Getting a PC case is essential. It holds all the components inside and is the first thing anyone notices about your build. A few factors are to be considered before buying the best case; these factors include the design, the airflow, and the case’s size. However, the most important factor is the performance aspect of the case and if it cools all the components that it houses. For this, we have gathered a list of the best PC case for airflow that can be found in various sizes, colors, and designs.
Here are our picks for Airflow PC Cases, all compared to each other with their best use:
Last update on 2023-12-03
Best PC Cases For Airflow
The following are the Best Airflow PC Cases In 2023:
- LIAN LI LANCOOL III
- Corsair 4000D Airflow
- NZXT H5 Flow
- Fractal Design Torrent RGB
- CORSAIR 7000D Airflow
- Fractal Design Meshify C
- Lian Li O11 AIR MINI
LIAN LI LANCOOL III
Best Mid-Tower Airflow Case
Specifications : Type: Mid-tower ATX | Colors: Black, White | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX | Dimensions: 526 x 238 x 523 mm | GPU Clearance: 435mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 187mm | PSU Clearance: 220mm | Drive Bays: 8x 2.5” SSDs and 4x 3.5” HDDs or 12x 2.5″ SSDs | Included Fans: 4x 140mm PWM fans
- Extensive Mesh Design
- Support for 10x fans
- Support for 3x 360mm and or 2x 420mm radiators
- Lots of GPU, PSU, and CPU Cooler clearance
LIAN LI is known for producing some of the best PC cases. Their chassis are known for beautiful looks, durable build quality, and great airflow to promote high performance. In the same vein, their LANCOOL III is no different. The chassis is a true representation of what LIAN LI aims to achieve, and that’s why we have picked it as the Best Mid-Tower Airflow Case.
Speaking of airflow, the LIAN LI LANCOOL III features a great mesh design. In fact, LIAN LI calls it “Extreme Airflow Craftsmanship“. That’s because whether it is the two bottom side panels, the front, or the top panel, LIAN LI went all in with its mesh design in this chassis. Therefore, the case has great ventilation from all sides due to these mesh panels. Not only that, but if you live in a rather dusty place, then you can also use the magnetic dust filters that come with the case to cover the left, front, and top sides. This goes without saying that equipping the dust filters will take a toll on the overall airflow, but it will still be adequate.
Moving on to the fans, the case comes with 3x 140mm front intake fans and 1x 140mm rear exhaust fans. If you go with the RGB version, then the front intake fans will be ARGB. The fans have great RPM, ranging from 200 to 1800. Their airflow is also quite high, with 83.5 CFM, giving the LANCOOL III another plus point in the airflow department. One thing that should be mentioned here is that the ARGB fans have an inferior speed, as their RPM range is only 300 to 1650. Nevertheless, the pre-installed fan selection is quite good.
Overall, the LANCOOL III has incredible cooling capabilities. You can equip the case with 10x 120mm fans (3x front, 3x top, 3x above PSU chamber, 1x rear) and up to 3x 360mm radiators or 2x 420mm radiators. To get a full idea of how many fans and/or radiators you can pair up in the LANCOOL III, refer to the image below.
Related Read: How Many Fans Should a PC Have?
Apart from these cooling capabilities, the LIAN LI LANCOOL III has many features that make it stand out from the competition. For instance, the case’s storage capacity is quite impressive. In total, you can equip the chassis with 12x 2.5″ SSDs, or if you want a combination of both HDDs and SSDs, then you can go up to 8x 2.5″ SSDs and 4x 3.5″ HDDs. Furthermore, you can remove the 3x 2.5″ SSD trays on the PSU shroud panel to get even better airflow.
LIAN LI has gone above and beyond to equip the LANCOOL III with as many cable management features as possible; you get lots of velcro straps, paths to route all the cables, and much more. It makes sense to manage the cables thoroughly because the LANCOOL III has tempered glass on both sides, which is opened via a hinge.
Another nifty feature of the LANCOOL III is that its front I/O is reversible, meaning you can locate the front I/O at the bottom or at the top of the chassis, depending on whether you’re putting the case on a desk or on the floor.
What We Liked
The best thing about the LIAN LI LANCOOL III, and the reason why we chose it, is its spectacular mesh design and support for 10x fans to promote good airflow.
What We Disliked
The LANCOOL III, walking in the footsteps of the LANCOOL II, is a bulky chassis. Therefore, it has quite some weight to it. However, LIAN LI has utilized the bulkiness quite impressively and gave the chassis a spacious interior.
What Sets The LIAN LI LANCOOL III Apart From Its Competitors
There are many mid-tower cases out on the market, but none of them achieve airflow as good as the LANCOOL III without costing a ton. Furthermore, apart from just good ventilation, the LANCOOL III also comes with lots of important features.
All things considered, if you’re looking for the best overall mid-tower case that is built for superb airflow, then the LANCOOL III should be your choice. The case uses an extensive mesh design in combination with exceptional cooling capabilities, and that’s why we have awarded it as the winner of the Best Mid-Tower Airflow Case.
