Picking the right PC case for your build is the most crucial step in PC building. The market is filled with PC cases that offer premium features and unique designs. But there are some features that most gamers barely use and end up paying a lot of money for.
So there’s no sense in spending piles of cash to buy features that you really don’t want in a computer case. In order to save you money, we’ve rounded up some affordable PC cases that come under the $100 price tag and offer unique features like soundproofing, RGB lights, more space, etc.
Even a PC case between $70 to $100 comes with a side-glass panel, more spots for adding fans, and an aesthetical design. Not only do these low-budget computer cases offer better design, but they also promote better airflow.
To stay within our budget, we’ll focus on the mid-tower PC cases that are compatible with ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX motherboards. After all, you can put all of those performance-based components inside a mid-tower as you do in a full-tower PC case.
List of the Best High Airflow PC Cases Under $100
|PC Case||Form Factor||Cooling Method||Reason|
|Phanteks Eclipse P360A||Mid-Tower||Air||Aesthetics/Fine Mesh Filters|
|Corsair 275R Airflow||Mid-Tower||Air||360mm radiator/best value|
|Thermaltake Core V21||Micro-ATX||Air||Small footprints|
|Silverstone SG13||Mini-ITX||Air||Ideal for SFF builders|
|AeroCool Cyclone RGB||Mid-Tower||Air||Aesthetics, Inexpensive|
Here are the top considerations from our side:
Phanteks Eclipse P360A – Overall Best PC Case under $100 for Optimal Airflow
Form Factor: Mid-Tower | Motherboard Support: ATX, micro-ATX, Mini-ITX, E-ATX | Cooling Method: Air | Radiator Support: 2x Front (240/280mm), x2 Top (240mm), x1 Back (120mm) | Fan Support: x4 140mm fans, x5 120mm fans | I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Mic, Headphone, D-RGB LED control | Drive Bays: 2x 3.5-inch/2.5-inch, 3x 2.5-inch (2 included)
Reasons to Buy:
It’s a well-spaced PC case with a tempered glass side panel and eye-catching aesthetics. There’s plenty of clearance inside this case for boarding bulky components. The ultra-fine mesh filters at the front block dust and promote maximum airflow to maintain the temperature inside the case.
We are die-hard fans of Phanteks for the last two years. And the foremost reason for this is that Phanteks brings down the affordability and style in one place.
The Phanteks Eclipse P360A is a well-built PC case with a tempered side glass panel and RGB strip running across it. The overall white look of the case gives it a neat and high-end aesthetical look on your gaming desk.
Despite being compact, there’s enough clearance inside this PC case to hold onto the motherboard up to the E-ATX form factor.
It’s a good-to-go option even if you are building a high-end gaming PC. At least there’s enough room for installing bulky CPU air or water cooler and a high-end graphics card.
Let’s talk a bit about the airflow mechanics of this PC case. As you can see there are two powerful RGB fans sitting on the front panel. Phanteks gives you the option to pick between 240mm or 280mm radiators at this point.
The fans are hidden behind the ultra-fine mesh filter that blocks dust particles and promotes maximum airflow inside the case. But after a week or so, you’ll find a lot of dust on the mesh which is more noticeable due to the white colour of this case.
Tip!!!PC cases with mesh filters result in optimal airflow. Mesh filters prevent the dust from coming inside the PC case.
So, in terms of airflow, this might be the best mid-tower PC you can get between the $50 to $100 price range. There are plenty of spots on this case where you can attach 120mm or 140mm case fans.
The Phanteks Eclipse P360A is available in two different colors, black and white. To us, the white one gives it a more appealing look and blends in more easily with the RGB lights coming out from the front and at the bottom of the case.
Corsair 275R Airflow – High Quality Mid-Tower PC Case Under $100
Form Factor: Mid-Tower | Motherboard Support: ATX | Cooling Method: Air | Radiator Support: x2 front (280mm/360mm), x1 top (240mm), x1 back (120mm) | Fan Support: x4 120mm fans, x3 140mm fans | I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Mic, Headphone | Drive Bays: 2x 3.5-inch/2.5-inch, 2x 2.5-inch
Reasons to Buy:
It’s one of the most reliable PC cases with an improved airflow mechanism. You can install up to 360mm radiators in this case to maintain optimal temperature. If you have peripherals that need more airflow to cool down, then the Corsair 275R would deliver you the best value in this regard.
