Best pc towers: Best PC cases 2022: The best cases for gaming PC builds

Lian Li PC-O11 Air Mini Review: An Easy, Sophisticated Alternative

Skip to main content

Tom’s Hardware is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s why you can trust us.

Do you also like the mesh look more than glass?

Editor’s Choice

(Image: © Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Tom’s Hardware Verdict

Lian Li’s PC-O11D Mini is now available in an ‘Air’ variant with an additional intake and included fans. In case the score didn’t give it away, we quite like it.

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

Pros
  • +

    Includes 3 PWM Fans

  • +

    More cooling options

  • +

    Supports ATX PSU

  • +

    Compact-ish, for an ATX case

  • +

    Affordable at $110

Cons
  • Ditches aluminum panels for steel

  • No longer as ITX-focused

  • Ugly bottom air filter implementation remains

Back in 2018 Lian Li introduced its PC-O11 Dynamic chassis, designed in collaboration with Der8auer, and it quickly went on to become a classic that still sells well. Then, just under a year ago the company dropped the O11D Mini, shrinking the chassis into a more cheerful format. It still fit ATX boards, but could be modified to be a cooling-focused ITX board too, or anything in between. 

Now, Lian Li is introducing the O11 Air Mini – a variant of the chassis that has an extra front intake and includes fans – at the same $110 price point. Well, the O11D Mini was priced at $99, but the tariffs have pulled that price up, too.  

So, let’s dig in and find out what the differences are, whether the O11D Air Mini is an improvement, which you should get if you’re considering the variants, and whether the Air Mini is worthy of a spot on our Best PC Cases list. 

  • Lian Li PC O11 Air Mini at Amazon for $137.44

Specifications 

Type Mid-Tower ATX
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
Dimensions (HxWxD) 15.1 x 11.3 x 15.7 inches (384 x 288 x 400 mm)
Max GPU Length 14. 6 inches (362 mm)
CPU Cooler Height 6.6 inches (167 mm)
Max PSU Length 7.9 inches (200 mm)
External Bays ✗ 
Internal Bays 4x 3.5-inch, 2x 2.5-inch
Expansion Slots 7x or 5x
Front I/O 2x USB 3.0, USB-C, 3.5 mm Audio/Mic Combo
Other 1x Tempered Glass Panel
Front Fans 2x 140 mm (Up to 2x 140mm)
Rear Fans 1x 120mm (Up to 1x 120mm)
Top Fans None (Up to 2x 140mm)
Bottom Fans None (Up to 2x 140mm)
Side Fans None (Up to 2x 120mm)
RGB No
Damping No

Features

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 4

Looking around the outside of the O11 Air Mini , the first thing that stands out about the chassis are its tidy looks. Whereas the original O11D Mini had a glass side and front panel, the steel mesh panel at the front of the O11 Air Mini looks cleaner, almost like the case grew up and pulled on a suit – it’s a much more business-like appearance, offering a more sophisticated look as opposed to the O11D Mini’s playfulness.

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

The glass side panel remains, as does the aluminum strip at the front, but the top and right-side panels are no longer made of aluminum. This isn’t a real issue, but I did like the aluminum panel on the O11D Mini, as it was a big upgrade over the original O11D’s steel panels, especially considering the case’s low price point. That said, this case keeps the same price, does replace the top IO shield strip with aluminum instead of the scratchy acrylic strip on the previous case, and this case comes with three fans – so it’s understandable that a compromise had to be made somewhere. Also, the perforated steel mesh contrasts quite nicely next to the aluminum – I quite like the look.

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Top IO comprises two USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port and a headphone/mic combo jack. A power button is also present, with blue illumination around it. 

To remove the top and right-side panel, one simply undoes the thumbscrews at the back of the case and they slide right off. The glass side and front mesh panels then come off by simply lifting them out of place, exposing the case’s interior.

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

The case only has one filter, at the bottom, and it keeps the same, not-so-pretty plastic handle as the O11D Mini. This is visible on the side, and although practical, a little unsightly.

Other than that, you will rely on the mesh of the top, front and side panels for filtration, though I expect these will do a good enough job as the mesh there is quite fine.

Internal Layout

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Once inside, you’ll spot room for up to an ATX motherboard in the main compartment, along with room for radiators and fans along the top, front, bottom and side. Two 140mm PWM fans come installed at the front intake, while the rear exhaust carries a single 120mm PWM spinner. 

In this main compartment, CPU coolers can be up to 6.6 inches (167mm) tall and GPUs up to 14.3 inches (362mm) long. 

There is tons of radiator space here, too: At the top, bottom, and front of the case, you can mount up to 280mm radiators, and the side intake/exhaust spot will happily accommodate a 240mm radiator.

(Image credit: Lian Li)

Keep in mind, though, you likely won’t be able to install a 280mm unit  in the top spot with an ATX board from the factory. This is because the radiator mount isn’t placed all the way near the side panel, and the motherboard tray is pushed slightly inward from the original case. To fix this, you will need to purchase the RB-001 offset radiator mounting bracket (no price is set yet) that will launch alongside the case. 240mm radiators will fit at the top just fine, though, unless you have tall RAM that creates clarence issues.

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Flip over to the other side, and we spot a few interesting things. Despite being a ‘Mini’ case, this one comes with room for large ATX power supplies (whereas the last case only had room for an SFF-L PSU), and the hard drive cage is moved to the top. A cover is present over the cable management area, with room for two 2.5-inch drives.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

You can either leave the covers installed on the side intake, creating room for two 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drives, with room for another two in the HDD cages, or you can remove them to expose the radiator mount.

Adjustable Rear IO

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

From the factory, the O11 Air Mini comes configured as an ATX case, with seven expansion slots. However, just like the original O11D Mini, the rear IO is adjustable to accommodate different boards.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

However, the O11 Air Mini won’t adjust all the way down to just an ITX layout. In all fairness, that’s fine – the Micro-ATX layout with five expansion slots will work just the same, leaving the lower slots unused to make radiator space. 

Summing up the differences

By now, you’ve probably gathered that the O11D Mini and the new O11 Air Mini are almost entirely different cases. They’re based on the same base principles, but externally and internally they are surprisingly different. 

The biggest difference is that the Air replaces the front glass panel with mesh, and includes 3 fans. But it also cuts back on the motherboard’s rear IO modularity, and has 3mm less width in the main compartment. The new model is also wider overall at 288mm as opposed to 270mm. This is because the rear compartment now has room for ATX PSUs, which is a huge upgrade over the SFF-L only layout in the glass-based O11 Mini, and well worth the extra width. The case is also 4mm taller, though 20mm shallower. 

With these changes, I would argue that the O11 Air Mini isn’t the builder’s modular paradise the O11D Mini was, but rather a tidy, straight-forward ATX case, albeit with an unusual layout. This makes the new O11 Air Mini much more approachable for first-time builders.

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

  • 1

Current page:
Features and Specifications

Next Page Hardware Installation

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

Tom’s Hardware is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Visit our corporate site .

©
Future US, Inc. Full 7th Floor, 130 West 42nd Street,
New York,
NY 10036.

Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact Review: Understated Excellence

Skip to main content

Tom’s Hardware is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s why you can trust us.

A breath of fresh air

Editor’s Choice

(Image: © Tom’s Hardware)

Tom’s Hardware Verdict

Fractal Design’s Meshify 2 Compact offers an excellent foundation for thermally demanding ATX gaming systems. And although it’s a bit expensive, it’s a very well thought-through chassis that ships with three good fans.

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

Pros
  • +

    Thoughtful interior and classy design

  • +

    Ships with three quality fans

  • +

    Great cable management

  • +

    Excellent thermal performance

  • +

    Easy filter access for cleaning

Cons
  • Strong competition

  • Materials could be better

  • Sticky power button (on our sample)

  • Fans don’t have PWM control

  • No RGB (a pro, for some)

Editor’s Note: A representative from Fractal Design has assured us that as of mid-May 2021, design changes involving the power button and its spring have been implemented in all manufacturing of the Meshify 2 Compact going forward. As the sticky power button was our primary complaint, we have now given the case an Editor’s Choice award.

When Fractal Design launched its Meshify 2 chassis, it impressed us so much that we had no choice but to award it a rare five stars. So you can imagine that I was quite excited when the company reached out asking if I wanted to review the new Meshify 2 Compact. In essence, it’s the same case but a little shorter, cutting back on the extreme storage or radiator setup possibilities but offering the same basic design.

Because of this, the Meshify 2 Compact is arguably the more mainstream case suited to standard ATX setups that don’t need a ton of space – the vast majority of gaming systems. However, priced at $110, it’s not the most budget-friendly option, and it’s competing in a crowded segment. Let’s find out if Fractal Design has what it takes to earn yet another spot on our Best PC Cases list.

Specifications

Type Mid-Tower ATX
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
Dimensions (HxWxD) 18. 7 x 8.3 x 16.8 inches (474 x 210 x 427 mm)
Max GPU Length 14.2 inches (360 mm)
CPU Cooler Height 6.7 inches (169 mm)
Max PSU Length 6.5 inches (165 mm)
External Bays ✗ 
Internal Bays 2x 3.5-inch
  2x 2.5-inch
Expansion Slots 7x
Front I/O 2x USB 3.0, USB-C, 3.5 mm Headphone, 3.5mm Mic
Other (Removable) Tempered Glass Panel
Front Fans 2x 140mm (Up to 2x 140mm, 3x 120mm)
Rear Fans 1x 120mm (Up to 1x 120mm)
Top Fans None (Up to 2x 140mm)
Bottom Fans None (Up to 1x 120mm)
Side Fans
RGB No
Damping No
Warranty 1 Year

Features

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 4

  • Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact (White) at Amazon for $139. 63

For this review, I asked Fractal Design to send us the gray option as I was curious to see how this color option would turn out. We had already seen the black color on the full-size Meshify 2, and white wasn’t available just yet.

Circling around the case, it’s immediately clear that this is a Fractal Design chassis – if not from the ‘Fractal’ text on the front mesh’s door handle, you can tell from the folds in the mesh and the grille pattern that’s also unique to Fractal Design.

The sheet metal isn’t particularly thick, nor is this a heavy case. If you’re after a tank-type case, perhaps the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh is more up your alley. But the thin sheet metal here is only really noticed when you’re handling the case. Once sat in place, the Meshify 2 Compact looks like a quality piece of kit and the design efforts stand out beautifully.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

That being said, Fractal Design goes out of its way to make the case look good, almost to a fault. At the top IO, you’ll note that the tolerances between the removable top panel and the ports and buttons is extremely tight. This looks great, and for the ports it isn’t an issue, but it’s a little bit problematic on the power button. Our sample had a sticky power button. If you pressed it near the top, the button would get stuck in the down position – and yes, it did shut down our PC when we weren’t paying attention.

We didn’t experience this issue with the bigger Meshify 2, so it’s very possible that it’s something down to our sample. But if you have the same issue, don’t hesitate to ask Fractal Design for a fix . A sticking power button shouldn’t happen with any case, especially not one that costs $110.

Otherwise, top IO comprises discrete headphone and mic jacks, a USB Type-C port, and two USB 3.0 ports – all very complete.

To pull off the side panels, you simply pull them from the rear tab and take them off the case – it’s that easy. With that, we move on to the case’s internals.

Internal Layout

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 3

When it comes to the interior layout of the Meshify 2 Compact, there’s very little worth mentioning – it’s all very industry standard with a main motherboard compartment with room for GPUs up to 13.4 inches (341 mm) long with the front fans installed (14.2 inches, or 360 mm without), CPU coolers up to 6.7-inches (169 mm) tall, two 3.5-inch drives in the PSU compartment and two 2.5-inch drives behind the motherboard tray.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

What I also appreciate is the cable management system. The case comes with rubber grommets on almost all access points to the main compartment, which goes a long way to making things look tidy on the inside by hiding the clutter behind the motherboard tray.

Cooling

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

You can fit up to a 240mm AIO at the top of the case, along with up to a 360mm AIO at the front. The PSU shroud will be in the way of longer radiators on the intake, but it has removable pieces to make space for bigger coolers. Just note that if you do install a large radiator at the front, you’ll have to bump the HDD tray to make space. That said, 280mm radiators will fit fine without this sacrifice.

Of course, the Meshify 2 Compact’s strength is in cooling. The chassis comes from the factory with two 140mm fans on the intake and one 120mm fan at the rear exhaust, which is very complete indeed. That’s more than most cases, but it should be for $110.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

Filtration is provided on every possible intake location, including the top exhaust. The front filter is easily removed by swinging the door open, pulling it out of its hinge, and then removing the filter. You can access the top filter by pulling off the top panel from the rear.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Another detail we appreciate is the bottom filter, as it’s removable from the front of the case. If you’re like us and have the back of your PC stuck near a wall, you know how annoying it can be to have to move the entire chassis to get to the PSU’s filter.

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

  • 1

Current page:
Specifications and Features

Next Page Hardware Installation

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

Tom’s Hardware is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Visit our corporate site .

©
Future US, Inc. Full 7th Floor, 130 West 42nd Street,
New York,
NY 10036.

NZXT H7 Flow Review: Impressively Cool and Quiet

Skip to main content

Tom’s Hardware is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s why you can trust us.

Quiet airflow? Count me in.

Editor’s Choice

(Image: © Tom’s Hardware)

Tom’s Hardware Verdict

With NZXT’s H7 Flow case, the company revamped its iconic design to focus on cooling performance. And while it definitely succeeds in keeping component temps under control, the low noise levels it maintains under load help elevate the H7 Flow to a level of PC case excellence.

Pros
  • +

    Surprisingly quiet

  • +

    Satisfying cable management

  • +

    A joy to build in

  • +

    Impressive stock case fans

  • +

    Tool-free side panel removal

  • +

    Decent pricing

Cons
  • No RGB

In the DIY PC market, NZXT’s cases tend to land somewhere between cult following and industry-leading icons. While its H series of cases have undergone many revisions, the silhouette always looks the same–the differences are down to details and internals. This holds true for the company’s new H7 case, but the airflow-focused H7 Flow is a bit more interesting–and an excellent quiet performer, as our testing will show. 

While we’ve seen prices increase on almost everything in the last couple of years, the new H7 and H7 Flow arrive at a respectable price of $130. Both cases come with two exceptional 120mm stock case fans (which we’ll see in detail in our testing section), spare SSD sleds and much more room for cooling than the H710 and H710i cases they’re replacing. There’s also a new $200 H7 Elite with a glass front. But we’ll be focusing primarily on the arflow-focused H7 Flow for this review, to find out if its balance of performance, features and fairly affordable price will land NZXT a spot on our best PC cases list. Let’s take a close look.

Specifications of the NZXT H7 Flow

Type ATX Mid-Tower
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
Dimensions (HxWxD) 19.8 x 9.1 x 18.9 inches
Max GPU Length 15.74 inches
CPU Cooler Height 7.28 inches
External Bays X
Internal Bays 4x 2.5 or 2x 3.5-inch 
Expansion Slots 7
Front I/O 2x USB 3. 2 Gen 1 Type-A (10 Gbps), 1X USB Type-C (up to 10Gbps), 3.5mm headphone/audio jack
Other Tempered Glass Side Panel
Front Fans 1x 120 mm
Rear Fans 1x 120 mm
Top Fans None
Bottom Fans None
Weight 22.15 pounds
Warranty Two years

Features of the NZXT H7 Flow

The H7 Flow is a mid-tower ATX chassis that takes inspiration from last year’s H510 Flow, with various improvements and a larger size. While the H510 Flow is a decent case, there was plenty of room for improvement–and no room for proper radiator support at the top. However, with the bigger H7 Flow, there’s a ton of radiator space at the top, which we’ll elaborate on later.

Unlike most of NZXT’s cases, the tempered glass side panel on the H7 Flow extends to the bottom of the chassis. This is complemented well by the perforated front panel which also runs down the entire front of the case.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

At first, I was a bit indifferent about the look of the front panel on the H7 Flow. However, after running our thermal tests, I have to credit NZXT for not taking the easy way out by using a fine mesh front panel. The perforated metal, combined with the fans, clearly do a good job. Overall, the front panel grew on me, and can look great with a dab of RGB.

Since the H7 Flow doesn’t rely on a mesh front panel that doubles as a dust filter, there are filters behind the front and top panel, as well as the PSU intake. You’ll also find a tiny filter underneath the case used for bottom intake, even though there aren’t any fan mounts at the bottom.

The top IO is about what you’d expect, which is to say nothing remarkable. You get two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (5Gbps) ports, one USB Type-C (10Gbps) and the usual headset/audio jack. It would be nice to see more and different ports here, but given the restrictions of most motherboards, adding more ports here would just mean most users wouldn’t be able to plug them in to use them, or be forced to buy something more expensive to make use of them.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Internal Layout

The NZXT H7 Flow isn’t the smallest mid-tower, nor is it too big at 19.8 x 9.1 x 18.9 inches (505 x 230 x 480mm). However, I found the size of this case to be perfect for building in. When I was building in the H7, I didn’t realize until I finished that only 25 minutes had passed, including time spent removing my hardware from the previous case.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

While this case comes with the usual NZXT cable routing trenches, it has all of the front panel connects grouped together into one cable, which saved me so much time and I wish more companies did this.