Corsair 4000D Airflow
Best Value Airflow Case
Specifications : Type: Mid-tower ATX | Colors: Black | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX | Dimensions: 466 x 453 x 230 mm | GPU Clearance: 360mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 170mm | PSU Clearance: 220mm | Drive Bays: 2x 2.5” SSDs and 2x 3.5” HDDs | Included Fans: 2x 120mm fans
- Perforated Front And Top Panel
- Good Value For Money
- Build Quality
- Minimalistic Design
- Only 1x USB 3.0 Port
- No RGB
Not everyone wants flashy RGB fans or a plethora of cooling support; some people just want a good value-for-money chassis that offers adequate cooling to cater to a high-end rig. Well, if you’re one of these people, then the Corsair 4000D Airflow is for you. We also used the Corsair 4000D Airflow in our Best $2000 Gaming PC Build, be sure to check that out.
Coming back to the topic, the reason why we are talking about the 4000D in this guide is that it offers impressive ventilation. The entire front panel uses a perforated triangular design that allows unrestricted airflow. Furthermore, there are large gaps on both sides of the triangular design that adds to the ventilation.
To live up to its airflow name, the Corsair 4000D uses a similar perforated triangular design on the top. Additionally, the rear side also has lots of ventilation from top to bottom. Overall, the chassis has enough holes to offer one of the best airflow designs ever. However, all of this ventilation leaves room for lots of dust to get inside, and for that, the case comes with magnetic dust filters both at the front and the top that can be easily removed and cleaned.
To utilize all of these vents, you’re gonna equip the 4000D with lots of fans, and the case can support up to 4x 140mm or 6x 120mm fans, in addition to 2x radiators like a 280mm at the top and a 360mm at the front. In terms of fan configuration, the rear panel can only support a 120mm fan. Similarly, the top panel can support either 2x 120mm fans or 2x 140mm fans, and the front panel can support either 3x 120mm fans or 2x 140mm fans.
It should be noted here that 2x Corsair 120mm AirGuide fans are included with the Corsair 4000D Airflow case. Moving on to the front I/O, you get a power button and a reset button along with a USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, and an in/out Audio jack. It is kind of disappointing to see that the front I/O only comes with a single USB 3.0.
Storage-wise, there are 2x 2.5″ trays at the back of the case and 2x 3.5″ trays at the front. The storage capacity is just enough, not too good, not too bad. The back of the case also has designated paths along with velcro straps for cable management.
Going over the design, the Corsair 4000D Airflow is one of the most PC cases to ever exist. It has a simple black finish throughout the body with no extra bells or whistles. Every corner and angle blend into each other seamlessly, and the overall build quality of the case lives up to the Corsair reputation.
What We Liked
For the price, the Corsair 4000D Airflow comes with lots of space for unrestricted ventilation, and that’s what we like about it the most.
What We Disliked
Yes, the chassis does not cost much. However, Corsair should have equipped it with more features, at least more I/O ports.
What Sets The Corsair 4000D Airflow Apart From Its Competitors
You can find many PC cases in the same price range as the 4000D, and some of them even offer RGB and more features. However, when it comes to sheer airflow and good build quality, the 4000D Airflow is unparalleled.
With that said, if you want a no-nonsense PC case to cool down your high-end rig, then you should go with the Corsair 4000D Airflow. Given its ventilation, the pricing is really good, and that’s why we have selected it as the winner of the Best Value Airflow Case.
NZXT H5 Flow
Best White Airflow Case
Specifications : Type: Mid-tower ATX | Colors: White | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX | Dimensions: 464 x 447 x 227 mm | GPU Clearance: 365mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 165mm | Drive Bays: 2x 2.5” SSDs or 1x 3.5” HDD and 1x 2.5″ SSD | Included Fans: 2x F120Q 120mm fans
- Fully Metal Mesh Design
- Beautiful White Body
- 6x Fans and 2x Radiators Support
- Only 1x Type-A Port
- Only 2 Storage Trays
Looking for a white PC case that has really good airflow? Look no further than the NZXT H5 Flow. The ATX case has a beautiful white design in a compact form factor to go along with your white PC build. Apart from the looks, the overall design makes it the perfect case to go for if you’re after good airflow.
That’s because both the front and the top panels have a perforated design with a metal mesh cover. Both panels also feature white dust filters that can be removed magnetically for cleaning. There are 2 more white dust filters at the bottom of the case. One protects the PSU, and the other protects the angled GPU fan.
Apart from the beautiful looks, the most distinctive feature of the NZXT H5 Flow is that it features an angled GPU fan, which is meant to throw direct air to the graphics card. While the actual functionality of the fan is not any different from just using a third fan at the front panel, it definitely adds to the beautiful looks.
However, one downside of such a design is that the chassis has very few storage capabilities, just 2x 2.5″ SSDs or 1x 2.5″ SSD and 1x 3.5″ HDD and the backside. Therefore, if you were planning to equip the rig with lots of storage, then you would have to look at other options. Moving over to the fans, the NZXT H5 Flow comes with 2x F120Q 120mm fans pre-installed; one of them is the rear fan, and the other is the angled GPU fan. These fans have a rated speed of 1200 RPM, which is okay.
