120mm vs 140mm Fans – The Complete Guide

120mm vs 140mm fans

120mm vs 140mm Fans: The Complete Guide

Kaelum Ross


Mar 13, 2021

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Ah, cooling, it’s easy to spend hours obsessing over what the best setup is to reduce your PC temperatures just that little bit more.

One of the most important aspects is what arrangement of 120mm & 140mm case fans you install.

But which kind of setup is better? 

Today’s feature is here to explain everything you want (and need) to know for 120mm vs 140mm PC fans; comparing noise, performance, size, and price.

We’ll also go over the best case fans for your next build, too!

Table of Contents

Differences Between 120mm & 140mm Fans – Short Answer

We’ll discuss each of the main comparison areas in depth below.

But if you’re after the TLDR; on average, builds based on 140mm fans are superior to 120mm fans.

They tend to perform more quietly in comparable operations, offer slightly better cooling & are cheaper when considering you need to buy less of them to perform.

But, and it’s a big but, it hugely depends on the quality of the fans in question.

A good 120mm fan will be better than a mediocre 140mm fan, etc.

It also depends on the PC case you’re using and what it allows; we wouldn’t say that 140mm fans are so superior that you shouldn’t get a certain type of case if it has more allotment for 120mm cooling. 

Unless you’re very focussed on min-maxing cooling, we’d instead advise you to focus more on which PC case you want; which is why we’ve included the best 140mm and 120mm fans throughout this feature.

Overall Best 140mm Fan: Noctua NF-P14

This flagship fan from one of the best brands in the PC cooling business has been through countless iterations.

While we recommend other options below for RGB, premium, silence-focussed, or budget users, the NF-P14 strikes the best sweet spot between decent airflow and a wonderfully low price.

Overall Best 120mm Fan: Noctua NF-P12

Thankfully, as with most of our top picks on the list, if a brand has made a great 140mm fan, they’ve nearly always come through with a 120mm version that is of the same quality (relatively).

The P12 is no exception; with excellent CFM for the price, it’s a perfect mid-range option.

120mm vs 140mm Fan Cooling

There are a few miscellaneous factors like bearing type that determine the finer aspects of a fan’s performance, but by far the two most impactful specs (and the ones you should focus on) are RPM and CFM.

CFM, or cubic feet per minute, is the amount of air a fan can move per minute and the most important spec when establishing cooling capability.

Most benchmarks and tests show that the average 140mm fan, with its longer blades, tends to boast a significantly higher CFM rating and can produce better airflow in a case per-fan compared to 120mm offerings.

Things other than mm size can affect the CFM, like blade design, material quality, and most notably RPM.

RPM, or rounds per minute, is how many times a fan can spin per minute.

So for example, if you had two fans identical in every way other than their RPM, the higher RPM fan would be able to produce better CFM.

Generally speaking, 120mm fans often (but not always) have slightly higher RPMs if we’re comparing the same 120mm/140mm models.

This is to ensure they don’t fall too far behind the high airflow/CFMs of 140mm offerings, which can run at lower rounds and achieve the same as a 120mm fan working harder.

So with all that said, we still rate the performance of 140mm fans as the best in most situations, but 120mm can still be a great ally if your desired case focuses on them.

As always, quality matters most.

We’ve seen other resources say 120mm/140mm fans go up to ~1,500 RPM, and this is very far from the truth.

The range is huge; for mainstream choices, fans in either size tend to vary from around 600rpm to 3000rpm, but for some crazier offerings they can go as high as 10,000 (not that you need this, they’d sound like a jet engine too!).

Conclusion: 140mm fans are usually the better choice for airflow if your build allows it. But if not, don’t fret; you can still get great cooling done with 120mm offerings, what’s most important is picking high-quality fans in either size and a chassis that facilitates good airflow.

120mm vs 140mm case fans 3

Static Pressure

While CFM/RPM is where the main difference occurs between 120mm/140mm head-to-heads, we wanted to touch on a spec that is very important for certain placements.