According to NZXT, the H7 series cases can fit SSR-CEB/EEB (E-ATX) motherboards, but as usual if you genuinely want E-ATX support without dealing with things like blocked cable routing holes or other serious clearance issues, you should opt for a full-tower case truly designed for big motherboards. Our standard ATX Gigabyte Aorus Z690 Ultra fit like a glove in the NZXT H7 Flow. CPU and GPU clearance is generous, at 7.2 inches (183mm) and 15.7 inches (398mm), respectively. To give some perspective, I was able to fit our triple-fan Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC graphics card and Noctua U12S air cooler without any issues. But, if you’re buying this case, wouldn’t you rather take advantage of the perforated top panel by using one of the best AIO coolers, complete with RGB?

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Behind the motherboard tray is where you’ll find two pre-installed 2.5-inch SSD sleds (two more are in the box), a 3.5-inch hard drive cage and the cable management cutouts. Cable management was a breeze in the NZXT H7 Flow (pun somewhat intended). According to NZXT, the cable channels have been widened a bit, which helped because there isn’t a ton of space behind the motherboard. After tidying the cables, I snapped the front and rear side panels back into place without any issues, so the tool-less side panel installation worked well.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

NZXT H7 Flow Cooling

Last year, we took a look at the NZXT H510 Flow, which delivered good thermals. However, the perforations on the top panel were limited to one 140mm fan. With the H7 Flow, we get a perforated top panel that extends far enough for 3x 120 or 2x 140mm fans, or one 360mm radiator. The fan support in the front has also been increased from the H710, from two 140 to three 140mm fans (or up to three 120mm). The rear supports either one 120mm or one 140mm fan.

NZXT was generous enough two include two of its F120Q Airflow case fans with the H7 Flow, and while they’re 3-pin, they’re surprisingly excellent. First off, the fans are dead-silent even at the maximum RPM of 1,200. The spinners also moved air through the chassis exceptionally well in our testing for stock case fans, which you’ll see in the thermals section. I’m really impressed by the F120Q case fans because even though they’re not 4-pin/PWM, they get the job done well beyond my expectations.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Testing Hardware

We’ve updated our testing hardware to use Intel’s 12 Gen “Alder Lake” platform, which has shaken up the desktop landscape (and taken prominent spots on our best CPUs for gaming list). We’re now using a Core i7-12700KF, which is being cooled by a Noctua U12s air cooler. Our graphics card is a Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC.

Acoustic Results for the NZXT H7

Our acoustic test consists of three scenarios: We run the CPU at full load, the CPU and GPU at full load, and an optimized mode. The CPU full load test runs the CPU and case fans at their maximum speed. For the CPU and GPU full load acoustic test, we also stress the Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC and set the fans at 75% speed, because in gaming the fans never run at 100 percent and are far too loud when they do.

For the optimized mode, we run the GPU fan speed at 30 % and run the CPU and included case fans at their lowest spinning speed.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The NZXT H7’s design is very skeletal– especially the front panel, which is nearly all perforated. Because of that, I wasn’t expecting a quiet case, but I was wrong– very wrong. Now, this case isn’t quite church mouse-level silent, but for an airflow-focused case, I’m quite impressed. The only case that goes toe-to-toe with the H7 Flow on our chart is the Hyte Y60, but two of its three included fans are in the basement, and it has a whole lot more glass going on to keep the noise down.

Thermal Results for the NZXT H7 Flow

For the thermal tests, all case and CPU fan speeds are set to 100%. The Core i7-12700K is set at a 4.7GHz clock at 1.3v on all performance cores to ensure consistent power consumption across test scenarios. Letting the GPU run at 75% fan speed enables it to maintain its power target while sticking to one set reasonable fan speed, so that the temperature is the only variable.

The H7 Flow comes with two F120Q Airflow case fans and even though they’re just 3-pin, the F120s spun at a respectable 1,200 RPM and moved air in and out of the case effortlessly.

(Image credit: Future)

The H7 Flow’s thermal performance is interesting, because the other cases on the chart, besides the Y60, deliver brute-force airflow, especially the Fractal Torrent Compact with its 160mm fans and the Cooler Master HAF 700 Evo, which has two 200mm spinners. However, the H7 Flow has just two 120mm 3-pin fans and stands competitive against those two airflow beasts. And with this case’s MSRP of $130, that’s cheap enough to buy some extra cooling for even better performance, and still come out ahead of the competition on price.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Image 1 of 2

NZXT’s H series has been tinkered with many times over the years. And with the performance of the new H7 Flow, it’s clear the company’s iconic design can evolve and continue to impress with the changing market and growing thermal demands of today’s high-end hardware. There really aren’t many bad things to say about the NZXT H7 Flow. It’s relatively affordable, impressed during testing, and importantly in my eyes, it takes a different approach to airflow with a perforated metal front and top, rather than boring (and potentially restricting) fine mesh.

If you’re not into the perforated design of the H7 Flow or if thermals are less of a concern, then it’s still worth taking a look at the regular H7 as well. It may lack the perforated front, but comes with everything else its airflow-focused sibling delivers, at the same pleasing price.

Myles Goldman is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews keyboards and cases.

Tom’s Hardware is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Visit our corporate site .

©
Future US, Inc. Full 7th Floor, 130 West 42nd Street,
New York,
NY 10036.

The Best PC Tower Cases for 2022

Your house, according to the legendary advice of George Carlin, is the place where you put your stuff while you go get more stuff. But a PC tower case is not just the box where you put your PC components while you earn money to buy better ones. (These days, given the cost and tight supply of many cutting-edge CPUs and graphics cards, that may not even be possible.) It matters much more than that.

If you’ve built your own PC in the past, you know that having the right PC case can make or break the whole process. It’s not just a question of fitting the parts inside—it’s easy enough to match up the motherboard size, count the bays, and make sure the chassis has the front-panel ports you want. It’s the small stuff that separates a good PC case from one that makes your build easy—or even makes it sing. That can be intangibles like cable-routing features, or the position of the power supply or the drive bays relative to the other parts. It can be the look; the case defines the identity of your PC.

Also, a PC case may be rated to accept a given motherboard—ATX, MicroATX, and so on—but that’s no indication that you’ll have enough room inside to build a system with ease. Clearances around the edges of the board may be tight, cable cutaways for routing wires behind the board may be scarce or ill-placed, and you may need to sacrifice drive bays to accommodate long video cards. Here’s what to know when assessing PC cases.

More About Our Picks

ADATA XPG Battlecruiser

4.5 Outstanding

Best PC Tower Case for Extreme Visibility and High Airflow

Bottom Line:

With a near-perfect design and feature set, ADATA’s heavy-on-the-glass XPG Battlecruiser is an excellent ATX midtower case from a new player in the chassis game.

Pros

  • Spacious and easy to build in.
  • Convenient PSU mounting system.
  • Four aRGB fans pre-installed.
  • Four tempered glass panels.

Cons

  • Could use an extra pass-through slot at the bottom of the case.
  • A little light on cable-management functionality.

Read Our ADATA XPG Battlecruiser Review

DeepCool CL500

4. 0 Excellent

Best Budget PC Tower Case

Bottom Line:

Deepcool’s CL500 is a well-built mid-tower ATX case with a strong feature set for its price.

Pros

  • Strong feature set for the price
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Tempered glass window
  • USB-C on front I/O panel
  • Easy-to-remove magnetic side panels

Cons

  • A few more ports on the front panel wouldn’t hurt
  • No RGB LED lights (may be a Pro for some shoppers)

Read Our DeepCool CL500 Review

Corsair iCue 5000T RGB

4.0 Excellent

Best PC Tower Case for Maximum Possible Liquid Cooling

Bottom Line:

Corsair’s iCUE 5000T RGB includes enough advanced cooling, connectivity, and stylistic features that many high-end builders will be willing to overlook its inclusion of one flimsy side panel.

Pros

  • Holds up to three triple-fan (360mm) radiators
  • Cable cover acts as side duct for motherboard component cooling
  • Includes extra component for cleaner installation of thick front-panel cooler
  • Has four Type-A USB 3 ports in addition to Gen2 Type-C
  • Included RGB/fan controller supports full Corsair iCue software control

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Limited power supply space with lower drive cage in stock position
  • Alternate drive cage placements impinge on side and/or front radiator space
  • Right side panel feels a little flimsy, given case’s heft

Read Our Corsair iCue 5000T RGB Review

Thermaltake View 51 Snow ARGB Edition

4. 0 Excellent

Best PC Tower Case for Serious Overclocking

Bottom Line:

Thermaltake’s View 51 Snow ARGB Edition is a spacious, squat-shaped tower PC chassis whose positive features far outweigh the minor defects on our test sample. It’s a compelling case for modders and DIY-minded PC gamers.

Pros

  • Eye-catching, spacious design
  • Preinstalled ARGB fans
  • Five USB ports on front I/O panel
  • Easy storage mounting system
  • Lots of room for mounting liquid cooling hardware
  • Glass panel is on a hinge

Cons

  • Top glass panel came off of review unit
  • Some screw holes on review sample were drilled slightly out of place

Read Our Thermaltake View 51 Snow ARGB Edition Review

NZXT H710i

4.0 Excellent

Best PC Tower Case for a Clean, Minimalist-Looking Build

Bottom Line:

For a premium chassis, the NZXT H710i has a clean, minimal look, with some smart creature comforts that will have seasoned PC builders smiling. A slightly lower price would make it a solid value, too.

Pros

  • Sturdy build quality
  • Integrated RGB strips and fan/RGB controller
  • Right side panel opens at a button press
  • Tempered-glass left side
  • Smart radiator-mounting scheme up top
  • Nifty cable-routing channels behind motherboard tray

Cons

  • A touch pricey
  • Front I/O panel could use an extra port or two

Read Our NZXT H710i Review

SilverStone Seta Q1

4.0 Excellent

Best PC Tower Case for Quiet Running

Bottom Line:

Looking to build a near-silent desktop? SilverStone’s ultra-quiet Seta Q1 chassis hushed our hardware while maintaining moderate temperatures.

Pros

  • Space for motherboards up to 13 inches deep
  • Includes enough standoffs for E-ATX and SSI-EEB boards
  • Supports two large radiators
  • Quiet design

Cons

  • Audio combo jack doesn’t include headphone/mic splitter
  • Steel plus asphalt equals heavy (11. 6 kilos!)

Read Our SilverStone Seta Q1 Review

Be Quiet Pure Base 500DX

4.0 Excellent

A Solid Alternative to the SilverStone Seta Q1

Bottom Line:

Be Quiet’s Pure Base 500DX is a well-made ATX PC case that’s easy to work in, though the front I/O panel is a bit sparse.

Pros

  • Easy to work in
  • Clean appearance
  • Attractive, not overly flashy LED lighting
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes with three low-noise fans

Cons

  • Another USB Type-A port up front would be ideal
  • Drive bays are all a screw-in design

Read Our Be Quiet Pure Base 500DX Review

Corsair iCue 7000D Airflow

4.0 Excellent

Best PC Tower Case for Maximum Storage

Bottom Line:

Corsair’s big, pricey iCue 7000D Airflow full-tower PC case is eye-catching and cavernous. It is equipped with plenty of fans, supports the biggest liquid-cooling radiators, and has a vast side window to show off your PC parts to the max.

Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Three included 140mm fans, plus room for plenty more
  • Dedicated fan controller
  • 10 total drive mounts
  • Hinged side panels
  • Five USB ports on “front” (actually, top) I/O panel

Cons

  • Quite heavy and cumbersome to move around
  • Expensive

Read Our Corsair iCue 7000D Airflow Review

Razer Tomahawk ATX

4.0 Excellent

Best PC Tower Case for Clean Cable Routing Behind Lots of Glass

Bottom Line:

Razer’s Tomahawk ATX is a spendy computer chassis that offers an easy building experience, pleasing aesthetics, and some rare cable-hiding advantages for builders of full-size desktops. Chroma loyalists and neat freaks will love it.

Pros

  • Removable glass doors on both sides
  • Pre-installed RGB LED «ground effects» lighting runs on Razer’s Chroma ecosystem
  • Three USB ports on front I/O panel, including USB Type-C
  • «Neatening» panels behind right-side glass
  • Easy to build inside

Cons

  • Heavy steel, as opposed to aluminum, construction
  • Only one pre-installed fan included
  • A little pricey, given the steel build

Read Our Razer Tomahawk ATX Review


Trends and Changes in PC Chassis

In our experience, tower cases tend to alleviate many of the space-related ails when building a PC. It’s not rocket science why: They’re simply bigger.

Most offer adequate room for cable routing and long video cards, and they should have room for enough drives, given today’s per-drive capacities, to satisfy most needs short of a server’s. If you have the room for one, a tower is an ideal platform for a new PC build or as a case upgrade for an existing system that’s running out of room inside for drives or card expansion.


(Photo: Molly Flores)

In the last few years, we’ve seen some clear trends among tower cases, too. Aggressive sci-fi and mecha themes were big for a while, but that has given way to subtler aesthetics: clean designs with neutral themes and an emphasis on the quality of external materials. (That said, you still can find those out-there PC-case designs in places, if you want them.) For a while, it looked like the DIY PC-case market was shifting over entirely to a blinged-up, geeky gamer aesthetic, but the design winds have shifted a bit. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a major move to glass and acrylic side panels, as well as the integration of mood lighting, whether one-color or programmable RGB.

What’s also shifted: the definition of a tower case. «True» towers—with huge banks of drive bays and bodies more than 20 inches tall—are still around, but the lines have blurred between these and larger mid-tower chassis, which tend to lie in the 18-to-20-inch height range. But even these are seeing their own splintering and hazy categorization: Just about all mainstream big cases, for example, have eliminated front-facing 5.25-inch drive bays altogether, assuming that buyers won’t be opting for internal optical drives anymore. These really minimal cases were a subclass of their own a few years ago but are now the norm, not the exception.

As 5.25-inch bays have vanished, the really large towers have fallen out of favor with many buyers who aren’t doing elaborate modding or liquid cooling. Another reason why: limitations to video-card SLI that emerged in 2016 and keep accelerating. With its 10-series «Pascal» video cards, Nvidia put the official kibosh on multiple-video-card configurations of more than two cards. One of the traditional big reasons high-end PC builders would opt for a large PC case is to host multiple video cards in an Nvidia SLI or AMD CrossFireX array.


(Photo: Molly Flores)

With Nvidia’s «Ampere» (RTX 30 Series) cards currently the toast of the video-card world (and the cards quite expensive these days), SLI has become even less likely an option for the bulk of users. With the RTX 30 Series, only the ultra-expensive GeForce RTX 3090 can be paired up in SLI (now dubbed «NVLink»), and the cost for two of them nowadays could instead get you a modest used car. With today’s decided shift to using just one video card, more moderate-size towers are in the offing.

Of course, you can still build out a PC with more than two older cards in an AMD CrossFireX arrangement (or using legacy Nvidia cards). But AMD is de-emphasizing CrossFireX, too, with its latest-gen («Navi»-based) video cards. So, giant tower cases with slot positions to take four double-wide video cards are best considered a niche within a niche within a niche.

Picking the right tower PC case for your build or upgrade is a complex interplay of the parts you have, the parts you may install someday, and the space you have available to stash the chassis itself. Here’s a brief rundown of the things to look for before we get deep into our favorites. (Also, for a primer on PC-case lingo, check out Buying a PC Case: 20 Terms You Need to Know.)


Motherboard Compatibility: ATX and More

Most towers, by definition, will support ATX-form-factor mainboards. If you’re looking to install a smaller MicroATX or Mini-ITX motherboard, a tower may not be the right choice. (That is, unless you know you need a tower’s wealth of drive bays, and you have the means to connect a heap of drives via that smaller board’s Serial ATA ports or a controller card.)


(Photo: Molly Flores)

Larger tower cases may support additional form factors that are bigger than ATX, such as XL-ATX or Extended ATX (EATX). These are mostly seen in server-grade boards and one-off consumer enthusiast models. Motherboards, especially, for AMD’s and Intel’s high-end desktop (HEDT) classes of processors, the Ryzen Threadripper and the Core X-Series, tend to come in these oversize form factors due to extra RAM slots and the bigger actual CPU dies they host.

Support for these form factors are an indication that the case will be big; if you don’t need that kind of size, steer for an ATX-max case.


CPU Cooler, Graphics Card, and PSU Clearance

First, think about CPU coolers: If you’re using liquid cooling in your PC, this won’t be an issue, but if you’re using an elaborate air-cooler that has a tall heat sink and fan assembly on top (performance coolers from companies like Noctua(Opens in a new window) are what we’re talking about), you’ll want to measure the height of the cooler involved. PC case makers typically list the maximum cooler clearance on the case’s spec sheet—check it if you’re air-cooling. (More on liquid-cooling in a moment.)


(Photo: Michael Sexton)

As for video cards, this is a simple length measurement. Depending on the case design, the longest video cards—typically high-end ones measuring more than 10 inches front to back—may bump up against the drive bays or other case structure in front. If you’re using a monster video card, keep an eye on this spec.

