Optimal airflow in PC cases is typically achieved through unhindered intake and exhaust, often facilitated by mesh construction, numerous fans, or a combination of both. Even if your PC isn’t particularly powerful, efficient airflow can assist in attaining peak performance.
Without good airflow you don’t have a good PC case. Fact.
So get one of these.
In our be quiet! Pure Base 500DX review, we closely examined this stunning case and found very few drawbacks besides its high initial price. As the price has decreased, the 500DX has become an even better option for building an air-cooled PC that can accommodate motherboards up to E-ATX in size. Its design focuses on mesh panels for exceptional airflow and outstanding
cable management.The 500DX offers six potential fan mounting points and comes with three be quiet! Pure Wings 2 fans pre-installed. Radiators can be mounted on the front, rear, and top of the case, with a maximum size of 360mm if placed at the front. Building with this case is simple and hassle-free, as everything can be easily disassembled. The removable PSU is particularly helpful for non-modular power supplies.The front I/O panel features one USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, two USB-A 3.0 ports, and standard headphone and microphone jacks. There’s ample space for five SSDs and two mechanical hard drives, as well as a graphics card up to 369mm in length. With the addition of addressable RGB lighting, the 500DX is a fantastic case to consider in your quest for optimal airflow performance.
Excellent cable management
Front panel obscures dust filter
Top dust filter can be noisy at high RPM
3. NZXT H210i
NZXT offers a wide range of high-quality cases, and the H210i stands out as one of the best PC cases for airflow in a compact ITX build. The case features two PCI slots at the back, which should be sufficient for most modern GPUs due to its 325mm front clearance and 44mm thickness clearance. Inside, you’ll find space for three 2.5-inch drives and one 3.5-inch drive.
The H210i comes with two 120mm fans, but it can accommodate up to two 140mm fans at the front (shielded by a dust panel) and 120mm fans on the top and rear. If you prefer using a radiator, the front can house a 240mm rad with a removable bracket for easy installation, while the back has room for a 120mm radiator.
Available in black, black and white, and black and red color schemes, the H210i showcases a sizeable tempered-glass side panel for effortless viewing. If you’re aiming for a small build with excellent airflow and a premium design, the NZXT H210i is the ideal choice.
Effortless cable management
High-end design and build
Ample space for larger GPUs
Relatively large for an ITX case
4. Fractal Design Meshify C
The Fractal Design Meshify C with dark tempered glass offers a striking mid-tower ATX case focusing on airflow and effortless building.
Its open interior design ensures smooth airflow across the case towards the rear exhaust, resulting in a more compact case than you might anticipate.
The stylish front mesh panel accommodates three 120mm fans, two 140mm fans, or a 360mm radiator.
The top is equally versatile, supporting a 240mm radiator and dual 140mm fans. The rear fits a 120mm radiator or a 120mm fan (included), with dust filters throughout to keep your components clean.
Featuring ample space for storage drives, seven PCI expansion slots, and convenient cable management hardware behind the motherboard tray, the Meshify C makes building a breeze.
The front I/O includes two USB-A 3.0 ports, as well as 3.5mm audio and microphone jacks. In summary, if you’re seeking a mid-tower ATX case with an eye-catching mesh design and tinted tempered glass, the Meshify C is a perfect choice.
Beautiful mesh panel up front
Open interior design for easy airflow
Lots of space despite a compact design
Tinted tempered-glass side panel
Not as much noise dampening through front mesh
Not great for water cooling
5. Cooler Master MasterBox NR600
Looking for an affordable PC case that doesn’t compromise on airflow and cooling? Look no further than the Cooler Master MasterBox NR600.
This mid-tower case has a sleek and minimalistic design with a flat mesh front panel that allows plenty of air through to
keep your components cool.
The tempered glass side panel has hidden mounts, giving the case a clean and uninterrupted look.
Despite its simple appearance, the NR600 offers plenty of space for cable management and up to nine storage drives, with seven PCI slots for easy expansion.
The front panel features two USB-A 3.0 ports and a 3.5mm headset jack.
The case supports up to ATX motherboards and has enough room for up to a 360mm radiator or dual 140mm fans in the front, dual 140mm fans or a 240mm radiator on the top, and a 120mm exhaust fan on the back.
While the NR600 might not be the flashiest PC case out there, its excellent airflow and cooling performance, coupled with its value pricing, make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a simple and effective PC case.
Excellent airflow and thermals
Flush side panel without visible mounts
Might be too dull for some
Bit cramped behind motherboard
6. Phanteks Eclipse P400A RGB
The P400A RGB has an ultra-fine steel mesh front panel that keeps dust out and provides good airflow, and comes with three 120mm RGB fans for efficient cooling.
It has plenty of room for building and can accommodate up to an E-ATX motherboard.
The front supports either three 120mm or two 140mm fans, and the case can fit up to a 360mm radiator on the front. There’s even a simple fan controller on the front where you can swap between colors and modes.
