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Best Cases For Water Cooling – Full-Tower, Mid-Tower, & ITX


Choosing a case is usually as simple as finding one that not only provides excellent thermal performance but looks good too. Of course, when water cooling either with a kit or your own elaborate loop, airflow isn’t quite as important anymore but it can still be tricky to find the perfect case.

Whether you are going for a full tower or a mini-ITX size case, you need to ensure you get one that supports your planned build and custom loop, with enough space and radiator support! With this in mind, we are going to run through a few areas to consider to make sure you walk away with the best case for your next water cooled PC build.

What Size Case Is Best For Water Cooling?

There are three prominent types of computer cases (although there are more) and each is compatible with different types of motherboards:

  • Full-tower PC cases are the largest cases and can work with E-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX. Their large size is more meant for extra components rather than exceptionally larger motherboards. You can view our best full tower PC cases here.
  • Mid-tower PC cases are the most popular and can also work with motherboards from Mini-ITX up to ATX.
  • Mini-ITX PC cases sacrifice the larger ATX boards, but can always fit Mini-ITX boards inside, with the odd PC case being able to cope with Micro-ATX.

Which size case is best for your water cooled build is entirely up to you and your plan but we found that with modern cases offering so many features, a mid-tower has become the most popular way to go. Mid towers offer plenty of space and now come with water cooling specific features like extra radiator support, plenty of mounting options for reservoirs, and drain/ fill ports.

If you are planning on water cooling in a mini-ITX case be prepared for a challenge, especially if you are going to be using rigid tubing as clearance can become a problem. If you opt for a full-tower or a super-tower, remember that you are going to have a lot of interior space to work with. The large cases are often best reserved for those with multiple graphics cards to water cool or dual-systems, where intricate custom loops can be created.

Choose A PC Case With Water Cooling Features

If you have customized a PC case before, you are probably confident enough to tackle a loop in any case you desire but for the rest of us, choosing a case with specific features can really help make the process much easier.

Radiator Space

Make sure you have enough radiator support in the case you go for. If you are planning a loop with three or more components cooled, you are likely to need to mount more than one rad, so plan ahead and select a case that will not only support this but still leave you the room to create something special.

Drain & Fill Ports

Some cases in our round-up feature drain and fill ports. This feature gives you the option to extend your loop slightly and reap the benefits of having specific areas to fill up your system and drain it. This may seem pointless but the ports are often conveniently placed and really make your life easier, especially when replacing the system’s fluid.


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