Best PC Case For Airflow In 2020 & 2021

Let's find you the best airflow PC case!

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Over the past couple of decades, airflow has become much more important when choosing the right case for your next PC build. As technology has continued to advance in the power department, so has the demand for adequate cooling. So, whether you’re designing a gaming PC or a workstation, keeping your shiny new components cool should be one of your main priorities when building a PC.

That being said, with the current market becoming flooded with a sea of quality and affordable case options to choose from, how are you truly supposed to know which PC case is best for your needs when it comes to cooling? There aren’t that many sources available when it comes to finding accurate thermals, so choosing the right case for your specific needs can be a little tricky.

That’s where WePC lends a helping hand. We’ve done all the hard work for you. We’ve compiled a shortlist of the best PC cases for airflow, each falling into a specific niche or price spectrum. We’ll be reviewing each case in full and explaining why each case is worthy of a spot in this ‘best of’ guide.

So, without further ado, let’s waste no further time and take a closer look at the best PC cases for airflow in 2021!

Our Top Picks

01
EDITOR'S PICK
Best PC Case For Airflow
02
Runner Up
The Next Best PC Case For Airflow
03
Full-Tower Pick
Best Large PC Case For Airflow

Best PC Case For Airflow: First Look

01
EDITOR'S PICK
Best PC Case For Airflow
Phanteks P400A RGB

Phanteks Eclipse P400A RGB

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The highly respected Phanteks Eclipse P400A RGB gets our top spot in this guide and for good reason. Not only does it provide fantastic airflow and thermal performance, it also makes your build process ease and looks fantastic too.

Coming to the table sporting 2 x 120mm pre-installed fans, builders will be happy to hear they won’t actually need to purchase that many (if any) additional case fans for this case.

With a complete front mesh panel, airflow is at maximum levels through this case, providing cooling air to your hardworking components.

02
Runner Up
The Next Best PC Case For Airflow
Cooler Master MAsterbox NR600

Cooler Master MasterBox NR600

0 /5
Editor's Rating

Cooler Master’s Masterbox NR600 has been custom-designed for airflow and thermal performance. With a similar design to the top pick, it was no surprise that the NR600 got our runner up spot in this guide.

The Cooler Master Masterbox series has been growing in popularity for some time now, with the NR600 bringing a ton of thermal performance to the table.

The mesh front panel, similar to that of the P400A, provides plenty of access to air, allowing the fans to produce efficient levels of cooling throughout your session.

03
Full-Tower Pick
Best Large PC Case For Airflow
NZXT H710

NZXT H710

0 /5
Editor's Rating

NZXT’s H series is hugely popular amongst the PC building community and offers up a ton of features and benefits – one of which is high-end airflow performance.

This is one of the larger PC cases in this guide, and with that, it comes with some unique features the other offerings can’t match. If you’re looking for high-end build quality and top-level thermal performance bundled into one case, look no further. The NZXT H710 has you covered.

04
Value Pick
Best Value for money PC Case For Airflow
Fractal Meshify C case

Fractal Design Meshify C

0 /5
Editor's Rating

Fractal Design are no strangers when it comes to designing some of the best cases the market has to offer. So, it was no surprise to see that the Meshify C, a PC case tailored for airflow, made our top recommendations.

Like other cases in this guide, the Meshify C offers up that airflow-friendly front mesh panel that we’ve seen almost across the board. Inside more consideration towards airflow can be found, including 6 x120mm fan mounting options, a PSU shroud to promote positive airflow, and a ton of cable management options to ensure your airflow isn’t obscured.

05
E-ATX Pick
Best E-ATX Case For Airflow
be Quiet Pure Base 500DX

be Quiet! Pure Base 500DX

0 /5
Editor's Rating

Last but not least, is the be Quiet! Pure Base 500DX. Despite this case prioritizes cooling and thermal performance, it still manages to make your build process a joy and looks damn good too.

