Best PC cases for airflow in 2023

  • 11 min read
  • Apr 26, 2023

Picking the best PC case for your build largely depends on the type of hardware you're going to be using, as well as styling, since that's entirely subjective. Airflow is one of the most important considerations for any chassis since it's what will allow (or inhibit) the fans to draw in cool air and exhaust heat. This is where our collection of the best PC cases for airflow comes into play with a focus on thermal performance.

  • NZXT H9 Flow

    Source: NZXT

    NZXT H9 Flow

    Best PC Case for Airflow

  • The Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact PC case.
    Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact

    Runner-up Best PC Case for Airflow

  • Cooler Master MasterBox NR600

    Source: Cooler Master

    Cooler Master MasterBox NR600

    Best Affordable Airflow PC Case

  • NZXT H5 Flow

    Source: NZXT

    NZXT H5 Flow

    Best Mid-Tower Airflow PC Case

  • Corsair 7000D Airflow

    Source: Corsair

    Corsair 7000D Airflow

    Best Full-Tower Airflow PC Case

The very best PC cases for airflow in 2023

NZXT H9 Flow

Source: NZXT

NZXT H9 Flow

Best PC Case for Airflow

An almost perfect PC case.

NZXT H9 Flow is a premium mid-tower chassis from the reputable brand, offering a unique take on the traditional PC case design. It has ample support for water cooling, excellent thermal performance, and a gorgeous aesthetic.

Motherboard Size (Max.)
ATX
Graphics Card Size (Max.)
435 mm
3.5" Drive Slots
2
2.5" Drive Slots
4+2
Power Supply Size (Max.)
200 mm
Exterior Dimensions
495 x 466 x 290 mm

Pros

  • Gorgeous design
  • Excellent airflow
  • Thermal performance

Cons

  • Limited storage options
  • No fan hub included

NZXT makes some of the best-looking cases on the market and the NZXT H9 Flow is the latest release from the reputable PC case maker. You can install up to an ATX motherboard inside the NZXT H9 Flow, which is standard for such a case. There are two glass panels on the NZXT H9 Flow, with primary air intake taking place on the side panel. The top panel is filled with perforated holes for more effective exhaust and up to a 360mm radiator can be installed with three 120mm fans. The side panel can take a 360mm radiator with three 120mm fans, and the bottom can also take a 360mm radiator with three 120mm fans.

Then there's a single 120mm fan mount on the rear panel for good measure. That's plenty of options for cooling and you can go all out with 10 fans installed. GPU and CPU cooler clearance is also excellent, coming in at 435mm and 165mm, respectively. Seven expansion slots are at hand for even the largest and best graphics cards or expansion cards. Unfortunately, there are no vertical mounts. Still, the cable management is class-leading and the aesthetic is solid for the NZXT H9 Flow. Filters are at hand for bottom and side panels, allowing you to keep all your internals free from dust. It's simply brilliant.

The Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact PC case.
Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact

Runner-up Best PC Case for Airflow

An excellent alternative high airflow case.

The Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact is an excellent ATX case with plenty of space inside the chassis and a mesh front panel for airflow.

Motherboard Size (Max.)
ATX
Graphics Card Size (Max.)
341 mm
3.5" Drive Slots
2
2.5" Drive Slots
4
Power Supply Size (Max.)
200 mm
Exterior Dimensions
424 x 210 x 475 mm

Pros

  • Easy filter access
  • Excellent thermal performance
  • Plenty of internal space

Cons

  • No PWM fans
  • Feels a little cheap in places

We're big fans of Fractal Design and the company has been in the case-making business for many years. The Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact is an ATX case that's a little tighter on the dimensions compared to other mid-tower cases. It's gorgeous to gaze at and sports impressive thermal performance. Fractal Design offers the Meshify 2 Compact in two flavors, one with a solid side panel or a tempered glass side window. Regardless of which you choose, it'll look amazing on or under your desk. Like other cases designed for airflow, this case has a complete mesh front panel, maximizing the airflow front-facing fans are able to suck in and cool components.

Three fans are pre-installed, so you're ready to go as soon as it's unboxed and your other PC parts are thrown into the mix. As well as these, there's space to add another three 120mm or 140mm fans. To make things easier when messing around with the insides of your PC, Fractal Design made the top panel entirely removable. Dust filters are installed on the front, top, and bottom panels to help keep everything clean and dust-free. If you're planning on installing a liquid AIO cooler, there's support for a 360mm radiator on the front panel, a 240mm radiator up top, as well as a 120mm radiator on the rear panel. You can pick up this PC case in either black or white color variants and each of them comes with a 5-year warranty.