As far as the total fans configuration is concerned, you can equip the chassis with a total of 6x fans: 2x 120mm at the top, 2x 120mm or 2x 140mm at the front, 1x 120mm at the rear, and 1x 120mm angled. Overall, the configuration of the fans is pretty decent, and given the number of holes and ventilation, the case has rather good airflow.
Similarly, the radiator capacity is also adequate, as you can install a 240mm radiator at the top and a 280mm radiator at the front. Focusing on the I/O, there are only 3x ports; 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, and 1x Audio Jack. The front I/O should have at least 2x Type-A ports, but just 3x ports look quite minimalistic.
The NZXT H5 Flow is a compact ATX case, and despite that, it has great clearance. The GPU clearance is 365mm, and the CPU Cooler clearance is 165mm. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about any clearance issues. Additionally, the back of the case has velcro straps and paths for cable management. Focusing on the looks, this is where the H5 Flow truly shines. The minimalistic white design is carried from the predecessors, and since literally every part of the chassis is white, it makes the H5 Flow one of the best-looking white PC cases to ever exist.
What We Liked
Apart from good airflow, what we liked the most about the NZXT H5 Flow is its beautiful looks. The chassis truly stands out from the rest because of its white design philosophy.
What We Disliked
The lack of storage space and just a single USB Type-A port is disappointing.
What Sets The NZXT H5 Flow Apart From Its Competitors
You can get many white PC chassis in the same price range. However, when it comes to good airflow, the NZXT H5 Flow ranks at the top of the list.
The NZXT H5 Flow, as its name suggests, is a great PC case designed for unrestricted airflow. Therefore, if you’re building a white gaming PC with all-white components like a white CPU cooler, then you should consider going with the NZXT H5 Flow. The fully-mesh design, beautiful looks, and good cooling capabilities make the NZXT H5 Flow the Best White Airflow PC Case.
Fractal Design Torrent RGB
Best Overall High Airflow PC Case
Specifications : Type: Full-Tower Case | Colors: Black, Grey and White | Motherboard Support: E-ATX / ATX / mATX / ITX | Dimensions: 544 x 242 x 530 mm | GPU Clearance: 461 mm total, 423 mm with the front fan mounted | CPU Cooler Clearance: 188 mm | PSU Clearance: 230 mm | Ports: 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.0, HD Audio | Drive Bays: 2x 3.5-inch, 4x 2.5-inch | Included Fans: Total 5x fans – 2x 180 mm RGB (Front) and 3x 140 mm RGB (Bottom)
- Impressive design
- Very easy to install
- Designed for maximum airflow
- Designed for neater cable management
- 5 included RGB fans (180 mm + 140 mm)
- Plastic front panel, despite the price
- Glass panels are less safe
Fractal is a brand that releases top-notch products that are heavily appealing to the eyes and have heavy-duty performance. Known as the ‘Airflow Series,’ Fractal has launched its Torrent series that, as the name suggests, is purely designed to provide maximum airflow. The Torrent comes in three variants, with the Compact being the mid-tower version, Nano designed for the mini motherboards, and the standard Torrent catering to full-tower users.
This case is designed to offer as much airflow as possible. This is not only the case by making the front panel a Y-Shaped silver grill for optimal airflow but also by providing two fans. Knowing Fractal always shoots for the stars, they offered two of the Prisma AL-18 180 mm fans instead of the standard 120mm or 140mm fans that other brands provide. These fans spin at over 1200 RPM, which may seem insignificant. But keep in mind this is a 180mm fan, so it delivers better airflow even though it spins at a slower rate.
A dust filter can be found inside the front grill panel, and another lies at the bottom of the case and can be easily slid out to the front. This bottom dust filter covers the bottom row that consists of the three Prisma AL-14 PWM 140 mm fans also provided by Fractal. The top panel holds the IO ports, but it is designed in a minimalistic way by keeping the power button larger than others and situated in the middle and the two USB 3.0 ports on both sides. Audio and Mic jack on the left side while USB type-C and reset button on the right.
That is not it for the top section. The top can also be easily slid out, and upon removal, we get a surprise. It is a safe spot for the power supply to fit, making it easy to access the whole PSU. The space available for the power supply is large at 230 mm, and it sits comfortably on thick rubber pads with numerous cutouts for cable management and airflow.
At the side of the case, we get tempered glass, and for this version, we get slightly tinted black glass. In order to remove the glass, pull from the top part, and it will be released from its slots. This may make it easier to remove the panel, but it also makes it less safe since it isn’t held by any rigid force. On the other side of the case, we also get the same tempered glass, but inside, we get plenty of velcro straps and rubber grommets for better cable management. There are no less than four SSD trays, each attached to the chassis with just a simple metal screw. Two additional 3.5-inch trays can also be found at the back of the motherboard.
Most cases arrive with a little space cutout for the fan to exhaust the heat out of the system, but with the Fractal Design Torrent RGB Black, the whole rear section is a cutout in a honeycomb shape, allowing for maximum heat dissipation.
What We Liked
The front panel is very easily removable without the aid of any tool, which allows easy cleaning of the dust filter present inside. Moreover, velcro cables can be found both at the backside of the motherboard and the rear end of the case for easier wire routing. The velcro at the back end is used to hold down the power cable since the PSU wires come from the top to the bottom of the case.
