Up For Debate - Which Is the Best Sized PC Case? Does Size Matter

Written by Ed SW on Sat, Nov 12, 2016 4:00 PM

So the question on everybody’s lips, does size matter when it comes to choosing a home for your new and improved rig? That’s right, not that size, come back to us this is a PC gaming hardware site. Whether building your own or buying pre-made, does it really matter to you guys what size your little beast is? Is whether you can fit it in your TV stand more important than ease of access or performance? If these are the questions on your lips, then this is the debate for you!

So let’s get into the swing of this, there are basically four sized cases that you are usually presented with when making this decision. So let’s just recap for funsies. We have, going from smallest to largest, the Mini-ITX Case (Or Small Form Factor), the Micro ATX Case (or Mini tower), the ATX Case (or Mid Tower Case) and finally the behemoth, the EATX Case (Or Full Tower Case). We know all these ATXs get confusing so we thought the less technical terms are the best ones to go by.

So we’ve got these set out, the question is which bloody one do you go for? Well let's lay it out, the thing that’s desirable about a small case is, funnily enough, it’s small. You can tuck this little chap anywhere your heart desires, not having to dedicate half a room to the guy. You can pick it up, take it to your mates, then just pop it back when you’re done. What’s there to lose?

Well, some would say a lot, you are limited to what hardware you can squeeze in there, you have to go to incredible lengths to shovel everything in there even if you do get all the right parts and of course, the biggie, heat. Having all of your warm hardware tucked into one small place is asking for trouble really. Is it going to get enough ventilation? Probably not without considerable effort, and with everything so wrapped up tight in there, it’s likely going to be pretty loud on top of that. Is this price really worth paying  for you guys just to have maneuverable Mini or Micro ATX?

On the other end of the spectrum with full towers and mid towers (to an extent), you are given enough room to swing a cat in there. All the ventilation you could possibly need and a hiding space for you to crawl into when the tax man turns up. But is that worth it for the blasted thing taking up nearly as much as room as you do?

Well you'll have to let us know. Where do you fall on your perfect rig? Is it worth chasing a smaller case to live that PS4 sized PC dream? Or do you think that biggest is best and you shouldn’t worry about such trivial things? But then do you just not really mind? Happy to fall in the middle group of average Joes. Well there’s only one way for us to find out, let us have it in the comments and let the voting commence!

What size case do you prefer?

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22:20 Nov-14-2016

I would love to do a small form factor build someday. Until then, I'm happy with my behemoth full tower! Lots of space for radiators and fans, clearance for anything you want, and lots of room to work!

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16:21 Nov-14-2016

Mini Tower. I did not SLI/Crossfire the GPU. I just use Micro ATX form factor motherboard. Small form factor(ITX) motherboard and case are bit expensive. I used locked CPU, then I did not need to use big/tall CPU cooler so it will fit to Mini Tower case. Finally, of course I'm on budget.

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01:09 Nov-14-2016

With Sli slowly being dropped and just no longer needed with our cards being more powerful then ever and the premium of mini itx boards being lowered with every generation i feel like the mini itx builds are the best now. I personally love being to fit so much power into a little case. Gotta say that my evga hadron air build is probably the coolest i've ever had with it being so small. Just glad that i got over the airflow placebo that everyone convinced me was necessary.

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14:14 Nov-13-2016

I'd say mid tower is overall the best but it really depends, if you travel a lot then a mini-itx build would be something for you, if you are rich and love to have the absolute best entertainment system at home then full tower is something for you so you can cram your PC with every possible hardware you can find X

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11:24 Nov-13-2016

I love my node 804, and all cube cases as they split the ugly stuff into one side and the good stuff I to the windowed side

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09:40 Nov-13-2016

I prefer full tower. I have the CoolerMaster Cosmos II Ultra tower and the airflow is outstanding.
Not to mention how easy it is to upgrade parts due to the size of the case.

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11:22 Nov-13-2016

well-said!
big cases are always easier to fit parts in - just to make sure psu cables are long enough xD
btw what's your fan setup?

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08:42 Nov-13-2016

Size matters, bigger case means better air circulation. On the other hand i prefer mid-towers because i don't have enough space for a full-tower in my room.

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08:47 Nov-13-2016

"bigger case means better air circulation" this is very wrong logic,
it's always about airflow direction efficiency, small case like Fractal Design Node 304 has superior airflow because gpu gets fresh air directly from a side, and 2 front 92mm fans with one big 140mm in back create a short, straight airflow tunnel, yet the whole case is about 25x39cm :)

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05:13 Nov-13-2016

cube case is the best

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06:37 Nov-13-2016

I would love to have one of those

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06:26 Nov-14-2016

I love horizontal motherboards but I don't really like the large footprint, my next build will probably be a mid or full tower for better airflow with open air graphics card coolers, my graphics card can't actually use zero DB fan feature

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05:09 Nov-13-2016

mini tower for asians mid tower for white people full tower for black people. Small form factor for midgets. I dont mind its what u do with it. Why the heck did i think this is about penis size

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08:28 Nov-13-2016

This made me chuckle a bit

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00:29 Nov-13-2016

Definitely full tower. My parts in my mid tower are crammed together with little room therefore producing lots of heat. Just ordered a Corsair 750D Airflow Edition Full Tower though for my Christmas!

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23:32 Nov-12-2016

invisible PC plz.

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23:17 Nov-12-2016

Depends on the room it's in and what purpose its been build for. If it's in my living room, I prefer it as unobtrusive (and silent) as possible. If it's put in a separate room and used for mainly gaming - I'd rather have it the size of a Mid Tower, for better cable management and air flow.


Full Towers = 2 GPU's and other "extra's"

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22:59 Nov-12-2016

When this question comes up in conversations, I always suggest a Mountain Mods case, that is if space and money isn't a problem. Mine measures 18" x 18" x 18" which is more than enough room to run 2 separate pc's out of one case.

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22:59 Nov-12-2016

I like mini-itx cases, but I like the ones that aren't too small. I prefer cases that are just large enough to fit a standard ATX PSU and a full size GPU.

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22:44 Nov-12-2016

I feel like size matters if you are air cooling. More space gives better air flow and room for parts to 'breathe'
After taking the ssd/hdd cages out of my case it opened it right up and never sweats as a rusult... Also, I can see every component perfectly, how it should be ;D

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22:11 Nov-12-2016

I love my Thermaltake Commander. Its footprint is perfect for me. Interior hardware space is a bit tight with my GTX 970, but I have all the room I need for my current setup. Cooling isn't an issue whatsoever since I have two top fans in addition to the rear fan, and it looks nice to boot.

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21:50 Nov-12-2016

The bigger case means more air so i will go for Full Tower.


I would definitely pick Cooler Master HAF 942 for price&performance ratio.

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21:39 Nov-12-2016

I'm really happy with my Corsair Vengeance C70. It's technically a mid-tower, but in reality it's somewhere in between that and a full tower. It's got a crazy amount of room compared to my old Rosewill Redbone; I could easily fit a second 970 in my rig if I wanted to.

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21:01 Nov-12-2016

When I bring a girl home from the bar and she sees my computer she says "Wow, that thing is huge!".


After that, the night just goes south from there. :P

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02:00 Nov-13-2016

What thing :P

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05:43 Nov-13-2016

Cooler Master HAF 912. No wonder, it is huge :D

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20:53 Nov-12-2016

I perfer full tower, but I like all the formats, I adore the idea of making a node 202 build, but I do NOT have money for both a full tower PC and mini/micro tower build.

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