That said, starting a few years back, we saw the emergence of some highly able «short board» versions of Nvidia’s Pascal (GTX 10 Series), Turing (RTX 20 Series), and now Ampere (RTX 30 Series) cards. (Check in with card makers like Zotac, MSI, and Gigabyte; they tend to offer the occasional short design.) AMD’s card partners, to a lesser extent, have followed suit. That means you can put a powerful but compact card into a relatively trim chassis with less regard for length issues.  


(Photo: John Burek)

The power supply unit (PSU) is the last element to consider. Almost all tower cases will make use of an ATX form-factor power supply, as opposed to the compact SFX and SFX-L form factor used in some compact cases. The main spec to pay attention to is the power supply’s physical length. Some cases mandate a maximum length that can fit without interference; this is less common in towers than in more compact cases, but it is still worth paying attention to before you buy.


(Photo: Michael Sexton)

Also worth looking into, but hard to discern from simple spec sheets: the reach of the eight-pin or four-pin CPU power cable. In a few really big tower cases, it’s difficult or impossible to stretch this cable to the max to reach a far-flung CPU power port on the mainboard. An extender may be required. This is where reviews of cases, detailing their nuances and quirks, come in.


Drive Bays and Front-Panel Ports

The drive-bay equation is pretty straightforward: You need as many 2.5-inch, 3.5-inch, or 5.25-inch bays for SSDs, hard drives, or optical drives as you have drives, plus an allowance for future ones you might install. Many tower cases these days have dedicated bays for 2.5-inch drives (primarily for solid-state drives) and 3.5-inch drives; in most, the 3.5-inch bays also support smaller 2.5-inch drives via differently positioned screw mounts.

Note that, as we mentioned above, most cases, even big ones, are doing away with 5.25-inch bays altogether, under the assumption that optical drives are now passé. If you need an internal DVD or Blu-ray drive in your build, be aware of that as you shop. Also, most big cases now favor large liquid coolers over the big banks of 3.5-inch hard drive bays cases of the past often featured. Expect two to four 3.5-inch bays for hard drives in most towers these days.


(Photo: Molly Flores)

Front-facing ports, on the other hand, don’t vary too much among recent tower cases. The usual mix is a pair of USB 3.0 ports, possibly a pair of USB 2.0 ports, and headphone and mic jacks. Make sure your motherboard has the proper mixture of headers for the ports on the chassis. That’s usually not a problem, though some really old motherboards may not have the 20-pin connector for USB 3.0 front-panel ports. A few cases may have four USB 3.0 ports and thus require two USB 3.0 headers to connect them all; many boards have just one such header. You may need an adapter to hook up the second set to a USB 2.0 header—be warned. (It will run at slower USB 2.0 speeds.)


(Photo: Molly Flores)

One hit-or-miss feature in the newest motherboards and PC cases is support for front-panel USB 3.1 Type-C ports. Chassis and motherboard makers have agreed on a header connector for USB Type-C, and the header connections are showing up on most late-model motherboards. Some chassis will have a single USB Type-C port that interfaces with these Type-C headers, but you may need an adapter to bridge things for a while between these ports on a chassis and your motherboard. Neither case makers nor motherboard vendors tend to bundle these, and not all new boards even here in 2022 have a Type-C header, which is quite different from the 20-pin USB 3. 0 connector.  


(Photo: Molly Flores)


Cable Routing

This is a tough area to assess outside the context of a review and actually building a PC into the case in question. It comprises two key areas: cutaways in the motherboard tray for running cables behind the case’s tray, and clearance behind the (usually) right-side panel. The latter is often ignored, but it’s important. Running thick cables such as the 24-pin main power-supply cable behind the right panel can be tricky if there’s not enough room back there and it needs to crisscross other cables.


(Photo: Molly Flores)

As a result, you’ll want to pay close attention to our test build experiences to see how cable jockeying shakes out with a given case. Some cases will come with nicely pre-routed case cables or Velcro restraints to control cable excess, or have well-placed niches in which to stash extra-length or unused cables. A few, such as the Razer Tomahawk ATX, even have interior covers behind the motherboard tray to collect and cover up messy cables, allowing a clean view into both sides of the case through side-panel glass.


(Photo: Michael Sexton)


Liquid Cooling and Air Cooling

If you mean to install liquid cooling for your processor or graphics, you’ll want to examine the specifications for the size of radiator (or radiators) you can install. There are two aspects here: the radiator’s thickness, and the overall radiator length, measured in millimeters.

The thickness spec is to ensure that the radiator, its fans, and other hardware do not interfere with components on the mainboard because of overhang. The length is usually expressed as a multiple of the standard-size fans you install (which are, in most cases, 120mm or 140mm). So, you’ll typically see specs for mounting a 120mm-, 240mm-, or 360mm-long radiator unit. Match up what the case can accept with what you plan to install. Huge 360mm radiators are one of the main reasons old-school, really big towers still exist.


(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

As for air-cooling, how many fans are included in the case and how many you can install are two different things entirely. In most tower chassis, you will get at least a couple of pre-installed fans; additional ones are cheap, so we wouldn’t make the fan count a deal breaker. (If you’re doing liquid cooling, you may need to remove some of the installed fans, anyway, to make room for the radiator hardware you need to mount.) That said, be mindful of the sizes of fans that are included and supported. Replacements for nonstandard sizes like the 200mm whoppers used in some of the largest or widest towers are harder to come by than more standard 120mm and 140mm fans.

And then there’s fan filters. Anyone who has dismantled a tower PC that’s been in service for some years knows about the dust, the dust, the eternal dust: caked on the case’s fan filters, rolling around inside the case in dust bunnies, and clotted on the fan blades. Better that it be caught in a cleanable filter: Look for removable filters over the intake fans (usually, the fans on the front) and over the power-supply intake (not the exhaust), which will be on case bottom or top.


(Photo: Thomas Soderstrom)


So, Which PC Case Should I Buy?

Once you choose your case, check out our roundups of the top graphics cards overall, the best graphics cards for 4K gaming, and our top-rated M.2 solid state drives. These are the most likely parts you’ll be shopping for next. We’ve outlined our latest-favorite PC cases below, with an eye to ease of build and attractiveness. (Or, if you prefer to skip the build process altogether, take a look at our top-performing prebuilt desktop PCs or gaming PCs.)  

Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact Review

We’ve lost count of how many big PC cases we’ve reviewed, but among mainstream mid-tower models, Fractal Design’s $109.99 Meshify 2 Compact case is one of the best. It’s not what we’d call a perfect case—we’ve yet to see one of those!—but it falls short of that mark only by omitting a handful of features that we feel a perfect case should have. Don’t be fooled by the “Compact” in the name; this is not a space-saving Mini-ITX chassis by any means, but one for full ATX boards. The quirky name aside, it’s one of the strongest mainstream ATX-case efforts of recent years. It lands our latest Editors’ Choice award for ATX mid-tower PC cases.


The Meshify 2 Compact features a Fractal-signature front panel, with contours that form a rough but geometric surface. It looks like someone grabbed a sheet of metal mesh and gave it a proper beating with a triangle-headed hammer, and its asymmetrical design makes the case look unique and a bit edgy. 

As this panel is entirely built out of a metal mesh, air will be able to pass straight through into the case with ease, and a pair of Fractal Design’s 140mm Dynamic X2 GP-14 fans mounted just behind the front panel help to accelerate the flow. That’s a nice change from many recent cases from NZXT or Razer, which feature solid front panels.

The top panel also comprises a large section of metal mesh to permit air to flow in or out from that direction. It’s not entirely mesh, like the front panel, and Fractal Design opted to install the “front” I/O panel up here, which consists of two USB 3. 0 ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, separate microphone and headphone/audio-out jacks, and the usual power and reset buttons.

Similar Products

4.0

Excellent

Fractal Design Meshify S2

4.0

Excellent

NZXT H510 Elite

4.0

Excellent

NZXT H710i

4.0

Excellent

Razer Tomahawk ATX

4.0

Excellent

SilverStone Sugo 14

4.0

Excellent

Thermaltake View 51 Snow ARGB Edition

3.0

Average

Thermaltake Level 20 RS ARGB

The panel on the right side of the case is a simple sheet of steel, while the left panel on our review unit is constructed out of tempered glass. Fractal Design also offers an alternative version of the Meshify 2 that omits the glass and has steel panels on both sides, but other than that, the two cases are identical.

Both side panels use a screwless mounting system, though they aren’t particularly easy to remove. The panels come off by simply pulling them toward you, from the top, and each panel has a rubber grip to help make this easier. Being a little hard to remove may actually be a good thing. From my experience with the case, it seems highly unlikely that these panels would ever fall off by accident, and while removing them takes a little muscle, this still feels easier than dealing with screws and keeping a glass panel stable after removing the last one.

The back of the case is also designed to permit air to flow easily out of the case. A fan comes pre-installed here, as well, though this one is a slightly smaller Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-12(Opens in a new window) model. Three fans aboard is generous; the much pricier Razer Tomahawk ATX linked above ships with just one.

The case also feels quite light for its size (20.5 by 9.7 by 20.5 inches, HWD) and given the glass side. Though this may just be observation bias on my part, as I’ve mostly worked with cases larger than the Meshify 2 Compact lately, the reliance on mesh for parts of the front and top definitely reduces the weight, even though the metal panels and frame are steel. Either way, the case weighs just about 17 pounds empty.


The Building Experience

The Meshify 2 Compact is pleasantly easy to build into. As someone who also reviews motherboards, ever changing boards in and out of a PC, to me this case feels extra-well-suited to PC builders who will do a lot of component-swapping, not just a one-and-done PC build (though it’s good for that, too).

The motherboard tray accepts boards up to ATX in size, and it’s easy to fit them into position with nothing in the main section of the case to get in the way. Although you can’t fit an Extended ATX (E-ATX) board into this case, Fractal Design has larger, EATX-capable versions available that drop the “Compact” from the name; they are simply known as the Meshify 2(Opens in a new window) and Meshify 2 XL(Opens in a new window).

Mounting a power supply is also quite easy. This case has a removable mounting plate for the power supply that’s held on by two thumbscrews. To add the power supply, you just remove this plate, bolt it onto the PSU with four screws, slide the PSU in through the case’s rear, and screw the thumbscrews back into place. I personally prefer this mounting system for power supplies, as it removes the need to try and position the PSU in place as you bolt it on. You can also more easily pre-route the cables from the PSU as you insert the body from the chassis back.

The case has room, in theory, to mount up to six 2.5-inch storage devices, with two of the spots able to take a conventional 3.5-inch platter hard drive instead. At the bottom of the case is a hard drive cage that can hold either two 3.5-inch drives or two 2.5-inch drives, and on the back of the motherboard tray, you’ll see mounting trays for two 2.5-inch drives.

The case has room for two more 2.5-inch drives, but the case doesn’t ship with the hardware by default. That comes in the form of Universal Multibracket adapters(Opens in a new window) (about $15 a pair) that can be mounted close to the motherboard. You will need to purchase these Multibrackets separately if you want to have more than «just» four drives installed.

You can put these adapters in place of an existing fan at the case top (which can support two 120mm or 140mm fans, or a 240mm radiator), or on the case bottom, above the PSU. The latter location is the more sensible one, as you can’t mount fans here, and it leaves the top of the case free for you to add more fans or a liquid cooler later.

To make cabling easier, Fractal Design machined some holes around the motherboard tray for cables to pass through. These are lined in rubber to help prevent cables getting nicked on sharp edges of metal and to help hide wires on the right side of the case. The holes for this purpose are well-placed, and it makes getting everything in place quite easy. Also, Velcro ties are pre-installed behind the motherboard tray to help you keep wires routed neatly, though the solid panel on this side of the case does let you hide your cable troubles.


The Verdict: So Close to Perfect

Our overall experience with Fractal Design’s Meshify 2 Compact case was so positive that we had to take a break from writing this review to think critically about what truly makes a case perfect. We strongly considered giving the Meshify 2 Compact a perfect five-star score, but ultimately decided not to. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with this chassis, and we don’t have a single major complaint to leverage against it.

Case manufacturers, take notes. The Meshify 2 Compact case has a unique look, and a generous mix of fans and features. It’s not a weighty behemoth, and it’s easy to build in. We’d just like to see some tool-free drive mounts, easy enough to implement that most cases above the barest budget should have them by now (but not all do). We might quibble for a third or fourth USB Type-A port on the front/top panel, but that would be churlish considering the competition and the price.

If Fractal Design wants to make the Meshify 3 exactly the same as the Meshify 2 Compact but with these changes, we’ll likely consider stamping it with a perfect score, assuming the competition hasn’t bettered it by then. But for now Fractal, and discriminating PC builders, should be happy with a rating that is just short of that mark—and a chassis that’s not very far from the ideal builder’s case.

Like What You’re Reading?

Sign up for Lab Report to get the latest reviews and top product advice delivered right to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.

Thanks for signing up!

Your subscription has been confirmed. Keep an eye on your inbox!

Sign up for other newsletters

Best Mid Tower PC Case 2022

Build your gaming PC with the best ATX Case

By Kevin Lee, Danielle Abraham

Updated: Sep 12, 2022 6:05 am

Posted: Aug 26, 2022 11:00 am

The mid-tower ATX case is one of those PC parts that has been around forever dutifully holding our gear, and yet rarely gets the respect it deserves. Sure, it’s not as flamboyant as a massive full tower, or as charming as a small Mini-ITX case, but that’s why we like it. The best gaming PC chassis doesn’t need to take up a lot of space, can be as unassuming as you wish, and yet can hold a ton of hardware while allowing for semi-radical cooling and high-end builds. And since mid towers accept full-sized ATX motherboards, the world is your oyster when shopping for parts.

With this in mind, we have rounded up a few of the best mid-tower cases for consideration in your next build. These options offer a variety of features, including flashy RGB lighting, sleek designs, and loads of cooling. We’ve made these selections based on our many years of PC building expertise, so without further ado here are the top mid-tower PC cases for you to ogle, and consider when you get around to your next build. Click here to find them in the UK.

TL;DR – These are the Best Mid Tower PC Cases:

  • Lian Li Lancool III
  • Corsair 4000D Airflow
  • Phanteks Eclipse P300A
  • Cooler Master H500
  • NZXT H510 Flow
  • Lian Li O11 Dynamic Evo
  • Fractal Design Define 7
  • Phanteks Eclipse P600S
  • be quiet! Silent Base 802
  • Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact

1.

Lian Li Lancool III

Best Mid Tower PC Case

Lian Li Lancool III

Motherboard Size: E-ATX (max width: 280mm), ATX, mATX, mini-ITX | CPU Cooler Clearance: 187mm | GPU Clearance: 435mm | Fan Mounts: 3 x 120/140mm front; 3 x 120/140mm top; 1 x 120/140mm rear; 3 x 120mm above PSU | PSU Clearance: 220mm | Size: 20..59″ x 9.37″ x 20.71″ | Weight: 31 pounds

Lian Li can make a mean case, and the Lancool III exemplifies just how well. This case is ready for just about any build, as it can support up to E-ATX motherboards and down to mini-ITX boards. There’s ample space for various parts inside the case while keeping everything organized is made simple, thanks to a comprehensive cable management system, including magnetic cable cover doors and velcro straps. If you’re looking to load up on tons of storage, you can even fit up to 12 SSDs or four HDDs and eight SSDs. And swapping SSDs or other components in your rig is a breeze with hinged side panels and bottom shroud panels that quickly flip out for easy access inside — no tools necessary.

The Lancool III features a fine mesh design on the front, top, and bottom side panels for high airflow. Four 140mm fans, three in the front and one in the back, are even included in the kit for a wild amount of cooling power. If that’s still not enough fans, you can squeeze three additional 120mm fans above the power supply chamber. And you can take advantage of the space in the front, top, or above the PSU in the case to add a radiator to keep things even cooler. Clearly, the Lancool III is made for cooling, so overheating will be a thing of the past.

2. Corsair 4000D Airflow

Best Budget Mid Tower PC Case

Corsair 4000D Airflow

  • See it on Newegg
  • See it on Corsair

Motherboard Size: E-ATX, ATX, mATX, ITX | CPU Cooler Clearance: 170mm | GPU Clearance: 360mm | Fan Mounts: 3 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm front; 2 x 120/140mm top; 1 x 120mm rear | PSU Clearance: 180mm | Size: 18. 35″ x 9.06″ x 17.83″ | Weight: 17.31 pounds

If you’re not interested in an expensive and flashy RGB-lit case, then the Corsair 4000D Airflow is for you. Sure, you lose out on the cool lighting, but the tempered glass side panel can show off the RGB on your high-end components anyways. That panel also slides off for easy part swapping. And, you can squeeze in a wide range of systems from E-ATX to ITX builds. There’s tons of additional space for CPU air coolers, radiators, and large graphics cards, too. You can even slide in two SATA SSDs and two hard drives on top of however many PCIe SSDs your motherboard supports, giving you plenty of flexibility on storage.

Of course, airflow in a case matters. It might be the most important feature, and the 4000D Airflow has earned its name. It totes a well-ventilated front panel with room for three 120mm fans, and you can add even more fans to the top of the case. Plus, two fans are already included in the front and rear, so you’ve got a strong start for your cooling needs. The case also has plenty of cable tie down points to help you manage all those unsightly wires. However, we think your favorite feature might be the $105 price tag.

