4 Best Full-Tower Cases for Builds for 2021

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best full tower cases
best full tower cases

As we have written about before, SFF building seems to be on the rise, and micro-ATX has existed as a ‘happy medium’ for those torn between ATX and SFF, but today we get to dive into the world of Full Tower cases. These are the big boys, often offering E-ATX support and generally representing the largest mainstream cases for consumer PCs to give plenty of space to work with when building your machine.

Whether it’s because you foresee custom watercooling loops that require space, like the look of a big chassis, or plan on maximizing internal components that are large on their own (we’re looking at you RTX 3090!), there are plenty of reasons to opt for a larger chassis. There isn’t a hard threshold for full tower vs. mid tower, manufacturers typically make this distinction themselves when advertising, but you can expect a full-tower to be able to contain just about any mainstream component with space to spare. Even the behemoth 3090 should fit comfortable in a full-tower case, and allow space for a front mounted radiator to boot.

When it comes to choosing a case, there are really only a few things that we can guide you on: thermals, noise, and features (which really means front-panel connectors mainly, and maybe HDD/SSD slots). What we cannot do is tell you which design looks the best. We certainly have our opinions but aesthetics is subjective. What we can say is that you should take your time and look at lots of photos to be sure you will enjoy the look of whichever case you end up getting, while still ensuring it will give you great performance. If you are unsure of performance for a given case, we recommend exploring the GamersNexus website and YouTube channel, they do a great job measuring noise and thermals for cases.

With that in mind, here are our recommendations for the best full tower cases for your next build:


Best Full Tower Cases – Our Recommendations

Best Overall Full Tower Case

Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2

There are a few cases that could stand as the best overall full tower case, and we think that says a lot about the general full tower case market. Because they are built for the absolute biggest and best mainstream PC’s, full tower chassis tend to be overall higher quality. It’s harder to find a real lemon of a full-tower case, because most manufacturers don’t produce full tower unless they have a real customer base for it. In fact, depending on what you value most, any of the cases in this article could conceivably be the ‘best overall’. Our choice is based on the mixed design/performance that is appealing, as well as the reputation of the manufacturer (although all of the cases come from top-tier producers). We also particularly liked the airflow and modular insides that maintained a high aesthetic. Our choice for best overall full tower case is the Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2.

Phanteks cases, to put it shortly, are fantastic. They are designed with performance in mind so airflow is great and noise mitigated, but maintain a strong aesthetic that is neither too much nor too little. The Enthoo Pro 2 (despite a questionable name that makes me think of Star Wars) carries that tradition proudly and builds on the original Enthoo Pro to be even better than its predecessor. Options for radiators and airflow are nearly limitless, with up to 15 fans and 2 x 420mm radiators, as well as 12 HDDS or 11 SSDs. Airflow is optimized thanks to the mesh front panel and top panel, and the interior offers plenty of configuration for motherboard types and GPU cards. And to cap it all off, and one of the reasons we chose this case over our next offering, is a very compelling price of $140. For a high-performing and still reasonably good-looking full tower case, that’s a steal. If the Enthoo Pro 2 fits your needs, we happily recommend it as our best overall full tower case.


Best Airflow Full Tower Case

Our recommendation for the best overall full tower case has plenty of airflow to cool even the most demanding of products, with up to 15 case fans and a huge array of options for AIO mounting. But we have a second case that also claims to specialize in airflow, and can honestly be considered as a secondary best overall full tower case given just how close it is to the Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2 in terms of design, performance, price and even design. In the end, it comes down to which you prefer for subtle aesthetic differences, availability, or maybe brand loyalty if you already own other cases/components. Our recommendation for the best airflow full tower case, or alternative best overall full tower case, is the Corsair Obsidian 750D Airflow.

To be very clear, we do not recommend the 750D non-Airflow edition of this case from Corsair. The lack of intake led to awful thermal performance. But this was mostly rectified by removing a portion of the front plastic panel to allow for direct access (through mesh) to cool air for the front fans to pull into the chassis. Like most Corsair products, the case is well thought out and has good build quality and comes at a very reasonable price. The inside of this case is very spacious and the modularity of the hard drive bays is appealing to those with several disks of storage. Overall, the airflow is slightly worse than the Enthoo Pro 2, and the price is $20 more at $160, so we give the Enthoo Pro 2 the edge between the two. But if you are already a big Corsair believer or can’t find the Enthoo Pro 2 near you, the Obsidian 750D is a very strong alternative to choose.


Best Looking Full Tower Case

LIAN LI O11 Dynamic XL

We’ve talked about it before as one of our favorites for big cases, so it shouldn’t be any surprise we’re bringing it up again. Despite low supply and difficulty finding stock at times, there remains (in our opinion) one best designed case lineup that now includes both a ‘mini’ version and a full-tower version (on top of the regular mid-tower version). So, in case you missed our past mentions and still aren’t sure what case we are talking about, we really like the aesthetics, quality and noise/thermal performance of the Lian-Li 011 Dynamic. And now that Lian-Li has released and launched the full tower version, we are happy to finally be able recommend the big brother to the 011 Dynamic: the Lian-Li 011 Dynamic XL.

The Lian-Li 011 Dynamic XL is newly launched and not cheap – MSRP is about $200 but finding it at that price is difficult, when it can be found at all. The XL version takes the already spectacular Lian-Li 011 Dynamic and makes it bigger for anyone looking to do a crazy custom loop or just wants a larger case. The noise/thermal performance and build quality are top-notch, and the feature set is packed with plenty of choices for front-panel connections, hot-swap hard drive bays, and a variety of mounting choices for your favorite fans/cooling solutions. If you like the way it looks (like we do), this case should be perfect for anyone that has the cash and is looking for a full tower case that really highlights the interior of the PC while still maximizing performance from both a thermals and noise perspective.


Best Full Tower Case

Thermaltake Core P5 Glass-1

Similar to our recommendation above on the 011 Dynamic XL, we’ve also written about our favorite mid-sized wall mount case before and see no reason to not recommend the larger size up that shares the same advantages. Wall mount cases are great for builders looking for their next challenge and a different aesthetic, and nothing is more different in terms of cases than the wall mount case that helps your PC double as a piece of art to be hung on the wall. And if you are going for a wall mount case and need plenty of space, nothing is a better combination of features, build quality, noise and thermals than the Thermaltake Core P5.

The P5 is nearly identical in main design to the P3 that we’ve recommended before, and there is even the mega-sized super tower equivalent P7 if you want even more room. And the reason we love the Core PX lineup is that they have one main major advantage over other open style wall-mount cases: it isn’t too loud. When we think wall-mount, we often fear that the open nature of the case will allow noise to easily escape, but the Core P5 performs really well in the tests and benchmarks. As long as you are on board with the very striking aesthetics (which look great to us), the Core P5 will serve you well for your next wall-mount PC and won’t break the bank at $170.


Conclusion

When it comes to big cases, Full Tower cases are about as big as any mainstream consumer would need for a PC. While less popular than mid-tower cases, major manufacturers provide high quality options like Phanteks, Lian-Li, Corsair and Thermaltake. These cases are designed for buyers that want maximum space for maximum potential, whether that is for custom water-cooling loops, server arrays of HDDs/SSDs, or 15+ fans to hit max airflow.

While more expensive on average, full tower cases tend to also be higher quality. Our recommendations give four cases that we think represent especially good options, but make sure you evaluate your needs and find the case that works for you. Then, take a look at our list to help you choose your case for your next full tower build.


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