Static pressure is the rating a fan gets which, in simple terms, dictates how much of the airflow/CFM produced will penetrate heatsinks or mesh enclosures.

Providing air through mesh-like barriers is a very different goal to airflow in a clean environment, so different fan types specialize in this area.

There isn’t a clear winner in 120mm vs 140mm for static pressure, so it will really come down to whatever your setup allows you to install (we recommend 140mm if possible due to its CFM advantage, but either is fine).

So if you want decent static pressure fans to cool your CPU heatsink (or a value bundle for mesh casing setups also), the Arctic P12 for 120mm, or P14 for 140mm are the ideal picks at a mid-range budget.

But if you’re interested in our other fan picks below, don’t fret; the choices on this guide all have decent static pressure ratings in comparison to many similar options, and this spec is not as important if you’re not dealing with heatsink/mesh coverage.

Best High-End 140mm Fan: Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-3000

If you’re after the best fan cooling possible, the NF-A14s are one of the best offerings to fit the bill.

With incredible high-quality material/blade designs and up to 3000 RPM mean the A14 have one of the best CFMs on the market.

It’s worth noting these things can get loud at the highest RPM (which you’ll only hear during intensive operation), but if you’re after the best airflow, they’re fit for the job.

The NF-A14s (and F-12s) also have excellent static pressure, and are a perfect choice if you’re looking for heatsink/mesh cooling.

Best High-End 120mm Fan: Noctua NF-F12 iPPC 3000

The smaller brother of the NF-A14 is a fantastic choice for setting up 120mm fan cooling.

Achieving similar top-range CFM and RPMs with their superb materials (relative to other 120mm fans) these products are one of the best PC case fans for gaming, overclocking, and other high-end usages.

120mm vs 140mm Fan Noise

Although the differences on the cooling/airflow front are notable, we think the real reason to prefer 140mm fans (if possible) is their quieter operation.

We’ll repeat the same disclaimer; this is on average. A low noise-focussed 120mm fan will be quieter than a standard 140mm offering (and would still be a decent solution for a quiet build).

But if we’re talking about how to achieve the quietest fan setup, we definitely prefer 140mm-focussed setups.

The reason is relatively straightforward; as per our airflow section, 120mm fans have to spin at slightly faster RPMs to achieve similar cooling to 140mm fans.

Now while other factors do matter in decibel production, if you put two similar fans head-to-head, the RPM they work at will be the largest indicator of which makes more noise.

You may think the blade fan size must matter too, but have you ever thought about how a ceiling fan in a house can be nearly inaudible, but a tiny desk fan can get loud very quickly? It’s primarily to do with the ceiling fan having to spin way less to cool its environment.

In other words; because 140mm fans have to spin less fast to achieve suitable thermal control, they produce notably less noise on average than 120mm fans.

This has been demonstrated in numerous benchmarks and tests.

If you’re looking at a quiet PC but only have 120mm fan availability in certain parts, don’t worry; the recommended quiet 120mm fan pick below still achieves very low DB(a) cooling.

120mm vs 140mm case fans 4

PWM vs DC Fans

While not strictly related to the 120mm/140mm battle, if you’re interested in noise, it’s worth briefly touching on this spec as you’re bound to see it in comparing quiet fans.

DC (direct current) fans are controlled by 3-pin headers on your motherboard, while PWM (pulse width modulation) adds an additional pin that allows the motor and voltage requirements of the fan to signal each other more effectively than DC units.

Both types of fans require a minimum RPM to operate (too low and they begin to stall, act erratically, etc.) and due to the PWM’s improved signaling, fans with this functionality can achieve lower RPMs (either by the user’s control or automatically during less-intense operation).

So for something focussed on quiet operation, it’s a good little bonus to have a PWM fan (if your motherboard has 4-pin headers, which many modern ones do).

