To an inexperienced builder, the case may appear as simply a housing unit. The sole purpose of which is to hold the pieces of hardware without any other aspect to it worth nothing except perhaps that it can also look kind of cool sometimes.
Now you may be thinking that this is an overly caricatured portrayal of novice builders’ perception of computer cases and you’d be absolutely right but unfortunately, it’s also a state of mind in which even some more experienced builders are more than willing to default back to if they’re pinching for pennies.
However, the case can add so much more to a gaming experience than you might realize, and more importantly, it can take away from the experience as well.
In this article, we will discuss the desktop case sizes, comparison of pc case sizes, and all related factors that you need to know when choosing a case for your PC for gaming or otherwise.
Computer Case Size Comparison
|Full Tower||Mid Tower||Mini Tower||Small Form Factor – Mini ITX|
|Motherboard Type||Mini ITX|
|5.25″ Drive Bays||3 to 6||2 to 5||1 to 2||1|
|3.5″ Drive Bays||6 to 13||6 to 7||4 to 6||1 to 3|
|2.5″ Drive Bays||0 to 10||0 to 6||0 to 4||0 to 2|
|Expansion Slot||7+||5 to 7||4||2|
|Graphics Card||3 to 4||2 to 3||1 to 2||1|
|Case Fans||8+||3 to 8||2 to 4||1 to 3|
PC Cases Size – Explained
1- Full Tower: E-ATX PC Case Size
Full-tower pc cases are usually huge in size. These are the biggest on the market for cases, compatible with E-ATX motherboards and allowing the installation of multiple graphics and expansion cards with the space to provide enough airflow to keep everything cool and install extra Drive bays. When we talk about the cooling system you should know that a full tower case is perfect for water cooling.
Although you don’t necessarily need a complete tower, it is nice to have one with enough space for expansion. It is equally important to ensure that you have enough desk space to place one. These towers can be very expensive with the most premium boxes selling for hundreds of dollars.
The full tower can be the best option for competitive gamers and server administrators around the world, due to its many features and its ability to host up to 10 expansion slots. It can also be used with four types of motherboards, including ATX, Micro-ATX, and E-ATX which makes it very versatile.
Due to its ability to store a large number of internal components, a full tower box tends to be very heavy, making it quite difficult to transport. This case can be used to push the limits of your computer’s capabilities, but it is important to consider its cooling capacity. A large chassis can overheat easily if the airflow design has not been optimized properly.
Full-tower cases are generally large, with a height that is over or over 30 inches (over 76 cm). The number of internal drive bays within these cases can be between 6 and 10.
What Are The Positives?
- Spacious interiors
- Supports all motherboard sizes
- Better thermal performance
- Great for water cooling
What Are The Negatives?
- Massive footprint
2- Mid-Tower: ATX, Micro-ATX Case Size
Mid Towers are the best choice for PC builds because of their balance of features, cost, and build quality. Most of the options will allow up to seven expansion slots, and some may even allow you to install your GPU vertically. Even though they are smaller than full tower cabinets you can still do crazy things with custom water-cooling circuits or AiO solutions.
It is probably the most common tower box type preferred by the users. A mid-tower pc case can support mini-ITX and Micro-ATX as well as ATX motherboard types (30cm 24cm) and includes up to seven expansion slots, as well as a large power supply and multiple hard drives, and a lot of hard drives based on the model you select/purchase.
This type of tower also features the cable management option, making it a hit with builders who naturally prefer to keep their equipment neat and organized.
The Mid-tower case is the most popular PC chassis for many gamers because it is able to accommodate the latest graphics cards, while also making enough room for additional expansions. The dimensions of a mid-tower pc case can be width-wise 15-20cm and height 43-45cm. Sizes are acceptable for both high-end PCs and mid-range home computers. The space inside the case allows air to circulate inside, normally without creating any obstruction.
What Are The Positives?
- Good value
- Supports most motherboard sizes
- Much expansion
- Good for water cooling
What Are The Negatives?
