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5 BEST Open Air PC Case [High-End & Budget]

In this guide, I will walk you through my selection of the best open air PC cases, all carefully selected after detailed testing.

Expert Verified By

Open-air PC cases have really grown in popularity over the last few years as gamers are now looking for new ways to make their builds and setups stand out from the crowd. Using an open-air PC case is a fantastic way to elevate the aesthetics of your build while improving functionality with superior airflow and better water-cooling capabilities. With more and more innovation in this space, modern open-air PC cases are a great way to make your setup unique to your personal taste and preference. If you want to sport one of these cases for your setup, this is the guide for you as I tested various offerings, ranging from budget to high-end, to pick my top 5 open air cases.

Here’s a quick look at our selected open-air PC cases and a brief comparison of their specs:

Case
Antec Torque
Thermaltake AH T200
Thermaltake Core P3 Pro
PrimoChill's Praxis Wetbench
Thermaltake Core P90
Looks
Antec Torque Black/Red Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case/Winner of iF Design Award 2019
Thermaltake AH T200 Snow Helicopter Styled Open Frame Tempered Glass Swing Door USB3.1 (Gen.2) Type-C m-ATX Micro Case CA-1R4-00S6WN-00, White
Thermaltake Core P3 Pro E-ATX Tempered Glass Mid Tower Gaming Computer Chassis, Open Frame Panoramic Viewing, Glass Wall-Mount, Rotatable PCI-E Slots, CA-1G4-00M1WN-09
PrimoChill's Praxis Wetbench Powdercoated Steel Modular Open Air Computer Test Bench for Watercooling or Air Cooled Components - Black w/UV Red/Pink Accents
Thermaltake Core P90 Tempered Glass Black ATX Mid Tower Open Frame 2-Sided Glass Viewing, Tt LCS Certified Gaming Computer Case Chassis, CA-1J8-00M1WN-00
Award
Best Looking Open Air Case
Best Open Air Case For Under $100
Best Open Air Mid Size Case
Best Open Air Test Bench
Best Open Air PC Case For Watercooling
What We Liked
Design, Airflow, Compactness, Clearance
Helicopter design, Various color choices, Affordable
Aesthetics, Build quality, Ideal for water-cooling
Versatile, Color options, Wide compatibility, Easy access
Dual-chamber design, Build quality, Airlfow and thermals
What We Disliked
Expensive, No included fans, Only 2x drives supported
Limited motherboard compatibility
Quite pricey
Expensive
Large footprint, High price
Type
Mid-Tower
Mini Tower
Mid Tower
Test Bench
Mid Tower
Motherboard Support
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX (Up to 12"x11")
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
Dimensions
621 x 285 x 644 mm
282 x 444.2 x 551.5 mm
268 x 535 x 500 mm
483 x 440 x 461.8 mm
470 x 470 x 615 mm
CPU Cooler Clearance
215 mm
150 mm
180 mm
Open
180 mm
Expansion Slots
7
5
8
6
8
Included Fans
None
None
None 
None
None
RGB
Case
Antec Torque
Looks
Antec Torque Black/Red Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case/Winner of iF Design Award 2019
Award
Best Looking Open Air Case
What We Liked
Design, Airflow, Compactness, Clearance
What We Disliked
Expensive, No included fans, Only 2x drives supported
Type
Mid-Tower
Motherboard Support
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX (Up to 12"x11")
Dimensions
621 x 285 x 644 mm
CPU Cooler Clearance
215 mm
Expansion Slots
7
Included Fans
None
RGB
Amazon
Newegg
Case
Thermaltake AH T200
Looks
Thermaltake AH T200 Snow Helicopter Styled Open Frame Tempered Glass Swing Door USB3.1 (Gen.2) Type-C m-ATX Micro Case CA-1R4-00S6WN-00, White
Award
Best Open Air Case For Under $100
What We Liked
Helicopter design, Various color choices, Affordable
What We Disliked
Limited motherboard compatibility
Type
Mini Tower
Motherboard Support
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX
Dimensions
282 x 444.2 x 551.5 mm
CPU Cooler Clearance
150 mm
Expansion Slots
5
Included Fans
None
RGB
Amazon
Newegg
Case
Thermaltake Core P3 Pro
Looks
Thermaltake Core P3 Pro E-ATX Tempered Glass Mid Tower Gaming Computer Chassis, Open Frame Panoramic Viewing, Glass Wall-Mount, Rotatable PCI-E Slots, CA-1G4-00M1WN-09
Award
Best Open Air Mid Size Case
What We Liked
Aesthetics, Build quality, Ideal for water-cooling
What We Disliked
Quite pricey
Type
Mid Tower
Motherboard Support
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
Dimensions
268 x 535 x 500 mm
CPU Cooler Clearance
180 mm
Expansion Slots
8
Included Fans
None 
RGB
Amazon
Newegg
Case
PrimoChill's Praxis Wetbench
Looks
PrimoChill's Praxis Wetbench Powdercoated Steel Modular Open Air Computer Test Bench for Watercooling or Air Cooled Components - Black w/UV Red/Pink Accents
Award
Best Open Air Test Bench
What We Liked
Versatile, Color options, Wide compatibility, Easy access
What We Disliked
Expensive
Type
Test Bench
Motherboard Support
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
Dimensions
483 x 440 x 461.8 mm
CPU Cooler Clearance
Open
Expansion Slots
6
Included Fans
None
RGB
Amazon
Newegg
Case
Thermaltake Core P90
Looks
Thermaltake Core P90 Tempered Glass Black ATX Mid Tower Open Frame 2-Sided Glass Viewing, Tt LCS Certified Gaming Computer Case Chassis, CA-1J8-00M1WN-00
Award
Best Open Air PC Case For Watercooling
What We Liked
Dual-chamber design, Build quality, Airlfow and thermals
What We Disliked
Large footprint, High price
Type
Mid Tower
Motherboard Support
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
Dimensions
470 x 470 x 615 mm
CPU Cooler Clearance
180 mm
Expansion Slots
8
Included Fans
None
RGB
Amazon
Newegg
  • Why you can trust Tech4Gamers: We understand the importance of making informed decisions. That’s why our team spends significant time testing every product we review. Find out more about how we test.