(Don’t fret too much about this though, you can connect a 3-pin fan to a 4-pin header and vice versa, you just won’t get PWM functionality from a 3-pin header or fan).

Though to be clear; a good DC fan still goes to fairly low RPMs that we expect will satisfy even those users focused on a silent build (providing they’re using a decent enough case).

Go for PWM fans if you have 4-pin headers by all means, but only consider this a nice-to-have, and not a super important factor of a quiet machine.


Best Quiet 140mm Fan: Be Quiet! BL040

Be Quiet!, as you might expect from the name, is one of the leading brands in silent PC cases, and their work in fans is just as impressive.

The BL040 is fantastic at keeping its great CFM/airflow to a very low-decibel standard; if used with a decent quiet computer case, you’ll have the best chance at a nearly silent PC setup.

Best Quiet 120mm Fan: Be Quiet! BL039

The BL40’s smaller brother is a fantastic product for 120mm fan builds too.

It outputs a slightly higher decibel rating per fan than the 140mm version, but this is a difference of only 0.4 Db(a) at maximum speed. The BL039 is still very quiet when compared to nearly every other 120mm fan on the market.

120mm vs 140mm Size / Compatability

Sometimes, comparing the differences between 120mm and 140mm PC fans is apples and oranges, because it really depends on the computer case’s compatibility.

The average 120mm fan dimensions are 120mm x 120mm x 25mm

The average 140mm fan dimensions are 140mm x 140mm x 25mm 

In other words, although these can vary in thickness, 140mm are always notably larger, and most PC cases can accommodate fewer 140mm fans than 120mm ones.

We’ll reiterate one of our main points through the feature: it’s better to focus on getting a high-quality PC case for your needs. That could be anything from the best all-round, the largest, the cheapest, or the quietest, whether it accommodates 120mm setups or 140mm setups better is a secondary point.

But if you have the luxury of choosing between them, you will often be comparing larger amounts of 120mm fans and how they can perform versus less 140mm fans. The most common battle is 3 120mm vs 2 140mm.

3 120mm Fans vs 2 140mm Fans

For cooling, 3 120mm fans tend to have slightly better CFM /air output than 2 140mm fan builds.

But this isn’t the whole picture for a majority of cases.

3 120mm vs 2 140mm fans

Look at this picture of a relatively standard PC case boasting 3 120mm fans on its front.

The front is the most common place where you are choosing 3 120mm vs 2 140mm, notice how the lowest 120mm fan is mostly level with the PSU/HDD shroud.

Having a fan that is almost directly providing airflow to your PSU is not really very helpful.

Now take the red squares as an example of how the placements would look if you were instead using 2  x 140mm fans, and the arrows as the highest and lowest points the air is directed at.

Yes, the CFM might technically be slightly lower, but the airflow you are getting from the 140mm fans is better directed at your hardware that needs it (i.e. GPU & CPU).

Therefore if you have a chassis with a PSU shroud at the bottom of the case, the 2 x 140mm fan setup is better for cooling.

If you have a PC case with no shroud like the Lian-Li PC-011 Dynamic, then it’s very close to 50-50, but we would say 120mm fans come out on top for their slightly superior CFM (2 high-quality 140mm fans would still serve you well).

For noise reduction, 140mm fans still tend to come out as the best choice, with their narrow second-best CFM coming largely from lower RPMs.  If silence is your focus, stick to the quiet 140mm fan picks above.

120mm vs 140mm Price / Value

It’s all good saying which fan size is quieter, better at cooling, etc. 

But what is the best bang for your buck? Is the average improvement of 140mm worth a price difference?

Generally speaking, 140mm fans are slightly more expensive than their 120mm counterparts.

This isn’t a big increase though; the average price difference is less than 10%, and as far as we’re concerned, the superior CFM and noise reduction is well worth the modest price increase.

Also, as alluded to in the last section, you usually need to buy fewer 140mm fans to perform a comparable job to high-quantity 120mm setups.

