These days, more and more premium PC cases offer a high amount of features, many of which include logical layouts, loads of radiator space, mounting brackets, and sometimes drain/fill ports. Whether you go for a full tower or fancy building a loop in a mini ITX, we are going to be finding the best cases for water cooling.
Manufacturers have been producing some excellent cases over the last few years, revamping the mid-tower market, giving builders more features and options than ever before.
Let’s take a look.
Our Top Picks
Best Cases For Water Cooling: First Look
One of the most popular cases on the market rather unsurprisingly makes it to number one here. The Lian Li is incredibly versatile and makes any water cooled PC look absolutely stunning.
With a plethora of features, plenty of radiator support, and distro plate options out there, the O11D is easily one of the best cases for water cooling currently available.
The Phanteks Enthoo 719, despite being released a few years ago, is still one of the best full-towers on the market.
This PC case is not only extremely spacious with plenty of radiator and support but it also supports EATX mobos and can fit two systems inside. Impressively, the 719 also includes other nice to have features such as fill and drain ports, giving any respective water cooler plenty of options.
The Meshify 2 XL doesn’t offer anything new from Fractal but it brings high-end performance and a very spacious interior, with the most drive mounting options in this entire round-up.
This case has been designed with water cooling in mind and supports 480mm radiators, up to 23 drives, and comes with that same user-friendly design Fractal is famous for.
The Lian Li O11D Mini may not be the smallest case you can water cool in but it easily one of the best ITX cases currently available.
Aside from being slightly bigger than standard mini-ITX, this case also comes with loads of water cooling features that go a long way during the building process for those out there that haven’t had to mod a case before.
Corsairs Latest edition to their family is one of the best mid-tower cases currently available.
The iCUE RGB 5000X comes with a very spacious interior and plenty of radiator su[pport. Furthermore, the aesthetics of this case are stunning straight out of the box, making any custom loop look great with little effort.
All of the computer cases on this list are here for a reason – Logical layouts, plenty of radiator support, and excellent features. 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.
Reviews from various manufacturers were taken into account, as well as reviews from others in the PC gaming industry.
Next, we get our hands on as many of our recommendations as possible so we can see the build quality up close, test how easy they are to build in, and see how they effectively cool components.
From graphics cards to PC cases, we like to get hands-on with all the hardware we recommend. Testing the products is a huge part of our overall selection process and it is a way we can be sure that a specific option is the best for the job.
PC Cases must pass our testing which is largely a lot of PC building, with some other boring stuff but most if not every recommendation will have gone through a strict testing process.
With a PC case, we need to assess build quality, construction, thermal performance, and finally, value.
This process enables us to provide you with an accurate take on how well a case performs and, ultimately, if it’s worth your hard-earned cash.
Choosing a case is usually as simple as finding one that not only provides excellent thermal performance but looks good too. Of course, when water cooling either with a kit or your own elaborate loop, airflow isn’t quite as important anymore but it can still be tricky to find the perfect case.
Whether you are going for a full tower or a mini-ITX size case, you need to ensure you get one that supports your planned build and custom loop, with enough space and radiator support! With this in mind, we are going to run through a few areas to consider to make sure you walk away with the best case for your next water cooled PC build.
What Size Case Is Best For Water Cooling?
There are three prominent types of computer cases (although there are more) and each is compatible with different types of motherboards:
- Full-tower PC cases are the largest cases and can work with E-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX. Their large size is more meant for extra components rather than exceptionally larger motherboards. You can view our best full tower PC cases here.
- Mid-tower PC cases are the most popular and can also work with motherboards from Mini-ITX up to ATX.
- Mini-ITX PC cases sacrifice the larger ATX boards, but can always fit Mini-ITX boards inside, with the odd PC case being able to cope with Micro-ATX.
Which size case is best for your water cooled build is entirely up to you and your plan but we found that with modern cases offering so many features, a mid-tower has become the most popular way to go. Mid towers offer plenty of space and now come with water cooling specific features like extra radiator support, plenty of mounting options for reservoirs, and drain/ fill ports.