3. Phanteks Eclipse P300A

Best Ultra Cheap Mid Tower PC Case

Phanteks Eclipse P300A

Motherboard Size: ATX, mATX, ITX | CPU Cooler Clearance: 165mm | GPU Clearance: 355mm | Fan Mounts: 2 x 120/140mm front; 1 x 120/140mm top; 1 x 120mm rear | PSU Clearance: 200mm | Size: 18″ x 7.9″ x 15.9″ | Weight: 13.2 pounds

Sometimes you want to spend more on your internals and be a bit thrifty when it comes to your computer case. That’s where the $80 Phanteks Eclipse P300A steps in. It offers a decently spacious mid-tower to build in with loads of airflow. A metal mesh front panel helps move the heat out, and you can even use the front as an outlet for air blown through a radiator as large as 280mm. The case also features a filtered fan port on top, so you can direct airflow as needed. Plus, at this price, a rear exhaust fan is still included.

The Phanteks Eclipse P300A is pretty roomy, and it fits most motherboards as well as full-sized power supplies. There’s plenty of space for storage with two mounting points for 2.5-inch SSDs and two 3.5-inch drive trays that slide out of the front of the case. Phanteks provides zip ties to help with capable management as well. And, you can see everything working inside thanks to the tempered glass side panel.

4. Cooler Master H500

Best High-Airflow Mid Tower PC Case

Cooler Master H500

  • See it on Walmart

Motherboard Size: ATX, mATX, ITX | CPU Cooler Clearance: 167mm | GPU Clearance: 410mm | Fan Mounts: 3 x 120mm / 2 x 140/200mm front; 2 x 120/140mm / 1 x 200mm top; 1 x 120mm rear | PSU Clearance: 224mm | Size: 19. 76″ x 8.98″ x 20.67″ | Weight: 23.2 pounds

Do you tend to do a lot of overclocking? Then you want to snag a case with loads of airflow to ensure things keep cool even when your components are working their hardest, and the Cooler Master H500 is the best option for the job. First off, you get dual 200mm intake fans that move air like it’s nobody’s business while managing to stay super quiet. There are loads of additional fan mounts on the front, top, and rear to cool every last part of your PC. The mesh front and filtered ventilation system on top ensure that hot air gets out. Plus, you even have room for a liquid CPU cooler setup too, or a home-brew kit if you’re ready for it.

Everything is going to be kept nice and frosty while residing in the Cooler Master’s H500, so you can pack this case full of powerful parts. It fits a range of motherboards and has a large GPU clearance of 410mm. You can also add additional storage thanks to the four drive bays. And, to top everything off, you get an ARGB lighting system.

5. NZXT H510 Flow

Best Looking Mid Tower PC Case

NZXT H510 Flow

Motherboard Size: ATX, mATX, ITX | CPU Cooler Clearance: 165mm | GPU Clearance: 360mm | Fan Mounts: 2 x 120/140mm front; 1 x 120/140mm top; 1 x 120mm rear | PSU Clearance: 180mm | Size: 18.11″ x 8.26″ x 16.85″ | Weight: 14.5 pounds

NZXT has upgraded the great H510, but the NZXT H510 Flow sticks to its sleek and simple design. You’ll have an easy time making a clean setup inside the case as it features NZXT’s special cable management bar, which lets you route, attach, and effectively hide your cable runs. Since your computer’s interior is going to be that much easier to make pretty, the tempered glass side panel helps you show everything inside off.

The NZXT H510 Flow has ditched some of the glass this time around for more air intake. It’s now got a perforated top and front panel, letting loads of air come through to efficiently cool off internals. All of the air intakes on the case are also filtered, so you can worry less about dust slipping in and gunking up your system. To top off the cooling prowess, the NZXT H510 Flow comes with two case fans, one in the front and one in the rear, but it has room for an extra front fan and a top fan. There’s even room radiators up to 280mm.

6. Lian Li O11 Dynamic Evo

Best High-End Mid Tower PC Case

Lian Li O11 Dynamic Evo

Motherboard Size: E-ATX (width under 280mm), ATX, mATX, ITX | CPU Cooler Clearance: 167 mm | GPU Clearance: 422mm | Fan Mounts: 3 x 120mm side / 2 x 140mm; 3 x 120mm / 2 x140mm top; 3 x 120mm / 2 x140mm bottom; 1 x 120mm rear | PSU Clearance: 220mm | Size: 18.31″ x 11.22″ x 18.1″ |

If you’re looking to show off your build with a flashy case, the Lian Li O11 Dynamic Evo is the premium mid-tower of your dreams. This tower is built to impress with two tempered glass sides that display all of the high-end components you’re kitting out your PC with. The chassis is reversible, so you can experience the tempered glass showroom view from either the left or right side. Aside from showy tempered glass, aluminum fine mesh paneling allows for optimal airflow and dust filtering, helping keep the quality parts packed inside running smooth. A personalized ARGB lighting strip completes the stunning design.

The modular build of the Lian Li O11 Dynamic Evo makes the most of the space inside. There are tons of opportunities for cooling thanks to the upright GPU kit. In total, you can load this case up with three 360mm radiators and ten fans. The ample airflow also allows you to add ample storage, and it has space for nine SSDs or six HDDs plus three SSDs. And, if you’re worried about struggling to mount everything, it shouldn’t be too difficult thanks to quick release brackets for the fans and anti-sag brackets for the GPU.

7. Fractal Design Define 7

Best Minimalist PC Case

Fractal Design Define 7

  • See it on Amazon (with metal side panel)

Motherboard Size: E-ATX, ATX, mATX, ITX | CPU Cooler Clearance: 185mm | GPU Clearance: 491mm | Fan Mounts: 3 x 120/140mm front; 3 x 120/140mm top; 1 x 120/140mm rear; 2 x 120/140mm bottom | PSU Clearance: 250mm | Size: 18. 70″ x 9.45″ x 21.54″ | Weight: 29.65 pounds

When it comes to subtlety, Fractal Design has it all figured out with the Define 7. This case doesn’t go all out with wild, RGB fans and lights, rather sticking to a simple but refined design. It’s also built to stay quiet with sound-damped panels on the front, top, and sides. And, if airflow is a major concern, the sleek steel top panel can be swapped out for filtered ventilation. There’s also a tempered glass side panel to see all your high-end components inside.

The Define 7 has three panels that pop off to offer easy access while building or modding your PC, and there is loads of room to do just that. The case’s open layout allows for pretty much any motherboard, including E-ATX. Plus, it can fit up to nine fans for extreme cooling and even a 420mm radiator can be squeezed in. There’s room for up to 14 hard drives and 4 SATA SSDs providing ample storage. Plus, you get loads of port variety on the top of the case.

8. Phanteks Eclipse P600S

Best Modular Mid-Tower Case

Phanteks Eclipse P600S

Motherboard Size: E-ATX, ATX, mATX, ITX | CPU Cooler Clearance: 190mm | GPU Clearance: 435mm | Fan Mounts: 3 x 120/140mm front; 3 x 120 / 2 x 140mm top; 1 x 120/140mm rear | PSU Clearance: 200mm | Size: 20.5″ x 9.45″ x 20.1″ | Weight: 29.76 pounds

To a degree, most computer cases you’ll find are somewhat modular. After all, you get to choose what kind of motherboard you want to install, how many fans, what type of storage, and so on. Some might limit you, but the bigger they are, the more options they generally provide. But, the Phanteks Eclipse P600S goes the extra mile. This case provides plenty of room for your choice of even E-ATX motherboards, but a special bracket you can buy lets you build a secondary ITX-based system right inside the same case as your primary system. Imagine having your streaming system built inside your gaming system.

Beyond the motherboards, the Phanteks Eclipse P600S has room for a ton of large fans or radiators, and it even includes a PWM hub to support eight fans. You’ll find an anti-sag bracket if you choose to mount your graphics card horizontally, but there’s also a vertical mounting bracket. And, there are a ton of bays for storage, with ten slots for hard drives and three for SSDs. Even the front of the case is modular with an acoustic front panel for silent operation. However, you can remove it to increase airflow.

9. be quiet! Silent Base 802

Best Silenced Mid-Tower PC Case

be quiet! Silent Base 802

  • See it on Amazon

Motherboard Size: E-ATX, ATX, mATX, ITX | CPU Cooler Clearance: 185mm | GPU Clearance: 285mm | Fan Mounts: 3 x 120/140mm front; 3 x 120/140mm top; 1 x 140mm rear; 1 x 120/140mm above PSU | PSU Clearance: 288mm | Size: 20. 83″ x 11.06″ x 21.77″ | Weight: 29 pounds

When it comes to silent PC parts, be quiet! is a brand you can count on, so why not go with a full case for silent operation? That’s just what you get with the Silent Base 802 PC case. It totes three of be quiet!’s own Pure Wings 2 140mm fans already pre-installed, so you’ll get hushed cooling right off the bat. There’s also the option of ventilated front and top panels or solid panels to cut down on noise. And, if you want the option to easily go from minimal noise to maximum cooling, a four-step fan controller on the top of the case lets you quickly manage up to six fans at once.

The Silent Base 802 mid-tower is designed for quiet PC builds big and small with support for E-ATX motherboards on the large end and ITX on the small end. The case has an extra trick with a moveable motherboard tray that lets you invert the layout to control airflow how you see fit. You can also fit in a CPU air cooler up to 185mm tall or you can go all in on liquid cooling with support for a front-mounted 420mm radiator or top-mounted 360mm radiator.

10. Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact

Best Mesh Mid-Tower PC Case

Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact

Motherboard Size: ATX, mATX, ITX | CPU Cooler Clearance: 169mm | GPU Clearance: 360mm (without front fan), 341mm (with front fan) | Fan Mounts: 3 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm front; 2 x 120/140mm top; 1 x 120mm rear; 1 x 120mm bottom | PSU Clearance: 200mm (without front fan and HDD cage) | Size: 16.7″ x 8.26″ x 17.9″ | Weight: 17 pounds

If you’re concerned about performance, then you’re probably going to want a PC case that has plenty of airflow. Mesh is essential in ensuring your case fans have easy access to cool air and a place for fans to push out the hot air. The Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact is designed with this in mind. The case has a subdued aesthetic with a stylish mesh front panel. A nylon filter is included to help keep dust out of your computer, but you can remove it for even more airflow if needed.

The rest of the case continues to offer more potential cooling options. You can fit two fans on top of the case, one on the bottom, and one more for the exhaust on the rear. For the price, Fractal Design includes three Dynamic X2 fans: two 140mm and one 120mm. Don’t worry about not being able to show off your rig, though, as the case also has a tinted glass side panel.

Where to Get the Best Mid Tower PC Case in the UK

Cooler Master MasterCase H500

Corsair 4000D

Kevin Lee is IGN’s SEO Updates Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.

If you buy something through this post, IGN may get a share of the sale. For more, learn more.

Biomutant — Official PS5 and Xbox Series X/S Launch Trailer

Biomutant is now available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, with the new version featuring HDR support, faster loading times, and running at up to 60 FPS. Check out the release trailer for another look at the action RPG.If you already own Biomutant on PS4 or Xbox One you can upgrade for free and transfer your old save files and achievements.

Hocus Pocus 2 — Official Teaser Trailer

Check out the teaser trailer for Hocus Pocus 2.It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now, it’s up to three high school students to stop the trio of witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy reunite for the highly anticipated Disney Plus Original, Hocus Pocus 2. The sequel also stars Doug Jones, Whitney Peak, Lilia Buckingham, Belisa Escobedo, Hannah Waddingham, Tony Hale, Sam Richardson, Juju Brener, Froy Gutierrez, Taylor Paige Henderson, and Nina Kitchen.Directed by Anne Fletcher and written by Jen D’Angelo, Hocus Pocus 2 will debut on Disney+ on September 30, 2022.

Loading

Rewind Theater — Assassin’s Creed 15th Anniversary: Leap Into History

Atomic Heart — Combat Trailer

Atomic Heart gets a fresh, brutal new trailer, showcasing combat and more from this upcoming first-person shooter game. Check it out to see various enemies meet their end. Atomic Heart is heading to PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Game Pass, and PC.

How to choose a CPU cooler

07/09/2022

Author: Alexey Ivanov

1 star2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars

How to Choose a CPU Cooler: Top Models Ranked

4

5

1

11

1

Choosing a desktop CPU cooler is not that hard. Most modern CPU cooling systems do their job more or less efficiently, even in a budget version. CHIP will tell you which model to choose and offer a rating of coolers that are relevant this year.

A huge variety of CPU coolers on the market is a definite plus for users. You can always choose the most efficient and inexpensive option for your new build. However, for those who do not yet have experience in selecting components or simply intend to upgrade the processor, you will need to study a lot of sites and forums in order not to miss the choice of the right model. We have collected in this article all the necessary information that will introduce you to the topic, and at the end you will also find a list of the most interesting coolers in 2022.

Contents

  • Like the processor, like the cooler
  • Efficient cooler is the key to the correct operation of the processor
  • Which cooler is better to choose: boxed or third-party?
  • Which is more efficient: an aluminum radiator or with copper pipes?
  • Which design to choose?
  • Connection type: 3 and 4 pins
  • How do I know if the cooler is suitable for the processor?
  • Why do I need a margin of TDP when choosing a cooler?
  • Best CPU coolers in 2022 for different PC types

When choosing a cooler, follow the horse and cart rule. First of all, a processor is selected for your tasks. Accordingly, if this is an office PC, which in most cases will be loaded only with document processing and corresponding graphics, then such a processor also needs a cooler with low or medium performance. If you are buying a powerful processor for resource-intensive tasks — games, photo and video processing, then the cooler should be powerful enough.

We mean that it makes no sense to buy a tower cooler for a weak office PC, designed for top processors and gaming systems. The processor from this will not work faster.

Not many people know that modern processors have the ability to dynamically (in real time, depending on the load) automatically increase the clock frequency, which, accordingly, sharply increases their heating.

If at the same time the temperature goes beyond the operating range, the frequency is also automatically reduced, and as a result, the user feels a decrease in PC performance. This effect is called CPU throttling.

What is considered a normal processor temperature? Of course, for different processors it may differ, and depends on the characteristics of the «stone». But we will give the maximum values ​​that can be called normal temperatures for any processors.

  • Operation

    5 common mistakes when building a computer yourself

  • In idle mode, temperatures up to 45 degrees Celsius are considered normal;
  • In operating mode under load, the temperature can rise to 65 degrees Celsius. For Intel processors, this value can reach 75 degrees, and AMD — 80.

A higher temperature reading from the CPU gauges indicates that your desktop PC has a cooling problem and needs to be fixed. Of course, the processor will not burn out and fail, but, for example, at 95-100 degrees, the system can automatically turn off the power to avoid damage to the CPU. By the way, if your computer turns off by itself a few minutes after turning it on, you should first check if the radiator is clogged with dust. Also, the cause of overheating may be drying of the thermal paste between the processor and the radiator pad. This also needs to be checked periodically and the thermal paste changed from time to time.

You can check the operating mode of your processor using the free utility HWMonitor, which you can download from the official website. Regular checks will allow you to monitor the state of the processor and carry out preventive maintenance of the cooling system in time.

By the way, this advice directly applies to owners of laptops with an active cooling system. It is in them that the accumulation of dust in the hot air exhaust system, increased fan noise and reduced performance are most often observed.

  • Tips

    How to clean your laptop from dust yourself: step by step instructions

As experience shows, beginners building their first PC often prefer to purchase a processor with a cooler (BOX option). As a result, the understanding comes that more efficient and quiet solutions are coolers from third-party manufacturers, in which both radiators have a design with better heat transfer and fans are quieter and more productive. In addition, a simple analysis of online prices shows that a boxed processor turns out to be slightly more expensive than the OEM version of the CPU and a separately purchased cooler from a third-party manufacturer. The conclusion is simple: the second option is best.

Aluminum cooler heatsink is a budget solution for office PCs. Although almost all CPU heatsinks are made of aluminum, their design, as well as special types of fans, play a decisive role in cooling efficiency.

Coolers for work and gaming PCs feature copper heatpipes that are integrated into the aluminum heatsink structure. They provide faster heat dissipation from the processor. Therefore, for simple office and home PCs, coolers with aluminum radiators are enough, and for systems with powerful gaming processors, it is best to use radiators with copper pipes.

🔹 Yandex.Zen🔹 Vkontakte🔹 Telegram🔹 Pulse Mail.ru

CPU cooler manufacturers, after much research, came up with three types of designs for their devices, each of which is oriented to specific CPU operating conditions.

Classic : Typically used in office and home PC cases where processors do not experience excessive stress. The shape of the platform of such heatsinks for Intel processors is round, for AMD it is square.

These coolers are highly reliable, low cost, but quite noisy even without load.

Top-Flow : This design is a good and not very expensive solution for home and gaming PCs. As in the classical scheme, here the fan is parallel to the processor surface, but their more massive plate heatsink is placed on copper heat pipes at a certain distance from the processor.

The air flow is taken from the outside of the case from the holes in the side wall and directed to the surface of the motherboard, due to this, those components that are located near the CPU are also cooled.