Remember that you get what you pay for with either fan type; the budget fans below can serve most build well, but if you’re after the highest performance, see our premium picks directly after.

Conclusion: 140mm may be slightly more expensive, but it’s a modest increase for better performance/lower noise, and you usually need to buy less to achieve the same cooling which will mean many 140mm fan builds will work out cheaper!

Best Budget 140mm Fan: uphere BK143-3 pack

At an incredibly low price point, the uphere triple packs still manage to provide decent cooling for a budget build.

We would prefer users after the best PC fans for gaming or overclocking to go for our other picks on the list, but if you can’t stretch your budget very far, the BK143 are without a doubt the most impressive ultra-cheap fan options on the market.

Best Budget 120mm Fan: uphere 12BK3-3 pack

The 120mm version of the BK143 fans are even cheaper, it’s worth noting you won’t get the same level of cooling as the 140mm fans (with their longer blades resulting in better CFM).

But if your case is equipped for 120mm fans and you’re on a budget, the 12BK3 are unmatched in the cheapest 120mm fan category.

RGB Lover?

While there is no notable difference between 120mm and 140mm fans in the RGB category, we appreciate all of our picks so far are geared towards non-lit fans.

We love some RGB lighting too! So couldn’t end this list without some of our top recommendations.

Best 140mm RGB Fan: Cooler Master MF140

Cooler Master’s flagship RGB fan was the 120mm -sized MF120 for many years, and one of the most popular fans on the market.

But we’re pleased to see that they’ve created a 140mm offering that is just as beautiful, with its ARGB lighting illuminating the outer halo and inner fans, the MF140 doesn’t just look stunning in motion, but also boasts great performance/CFM for a powerful build.

Best 120mm RGB Fan: Cooler Master MF120

The MF120 is the classic option in Cooler Master’s RGB series and a long-standing perfect choice for those after the best ARGB fans on the market; balancing a great customizable aesthetic with impressive CFM, we recommend either the MF120 or the MF140 for anyone with the available RGB headers on their motherboard.

Top Picks Summary

120mm vs 140mm PC Fans Verdict

Let’s break everything down one last time.

Performance: 140mm usually offers superior airflow/CFM, with the exception of more 120mm fans in open cases with no PSU shrouds (still a very close race).

Noise: 140mm is the clear winner, having to spin lower to achieve the same performance as a 120mm counterpart.

Value: 140mm fans are slightly more expensive but their performance is worth the increase. You usually have to buy less of them to perform the same job, which means overall, you will likely save on a 140mm fan build.

Conclusion: In a majority of cases, we give the edge to 140mm fan setups.

However, with that said, we’ll wrap up the piece by saying our main point one last time; the quality of the fan is more important than the size, whether 120mm or 140mm, stick to our to picks above or other high-quality offerings, and you’ll be well set for a well-cooled build whatever the size!

What's Next?

The 15 Most Expensive PC Cases You Can Actually Buy in 2021

Most Expensive PC Case

The 15 Most Expensive PC Cases You Can Buy in 2021

Kaelum Ross


Mar 9, 2021

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Your eyes don’t deceive you, the cover photo is in fact a computer chassis!

At the highest price range, many of the best PC case brands have created some of the most fantastic offerings on the market.

Some of these are perfect for a high-end desktop (be it gaming or production work).

And some of them are, well…overkill in every sense of the word.

Today’s feature is about highlighting the most expensive PC cases worth buying for those after the best tower money can buy.

But we’ve also included the craziest cases at high budgets too, just for fun.

Top Picks

Quick-Fire Picks

Most Expensive PC Case Worth Buying: Corsair Obsidian Series 1000D

While we delve into some crazier options on the list, our top pick is focussing on the most expensive chassis worth buying for someone who’s looking to build the most powerful system possible.

The 1000D is simply a masterpiece as far as PC cases go.

