In an effort to create a new fan base, manufacturers brought up an increasing number of desktop computer cases that get equipped with multiple functional features, including mount brackets, vast radiator space, logical layouts, and even drain/fill ports in some cases. As a result, over the past several years, they have been coming up with some truly surprising combinations in their PC cases, and you’re about to see the top five cases that sum the best ones out.
How Did We Pick the PC Case for a Liquid Cooling System?
Before we head into our list of the best PC gaming cases, we first need to start by considering the key features that make an excellent PC gaming case for a liquid cooling system. Of course, this may vary slightly depending on your unique requirements, but to begin with, we’d recommend considering the following features to determine the most effective type of PC case for a liquid cooling system based on your unique requirements.
- Size: One of the first factors you will need to consider when choosing a PC case for a liquid cooling PC system is the size of the case. Of course, if your case is drastically too small, it won’t fit around all of the components. However, you should always allow plenty of space within the chassis to ensure that there is still plenty of airflow around the components and enough space for suitable fans and radiators. Make sure you’ve planned your internal layout before working out which size of case you’ll need, and allow plenty of “wriggle room” so that it’s not too cramped. If you’re building a PC with multiple GPUs, you’ll likely need a full tower case. However, most water-cooling systems will use a mid-tower case instead.
- Mounting Points: One factor that many people overlook when building their first PC is the mounting points. However, this is often a crucial error, as it will significantly impact whether or not your system’s radiator can fit in comfortably and securely. Always ensure that there is suitable space between each of the mounting points to support the weight of the radiator. As a general rule of thumb, most brands recommend around 240mm of radiator space per component in the system, so this may help you determine the size of the radiator you require (and, by extension, the amount of space you need on the mounting points). Remember: a larger radiator surface area means more efficient cooling.
- Lighting. Let’s face it – when it comes to constructing your new PC, being able to see clearly inside the PC case is crucial. Fortunately, many PC gaming cases come with inbuilt lighting fitted, which can help make them substantially more practical to build, use, and maintain. Furthermore, many systems – such as the Thermaltake Core P5 – feature RGB lighting built in to add a little more color to your computer systems, accordingly.
- Design: While we’d like to express strongly that this shouldn’t be your main deciding factor when choosing a PC case for a liquid cooling PC system, the design and style of your new case will always influence your decision. Of course, one of the key benefits of liquid cooling systems is that they are often aesthetically stunning; therefore, a clear case will showcase this excellently. Some other designs may feature tinted glass and the like, and it’s really down to each individual as to which design best meets your preferences.
- Vertical vs. Horizontal Installation: Before purchasing a new PC case, it’s important to consider the orientation and how this will align with your own desk and space. Most gaming cases are vertically installed, but it’s not impossible to find horizontal alternatives.
- Budget: There’s no point in buying a PC gaming case if it’s going to leave you on the edge of having no budget left to finish building your PC! Gaming cases come in a wide array of prices, with cheap options often costing around $50. Meanwhile, more advanced gaming cases can easily cost upwards of several hundred dollars, which is crucial to keep in mind as part of your decision.
All of the above points are highly important to consider when choosing the most effective PC gaming case for your liquid cooling system. However, it’s well worth considering that every case offers different benefits and drawbacks, and there’s no single system that’s necessarily ideal for every scenario. So, before jumping in and picking out the first case that catches your eye.
Best Super Tower PC Case for Liquid Cooling: Corsair Obsidian 1000D
This huge water-cooling PC case is about 697 mm tall, 307 mm wide, and about 693 mm deep. It can house four 480 mm radiators and has 18 fan mounts. Corsair Obsidian 1000D has two rooms for upfront radiator placement. It can accommodate a water-cooling system as small as 120 mm and as large as 420 mm. It features tempered glass doors that allow looking at its inner components. It can house up to five 3.5″ HDDs and six 2.5″ SSDs. It features an embedded fan, RGB lighting, and telescopic radiator trays. Its triple chamber helps to keep it clean and in order. Among other things, it has a French-door style storage compartment, E-ATX motherboard, and dual-purpose Mini-ITX motherboard tray. The case’s rotatable GPU bracket allows the GPU’s installation both vertically and horizontally.
Best Vertical Super Tower for Liquid Cooling: Thermaltake Tower 900
The Thermaltake Tower 900 is made with a simple modification that can house liquid coolers as big as 280 x 140 mm in its back compartment, a 400 mm graphic card, and a 260 mm CPU cooler. This case is fitted with a window made of 5 mm tempered glass, allowing its owner to see what’s going on inside of it. It also supports 480 mm and 560 mm radiators for the cooling system and two tank mounts. Thermaltake Tower 900 has other great features, too. For example, you won’t need tools to install it, and it will make your cable routing as simple as ever. Moreover, this case is compatible with high-end hardware due to its staggering cooling features. It is installed vertically and has an E-ATX platform that features a multi-GPU config, allowing its owner to solve GPU sag issues.
Best Compact PC Case for Liquid Cooling: Lian Li PC-O11DW 011
Truth be told, this is one of the best gaming PC cases for liquid cooling systems out there. It is a mid-tower ATX compact case with tempered glass panels and an aluminum carcass that allows its owner to view its entire build. It features multiple fan slots at the side, top, and bottom for fans ranging from 120 mm to 140 mm in size. In addition, the case can house cooling systems with radiators ranging between 240 mm, 280 mm, and 360 mm in size that can be mounted on the bottom or side to provide your computer with enough air for cooling. This liquid-cooling case features quite a lot of room for housing dual PSUs and an E-ATX motherboard. It was designed to support high-end graphic cards as big as 420 mm and CPU coolers as long as 155 mm.
Best Open Frame PC Case for Liquid Cooling: Thermaltake Core P5
And we’re down with Thermaltake again, this time with the Core P5 model. This water-cooling PC case supports up to 570 mm graphic cards without a reservoir and 280 mm graphic cards with an installed reservoir, as well as a 120 mm to 140 mm fan on the left-hand side with its radiator. This computer case is particularly great for one radiator water cooling system. It also has a standard riser cable that allows the graphic card to be mounted vertically. In addition, it features RBG lighting with its open frame and tempered glass panels on its sides and top, providing an entertaining view of its inner components. Thermaltake Core P5 allows to put up a custom water loop with a reservoir for the CPU and GPU. It is also a modular case that enables a dual GPU layout and three-way placement layout.
Best Mid Tower PC Case for Liquid Cooling: FSP CMT510 Mid Tower
This simple yet beautifully designed water-cooling case is aimed chiefly at users who plan to put out-of-the-box ready AIO solutions. It features three dark translucid panels made of tempered glass, 5 RDB LED lights, two USB 3.0 ports and 7 expansion slots for graphic cards and hard drives, and a 165 mm CPU air cooler. This stunning case can house a liquid-cooling radiator as big as 360 mm and has five slots reserved for fans with extra room for two SSD bays, and most importantly – reasonable pricing.
Is there a PC Case With Built in Water Cooling?
In order to construct an effective liquid-cooled gaming PC, you (unsurprisingly) need a liquid cooling system. Most people will construct and assemble this themselves within the PC case. However, if you don’t have the time or technical expertise to do so, don’t panic. There are several different PC cases that come with pre-installed water cooling systems, ensuring you can get on with using your new PC as soon as possible (without the hassle).