This custom-designed case has been tailored specifically for efficient cooling performance and high-end airflow. The mesh front offers a ton of airflow, all being drawn in by Three Pure Wings 2 x 140mm case fans. The large interior makes utilizing large hardware components a possibility, not blocking any airflow paths that can occur in smaller alternatives.

With a bunch of cable management options to boot, this case really is a great choice for builders who require the highest levels of airflow.

How We Choose

All of the computer cases on this list are here for a reason – we didn’t just pick them out of thin air. Firstly, we conducted a search to discover which PC cases gamers are into while trying to balance those with the highest reviews against those with the lowest price tags.

After this, we whittle the list down to around 10-15 cases which wee then purchase (or get sent) for further assessments, ensuring that they are fit to rank in this ‘best of’ guide.

The cases go through a number of strict tests to see how they handle airflow, thermals, build quality, and overall build experience. We conclude with a final five which you see today.

Things to Consider

There are always certain aspects to consider when you’re buying any new hardware component to ensure it meets your specific requirements. The humble PC case is absolutely no different, bringing a number of different considerations to the table – especially if your build is tailored towards cooling and airflow.

For that reason, we’re going to outline the most important factors you should be considering when looking to purchase the best PC case for airflow.

PC Case Fan Configuration

Obviously, when it comes to internal PC case airflow, the number one driving force of this is your case fans. The case fans are what produce the airflow, they drive air through your case and over your components, bringing the overall temps down to more efficient levels.

With that in mind, not all cases are built the same. Some offer excellent fan configurations that are tailored towards airflow whilst others simply provide a slot for a fan. There is a huge difference.

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re looking to buy a case tailored towards airflow, you want to find one that offers several case fan mounting areas. Usually 3 x 120mm in the front, 3 x 120mm in the roof, and 1 x 120mm at the rear. This gives you the freedom to execute a fan configuration that best suits your builds airflow needs.

Case Form Factor And Interior Space

The next most important factor to consider is the form factor. Normally when we consider a case’s form factor we’re thinking about the components that go inside and whether the case can accommodate them. Well, a similar philosophy is being used here. If your case only just fits your components, you aren’t leaving a great deal of room for airflow.

If your build has a large GPU, lots of cables, and additional hard drive trays, you may find that the airflow within your case is being stunted. Choosing a case that offers plenty of room will allow your case to produce good airflow.

The Old PC Enemy, Dust

Lastly, we have dust. Whilst dust isn’t a major factor when it comes to airflow, it definitely still has a knock-on effect when it comes to your case’s thermal performance. When dust builds up to certain levels, the airflow which is produced from the fans can become stunted. This, in turn, will reduce the airflow inside the case, ultimately raising the temperature of your CPU and GPU.

To stop this occurring, find a case that offers up good dust filtration. Make sure any airflow holes are covered with dust vents or mesh. You also want to ensure that, if dust does build up, the case you purchase is easy and accessible to clean.

Cable Management Is A Must

It doesn’t matter whether your next PC build is for gaming, workflows, or just general browsing, cable management ultimately has a massive effect on how your case performs – and not just from a thermal standpoint.

Whilst cable management is important for aesthetic and dust reasons, the main focus we’ll be considering is the airflow implications it can have if not done correctly. Luckily, all the cases in this guide offer up decent cable management options, allowing the builder to reroute cables in a way that doesn’t impact your case’s airflow. The last thing you want to do when building a new PC is to block up the airflow by having a load of cables in front of the main intake fans.