Featured many times on What in Tech previously, the 1000D is a super tower PC case. While this term is often a bit of a “gimmick”, the 1000D lives up to the name as one of the largest cases on the market capable of hosting a dual-system chassis build.

This means you can host two independent PCs in one chassis (one Mini-ITX and one motherboard of any size up to E-ATX).

This utility is perfect for high-end streaming or other users who can take advantage of a secondary PC while their main setup does the heavy lifting in gaming/production.

With that said, the beauty of the 1000D is that you don’t need to run 2 systems to make this high-end computer case worth the money, it has a lot more going for it.

To start, the build quality is some of the best we’ve seen in any case. 

With some of the thickest aluminum and smoked tempered glass side panels (without compromising on cooling), the case is not only incredibly durable but also looks fantastic.

Stock photos don’t do this case justice – When powered on with some bright internal components shining through its tinted glass windows, the aesthetic is really a sight to behold and worthy of its high price-tag.

Inside the premium chassis is room for:

  • 10 x expansion slots
  • Graphics card lengths up to 400mm (more than enough for all mainstream cards and one of the best PC cases for RTX 3090 setups)
  • A very well-equipped front I/O panel, with 2 x USB 3.1 gen-2 type C USB inputs alongside the other expected ports (all with beautiful RGB backlighting)
  • Hidden drive bays for up to 5 x 3.5″ & 6 x 3.5″ storage
  • Air cooling: Up to 18 x 120mm fans (base configuration up to 10 x 120mm + 3 x 140mm)
  • Or liquid cooling: Up to 4 x 480mm + 1 x 240mm radiators (base configuration up to 2 x 480mm, 1 x 420mm + 1 x 240mm)
  • Triple-chamber layout to maximize cable management and airflow of both the main and secondary systems (as well as room to hide “uglier” components like PSUs and the aforementioned drive bays)
  • Decent inbuild smart fan controls which, alongside the fan allotment, makes this the best expensive RGB PC Case

These specs speak for themselves; the 1000D is a powerhouse in pretty much every sense of the word.

With its dual-system capability, superb build quality/aesthetic, triple-chamber layout for maximum airflow/clean internals & unmatched cooling capacity, it’s clear to us that no offering better encapsulates what we’d hope for in the most expensive PC case worth buying than the 1000D.

Whether you are building a high-end desktop for gaming/overclocking, stream, editing, or other production, this case ticks all the boxes and has everything we think you’ll need plus more. 

Best Looking Expensive PC Case: Antec Torque

Next up is another offering featured countless times on What in Tech for its incredible aesthetic and performance.

For the design, we’re sure the stock photo speaks for itself; the Torque is a wonderfully unique chassis.

With its build based on 14 uniquely-curved aluminum panels and dual tempered glass, the case doesn’t just look great, it feels durable and made to last.

As beautiful as the stock photos of the Torque are, it’s another example of a case that is only done justice by a fully powered-on rig in person.

What we like most about the Torque (aside from its mouth-watering looks) is its ability to still host a powerful build despite its focus on a design so far gone from traditional cuboid PC cases.

With room for:

  • 7 x expansion slots
  • GPU clearance lengths of up to 450mm
  • Bays for 1 x 2.5″ & 1 x 3.5″ drives
  • E-ATX motherboard compatibility up to 12″ x 11″

You’ll notice the drive allotment is the spec at play that will be a bit disappointing for some high-end desktop builds.

With Antec’s focus on aesthetics, the storage bays have been minimized to ensure the available drives are only in hidden places (as there is no part more capable of looking ugly even in the neatest of builds).

With that said, a single high-capacity 2.5″ SSD and 3.5″ HDD (alongside whatever NVMe your motherboard supports) is still more than enough for a gaming PC case/most other users (unless you’re looking at building a high-end server or production rig).

Where the Torque really shines spec-wise is in cooling; hosting up to 6 120mm fans or 2 360mm radiators.