If you are planning on water cooling in a mini-ITX case be prepared for a challenge, especially if you are going to be using rigid tubing as clearance can become a problem. If you opt for a full-tower or a super-tower, remember that you are going to have a lot of interior space to work with. The large cases are often best reserved for those with multiple graphics cards to water cool or dual-systems, where intricate custom loops can be created.
Choose A PC Case With Water Cooling Features
If you have customized a PC case before, you are probably confident enough to tackle a loop in any case you desire but for the rest of us, choosing a case with specific features can really help make the process much easier.
Make sure you have enough radiator support in the case you go for. If you are planning a loop with three or more components cooled, you are likely to need to mount more than one rad, so plan ahead and select a case that will not only support this but still leave you the room to create something special.
Drain & Fill Ports
Some cases in our round-up feature drain and fill ports. This feature gives you the option to extend your loop slightly and reap the benefits of having specific areas to fill up your system and drain it. This may seem pointless but the ports are often conveniently placed and really make your life easier, especially when replacing the system’s fluid.
The Best Cases For Water Cooling
Very aesthetically pleasing
Uninterrupted tempered glass
Distro plate compatibility
Plenty of rad support
The o11 Dynamic from Lian Li is one of the most popular PC cases to ever grace the shelves and it is easy to see why. We have the XL version here to give you as much room as possible for your next water cooled PC build. This case is packed with features and is ideal for elaborate custom loops.
This spacious enclosure can support motherboards from Mini-ITX all the way up to E-ATX. There is an optional accessory you can purchase if you wanted to fit an EBB too.
With the increased size over its predecessor, it is now even easier to install the most ambitious of systems inside. The case also comes with hot-swap drives, which is a great feature when compared to your standard cages/ bracket mounts. Inside you get four hot-swap 2.5″/3.5″ and six internal for 2.5″ SSD.
The case features are tailored primarily for custom water-cool builds, with some added cutouts for different system configurations. Furthermore, everything almost tool-free and easy to access, which is surprisingly rare with PC cases. There is a lot of support for radiators and fans. The front I/O ports are fairly standard but it is good to see USB Type-C involved.
Lian Li has created something truly magnificent here and there is no better way to showcase your new water cooled build than with the O11D XL.
Dual system support
Impressive build quality
Loads of water cooling features
Phanteks excelled themselves with the Enthoo 719, this case is constructed with care and comes bursting at the seams with features. This case is not only one of the best cases for water cooling in, it’s one of the best full-towers, period.
This PC case supports motherboards from EEB all the way down to Mini-ITX and can even support a dual system setup. So if you are a streamer/ content creator you can get everything you need and fit it inside this one case.
Some may consider this to be a “budget” full-tower but don’t let that fool you, this is one classy chassis. Any type of build looks amazing behind the huge uninterrupted tempered glass panel. Water-cooling isn’t a must but the main features go a long way to support a custom loop setup. Furthermore, there is a vast amount of drive options at hand here, with 11 places to mount a 2.5″ SSD and 12 spots for a 3.5″ drive.
The 719 comes with a fill and drain port position conveniently for even the inexperienced to make use of and there are enough radiator mounting options for the most elaborate loops out there. All-in-all a solid case that is very aesthetically pleasing on the eye.
Large radiator support
23 total positions for drive mounts
Effective mesh front
Supports EATX/ SSIB motherboards
Not as aesthetically pleasing as others in the round up
The Fractal Design Meshify 2 follows on from the success of the Define series and can be compared to the Define 7 XL in many ways. Where the Define 7 focused on acoustic performance, the Meshify 2 XL appears to be focused more on airflow and elaborate water cooled loops.
This PC case supports motherboards all the way up top EATX/ SSIB thanks to its large spacious interior and is perfectly suited for those out there that need a lot of drive mounting options. Out of the box, you get 10 drives (6x 3.5-inch + 2x 2.5-inch + 2x 3.5/2.5-inch), however, the Meshify 2 XL supports a maximum of 23 drives with the add-on accessories when having this in “storage-mode”.
