The 6 Best Mid-Tower Cases in 2022

Written by Azzief Khaliq
Last updated Oct 19, 2022

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best mid tower cases

Shopping for the best mid-tower case can be fun or confusing, depending on the type of person you are. There are a ton of choices out there for almost every budget and use case, so it’s very easy to end up spoilt for choice, unsure which PC case to go for.

While we can’t make the decision for you, we can at least pick out a handful of our favorite mid-towers to help narrow down your choices. From high-airflow cases to budget favorites via silent and high-end showcase products, we’re confident our list has something for you. Let’s get started.

Short on Time? The Best Mid-Tower Cases at a Glance
  • Best Mid-Tower Case for Airflow: Lian Li Lancool II Mesh combines excellent thermals with clever design touches to make an excellent, flexible mid-tower PC case.
  • Runner-Up Mid-Tower Case for Airflow: Phanteks P400A Digital brings some RGB lighting flair to proceedings while maintaining excellent airflow and thermals.
  • Best Silent Mid-Tower Case: Fractal Design Define 7 focuses on silence above all, but features a versatile interior layout great for water-cooling or massive storage setups.
  • Best Showcase Mid-Tower Case: Lian Li O11 Dynamic EVO marries impressive flexibility and customization with tempered glass panels to make a perfect canvas for a showoff build.
  • Best Value Airflow Mid-Tower Case: Montech X3 Mesh ships with six fans for a surprisingly good “set-and-forget” airflow case.
  • Best Budget Mid-Tower Case: Cougar MX330 is a good compromise if you’re trying to save every penny you can on a build without going too cheap.

The Best Mid-Tower PC Cases

1. Lian Li Lancool II Mesh

Best Mid-Tower for Airflow

Measurements (H x W x L)19.44 x 9.01 x 18.81 inches
Motherboard SupportE-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length15.11 inches
Maximum CPU Cooler Height6.92 inches
Expansion SlotsSeven
Fan Mounts• 3x 120 mm or 2x 140 mm (front)
• 2x 120/140 mm (top)
• 2x 120 mm (PSU shroud)
• 1x 120 mm (rear)
Radiator Support• Up to 360 mm (front)
• 240 mm (top)
Drive Mounts• 3x 3.5”/2.5” drives
• 6x 2.5” drives
I/O Ports• 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
• 2x USB 3.0
• Audio In/Out

Airflow mid-tower cases are a dime a dozen these days, but Lian Li’s Lancool II Mesh stands out from the crowd for its impressive stock thermals and clever design touches. There are flashier cases, but few compete with the Lancool II Mesh on performance.

Lian Li hasn’t tried to reinvent the wheel with the Lancool II Mesh. It sports a mesh front panel and unrestricted interior layout, with drive cages relegated to the PSU shroud. So far, so standard. But the Lancool II Mesh’s default fan setup of two 140 mm intakes and a 120 mm exhaust means its stock temps are some of the best you’ll see for an out-of-the-box setup:

Tom’s Hardware measured 65.5 degrees Celsius on a 4.6 GHz-overclocked Intel Core i9-9900K and 57.5 degrees on a stock RTX 2070 Super, which is impressive. If cooling performance is your main concern, the Lancool II Mesh is a better buy than many pricier mid-towers like the Phanteks P500A.

But there’s more to the Lancool II Mesh than its impressive thermals. Lian Li seems to have put a lot of thought into the design, showing in minor details such as the “multi-way bracket” for the front cooling. This bracket lets you shift fan (or radiator) positions forward and backward slightly to suit your components.

Essentially, you get a reversible bracket that holds your fans or radiators. Installing it one way pushes the fans or radiator towards the front, ideal for making room for a thick radiator. Conversely, installing it the other way moves the fans or radiator closer to your motherboard, best for air-cooling setups that want to push as much air to the CPU and graphics card as possible.

Lian Li Lancool II Mesh

Source: Lian Li

The Lancool II Mesh’s drive cage is similarly flexible: it’s on rails so that you can shift it slightly to accommodate different PSU lengths. This drive cage setup and the front cooling bracket might seem like minor features, but they make the Lancool II Mesh a PC case that can adapt and grow with you and your changing hardware setups.

Overall, the Lian Li Lancooll II Mesh is hard to beat if you’re in the market for a high airflow mid-tower PC case. Pricing isn’t as good as it used to be, but it’s still a solid deal, even at its new roughly $120 price point.