Our 5 Best PC Cases For Airflow

01
EDITOR'S PICK
Phanteks P400A RGB

Phanteks Eclipse P400A RGB

Type

Mid-Tower

Motherboard Support

Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX, and EATX

Dimensions (HxWxD)

470 x 210 x 465 mm

Fan Support

6 x 120mm

02
Runner Up
Cooler Master MAsterbox NR600

Cooler Master MasterBox NR600

Type

Mid-Tower

Motherboard Support

ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX

Dimensions (HxWxD)

478 x 209 x 473 mm

Fan Support

6 x 120mm

03
Full-Tower Pick
NZXT H710

NZXT H710

Type

Mid-Tower

Motherboard Support

Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX, and EATX

Dimensions (HxWxD)

516 x 230 x 494 mm

Fan Support

7 x 120mm

04
Value Pick
Fractal Meshify C case

Fractal Design Meshify C

Type

Mid-Tower

Motherboard Support

ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX

Dimensions (HxWxD)

440 x 220 x 400 mm

Fan Support

6 x 120mm

05
E-ATX Pick
be Quiet Pure Base 500DX

be Quiet! Pure Base 500DX

Type

Mid-Tower

Motherboard Support

Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX, and EATX

Dimensions (HxWxD)

450 x 232 x 443 mm

Fan Support

6 x 120mm

In-depth Review

01
EDITOR'S PICK
Phanteks P400A RGB

Phanteks Eclipse P400A RGB

Type

Mid-Tower

Motherboard Support

Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX, and EATX

Dimensions (HxWxD)

470 x 210 x 465 mm

Fan Support

6 x 120mm

Pros

Comes equipped with 2 x Aer F120mm fans

Easy to build in

Lots of internal space

Great cable management

Nicely designed aesthetics

Cons

Considered heavy by some

Bordering on the expensive side

We’re huge fans of Phanteks here at WePC, and not just for the excellent value that their PC cases bring to the table. The Phanteks Eclipse P400A RGB is one of the latest arrivals in the P series. From an aesthetic standpoint, this case might be the best of the bunch. However, the positives don’t stop there, it’s by far one of the coolest options in the guide, providing excellent airflow when you need it most.

With a full metal chassis and a large interior, you’ll have the confidence to fill this well-priced case with some of the best components on the market. Not only are they going to be safe inside this case, but thanks to a carefully considered design that puts airflow and cooling as a priority, they’ll be running at efficient temperatures as well.

The front panel of this case consists of a full metal mesh front that has been engineered to allow maximum airflow through it. Pair that with the dual fan configuration it comes equipped with, and you have a superb cooling case right out the box.

02
Runner Up
Cooler Master MAsterbox NR600

Cooler Master MasterBox NR600

Type

Mid-Tower

Motherboard Support

ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX

Dimensions (HxWxD)

478 x 209 x 473 mm

Fan Support

6 x 120mm

Pros

Comes with 2 x preinstalled 120mm fans

Decent sized interior for good airflow

Pretty good value for money

Excellent build materials

Dust filers on major airflow spots

Cons

Doesn't support higher than ATX motherboards

Next up is the Cooler Master Materbox NR600, a case that prioritized airflow performance over aesthetic appeal and gimmicky features. The entirety of the front panel is made from a single-layer, fine mesh that allows air to flow seamlessly through this case.

Like most of the other cases in this guide, the Cooler Master Masterbox NR600 offers up the potential for 6 x 120mm fans, allowing builders to find the perfect cooling configuration for their system. Again, this case offers up an open interior that is unobstructed by cables or hard drive trays, providing optimal airflow throughout.

Cable management is once again excellent, providing users with plenty of grommeted cable routes where most necessary. At the base of the case sits a PSU shroud which further helps the flow of air, creating a positive flow that travels up through the case. A powerful exhaust fan has been preinstalled to ensure healthy airflow right out of the box.

03
Full-Tower Pick
NZXT H710

NZXT H710

Type

Mid-Tower

Motherboard Support

Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX, and EATX

Dimensions (HxWxD)

516 x 230 x 494 mm

Fan Support

7 x 120mm

Pros

Comes equipped with 2 x Aer F120mm fans

Easy to build in

Lots of internal space

Great cable management

Nicely designed aesthetics

Cons

Considered heavy by some

Bordering on the expensive side

The iconic H series has been a name-stake for NZXT over the years, offering up fairly minimal design aesthetics accompanied by fantastic airflow and build experience. The latest arrival in the series brings all the same fan-favorite characteristics that we’ve come to love over the years.