What We Disliked
The aesthetically pleasing front silver grill may appear robust, but it is made from plastic. This is slightly disappointing since this PC case does not come cheap. Due to its plastic material, it may be prone to damage.
What sets the Fractal Design Torrent RGB Black Apart From Its Competitors
The use of the 180 mm fan instead of 120 mm or 140 mm standard fans makes a huge difference and sets it apart. Another part where Fractal stands out from its competitors is the power supply placement. They kept it at the top rather than placing it at the bottom like every other brand. This allows easy access and provides more space around the PSU.
The Fractal Design Torrent RGB Black is made to push the limits and make the PC case with the best airflow thanks to the larger 180 mm fans. The design seals the deal, and it is evidence that Fractal has made this product since they don’t compromise on the design. This case has its shortcomings, but they are nothing compared to what it offers, the design, and the ultimate performance, which easily gives it the best overall high airflow PC case title.
CORSAIR 7000D Airflow
Best Full Tower Airflow PC Case
Specifications : Type: Full Tower | Motherboard Support: ATX, MicroATX, Mini-ITX, E-ATX | Dimensions: 600 x 248 x 550 mm | GPU Clearance: 450 mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 190 mm | PSU Clearance: 225 mm | Ports: 4x USB 3.0, Optional USB-C, 3.5 mm Audio/Mic Combo | Drive Bays: 4x 2.5-inch, 6x 3.5-inch | Included Fans: Total 3x – 2x 140 mm fans (front) and 1x 140 mm fan (back)
- Easy to install components
- Very Spacious
- Dual Vertical GPU mounts
- Maximum airflow
- Simple design
Since we have discussed airflow today, we will look at Corsair’s one of the best Airflow PC Case series for its full-tower case, the CORSAIR 7000D Airflow.
Upon first look, the front Mesh panel doesn’t have the generic holes pattern. Instead, it holds the rather large triangular cutouts that Corsair used for its previous models. Upon removing the front panel and the magnetic dust filter, we get two of the included 140 mm fans and a huge space to install an astonishing four 120 mm fans or a radiator up to 480 mm.
Over the top, we get the same Mesh panel, which consists of the same elongated magnetic dust filter upon removal; underneath lies a toolless cage that allows you to mount three 140 mm fans easily or four 120 mm fans and a radiator up to 360 mm. Moving from left to right on the top I/O panel, you get a large power button, four USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C port in yellow color, and an audio combo jack and reset button.
We get a pre-installed 140 mm fan at the backside, but there is enough space to install a 120 mm fan or a radiator up to 140 mm. Below the fan, you get 8 expansion slots and 3 vertical slots for the GPU. As for the bottom, we get a power supply shroud with three cutouts for neater cable management and the same triangular Mesh pattern. On this pattern, you can install three SSDs, but you are required to purchase the trays separately.
At the center of the motherboard, you get a rectangular cover that helps to address all the intake of air from the front fans. However, you can install the central fans by removing this cover. These fans can be installed by removing the back panel, which has a separate area open as the triangular Mesh with dust filters to allow optimum airflow with fewer dust particles. You can install either three 140 mm fans or four 120 mm fans, or a radiator up to 480 mm in this place. Moreover, the PWM fan hub lies behind the motherboard and three SSD trays below it. There is plenty of space for cable management, and the back panel is solid metal which hides the cables.
Also Read: Best Water Cooling PC Case
What We Liked
This roomy case allows you to easily house plenty of components with up to three radiators, 12 fans, and up to two GPUs. The CORSAIR 7000D Airflow lives up to its name by being the best PC case for airflow. It provides maximum airflow and allows more possibilities to regulate even more airflow by installing additional fans or radiators.
What We Disliked
It would have been nicer if they included a cover of the same color as the PSU shroud for the cutout of the PSU LCD. This will help cover it seamlessly if you don’t have the LCD option for your PSU. For a pricey case, they could include their well-known PWM fan splitter instead of the unnamed one they provide in this case.
What Sets The CORSAIR 7000D Airflow Apart From Its Competitors
Most brands allow you to purchase the vertical mounting bracket for the GPU separately. However, Corsair provided you with the brackets with the case. Yes, this case is costly, but it still is a great addition to the brand.
Overall, as the name suggests, the CORSAIR 7000D Airflow provides great airflow, and the full-tower features are completely present. As for the design, it is pretty simple, with only the Mesh design being slightly stylish. They could have made it a bit more appealing. However, its performance and the number of components we can stack on it fill the design gaps. Therefore, It is reasonable to say that the CORSAIR 7000D Airflow has successfully made its name in the big leagues as the best full-tower airflow PC case.
