The 4 Best Tempered Glass PC Cases in 2022

Written by Azzief Khaliq
Last updated Apr 16, 2022

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best tempered glass pc cases

Cases with tempered glass side panels have become so common, it’s more surprising nowadays to find a case without one. But sometimes, a single glass side panel isn’t enough to show off that fancy build of yours. If you need maximum visibility for your PC build, that’s where the best tempered glass PC cases come into the picture.

Our picks sport more than just a tempered glass side panel, adding glass front and (occasionally) top panels into the mix for an even better view of your hardware. So if you’re the type to color-match components and build hardline water-cooling loops for the bling factor, this list is for you.

The Best Tempered Glass PC Cases

1. Lian Li O11 Dynamic

Best Mid-Tower Tempered Glass PC Case

Measurements (H x W x L)17.5 x 10.7 x 17.5 inches
Motherboard SupportE-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length16.5 inches
Maximum CPU Cooler Height6.1 inches
Expansion SlotsEight
Fan Mounts• 3x 120 mm / 2x 140 mm (top)
• 3x 120 mm (side)
• 3x 120 mm (bottom)
Radiator Support• Up to 280/360 mm (top)
• Up to 360 mm (side)
• Up to 360 mm (bottom)
Drive Mounts• 4x 2.5” drives
• 2x 3.5” drives
I/O Ports• 1x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
• 2x USB 3.0
• Audio In/Out

Lian Li’s O11 Dynamic case combines a roomy interior perfect for air- and water-cooling with tempered glass front and side panels. So you get the best of both worlds here: high-end cooling performance and enough tempered glass to perfectly showcase your build.

Lian Li collaborated with renowned overclocker der8auer to design the O11 Dynamic, and it shows in the O11’s excellent support for high-end cooling options. You can run three 360 mm radiators simultaneously or use those fan mounts for a ton of 120 mm fans instead. Either way, cooling won’t be an issue.

Lian Li O11 Dynamic temperatures

Source: Gamers Nexus

Gamers Nexus tested the O11 Dynamic with its standard case testing hardware (an Intel i7-6700K @ 4.4 GHz and an MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X) and recorded acceptable 29.6- and 53.0-degree Celsius deltas, respectively. These numbers put the O11 Dynamic roughly on par with a good airflow case like the Cooler Master H500P Mesh; impressive for a tempered glass case with a closed-off front panel.

Of course, the O11 can’t quite compete with a high-end airflow case like the Fractal Torrent (one of the best full tower cases available). But the O11 Dynamic’s side and bottom intakes mean it’s more than capable of cooling modern hardware. And that’s just with air cooling; slap some radiators in there and the O11 Dynamic will compete with the best.

The Lian Li O11 Dynamic uses a dual-chamber design, keeping your PSU, storage drives, and power cable clutter away from the components you want to show off through the tempered glass panels. So while you don’t get tempered glass all around, we think that’s a small price to pay for a clean, uncluttered main chamber.

Overall, the Lian Li O11 Dynamic is still one of the best tempered glass PC cases, even if it’s turning four years old this year. It looks great, runs cool, and it’ll support almost any hardware you throw at it. You won’t have to choose between style and substance with this case.

The Lian Li O11 Dynamic is also available in white.

2. Thermaltake The Tower 900

Best Super-Tower Tempered Glass PC Case

Measurements (H x W x L)29.6 x 16.7 x 19 inches
Motherboard SupportE-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length15.7 inches
Maximum CPU Cooler Height10.2 inches
Expansion SlotsEight horizontal
Fan Mounts• 4x 120/140 mm (left)
• 4x 120/140 mm (right)
• 2x 120/140 mm (top)
• 2x 120/140 mm (rear)
• 1x 120/140 mm (drive cage)
Radiator Support• Up to 480 mm (left)
• Up to 560 mm (right)
Drive Mounts• 1x 5.25” drive
• 2x 2.5” drives
• 6x 2.5”/3.5” drives
I/O Ports• 4x USB 3.0
• Audio In/Out

Thermaltake’s The Tower 900 is a tempered glass super-tower case perfect for high-end showcase builds. Designed in collaboration with French water-cooling experts WaterMod, its three glass panels and support for huge radiators makes it a dream water-cooling case for enthusiasts.

The Tower 900 sports a vertical layout that’s more commonly seen in Mini-ITX cases, albeit scaled up significantly. This allows for three tempered glass panels on the front and sides, giving you an unfettered view of the build inside.

To keep things clean, Thermaltake has opted for a dual-chamber design. The main chamber that’s fully visible through the glass panels holds all the flashy components you want to show off. The second chamber behind the motherboard tray stores the PSU and storage drives while also providing a place to hide cable slack.

Example water cooling build in the Thermaltake Tower 900

Source: u/Jaz1140

The Tower 900 only has room for two radiators, but there’s no need to worry about cooling prowess here. The left radiator mount fits up to a 480 mm rad, while the right one goes a step further and accommodates up to a 560 mm radiator. That should be more than enough for even the craziest water-cooled build.