Lian Li also makes a Lancool II Mesh RGB, with three 120 mm front intakes in place of the non-RGB’s 140 and 120 mm setup.

2. Phanteks P400A Digital

Runner-Up Mid-Tower Case for Airflow

Measurements (H x W x L)18.30 x 8.26 x 18.50 inches
Motherboard SupportE-ATX (10.7 inches max), ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length11.02 inches (with HDD bracket) / 16.53 inches (without HDD bracket)
Maximum CPU Cooler Height6.29 inches
Expansion SlotsSeven
Fan Mounts• 3x 120/2x 140 mm (front)
• 2x 120/140 mm (top)
• 1x 120 mm (rear)
Radiator Support• Up to 280/360 mm (front)
• 120 mm (rear)
Drive Mounts• 2x 2.5” drives
• 6x 2.5”/3.5” drives (2x included)
I/O Ports• 2x USB 3.0
• Audio In/Out
• D-RGB Mode
• D-RGB Color

Phanteks makes some excellent mid-tower airflow cases, and the P400A Digital is probably the best of the bunch. It has all the features you need from an airflow PC case without going overboard with luxuries that would inflate its price.

As with any airflow case, the P400A Digital boasts a mesh front clad in Phanteks’ signature “Ultra-Fine” mesh. While that might just sound like marketing-speak, we do like Phanteks’ mesh for how it manages to let in enough air while being tight enough to not require a secondary dust filter.

Phanteks ships the P400A Digital with a complete set of 120 mm D-RGB fans, so you’ll get great temperatures out of the box. Gamers Nexus tested the P400A with an overclocked Core i7-6700K and GTX 1080, recording a 24.7-degree Celsius CPU delta and a 48.6-degree CPU delta. Impressive numbers that few mid-tower PC cases can compete with even now.

Phanteks P400A Digital temperatures

Source: Gamers Nexus

We should note that the P400A Digital achieves this without an exhaust fan. So you could possibly optimize airflow even further and drop temperatures by another couple of degrees by moving or adding a fan.

Beyond the impressive thermals, it has to be said that the Phanteks P400A Digital is a bit of an old platform. You won’t get any of the clever design tricks you see in modern Lian Li cases, nor any of the visual flair from, say, the Corsair 4000D Airflow. But it has substance where it matters, and that’s enough for us.

Phanteks P400A Digital

Source: Phanteks

The Phanteks P400A Digital is an oldie, but it’s still a goodie. Great thermal performance and a solid default fan setup make it a $100 or so (in black) well-spent. There’s a lot of competition in this price bracket, but the P400A still stands out as a solid choice you can’t go wrong with.

The P400A is available in black and white.

3. Fractal Design Define 7

Best Silent Mid-Tower PC Case

Measurements (H x W x L)18.70 x 9.44 x 21.53 inches
Motherboard SupportEATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length11.41 inches (storage layout), 17.51 inches (open layout with front fan)
Maximum CPU Cooler Height7.28 inches
Expansion Slots• Seven horizontal
• Two vertical
Fan Mounts• 3x 120/140 mm (front)
• 1x 120/140 mm (rear)
• 3x 120/140 mm (top)
• 2x 120/140 mm (bottom)
Radiator Support• Up to 360 mm (front)
• Up to 420 mm (top)
• Up to 280 mm (bottom)
Drive Mounts• 14x 2.5”/3.5” drives (6 by default)
• 2x 2.5” drives
• 1x 5.25” optical drive
I/O Ports• 1x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
• 2x USB 3.0
• 2x USB 2.0
• Audio In/Out

Fractal Design makes a wide range of cases, including one of the best airflow cases ever in the Fractal Torrent. But the company’s arguably best known for its minimalist, silence-focused cases, of which the Define 7 is the latest iteration.

The Define 7 has almost everything you’d want from a silent PC case. You get a healthy amount of sound-deadening material on the top and side panels and a hinged front door that helps keep as much noise as possible inside your system.

And it works, too: Gamers Nexus measured 34.6 dBA from the Define 7 in its stock configuration. For context, that’s somewhere in between a whisper and a quiet library, according to the American Academy of Audiology. If you need to build a PC that’ll run near-silently under your desk or in the corner, this is the case you want.