As far as airflow is concerned, the NZXT H710 has been custom-designed to provide only the highest levels of thermal performance – something you might not think from the outside. Unlike the other cases in this guide, the H710 doesn’t have a mesh front. Instead, it offers fairly large airflow cutouts at the side of the front panel, allowing the pre-installed front fans to draw the required air they need.

The internal layout of this case is a big jump up from the NZXT H510, allowing users to cable manage and utilize large components without hindering the airflow throughout. With support for 7 x 120mm fans, builders will be able to configure fairly elaborate fan setups to provide the required levels of airflow.

04
Value Pick
Fractal Meshify C case

Fractal Design Meshify C

Type

Mid-Tower

Motherboard Support

ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX

Dimensions (HxWxD)

440 x 220 x 400 mm

Fan Support

6 x 120mm

Pros

Includes 2 x 120mm fans for airflow

Makes building simple

Great value

High quality

Comes with dust filters

Cons

Doesn't support over-sized ATX boards

HDD trays need to be moved to install a triple fan cooler

Fractal Design is a hugely popular brand when it comes to high-end PC cases and you can see why. Their Meshify C is one of the best price/performance cases they offer, bringing to the table fantastic aesthetics, great build quality, and excellent cooling performance.

The Meshify strikes a gnarly pose consisting of jagged edges and tempered glass. Whilst this isn’t the biggest case in our guide, it is one of the best in terms of cooling performance. The fans that come equipped with this case are Fractal’s proprietary Dynamic X2 GP-12 120mm fans, providing this build with excellent airflow thanks to their power and positioning.

Cable management options for this case are excellent, with grommeted cable holes that allow the builder to make sure cables are the last of their worries. The open-plan interior layout creates an unobstructed airflow path, allowing the fans to push cool air over the hard-working components.

05
E-ATX Pick
be Quiet Pure Base 500DX

be Quiet! Pure Base 500DX

Type

Mid-Tower

Motherboard Support

Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX, and EATX

Dimensions (HxWxD)

450 x 232 x 443 mm

Fan Support

6 x 120mm

Pros

High airflow intake front panels

Fantastic design

Three Pure wings 2 x 140mm preinstalled fans

A lot of internal space for large components and airflow

Cable management options are aplenty

Cons

Boxy design

Can be a little noisey

The be Quiet! Pure Base 500DX is a custom-designed case tailored specifically for high cooling performance and those that seek the highest levels of airflow. Unlike other cases in this guide, be Quiet have also taken aesthetics into consideration as well, providing contrasting RGB on the outside that works nicely with the color scheme.

The Pure Base 500DX is an excellent example of a carefully considered airflow design. It puts a mesh air grill on the front which allows maxmim8um levels of air to be sucked in by the pre-installed intake fans. Despite most of the cases in this guide only being equipped with 2 x 120mm fans, the Pure Base 500DX offers up three pure wings 2 x 140mm fans for added CFM.

With a large interior and great cable management, the 500DX not only provides efficient airflow but also allows builders to utilize large components and tidy cable routing.

Final Word

So, there you have it guys, our comprehensive roundup of the best PC cases for airflow in 2021. We hope this guide has made purchasing your next case that little bit easier, giving you some inside knowledge on thermals and cooling configurations that you may not have known.

Let us know in the comments which PC case you’re looking to purchase off the back of this guide. For me, the Phanteks is always a good choice for builders of all budgetary spectrums.

You can now head on over to our WePC community where you can discuss everything PC Case related with likeminded individuals.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Monitor & PC Product Specialist
at
WePC
For as long as he can remember, Charlie has always been interested in computers and gaming. It all started with the Sega Mega Drive and then evolved into PC gaming in his early teens. CS 1.6 was his first go at competitive gaming which soon evolved into CS:Source and now CS:GO – a game that he still plays (almost exclusively) today. Throughout that period he has also been a keen PC builder and enthusiast – dedicating a large portion of his time to the craft. My current rig is an ASUS 5700XT with AMD’s Ryzen 3600X.

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