- Similar designs
3- Mini-Tower: Mini-ITX Case Size
Mini tower: Mainly common in the office computing sector. Due to their tiny dimensions (width 15 to 35 centimeters, height 33 to 35 centimeters), they fall into the portable pc cases category & they are able to fit a few: (1-2 optical drives, one hard disk, and four expansion slots) and hardware with moderate or low performance
First, because of the size and, secondly, because of the heating. There is little space in a mini-tower case, and therefore the temperature requirements of the devices are higher so that the unpleasant noise of the fans and the overheating of the devices are not created.
However, mini-tower cases are most often used in computers of the simplest configurations and are used as office machines or network terminals. This type of pc case is the most affordable among both the types that are mentioned above. They are 30 to 45 centimeters in height and 15 -24 centimeters in width.
What Are The Positives?
- Compact in size
- Not expensive as full or mid-tower
- Easier to accommodate anywhere.
What Are The Negatives?
- The capacity is limited.
- supports few or no additional devices.
4- Smaller Form Factor: Mini-ITX Case Size
Small form factor cases (known as SFF or ITX) are the most compact chassis you will find for a build. They can usually only hold an ITX or micro-ATX motherboard and the best graphics card, even full-size ones if you’re lucky and creative at the same time.
Although ITX or SFF cases are typically smaller in terms of size, they’re typically big on design and value. You can expect to pay more than double as a full-tower mid-tower similar box, particularly when it’s a top-quality chassis made of aluminum with care for the smallest of details. The cases are also typically equipped with two expansion slots. These can accommodate your GPU, but nothing else.
It is very small and compact, a feature that has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, it also means it’s very mobile which makes it the ideal gaming chassis for those who prefer attending events. Common dimensions of an SFF case are Depth: 356mm, Width: 102 mm, and Height: 338mm.
What Are The Positives?
- Requires imagination
- Original designs
- Small footprint
What Are The Negatives?
- Size restrictions
Our PC Case Recommendations For Your Next Custom Build
By now you’re about 85% sure what size of pc case can fulfill your requirements according to your hardware or components. But you’re probably confused about the best pc case so we did the work for you and here are the best products recommended, according to the form factor. Have a look and thank us later.
1. Best Full Tower PC Case:
- THE ULTIMATE SUPER-TOWER PC CASE: Iconic and clean exterior lines, four smoked tempered glass panels and seamlessly integrated RGB lighting make the Obsidian 1000D the best-looking Obsidian Series case yet.
- STREAM AND GAME SIMULTANEOUSLY: The Obsidian 1000D can fit both a complete E-ATX and Mini-ITX system concurrently, so you can stream and game smoothly from one enclosure. Two motherboards, two power supplies, two full PCs in one case.
- MASSIVE COOLING OPTIONS: Up to 18 fan mounts and room for up to four 480mm radiators simultaneously.
- DIMENSIONS: 12.1" W x 27.3" L x 27.4" H
- BUILT-IN SMART LIGHTING AND FAN CONTROL: An integrated CORSAIR Commander PRO fan and lighting controller grants superior control over almost every aspect of your system via CORSAIR iCUE software.
Our Expert Review:
Corsair’s Obsidian 1000D is a monstrous PC case that allows you to install two complete computers within a single chassis. That’s right, you could have two PSUs, two motherboards, and two of everything else installed inside and still have room to spare. If you want a roomy case with full water-cooling support, this is the choice for you.
The Corsair Obsidian 1000D is a beast itself. You can install two PC builds inside, as many radiators as you can buy, and you still have room to spare. It is also very well designed, but it falls under the high-end price range.
2. Best Mid Tower PC Case:
- Clean interior –PSU Cover & HDDs. Tempered Glass window. Unique exterior design with integrated D-RGB Lighting. Integrated PSU cover
- Fully Equipped with Magnetic Dust Filter. Long GPU Support (380mm/15in). Full Size PSU support. Equipped with 1x Phanteks 120mm Fans. Front I/O (2x USB 3.0, Headphone, Mic, D-RGB LED SW)
- Integrated D-RGB Illumination modes + sync with D-RGB (addressable) motherboards/Phanteks D-RGB products. Optimized high-airflow design
- 2x Front Loaded 3.5" HDD. Supports up to 240/280mm radiator in front. 3x SSD mounting location (2x bracket included)
- Motherboard Support: ATX, uATX, mITX, (E-ATX* - up to 285mm wide). Front I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Mic, Headphone, D-RGB LED SW. Side Window: Yes, Tempered Glass
Our Expert Review:
Something like Phanteks’ Eclipse P350X is worth considering, especially if you’re looking to save a bit in the process. It may be more affordable than most mid-tower cases, but this is a great option, thanks to the E-ATX motherboard support, good thermal performance, and a tempered glass side panel.