Fractal Design Define 7 noise levels

Source: Gamers Nexus

Unsurprisingly, this level of silence compromises cooling performance somewhat. Gamers Nexus’ standard overclocked i7-6700K and GTX 1080 recorded 32.2 and 50.2-degrees Celsius deltas respectively in 3DMark. That’s fine for a gaming load, but it’s noticeably worse than most high-quality airflow cases.

Depending on your workload, hardware, and ambient temperatures, you may have to open the Define 7’s front door to help improve airflow. Doing so will bring noise levels up to 38.9 dBA; decent, but you might as well go with an airflow PC case if you foresee yourself regularly needing to do so.

Other highlights include a modular top panel and an open interior that’s perfect for multiple water-cooling radiators or for a staggering 14 3.5” drives and 2 2.5” drives in its “storage” layout. If you want to build a rig that doubles as your main NAS, the Define 7 is a brilliant option, given its open interior layout and storage options. Note that the Define only comes with 6 3.5”/2.5” mounts in the box, and you’ll need to buy extra drive trays to fill up all 14 spots.

Overall, the Fractal Design Define 7 is an excellent PC case for silent or storage-heavy builds, provided you’re aware of the thermal compromises. It’s not cheap, but its mechanical design and build quality goes a long way to justifying the price.

The Fractal Design Define 7 is available in black and white, with a wide range of side panel options available.

4. Lian Li O11 Dynamic EVO

Best Showcase Mid-Tower Case

Measurements (H x W x L)18.07 x 11.22 x 18.3 inches
Motherboard SupportE-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length16.77 inches
Maximum CPU Cooler Height6.57 inches
Expansion SlotsEight
Fan Mounts• 3x 120 mm / 2x 140 mm (top)
• 3x 120 mm / 2x 140 mm (side)
• 3x 120 mm / 2x 140 mm (bottom)
• 1x 120 mm (rear)
• 1x 60 mm (drive cage)
Radiator Support• Up to 280/360 mm (top)
• Up to 280/360 mm (side)
• Up to 360 mm (bottom)
Drive Mounts• 4x 2.5” or 2x 3.5” drives (bottom)
• 4x 2.5” SSD or 2x 3.5” drives (side)
• 3x 2.5” or 2x 3.5” and 1x 2.5” drives (drive cage)
• 2x 2.5” drives (cable management bar)
I/O Ports• 1x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
• 2x USB 3.0
• Audio In/Out

The Lian Li O11 Dynamic EVO (O11D EVO from now on) is the latest version of its much-loved, much-respected O11 Dynamic case. The EVO retains the old version’s air- and water-cooling flexibility but adds a raft of new layout and customization options for die-hard builders to have fun with.

On the face of it, the O11D EVO looks quite similar to the old O11D, with its squarish shape and heavy use of tempered glass. But a lot is new here, starting with the support for traditional and reversed layouts. You can flip the case horizontally, moving the glass panels to the right.

The front I/O panel is also relocatable, with three options by default (front, left, and right) and a fourth top panel mount option with an optional kit. Optional kits are the name of the game here, with two different vertical GPU mounting options alongside a novel upright GPU kit that puts it right next to your motherboard.

Lian Li O11 Dynamic with an upright GPU kit

The O11 Dynamic Evo with the upright GPU kit. Source: r/aceventura926

Lian Li’s also gone all out with the drive mounting options, offering a wide range of 2.5” and 3.5” drive mounts on the bottom, side, and cable management bar, in addition to the usual drive cage. However, the PC case only comes with nine sets of SSD mounting pads, and we’re unsure if the company sells any more.

Cooling support is as strong as ever, with the addition of 280 mm side radiator support and better support for 140 mm fans across the side and bottom mounts. The original O11D was already a strong air-cooling case despite its liquid-cooling credentials, and the O11D EVO is no different.

Befitting a PC case so focused on customization, Lian Li doesn’t ship the O11D EVO with any fans. That makes sense for the high-end builder, as you likely already have a set of fans or radiators that you want to use. But that makes gauging the case’s thermal performance quite challenging.

Lian Li O11 Dynamic EVO CPU temperatures

Source: PCMag

However, PCMag tested an AIO-cooled Intel Core i5-9600K clocked at 4.8 GHz the O11D EVO with its stock (i.e., fanless) configuration and found that it performed adequately. Sure, an average CPU delta in the high 50 degrees Celsius isn’t exactly brilliant when using a Corsair H100i, but that’s nothing some extra fans can’t solve.