Tower : this cooler option is the most expensive, but also the most efficient. Its design has heat pipes connecting the heatsink to the base of the cooler. Well, the design efficiency is achieved due to the air flow to the radiator along the motherboard. The number of fans can be more than one, and hot air is blown out by case fans.

LSS : Liquid cooling systems are a separate class here, especially relevant for powerful processors and systems that require serious overclocking. The efficiency of such coolers is much higher than that of classic «air coolers» due to faster heat removal with the help of a moving liquid coolant. True, their cost is noticeably higher, and the design of the LSS is much more complicated.

  • Tips

    Still Backwater: Assembling a PC Water Cooling System

Most modern motherboards support a 4-pin cooler fan connection. This means that these boards provide support for PWM technology (pulse-width modulation PWM controller) to automatically adjust the fan speed depending on the current temperature of the processor.

Connection of fans through a block with three contacts allows you to control the speed manually. This solution is mainly used for case fans.

To make choosing a CPU cooler as easy as possible, their manufacturers immediately indicate which socket it is intended for and its efficiency in TDP (Thermal Design Power). The last parameter is power dissipation, which determines how much heat such a design can remove.

To make it easier for you to determine how to choose a cooler for the processor, we will conditionally distinguish several groups by power dissipation for certain types of tasks. But in practice, you can follow one simple rule: the TDP of the cooler should be significantly higher than the TDP of the processor. In this case, he will not have to constantly work at maximum speed, and this will not only increase his survivability, but also make your PC less noisy.

Cooler power dissipation PC type
Up to 45 W for office
45 — 65 W for multimedia
65 — 80 W for gaming middle class
80 — 120 W for high end gaming
Over 120 W powerful gaming or professional PCs, also overclocked processors

Another equally important parameter, especially for home PCs, is the noise produced by the fan in idle and under load. If the noise level does not exceed 25 dB, such a system is considered quiet. It depends on the design of the radiator and blades, and on the fan speed. The latter value, as a rule, does not exceed 1500 rpm.

The type of bearing affects the durability of the fan: there are plain, hydrodynamic and rolling bearings. There are also modifications: slides with screw thread, ceramic rolling bearing, hydrodynamic oil pressure. The most optimal is a hydrodynamic bearing, which is not as expensive as rolling bearings, with a resource comparable to it.

As we mentioned above, under high load, the processor is able to exceed the heat dissipation declared by the manufacturer, especially for powerful multi-core processors. Well, the overclocked processor has a higher TDP by default. Often overestimate the capabilities of their coolers and their manufacturers. For example, a budget cooler with a claimed power dissipation of 95 W can actually cool processors with a TDP of no more than 65 W. Therefore, when choosing a cooler, it is desirable to have a certain reserve in terms of cooling capabilities. In addition, such a unit will not be able to operate at maximum speed, which means there will be less noise and it will last longer.

If you do not plan to overclock the processor, then it is better to choose a model with a TDP margin of at least 30%. In case of possible overclocking, the margin should be about 50%. However, for office and home office PCs, the stock is not so necessary. For them, coolers are already made with a margin for heat dissipation.

AeroCool BAS U-PWM

A very inexpensive processor cooler that can be used in office PCs based on AMD processors and not the latest Intel models. A low-noise fan with a diameter of 120 mm is installed here and a speed change from 1000 to 2000 rpm is supported, and the cooler itself is designed for processors with a TDP of up to 110 watts.

Deepcool ICE EDGE MINI FS V2.

0

The comparable Deepcool ICE EDGE MINI FS V2.0 tower cooler is designed for weaker processors with a TDP of up to 100W, but can be used in a company with more modern Intel CPUs on an LGA 1200 socket. It has an 80mm fan on hydrodynamic bearing with rotation speed up to 2200 rpm. At the same time, the cooler is even quieter than the previous model and at its peak produces a noise level of no higher than 24.7 dB.

Deepcool GAMMAXX 400 V2

This cooler is twice as expensive, but also much more serious. almost all consumer solutions from AMD and Intel. In addition to an impressive radiator with an enlarged surface, there are four heat pipes, and a 120 mm cooling fan uses a hydrodynamic bearing. The cooler itself is compatible with AMD processors on socket AM4 and Intel processors on LGA1700/1200/1151/1150/1155. There is also a favorite LED backlight.

Cooler Master MasterAir MA612 Stealth

This is a real monster among air CPU coolers that will effortlessly cope with any modern consumer processors and will be able to compete on equal terms even with far from the cheapest liquid coolers. It has two 120 mm fans, and six heat pipes make up the company of a massive radiator. All in all, it’s one of the most efficient air coolers on the market, but it’s not exactly affordable either.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R RGB

There are more powerful and more efficient liquid cooling systems on the market, but the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R RGB is simply unmatched in terms of price/features. It can work with processors with TDP up to 180 W, and even in extremely unfavorable conditions, the noise level of the LSS does not exceed 25 dBA. The disadvantage of the system is the same as that of all other LSS — rather large dimensions. Take this into account when buying it.

See also

  • Water cooling systems: why are they needed and how expensive?
  • How to remove the cooler from the processor: step by step instructions

Tags

cooler

Author

Alexey Ivanov

Was the article interesting?

Share link

By clicking on the «Subscribe» button,
you consent to the processing of personal data

Recommended

Advertising on CHIP
Contacts

TOP-7.

The best tower coolers for CPU cooling. August 2022. Rating!

Author Anatoly Vorontsov Reading 7 min. Views 261 Posted
Updated

Hello everyone! The selection of high-quality processor cooling when assembling a computer is no less important than the choice of the stone itself. After all, it will depend on cooling whether the CPU will give maximum performance, whether it will be possible to overclock it, and how long the chip will last without degradation. In this review, I decided to collect the top seven tower coolers for processors.

Contents

  • AMD: AM4
  • standard fan: 2x 120 mm
  • Room speed: 500-1500 rpm
  • Noise level: ≤ 27. 6 dB
  • Power Conventor: 4 PIN
  • Highlight: no
  • Height: 157.5 mm mm mm mm mm.
  • Weight: 891 gr. This is a mid-range device with a maximum power dissipation of 180 watts. 4 heat pipes 6 mm in diameter, a massive radiator and a couple of turntables with a diameter of 120 mm help him in this. The model is made in a simple style and will please the eye of those who are accustomed to calm tones without backlighting. The tower can be placed on any modern platform, including the LGA 1700. Due to the fact that there are 2 fans here, the manufacturer was able to limit their maximum speed in order to achieve a low noise level with the same air flow that would be created by one high-speed fan, so the cooler does not not only efficient, but also quiet.
  • Backlight: no
  • Height: 154 mm
  • Weight: 1200 g
  • The next cooler is a bit more expensive, but it’s a serious, massive tower with a TDP of 220 watts. It will be an excellent choice for low-cost builds on old, gluttonous and hot Intel Xeon processors. The model owes its high efficiency to a powerful heatsink and five heat pipes 6 mm in diameter. There are also a couple of turntables, as in the previous solution, but here they can spin up to higher speeds, which, of course, led to an increase in noise at maximum speeds. On the other hand, it will be difficult to fire them up to one hundred percent, but even so they are not particularly noisy. Just a little louder than the competition. By the way, despite the much more massive overall dimensions and greater efficiency, this cooler is even a little smaller than the Deepcool solution in height, which means it will fit into a larger number of cases.

  • Backlight: RGB
  • Height: 164 mm
  • Weight: 1030 g
  • If you want something prettier, but not much more expensive and just as effective, then Deepcool has something to offer you. True, you will have to choose a case into which coolers with a height of at least 164 millimeters will fit. If this is not a problem, then you can safely take AS500 with a cover on the upper edge of the radiator, which is also highlighted along the contour. The backlight is RGB and can be adjusted according to preference. The maximum power dissipation of the device is 220 watts, and there is only one fan. But this spinner is already 140 millimeters, and to achieve maximum air flow, it needs to accelerate to only one thousand two hundred revolutions per minute. As a result, the AS500 turned out to be one of the quietest coolers in today’s top.

  • standard fan: 2x 140 mm
  • rotation speed: 400-1400 rpm
  • Noise level: ≤ 26.8 dB
  • Power Connector: 4 PIN
  • Higher Issue: no
  • MASE: 1464: 1464 gr
  • This cooler will be the real flagships of the world of air cooling. A tower weighing one and a half kilograms, equipped with as many as seven heat pipes, is capable of removing up to two hundred and eighty watts of heat! This indicator can be compared with a good dropsy, for example. This monster is blown by 2 high-quality fans of 140 millimeters each with a maximum noise level of no more than twenty-seven decibels. This option will appeal not only to those who assemble a modern system, but also to enthusiasts who regularly drive on old hardware, because even old AMD sockets are supported here. In general, I would call GamerStormAssassin III the best solution in terms of price and performance to date.

  • Backlight: no
  • Height: 163 mm
  • Weight: 1130 gr
  • the company offers really quiet cooling. The maximum noise of the installed fans in this model barely exceeds 24 decibels even at maximum speed. Simply put, in a closed case you will not hear this tower under any load. At the same time, the model is capable of an impressive 250 watts due to the heavy radiator and seven heat pipes. By the way, it’s worth noting that Dark Rock Pro 4 already only supports the forthcoming AMD AM5 socket, which is certainly cool for an upgrade in the future.

  • Backlight: no
  • Height: 160 mm
  • Weight: 1150 gr
  • Another manufacturer of quiet and high-quality coolers is, of course, Noctua. The top model of the company is considered one of the best air cooling systems in principle. Its 6 heat pipes and a massive heatsink are blown by a branded fan with a diameter of 140 millimeters with a special impeller that allows you to capture a lot of air at a relatively low rotation speed. It is also worth noting the minimum speed of the turntable, which drops to only three hundred watts. At this speed, it is simply unrealistic to hear it. So if you want a versatile, quiet and efficient tower, then you definitely shouldn’t pass by the Noctua NH-D15S.

  • Noise level: 21-45 dB
  • Power connector: 4 pin
  • Backlight: no
  • Height: 163 mm
  • Weight: 1170 g This is achieved by using a record number of heat pipes in the design — eight pieces, as well as by accelerating the turntables of 140 millimeters in diameter to two thousand five hundred revolutions! Yes, at maximum load it’s unlikely that you won’t hear this, but processors that require all the power of this cooler should be cooled with custom liquid cooling systems, and not with budget air. Yes, for its money and characteristics, this tower can be called inexpensive.

    Top 10 HP desktop PCs for everyday use — Anna Roccova on vc.ru

    The average person spends nearly 11 hours a day looking at a screen. From scrolling through social media to emailing important customers, computers have become part of our social, professional and personal life. This proliferation of computer companions means that we now need to choose the right model to help us do our jobs faster and more efficiently. But with so many options on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? Unless you’re a digital nomad who needs the portability of a laptop, a desktop might make more sense. Whether you’re a home parent or a lawyer in private practice, a desktop computer comes in handy for all your computing needs. Choose between towers, feature-packed desktops and high performance desktops to take control every day with total confidence. HP® offers the best desktops for everyday users who want to stay connected to the online world. No matter what you need, there’s bound to be a PC that’s perfect for any office or home.

    470
    views

    What are the benefits of a tower desktop?

    The tower desktop is a standard configuration in many home offices and businesses. The monitor is accompanied by a standing tower that houses all the hardware for your computer. Processing speed, RAM and peripheral connectivity are just a few of the characteristics controlled by your chosen tower. One of the main advantages of a tower desktop is the ability to customize your setup. If you want to upgrade your graphics card for better image quality, outdated parts are easy to replace with the latest and greatest technology. Need more RAM when you’re getting ready for a big project? extra gigabytes of memory is very easy. Towers are great for cooling hot hardware when you’re doing powerful tasks for a long period of time. Tower desktops can prevent overheating and unexpected computer crashes much better than laptops with smaller fans. It’s also much easier repair a tower than a computer with built-in hardware (such as an all-in-one laptop or desktop computer). Opening the case, accessing the wiring, and clearing the dust takes very little time, making a desktop tower the best choice for a computer that will last year after year. If you’re looking for a powerful and reliable desktop for browsing and working, check out some of the best desktops HP® has to offer. Of course, do not forget about the prices. A stylish and powerful computer may not be affordable for everyone. But if you need it, you can always use urgent loans from Moyzaem. to realize your plans.

    1. HP Slimline

    Desktop PC

    If you’re interested in green technology, the HP Slimline Desktop is ENERGY STAR® certified, which means you’ll get the most out of everything you do.

    This compact desktop is perfect for or under your workstation so you can maximize productivity and minimize clutter. An Intel® Pentium Silver processor delivers fast download speeds so you can get an 8GB movie in just one minute. With more dynamic media viewing, viewing media content in a bright room is easier than ever. A DVD slot, multiple external ports, dual monitor support, and 5.1 surround sound provide multiple ways to connect accessories or cut out the noise of everyday life.

    2. HP Pavilion 590 Desktop PC

    Get more done than ever before with the HP Pavilion 590 Desktop. Boot up in seconds, this powerful tower features a Hexa-Core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost capabilities. when complex tasks need more power. 16 GB of Intel Optane ™ memory speeds up your computer so you get nothing but superior performance. and play the next time you turn it on. When you’re looking for the best desktop PC, this one definitely works.

    What are the benefits of a universal desktop?

    In addition to tower desktops, you also have a compact all-in-one desktop option. Think of it like a giant laptop that sits on your desk. All hardware is built into the back of the screen, allowing you to clutter bulky towers and keep your workplace clean. If you’re not interested in customizing your PC, the portability and convenience of a multifunction device make it an obvious choice for everyday use. Move it from room to room without the need for computer engineering and take advantage of great features such as touch screen capabilities and wireless accessories. Not to mention, the setup process for all-in-one desktop PCs is incredibly easy. Just plug it in, hit start, and watch your Windows operating system boot up. who want a stylish, efficient and simple home Desktop.

    3. HP ENVY AiO Curved Desktop

    Dive into a magical new world with the ultimate computer cream: the HP ENVY Curved All-in-One Desktop. The ultra-slim 34″ quad HD (QHD) display delivers a level of home entertainment you’ve never seen before. Perfect for movie buffs, graphic designers and video game enthusiasts, the curved edges keep you in focus on the screen in front of you and prevent distraction from interrupting flow.To match a stunning display, the 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor lets you perform complex tasks and runs seamlessly with NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 integrated graphics for the ultimate multimedia experience. Get up to 16GB of RAM to store all your important files and enhance your experience with exceptional Bang & Olufsen speakers to immerse yourself in sound. One of the best all-in-one computers on the market, you’ll crave more screen time as soon as you turn off your computer during the day.

    4. HP 22″ AiO Desktop

    The classic design of the HP 22 all-in-one desktop matches any home office décor. Its modern tilting stand and touch screen make it perfect for both work and play. Plus, you can chat Chat with extended family with an HD camera equipped with a slide switch for ultimate privacy. A rugged Intel Core i3 processor keeps this desktop running clutter-free and higher-performing all-in-ones. But that doesn’t mean it can’t strike. Five external ports and Bluetooth wireless technology make it a great choice for users looking for an all-in-one family PC for home use.

    5. HP Pavilion 27″ AiO Desktop

    Work, every day. With a quad-core i5 processor, a 27-inch anti-glare display, and a DVD drive slot, this desktop really can’t do anything. HP Pavilion 27 All-in-One PC. This all-in-one works seamlessly with Windows 10 Home, delivering the best possible desktop performance. Access a redesigned startup menu, Cortana digital voice assistant, and new biometric security features to keep your PC safe from prying eyes. keep your desktop clean, providing maximum workspace no matter the size of your home.

    What are the benefits of a high performance desktop?

    Sometimes the standard desktop just won’t cut it. Video editors, hardcore gamers, and programmers may want a home PC that can take off a notch. That’s where the high-performance desktop comes in. These machines enhance your ability to mix and match hard drive and hard drive storage options. Those thoroughbred folks in the desktop world are loaded more memory than you’ll ever use, and they handle all your most creative tasks. When you’re looking for the best desktops in the business, high-performance models win the gold medal every time.

    6. HP ENVY

    Desktop PC

    If you want to take full control of your PC, HP ENVY is the holy grail of high performance desktop PCs. Connect up to 3 monitors to surround yourself with a digital world that you can control with your fingers. The sound control panel allows you to fine-tune your speakers so you get the precise levels you need to amplify any sound track. Plus, use 32 GB of storage to store large files that would freeze standard desktops. The chrome metal exterior makes it look like a space age tech, and the performance certainly proves that this tower desktop is a step into the future.

    What are the best desktops for gaming?

    Are you ready to blast your opponents to smithereens? To make your dreams of gaming glory come true, choosing the perfect desktop to push you to the top of the leaderboard is essential. Exceptional graphics, powerful processors and the ability to upgrade legacy features are all essential to to catapult you into gamer prominence.

    7. HP OMEN 880 9 gaming computer0003

    Stay calm even when the competition heats up with versatile air vents, a 120mm front fan and optional liquid cooling to keep your PC running through the most intense combat. Easily set up your gaming rig with a tool-free door for quick service access and quick access to frequently used files with 16MB cache. The

    HP OMEN 880 is one of the best desktops out there, making it ideal for relentless gamers who are crooked for overclocking and going for gold in the latest RPG release.

