermore, it’s roughly 40-60% larger than many other mid-size cases at 21.65 x 9.76 x 23.62 inches, so you’ll have plenty of room to work and install hardware.
The Corsair 7000D airflow PC case also comes with three USB ports and a Type-C port so that you won’t lose any functionality. It will work with mini-ITX, micro-ATX, and ATX motherboards and has space for a GPU up to 450mm. This is a top-of-the-line PC case, but it also comes with a top-of-the-line price tag. Of course, if you want an exquisite case for an exquisite build, the Corsair 7000D is a great option.
|It’s a large case designed to optimize airflow.||It’s pricier than many other cases on the market.|
|It comes with three fans and mounts for additional fans.|
|It comes with a built-in cable management system.|
|The Corsair 7000D has room for three 360mm radiators.|
Check out the Corsair 7000D Airflow Full-Tower ATX PC Case on Amazon.
Runner-Up for Best PC Case for Airflow: NZXT H9 Flow Dual-Chamber ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case
- 23 x 23 x 15 inches
- Perforated top and side panels to direct air through the case
- Accommodates radiators up to 360mm in the top, side, and bottom panels
- Supports up to 10 x 120mm fans
- Room for high-end GPUs including the NVIDIA 40-Series
The NZXT H9 Flow Dual-Chamber ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case easily falls in the runner-up spot on our list because it’s packed with features and designed to keep hot air moving out. You can pick up the airflow-optimized NZXT H9 case at an affordable price without sacrificing any features. The perforated top and side panels leave plenty of opportunity for air to flow through the case.
This case has three 120mm fans (with space for seven more) and support for a 360mm radiator, which can be mounted on the top, side, or bottom panel. It’s compatible with micro-ATX, ATX, and mini-ITX motherboards, plus NVIDIA 40-Series GPUs. It also has cool built-in RGB lighting and a dual-chamber design that separates your components.
Similar to the Corsair above, the NZXT H9 is large enough for all your hardware and gives you room to build with 23 x 23 x 15 inches of space. The case also comes with three USB ports and a 91mm clearance for cable management.
Overall, the NZXT H9 Flow is functional and engineered to keep your hardware running nice and cool. Plus, it looks terrific.
|It has plenty of fan support.||It doesn’t have a Type-C port.|
|It offers great cable management.|
|It supports 360mm radiators that can be mounted in three different ways.|
Check out the NZXT H9 Flow Dual-Chamber ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case on Amazon.
Best Budget PC Case for Airflow: Lian Li Lancool II Mesh C RGB-S Mid-Tower Case
- 22.09 x 11.97 x 22 inches
- Mesh panels to increase airflow
- 3 pre-installed 120mm ARGB fans
- USB Type-C port
- Supports E-ATX, ATX, micro-ATX, and ITX motherboards
- Accommodates GPUs up to 384mm
The best budget option is the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh C RGB-S Mid-Tower Case. This is the best choice for our readers who are building on a budget or prefer to spend a little more on their CPU and GPU (which is solid decision-making).
As the name suggests, Lian Li uses mesh covers to optimize airflow. You’ll find these covers on the front, back, and side. Furthermore, this case supports three ARGB 3x120mm fans and four installation options for your radiator.
You aren’t sacrificing space for price with the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh because its dimensions are 22.09 x 11.97 x 22 inches. If you want to install an E-ATX, ATX, micro-ATX, or an ITX motherboard, you’re all set because it can accommodate all of them. However, in contrast to our top two choices, you can only use GPUs that are 384mm or smaller.
The company also takes cable management up a notch with flip-out panels and cover plates. The case even comes with a Type-C port. However, we also only get two USB ports. This is an exceptional case for the price.
|The case has plenty of vents for airflow.||You’ll only get two USB ports.|
|You can mount the radiator in different positions.|
|It’s a low-cost and high-quality case.|
Check out the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh C RGB-S Mid-Tower Case on Amazon.