The Lian Li O11 Dynamic EVO isn’t a case for everyone. The tempered glass, fanless stock setup, and multiple (extra-cost) options mean that you’ll have to put in a lot of time, effort, and money to build a stunning PC. But if you want a PC that looks as great as it runs, this is one of the best cases to build it in.

The Lian Li O11 Dynamic EVO is available in black and white. Lian Li also promotes a “Harbor Grey” variant, but we haven’t spotted that color on any of the usual online retailers.

5. Montech X3 Mesh

Best Value Mid-Tower PC Case

Measurements (H x W x L)18.89 x 8.26 x 14.56 inches
Motherboard SupportATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length12.0 inches
Maximum CPU Cooler Height6.29 inches
Expansion SlotsSeven
Fan Mounts• 3x 120/140 mm (front)
• 2x 120 mm (top)
• 1x 120 mm (rear)
Radiator SupportNone listed
Drive Mounts• 2x 3.5”/2.5” drives
• 2x 2.5” drives
I/O Ports• 1x USB 3.0
• 2x USB 2.0
• Audio In/Out
• LED switch

The Montech X3 Mesh is in a weird spot. On the one hand, its roughly $90 price makes its build and material quality shortcomings a bit harder to overlook. But since everything’s getting more expensive, the X3 Mesh still offers good value through its excellent default fan setup and impressive stock thermals. So it still gets a spot on our list, even if it’s getting a bit expensive for our liking.

The X3 Mesh’s stand-out feature is its six-fan setup: three front intakes, two top exhausts, and a single rear exhaust. These fixed-RGB fans aren’t the best case fans out there, but Montech makes up for any performance shortcomings by cramming the case full of them. The result? Reasonably impressive and balanced thermals.

Montech X3 Mesh temperatures

Source: Gamers Nexus

The CPU temperature is particularly impressive: a 24.1-degree Celsius delta on an overclocked Intel i7-6700K is solid, and competes with all but the absolute best airflow cases. GPU temperatures aren’t quite as good, but a 54.8-degree delta is still more than acceptable.

Unfortunately, while this performance might not come at a high financial cost, it does come at the cost of noticeable noise levels. The X3 Mesh’s fans are Molex-powered and will thus run at 100% all the time; the result is a steady noise level of 44 dBA in Gamers Nexus’ testing. That makes it one of the louder cases they’ve tested.

While many airflow cases (like our top pick, the Lancool II Mesh) will break past the 40 dBA barrier at 100% fan speed, the big difference is that those come with PWM fans that you can slow down for reduced noise.

Montech X3 Mesh

Source: Montech

Overall, the Montech X3 Mesh is an interesting budget airflow case that sacrifices some quality of life to provide as much cooling for as little money as possible. It’s a bit overpriced right now, but it’s still a better buy than other budget airflow cases that only ship with a single fan.

So while it’s not quite the killer value option it was when it first debuted, it’s still an option if you just want a “set and forget” airflow case to can build in. That said, if the X3 Mesh ever dips back to its original roughly $70 price, its drawbacks become much easier to live with. So keep an eye out on those product listings.

The Montech X3 Mesh is available in black and white.

6. Cougar MX330

Best Budget Mid-Tower Case

Measurements (H x W x L)16.81 x 7.67 x 18.62 inches
Motherboard SupportATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length13.77 inches
Maximum CPU Cooler Height6.10 inches
Expansion SlotsSeven
Fan Mounts• 2x 120 mm (front)
• 2x 120 mm (top)
• 1x 120 mm (rear)
Radiator Support• Up to 240 mm (front)
• 120 mm (top)
• 120 mm (rear)
Drive Mounts• 1x 5.25” drive
• 2x 2.5” drives
• 3x 3.5” drives
I/O Ports• 2x USB 3.0
• 2x USB 2.0
• Audio In/Out

The Cougar MX330 proves that you don’t have to spend big to get an acceptable case. For around $60, you get a mesh front panel, decent component compatibility (including room for a 240 mm radiator), a transparent side window, and a PSU shroud for cable management. It’s not perfect, but it gets a good amount right for the price.

The Cougar MX330’s front mesh panel is our favorite feature, as it’s great for cooling. That said, the case isn’t set up for maximum airflow out of the box, and its single exhaust fan makes it more suited to lower-end hardware. But it’s not too bad: YouTuber SeanfromSydney tested an Intel Core i7-8700K and Gigabyte GTX 1070 Ti in the MX330 and recorded 74 degrees on the CPU and 71 degrees on the GPU.