Best Open Air PC Case

Here are my recommendations for the best open-air PC cases that you can buy right now:

  1. Best Looking Open Air Case: Antec Torque
  2. Best Open Air Case For Under $100: Thermaltake AH T200
  3. Best Open Air Mid Size Case: Thermaltake Core P3 Pro
  4. Best Open Air Test Bench: PrimoChill’s Praxis Wetbench
  5. Best Open Air PC Case For Watercooling: Thermaltake Core P90

Antec Torque

Best Looking Open Air Case

Antec Torque Best looking Open Air PC Case
Antec Torque

Type: Mid-Tower | Colors: Black, White | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX (Up to 12″x11″) | Dimensions (WxHxD): 621 x 285 x 644 mm | GPU Clearance: 450 mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 215 mm | PSU Clearance: ATX | Expansion Slots: 7 | Included Fans: None | RGB: No

Pros

  • Extraordinary design
  • Fairly low footprint 
  • Great airflow and thermals
  • Excellent clearance 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No pre-installed fans at such a high price point
  • Only supports two storage drives
  • No integrated RGB

Aesthetics & Build Quality: The Antec Torque showcases a trapezoid-like design, and other than the glass panels, is made entirely out of super-solid aluminum alloy. This means excellent build quality in my review. Meanwhile, the chassis looked incredible after I set up a test build with it, but I would have liked some integrated RGB.  

Cooling Performance: Firstly, its open-air design is excellent for airflow, thanks to which it showed great thermals in my testing. The chassis supports up to 6x 120mm fans, or 2x 360mm radiators simultaneously. At this price point, pre-installed fans would have been nice, but alas. 

Features: Its top features are extensive clearance and motherboard form factor compatibility. It offers little in terms of storage, though, with provisions of only a 2.5″ + 3.5″ drive. For I/O, there are 2x USB 3.0 and a USB 3.1 Type-C, which was good to see. Lastly, cable management turned out to be a bit of a struggle.

PRO TIP: In general, open-air chassis are more dust-prone, so ensure that you clean your case for dust occasionally to maintain optimal airflow.

Buy It If:

Antec Torque
Antec Torque

✅ You want an appealing design: The Antec Torque has a visually striking trapezoid design consisting of 14 aluminum panels joined together.

✅ Compactness is important: Among other chassis in this class, the Antec Torque doesn’t require a lot of surface area to be placed on.

Don’t Buy It If:

❌ You want included fans: With that premium price tag, it just doesn’t fit for the chassis to not have fans included with the package.

❌ You have a limited budget: Although the Torque holds a unique position in the case market, it can certainly deplete your savings.

What Makes It The Best-Looking Open-Air Case?