The Corsair 275R looks more like a classic PC case, but it combines premium features and an old-style look on one platform. It’s a roomy PC case with plenty of inlets for air to jump in from the front side.
If you are building a gaming PC on an ATX motherboard, then this case would definitely fall down to your expectations. At least you can easily manage to install bigger components in this case.
Right out of the box, you’ll get x3 120mm fans with this computer case. However, it’s our personal advice to replace those fans with reliable aftermarket case fans. Moreover, these are just standard case fans and have no RGB lighting to them.
You can install up to four 120mm or three 140mm fans in this case. Also, Corsair pushes you a step further to install 360mm radiators at the front. This will result in more airflow inside your PC case if needed.
But keep one thing in mind, there would be more noise if you go with bigger size radiators. So, we recommend you stick with 280mm radiators at this stage. However, if you don’t care about the noise, then 360mm radiators will push in more fresh air inside the case as compared to 280mm radiator fans.
If you have never built a PC before, then we recommend you go with a PC case without worrying about the compatibility of your hardware. There’s plenty of room inside this case for hoarding gaming hardware.
Furthermore, the cable management in this PC case is much easier than we’ve found on the Phanteks Eclipse 360A. With better cable management, there would be more area for the fresh air to pass through the PC case easily.
Overall, the Corsair 275R is a wallet-friendly PC case with excellent airflow mechanics. Also, there are two years of warranty from Corsair to replace the case if anything goes wrong with it.
Phanteks P300A – Price to Performance PC Case Under $100
Form Factor: Mid-Tower | Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX | Cooling Method: Air | Radiator Support: Front 240/280mm, Rear 120mm | Fan Support: 2x 120 mm / 2x 140 mm (front), x1 120mm/140mm (top), x1 120mm (back) | I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Mic, Headphone, Reset | Drive Bays: 2x 3.5-inch/2.5-inch, 2x 2.5-inch
Reasons to Buy:
The Phanteks P300A is a well-ventilated PC case with points to mount fans for efficient heat dissipation. At the front of the case, there’s a mesh filter to stop dust from coming inside the case. Moreover, there’s up to 200mm clearance at the bottom of the case for installing a bulky power supply unit.
Right now the market is overcrowded with PC cases that are selling well above the MSRP level. However, the Phanteks P300A stands out in that crowd with its lower price tag which sits well below $100. There are no fancy RGB lights on this case, but it promises optimal performance for sure.
The P300A follows the footprints of the Phanteks P360A case. You’ll find a mesh filter front panel and a tempered side glass panel on P300A as well.
However, there are fancy RGB fans this time at the front as we had on the P360A. Also, there are RGB strips running along the base of the case.
So, overall cuts in the premium features make the P300A more affordable than the P360A. You’ll only find a 120mm intake fan at the front this time, which means reduced airflow inside the case.
But Phanteks gives you an ideal solution an extra 120mm or 140mm fan for increasing the airflow inside the case.
There are a lot of options available when it comes to installing an aftermarket case fan. You can get one from a reputed brand like the Arctic or Cooler Master.
For some users, the total fan count on this PC case wouldn’t be sufficient. Especially, if you are building a PC that is packed with a lot of bulky components inside, then you’ll have to consider other options like between P360A or Corsair 275R above.
However, this PC case meets the minimum number of fans you need in a gaming PC. Generally, two fans at the front and one exhaust fan at the back would be enough to cool down your PC. And this case has more fan mounts on it, so we don’t think there would be any airflow issue.
All in all, the Phanteks 300A delivers you the right value for the money you pay for it. Adding extra fans for $15 to $20 would significantly enhance its airflow performance.
If you are building a mid-range gaming PC with components that generate less heat, then the Phanteks 300A would be worth considering for it.
Thermaltake Core V21 – A Sub-$100 Micro-ATX PC Case With Optimal Airflow Performance
Form Factor: Micro-ATX | Motherboard Support: Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX | Cooling Method: Air | Radiator Support: up to 240mm (front), 280mm (top), 120mm (back), 280mm (bottom) | Fan Support: 1 x 120mm or 1 x 240mm (front), 2 x 120mm or 2 x 240mm (top), 1 x 120mm (rear) | I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Mic, Headphone | Drive Bays: 3 x 3.5’’ or 2.5”, 3 x 2.5’’
Reasons to Buy
It’s a compact PC case with smaller footprints and a spacious inner compartment. It’s a perfect option for micro-ATX or mini-ITX builds. Despite, its smaller dimensions, you can install a standard-size graphics card, power supply, and CPU cooler inside this PC case.