You may think this isn’t that impressive for an expensive ATX case, but the Torque’s design is completely open-air.

Because your PC isn’t isolated in a completely covered box like traditional cases, even significantly powerful hardware can be cooled with way less air/liquid cooling in place.

If you want to stand out from the crowd but don’t want to compromise on fantastic capability for overclocking/cooling, the Antec Torque is the best expensive PC case for the job.

The Most Expensive PC Case Ever: InWin WINBOT

You knew it was coming…

We’ll be clear from the start; we’ve included this pick for fun and don’t recommend this case to anyone with the slightest concern about their budget!

While we’ve focussed on cases worth buying for the most part; a list of the most expensive computer cases wouldn’t be complete without the WINBOT.

InWin is known for being the best chassis brand for creating promotional/limited-run cases. The WINBOT is the grandest example of this style, with a very limited quantity existing worldwide.

It’s one of the rarest PC cases still in the market, usually selling for around $3,000 to $5,000.

With its unique 360 degrees/sphere PC case design, the WINBOT is made up of thick aluminum and plexiglass capable of handling its unique curvature, this chassis is full of unique case innovations like a motorized window opening, 360 degrees rotation that can be aligned with motion detection, and hand gesture operation.

It’s easy to forget this is a PC tower! But it does have plenty of utility for that too, with room for:

  • E-ATX motherboards up to 12″ x 13″
  • 8 x expansion slots
  • GPUs up to 340mm length (still enough for nearly every card available today)
  • Up to 4 x 3.5″ & 8 x 2.5″ drives
  • Up to 5 x 120mm fans or 1 x 360mm radiator + 2 x 120mm fans

Despite its incredibly unique shape, the WINBOT still manages to live up to its expensive full tower title with decent hardware space and airflow inside for a high-end build.

Is the WINBOT worth the money on a practical level? Not in the slightest.

If you’re one of the lucky people who can spend several thousand dollars without batting an eyelid, then the WINBOT is a lot of fun and is the closest to a spaceship PC case we see on the market today (it can’t fly to the moon though).

Most Expensive Mini-ITX Case: ASUS ROG Z11

For those building a premium desktop in the smallest possible form factor, ASUS has recently introduced a fantastic offering for Mini-ITX users.

The ASUS ROG Z11 boasts a design that is not only beautiful but also highly capable of hosting powerful gaming, streaming, or production setups (something that can’t be said for every case in the ITX form factor).

Starting with its build quality; the unit is made with a combination of beautiful thick aluminum, tinted tempered glass, and subtle ARGB lighting controllable by a front I/O panel button and ASUS’s signature Aura Sync software.

It’s important for an ITX case to be durable when many users like to build these setups with some portability in mind; which is why we love how ASUS has managed to build something sturdy and beautiful.

Where the real challenge is for even the most expensive mini-tower is the cooling/spec availability, which the Z11 also excels at for its size, with:

  • Support for 3-expansion slot GPUs up to 320mm
  • Up to 4 x 2.5″ & 1 x 2.5″ / 3.5″ drive bays
  • Up to 2 x 120mm & 2 x 140mm fans
  • Support for ATX PSUs up to 160mm

These may not sound very impressive compared to the other expensive mid towers we’ve been looking at. But as far as ITX chassis go, these specs are fantastic.

With plenty of fan cooling to support even a powerful build, the Z11 takes its airflow design one step further with an 11 degree tilted setup; pushing the motherboard to a slight diagonal angle, this layout means the underside of the motherboard/GPU both receive some room for airflow which is a huge plus for a tiny case where every degree of cooling matters tremendously.

With all of this in mind, the ROG Z11 is one of the best ITX cases for gaming with a powerful GPU like the RTX 3090 (just be sure to check the model you’re looking at is less than 320mm wide, which a large majority are).