Note that The Tower 900 is really only suitable for water cooling. The side fan intakes draw air into the PSU chamber, with little to no air going to the main part of the case. This isn’t a problem for radiators, but anyone hoping to use the airflow from the side intakes to cool a CPU or GPU will be disappointed. Only the two top fans exhaust air into or out of the main chamber, and they’re probably not enough for any high-end hardware.

Thermaltake’s The Tower 900 is more of a showcase piece for fancy custom loops than a practical PC case. It’s perfect if you know how to execute clean water-cooled builds, but anyone interested in air-cooling should consider a more flexible all-glass PC case.

Thermaltake’s The Tower 900 is also available in black. The company also makes a Mini-ITX version called The Tower 100.

3. Corsair Crystal 280X RGB

Best Micro-ATX Tempered Glass PC Case

Measurements (H x W x L)15.7 x 10.9 x 13.8 inches
Motherboard SupportMicro ATX, Mini ITX
PSU SupportATX
Maximum GPU Length11.8 inches
Maximum CPU Cooler Height5.9 inches
Expansion SlotsFour
Fan Mounts• 2x 120/140 mm (front)
• 2x 120/140 mm (top)
• 2x 120/140 mm (bottom)
Radiator Support• Up to 240 mm (front)
• Up to 280 mm (top)
• Up to 280 mm (bottom)
Drive Mounts• 2x 3.5” drives
• 3x 2.5” drives
I/O Ports• 2x USB 3.0
• Audio In/Out

Corsair has a whole range of Crystal cases that boast multiple tempered glass panels. However, our favorite of the bunch is the Micro-ATX cube case, the Crystal 280X RGB, mainly because of its four tempered glass panels and excellent stock RGB fans.

Like most cases on our list, Corsair has opted for a dual-chamber internal layout with the Crystal 280X RGB. This internal layout gives you a clean chamber that looks great through the tempered glass panels, without any drive cages. But it also removes the usual airflow obstacles you encounter in a PC case, which ostensibly helps with cooling performance.

However, the Crystal 280X RGB’s cooling performance isn’t quite as good as it could have been. The front intakes can only draw air through the tiny gaps between the front glass panel and the case frame.

Tom’s Hardware put the Corsair Crystal 280X RGB through its paces with an overclocked Intel Core i9-7900X and EVGA GTX 1070 FTW and recorded 62- and 48-degree Celsius deltas for the CPU and GPU, respectively. The CPU temps are quite high, considering they used an AIO. But the i9-7900X is a hot, power-hungry CPU; you likely won’t face issues with a more efficient modern processor.

The Crystal 280X comes with two Corsair LL120 RGB fans and a Lighting Node Pro for RGB control. They’re a bit old, but they’re still some of the best RGB fans available. You’ll probably want to add a few more Corsair RGB fans (like the dual-sided Corsair QL120 fans) to help cool things better and make use of all that tempered glass.

Corsair Crystal 280X RGB

Source: K1LO89 on PCPartPicker

Overall, the Corsair Crystal 280X RGB is one of the best tempered glass PC cases in this Micro-ATX form factor. Its thermal performance isn’t stellar, but that’s one of the limitations of a front glass panel on a smaller case.

The Corsair Crystal 280X RGB is also available in white. Corsair also makes a non-RGB version that’s significantly cheaper, handy if you already have a set of RGB fans you prefer.

4. G.Skill Z5i

Best Mini-ITX Tempered Glass PC Case

Measurements (H x W x L)16.4 x 7.5 x 12.1 inches
Motherboard SupportMini-ITX
PSU SupportSFX
Maximum GPU Length9.05 inches (with hard drive) / 13 inches (without hard drive)
Maximum CPU Cooler Height2.75 inches
Expansion SlotsNone
Fan Mounts• 2x 120/140 mm (rear)
Radiator Support• Up to 240/280 mm (rear)
Drive Mounts• 1x 3.5” drive
• 2x 2.5” drives
I/O Ports• 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
• 2x USB 3.0

G.Skill’s Z5i is a Mini-ITX case that stands out from the crowd with its curved tempered glass panels. The case’s aesthetic appeal comes with sacrifices, but this is the Mini-ITX case if you want a stylish glass computer case above all else.

The G.Skill Z5i’s main attraction is the two 0.15-inch thick bent tempered glass panels that make up the sides and most of the front. The dark tint and curved design give the Z5i a sleek look that stands out from all the other Mini-ITX cases on the market. Add some subtle RGB underglow, and it’s a total winner from an aesthetic standpoint.

Component compatibility is solid, with room for an RTX 3090 in the GPU chamber if you don’t use the extra hard drive mount there. However, an extra-long graphics card might not be the best idea as there’s little in the way of airflow in the Z5i. You only get two 140 mm fan mounts in the rear, and these are better suited for a CPU AIO given the 2.75-inch CPU cooler height restriction.

Tom’s Hardware tested the Z5i with a liquid-cooled Intel Core i5-11600K and a Zotac RTX 3080 Ti AMP Holo. CPU temperatures were under control (albeit at noisy 100% fan speeds), but the 3080 Ti hit the maximum temperature ceiling of 83 degrees Celsius with the panels closed.