Featuring an extraordinary exterior design, superb airflow, an RGB logo, and premium build quality, the Antec Torque is my choice for the best-looking open-air case.

Airflow: 9/10 Value: 7/10
Features: 8/10 Design: 9/10

Thermaltake AH T200

Best Open Air Case For Under $100

Thermaltake AH T200 - Best Open Air Case For Under $100
Thermaltake AH T200

Type: Mini Tower | Colors: Black, White, Pink | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX | Dimensions (WxHxD): 282 x 444.2 x 551.5 mm | GPU Clearance: 320 mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 150 mm | PSU Clearance: 180 mm | Expansion Slots: 5 | Included Fans: None | RGB: No

Pros

  • Unique helicopter design
  • Various color choices
  • Great for compact builds
  • Relatively affordable

Cons

  • Limited motherboard compatibility
  • No included fans

Aesthetics & Build Quality: With its unique “helicopter” design, the AH T200 stands out immediately, and I like its white variant a lot. The case lacks any built-in RGB lighting, but some RGB fans can fix that straight away. The dual-tempered glass side panels look great, and, like the case’s solid frame, show excellent build quality.

Cooling Performance: With its open-air design, the chassis allows plenty of air to flow through the cabin without much restriction. Thermaltake does not provide a pre-installed fan in the case, so you should opt to fill at least one of the four 120mm/140mm fan slots. Thermal performance in my testing was satisfactory with two case fans.

Features: Its design embodies Thermaltake’s daring approach, fitting snugly into the mini-tower case category with support for micro ATX and mini ITX motherboards. Furthermore, it maximizes GPU and CPU cooler compatibility and is available in various color themes.

WARNING: There is no support for ATX, or larger, motherboards with the Thermaltake AH200.

Buy It If:

Thermaltake AH T200

✅ You want an affordable open-air case: At just under $100 at the time of writing, the Thermaltake AH T200 delivers superb value for money.

✅ You want a compact open-air case: If you’re looking for a small form factor case with a unique design, the Thermaltake AH T200 is the way to go.

Don’t Buy It If:

❌ You want a bigger case: The AH T200 is a micro-ATX case, so it has limited compatibility with standard motherboards, PSUs, GPUs, and CPU coolers.

What Makes It The Best Open-Air Case For Under $100?

Thanks to its unparalleled aesthetics, impressive acoustics, and exceptional value for money, the Thermaltake AH T200 is the best open-air case under $100.

Airflow: 8/10 Value: 9/10
Features: 8/10 Design: 9/10

Thermaltake Core P3 Pro

Best Open Air Mid Size Case

Thermaltake Core P3 Pro - Best Open Air Mid Size Case
Thermaltake Core P3 Pro

Type: Mid Tower | Colors: Black, White, Red, Titanium | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX | Dimensions (WxHxD): 268 x 535 x 500 mm | GPU Clearance: 450 mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 180 mm | PSU Clearance: 200 mm | Expansion Slots: 8 | Included Fans: None | RGB: No

Pros

  • Exceptional aesthetics
  • Superb build quality
  • Ideal for water-cooling
  • Excellent airflow

Cons

  • Quite pricey
  • Dust prone

Aesthetics & Build Quality: After fully configuring the Thermaltake Core P3 Pro with RGB components and custom water-cooling, it looked absolutely phenomenal from all angles in my review. Moreover, it showed outstanding build quality with its rigid steel chassis and 4mm thick tempered glass panel on the front.

Cooling Performance: Owing to its open-air design, the Core P3 does an excellent job dissipating heat, and so kept every component running ice cool in my testing. It supports radiators up to 420mm, with up to 6x 120/140mm fans, allowing you to maximize the cooling potential of its open-air style. 

Features: The P3 Pro can support motherboards up to the E-ATX standard, and GPUs up to 450 mm in length. Its high-quality cable grommets meant I had the chassis looking neat in no time. There’s multiple slots for vertical GPU mounting. Plus, it has a dismantlable design and can be used in a wall-mounted configuration, too. 

PRO TIP: Invest in high-airflow fans and decide the best orientation in order to keep things running as cool as possible in your chassis.

Buy It If:

Thermaltake Core P3 Pro

✅ You want exceptional airflow: With a unique open-air design that is unrestricted on three sides, the Core P3 Pro is one of the finest performers in terms of airflow.

Don’t Buy It If:

❌ Your budget is limited: The Thermaltake Core P3 Pro may leave a dent in your wallet, even though its value proposition is quite positive.

What Makes It The Best Open-Air Mid-Size Case?

