If you’re a PC enthusiast, then you probably care a lot about your computer’s case, as this can affect airflow and performance a great deal. As you probably know, nothing is better in regards to airflow and cooling than a completely Open Air PC case.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at four top of the line open cases. Then, we’ll talk about what to look for in your case to pick the right one.
Best Open Air PC Cases of 2020
|Thermaltake P1||16.6"x13.1"x15"||mITX||2 USB 3.0, audio jacks in front|
one 3.5" bay and one 2.5" bay
|Thermaltake P17||Main Chassis: 23.9” x 13.1” x 22.4”|
Extended Chassis: 23.9” x 13.1” x 12.6”
|mITX, mATX, ATX, and eATX||2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, audio jacks in front|
seven bays that can hold either 3.5" or 2.5" drives
|Praxis WetBench||20"x18"x4"||mITX, mATX, ATX, eATX||No front I/O|
four 3.5" bays
|Cougar Conquer||10"x27"x23"||mITX, mATX, ATX||2 USB 3.0, Audio jacks in front|
three 3.5" bays and four 2.5" bays
If you are interested more, let’s jump right in!
Table of Contents:
- Thermaltake P1 – mITX case for Compact Performance
- Thermaltake P7 – Maximum Space for Massive Water Cooling
- Praxis WetBench – Test Bench Platform for Quickly Swapping out Hardware
- Cougar Conquer – Open PC Case with a Sci-Fi Aesthetic
- What to Look for in an Open Air Computer Case
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Keep your PC Cool with These Open Cases
Thermaltake P1 – mITX case for Compact Performance
To start us off, we’ll be looking at the Thermaltake P1. This mini ITX case features a highly modular and customizable design that gives you plenty of options when it comes to building your PC.
The overall design of the P1 is simple yet glamorous. It features a backplate for holding your motherboard with four pylons that hold a 5 mm thick pane of tempered glass over your PC.
The I/O is on the side of this backplate and includes two USB ports and a standard headphone and microphone jack.
The modular design of the case also features a bracket with cable risers that give you the option to display your graphics card vertically.
Putting your graphics card on the bracket makes it much more visible than if it were laying flat in the PCI-E slot and looks great while also offering better airflow around the card.
This case is the smallest on our list and is designed for a mini-ITX motherboard. In spite of this, it boasts support for up to a 240 mm radiator for those planning to use water cooling.
There are no sides to the case in between the backplate and front glass panel, which offers excellent airflow inside the case. This diminutive case also has impressive drive bays that can support up to three 2.5″ drives and one 3.5″ drive.
The case can also be set up in three different orientations either upright, flat, or wall mounted giving you tons of flexibility depending on how much room you have and which look you prefer.
- Simple open air case that looks sleek and modern
- Great for those looking to build a high-performance machine in a small form factor
- Tons of options for mounting the case on a wall, putting it upright, or laying it flat.
- Compact form factor that will easily mount on a wall or fit on almost any desk
- Room for a 240mm radiator
- GPU bracket for vertical mounting of graphics cards
- Can only fit an mITX motherboard
- Limited drive bays for storage
- Difficult to assemble
Thermaltake P7 – Maximum Space for Massive Water Cooling
If your interest in getting an open-air case is motivated by cooling, then the first case on our list might be for you. Thermaltake P7 is designed for people who plan to make massive custom water cooling loops.
The case is very similar to the P1 we looked at earlier with a few key differences. First, the P7 is scaled-up overall allowing it to accommodate an eATX motherboard rather than the mITX size of the P1.
Additionally, this model comes with two side panels that unfold like a trifold board or wallet to extend the case even further. These side panels are designed to accommodate a 480mm radiator on each side of the case.
This makes the P7 absolutely unparalleled when it comes to cooling, especially for those who plan to make a custom water cooling loop.
- Ideal for those planning to use lots of expansion cards
- Great for overclocking thanks to massive water cooling capabilities
- Will take up more space on a desk or wall than any other case on our list
- Space for two triple radiators
- Can fit up to an eATX motherboard
- Versatile with tons of different configuration options
- Huge and heavy
- Difficult to assemble
- Radiators will take up most of the hard drive mounts
Praxis WetBench – Test Bench Platform for Quickly Swapping out Hardware
Good airflow is not the only advantage of an open-air computer case. Another appeal for many people is how easy it is to swap out hardware.