Asus has created something truly special here. With fantastic GPU space, drive allotments, and cooling for an ITX build all housed in a gorgeous, durable & well-thought-out design; the Z11 is easily our top pick for the most expensive ITX PC case worth buying.

Most Expensive Micro ATX Case: Thermaltake AH T200

Is it a helicopter?

Is it a spaceship?

No! It’s a PC case!

Thermaltake is another fantastic tower brand and arguably the best at providing a variety of high-quality premium offerings.

Standing at the best for those after an expensive mATX PC case worth buying is the AH T200.

With its open-frame design that rivals our Antec Torque pick, this chassis is built with thick dual tempered glass windows and SPCC steel. This latter material won’t be quite as nice as the Torque’s aluminum finish but is to be expected at a notably lower price and is still very durable/beautiful when compared to nearly every other mATX chassis on the market.

Inside, the T200 has room for:

  • 5 x expansion slots
  • VGA lengths up to 320mm
  • Hidden bays for up to 2 x 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives
  • Cooling: up to 4 x 140mm fans or 1 x 280mm radiator & 2 x 140mm fans

With a similar approach to the Torque, the AH T200 comes with slightly less spec availability (particularly drives and fans) than other comparable mATX cases in order to keep its unique design as clean as possible.

And like the Torque, the lower fan availability is completely offset by the open-air design (in other words, you have a PC case here capable of high-end setup cooling/overclocking even with low fans – a great perk).

Price-wise, although it’s undoubtedly a premium case, it’s one of the cheapest options on the list.

This is often the case with the micro ATX form factor, which is the leading choice for budget cases that still provide expansive space for mainstream builds.

So if you’re after a case that provides a comparable capability to our more pricey offerings like design, build quality and space, while coming in at a lower price-tag, the AH T200 is a great option and one of the best mATX cases on the market.

Most Unique Expensive PC Case: Azza CSAZ-804V

Azza specializes in some of the craziest designs possible at the premium price-range, and leading them is the 804V pyramid PC case.

Made with very high-quality aluminum, thick SPCC steel, and tempered glass, its build adds up to one of the most durable expensive towers around.

The metal finish and sleek, sharp corners make this offering incredibly striking.

We appreciate the 804V isn’t just form over function though, with room for:

  • 2 x expansion slots with vertical GPU installation option
  • Graphics cards up to 295mm in length (lower than other picks but still capable of many mainstream cards, just be sure to check the width of your choice)
  • Bays for up to 2 x 2.5″ & 1 x 3.5″ drives
  • Air: up to 4 x 120mm fans with 1 x Hurricane II Digital RGB Fan included on the case ceiling 
  • Liquid Cooling: up to 1 x 360mm radiator

Of course, compared to the other most expensive ATX cases worth buying on the list, the hardware space is notably lower.

But this is to be expected with such a unique pyramid design; with its layout designed to accommodate a single-GPU build, and with the RTX 3070, 3080, or 3090 leading the market, a one graphics card is all you need for a powerful gaming PC case today.

The internal cooling of the case is well-equipped for a powerhouse build too, with subtle gaps in the glass to work alongside the fans/radiators for decent airflow.

We appreciate the layout of the case also lends itself well to a clean build, with the drives hidden in the bottom and all the visual attention on the main compartment (this unit will look fantastic with some RGB hardware should you look to go down that route).

The one layout issue we’d call out is cable management; some users have cited some slightly clunky accessibility to the hidden spaces available for routing. The 804V is very capable of hiding your cables, it’s just worth pointing out you will have a bit of a challenge putting it together.

What we like about the 804V is it represents a truly crazy design, but its price range isn’t nonsensical like InWin’s sphere PC case.

In other words; it’s a chassis that is still clearly made for mainstream consumption and is worth buying if you’re after a unique build that can perform.

Quick-Fire Picks

The above cases are our top picks are the most expensive CPU cases worth buying (or wanted to highlight for hilarity, in the WINBOT’s case).