There’s no ventilation or airflow for the card beyond the AIO, so that isn’t entirely surprising. But it’s a good indication that you may want to scale back your hardware ambitions in the Z5i. A mid-range card will probably fare better here.

However, note that the Z5i only comes with a PCIe 3.0 riser cable, so you’ll want to avoid cards with limited PCIe lanes like the AMD RX 6500 XT unless you’re willing to buy a new PCIe 4.0 cable.

G.Skill Z5i

Source: GGF Events

Overall, the G.Skill Z5i is definitely a case of style over substance. If you prioritize cooling or low-noise operation, this isn’t the PC case for you. The limited airflow and almost nonexistent GPU cooling make for suboptimal thermals unless you water-cool the whole rig.

But if you want a tempered glass Mini-ITX showcase and don’t mind higher temperatures, then the G.Skill Z5i is a case to check out. Nothing else looks quite like it, and that has to count for something, right?

Before You Buy

If you’ve already decided that you want a tempered glass case for aesthetic purposes, you can skip this section. However, if you’re still weighing up your options and trying to choose between a tempered glass case and one that’s more focused on airflow, read on.

Cooling and Airflow

The biggest issue with tempered glass front panels is that they limit PC case airflow. Glass panels have to be solid, so full glass PC cases generally rely on small air gaps for the front intake fans to draw air through. Compare this to the relatively unrestricted mesh front panels on airflow cases, and you can see why tempered glass front panels aren’t great for air-cooled temperatures.

But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s compare CPU temperatures between the Phanteks P500A, a high-quality airflow case, and the tempered glass NZXT H510 Elite. We’ll use Gamers Nexus’ standardized fan test results here to eliminate the cases’ stock fan configurations as a variable.

NZXT H510 Elite temperatures

Source: Gamers Nexus

The NZXT H510 Elite ran Gamers Nexus’ standard case test CPU, an Intel i7-6700K @ 4.4 GHz cooled using an MSI Core Frozr L, at a 55.9-degree Celsius delta under a torture workload. 55.9 degrees is relatively high for a mid-tower case, but it’s still a welcome improvement over the stock fan setup’s 59.1-degree delta.

Now let’s look at the Phanteks P500A’s results in the same test:

Phanteks P500A temperatures

Source: Gamers Nexus

The P500A wipes the floor with the H510 Elite with its 44.1-degree CPU delta. That’s nearly 12 degrees Celsius cooler than the H510 Elite. If that wasn’t damning enough, even the stock P500A’s 49.5-degree delta is still under the H510 Elite’s CPU temps even with GN’s improved all-Noctua fan setup.

Twelve degrees doesn’t seem like a lot, but remember that these are delta temperatures; you’ll have to add your room’s ambient temperature to these numbers to get the whole picture. If you live in a hot climate (as I do), that 55.9-degree delta can quickly translate to 80- or 90-degree load temperatures unless you crank the fans up to compensate.

The big caveat here, of course, is that you may not be interested in air cooling if you’re shopping around for a full glass PC case. If you plan to use an AIO or run a custom loop, airflow issues won’t matter as much.

Lian Li O11 Dynamic

Source: strawhatpcx on PCPartPicker

Of course, you can have the best of both worlds with a case like the Lian Li O11 Dynamic, which combines front and side glass panels with 360 mm radiator mounts on the motherboard tray and top and bottom panels. So you get almost complete visibility while maintaining excellent cooling potential; not quite having your cake and eating it too, but very close to it.

Cost vs. Performance

Our four picks’ prices should be enough to tell you that potentially reduced airflow isn’t the only cost of going with a tempered glass case. They’re also pricey, with the tempered glass panels adding a significant premium compared to mesh-fronted airflow cases.

The price increase generally doesn’t reflect increased performance, making tempered glass cases a poor choice for anyone looking for a good deal for air-cooled rigs. To illustrate this point, let’s take the Lian-Li O11 Dynamic as an example.

Sure, it performs well in an air-cooled setup, running an overclocked Core i7-6700K and MSI GTX 1080 at 29.6- and 53.0-degree Celsius in 3DMark. However, those numbers pale compared to the cooling you get from a Phanteks PA00A that’s a good few dollars cheaper.

Phanteks P400A temperatures

Source: Gamers Nexus

In the same test, the sub-$130 Phanteks P400A records a 24.7-degree Celsius delta on the CPU and a 48.6-degree delta for the GPU. And it does this with its stock fan config, without the extra cost of three decent-quality 120 mm fans that the O11 Dynamic needs to put up its (still above average) numbers.

You can get a lot more bang-for-buck from more mundane mesh cases. If you prioritize keeping (components) cool over looking cool, we’d recommend one of those. But if aesthetics is king and you don’t mind paying for it in more ways than one, feel free to get a tempered glass case for your build.

Closing Thoughts

Choosing the best tempered glass PC case for your rig is all about deciding where your priorities lie. They generally won’t offer the best thermal performance, but the right build in the right case can look absolutely stunning.

Overall, we think the Lian Li O11 Dynamic is the best case here, as it’ll work with most builds and cooling solutions. The other tempered glass cases on our list will require water cooling for optimal performance, so they’re a bit more niche. All the best in your search!

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