The Thermaltake Core P3 Pro is the best open-air mid-size case thanks to its innovative design, superb airflow, premium build quality, and unique features like the ability to be mounted on a wall.

Airflow: 10/10 Value: 8/10
Features: 9/10 Design: 9/10

PrimoChill’s Praxis Wetbench

Best Open Air Test Bench

Primochill's Praxis Wetbench - Best Open Air Test Bench
Primochill’s Praxis Wetbench

Type: Test Bench | Colors: Black, White, Orange, Red, Yellow, 8 Others | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX | Dimensions (WxHxD): 483 x 440 x 461.8 mm | GPU Clearance: Open | CPU Cooler Clearance: Open | PSU Clearance: 300 mm | Expansion Slots: 6 | Included Fans: None | RGB: No

Pros

  • Versatile use cases
  • Various color options
  • Wide compatibility
  • No airflow restrictions

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Plain design

Aesthetics & Build Quality: Test bench-style aren’t known for their aesthetics, but, you do get a lot of color customization with the Praxis WetBench which I appreciate. In my review, I could tell that the craftsmanship and metalwork are absolutely top-notch, which really gives this case an air of supremacy.

Cooling Performance: Since the PrimoChill Praxis Wetbench uses an open-air style with no restrictions to airflow, it delivers superb cooling performance as I’ve used it in a variety of test builds. It is also quite well-equipped for water cooling, as it has mounting points for a pump, reservoir, and radiators up to 360mm in length. 

Features: The Praxis Wetbench is compatible with all popular motherboard form factors, so its perfect for testing motherboards. There’s also unrestricted compatibility with GPUs and CPU air coolers and an upper limit of 300mm for the PSU. It incorporates a modular system with interchangeable parts, and I was impressed by its endless customizability potential.

Editor`s Note
Image

For test builds, the PrimoChill Praxis Wetbench is my top choice, and deservedly so thanks to its excellent design. The various color themes available is really nice to see as it shows that PrimoChill has not disregarded the importance of aesthetics, even in a test bench chassis.

– Awais Khan

Buy It If:

Here’s what the chassis looked like on our test bench:

Our PrimoChill Praxis Wetbench (Image By Tech4Gamers)

✅ You want a good build quality test bench: The PrimoChill’s Praxis Wetbench has a solid build quality, so if you need that in your wetbench, then you should go for it.

Don’t Buy It If:

❌ You don’t want to spend too much: Although completely worth it, the Praxis Wetbench has a bit steep pricing, which can turn away budget users.

What Makes It The Best Open-Air Test Bench?

With its incredible versatility, wide compatibility range, and exceptional build quality, the PrimoChill Praxis Wetbench is the best open-air test bench that you can buy.

Airflow: 10/10 Value: 7/10
Features: 9/10 Design: 7/10

Thermaltake Core P90

Best Open Air PC Case For Watercooling

Thermaltake Core P90 - Best Open Air PC Case For Watercooling
Thermaltake Core P90

Type: Mid Tower | Colors: Black | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX | Dimensions (WxHxD): 470 x 470 x 615 mm | GPU Clearance: 320 mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 180 mm | PSU Clearance: 220 mm | Expansion Slots: 8 | Included Fans: None | RGB: No

Pros

  • Dual-chamber design
  • Exceptional build quality
  • Impressive thermals and airflow
  • Great for custom water cooling

Cons

  • High price
  • Very large footprint

Aesthetics & Build Quality: The chassis looked incredible in my review, especially after I installed a custom water cooling loop. Its angled tempered glass panels allows you to glance at your build in all its glory. Moreover, thanks to its its high-quality materials, including the 5mm tempered glass, the build quality is excellent.

Cooling Performance: The Core P90 is an extraordinary case for custom water cooling, with radiator support up to 480mm. Moreover, you can also add 4x 120mm fans or 3x 140mm fans if you choose to go with regular case fans instead of a radiator. It showed airflow, and hence cooling, in my dedicated testing.

Features: Firstly, we get a dual-chamber layout with this case, with support for ATX, mATX, and mini-ITX motherboards. It can function as a wall-mounted open-air configuration, or a traditional tower or desktop setup. I was happy to see the inclusion of the TT Gaming PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable, allowing a horizontal or vertical GPU mount.

Editor`s Note
Image

The Thermaltake Core P90 is easily one of the most stunning chassis out there, and its dual-chamber design further helps with that by accommodating effortless cable management.