However, there’s a bunch of other worthy contenders for those after the best premium offering/someone with more specific requirements or a different aesthetic; and we’ve covered them below!

Best Expensive Clear PC Case: Thermaltake Core P8

With cooling to rival the 1000D and one of the most beautiful aesthetics to show off an internal build, we love the Core P8 and talk about it more in our premium feature.

Most Expensive Case for Quiet Builds: Fractal Design Define 7 XL

One of our favorite cases of all time in any category, the Define 7 XL is a masterpiece from the brand king of quiet cases; if you want the perfect chassis for a silent build, you don’t need to go any more expensive than this. Read our review here.

Most Expensive E-ATX Case Runner-Up: Cooler Master Cosmos C700M

While we think the 1000D does what C700M does a little better, it’s still a great choice if you prefer its aesthetic or specs on offer and is still one of the largest chassis on the market for a high-end PC.

Most Expensive Dual Chamber Case: FSP CMT710

This is a “for fun” pick as there are cheaper dual-chamber cases that perform better for a high-end setup.

But there’s no denying this FSP case has a wonderful, crazy aesthetic and is still decent enough to host expensive hardware if you’re in love with its design (and have big pockets).

Beautiful Expensive PC Case Alternative: AZZA CSAZ-802F

Azza likes to work in unique shapes; while it doesn’t stand out quite as much as a pyramid, the 802F looks stunning and its cube shape is more naturally suited to the requirements of a PC. This is one of the best expensive desktop cases available for someone wanted to balance a unique shape with capability.

Craziest PC Case: Cougar Conquer 2

This case speaks for itself! If you want something extra large with more curvature, edges, and crazy colors than any other option on the market, the Conquer 2 is for you and comes with a layout and accessibility features design for a high-end gaming build. Check our review here.

Best PC Case with In-Built Screen: iBUYPOWER Snowblind S

While not as pricey or impressive for high-end overclocking/cooling as some of our other picks, a mid-tower with a screen built into the side panel window will be the kind of extravagance a lot of people have in mind when looking at the most expensive PC cases.

It’s a great mid-range case and is still capable of decent performance alongside it’s screen aesthetic.

Most Expensive ITX Case Alternative: InWin A1 Plus

As much as we love our top ASUS ITX case pick, if you’re after something even smaller, the A1 Plus is the best premium option.

With wonderfully tight dimensions, a unique ARGB light base, and included PSU, there’s a lot going for it which is why we’ve featured it many times.

Striking Expensive PC Case: MSI MPG SEKIRA 500X

Last but not least is an offering from PC gaming giant MSI.

While not as big in the case manufacturer space, they’ve managed to put together a really beautiful option with the 500X capable of hosting a powerful gaming build.

Our only trepidation is the cooling is not quite up to par with other full tower options, but if you’re in love with the aesthetic, it’s still worth considering. 

The most expensive PC cases missing from the list?

If you look around the web, you’ll undoubtedly come across other offerings which are very pricey but not on this list.

We reviewed many more of the most expensive computer cases while writing this feature, but we wanted to focus more on highlighting products that actually offer something for their expensive price-tag.

Take, for example, the JONSBO MechWarrior, which offers similar utility/aesthetic to the Antec Torque at double the price (and from a less reputable brand), or the Thermaltake Core W200 which has a significant history of difficult customization.

So if you don’t see an expensive chassis on this list, know we likely haven’t included it for a reason!

What's Next?

The 15 Best PC Cases of 2021

Best PC Cases

Source: Jaqobe

The 15 Best PC Cases of 2021

Kaelum Ross


Jan 2, 2021

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We’ve been through a lot of cases on What in Tech.

Anything from the cheapest to the largest to the quietest (to name a few).

But after 100s of PC case reviews, which stand out as the top choices?

Today’s feature is here to guide you through the best computer cases for gaming, general use, streaming, and production requirements (e.g. video editing) in all shapes, sizes, and budgets.

Top Picks