Best Compact PC Case for Airflow: Fractal Design Meshify 2 Mini Case
- 15.59 x 8.07 x 15.98 inches
- Compatible with micro-ATX, DTX, mini-DTX, and mini-ITX motherboards
- Supports GPUs up to 306mm
- Accommodates front radiators up to 280 mm or top radiators up to 240 mm
- Will fit up to 7x 120mm fans
Our selection as the best compact case is the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Mini Case. Not everyone has the space for a mid-tower or even a large one. Fortunately, Fractal came to the rescue with a compact case of 15.59 x 8.07 x 15.98 inches that doesn’t sacrifice airflow.
The Meshify 2 Mini has a mesh front panel to facilitate airflow. The case also accommodates 3x120mm fans, but it has space for 7×120 or 4x140mm fans, among other configurations. You can install 280mm radiators on the front or 240mm radiators on top.
It also comes with three USBs and one Type-C port. Although it’s smaller, it will still accommodate a GPU up to 306mm, and it’s compatible with micro-ATX, DTX, mini-DTX, and mini-ITX motherboards.
Cable management is a breeze with built-in straps to keep everything neat and tidy. Also, the ventilated PSU shroud is an exemplary feature that keeps hot air moving away from your CPU and GPU.
|It’s an affordable case that has a lot of high-end features.||There isn’t as much room to work on your build.|
|It has plenty of ports.|
|You won’t sacrifice fans for a compact design.|
Check out the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Mini Case on Amazon.
Best Quiet PC Case for Airflow: be quiet! Silent Base 802 Mid-Tower ATX PC Case
- 21.22 x 11.06 x 21.77 inches
- Extra thick insulation mats to reduce noise
- Supports radiators up to 420mm
- Includes three 140mm Pure Wings 2 fans
- Compatible with E-ATX, ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX motherboards
- Supports GPUs up to 432mm
The be quiet! Silent Base 802 Mid-Tower ATX PC Case is designed for airflow, but it’s also our best quiet optin because it’s quieter than other cases designed for airflow. Rather than focusing solely on airflow, this case has extra insulation to reduce noise. It’s the perfect case for those who want airflow without excess noise.
The Silent Base 802 is perfect for our readers who want an air-cooled system, although it works great for standard setups as well. While it’s designed to dampen noise, it’s also on the larger side at 21.22 x 11.06 x 21.77 inches, giving you plenty of room to grow your build. The case comes equipped with three 140mm fans and room for room for a 360mm or 420mm radiator.
The be quiet! Silent Base 802 is compatible with E-ATX, ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX motherboards and GPUs up to 432mm. You’ll have plenty of USB ports and even a Type-C port for all your peripherals. Additionally, detachable cover plates make it easy to manage cables and complete your dream build.
|This case is designed to dampen hardware noise.||There isn’t a lot of clearance, so installation can be tedious.|
|It’s incredibly customizable.|
|The case is relatively inexpensive.|
Check out the be quiet! Silent Base 802 Mid-Tower ATX PC Case on Amazon.
Best Open-Concept PC Case for Airflow: Thermaltake Core P5 Open Frame Computer Case
- 25.2 x 25.2 x 7.6 inches
- Compatible with mini-ITX, micro-ATX, and ATX motherboards.
- Three-way placement including wall-mount, vertical, and horizontal layouts
- Accommodates vertical GPU and motherboard mounting
- Supports GPUs up to 320mm
- Can fit radiators up to 480mm and up to 4x 120mm fans
The Thermaltake Core P5 Open Frame Computer Case is our best open-concept case because it is optimized for airflow with a really neat open-concept design. Not all of our readers will appreciate the open concept, but it’s a large case with dimensions of 25.2 x 25.2 x 7.6 inches, and airflow will be no problem. The tempered glass doesn’t encompass the entire frame, so it’s a minimalist case with no need for vents.
This open-air case has plenty of clearance for installation and hardware, although it also takes up quite a bit of desk space. However, you have three optional layouts, including wall-mount, vertical, and horizontal, which makes it more practical. What’s even better is that you can install your motherboard (mini-ITX, micro-ATX, or ATX) and GPU (up to 320mm) vertically or horizontally, too!