However, the mesh front panel means improved cooling is just a couple of budget 120 mm fans away. Or you could even install a 240 mm AIO for maximum CPU cooling. It’s always nice when a budget case gives you room to expand and upgrade without holding you back too much, and the MX330 is one such case.

Unfortunately, you will run into some of the MX330’s limitations if you go down that route. For one, the case isn’t large enough to accommodate both a 240 mm radiator and a 5.25” optical drive. A minor issue, but still worth pointing out. More of a problem is that a 240 mm radiator will also block both 2.5” drive mounts, forcing you to use M.2 SSDs or install them in the 3.5” drive mounts.

Cougar MX330

Source: Cougar

You’ll also have to contend with some build quality and quality control issues, such as sticky power buttons and a general lack of polish. But that’s something you’ll have to deal with if you’re shopping on a budget. Our advice? Buy from a retailer with a good return policy, just in case.

Overall, the Cougar MX330 is an acceptable budget case that gets more things right than wrong. It’s arguably selling for a bit more than it should be, but that applies to most mid-tower PC cases these days. The Cougar MX330’s current $50-60 price is probably the budget sweet spot in the current market.

Before You Buy

We’ve covered almost all of the PC case pre-purchase considerations before, especially in our guide to choosing a PC case, so we won’t cover them today. Instead, let’s discuss whether mid-tower cases are still relevant in today’s case marketplace and whether a mid-tower is right for you.

As we alluded to in the intro, the mid-tower isn’t the most exciting case form factor you can buy now. There’s a lot of innovation in the Mini-ITX space, and even full-towers are seeing some love with the amazing Fractal Torrent. But mid-towers are still a relevant and reliable choice for most users.

Is a Mid-Tower Big Enough?

Unless you’re trying to fit a monster custom water-cooling loop with three 360 mm radiators or something like that, the answer will almost always be “yes.” Most mid-towers will have enough room for high-end graphics cards and hulking tower CPU coolers, so you shouldn’t have any issues building a high-end gaming PC in a mid-tower.

Mid-tower build

You can fit a lot into a mid-tower case. Pictured: MastersOfTech’s PC Build

That said, there will be mid-towers that shave off some GPU and CPU cooler clearance in the name of a smaller case, so you should still double-check clearances just in case. But on the whole, a mid-tower should provide an effortless, straightforward building experience for most gaming PCs.

Unless you need the room for a massive custom loop, save some money (and space) and go with a mid-tower over a full-tower. Check out our mid-tower vs. full-tower comparison for more info.

Mid-Towers vs. Mini-ITX

Choosing between a mid-tower and a Mini-ITX case is a bit less straightforward than the mid- vs. full-tower choice. It depends entirely on what you want out of your build and how much time (and effort) you can spend.

Choosing parts for a mid-tower is a lot easier, primarily because component compatibility isn’t as big of an issue. While you should always double-check clearances, you likely won’t have to spend as much time (or money) hunting down SFX power supplies or extra-compact graphics cards if you build in a mid-tower PC case.

Mini-ITX build

If this looks cool to you, maybe you want a Mini-ITX rig. Pictured: FedorSosnin’s PC Build

Building in a mid-tower will also be much quicker as you won’t need to fit all your components and cabling into a cramped case. Of course, this also means that maintaining your rig will be easier, as replacing parts will take less time.

On the flip side, even the smallest mid-tower is significantly larger than most Mini-ITX cases. Is space is a primary concern for you? Do you want to build something that’s easy and quick to move? If so, you might want to consider a Mini-ITX case even with all the challenges that come with it.

Closing Thoughts

The best mid-tower case is a nice middle ground amongst PC cases. They might not be as innovative as Mini-ITX cases or as impressive as a full-tower, but they’re still the best choice if you’re after a straightforward, relatively affordable case and build experience.

If you want a mid-tower that’ll keep your components cool (and you really should), the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh is a fantastic choice. It has excellent airflow and clever design touches that will help it stay relevant even when you upgrade your gear. But if silence is more your bag, then there’s no looking past the Fractal Design Define 7 and its ultra-low-noise performance.

Gone through our picks and decided you need more space? Check out our list of the best full-tower cases for some big boys you can build almost anything in.

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