    8. HP Pavilion

    Gaming Desktop

    Innovative craftsmanship and dynamic performance make the HP Pavilion gaming PC a force to be reckoned with. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti dedicated graphics make screen tearing a thing of the past. at the top of the food chain. Equipped with an elegant appearance and green LED lighting, there is no doubt that this is one of the best desktops for serious gamers.

    What are the best desktops for business?

    When it’s time to zip up and get to work, the right desktop can make all the difference. Take your business productivity to the next level with a PC that can handle the tough demands of 9 to 5 jobs. horses are an absolute must for the ambitious business professional. Collaborate with colleagues, expand processing capabilities with ease, and save precious office space with compact designs.

    9. HP EliteDesk 800 G4 SFF Desktop

    Are you handling sensitive information? Protect your work with HP Sure Start Gen4 self-healing security measures. This innovative technology detects malicious threats to your BIOS when you boot your desktop every day. If a threat is detected, HP Sure Start will automatically restore your BIOS to the latest safe version to neutralize any cyber threats you may encounter. With Thunderbolt ports, you can transfer large files in the blink of an eye. Gone are the days of slow downloads and wasted company time. The HP EliteDesk 800 G4 Desktop Small Form Factor is designed to give you the flexibility and performance you need to achieve career-defining moments.

    10. HP Z8 Desktop Workstation

    HP Z8 Desktop Workstation, one of the world’s finest desktops, is built for the most imaginative visionaries of our time. Edit 8K video in real time or run 3D simulations to create digital realms like never before seen.1,5 A TB of memory offers a huge amount of space, while 56 cores maximize processing speed, all without sacrificing a sleek and sophisticated design. Not to mention, this desktop is super quiet. A series of strategically placed ventilation ducts and air ducts lets you run all your hardcore PCs on DL. Whether you’re getting ready to explore the world of VR or putting together your next Oscar-winning movie, you’ll never be disappointed with the power this desktop has to offer.

    So how do I choose?

    When it comes time to choose the best home desktop, it all comes down to what you plan to use it for. Families who want to share photos online and Skype with grandma have very different needs than passionate video gamers who want to make their way to stardom . Start by assessing your own needs, the physical space you have, and the budget you can afford. If your budget at the moment does not allow you to purchase such a computer, services such as online loans are common today, which will allow you to quickly and easily realize your plans to purchase such computers. With all these factors in mind, you can start equipping your home with a desktop or all-in-one computer that delivers the best results you’ve ever seen.

    6 best computer coolers

    The cooling system is the most important component of the system unit. The efficiency of the computer largely depends on what kind of cooler it is equipped with. With the right cooling, the PC is able to achieve truly huge overclocking amplitudes without overheating, especially at the points of contact with the motherboard. Our guide tells about what coolers are. Today we will talk about six models, we will designate their features, advantages and disadvantages.

    Do not forget to subscribe to our Telegram channel.

    Contents:

    1. Large coolers (from 150 mm)
    2. Medium coolers (75 — 150 mm)
    3. Low profile coolers (less than 75mm)

    Large coolers (from 150 mm)

    Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 — versatility

    The cooler has two towers. It is equipped with an aluminum heatsink. The base of the device is made of copper, while the heat pipes and aluminum fins are nickel-plated.

    Heat exchange between the processor and the heat sink is provided by heat pipes, there are seven of them. Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 is equipped with a fan that rotates between 850 and 1700 rpm.

    There are two fans, thanks to which more air is circulated, which means that cooling is faster. The cooler effectively cools the processors with heat dissipation equal to 250W. They can be from both AMD and Intel. Mounting feet are supplied as a set.

    Advantages:

    • low noise level — 13.2 — 26. 1 dB;
    • large size — 135 x 135 x 22 mm;
    • beautiful appearance.

    Disadvantages:

    • difficult to install;
    • relatively high cost — 7 thousand rubles.

    Recommendations:

    12 best thermal pastes

    15 Best Computer Cases

    16 Best CPU Coolers

    Noctua NH-D15 — high speed operation

    The radiator in the model, as in many others, is made of durable aluminum, as this material does not allow the device to overheat quickly. The base is made of copper alloy, which prevents the occurrence of various kinds of damage.

    The cooler is equipped with two fans for better CPU cooling. Even during acceleration and under heavy loads, the temperature does not rise above 40 degrees. The kit includes adapters, fasteners and even a screwdriver.

    SEE ALSO

    15 best hard drives for PC

    Pros:

    • tower design;
    • high rotation speed — 1500 rpm;
    • efficient cooling;

    Disadvantages:

    • a little noisy at maximum speed;
    • heavy weight — 1360 g;
    • is relatively expensive — 6500 rubles.

    Medium coolers (75 — 150 mm)

    DeepCool Gammaxx 400 — versatility and beautiful design

    The cooler has plastic transparent covers on the sides. During operation, it is highlighted in blue, which makes the system unit attractive. The device is installed on both AMD and Intel processors.

    Designed with four tubes that transfer heat from the copper base to the aluminum fin array.

    The 120 x 120 mm fan is mounted on a hydrodynamic bearing and independently selects the rotation speed. The maximum fan makes 1500 rpm. The kit comes with thermal paste, thermal interface and everything you need to fix the sockets.

    Advantages:

    • small width makes it possible to install high RAM bars;
    • efficient cooling;
    • low cost — 1400 rubles.

    Faults:

    • noisy operation.

    Read also

    15 power supply for computers

    NOCTUA NH-Uh9DX I4-wide compatibility

    New cooler is suitable for modern platforms and the most common cocts. The manufacturer declares a premium product class for technical devices that use Intel Xeon processors.

    The small size of the cooler does not in any way affect the efficiency of the cooling process. The height of the product is 125 mm, and the length is 71 mm. Such compactness allows you to combine the cooler with a standard 4U server case.

    Includes two 92mm NF-B9 fans and an adapter that reduces the speed and therefore the noise level.

    SEE ALSO

    12 best video cards

    Pros:

    • quiet operation;
    • efficient cooling;
    • optimal price — 4 thousand rubles.

    Deficiencies:

    • not found.

    Low profile coolers (less than 75mm)

    Be Quiet! Shadow Rock LP — Quiet Operation

    The 120mm x 120mm cooler does a great job of keeping the CPU cool. Nickel-plated aluminum heatsink is responsible for this. The device has four tubes through which heat is removed.

    The maximum cooler produces 1500 rpm, if necessary, the adjustment is made automatically. The kit includes a mounting kit for sockets and thermal paste.

    Advantages:

    • effective cooling;
    • low noise;
    • compatible with modern CPU sockets.

    Disadvantages:

    • the cooler is only suitable for low profile RAM modules.

    Read also

    20 Maternal boards

    Reven RC-1001B Brontes-the optimal price ratio

    cooler has compact dimensions 105 x 114 x 59 mm and small weight, only 325 g of only 325 g The heatsink is made of durable aluminum and the base of the structure is made of copper. Four tubes do an excellent job of dissipating heat, effectively cooling the processor.

    Fan with yellow impeller looks nice. The rotation speed ranges from 650 to 2200 rpm. The noise generated during operation is in the range of 10 — 32 dB.

    Advantages:

    • effective cooling in small dimensions;
    • inexpensive — 2400 rubles.

    Weaknesses:

    • 130W processors on Intel LGA 2011x sockets are not supported;
    • at maximum speed is a little noisy.

    Best Computer Case Fans 2022

    In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know to buy the best fans for your needs.

    After looking at all relevant case fan specs and what they mean, we also give you a selection from our top 5 options. Along the way, we’ll also discuss things like the difference between PWM and non-PWM fans, when you need custom fan controllers, and more!

    Let’s dive in.

    Best case for fans: be quiet! Dark Base 700 RGB

    Skip to Rating

    What You Need From

    Case Fans First, let’s look at specifications and what they mean.

    Overall fan dimensions — is 140mm better than 120mm?

    The first thing you need to know before buying a case fan is what size you need. Large fans can push more air with less noise but not every case has room for a 200mm fan. Some cases may not even have room for a standard 120mm fan, but that’s the standard complexity of Mini ITX cases.

    The measurement «mm» means millimeters and measures one of the four equal sides of the fan. ( Not their radius or diameter as you might think. )

    This standard is followed by all case fan manufacturers in the industry and it also results in the «120mm fan» is much larger than it actually looks is usually slightly larger than the palm of an adult male.

    Fan size 120mm

    The smallest of the Big Three and the most ubiquitous. 120mm fans are by far the most commonly used form factor for case fans in all sizes and price ranges and are even found in high end cooling solutions.

    Example : Most liquid CPU cooling solutions and large air coolers use 120mm fans to provide the itself with the best heat dissipation of the .

    If you are building or upgrading a Mini ITX/Micro ATX PC build, then 120mm fans will be your best choice . If larger fan sizes are supported, we recommend selecting them instead. As previously stated, larger fans can push more air with less noise .

    Use Cases :

    • Virtually any standard chassis from Mini ITX to Full Tower ATX
    • Most AIO Liquid Cooling Heatsinks
    Fan Size 140mm

    140mm – The second most used type of case fan is not as common as the 120mm. First, they are less likely to be compatible with the increasingly shrinking PC cases that fill the market today.

    But even in cases that are compatible with 140 and 120mm fans, most users will prefer 120mm. While we can’t pinpoint the exact reason for this, we believe it has something to do with ‘s lower prices and ‘s habit.

    use cases:

    • Large PC cases ranging from some micro ATX machines to mid ATX towers, full ATX towers and extended ATX towers
    • Supported Liquid Cooling Radiators, Custom Hinges or Others
    200mm fan size

    200mm is the third most used type of case fan, but even rarer than 140mm fans. You’ll most often see them pre-installed in specialized Micro ATX/Mini ITX «cube» cases as intake fans, where the ‘s sheer size helps make up for the ‘s lost cooling potential.

    If the chassis cannot use two 120mm fans on the front, it will most likely use one 200mm fan instead.

    Full ATX with 200mm fan support are rare, but exist and are currently on sale.

    Uses:

    • Either the smallest, most specialized ITX / MATX cube or the largest, most extravagant ATX Full
    • towers

    • Often pre-installed on compatible
    • chassis

    Unusual Case Fan Sizes

    While the following fan sizes we are going to discuss here are slightly outside the scope of this article and our recommendations, we still believe there are is worth mentioning .

    Outside of the big three, you may see some other case fan sizes — usually smaller sizes such as 80mm .

    They come in handy in particularly compact cases that are too small even for, say, a 120mm exhaust fan. They are commonly found in ultra-small Mini ITX, Mini STX, or Mini ATX cases, as well as some thin pre-built PCs.

    Sometimes you can even find fans larger than 200mm , but there are few use cases for them.

    Before purchasing any case fans of any size please check the case specifications and compatible fans . Even if you’re running a pre-built PC with an obscure pre-installed fan of an equally obscure size, it’s probably worth looking into a replacement that’s capable of more.

    However, don’t expect to see extras like RGB outside of the standard sizes of the Big Three fans.

    What is PWM fan

    PWM stands for as Pulse With Modulation and in the context of case fans refers to fans that are controlled using this method .

    PWM is a technique used to control a variety of electronics, but in the context of a PC it is reserved for case fans and coolers.

    Interestingly, some (processor) air coolers can be upgraded, just by replacing the fan it already has with the and adding a better one — or even a extra — on the other side to help pull or push air through the heatsink. Depending on the size of the heatsink in question, this replacement/addition can often be a 120mm or even 140mm case fan.

    Pulse width modulation itself can be a little tricky to explain, but all you need to know is that it essentially functions by way of constant on and off signal , resulting in precise control of the power delivered to the component in question.

    You are probably wondering — why bother with PWM fans ?

    Answer: control .

    In particular, PWM allows you to control things like fan speed or RPM. Without PWM, your fans will just run at full speed all the time, which also means extra power consumption and the loudest noise profile.

    PWM fans can cost a little more, but the extra money is almost always worth it:

    We do not recommend buying non-PWM case fans .

    If you’re wondering how RGB affects this… We’ll dive into that a bit later.

    What is fan RPM

    RPM or RPM is a measure of fan speed.

    Than higher fan speed the more air the fan will push or pull, but the the louder the fan will and the the more power it will consume in your system. The reverse is also true: if you can run the fan at lower speeds, you can make your system much quieter…but it won’t cool as efficiently.

    A big reason to buy PWM fans is that things like your RPM can be automatically controlled by your system, so your fans are quiet when not much is happening and speed up during intensive tasks .

    With the correct auto control curve, the fans should only be loud during heavy gaming or intensive CPU and GPU rendering tasks.

    Your motherboard’s BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) usually controls the fan curves, which can also be manually adjusted, as seen in this Gigabyte BIOS:

    You can also create your own fan control curves with the right applications. This is especially recommended if you’re looking to build a quieter PC, and even quieter if you’re using a liquid cooler.

    What is Fan CFM

    CFM stands for CFM and is a measure of airflow into or out of the chassis.

    The higher the CFM , the better the air flow – and therefore the is cooler in case . However, to achieve maximum CFM, you either need to increase the fan speed via the control system, or use a non-PWM fan that runs at full speed all the time.

    When buying CFM case fans, this is an important factor to look out for .

    An average 120mm case fan will offer anywhere from 40-50 CFM , and especially good fans offer 50-60 CFM and up. Higher CFM is technically possible at this size, but in turn would require ridiculously high rpm, power consumption and noise levels.

    Static Pressure and Airflow Fans

    There are two different types of case fans: static pressure fans and high airflow fans . There are also a number of fans that take on a kind of hybrid stance, offering both high flow air and both have decent static pressure but are rare.

    If you’re like most people, your instinct is probably to go straight for the high airflow fans and forget about the rest. After all, isn’t the whole point of a fan to provide good airflow?

    Yes, but… static pressure is also important . To understand why we need to explain the concept of static pressure.

    In fact, static pressure is not the speed with which air is pushed out, and not even the amount. Instead, static pressure is the force that pushes the air out. In many scenarios, high static pressure fans provide much better performance than high airflow fans despite a much lower CFM.

    This applies especially to things like radiators, but can also be applied to many intake fan positions.

    The growing popularity of solid front panels with side or bottom vents means you will really need static pressure fans in a «draft» configuration as they will be able to pull air at the most force .

    For exhaust fans or intake fans not dealing with hard material front panel, it is best to focus on high airflow/CFM.

    Positive or negative airflow — which is better?

    If you’ve heard a lot about positive or negative airflow — or more specifically positive or negative pressure — and aren’t sure which is better, let us clear it up very quickly:

    • The positive pressure configuration is when More air enters the housing than is expelled. This is generally recommended for most users as (especially if you have the right filters) it minimizes excess dust from entering your computer.
    • Negative pressure configuration — When more air is pushed out than is taken in. This may be fine, but it turns the inside of your PC into a «vacuum container» which results in a lot of extra dust getting into your PC.

    For best results with you should use a slightly positive pressure configuration.

    To determine the pressure of your configuration simply add the CFM of your intake fans and compare it to the cumulative CFM of your exhaust fans . As long as the air intake is pulling in a little more than it is pushing out, you have a positive pressure configuration!

    Decibel (dB) and fan noise measurements

    As you already know, decibels are a measure of sound. You may not know how loud decibels actually are, so we’ll give you some background information:

    • 0-10 decibels is an extremely quiet and borderline inaudible sound. For example, the sound of a falling pin is estimated at about 10 decibels.
    • 10-20 decibels — Quiet, becoming slightly audible at high levels. The sound of rustling leaves is estimated at 20 decibels.
    • 25 decibels is about the level of a whisper.
    • 35 to 40 decibels is the sound of a suburb at night or a running river.
    • At 55-65 decibels object becomes noisy refrigerator in the middle of the night, normal conversation volume, etc.

    In the case of case fans, devices with background noise are considered quiet below 20 decibels , medium fans are in the 20 to 30 decibels range, and loud fans are anything louder than that.

    Most of the fans we have listed below fall into the quiet range.

    RGB and LED fans

    RGB and LED fans are case fans with LEDs for illumination.

    RGB is a special category of LED case fans that allow the to customize their colors in a variety of ways, while ordinary LED fans stick to the same color.

    An interesting point to note about RGB and LED fans is that very few of them are designed for high airflow and are designed for static pressure instead.

    While we’re not sure of the exact reason for this, we believe it has something to do with the added weight/different manufacturing processes for the fan blades, which also need to carry and reflect light.

    RGB and LED fans do nothing to improve performance, they only add aesthetic beauty.

    They are also not a sign of higher build quality. Only choose RGB/LED fans if you want the aesthetic benefits of as that is their only real benefit. If you’re not trying to show the inside of your PC, then additional lighting of any kind is completely unnecessary.

    In the case of RGB fans, you also need to make sure you have RGB connector available on your motherboard:

    RGB fans will come with two cables, one for the fan itself and one for the RGB lights inside. PWM — on its own — is not enough to drive RGB lighting effects, and you’ll need a compatible RGB header on your motherboard.

    If you don’t have an RGB header on your motherboard — or if you don’t have enough room for all the RGB fans you want to install — then you’ll have to invest in fan controller .

    Fan controllers and multi-fan setups

    If you need to use a fan controller, it’s likely something to do with multiple fan setup issues, especially if you’re building a setup with a more modern motherboard.

