Some users prefer to build itty-bitty small form factor PCs with mini-ITX cases and others like to load up multiple graphics cards in large full towers. But the most commonly used case that’s versatile enough for most situations is the ATX mid-tower case.
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This time, there's a new kid on the block: the NZXT H700i, our new favorite high-end mid-tower case and one of the best PC cases of any type. Clean design, some additional thoughtful touches, and just a well-built case all-around, the H700i is our new go-to choice when building a PC in a mid-tower.
There are several really good reasons to go with a mid-tower. First, they support regular, full (sometimes even extended) ATX motherboards. This is the biggest class of desktop motherboard, which means you're also likely to find a board that fits your budget and needs pretty easily. Another reason to go with a mid-tower is ease of installation. Micro-ATX and mini-ITX cases are often much tighter and can offer less flexibility in a build. That's not what you want if this is your first rodeo. Finally, ATX full-tower cases can get quite large, and take up a lot of real estate. In comparison, you can easily fit a mid-tower under a desk since they're lighter and require less effort to move.
Mid-tower ATX cases are great because they generally keep things simple, and offer the baseline when it comes to form. While you may find some compromises in the area of cooling capabilities, the right mid-towers can offer just as much as you’d expect from a high end full-tower case. We tested out all sorts of cases to find the best ATX mid-tower for PC gaming. Here’s what made the cut.
Our favorite overall mid-tower
Form Factor: Mid-tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX and EATX(Up to 272mm or 10.7-inches) | Dimensions: W: 230mm H: 516mm D: 494mm | Weight: 12.27 kg | Radiator Support: Front: 2 x 140mm or 3 x 120mm with Push/Pull, Top: 2 x 140mm or 3 x 120mm, Rear: 1 x 120mm | I/O Ports: 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x Audio/Mic | Drive Bays: 2.5”: 7, 3.5”: 2+1
One of our latest favorites is NZXT’s H700i, released last year. The ease of building in it and the satisfaction it provides are second to none. NZXT markets the H700i as a "smart" case thanks to the inclusion of a new smart hub powered by the company’s CAM software.
This hub acts as both a digital fan controller and a RGB LED controller that uses machine learning to find the perfect balance between noise and cooling for your fan speeds in real-time. The H700i generously includes four pre-installed fans and two RGB strips to make full use of the smart hub out of the box.
These features already set the H700i apart from the crowd, but the cable management on the backside is the star of the show. Four different cable routing channels with integrated cable tie downs made the process effortless and extremely satisfying. Priced at $200, the H700i is one of the more expensive cases we’ve recommended but it’s about as premium as it gets.
Corsair 500D SE
The best high-end mid-tower
Form Factor: Mid-tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX | Dimensions: 500mm x 237mm x 507mm | Weight: 11.75 kg | Radiator Support: 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm, 360mm | I/O Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Audio/Mic | Drive Bays: 2.5”: 3 3.5”: 2
Corsair's Obsidian 500D took everything we loved about the 900D, added a ton of modern updates and brought it to a smaller more accessible mid-tower. Like its predecessors, the 500D offers an elegant blend of smoked tempered glass and brushed aluminum for a truly premium look and feel.
While most tempered glass cases require you to remove screws to open them up, this one features magnetic doors that swing wide open for easy access. As expected from a modern Corsair case, the 500D and the 500D SE offer plentiful support for liquid cooling and convenient cable management options.
The 500D SE replaces the aluminum front panel with more smoked tempered glass and features a built in version of Corsair's RGB LED/fan controller along with three pre-installed addressable RGB LED fans. This makes it easy to expand your glowy arsenal and it also synchronizes perfectly with your Corsair peripherals. The end result is an iconic enclosure that is as beautiful as it is functional.
Cooler Master H500M
The best airflow mid-tower
Form Factor: Mid-tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX (support upto 12" x 10.7") | Dimensions: 544 x 248 x 546mm | Weight: 14.2 kg | Radiator Support: 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm, 360mm | I/O Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Audio/Mic | Drive Bays: 2.5”: 3 3.5”: 2
Cooler Master's H500M is the company's latest flagship mid-tower, but we'd really rather it be called a full-sized tower. Measuring 21.4 x 9.8 x 21.5 inches, the H500M is the biggest mid-tower on this list. Thanks to its large size and internal layout, it's really easy to build in and supports a huge variety of components and custom cooling options.
The H500M comes with two massive 200mm RGB LED fans installed which do a fantastic job of increasing airflow out of the box. Other modern touches include a USB 3.1 Type-C connector and tons of modularity including the option to choose between a mesh or tempered glass front panel.
Our only major issue with the case is the lack of easily removable magnetic dust filters for the front fan intake. Luckily, all of the mesh in the entire H500 line features a secondary filter layer that'll help keep dust out of your build. We mention the dust because the H500M features some serious airflow and comes prepared to keep the beefiest of gaming PCs cool.
In Win 303C
The best mid-range mid-tower
Form Factor: Mid-tower | Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX | Dimensions: 500mm x 215mm x 480mm | Weight: 12.81 kg | Radiator Support: 120mm, 240mm, 360mm | I/O Ports: 1 x Audio/Mic, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C | Drive Bays: 2.5”: 6 3.5”: 3
In Win was one of the first case manufacturers to experiment with tempered glass panels and now it looks like everyone is using them. It’s only fitting since our interior components have become more and more aesthetically pleasing. The company’s 303 was one of our favorite cases for some time thanks to its massive tempered glass door, dual-chamber design and affordability.
Now the company has updated the case with the 303C which brings a USB 3.1 Type-C connector to the front I/O and adds RGB lighting. It also includes a nifty metal GPU bracket which prevents the dreaded sagging you get with heavy graphics cards.
Overall, the 303C is a great case that is capable of supporting a wide variety of liquid cooled builds and offers a very clean aesthetic without compromising thermal performance. Installation can be tricky if you fill all of the fan slots, but the end result is well worth the trouble.
The best budget mid-tower
Form Factor: Mid-tower | Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX | Dimensions: W: 210mm H: 460mm D: 428mm | Weight: 7 kg | Radiator Support: 120mm; 140mm; 240mm; 280mm | I/O Ports: 1 x Audio/Mic, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 (Type A) | Drive Bays: 2.5”: 3 3.5”: 3
NZXT’s S340 has long gone unchallenged as our favorite budget mid-tower thanks to its minimalistic design, steel side panels, and most importantly accessibility. The H500 is its direct replacement and it checks off all of the boxes of its predecessor with a few modern updates that allow it to keep its place on the throne.
Like the S340, the H500's sleek design includes a steel cable management bar and PSU shroud to keep things looking just as clean on the inside as it does on the outside. If you have an extra $30 to spare, the H500i is also available which features built in rgb lighting and fan control via NZXT's CAM-powered smart device.
If you want to add a pop of color to your build, NZXT offers the H500 with a few different colors to match your components. Priced at $70, the case is absolutely comparable in build quality and features to $100+ competitors.
One form factor, a world of possibilities
The ATX mid-tower is the most common form of the PC. It's what most people think of when they think of a desktop PC. But that doesn't mean that it has to be boring.
There's a big world of PC cases out there for the mid-tower form factor, and it was tough choosing just a few to feature here. If you're shopping for a case, our general advice is to be ready to spend about $100 for a case with plenty of features and options, decently high build quality, and a look that fits your personality.
After all, this is the thing you'll be spending a lot of time sitting next to. You owe it to yourself to make sure you get a case that you'll be happy with.
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