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The 6 Best PC Cases for Airflow in 2023

When building a high-performance gaming rig or workstation PC, keeping your components cool is critical for stability and performance. That‘s why choosing a case with excellent airflow should be a top priority. The right PC case can dramatically improve thermals with strategic intake and exhaust vents, room for multiple fans and radiators, and thoughtful design to prevent heat pockets.

In this definitive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about selecting an airflow-focused case and recommend the top options across various categories.

What Makes a Good Airflow Case?

An "airflow case" is designed to maximize cooling potential by moving fresh air over hot components and exhausting warm air out of the chassis. Several key attributes contribute to good airflow:

Vents/Mesh Panels: Lots of open space on the front, top, and sides allows air to easily flow through the case. Mesh provides ventilation that keeps dust out.

Fan Mounts: More fan mounts give you flexibility for intake/exhaust setups. Good airflow cases support multiple large 120mm or 140mm fans.

Radiator Support: Good cooling means room for liquid CPU coolers and radiators up to 360 or 420mm to dissipate heat.

Filters: Dust filters on intakes prevent particle buildup on components while still permitting airflow.

Cable Management: Good cable routing features like channels and Velcro keep cabling tidy, improving airflow and reducing clutter around fans.

Roomy Interior: A spacious interior doesn‘t restrict airflow allowing fans to work efficiently.

With these criteria in mind, let’s look at some of the best airflow PC cases available!

1. Best Overall: Corsair 5000D Airflow

  • Large ATX mid-tower case
  • Mesh front, top, and side panels
  • 3 included 120mm fans
  • Radiator support: Up to 360mm
  • 7+ additional fan mounts
  • Outstanding cable management

The Corsair 5000D Airflow tops our list thanks to its nearly unrestricted intake and exhaust ventilation combined with premium build quality and features. Dual hinged tempered glass doors provide easy access for building while showing off your components.

Three included 120mm fans provide ample airflow, and the open interior design gives you room to install a beefy air cooler or radiator up to 360mm with additional 120mm or 140mm fans. Exceptional cable management with Velcro straps and a channel behind the motherboard tray keeps everything tidy.

For a high-performance airflow-focused case, the 5000D Airflow hits the sweet spot of cooling potential, expandability, features, and thoughtful design.


  • Mesh panels enable substantial airflow
  • Spacious, well-designed interior
  • Great cable management
  • Supports a variety of cooling configurations


  • Large footprint may not fit all spaces
  • Tempered glass panels reduce acoustic insulation


2. Best Budget: Phanteks P360A

  • ATX mid tower case
  • Mesh front panel and ventilation throughout
  • 2x 120mm RGB intake fans
  • 280mm radiator support
  • 7 additional fan mounts
  • $70-80 price range

The Phanteks P360A punches way above its price point with fantastic airflow potential and quality construction. The mesh-accented steel case comes with two vibrant RGB intake fans illuminating your components through the tempered glass side panel.

Installation is a breeze with removable filters, a PSU shroud, and Velcro straps tidying cables behind the motherboard tray. The front panel IO includes two USB 3.0 and USB-C ports.

Fitting up to a 280mm radiator and seven additional 120mm fans, the P360A has cooling capacity rivaling or exceeding some cases double the price. At just $70-80, it’s our top value airflow pick.


  • Substantial ventilation for the price
  • Generous cooling and expansion capacity
  • Excellent cable management


  • Limited insulation results in some fan noise
  • Fewer premium features than costlier cases


3. Best High Airflow: Cooler Master HAF700 EVO

  • Spacious, rugged full tower
  • Massive 200mm front intake fan
  • Mesh front panel, top, and side
  • 420mm top radiator support
  • 20+ fan mounts
  • Handles and wheels for transport

The freshly redesigned HAF700 EVO is an absolute airflow juggernaut. A giant 200mm RGB fan behind the front mesh inhales air into the cavernous interior, while the mesh roof, side venting, and numerous fan mounts provide thermal headroom for the most demanding gaming rigs.

Small touches like the graphics card anti-sag bracket, removable dust filters, and one-touch side panels demonstrate Cooler Master’s attention to user-friendly design. Robust carrying handles and wheels also make transporting this monolithic E-ATX case much easier.

If you want a future-proof foundation for an extreme cooling setup, the premium HAF700 EVO is hard to top.


  • Massive 200mm intake fan
  • Mesh panels enable substantial airflow
  • Fits expansive E-ATX motherboards and lengthy GPUs
  • Built incredibly sturdy


  • Larger than typical cases
  • High price tag


4. Best 360mm AIO Support: Lian Li Lancool III

  • 360mm front radiator support
  • Mesh front panel with integrated fan hub
  • Motherboard cable cover for clean looks
  • Top/rear exhaust vents
  • 3x 120mm PWM fans included
  • E-ATX & ATX motherboard compatible

Lian Li’s Lancool III brings premium sensibilities with versatile water cooling support that belies its palatable $130-150 pricing. The integrated Type-C port and hidden cable routing set it apart aesthetically, while Lian Li’s signature brushed metal look never seems to age.