    While older systems require fan controllers even for single channel RGB installations, modern mid-range motherboards (for example, AMD AM4 x570 motherboards) have at least one and sometimes two dedicated RGB device connectors.

    However, even if you don’t use RGB… you may need to invest in a fan controller. This is especially common when building with Micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboards, which have very few fan headers.

    Buy a fan controller if any of the following describes you:

    • You want to install more case fans than your motherboard allows
    • You want to install an RGB fan, but your motherboard does not support this feature
    • You want to install more RGB case fans than your motherboard allows

    Until everyone agrees on a common RGB lighting and control standard (please guys), fans and controllers that match the brand will be needed .

    The best case fans are our picks

    Now it’s time to move on to our top picks. We first went with the two options at the price of the , with no extras, but rather excellent airflow and decent static pressure for the price.

    After that we have the quiet selection , the performance selection and the incredibly powerful niche RGB selection .

    Now we will provide detailed specifications and discuss each of the products in detail:

    1. Budget choice without PWM (PWM) — Arctic F12

      If you insist on getting a case fan as cheap as possible and don’t care about noise level. .. Arctic F12 precision fan will help!

      The Arctic F12 is the highest-noise 120mm cooling fan on this list, with no PWM to speak of and honestly good raw CFM.

      But, it’s a static pressure fan, so it cools a large heatsink or case pretty well. If noise isn’t a concern and all you want is raw performance. Arctic F12 is a great option!

    2. Budget choice with PWM (PWM) — Noctua NF-P12 redux

      The

      Noctua NF-P12 is our value for money pick, which is a 120mm fan with really good airflow and… normal noise levels.

      Noctua NF-P12 redux is a dominating gray fan that should match the aesthetics of most cases and boasts has a really impressive rating of 71 CFM . It also provides decent static pressure, which means it should work well just about anywhere on your computer: intake, exhaust, coolers, radiators…

      If all you want is a cheap cooling solution for your PC, this is it. It’s not particularly quiet, but it’s not particularly loud either. It boasts some really impressive raw airflow, it’s cheap and comes from a reputable manufacturer — what more could you ask for a ?

    3. Complete silence —

      be quiet! Silent Wings 3

      Our quiet selection comes from a renowned manufacturer be quiet! . We picked their Wings 3 silent fan as our top pick — specifically the 140mm model, although a 120mm option is also available if you so desire.

      The first thing you might notice is that yes, is the quietest fan on this list. With a rating of 15.5 decibels, even at maximum speed, this fan won’t distract you with loud noises while you chug behind your PC with hardcore rendering or gaming tasks.

      The second thing you may notice is that its CFM is relatively low at — just under 60 CFM. While it’s certainly a good , it’s also not a great — why does it push less air than our budget pick?

      First, it is a static pressure fan. So while it pushes less air overall, it pushes the air harder than the , making it perfect for sucking in from predominantly sealed front panels or pushing cold air through the radiator/cooler.

      This is a kind of inherent disadvantage of «quiet» fans. For silence, you must reduce the maximum speed and, with it, the maximum airflow. It’s not the quietest fan on the market, but it pushes a lot more air than the quietest fans on the market.

      We chose it for as the best compromise between raw performance and quiet operation of .

    4. Performance choice with RGB — Deepcool RF120 RGB

      Our choice of RGB doesn’t come from any big names like Corsair or Thermaltake (at least not yet). Instead, we opted for the Deepcool RF120 RGB. This is because even compared to competing models from Corsair and other manufacturers, it has an excellent air flow… for RGB fan.

      RGB, like silence, is another one of those things that doesn’t directly affect fan performance, but is still pretty important.

      RGB fan manufacturers are committed to static pressure. Static pressure fans are great, don’t get us wrong. However, if case cooling is your primary concern and you’re not dealing with a sealed front panel…then using the right high airflow fan for the intake/exhaust is usually the best move0067 .

      The

      Deepcool RF120 RGB fan boasts compatibility with modern RGB headers on your motherboard and an included (albeit simplified) RGB controller. Since airflow is a major concern for most users, this is a solution for everyone.

      Want an alternative to static pressure for radiators, coolers or intakes? Or just want better RGB? Get Corsair ML140/ML120

      instead

    5. RGB Niche Choice — Thermaltake Riing Plus 20 RGB TT Premium

      Last but not least is our pick from the full RGB niche, the Thermaltake Riing Plus 20 RGB Premium Edition.

      This is a 200mm fan that features ‘s incredible RGB support, ultra-high airflow and ‘s high static pressure. It’s perfect for just about any scenario… if you can really fit that «behemoth» inside. Micro ATX cube cases and some full size ATX towers will likely fit this size fan.

      If you can buy a case that can support such a fan, we highly recommend going for it. The clean airflow you can get with even one of these fans is really impressive, and we’ve even seen some cases that can run both s and two s at once.

      We don’t think we’re exaggerating when we say that the is the biggest, best RGB fan we’ve ever seen , and the fan controller comes with it!

    Case Fan FAQ

    How is case fan size measured?

    Measure vertical or horizontal distance between screw holes not diagonally!

    How can I add more fans than the motherboard supports?

    If you want to add more case fans than your socket motherboard has, you can use a «PC fan hub». Some models allow you to control up to 12 additional fans.

    Tower Defense — the best tower defense games on PC

    A selection of the most popular tower defense games currently available for PC.

    Tower Defense is a genre of games that, despite its simplicity, has managed to gain considerable popularity among modern gamers. The essence of the game is to destroy the waves of advancing opponents, which become stronger and more numerous with each new round. The elimination of enemies occurs with the help of various guns, towers, traps and other similar means that the player arranges according to the level at his discretion.

    Tower Defense has been constantly evolving (and continues to evolve), and today it is quite difficult to find such a game in its purest form, without the admixture of elements from other genres: RPG, RTS, survival, shooter, and so on. Therefore, in our selection you will see games for which the TD principle served as the basis for the gameplay, but at the same time they are not without the characteristic features of many other games.

    Orcs Must Die!

    A popular game that is a hybrid of tower defense and action RPG. Moreover, it is very difficult to say unequivocally which elements of which game are dominant here. Of the pluses, in addition to the gameplay that is most exciting in its action, it is worth mentioning an interesting fantasy setting, nice graphics and bewitching musical accompaniment.

    Surprisingly good (for a traditional fantasy) plot deserves equally flattering reviews. In Orcs Must Die, in addition to the story campaign, there are other modes (including a multiplayer mode). It also provides the ability to adjust the difficulty, which will allow you to play the game with interest several times.

    OMD!OMD! 2OMD! 3

    ROYAL DEFENSE

    In this tower game, you will defend the kingdom of dwarves from the attack of an army of bloodthirsty trolls! You have a large selection of units and defensive structures at your disposal, and you have to place them along the paths along which ruthless enemies rush. The game «Royal Defense» does not open up new horizons in the genre, but it is made with high quality and pleases with a pleasant drawing of a fantasy world.

    Download

    Kingdom Rush Frontiers

    Another well-known Tower Defense with cartoony graphics and boring gameplay. It’s nice that the developers were able to successfully fit the epic fantasy setting and RPG elements into such a specific framework. In addition to the variety of towers, players in Kingdom Rush are available with a dozen heroes, each of which has several pumped skills.

    An upgrade system is also provided for towers in Kingdom Rush. Players also have access to progressively unlocked special abilities, such as Plague Cloud, Rain of Fire, or Calling in Reinforcements, to destroy opponents.

    Buy

    Plants vs. Zombies

    Plants vs. Zombies is one of the best Tower Defense games on PC, consoles and mobile platforms. Moreover, surprisingly, the authors moved away from the standards of tower defense towards simplifying the gameplay, but at the same time made it incredibly exciting and intense.

    Not least in the popularity of the Plants vs. franchise. Zombies played her cheerful, not devoid of some madness setting: the living dead against warlike plants. Well, nice hand-drawn graphics coupled with a sunny and positive soundtrack complete this whole completely personal picture.

    Buy Now

    Defense Grid: The Awakening

    A TD game that uses all the standard TD techniques. And she does it with incredible skill, which is why the gameplay, despite the lack of original and fresh ideas, looks surprisingly dynamic and interesting.

    Pretentiousness Defense Grid: The Awakening adds a very beautiful environment (the action takes place in a fantasy setting) and numerous special effects. It is very pleasant that both the interface and the controls here are also very user friendly. In general, for fans of simple, but interesting and rich TD, Defense Grid: The Awakening is the best fit.

    Buy now

    Dungeon Defenders

    A 3D TD with a lot of co-op play in mind. Players confront hordes of orcs and goblins seeking to break into the fantasy world of Etheria and enslave all living things in it!

    A feature of Dungeon Defenders is the presence of action / RPG elements. Players do not just build defensive devices — towers, traps and obstacles, watching the battle from the side, but also participate in the battle themselves, having previously chosen their hero from characters of several classes. Moreover, for participating in battles, they receive new levels of pumping and various items of equipment.

    Buy Now

    Warstone TD

    A tower defense game with nice cartoony graphics and a solid fantasy setting. In addition, there was a place for a full-fledged RPG element in the gameplay: Warstone TD has several playable classes with unique skills. The choice of class seriously affects the game tactics, in addition, for each there are several branches of development, which include a large number of improvements for basic skills.

    In general, a very unusual representative of the TD genre, where instead of the usual «towers» war stones are used, on which various types of units can be placed. A large selection of modes adds even more variety to the game: in addition to the story campaign, there is a Labyrinth, cooperative missions, and even some kind of PvP.

    Buy Now

    Anomaly Series

    A series of strategic computer games that are Tower Defense in reverse. Controlling a small mobile detachment, the player must free the Earth from the mechanized aliens that have captured it, placing countless of their fortifications and various turrets on the surface of the planet.

    In the process of passing the player will be able to visit various parts of the planet, including both large dilapidated cities and deserted Arctic lands, high mountain ranges and many other interesting places. And given the excellent level of graphics, the proposed landscapes really delight with the epicness of their design. The strategic element here has also received a very serious development: each unit has unique capabilities, and only competent selection of the detachment and subsequent reasonable leadership will lead to success.

    Buy now

    HYPERCHARGE: Unboxed

    Have you seen the old movie «Toy Soldiers»? He fulfilled the dream of many boys and showed how the revived toy soldiers made a real war on the lawn of the house, and an ordinary teenager was drawn into it. A similar idea has a first-person shooter with Tower Defense mechanics, in which you have to build fortifications from the LEGO constructor, change generators in the form of AA batteries, and face waves of enemies personally, dressed in plastic armor.

    Features include colorful graphics, several modes (single player campaign, co-op, PvP) and rich customization options.

    Buy Now

    Until We Die

    An unusual action-platformer with the idea of ​​TD Until We Die was presented to us by Russian developers, which means don’t be surprised if you see Russian-language graffiti and familiar characters’ names. The game uses the idea already familiar to us with the post-apocalyptic subway and offers to withstand the defense against monsters at one of the stations, which has become the base for the few survivors.

    You have to control one Soviet hero, Ivan or Anna, and keep the defense on two sides, building fortifications, studying technologies and controlling ward fools — controlled units can’t do anything without your pointer, so you’ll have to sweat a lot, running all over the map.

    Buy Now

    Element TD 2 — Multiplayer Tower Defense

    Competitive TD features a combination of 6 meta-elements (water, fire, nature, earth, light and darkness) that are used to create towers and resist monsters. This feature makes you constantly think and change your strategy — for example, spiders are afraid of fire, and earth is unlikely to help against stone golems.

    The rest of the game uses the already familiar mechanics of the genre, but twists them to the maximum: so, you can place one of 44 unique towers, try out 6 modes, protect 12 maps and share a difficult job with a friend in cooperative mode, or fight with a friend to a duel.

    Buy Now

    Infinitode 2 — Infinite Tower Defense

    Infinitode 2’s minimalistic yet sophisticated tower defense was a hit on mobile devices, allowing it to get a PC version and ruffle the nerves of a wider audience. The idea is utterly simple — here is the way, here are the towers and enemies in the form of geometric shapes, sit and have fun. The pumping system is in place, the bosses are also there. What is the reason for the success of Infinitode 2?

    Attention to detail and pumping that you «feel». Towers increase their level, and on the technology tree, you can enhance their characteristics. These updates will seem trifling, but in the later stages of the game they feel good. If you are a hardcore TD lover, then Infinitode 2 will steal all your free time.

    Buy Now

    Taur

    A sci-fi action game where you have to defend not a path, but one base, which will be attacked by enemies from all sides. Around the Main Cannon you will build many towers, hire droids and even launch planes into the air, as well as upgrade skills, unlock weapons and other things.

    What happens in Taur is like a spectacular science fiction movie — each combat unit performs its task, the enemies attack in huge crowds, and all you have to do is watch the epic defense. It is also interesting that thanks to the minimalist graphics the game has low system requirements.

    Buy Now

    MarZ: Tactical Base Defense

    This TD sends us to defend Mars, the surface of which, according to the canons of horror films, is teeming with monsters and zombies. Before the helpless people fly here in search of a new home, you will have to get your hands dirty and get rid of the Martian undead.

    MarZ combines the mechanics of «tower defense» and strategy — in addition to the fact that you will be engaged in the usual construction of defensive towers, the tasks of extracting resources and managing combat units will fall on your shoulders, which will have to get out into the remote corners of the Red Planet and find out the cause of the appearance of monsters.

    Buy Now

    GemCraft — Chasing Shadows

    A rather old and well-known tower defense game, characterized by a complex strategy system with extensive possibilities, based on the ability to combine unique magic stones with various traps, towers, and so on. This gives each defensive structure unique effects and allows the player to create the most bizarre and unexpected defense schemes.

    GemCraft has almost two hundred game levels, many additional tasks and a flexible difficulty setting system, which makes the replay value of GC almost endless.

    Buy Now

    CastleStorm

    Castle vs. Castle — that’s the easiest way to describe CastleStorm, in which the principles of tower defense are combined with elements of strategy and castle-building simulator.

    In CastleStorm, the player builds and develops his own castle, and the list of available resources, units and other features important for the gameplay depends on the selected modules. The enemy is doing the same, and both sides are constantly sending troops against each other, trying to break the enemy’s defenses and at the same time strengthen their own defenses.

    In general, the confrontation here is built on the principle of a «castle» duel. The nice aspects of CastleStorm are realistic physics, a fun medieval setting (Vikings vs Knights) and an abundance of multiplayer modes.

    Buy now

    Dungeon Warfare Dilogy

    A rather difficult tower defense game, bordering on a real puzzle at a high difficulty level — one wrong choice of a trap or tower installation site, and the creeps will instantly break through the defense of the unfortunate defender.

    Dungeon Warfare offers many levels of increasing difficulty, more than two dozen enemies and almost three dozen types of traps with an automatic upgrade system. Dungeon Warfare also has a flexible difficulty system and an endless game mode.

    Buy

    Sanctum 1-2

    Sanctum is an unusual project that combines the tower defense genre and first-person shooter. The player will play the role of an elite fighter to defend a futuristic city from the invasion of alien monsters, using various defenses and five types of personal weapons for this.

    Sanctum series games are made in full 3D, they are characterized by a solid fantastic setting and quite acceptable graphics, as well as by the fact that all the action (including the construction of defensive fortifications) takes place in the first person. The game has several modes, including co-op for 4 people.

    Buy Now

    Bloons TD 5, 6

    Stop the balloon invasion of the jungle, the home of the monkeys, using monkey special forces, monkey snipers, ninjas, pirates, robots and other tailed fighters. A very bright game with cartoonish graphics, the gameplay of which is a classic Tower Defense.

    Bloons TD offers two single player game modes with a large number of maps and many random missions, as well as multiplayer support. Pleased with an impressive number of monkey recruits and other units, divided into unique classes, each of which has a rather large list of improvements. That allows you to create your own unique tower defense schemes. The graphics in Bloons TD are made in HD quality, and a simplified flash version of the game can be downloaded from the official website.

    Buy

    Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal

    The Creeper World series is an example of when the next part is better than the previous one. There is only one developer, and in the triquel he managed to unleash the full potential of his offspring.

    Future. The player assumes the role of a hero who is forced to fight for his lands. The enemy here is unusual — it is a «corrosive purple liquid» that aliens use to destroy all life. To save their settlement, the gamer will drain the poison with the help of turrets and change the landscape, trying to prevent the spread of «liquid».

    And that’s not all the differences from the usual tower defense games. The mining of building materials and ammunition and the construction of «collectors» for moving turrets come to the fore in the gameplay. Don’t be scared — it all looks really interesting, and it’s easier to play it once than describe it a hundred times.

    Buy Now

    Mindustry

    An unusual tower defense game that focuses on the extraction and management of various resources. Before defending their settlement, the player must first build it. He will have to organize a whole production chain with drilling rigs and conveyors to move resources. The variety is impressive: you can create automatic drones and use various means to speed up the mining process (coolant, lubricant, and so on).

    There are 4 game modes: Survival, Attack, Sandbox, PvP. There’s plenty of variety in Mindustry, and the quirky take on the genre will appeal to die-hard fans and gamers who rarely play Tower Defense.