Cooler Master MasterBox NR600

Source: Cooler Master

Cooler Master MasterBox NR600

Best Affordable Airflow PC Case

Save on CPU temperature and budget.

The Cooler Master MasterBox NR600 is one of the most affordable mid-tower airflow PC case you can buy on the market right now.

Motherboard Size (Max.)
ATX
Graphics Card Size (Max.)
410 mm
3.5" Drive Slots
4
2.5" Drive Slots
5
Power Supply Size (Max.)
180 mm
Exterior Dimensions
478 x 209 x 473 mm

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good thermal performance

Cons

  • Feels a little cheap in places
  • Cable management

Now we're into the super-affordable territory. Less than $90 is a bargain for a decent chassis from a reputable brand such as Cooler Master. The Cooler Master MasterBox NR600 may be the most affordable PC case in our collection, but it's worth considering if you want a minimalist design and a front mesh panel. It's an understated look but maintains a premium presence with the use of aluminum colors. You can install up to three 120mm fans on the front panel, a further two 120mm or 140mm on the top panel, as well as a single 120mm blower on the rear panel.

Two fans are pre-installed and ready to go. For radiators, 360mm is supported up front and 280mm on the top panel, which is more than enough for modern processors. Cable management isn't quite what you'd come to enjoy with a more expensive chassis, but it's good enough to allow you to easily create a clean look. Dust filters are located on the top and bottom panels to help prevent a build-up from getting out of hand. Seven expansion PCI slots are available and four 3.5-inch and five 2.5-inch bays will ensure you never run out of storage space.

NZXT H5 Flow

Source: NZXT

NZXT H5 Flow

Best Mid-Tower Airflow PC Case

Excellent compact performance for larger PC builds.

Should you be kitting out your PC build with all the most advanced components, a chassis like the NZXT H5 Flow may be just what you require. It has plenty of options for installing fans, as well as one directing airflow onto the GPU.

Material
SGCC Steel, Tempered Glass
Motherboard Size (Max.)
EATX
Graphics Card Size (Max.)
365 mm
3.5" Drive Slots
1
RGB Lighting
No
Fan Controls
No
Viewing Window
Yes

Pros

  • Great thermal performance
  • Stunning design
  • Best-in-class cable management

Cons

  • Limited storage options
  • No PSU shroud opening for PCIe cable

Yet another NZXT case is on our list here, and it's the NZXT H5 Flow. This new generation of mid-tower cases from the company takes everything that made the H510 series so good and further enhances everything else to make an amazing chassis. This Flow version of the NZXT H5 case is perfect for those seeking a premium-looking chassis with a gorgeous design and clean aesthetic. The front panel is perforated with hundreds of small holes with two 140mm fans behind it. The front panel can also take up to a 280mm radiator for maximum thermal performance with an AIO.

The top panel can take a 240mm radiator with two 120mm fans. Finally, the rear and bottom can hold one 120mm fan each, for a total of six. A stunning large tempered glass panel on the left side showcases all your internal components. It's a rather compact mid-tower case, so you won't find as much room as you may do in other towers, but it has almost everything you need for a capable PC build, including an integrated fan and RGB hub controller. Seven PCI slots are at hand, alongside three 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drive bays. The cable management, being an NZXT case, is also class-leading. Cramming everything inside shouldn't be an issue so long as you're not planning an open-loop water-cooling solution for your own.

Corsair 7000D Airflow

Source: Corsair

Corsair 7000D Airflow

Best Full-Tower Airflow PC Case

Perfect for filling the chassi with larger PC components.

The Corsair 7000D AIRFLOW is a full-tower PC cabinet with lots of space inside the chassis. You can install as many as twelve 120mm fans inside for airflow.

Motherboard Size (Max.)
ATX
Graphics Card Size (Max.)
450 mm
3.5" Drive Slots
6
2.5" Drive Slots
4
Power Supply Size (Max.)
225 mm
Exterior Dimensions
450 x 225 x 190 mm

Pros

  • Great thermal performance
  • Stunning design
  • Solid I/O

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Massive and heavy

Corsair makes numerous cases and its catalog is vast, but the Corsair 7000D Airflow is our personal favorite for maximizing thermal performance. As the name may suggest, it's an airflow-focused variant of the standard Corsair 7000X full-tower case. It's designed with enthusiasts in mind, and you can expect to pay a small fortune for the luxury at more than $200. It's the largest chassis in this collection, so you're getting more case for your money. You can install four 120mm or three 140mm fans on the front panel, a further four more 120mm fans on the side panel, three 120mm or 140mm fans on the top panel, and a 120mm or 140mm blower on the rear panel.