It’s compatible with most radiators and fans, too! This case fits radiators up to 480mm and has space for four 120mm fans. So this case is even optimized for water cooling, making it even cooler (yes, we went there).
|It’s an open-air case.||Open-air cases may get a bit dustier than enclosed ones.|
|It will accommodate four fans and radiators up to 480mm.|
|This case has a unique design with a lot of versatility.|
Check out the Thermaltake Core P5 Open Frame Computer Case on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best PC Case for Airflow: Step by Step
Now that we’ve shown you our favorite PC cases designed for airflow, it’s time to teach you how to choose the perfect one for yourself. There are a few pivotal factors to consider when choosing a PC case that will keep your hardware running cool.
Once you get familiar with the following criteria, you can feel more confident that you’re choosing the perfect PC case for your needs. Here are the things we look at before choosing an airflow PC case:
- Radiator Fans and Mounts
- Cable Management
Let’s take a look at these criteria in more detail.
Naturally, an airflow case needs plenty of vents. That isn’t the only thing you must consider. First, vent placement is critical. Consider where your case will sit and its surroundings. If you want to set it against the wall, ensure the vents are on the opposite side; that way, you can put it wherever you like without issues.
Next, PC case manufacturers make vents of varying materials and specifications. Ensure the vents are both high-quality and sized appropriately for airflow. Lastly, some vents are easier to clean than others. Check out the reviews and see what others are reporting. The easier to clean, the better the airflow.
Radiator and Fan Mounts
Vents are only one critical aspect of keeping your PC operating correctly. You must also ensure the case has adequate space and mounts for your fans and radiators. Fortunately, every manufacturer makes this information relatively easy to find on their websites.
Consider the fans and radiators you want to include in your build and check how your case will accommodate them. Also, you’ll get bonus points for considering future upgrades you may want to add because this will prolong the life of your PC case.
Naturally, adding more vents and fan/radiator mounts creates a new issue — the need for more cables and less space to control them. Fortunately, the best PC case manufacturers noticed and compensated for this conundrum.
The best PC cases for airflow come with pre-designed cable management setups like straps and channels. If you want a functional, clean build, consider how you’ll deal with the many cables inside the case.
What to Know Before Buying a PC Case for Airflow
Not all airflow PC cases are designed the same. Some are more open than others, some are quite large, and others are compact. Then, of course, we must also consider the price. The best airflow PC cases available today cost a little more than standard PC cases, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars on your case.
Using a PC Case for Airflow: What It’s Like
One of our favorite aspects of building PCs is choosing the case. Sometimes we choose them because they look really good; other times, the price is the deciding factor. However, airflow is a core consideration that new builders often overlook.
Fortunately, if you choose a PC case for airflow, you’re already a step ahead of the game. Choose a high-quality case that’s functional and feature-rich, and you’re all set!
Other than positioning your hardware and machine, using cases designed for optimal airflow is fairly basic. Of course, if you choose a smaller one, you may have less room to work or upgrade. Although, that’s true for any PC case.
|Rank||PC Case||Key Features||Drawbacks|
|#1||Corsair 7000D Airflow||Large case, three fans, built-in cable management system, room for three 360mm radiators||Pricier than many other cases on the market|
|#2||NZXT H9 Flow||Plenty of fan support, great cable management, supports 360mm radiators||No Type-C port|
|#3||Lian Li Lancool II Mesh||Plenty of vents for airflow, can mount the radiator in different positions, low-cost and high-quality case||Only two USB ports|
|#4||Fractal Design Meshify 2 Mini||Affordable, plenty of ports, wonât sacrifice fans for a compact design||Less room to work on your build|
|#5||be quiet! Silent Base 802||Designed to dampen hardware noise, incredibly customizable, relatively inexpensive||Less clearance, installation can be tedious|
|#6||Thermaltake Core P5||Open-air case, accommodates four fans and radiators up to 480mm, unique design with a lot of versatility||Open-air cases may get a bit dustier than enclosed ones|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©FeelGoodLuck/Shutterstock.com.