The best value case you can buy is also one that meets your requirements for quality, style, and ease of use. It’s a dream to build the P350X with excellent expansion and top-notch cable management capabilities. It is better than many much more expensive cases in all ways.
3. Best Mini Tower Case:
- Supports Mini ITX, Micro VAX, ATX, E ATX Motherboard
- Dimensions: 16.7" W x 19" D x 29.6" H; Net Weight: 54 pounds
- Designed for high end gaming system compatibility; I/O Port USB 3.0 x 4, HD Audio x 1
- 5 millimeter thick tempered glass window with Stunning Viewing. PSU: Standard PS2 PSU (optional)
- Eliminates the issue with “GPU SAG”. Vertical mounting of multi GPU configurations on an E ATX platform
Our Expert Review:
The case the size of a popcorn vending machine, Thermaltake’s The Tower 100 is the mini version of the iconic The Tower 900. You will have plenty of space on your desk and windows to display your components. If you are looking for a small compact pc case, it can be the best option for you because It has three 4 mm thick tempered glass window panels on the front, left, and right, with a high-speed Type-C connector and two USB 3.0.
4. Best SFF Mini ITX Case
- NEW FEATURES: Front I/O USB Type-C Port, Tempered glass side panel with single screw installation, and upgraded Smart Device V2
- MORE MODERN: USB 3.1 Gen 2-compatible USB-C connector on the front panel, it’s easier than ever to connect the newest smartphones, high-speed external storage, or the latest peripherals to your PC
- SMART DEVICE V2: Includes a faster microprocessor for NZXT CAM-powered control of two RGB lighting channels and three fan channels that support either voltage regulated or PWM fans.
- POWERED BY NZXT CAM: Use the intuitive NZXT CAM application to monitor and control your build, choosing from presets or custom controls for your RGB lighting and fans to create your dream PC
- SPECS: Max GPU Clearance: 265-325mm, Radiaor Support - Front: 240mm or Rear: 120mm
Our Expert Review:
The NZXT H210i is a favorite among many for building compact systems. It has all the cable management you could ask for, is capable of supporting up to a 280mm radiator, and is not too expensive.
The H210i is better than ever, allowing you to put together a compact mini-ITX PC build in a small form factor enclosure with smart features and a robust design.
How To Choose a PC Case For your Next Custom Build
When building a PC, the case is usually an afterthought. People pick a CPU, a GPU, a good motherboard, a RAM, a power supply, maybe a liquid cooler, and with whatever budget is left, they pick a case.
But your PC case deserves more thought than that. Here are the six important things to keep in mind while you’re making a buying decision for your computer build.
1. Case Dimensions
This is easy and obvious, but shouldn’t be overlooked anyway. the first thing you need to think about is the size of your PC’s case including the full tower, mid-tower, and smaller cases for mini-ITX and Micro-ATX motherboards.
The vast majority of PC manufacturers use a mid-tower as they are not too large, widely available, and designed for standard ATX motherboards. A mid-tower can fit smaller motherboards as well, however, it can begin to feel a little awkward depending on the type of case.
Full towers are much larger and will fit on extended ATX motherboards. Professionals in the field of hardcore gaming who have years of experience looking for a room to accommodate custom components often opt for these cases.
The mini-ITX and Micro-ATX cases are about tiny PCs that need to fit into a compact space, such as a living room entertainment center. It can be difficult to handle if you purchase parts that aren’t able to fit.
If you are building a PC for the first time, choose a mid-tower, which will help you stay within your budget while offering a wide range of options.
2. Cooling System
Not all PC cases are built with the same ability to move air. It’s all about the dimensions of your case as well as the number of fans, as well as whether there are enough strategically-placed vents.
The case must have at least two fans (many cases also come with some standard fans included). The first fan should be used as an intake fan to draw cooler air inside the case. The other fan is for the exhaust, to take the hot air out.
Vents are also a consideration to passively carry more air or in a location where additional fans can be placed. They can also be fitted with filters which are a fantastic way to keep your PC from becoming too dusty.