It's a similar story with radiators, as a 480mm can be installed up front, a 360mm radiator up top, and a 120mm on the back. You can easily build a custom water-cooling loop inside this thing. It's a simple case to work with and easy to install and manage all your internal components. Eight horizontal PCI slots are present for installing as many expansion cards as your motherboard allows. Three vertical slots can be used with PCI riser cables to set up your GPU and show off the shroud. Six 3.5-inch and four 2.5-inch drive bays are more than enough for storage. It's massive and easy to work with, making this an ideal pick for serious PC builders.

be quiet! Silent Base 802

Source: be quiet!

be quiet! Silent Base 802

Best Silent Airflow PC Case

The best case for quieter PC builds.

be quiet! Silent Base 802 is a versatile case that lets you replace the panels to favor either quiet operation or better airflow.

Motherboard Size (Max.)
E-ATX
Graphics Card Size (Max.)
287 - 432 mm
3.5" Drive Slots
7
2.5" Drive Slots
15
Power Supply Size (Max.)
228 mm
Exterior Dimensions
539 x 281 x 553 mm

Pros

  • Great thermal performance
  • Almost silent
  • Massive internal space

Cons

  • Huge and bulky
  • Cable management

The be quiet! Silent Base 802 is a brilliant PC case. It's super quiet and has vast volumes of space inside for cramming almost everything. The company specializes in cooling and PC cases that focus on thermals and silence over everything else. What's more the Silent Base 802 comes with a few interchangeable parts, so you can customize it without prior modding experience. There's a huge side window for gazing at all your PC parts and the front mesh panel is also massive. In fact, everything about the Silent Base 802 is on the large side.

There's even a top panel that helps with cooling, just in case you want to overclock an Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 processor and not melt everything in the process. be quiet! installs two 140mm Pure Wings 2 fans on the front panel, as well as a third on the rear panel. Up to a 420mm radiator can be installed on the front panel, a 360mm radiator on the top panel, and a 120mm radiator on the rear. To help with the acoustics, be quiet! adds up to 10mm of dampening material on the front and side panels. Then there's the decoupled PSU shroud, motherboard tray, and HDD cage to minimize vibrations inside the case. It's absolutely brilliant.

Fractal Design Meshify C

Source: Fractal Design

Fractal Design Meshify C

Best Value Airflow PC Case

Get more case for your buck.

The Fractal Design Meshify C is a more affordable version of the Meshify 2 Compact. It looks identical to the standard variant and offers almost the same set of features.

Motherboard Size (Max.)
ATX
Graphics Card Size (Max.)
315 mm
3.5" Drive Slots
2
2.5" Drive Slots
3
Power Supply Size (Max.)
175 mm
Exterior Dimensions
395 x 212 x 440 mm

Pros

  • Great thermal performance
  • Multiple dust filters
  • Solid cable management

Cons

  • Not quiet
  • I/O
  • Compact PSU area

We're looking at yet another Fractal Design case with the Meshify C. You can consider the Meshify C a more affordable version of the Meshify 2 Compact. In fact, this is one of the most affordable cases in this collection, but that's not to say it's a bad chassis. It's far from it with excellent airflow, aesthetics, and features. Just like the other Fractal Design case, the Meshify C also comes with a large mesh panel up front for maximizing thermal performance. With a total of three fans already inside the Meshify C, it's pretty much good to go unless you're using the most powerful components on the market.

A further two 120mm fans can be installed on the top panel and a single 120mm blower on the bottom panel for a total of six fans. This case has full support for liquid cooling with the front panel able to handle a 360mm radiator and a 240mm radiator up top. Two variants are available, one with a steel side panel and another with a tempered glass window. Good cable management and a PSU shroud ensure it's easy to create a clean PC build by routing everything through the available channels. This is a solid, budget-friendly chassis with everything you'd need for a powerful PC.

Lian Li Lancool 205M Mesh

Source: Lian Li

Lian Li Lancool 205M Mesh

Best Compact Airflow PC Case

For those who wish to build a smaller PC.

