Airflow is an important aspect of a PC case because if your computer case has bad airflow design then your internal components will get heat up, and it may result in lower performance and can also affect their lifespan. There are many cases out there with different designs but not all of them have good airflow. Some cases are built more for stunning looks but they do suffer in the performance department, especially the cases with tempered glass front panel or solid front panel.
When talking about cooling, the case’s airflow comes front and center. Good airflow ensures enough space to properly manage the intake of cool, fresh air while expelling hot air for the best thermal environment for the PC to perform optimally. Another added benefit of proper airflow is better acoustic performance as fans whirr at a slower speed, significantly lowering the noise they produce.
If you have ever built or even read about building your own PC, you would know that cooling and proper airflow is something you cannot neglect. This is why getting the Best airflow PC case becomes so important. But there are various factors you should know about before upgrading your PC case. We discuss some of those factors below and then we reviewed our choices for the best airflow case.
5 Best Airflow PC Cases in 2021:
Stylish, versatile, and conducive to keeping hardware running cool, the mid-tower ATX Cooler Master H500 wins out as our pick for the best airflow PC case, mixing in incredible value for around $100.
The highlight is the inclusion of two beefy 200 mm pre-installed RGB fans on the mesh front panel (Cooler Master also includes a solid transparent panel to give builders options). Larger than the usual 120/140 mm equivalents, they excel at pumping in fresh air and are a core part of what makes such a high performer when it comes to airflow. The back comes pre-installed with a 120 mm fan too.
There’s also plenty of space for fans with an array of mounts – two on the top, one on the rear, and three on the front if you swap out the 200 mm for 120/140 mm. The case also offers sufficient room for radiators of different sizes on the front, top, and rear. Front I/O includes two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0, Audio In/Out, a reset twitch (doubling as an RGB controller), and activity LEDs.
We struggled to find much wrong with the Cooler Master H500, and the only criticism we mustered up was the plastic top-panel sitting case handle. We prefer a sturdier material, but with a build this size, it’s unlikely you’ll be carting it around daily, so this is truly a minor, almost negligible issue.
- Two front panel options
- Excellent thermals
- 200 mm pre-installed fans
- Plastic case handle
Corsair has a lot of experience in making chassis for gamers and content creators. This chassis features a dual-chamber setup, which ensures that cool air is flown through crucial components of your system. The case overall, unlike others, is broader in size. The increase in width allows a dual-chamber set up to be incorporated into the design easily.
Corsair CC-9011048-WW has been designed with a lot of thought. The chassis can house six fans, which helps them run all together at low noise. The chassis does not include a filter for the bottom part, which may cause your high flow pc case to gather some dust. Consider placing on the tabletop or using an aftermarket filter to block out dust and the front fan is LED-based, and the rear fan is non-led. It would have been better if they featured a USB-C port in the front panel. It is an excellent chassis for its price.
The cable management is way more comfortable than the single chamber design as all the cables go at the rear chamber. If only one thing led you to buy this chassis, it would be the aesthetics. The chassis is not only functional but will look stunning placed on top of your desk. The acrylic case window ensures you get to see your hardware. The white body with a black front grill will make your hardware standout. All these qualities make it capable of being the best airflow pc case.
- Aesthetically Pleasing
- Easy to handle cable management
- Chamber separation for components
- No bottom filter
We’d suggest you opt for the ‘Performance’ model. It comes with a duo of 140 mm PWM fans and a fan controller. This combo seems to us like a better deal than the 3 120 mm RGB fans alternative. Almost every single detail of this case is engineered to near-perfection. The dual TG panels look great. The bottom side panel being mesh now allows for significant air to be drawn in by bottom fans. The internal is reasonably spacious, and you can fit a whopping nine drives inside this case. Airflow is, above all, superior to anything Lian Li has put out previously.
One reason it loses favor compared to the P500A is that USB-C support is optional, aka you need to shell out more money for it. We understand this is meant to be a cost-cutting move, but most consumers will appreciate the inclusion of USB-C, so this option is simply a hassle. Just put it in, Lian Li. Another downer may be the somewhat bland design, similar to its predecessor. If you want a case that looks just as good as it performs, look further down our list.
That one nitpicks aside; you really cannot go wrong with this case. Its performance is top-notch, and Lian Li is known for its stellar build quality. For the price, you are getting so many features and such a flexible interior. Among normal ATX mid-towers, the Lancool II Mesh sets the bar.
- Perfect for liquid-cooled setups
- Two-chamber design
- Generous amount of fans mounts
- Pricey option geared towards enthusiasts
This compact ATX mid-tower case has an angular asymmetry for high airflow and an edgier look. There are options of ATX, mATX and ITX motherboards to choose from. It has an ATX design layout which allows intelligent space utilisation which leads to an unrestricted airflow.