Fractal Design Meshify C
Best ATX Case For Airflow
Specifications : Type: Mid-Tower ATX | Colors: Black and White | Motherboard Support: ATX, mini-ATX, ITX | Dimensions: 395 x 212 x 440 mm | GPU Clearance: 315 mm with front fan mounted | CPU Cooler Clearance: 170 mm | PSU Clearance: 175 mm | Ports: 2x USB 3.0, Audio I/O, Power button, Reset button | Drive Bays: 2x 3.5-inch, 3x 2.5-inch | Included Fans: 2x fans – 1x 120 mm (front) and 1x 120 mm (back)
- Modern Mesh design
- Robust build quality
- Helpful PSU shroud cutouts
- No RGB
- Smaller than ATX cases
The Fractal Design Meshify C is smaller than most ATX tower cases. It almost appears to be similar to a few Micro-ATX cases, due to which the C in the Meshify C might mean ‘Compact.’ It is available in both black and white colors with options of going with a solid panel, a tempered glass, or a dark tinted glass for only the black color. However, the light-tinted tempered glass is available in black and white colors.
With the design, Fractal ditched the silver grill that it is known for and instead opted for a Mesh front panel. This comes with a beautiful twist in the structure; it is not bland like most brands would go for. The front Mesh panel has subtle angular protrusions and creates a 3D effect when observed from different angles. It also has a brushed aluminum Fractual badge instead of a standard sticker that adds to the case’s premium look. The tempered tinted glass has no color cast with good reflections and makes the lightings inside it look very decent.
The top panel consists of an organized I/O layout with the larger power button in the middle, two USB 3.0 ports on one end, and audio, mic ports, and reset buttons. The high-quality magnetic top filter is removed to reveal the top with properly offset mounting options for dual 140 mm or 120 mm fans. For the other fans, you can populate three 120 mm in the front and a single 120mm at the rear end of the case. However, it does arrive with two 120 mm fans, one placed at the front and one at the back.
At the bottom, there is a slidable dust filter for the power supply. The PSU shroud can also house two 3.5-inch drives inside the drive cage. It has a PSU clearance of 175 mm, and it can be installed through the back by the power supply plates present at the rear end of the case. As for the interior, the motherboard area has angular rubber grommets to allow for cleaner cable exits. Three SSDs can be mounted on the wide bracket located at the motherboard’s backside. Beside this bracket lie the well-known Fractal’s double-looped velcro straps to help your build cables hide for a neater appearance.
What We Liked
The bottom dust filter can be removed from the front instead of the backside. This might be a small detail, but the backside removal caused minor inconvenience to users who had their PC set up against the wall where they had to move the whole PC to get the filter out. Other than that, the tempered glass has foam around its edges to prevent dust from entering the system and to reduce vibrations. Speaking of wall, be sure to read our guide on the Best Wall-Mount PC Cases as well.
What We Disliked
For a glorious airflow case like the Fractal Design Meshify C, there’s not much to pinpoint against it. However, one thing could have been improved. RGB of any sort inside this case would enhance the overall appearance of this case to a whole new level. The absence of it may upset a lot of users who are used to the lighting effects.
What sets the Fractal Design Meshify C Apart From Its Competitors
Fractal produces unique designs with slight issues, but they are quick to come up with solutions. Upon removing the front frame, the I/O panel wires can be found attached to the frame, so it cannot be fully removed. However, they countered it by providing an alternative route to remove the dust filter present in the front. Placing your fingers underneath and pressing the dust filter outwards allows you to safely and easily remove the dust filters without removing the front frame. This is a unique trick they provided users rarely found in other brands’ products.
For a compact case with good airflow like the Fractal Design Meshify C, you get tons of features, including greater airflow, a sleek design with robust steel used as the material, and high quality. Where the lack of RGB might be an issue for some, it could also be a plus point for others since it adds to the stealthy, simple, and minimalistic look, which any lighting would otherwise ruin. This makes it a figuratively silent PC case with good airflow.
Lian Li O11 AIR MINI
Best Mini-ITX Airflow Case
Specifications : Type: Mid-Tower ATX | Colors: Black and White | Motherboard Support: E-ATX (Max 280 mm), ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX | Dimensions: 384 x 288 x 400 mm | GPU Clearance: 362 mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 167 mm | PSU Clearance: 200 mm | Ports: 2x USB 3.0, USB-C, 3.5 mm Audio/Mic Combo | Drive Bays: 4x 3.5-inch, 2x 2.5-inch | Included Fans: Total 3x fans – 2x 140 mm (front) and 1x 120 mm (back)
- Economical for a smaller case
- Perfect as a Mini-ITX case
- Minimalistic, sleek design
- No RGB
- Smaller than ATX cases
- Slightly expensive
Lian Li is back with another product, and it certainly doesn’t need any introduction. This time it has arrived with a cute tiny PC case For Airflow, but don’t underestimate it due to its smaller size; what lies inside might surprise you. The Lian Li O11 AIR MINI is an upgraded version of the previous Lian Li O11 Dynamic Mini. This enhanced model is as compact as the older version but with airflow performance similar to the Lian Li LanCool II Mesh reviewed in this article.
Despite its smaller size, it is still a Mid-tower ATX case, even though it doesn’t appear like one. Unlike the previous version, they have now modified the second chamber to support a full-size ATX power supply, whereas the previous model only supported the SFX unit. The installation process becomes easier by the top panel is removed and the side and the front are detached easily. All the components sit on pegs, and the silver thumb screws are very top-notch and add to the overall build quality of the PC case.