But function matches form here — fitting up to a huge 420mm radiator up top and 140mm rear while supporting 360mm AIO mounting behind the mesh front intake. With three sharp inclusion fans keeping net positive pressure, the Lancool III is a compelling choice for liquid cooling.


  • Eye-catching, versatile design
  • Generous support for custom water cooling
  • Good thermal performance out of the box
  • Hidden cable cover for super clean builds


  • Limited RGB/bells & whistles
  • Top fan opening lacks dust filter


5. Best Compact ATX: Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact

  • Compact ATX case with open interior
  • High airflow mesh front panel
  • Top venting and GPU clearance
  • Up to 280mm radiator support
  • 3x pre-installed fans
  • Premium modular storage mounts

Fractal Design’s Meshify 2 Compact delivers full-sized ATX motherboard capacity optimized for airflow in a space-saving footprint measuring under 18 inches deep. Despite its smaller dimensions, there’s ample clearance for tall tower coolers and lengthy GPUs thanks to the unrestricted mesh front intake.

Tool-less tempered glass and top panels make for convenient access during builds and upgrades. A removable fan/radiator mounting bracket provides awesome adaptability supporting 280mm AIOs. Although more compact than typical ATX cases, it can still house an expansive cooling configuration — plus three 140mm RGB fans come pre-installed out of the box!

If high airflow is your priority but hulking towers seem oversized, the Meshify 2 Compact checks all the right boxes.


  • Robust airflow for its compact size
  • Quality materials and smart design
  • Versatile 280mm radiator bracket
  • Pre-installed RGB fans


  • Limited fan/radiator capacity compared to larger cases
  • Builds can be cramped in tighter areas


6. Best Open-Frame: Thermaltake Core P5

  • Spacious open frame wall-mount chassis
  • Supports custom liquid cooling setups
  • Tempered glass side panel
  • Dual compartment layout
  • Compatible with 360mm & 480mm radiators
  • Optimal component visibility

The uniquely designed Thermaltake Core P5 is an open chassis engineered for showcasing amazing liquid-cooled builds. The dual-compartment layout with enormous 560mm width enables creative water cooling configurations including multi-rad and reservoir setups.

Despite the exposed concept, dust accumulation is minimized thanks to positive pressure airflow design. Alternatively, horizontal or vertical orientations enable placement on a desk or entertainment center thanks to adjustable feet.

If you want maximum liquid cooling radiator capacity with immersive component visibility, the Thermaltake Core P5 is a stellar open-frame pick for striking builds.


  • Massive width facilitates expansive water cooling setups
  • Supports large 480mm radiators
  • Visually displays components
  • Can be wall mounted vertically or horizontally


  • Requires very careful component positioning
  • Open frame exposes cables and wiring


How to Choose the Best Airflow Case

With so many PC cases to choose from sporting varying features, it can get overwhelming finding one that properly balances cooling, expansion options, aesthetics, and pricing.

Here is a step-by-step process for selecting the right airflow-focused case for your needs:

1. Determine Compatibility With Components

  • Measure video card(s) length, CPU cooler height, power supply dimensions
  • Ensure adequate clearance for hardware inside potential cases

2. Consider Cooling Goals

  • Air cooling only? Or interested in a liquid cooling system?
  • Number of fans/radiators needed for target CPU/GPU temperatures
  • Prioritize positive/negative pressure, low noise levels?

3. Pick Key Features

  • Motherboard support and layout that matches your build
  • Desired front panel ports (USB 2.0/3.0, USB-C, etc.)
  • Side panel material/accessibility
  • RGB lighting preferences

4. Assess Physical Specs

  • Ensure case dimensions fit intended desk location/room
  • Account for space needed behind motherboard for cable management
  • Open interior width/height or tight clearances?

5. Compare Airflow Performance

  • Mesh front panels preferred over solid fronts
  • Top panels with vents/fan mounts
  • Unobstructed pathways through case interior

6. Set a Budget

  • Inexpensive $50-80, moderate $80-150, premium $150+ ranges
  • Avoid overspending just for looks
  • Value good airflow at reasonable prices

Keeping these guidelines in mind while researching contenders will lead you to the best PC case for your build and goals!

Key Takeaways on Airflow PC Cases

  • Mesh panels, numerous fan mounts, strong cable management all improve airflow
  • Helpful features include removable dust filters, motherboard trays, PSU shrouds
  • Range of formats from compact to full tower suit air cooling or custom water cooling setups
  • Prices span between $50 up to $250+ for high-end cases
  • Setting a budget while weighing cooling needs is wise

Prioritizing airflow might require some compromises on RGB lighting and other non-essential features. But a thermally capable case with good cable routing provides a perfect platform for a gaming or production workhorse PC.

With chassis manufacturers focusing on airflow like never before, there are lots of excellent options to investigate for your next PC build. We hope these top recommendations give you a head start in finding the right enclosure to meet your cooling demands and budget. Game on!