This airflow allows an inside look as it has a tempered glass to see through. It has great storage space for you to store five drives.
The mesh panel at the front intake air and exhausts heat for a streamlined airflow. It comes with dust filters which makes the maintenance easier. Even though it is compact, it has a large tower and seven mount fans with a multi radiator water cooler for maximum optimisation and cooling. This case is black and has a sleek, edgy look. It comes along with the best Prisma fans. There are vibration-dampening rubber grommets which facilitate silent functioning of the fan.
- Silent operation
- 7 total fans which lead to superior cooling
- Flexible storage options
- Has an angular mesh front panel which maximises air intake
- Large tower
- A little expensive
If you want an aesthetic installation – RGB lighting and tempered glass – then the Corsair Crystal 570x RGB series has been designed for you. Featuring tempered glass panels and fans equipped with RGB lights, the Crystal Series 570X is a great mid-tower case.
The building in the middle of the tower is surrounded by four panes of tempered glass, which allows the interior of the case to be seen. It is equipped with three SP 120 RGB LED fans; however, you can increase the number of fans up to six. It is suitable for all sizes of radiators and perfectly fits a 14.5 inch GPU. It’s standard for most cases and gives you enough space to accommodate some of the larger graphics cards available.
Corsair has done an excellent job of routing cables with the Crystal Series 570X, and its integrated cable routing channels have Velcro straps, reducing incidents of cable accidents. The box is equipped with a built-in RGB controller that allows customization of the LED lighting. It is also compatible with 360mm, 280mm, 240mm and 120mm radiators.
Overall, the Crystal Series 570X is a great gaming case, and its three-point dust filter makes it easy to clean.
- Beautiful translucent design
- RGB paradise
- Decent ventilation
- Glass panels are easily stained
What is airflow, exactly, and how does it work?
Airflow in this context refers to the speed and volume at which air flows through your chassis. Generally speaking, you want as much air going through your case as fast as possible, that way the heat generated by your components doesn’t linger and build inside your PC.
While a PC could technically work without any intake or exhaust fans, it would also run much hotter and therefore much slower, since the CPU and GPU will throttle themselves to protect from damage.
Good airflow is vital for two reasons:
- Ensuring that your components perform in tip-top shape
- Ensuring that your components have the longest possible life, as higher temperatures degrade hardware faster
The last thing you’d want is for your PC to underperform or for your parts to die quicker than they otherwise would. A proper airflow configuration can also help prevent excessive dust from building up inside your PC, though even with the best airflow and filters, dust is still inevitable over time.
Things To Consider
- Panel Type. Gone are the days when front panels were clogged with chunky optical drives and hefty hard disc drive bays, gifting manufacturers and builders new real estate that can be put to use for better case airflow. In practice, this means using more porous materials such as mesh, which facilitates the intake or exhaustion of cold and hot air.
- Fan Mounts and Correct Intake/Exhaust Positioning. A case decked out with six fans only delivers good airflow if the fans are rotated correctly and in the right positions. This partly comes down to mount positioning (front, top, back panels) on the case itself and their orientation – intake/exhaust positioning.
- Form Factor. It goes without saying that the motherboard size dictates the case’s size (especially if you are only upgrading the case and not the other hardware). Still, when given a choice, a larger ATX case isn’t imperative, although we recommend one if possible.
Airflow PC Cases FAQs
Q. What is the best case of full-time gambling?
A. The Cooler Master Cosmos C700P, with its distinctive look, is the best full-tower gaming case on the market. It’s a well-built case, and it almost feels like it was created for custom water-cooled gaming PC enthusiasts, rather than the average user.
Q. Can a motherboard be suitable in all cases?
A. A lot can be said about this issue, but the most important thing to understand here is that not all motherboards are suitable in all cases. They are also named appropriately. ITX motherboards fit ITX cases, M-ATX motherboards fit anything more visible than an M – ATX case (so you can choose, an M – ATX case, an ATX case or an E-ATX case).
Q. Will Micro-Atx be part of a full-fledged gaming business?
A. Full tower cases can accommodate standard ATX motherboards and accommodate smaller micro-ATX motherboards. They also have enough space to accommodate more fans and storage drives. What is the difference between a mid-turn affair and a full-turn affair? Full towers are much larger than intermediate towers. They can accommodate larger motherboards and more fans and other hardware. In general, cases of intermediate turns do not exceed 18 inches, while those of full turns exceed 22 inches.