In a normal case, changing the hardware would normally require opening the case with a screwdriver before getting to work. Additionally, working inside a normal case can be restrictive and difficult if the case is not spacious on the inside.
These problems are non-existent on an open-air computer case such as the Praxis WetBench. This style of case is often referred to as a test bench as it allows users to quickly and easily change out parts to test them in comparison to other parts.
This case takes about 10 minutes to assemble and it is a breeze to mount hardware onto.
The tray for the motherboard on this case sits at an angle making it ergonomic to work on. This angle also displays your hardware proudly for all to see.
The simplicity of this case is where it really shines and it is ideal for people who are looking for a case that simply does the job it was made to do, and does it exceptionally well.
The case has room for up to an eATX motherboard, however, a standard ATX motherboard fits a little better. There is also room for multiple radiators on this case making it great for custom water cooling loops.
- Best open air computer case for those who plan to be frequently swapping out parts
- Great for experimenting and overclocking
- Awesome for those planning to build custom water cooling loops
- Very accessible motherboard tray
- Supports multi-radiator water cooling
- Minimal design requires very little time to assemble and is easy to use
- No front I/O
- Leaves your hardware completely exposed
- Lacks a lot of the features of a normal case
Cougar Conquer – Open Air Case with a Sci-Fi Aesthetic
The last case we’re taking a look at is the Cougar Conquer. This atx case lies somewhere between a regular case and an open-air one.
The Conquer has side panels and a front panel just like a normal case, but the panels themselves do not touch in most places allowing air to flow freely through the case.
This mid-tower case is designed for up to an ATX motherboard and boasts a unique and highly optimized fan layout. By default, the case comes with three 120 mm fans pre-install exhausting out the top of the case.
The advantages of an open case allow air to be drawn in on all sides of your equipment efficiently cooling the system.
This case arguably has the sleekest aesthetics of any of the cases on this list. The case has an aggressive geometry like a stealth fighter that is fitting of its “Conqueror” name.
This case is a great choice for those who need tons of storage space. It can accommodate up to 7 total drives. Up to three of these bays can be filled with 3.5″ drives while the other four can only fit 2.5″ drives.
- Tons of drive bays for people who have lots of games, videos, or other files to store
- More traditional looking case with four sides, but still retains the airflow advantages of an open-air case
- Great looking case that will be sure to make your friends jealous
- By far the most eye-catching case on our list
- Comes with several fans pre-installed
- Tons of space for drives
- Not much space for cable management
- Components and drive bays are less accessible than other cases on the list
- Can be difficult to assemble and build in
What to Look for in an Open Air Computer Case
Open air cases provide an array of benefits over more traditional box style cases.
For one thing, they help to keep your PC parts running nice and cool since they get great airflow on all sides. Keeping things cool in your PC can not only help them run faster, but can also offer them a longer life.
Additionally, open-air cases are easier to work in. This can be especially great if you are often switching out parts on your PC.
If you’re interested in an open air case that doesn’t take up to much space and look nice, then the Thermaltake P1 is right for you. This case uses the tiny mITX form factor which keeps it from taking up too much space on your desk.
Alternatively, if you’re fine with having a huge case and want to focus on cooling, then the P7 is a better choice. This case is massive, but can be equipped with multiple triple fan radiators to cool your PC.
If you plan to be swapping out parts frequently and want a PC that can be used as a test bench, then the Praxis WetBench is your best bet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Would I Want an Open Air Computer Case?
One advantage of an open-air PC case is that it can keep your components cooler, which is especially important with high-end equipment such as a Titan GPU. The second major advantage is that open cases are easier to build in and allow you to quickly swap out parts
What is Overclocking?
Overclocking is the practice of sending more voltage or current through your CPU or GPU in order to make them run faster.
Keep your PC Cool with These Open Air PC Cases
The cases on this list were hand-picked by us because they are the best open-air cases on the market. If you’re looking for a way to keep your PC running cool and looking cool, then these cases will do the trick.
We hope that this guide has been informative and given you a good idea of what to look for in an open-air case, and we highly encourage you to check them out. As always we love hearing from you guys so please, leave us a comment below if you have any questions or comments.