Another impressive feature for water cooling is this case’s radiator support, you can fit a 480mm rad on either the top or front of this case, giving you some superb cooling options. It is worth noting that you won’t be able to mount two 480mm rads at the same time but you can fit up to 280mm at the bottom if needed.
This is a high-quality case and could help you complete an impressive workstation build but regardless of what you are planning on water cooling, the Meshify 2 XL is solid.
Superb water cooling support and compatibility
Unique modular rear panel
Spacious for ITX
Includes dust filters on all air vents
ATX motherboards feel slightly too big in here
Large ITX size
Lian Li has gone one step further with their mini version of the O11D. Along with creating a truly unique ITX form factor case, Lian Li has also improved in a couple of things. The mini can fit a fully air-cooled PC inside with little to no clearance issues, making it a bit more versatile.
The O11D Mini is ideal for water cooling and comes with the features to back up that statement. Many ITX fans may consider this too large to be a true ITX case but its extra space allows you to create some very special rigid tubing runs and benefit from the two large tempered glass panels in the process. The interior layout is very similar to the original only smaller and the featured modular rear panel is a nice touch.
The O11D comes with a dual-chamber design which will aid with cable management when the times come and there is support for up to four drives. The case is completely dust-protected with all three vents equipped with a magnetic dust filter. More importantly, the O11D Mini comes with plenty of radiator support, allowing you up to 360mm at the top and bottom, and the side being up to 280mm.
There are few cases in the world that are going to give you water cooled PC as beautiful as this case will, it is fantastic.
Premium case with an affordable price tag
Less water-cool specific features than others on this list
Overall, the Corsair iCUE 5000X RGB is a top-level case, giving beginners and experienced builders something easy to work with while also providing amazing aesthetic results.
Aside from this case’s visual prowess, the spacious interior and radiator support make this an attractive option for a variety of water cooling enthusiasts. You can mount a rad at the front, the top, or conveniently on the side, giving you a lot of different options depending on your loop.
With the 5000X, we have removable front and side fan brackets to support a wider variety of options for would-be builders. The HDD cage, shroud sections, and a panel revealing the back of your motherboard all open with Corsairs tool-free design. Other modular areas like the cable bar, cable management system, and PWM/fan hubs can be removed with a screwdriver, freeing up space where needed.
A serious case here that feels premium yet comes in at a very affordable price.
- Best Overall: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL
- Best Full-Tower: Phanteks Enthoo 719
- Best Performance: Fractal Design Meshify 2 XL
- Best Mini-ITX: Lian Li Case O11D Mini
- Best Budget: Corsair iCUE 5000X RGB
What's the best water cooling case?
What size case do you need for water cooling?
As it is recommended to have 240mm of radiator per water cooled component, you are going to need a case that can support this. This is just a guide and there are many builders who have created some excellent custom loops in Mini-ITX cases but a mid-tower and above is always going to be recommended.
Do you need a special case for water cooling?
A case doesn’t have to be a certain size and if you are skilled you may not need a case with water cooling features either. A special case for water cooling doesn’t really exist, however, there are a lot of premium models with specific features that are only going to simplify the building process. Look out for cases that have modular brackets, support large radiators, and have nice little extras such as drain/fill ports.
Can you fit water cooling in a mid tower?
It is absolutely possible to fit water cooling inside a mid-tower. More and more mid-towers from manufacturers feature spacious interiors, logical layouts, and water cooling support. Water cooling in a mid-tower may be more challenging than a full-tower but not enough that you should be discouraged to do so.
Here we have five of the best cases for water cooling, an area of your build that should never be overlooked. Different cases come with different features but every selection in this guide has been hand-selected for its versatility, water cooling support, and value.
Which PC case you choose will largely come down to what custom loop you plan on creating but you can rest assured that every model above offers high levels of quality, features, and performance.