    Buy Now

    Rock ‘N’ Roll Defense

    Another original game in the genre. From the name it is clear that the main theme is rock, baby! The player will have to protect a rock band performing on stage from a crowd of distraught fans. There are no machine guns, artillery installations and other «means of struggle» — for protection, the gamer will use the sound and various equipment of the musicians.

    Speakers are the main weapon. In the beginning, their power will be low, but the fans will not be too «brutalized» either. In the process of passing the sound will become louder, and the enemies — faster and more resilient. Rock ‘N’ Roll Defense is a great tower defense game especially for music lovers.

    Buy Now

    Defender’s Quest: Valley of the Forgotten

    Strategy with RPG elements. Let’s go straight to the benefits. The first is the presence of a full-fledged plot written by experts in the field of literature. The story is logical and intriguing. The second is the presence of various role-playing elements. In battle, you do not use standard units, but full-fledged heroes that can be upgraded in different directions. Plus, they have equipment.

    The setting of the game is fantasy. You will face various monsters, and dragons can fight on your side. Defender’s Quest: Valley of the Forgotten is another great game that deserves a spot on our list.

    Buy Now

    Legion TD 2

    A multiplayer game that also has unique game mechanics. The main difference from other projects is the «dynamic» fighters who came to replace the usual towers. At the beginning of the match, the player places units (of which, by the way, there are more than 100), and they seem to come to life and begin to fight. At the same time, they can independently change positions and cast spells. All that remains for the player is to spend the earned gold on hiring heroes and upgrading them.

    Matches last approximately 25 minutes and are for 8 players divided into 2 teams. However, you can play alone against bots. At the same time, there are no battles with each other, because the goal of the game is to hold out as long as possible.

    Buy Now

    Dungeon of the Endless

    Original games in the collection do not end! Dungeon of the Endless offers another take on the genre. This game is difficult to classify only as «Tower Defense», because in the first place it is a roguelike with a randomly generated game world. The player will have to control several heroes who have crashed a spaceship and ended up in a deep dungeon. The goal is to get out of it alive.

    Wow, it’s hard to describe what this game has to offer! Gamers will need to move around the rooms and activate them, as well as build defensive structures. On each floor, you need to find an elevator upstairs and take with you a certain crystal that gives energy. But dangerous monsters with different abilities will interfere with the player.

    Buy Now

    Revenge of the Titans

    According to the idea of ​​Revenge of the Titans, the Earth and other planets were attacked by aliens, who are called the Titans here. Aggressive monsters with burning eyes strive to conquer space, and our solar system is no exception. And they would have succeeded if it were not for the meeting with the ground defenders, whose leadership is given to the player.

    Everything is in the best traditions of Tower Defense — the construction of defensive structures, the study of technologies, the pumping of buildings. There is a single player campaign with 50 missions that take place on Earth, the Moon, Saturn, Mars and the mysterious planet Titan. There are also other modes: «Endless» and «Survival».

    Buy Now

    Prime World Series: Defenders

    Strategy RPG from the creators of HoMM 5, Blitzkrieg and Etherworld. The player has to create a hero and go to fight against various monsters. You can build towers, as well as use technologies and spells.

    Prime World: Defenders differs from other games in the genre by the presence of TCG elements. That is, there are cards that must be used to win. You can form your own deck, as well as mix and improve cards. In total, 2 parts were released, and the second is free.

    Buy now

    Infested Planet

    Have you seen Starship Troopers? Then you’ll love Infested Planet! You have to control a group of 5 soldiers who need to defend themselves from the invasion of thousands of alien monsters. You have to defend yourself using defensive towers, but the main defensive force is fighters who can be improved, but the aliens are not far behind — they rapidly mutate and adapt to your tactics.

    Infested Planet has a long solo campaign with various missions. Another feature is thousands of enemies on the screen at the same time. If you love tower defense games but haven’t heard of this project, you’re sure to discover it for yourself.

    Buy

    Bardbarian

    The developers of this game project are also not afraid to experiment. The player finds himself in a fantasy world in which he, in the role of a fighting bard, will have to defend his city from the invasion of goblins. Moreover, from the very beginning, differences from the standard «Tower Defense» are visible: there are no stationary points on which you need to place enemies, and opponents move along random trajectories. As a result, each gaming session is unique, and it is simply impossible to predict further events.

    The game combines elements from other genres. This is an arcade, and RPG, and shoot-em-up, and action, and indie, and strategy! Yes, it sounds chaotic, but all the elements are well combined, and we recommend playing Bardbarian not only to fans of the genre, but to all gamers.

    Buy now

    Deathtrap

    A tower defense that looks more like a typical isometric action-RPG. The events of the game unfold based on the setting of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. A lone hero is sent to protect the ancient fortresses from the invasion of hordes of monsters who are trying to penetrate the real world.

    Over 13 levels await players in the single player campaign. Other modes are also available, such as scenarios and «infinity». You can create a character in one of the three standard classes (warrior, gunslinger and witch), although the developers plan to introduce others. The gameplay includes building various traps, as well as fighting hordes of monsters using various weapons and magic.

    The game is not very popular, but has over 1000 «very positive» reviews on Steam, and it will appeal not only to fans of the genre, but to all gamers.

    Buy

    Tiny Tactics

    Tiny Tactics is an organic combination of tower defense and auto chess. The game will take gamers to an amazing world where the sun went out. The remaining energy was enclosed in crystals. However, the latter are hunted by terrible monsters who want to increase their strength. People divided into factions are forced to fiercely protect artifacts from the attacks of creatures.

    The gameplay of Tiny Tactics is fully consistent with the classic tower defense. In addition, the developers offer the possibility of upgrading and acquiring useful units, and, by the way, there are more than one hundred and twenty unique units in the game. As a result, you are waiting for a campaign that includes 74 missions, a challenge mode and nice graphics. If you are a fan of the genre, then Tiny Tactics is definitely worth a try.

    Buy Now

    Mechs V Kaijus — Tower Defense

    Mechs V Kaijus is a hardcore tower defense game where the user takes command of combat mechs. The main danger is represented by huge kaiju. Build fortifications, prepare traps, collect robots and protect people from extinction.

    The game will delight not only with nice pixel graphics, but also with more than two dozen missions. In addition, the gamer can try his hand at the test mode, where it is important to successfully complete tasks and survive in a large number of waves of deadly opponents. If you like Plants vs. Zombies, then Mechs V Kaijus is also worth a try, because the gameplay of the projects is very similar.

    Buy

    Diplomacy is Not an Option

    Diplomacy is Not an Option — tower defense and RTS in a medieval setting will take the user to the battlefield with hordes of terrible creatures and rebellious peasants. You have to fight off all attacks and save the castle. At the same time, one should not forget about the development of the settlement with economic issues.

    Thanks to the freedom of choice and the dependence of the ending on the decisions made, the game has become replayable, and the scale of the battles proposed by the developers will be able to amaze even experienced gamers. When more than 10 thousand units of different classes converge in a fight, it looks truly epic, check it out!

    Buy Now

    Space Run

    Space Run is a tower defense with RTS elements, entirely dedicated to space. You need to build a ship, manage it and, of course, protect the transported cargo from hordes of invaders.

    The gameplay of Space Run is characterized by loyalty to newcomers and dynamics. Even a novice gamer will be able to delve into the mechanics of the game and prepare for difficult trials. The level of difficulty increases gradually, along with the pumping of the spaceship. On the latter, by the way, you can install various modules: turrets; accelerators; generators; rocket launchers and more.

    If you like space travel and tower defense, don’t miss Space Run. The game, in addition to everything, has replay value, because the old tasks can be replayed with new modules and see what happens.

    Buy Now

    Rogue Tower

    Rogue Tower is a low-poly tower defense and roguelike game in which you have to build defensive lines to fight off monsters. The main task of the user is the correct location of the guns around the perimeter of the towers. At the same time, the difficulty lies in the fact that events and waves of aggressive creatures are generated randomly.

    The gameplay of Rogue Tower emphasizes building and strategic thinking of the gamer. The outcome of the battle will depend on how correctly you build fortifications and place weapons. The route of the opponents is constantly changing and expanding. Among other things, technologies are important, having received which the user will be able to improve both defensive characteristics and attacking potential.

    Buy now

    Spirits of the Hellements — TD

    Spirits of the Hellements — TD is a classic tower defense game that takes players into the world of spirits and demons. Place buildings with defensive and offensive potential on the map, place elemental traps and think ahead.

    A distinctive feature of the project is the way to protect the territories of the map from monsters. In this difficult task, you will have to rely on three natural elements with unique mechanics. Fire deals maximum damage, lightning jumps between enemies, and wind is used to slow down the movement of enemy units. Spirits of the Hellements is a worthy representative of the genre. If you are a fan of such projects, then the game will surely bring a lot of positive emotions.

    Buy

    Last Hope — Tower Defense

    Last Hope — Tower Defense will tell users the story of the zombie invasion of Indian reservations. Due to the epidemic of a virus that turns people into the walking dead, the survivors have united and taken up a defensive position. Your task is to help the remnants of sane representatives of humanity.

    Due to the wide possibilities of improving individual elements on the map and pumping heroes, Last Hope can be classified not only as a tower defense, but also as a solid RPG. You have to choose a character and go to save the settlement. If we talk about opponents, they are also able to surprise. You will have to fight both with ordinary zombies and with mutant worms, and for a snack, the developers have prepared ordinary people who are temporarily losing their minds. As a means of attack, the user is provided with a conventional weapon and unusual super attacks, for example, fire rain, hammer strike or rocket attack. As a result, Last Hope will keep you on your toes for 140 levels.

    Buy Now

    Rise to Ruins

    Rise to Ruins is an indie top-down village simulator with a built-in building and terrain editor. In terms of gameplay, the game gives users two tasks. The first one is tower defense against monsters, beasts and bandits with appropriate mechanics. The second is the development of the settlement in the daytime. This task includes the use of resources and loot obtained from fallen enemies, as well as the construction and strengthening of buildings. On top of that, the developers offer six difficulty levels that will allow both beginners and hardcore players to enjoy the game.

    Buy Now

    PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate

    PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate is a tower defense game with a colorful universe and many unusual characters. In the center of the plot, the defender of the forest named Tikiman, who was attacked by monsters. Protect your home from evil invaders and bring peace back to the forest.

    The player is offered a campaign divided into 47 locations. The gameplay itself is dynamic and similar to that used in RTS. You have to develop defensive fortifications and competently dispose of combat units. At the same time, all additional resources are bought at the expense of defeated opponents, from which the gamer receives in-game currency.

    PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate is a great option for tower defense fans who want to play something new and have a good evening.

    Buy now

    Protolife

    Protolife is a pixel tower defense with the ability to edit levels and create new challenges. The story begins in the future, where humanity has mastered the best technologies associated with unhindered movement in outer space. The planet Gagarin-5 was colonized and turned into a developed center of horticulture and industry. However, the entire infrastructure was destroyed due to giant worms that lived in the depths long before people came to the surface.

    In order not to lose the remaining benefits, the user will have to fight the monsters, building an impenetrable defense. The campaign offers 30 levels, and upon completion, you can try your hand at single missions. The latter are generated randomly, which increases the replayability at times.

    Buy Now

    Defend Your Life: TD

    Defend Your Life: TD is an unusual tower defense game in which the gamer plays the role of immunity. The user will have to fight harmful microorganisms in the human body, of which there are about three dozen.

    Tasks are performed by the player in arenas represented as human organs (appendix, brain, heart, stomach). There are routes and positions for towers on the battlefield. Any structure presented by the developers has individual characteristics, which will affect the effectiveness of the application.

    If you want to play tower defense with an unusual theme, then Defend Your Life: TD is the perfect option. In addition, in terms of gameplay, the game is in no way inferior to representatives of the genre recognized by gamers.

    Buy Now

    Fortified

    Fortified is a natural combination of tower defense, shooter and tactics. You have to find yourself in an American town, made in the style of the 50s of the last century, where alien invaders arrived. The latter are similar to robotic spiders and clearly do not want to negotiate with people. Protect humanity from enslavement by applying the most unexpected strategy for the enemy.

    The player has to choose one of the colorful characters and set out to defend the city using tons of weapons. The main importance in suppressing the attack of enemies is the construction of a defensive network and the installation of traps. A pleasant surprise for fans of the genre was the opportunity to play co-op. You can call your friends and take back the Earth from the alien invaders together.

    Buy now

    Yet Another Zombie Defense HD

    Yet Another Zombie Defense HD is a tower defense game with elements of arcade, tactics and strategy set in a zombie apocalypse setting. The walking dead are trying to destroy the survivors, and you have to help the latter hold out until dawn.

    As in many tower defense games, you have to diversify the gameplay. At night, you will have to fend off waves of ghouls, and during the daytime, you will have to strengthen the base. The game has a good selection of weapons, including machine guns, rifles, pistols, flamethrowers and grenade launchers. It is possible to set traps that will also help hold back the onslaught and buy time.

    Developers offer three main modes: defense; endless; deathmatch. In addition, you can create your own heroes and levels, and for a change, you should try a multiplayer game in which events will develop in the most unexpected way.

    Buy now

    Isle of Arrows

    Isle of Arrows is a fun mix of tower defense and strategic puzzle game that asks the user to place tiles to strengthen their defenses. There are also roguelike elements in the game. At the same time, each passage becomes unique due to the randomization of tiles, opponents and events.

    After the formation of defensive fortifications, the gamer is invited to launch a wave of enemies and fight back. The gameplay feature is the island setting and flags. The latter expand the location, allowing you to increase the area for construction. The game will be interesting for all tower defense fans. If you are in doubt about choosing Isle of Arrows, then try playing the product demo on the Steam page.

    Buy Now

    Variables

    Variables is a perfect combination of tower defense and roguelike from Asteroid Game Studio. The first part came out in 2019year, and the second in 2021 with improvements in terms of tower defense elements. Dilogy is a single-player maze with the construction of defensive towers and the destruction of enemies. Combat turrets and other parts of the environment will be at your disposal, which will have to be placed in their places, creating the most fortified zone. The games are certainly suitable for fans of the genre who are not averse to experimenting with an unusual, technologically advanced world.

    Buy

    Iron Grip: Warlord

    Iron Grip Warlord is a unique project from the distant 2008, which is an experimental combination of FPS and tower defense. The action of the game takes the user to the future, where corporations arrange local battles in an effort to seize power. The gamer will have to confront the army of the Confederation by demoralizing the opponent. The enemy has formidable forces in the form of tanks, robots, foot troops, droids, helicopters and officers.

    The gameplay consists of the user moving around the map and observing the area from above. The latter makes it possible to inspect the location and set up fortifications with traps. When a wave of enemy troops invades the player’s territory, the latter summons his own units and shoots the opponents. Eliminating targets allows you to demoralize the Confederates and earn energy points to acquire buildings and soldiers.

    At your disposal are 7 locations and a multiplayer mode for 12 people. The project is worth considering, if only because it is part of the history of an unusual period for game development — a time of experiments and unique products that delighted users.

    Demo game page

    Waiting

    Undead Under Night Rain

    Undead Under Night Rain is an unusual mixture of tower defense and strategy, where the guitarist will appear as a tower. In order for the latter to finish the song, you need to deal with the dead wandering here and there. Hordes of zombies will attack the heroes in waves, but they have excellent defenses at their disposal from allied soldiers to a large number of powerful weapons.

    All fighters have unique characteristics and the ability to upgrade. Opponents, in turn, will surprise you with variety. Some ghouls crawl, others carry weapons, and still others are bosses. Stop the zombie apocalypse with incendiary hard rock!

    The project is rather unusual for the tower defense genre due to the chosen theme, but this is probably its feature. In addition, the environment looks beautiful, and the mechanics provided by the game will satisfy fans of similar projects.

    Page on Steam

    Flip TD — Tower Defense

    Flip TD — Tower Defense is a tower defense that offers users to flip the location to survive in the face of a constant onslaught of enemies. In addition to the unique mechanics, for which this project is worth paying attention to, you are invited to create worlds using the built-in constructor. After working in the editor, the creation can be put to the judgment of other users.

    Steam Page

    Tavernacle!

    Tavernacle! — tower defense about dwarves trying to protect their favorite brewery. You can play both alone and in co-op for four users. The gameplay is standard for the genre and includes collecting resources and building towers, as well as repelling attacks when waves of enemies form.

    The gamer will have at his disposal all the necessary materials, such as stones, wood and iron. Resources are delivered to the site, however, during the run, the dwarf can be attacked by the enemy. That is why every action must be carried out with intelligence and caution. To repel attacks, the developers of Tavernacle! offer to use towers, explosives and traps. The game will be of interest to all gamers who are looking for a project that is exciting and enjoyable in terms of graphics.

    Steam page

    Pillars Of Protection

    Pillars of Protection is a tower defense game focused on multiplayer PvP and PvE modes with beautiful graphics and many bloodthirsty monsters. The gameplay corresponds to all the canons of the genre. You can place the towers however you want, and the main task will be to survive in the rounds with hordes of monsters. There are several unique heroes with a certain range of tasks to choose from.

    Steam page

    TailQuest Defense

    TailQuest Defense — tower defense, in which the user will find himself in a world floating in the sky, attacked by robotic creatures.