Best PC Cases for Airflow Cooling

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Many people may overlook the importance of the PC case, most choosing whatever they think looks great or hitting some price point they want to spend. That couldn’t be more of a mistake, the PC case is essentially the lungs of the PC build directing airflow to the important components inside ensuring proper cooling, and directing the hot air out of the chassis. If you are going to pack a case full of high-end, meaning high cost, components you really need to do your homework before randomly selecting a case based on looks. Luckily, Streaminal has done their homework and can give you some insight on the best that’s available.

Proper PC cooling taking cool external air intake with exhausting hot air from PC components.

If you’re serious about getting the best performance from your gaming PC, cooling is absolutely essential. After all, without adequate cooling, you could experience decreased performance or even system crashes, not to mention premature hardware failure. But with so many fans, coolers, and components to choose from, how can you figure out which PC case is best for you?

Phanteks Eclipse P360A (Budget)

Type: Mid Tower ATX
Fans: 130mm (2x)
Storage: 3.5″ (2x), 2.5″ (2x)

Reasons to Get:
+ Excellent Ventilation
+ Good Mesh Intake Filter
+ Includes D-RGB Controller
+ Great Simple Cable Management
+ Decently Quiet

Reasons to Avoid:
– Thin Sheet Metal Build

The Phanteks Eclipse P360A is truly an amazing PC tower case that deserves to be on this list despite being listed as a budget case. This case is the cheapest price out of the alternatives listed below. This thing is freaking cool and actually does a very good job keeping your gaming hardware cool. It has a lavish RBG design with two 130mm fans (LED), an LED light strip, and even includes a very nice RBG controller. The LED fans and LED light strip connect to the 3-pin standard header on the built-in controller with room for adding more. Cable management is also another strong point for the Phanteks Eclipse P360A case. It’s simple and easy to understand, keeping things tidy and organized around the main motherboard.

Sure, being a budget case there are some shortcuts and quality decisions made to keep the price low. For instance, the sheet metal for the frames and panels does feel quite thin compared to the alternatives listed below. The case also does not provide any LED indicator lights on the front panel for Power, HDD, or a Reset Switch, but does that really matter to you? This also means less cable clutter!

Whether or not you are aiming for a budget build, the Phanteks Eclipse P360A should really be considered as an option. If you need to save money somewhere in your build, this case is a great option over alternatives double the price. The case is also easy to assemble with plenty of room for any PC gaming components you throw at it. Adding a couple more LED fans for improved airflow will surely make this case last for multiple generations of hardware. You can add an additional 3x 120mm – 1x rear panel, 2x top panel; or upgrade to 4x 140mm fans – 2x 140mm front panel, 2x 140mm top panel, and reuse 1x 120mm for the rear panel.

Corsair 4000D Airflow (Mid-Range)

Type: Mid Tower ATX
Fans: 120mm (2x)
Storage: 3.5″ (2x), 2.5″ (2x)

Reasons to Get:
+ Excellent Ventilation
+ Good Thermal Mitigation
+ Great Cable Management
+ Sturdy Build Quality
+ Decently Quiet

Reasons to Avoid:
– Window Tint on the darker side
– Wish for more front USB Ports

The Corsair 4000D Airflow is an excellent successor for the famous Corsair 450D which is no longer available. The “Airflow” in the name is no market scheme, this case allows massive inward ventilation through the front panel. The top panel is also perforated allowing heat to rise out of the case while directing cool air across your hard-working CPU and GPU. The case also utilizes large magnetic dust filters allowing for easy removal and proper cleaning to ensure unrestricted airflow. In the end, the design of this case allows unrestricted cooler air to travel through the case – front to back. The case provides two Corsair AirGuide fans premounted with one in the front and the other on the back for precision thermal routing. The case allows for four more 120mm fans to be added, or you can upgrade to 140mm cooling fans up to four that would utilize the same fan railing system provided.

This case also comes with Corsair’s own designed cable management system called RapidRoute. RapidRoute makes cable routing simple and fast, directing all major cables down one single channel. There’s a generous 1 inch (25mm) space provided behind the motherboard for all your cable needs. Combining this innovative cable management system with the concentrated airflow design and Corsair’s proven build quality, the Corsair 4000D Airflow is an immaculate case to choose from that will last you many generations of your PC.

For those rocking a Dual PC Streaming Setup, this case is an excellent choice for the Streaming PC.

Fractal Design Define 7 (High-End)

Type: Mid Tower ATX
Fans: 140mm (3x), 120mm (3x)
Storage: 3.5″ (7x), 2.5″ (2x)

Reasons to Get:
+ Air Filtration System
+ Great Cable Management
+ Good Thermal Mitigation
+ Water Cooling Support
+ Industrial Build Quality
+ USB 3.1 Type-C Gen2
+ Tempered-Glass Side
+ Low Noise

Reasons to Avoid:
– No RGB Lights
– May upgrade fans, if no liquid cooling

The Fractal Design Define 7 case is one of the top choices for hardcore gamers who want the best airflow cooling and liquid cooling capability. The case is built with an industrial high-density sound dampening frame design that creates a silent whisper when running. The case comes with three dynamic X2 GP-14 fans preinstalled and room to expand with five additional fans if desired for massive airflow. Best of all, this case’s slick design allows any unused fan positions to be converted into a pump mount for liquid cooling or an additional SSD/HDD mount with a provided multi-bracket. The case also used nylon filters on the top, front, and bottom allowing for easy removal and proper cleaning. The customization within this case is truly amazing, making your build ideas endless.

The Fractal Design Define 7 makes the perfect streaming PC due to its silent acoustic performance giving you confidence that your hardware components are being kept cool while also quiet enough that your microphone is not picking up fan noise.

Take-Away Comments

If you’ve been following along in PC Building, you probably know by now that building a high-end gaming PC requires some serious hardware. The CPU, GPU, RAM, and other components that make up your PC all have to work together seamlessly to deliver great performance.

Why jeopardize all this with an underperforming case for airflow and cooling, simply for ‘what looks cool’? Regardless of what you choose, do your homework and make sure there’s proper airflow routing. An unrestricted direct route for cool air from the outside of the case coming in and passing over the heat-generating PC components like CPU and GPU and pulling the rising hot air from inside the case out.