All of this is to keep the case cool. Most people will be fine just looking for the attributes mentioned above. However, if you are looking to create an overclocking monster or live in a particularly hot place, then we recommend considering a full-tower case that probably with an open frame structure.
You Might be Interested In Best Water Cooling PC Case
Cables are one of the biggest problems in any PC build. They are annoying, frustrating, and look horrible if you don’t plan where you want them to run. Most cases come with some cable management features and those are better options than other cases with no extra area for cable management.
Ideally, you’ll need features that make the cables slide off the front of your case, like grommets or cutouts as well as some rear grommets and fixings. A PSU veil is also helpful in keeping things neat, but certain PC builders do not like them.
4. Front Panel
PC cases have many differences when it comes to the front panel. This is where you typically get a headphone jack, perhaps a microphone jack, some USB ports, and other types of connectivity. You may find cases that simply have two USB ports like the NZXT H510 or cases with a much higher number of ports like Corsair’s Obsidian 1000D Series.
What you need here depends on your requirements and the number of devices you’ll make use of that require access to USB ports. In terms of the headphone jacks that are located on the front panel, they are generally useless since case makers run the patch cords the entire length of the case.
This means that they can detect all kinds of interference going through the motherboard before the sound reaches your ears. It is much better to use a headphone jack on the motherboard or a dedicated audio device, such as a sound card or external DAC.
5. Drive Bays
Older 3.5-inch hard drives are not the best choice for your main drive. These hard drives from the past can still be used to store data, and since they’re cheap you can get several terabytes of storage on your computer for an affordable price.
Almost all PC cases come with drive bays to house them however, depending on how many drives you intend to place into your computer, you might require a case that has additional bays. Also, don’t forget a case that features 2.5-inch SSD mounting points.
6. Space Inside The Case
Although PC development is mostly focused on general “plug-and-play” compatibility, there are some situations where some components just don’t work in a specific case. This has to do with the Bed Room for the high-end components.
For instance, air cooling fans are typically huge and may not fit in some pc cases. The same goes for special high-end graphics cards, which can be longer than the average graphics card and require more space. Before buying any of these, you need to make sure they fit in your chosen case.
Additionally, there are all-in-one liquid cooling systems that come delivered ready to install. Most of the time AIOs just need to take up space where you can hang additional fans. If you have that kind of space, it must be configured for an AIO. However, you need to verify that the size and number of fans are compatible with the case.
Related Article: Best Dual Chamber PC Cases
Don’t ignore the pc case when purchasing other parts: A PC case shouldn’t be your first consideration when building a new PC, but it should be more than just an afterthought. A poorly designed case can ruin your PC building experience, make upgrades difficult, and even reduce the overall performance of your computer. These problems are easily avoided with just a little extra attention to detail.
Going To Build a Gaming Rig? This is What you Need!
Before you begin, you will need to consider your budget. We’ll get into this assuming you have a good chunk of cash poking a hole in your pocket and you want to invest in some serious gaming power.
In our mind, it is always worth getting the latest hardware in order to prepare your system for the future. It is counterproductive to spend all your hard-earned money on something that will simply need to be updated in a year or two.
The absolute joy of building your own gaming PC is that if you build solid foundations, you’ll only need to update a couple of parts every few years to keep your PC up and running for years to come. It is worth spending more on the core parts of the machine, the CPU, and the motherboard as they are the foundation of the computer and are much more difficult to replace and upgrade your build in the future.
What Components Do You Need?
Building your own gaming PC requires several different components. It’s important to do your research and make sure you buy the correct parts for your PC and that they all work together. Certain specifications of each component will affect this and you need to make sure everything is correct even before placing your order
PC Case Recommendations For Gaming Builds:
Lian Li Odyssey X
- Lian Li Odyssey X Silver PC case
- Most of parts with sandblasted anodized finish to provide high end feel and finish
- Two looks and three configurations of your choice , providing three modes: Dynamic / Dynamic R (Rotate) / Performance
- Open air design especially at performance mode can allow unobstructed airflow and ensure decent thermal performance of the build
- Support up to EEB motherboard during all three modes
What Do Our Experts Have to Say:
MSI MPG SEKIRA 500X – Mid Tower
- Two-Tone Design: A stunning two-tone design on the front panel to show off that ARGB fan in the front.