– Awais Khan

Buy It If:

Thermaltake Core P90

✅ You want the ideal water cooling case: With an unorthodox open-air design, a unique dual-chamber layout, and wide support for custom water cooling components, you can’t go wrong with the Thermaltake Core P90.

Don’t Buy It If:

❌ You prefer a more compact case: Although the Core P90 fits in the mid-tower category, its unique layout means that it takes up a relatively large footprint.

What Makes It The Best Open Air PC Case For Watercooling?

Featuring a dual-chamber design, spacious interior, exceptional airflow, and wide compatibility for water cooling components, the Thermaltake Core P90 is the best open-air PC case for watercooling.

Airflow: 9/10 Value: 7/10
Features: 10/10 Design: 9/10

Important PC Case Key Terms

Here are a few key terms that you should remember when buying a new PC case:

  • ATX: A widely used form factor for PC cases and motherboards, providing standardized dimensions and layouts for components.
  • Clearance: The amount of space available within a PC case for installing components, such as CPU coolers, graphics cards, and power supplies, without interference.
  • Tempered Glass: A strong and durable material used in PC case side panels to showcase internal components while providing protection and a modern look.
  • Cable Management: The practice of arranging and hiding cables inside a PC case to improve airflow, aesthetics, and overall organization.
  • Tool-less Design: A feature that enables users to install components in a PC case without the need for additional tools, streamlining the building process.
  • Modular Design: A PC case design that allows for flexible customization and reconfiguration of internal components and drive bays based on user needs.
  • Noise Dampening: Materials and design features incorporated into PC cases to reduce the noise generated by internal components and fans, resulting in quieter operation.
  • Mid Tower Case: A PC case size that offers a balance between space and portability, providing ample room for components and cooling solutions while being more compact compared to full tower cases.
  • Full Tower Case: A larger PC case size that offers maximum space for components, cooling solutions, and storage options, making it ideal for high-end builds and systems with multiple GPUs or extensive liquid cooling setups.

How We Picked The Best Open-Air PC Case

There are several factors that one should consider when selecting an open-air PC case. Here are a few of the important ones.

  • Compatibility: Ensure that the case supports your motherboard form factor, such as ATX, Micro-ATX, or Mini-ITX. Check if it can accommodate the length of your graphics card and the height of your CPU cooler. Additionally, consider the space for power supply units and storage drives, ensuring they fit without obstructing airflow or other components.
  • Airflow and Noise: Open-air cases excel in providing exceptional airflow due to their unobstructed design. Prioritize cases with well-placed ventilation points and options for fan installation. Evaluate the included or recommended fan setup for optimal cooling. Open-air designs tend to be a bit louder, but can also be extremely quiet thanks to their exceptional airflow. 
  • Features: Look for features that enhance both convenience and customization. Effective cable management options help maintain a tidy interior while removable dust filters prevent dust buildup. Seek out tool-less installation mechanisms for ease of building and upgrading. Modular layouts offer flexibility in placing components and many open-air chassis offer wall-mounting features.
  • Design and Aesthetics: The design of an open-air case can be a personal preference, ranging from minimalist to avant-garde styles. Consider the case’s size relative to your available space, and select a design that complements your overall setup. Remember that aesthetics, while important, should not compromise practicality or airflow.
  • Value for Money: Balancing features, quality, and price is crucial for a satisfying purchase. Consider the long-term benefits of investing in a case that offers robust build quality, superior cooling, and advanced features. Spending a bit more upfront can lead to a more efficient and enjoyable PC-building experience.

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FAQs

What is the benefit of an open-air PC case?

An open-air case has much better airflow than a standard closed case due to its unrestricted nature. Moreover, open-air cases are also more aesthetically pleasing and are better equipped for custom water cooling.

What is the drawback of an open-air PC case?

Dust buildup is the main concern when using open-air cases, due to their open design. These cases can also have a louder noise output due to a lack of sound insulation.

Why should I buy an open-air PC case?

You should buy an open-air case if you like their innovative design, or want to build a custom water cooling rig. Moreover, you should also prefer an open-air case for its superior airflow. Many of these cases can also be mounted on the wall.

Are open-air cases safe?

Yes, open-air cases are considered quite safe. Their tempered glass panels are often thicker than regular closed cases, and they often have excellent overall build quality. As long as you protect these cases from direct impact, they are safe to use.

Recent Updates


  • March 20, 2024: Few text and grammar changes to improve readability. Due to unavailability, I replaced the Cougar Conquer 2 with the Antec Torque.

 

 
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