As for the fans, three are included by Lian Li, with two 140 mm fans at the front and one 120 mm at the back, unlike the Dynamic Mini that came with no fans whatsoever. The 140 mm fans have a speed range of 600 RPM to 1200 RPM, while the 120 mm fan’s speed ranges around 600 to 1500 RPM. The fans sit on removable brackets, which eases the installation process.
The ventilation honeycomb pattern is kept consistent as it is frequently used at the back and the bottom of the case. The metallic Mesh panel at the top acts as the dust filter, whereas the dust filter placed at the bottom has a high build quality.
All the storage is located at the backside of the case, with a space left in the middle for two SSDs, and conveniently hides all your cables. The ventilated cage with the same honeycomb pattern with two drive caddies is situated above the power supply, and two more large drive caddies are available on the left side of the spine.
You should also read our guide on the Best Quiet PC Cases if you prefer a noise-free experience.
What We Liked
The Lian Li O11 AIR MINI looks elegant on any desk in both colors. The silver screws attached provide a premium feel to the overall build. The consistent metallic Mesh panel at the front and the top looks better than the standard solid metal in the previous model—the brushed aluminum on the sides to the case’s contrast. Overall, the case appears very minimalistic and would be perfect for casual use.
What We Disliked
The rubber grommets allow for neater cable management, but they are loose and need to be adjusted after the cables are installed. Due to the front Mesh panel being rather small, the effect of Mesh is almost negligible, due to which it allows less airflow inside the system. They could have gone for bigger holes with a dust filter underneath.
What sets the Lian Li O11 AIR MINI Apart From Its Competitors
The price tag truly sets this best airflow PC case apart from the Lian Li O11 AIR MINI. Although it is not a mini-ITX case, it is compact and smaller than most ATX cases. And the price usually increases for a smaller case. Therefore, Lian Li O11 AIR MINI is economical for its size.
The Lian Li O11 AIR MINI is one of the few compact cases where the hardware occupies most of the space while not feeling cramped, unlike mini-cases. Structure-wise, it is a great upgrade from the previous one by giving you a lot more flexibility with ATX components along with easier cable management. Therefore, the Lian Li O11 AIR MINI has surpassed expectations and has become the best airflow mini-ITX airflow case.
Phanteks Eclipse P500A
Runner-Up For Best White PC Case With Good Airflow
Specifications : Type: Mid-Tower ATX | Colors: Black and White | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX (280 mm) | Dimensions: 505 mm x 240 mm x 510 mm | GPU Clearance: 435 mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 190 mm | PSU Clearance: 195mm / 250 mm | Ports: 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB-C, Microphone/Headphone | Drive Bays: 2x 3.5-inch, 3x 2.5-inch | Included Fans: 3x 140 mm D-RGB PWM fans.
- Cable covers for cable management
- 140 mm fan support at the back
- 420 mm radiator support in the front
- Up to 10 HDD and 13 SSD support
- Wiggles upon movement
- Larger than most mid-tower cases
Phanteks have gained popularity for producing one of the best computer solutions, including power supplies, cooling solutions, and especially PC cases. While we were on the topic of airflow, they had launched the P200A for the mini-ITX motherboard, which was an airflow beast. The mid-tower cases needed an improved and enhanced version that equally juggles both design and performance. They introduced the P500A both in RGB and a non-RGB variant and in both black and white colors.
We will look at the D-RGB version of the Phanteks Eclipse P500A in white color. This is larger than many mid-tower cases, towering at 510 mm with 505 mm in length and 240 mm in width. The top I/O section features a vertically placed headset jack and two USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C port with an LED color, and a mode button at the end. You must be wondering where the power and reset button lies. The power button is separated to be at the center and is larger than the other buttons. The reset button is absent from the section.
This data hoarder can house three 2.5-inch SSD drives behind the motherboard, while two HDDs can be stacked beside the PSU to save space. Due to the stackable option of the HDDs, you can purchase more brackets separately to mount additional HDDs at the back of the motherboard. This allows you to stack up to 10 HDDs simultaneously in the entire case. For SSD lovers, you can mount up to 13 SSDs, so you never have to worry about your storage.
In order to cool the system, this airflow beast is equipped with a Mesh front panel with small 1 mm holes to direct the airflow in the case. It arrives with three 140 mm D-RGB PWM fans attached to the front. It can support triple 140 mm or 120 mm fans in the front, a single 120 mm or 140 mm fan at the back, and triple 120 mm or dual 140 mm at the top. As for the radiator support, this piece of steel leaves us with more surprises. With 360 mm support on top and an astonishing 420 mm radiator support in the front panel, this case is very effective for a Mid-Tower case.
Design-wise, this case looks elegant, and the interior looks rather spacious from the tempered glass due to the white chassis color. The translucent white D-RGB fans illuminate evenly and can be vividly observed through the Mesh panel. A small additional RGB part at the top section of the front panel makes the front side look more appealing. What seals the deal is the thin, smooth RGB line covering the PSU panel.
As for cable management, the motherboard’s backside contains stylish slidable rectangular areas with the Phanteks logo slapped on them. These are not only meant to hide HDD mounting holes, but they also hide the wires and cables, making the entire build look very neat and minimalistic once everything is installed. There are also plenty of zip ties and velcro straps located behind the motherboard to decrease the cluttering of the cables further.