- Modular Radiator Bracket: With a modular bracket, installing an AIO liquid cooler has never been easier.
- ARGB Fans: Equipped with 4x ARGB 120mm fans and a 1 to 8 ARGB LED Hub, your options for customization are limitless
- Vertical Graphics Card Support: Equip up to three graphics cards in standard format or one vertically *riser cable sold separately*.
What Do Our Experts Have to Say:
Unique PC Case For Your Work Space
Buying the right PC case is important. If you’ve been building your PC and are on the last step in choosing the perfect case to hold all of your hardware together, there are a few things to consider. At the very least, you want to be the right size for your needs to accommodate all of your hardware and components.
Some cases go the extra mile and offer muffled sound, tempered glass panels, spacious innards, lower temperatures, and ample water-cooling support, plus RGB lighting, among other extras. However, the PC case you choose shouldn’t just be good-looking, you need a form factor to fit your space.
It should also be as useless as possible with tons of wiring support and good airflow to keep performance parts cool, efficient, and dust-free. At the extreme are PC cases that incorporate deep learning and artificial intelligence to manage things like fan speeds automatically, thus maintaining optimal temperatures.
The challenge is to find something worthwhile among the thousands of options available, with the perfect combination of design, quality and uniqueness.
We find the best options for your next build for workspace, check it out
1. Lian Li Desk PC Case
Lian Li DK-05FX
- If you don’t mind spending the hefty price tag, the Lian Li DK-05F is the PC cabinet desk to buy.
- It’s a height-adjustable motorized desk and has an interchangeable glass top that you can switch between clear and opaque at the touch of a button.
- In addition, you can install two different systems inside, and it has support for water cooling. It also has a fully equipped front panel with fan and RGB controllers.
2. Hydra Desk – Unique PC Case
As you may have noticed, PC cabinet desks aren’t really common, which is why there are very few options available and also availability issues. However, if you’re sure that you want one, you might want to consider building a PC in the workspace case we suggested to you above.
Eliminate the Workspace PC Case Options:
As you may have noticed, PC cabinet desks aren’t really common, which is why there are very few options available and also availability issues.
However, if you’re sure that you want one, you might want to consider building a PC in the workspace case we suggested to you above.
General Questions About PC Case Types
What is the standard pc case size?
The ATX or Mid Tower format is one of the types of cases that have been used the most for computer cases. It is preferred by users and the most common to find both at home and offices. It can support the ATX motherboard and has 5 to 7 expansion slots.
Is ATX full size?
No, E-ATX (extended ATX) is the full size but ATX is the most common motherboard form factor, ATX motherboard case can fit all smaller motherboard sizes in the case such as Micro-ATX, ITX, etc.
What size is m-ATX?
m-ATX is Micro ATX or Mini-ATX motherboard form factor. It is smaller than E-ATX or ATX. The maximum size of micro ATX (M-ATX) is 244x244mm or 9.6 x 9.6 inches
How big is a Full-size PC Tower?.
The standard minimum height for a complete or full tower pc case is usually 22 inches (55 cm). Width and depth vary greatly from brand to brand, but usually somewhere around 8 inches (20 cm) by 20 inches (50 cm).
How big are mid tower Cases?
The standard minimum height for a mid-tower pc case is usually 18 inches in height and 7.5 inches in width. But width, height and depth vary from brand to brand.
What pc case should I get in 2022?
Having a case that suits your PC build purpose is important, but a case that can hold your PC components is equally or more important. Keep these factors in consideration while selecting your Pc case:
• PC case size
• The compatibility of the internal components,
• How many mounting locations of the case or storage offers the casing
What is better Mid tower or Full Tower?
If you’re building a high-end extreme gaming pc then going for a full tower can be a good decision but if you’re just building a regular pc then having a full tower pc case will be overkilling, mid tower can be the better choice in this case.
Are smaller pc cases Better?
It totally depends on your components and your ability to do the cable management and keep the airflow optimal, if you’re going to mount big hardware by squeezing them into a small case, you’re eventually shortening the life span of your components. But if you have internal hardware suitable for a smaller case then you’re good to go.