The case also has a shroud with plenty of venting for extra airflow and supports up to eight storage drives.
On the downside, the case doesn’t support a top radiator, limiting your cooling options.
However, for those looking for a mid-tower case with great airflow, lots of space for building, and a good price, the Phanteks Eclipse P400A RGB is definitely worth considering.
The case also features a sleek design with a tempered glass side panel, adding a touch of style to your build.
Lots of room inside for building
Three RGB fans included
Steel mesh front for good airflow
7. Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh
The Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh is a fantastic mid-range pick for anyone looking for a PC case with great airflow and a stylish design. The full mesh front panel adds plenty of airflow to the already excellent Lancool 205, with the fine mesh keeping out most of the dust.
The case is made of steel, with a tempered-glass side panel for easy internal viewing. The Lancool 205 Mesh fits up to an ATX motherboard and offers plenty of cooling options, with support for up to a 280mm radiator on both the front and top of the case.
The case offers plenty of space for storage, with clean and effective cable management. The included fans are quiet and get the job done. While the Lancool 205 Mesh is an excellent option, it’s important to note that it doesn’t support 360mm radiators and lacks a GPU support bracket.
Additionally, the radiator bracket could use extra fix points for added stability. Overall, the Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh is one of the best PC cases for airflow and a great option for those on a mid-range budget.
Excellent cable management
Effective integrated PSU shroud
Three 120mm fans included
No support for 360mm radiators
No GPU support bracket
Radiator bracket could use extra fix points
When it comes to choosing the right PC case, there are several factors to consider, such as size, airflow, design, and price. The size of your case will depend on the motherboard you’re using, with the most common sizes being ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX. It’s important to make sure that your case can accommodate your motherboard size, as well as any additional components you plan on using.
One of the most critical factors to consider is airflow. A good PC case should have unhindered intake and exhaust, which can be facilitated by mesh construction or numerous fans. Optimal airflow can assist in achieving peak performance, so it’s essential to choose a case that prioritizes this.
Design is another crucial factor to consider, as it can impact the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your build. Some cases feature tempered glass side panels, which can showcase your internal components, while others prioritize cable management, making it easier to keep your build tidy and organized.
Price is also an important consideration, as PC cases can range from budget-friendly to high-end. It’s essential to find a balance between affordability and functionality, so you don’t compromise on essential features or quality.
Based on the information presented above, here are some PC cases to consider based on your priorities:
If you’re looking for a case that prioritizes airflow, consider the Lian Li Lancool 2 Mesh RGB, the be quiet! Pure Base 500DX, or the Phanteks Eclipse P400A RGB.
If you’re looking for a case with a high-end design, consider the NZXT H210i, the Fractal Design Meshify C, or the Lian Li Lancool 2 Mesh RGB.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, consider the Cooler Master MasterBox NR600 or the Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh.
Ultimately, the right PC case for you will depend on your specific needs and priorities. By considering factors such as size, airflow, design, and price, you can find a case that suits your build and budget.
VIDEO How many fans should I have in my PC case for optimal airflow?
It depends on the size and layout of your case, as well as the components you have installed. In general, two or three fans are sufficient for a smaller case, while larger cases may benefit from four or more fans. However, quality of the fans is also important, as is their placement within the case.
What size case do I need for my motherboard?
The size of your case should match the size of your motherboard. Common motherboard sizes include Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, and ATX. Mini-ITX cases are smaller and more compact, while ATX cases are larger and offer more room for components.
What is a mesh front panel?
A mesh front panel is a design element on a PC case that allows for better airflow. Instead of a solid front panel, a mesh panel has many small holes that allow air to flow through more easily.
What is a radiator?
A radiator is a component used in liquid cooling systems. It is typically made up of metal fins that help dissipate heat from liquid that has been passed through it.
How do I clean the dust out of my PC case?
Dust can accumulate inside your PC case over time, which can impede airflow and cause your components to overheat. To clean it out, you can use compressed air to blow out the dust, or a soft brush to gently wipe it away.
Can I use water cooling instead of air cooling for my PC?
Yes, water cooling can be an effective way to cool your PC components. However, it is typically more expensive and requires more maintenance than air cooling.
What is cable management?
Cable management refers to the process of organizing and routing cables inside your PC case to improve airflow and aesthetics. By neatly organizing your cables, you can improve airflow and reduce clutter inside your case.
Can I use an ATX power supply in a Micro-ATX case?
Yes, you can use an ATX power supply in a Micro-ATX case, as long as the case has the appropriate mounting points and dimensions to accommodate it. However, it’s important to check the specifications of both the
power supply and the case before making a purchase. What is a fan controller?
A fan controller is a device used to adjust the speed of your PC case fans. This can be useful for reducing noise levels or increasing cooling performance as needed.
How do I determine the optimal fan placement in my PC case?
Fan placement depends on the layout and size of your case, as well as the components you have installed. In general, front and bottom fans should be intake, while top and rear fans should be exhaust. However, it’s important to consider the placement of your components and cables when determining fan placement.