What We Liked
This is unarguably one of the best airflow PC cases we have reviewed. Many features are offered in this case, including the small details. A great approach by Phanteks was the slidable portion on the PSU panel that hides the GPU power cables. This makes it look like the cables emerge from the bottom rather than revealing the other messy wires.
What We Disliked
There is not much to dislike about this case. However, if we were to improve a few aspects, we could make the overall case more sturdy. The case wiggles and isn’t as grounded as it should be.
What sets the Phanteks Eclipse P500A Apart From Its Competitors
This is catered to people who need more storage without relying on external drives that can get messy. This is remarkable and truly sets it apart from other competitors.
The Phanteks Eclipse P500A D-RGB White has not only the looks but also great airflow performance. The triple-fan support at the front and 140 mm fan support at the back provide much faster heat dissipation. The RGB across the PSU panel gives it a subtle touch and makes the white color pop. The cable covers to give it a neater look; the 420mm radiator support with the stacking of up to 10 HDDs and 13 SSDs, along with a 5-year warranty, elevates the Phanteks Eclipse P500A D-RGB White to the ranks of being the runner-up for best white PC case with good airflow.
Cooler Master NR600
Runner-Up For Best Budget Airflow PC Case
Specifications : Type: Mid-Tower ATX | Colors: Black | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX | Dimensions: 473 x 209 x 478 mm | GPU Clearance: 410 mm | CPU Cooler Clearance: 166 mm | PSU Clearance: 180 mm | Ports: 2x USB 3.0, 1x 4 pole headset jack | Drive Bays: 4x 3.5-inch, 5x 2.5-inch | Included Fans: 2x 120 mm fans
- Tool-less SSD installation
- Very economical
- Minimalistic design in this price range
- Great airflow
- Poor quality material
- No RGB
Cooler Master has produced a lot of PC cases regarding airflow, but we will be looking at one of the budget-friendly cases. How can we talk about budget-friendly airflow cases without the Cooler Master NR600?
Related Read: Best PC Cases Under $50
Right off the bat, we get a Mid-Tower box-shaped matte black Airflow PC case with the power supply shrouded by the metal penal. The front panel is made from metallic mesh material, with the holes being smaller than in most Mesh cases. Due to the smaller size of these holes, there is no dust filter beneath them, and the Mesh panel itself acts as the dust filter. An important thing to remember is that the frame is made of plastic, with only the Mesh design being metallic.
Underneath the front panel lies one of the included fans. Not to mention, you are free to install a 280 mm or a 360 mm radiator as there is plenty of room for that. Due to the absence of any external dust filter, you can easily do a push-pull configuration by installing the fans outside. You get a tempered glass that can be easily removed at the side without thumbscrews. It is a two-step process of sliding out the glass and then angling it in a way that it is removed from its hinges.
Other than that, you also get an I/O section at the top. However, it is not like the common area you see in other cases. It is placed vertically instead of the standard horizontal layout, which gives it a minimalist appearance. It consists of one headphone jack followed by two USB 3.0 ports with a rectangular reset and a Cooler Master-shaped larger power button sitting at the bottom top of the case.
As for the interior, there is plenty of space to fit your components. There are three SSD locations on the power supply shroud, and Cooler Master has given us a toolless installation for it. Two additional sites are provided at the backside of the motherboard as well. For the 3.5-inch units, there is a drive cage at the bottom of the case beside the PSU. It does not interfere with any radiators, but it is fixed and cannot be removed. This makes it difficult to fit the power supply and its cables if larger than 160 mm. As for the rear end, we get a 120mm included fan placed at the back.
What We Liked
This case is the definition of minimalism as it has a symmetrical cubical look with the shrouded PSU panel that adds to the neatness of the case.
What We Disliked
The 3.5-inch drive cage is non-removable, which is a huge limitation for people who use longer power supply units.
What sets the Fractal Design Torrent RGB Black Apart From Its Competitors
Cooler Master is a master of producing products with tiny details that set it apart from others. The lack of a dust filter may seem like a downside to some users, but it still sets Cooler Master apart from other brands since they have made the holes of the Mesh panel smaller and metallic replicating a dust filter in their way.
Considering all the details about this case, it is a great package. The front Mesh allows for optimum airflow. While the lack of RGB may upset a few people, it magnifies its stealthy appearance. The tiny features added by Cooler Master mentioned above may appear insignificant, but they add personality to the build. Speaking of build, the build quality could be slightly increased by using metal, but we can’t complain much since it lies on the cheaper end. This package arriving at a lower price makes the Cooler Master NR600 the runner-up for best budget airflow PC case.
What is PC Case Airflow?
PC case airflow is the channeling of air inside from one end through the installed fans and exits from the other with the help of the installed fans. This allows the PC components to be cooled down, including the CPU, motherboard, and GPU.
Many people don’t pay enough attention to the airflow aspect, which causes temperature problems in the long run. People facing temperature issues in their PC are quick to check the GPU temperatures or their CPU cooler but often neglect the airflow configuration in their PC case. Mainly, this is because they aren’t equipped with the knowledge about PC case airflow.