The Lian Li Lancool 205M Mesh is a compact chassis with a focus on airflow. You'll find the large front panel dominated by a mesh grill and two large ARGB fans, sucking in more than enough cool air to keep temperatures in check.

Motherboard Size (Max.)
MicroATX
Graphics Card Size (Max.)
350 mm
3.5" Drive Slots
2
2.5" Drive Slots
3
Power Supply Size (Max.)
180 mm
Exterior Dimensions
210 x 402.5 x 400 mm

Pros

  • Great thermal performance
  • Stunning design
  • Solid cable mangement

Cons

  • Limited AIO support
  • Limited motherboard support

The Lian Li Lancool 205M Mesh is the best Mini-ITX PC case with a large front-facing mesh panel. When looking around for a small form factor case, it's important to consider airflow since these cases usually tend to have fewer fans and radiator mounts, restricting the amount of air that can be pushed and pulled through the case. It's a compact chassis, but you can get away with installing a Micro ATX motherboard inside, opening up a few more expansion options compared to Mini-ITX boards. Lian Li pre-installs two 140mm ARGB fans in the factory, allowing some light to emanate through the chassis as well as pulling in plenty of cool air.

A further three fans can be installed, two up top and one in the rear, which should be enough for even more powerful gaming PC builds. Two 240mm radiators can be installed inside the Lian Li Lancool 205M Mesh, so you won't have any issue bringing across your favorite liquid AIO CPU cooler. The entire case is clean with a few ports up front for connecting a few peripherals. The rear of the motherboard tray has a few channels for routing cables and enough space to store a few SSDs when you run out of M.2 slots. The best part about the Lian Li Lancool 205M Mesh? It's not too pricey.

Thermaltake AH T200

Source: Thermaltake

Thermaltake AH T200

Best Open Air Airflow PC Case

An impressive feat of PC case engineering.

The Thermaltake AH T200 is a one-of-a-kind PC case that comes with an open-frame design.

Motherboard Size (Max.)
MicroATX
Graphics Card Size (Max.)
320 mm
3.5" Drive Slots
2
2.5" Drive Slots
3
Power Supply Size (Max.)
180 mm
Exterior Dimensions
444.2 x 282 x 551.5 mm

Pros

  • Good thermal performance
  • Striking design

Cons

  • Can get dusty
  • Limited fans and radiator mounts

When you're after something a little unique, there's always Thermaltake with its catalog of whacky cases. We've been long-time fans of the company's designs with the mighty Tower 900 for custom water-cooling loops or the Core P range of open frame cases. There's usually something from Thermaltake that will turn heads, making them ideal for shows and LAN events. The Thermaltake AH T200 is no exception with its truly unique look. Inspired by the design of a helicopter, this chassis has steel all over with plenty of cut-outs for airflow.

Two 4mm thick tempered glass panels are utilized to show off all the internals and provide excellent access to everything inside. It's a large case but is only able to accommodate up to a Micro ATX motherboard. No fans come with the Thermaltake AH T200 and only two 120mm or 140mm fans can be installed on the top and front panels. Only the front panel supports the mounting of a radiator with a maximum length of 280mm. It's slightly limiting, but should be enough for a PC build with an AIO liquid cooler. Thermaltake has favored form over function in certain areas but there's no denying this is one stunning chassis

Choosing the best PC case for airflow

That wraps up our collection of the best PC case for airflow. We think the NZXT H9 Flow and the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact are great options for most users. The Fractal Design Meshify C is a solid option to consider if you're on a budget. It's quite affordable and offers almost the same set of features as the Meshify 2 Compact. Those who are leaning towards a high-end PC build should consider buying the Corsair 7000D Airflow.

If you are building a new PC, then we recommend you check out our collection of the best motherboards or even the best CPUs along with the cases mentioned in this list. Our ever-evolving collections are constantly updated with new options, so you'll get the best options available on the market. Alternatively, we also recommend you join our XDA Computing Forums, where you can discuss your build with fellow enthusiasts and get more recommendations.

NZXT H9 Flow

Source: NZXT

NZXT H9 Flow

Best PC Case for Airflow

NZXT H9 Flow is a premium mid-tower chassis from the reputable brand, offering a unique take on the traditional PC case design. It has ample support for water cooling, excellent thermal performance, and a gorgeous aesthetic.