It is essential to regulate and maintain a steady airflow regardless of the configuration you opt for. Going for an airflow case instead of a silent case also gives you an edge over the other category since you don’t have to worry about the temperature aspect. Placing a radiator is also crucial to rapidly cool down your CPU with the help of airflow.
How To Test Airflow in a PC Case?
The testing method for the airflow might seem weird, but it is what it is. To test the airflow, you need some sort of visible smoke to enter the system to physically see the direction where the smoke enters and exits the PC case. For this, you can either use dry ice, cigarette smoke, vape smoke, a fog machine, or even incense sticks. Cigarette smoke is harmless for the PC, but it is not recommended since smoking is harmful to health.
Keep any smoke sources in a box with only one hole on the other side. Place the box near the front panel of the PC case, where the fans will suck the air inside the case. The other fans will regulate the airflow outwards. This PC case airflow simulation will give you a good picture of where the air is flowing.
How To Configure PC Case Fans for the Best Airflow?
This is the PC case airflow guide you will ever need. The first step in setting up the PC case fans for optimum airflow starts by choosing the right fans. Ensure that the fans you have are compatible with the PC case you will get. This can be found on most PC case websites under the supported fans section. Secondly, you need to know about the different types of configurations and which one suits best for your build.
There are arrows given in most of the fans that guide you about the intake and exhaust of the airflow. If you don’t have these arrows, you can always check the fan blades, where if they appear rounded and curve away from you (convex side), that means it’s the intake side. When the fan blades bend towards you (concave side), that’s the exhaust side.
Now, you must be equipped with the knowledge of the three configurations that builders use.
Starting with positive airflow, the fans work together to bring more air in than getting the hot air out. The front panel and the top panel fans allow the air to reach inside the case while only the backside removes the heat. This is a great configuration to minimize dust build-up but comes with a downside of heat getting build-up inside the case since fans would have difficulty dissipating the heat outwards. It is beneficial for larger cases and people who avoid opening their rigs and replacing the pre-installed fans.
Next is the negative airflow, which does the exact opposite by exhausting more air out than letting it in. It removes most of the warm air, but the inside is prone to get far dustier; therefore, cleaning might become a frequent routine. This configuration is best for smaller Mini-ITX cases.
The most common configuration is the neutral configuration. An equal amount of cool air enters the system, with even warm air exhausting out, making it a safer and more reliable option. This is perfect for your mid-tower case by providing good airflow and has less urgency for constant cleaning of the build-up dust. This is also great for users aiming to install plenty of fans in their case.
However, it all comes down to personal preference, and you are free to choose any configuration for any type of case you choose. Finally, after selecting your desired configuration, test out the results using software like Cinebench R4 and try different configurations that match your style and provide maximum airflow. Make sure to clean your PC case for Airflow for any dust particles every three months regardless of the configuration you opt for since dust build-up is inevitable over time.
Related Read: How To Clean PC Fans
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Subsequently, we instill confidence in our esteemed consumers, who may rely on us to give them the best advice for building, customizing, and modifying their personal gaming computers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Good airflow can be regulated by using the negative configuration where more heat is dissipated, and less air enters the system. Be sure to clean the interior, as dust will be accommodated inside frequently.
Installing fans at the front, back, and top of the panel is recommended for proper airflow. Using three fans at the front panel and one at the back would be better to direct the airflow in and out of the case.
The crossing of airflow on a PC case depends upon the installed fans. If the fans are placed at the front panel and act as an intake, all the airflow would be channeled inwards and cool the interior. If the fans at the back are placed as exhausts at the backside simultaneously, all the airflow would be directed outwards.
PC case airflow can be easily figured out by using a smoke source, be it a vape, a fog machine, or incense sticks, and using this source in a box with a small cutout. This cutout has to face the front panel of the PC case, where the installed fans suck the air from the box and direct it inside the case. This allows you to see the practical demonstration and know exactly where the air is flowing.
An optimum airflow in a PC case is usually maintained in the neutral configuration where the cool air enters, and warm air is exhausted evenly. This also delays the cleaning process of the interior as dust is less likely to enter the system.
Mostly, every brand has an airflow series for their cases. These cases usually arrive with a Mesh panel in the front, allowing maximum air in or out of the case. Additionally, there is enough space left at the top and bottom to install additional fans or radiators to regulate more airflow.
- June 8, 2023: Few text changes to improve readability. No products were changed.
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[Casings & Motherboards Expert]
Faizan Ahmed is a Computer Hardware Specialist and professional writer covering all the ranges of different PC Casings alongside the latest Motherboards. He is the man to read when you’re buying a casing for your PC, need a Motherboard for your specific processor, or are concerned about the socket or CPU Cooler.
Having a keen eye for the details, his research includes the latest updates and technologies implemented in the sector and the quick response to approaching them ASAP. Before working on Tech4Gamers, Faizan has written immensely on freelancing platforms under the Tech niche, ranging from PC Components to different smart devices, software, and even Game Reviews and Guides.
He’s also written on websites like WhatIfGaming and Mondestuff. Faizan is an early PC gamer, and this prolonged interaction with the PC and Games has made him the perfect candidate for expressing his ideas and concepts in words for others in the community.
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