If you need a PC case that covers up less space on your gaming desk without limiting you to adding bulky peripherals, then Thermaltake Core V21 is your take. The case gives you enough clearance to install a CPU cooler with a height of up to 185mm and a graphics card with a length of up to 350mm.
This V21 is divided into two different chambers, the upper chamber, and the lower chamber. In the upper section, you can install bulky components that generate more heat.
The lower chamber holds the cable management, drive bays, PSU, and other components that you need out of your sight while peeking inside your PC case.
As the fresh air is pumped inside from the front panel, it moves down and then travels up into the upper chamber where it is then sucked out from the exhaust fan sitting at the rear of the case.
The airflow mechanism on Thermaltake Core V21 is better than most standard ATX PC cases we’ve found in the market. It comes with magnetic air filters on the outer panels that are easy to clean.
You’ll find plenty of fan mounting spots on this PC case that help in lowering the overall temperature inside the case. We think that this case needs more exhaust fans than intake fans. So make sure you install more fans at the rear and top of this case for higher cross-ventilation.
Overall, the Thermaltake Core V21 is an affordable and performance-oriented PC case with huge clearance to pop in bigger hardware. It swaps less space on your gaming desk and has numerous vents all over to promote maximum airflow.
Moreover, there are enough drive bays in this case to expand your storage capacity.
Silverstone SG13 – Inexpensive $100 PC Case for SFF Builds
Form Factor: Mini-ATX | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Mini-DTX | Cooling Method: Air | Radiator Support: 1x 120/140 mm | Fan Support: 1x 120mm or 140 mm | I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Audio inputs | Drive Bays: 1 x 3.5’’ or 2 x 2.5’’
Reasons to Buy:
The Silverstone G13 is a great choice for mid-range gaming PC or HTPC builders. There is plenty of space inside this tiny PC case for handling standard-sized mid-range graphics cards and CPU coolers up to 2.4 inches in height.
Silverstone offers computer cases that are ideal for building SFF or mini-ITX gaming PCs. In this case from Silverstone, the G13 looks similar in shape to the Thermaltake’s Core V21 but its cuts off a lot of space inside for accommodating hardware.
Unlike the Thermaltake Core V21 which offers more room for building a hardcore gaming desktop, the Silverstone G31 offers limited room for building not more than a decent HTPC or an entry-level SFF gaming PC.
Despite having limited room inside, you can install entry-level to mid-range graphics card that is not more than 10.6 inches in length.
This sub-$100 small form factor PC case somehow restricts you from installing beefy hardware due to its limited fan mount criteria. Due to restricted mounting options, there’s no way you can install higher-end components if they are able to fit inside them.
The airflow inside this PC case would be enough to cool down mid-range CPUs or GPUs. After all, it’s an SFF PC case so it’s better to install less heat-generating hardware if you want optimal performance out of it.
So only go with this PC case if you want to toss in low-power consumption components. To create more space for airflow, it’s better to opt for a modular or semi-modular power supply with a Silverstone SG13 computer case.
It would have been better if Silverstone has mounted more fan spots at the front and back for a rapid flow of air. But as it’s a cheaper and tiny form factor PC case, you’ll have to sacrifice for fan mounts this time.
All in all, the Silverstone SG13 is the best sub-$100 for budget-oriented and small form factor PC builders. You’ll have to pick your components wisely if you want to go with this computer case.
Aerocool Cyclon RGB – A Cheap PC Case With Good Airflow
Form Factor: Mid Tower | Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro ATX, mini-ITX | Cooling Method: Air | Radiator Support: 5 x 120mm | Fan Support: 120mm | I/O: 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, HD Audio Mic, SD | Drive Bays: 2 x 3.5’’ or 3 x 2.5’’
Reasons to Buy:
If you do not have more than $50 to spare on a good airflow case, then Aerocool should be your last choice to go with. For such a lower price, this air-cooled PC case offers the most needed case features like good cable management, RGB lights, and an appealing look.
AeroCool is the most reliable brand out there when looking for the best yet wallet-friendly chassis for your gaming machine. AeroCool products are way more affordable than popular brands like Cooler Master, Thermaltake, etc.
Even with a lower price tag, AeroCool doesn’t compromise on the quality and aesthetics of its products.
The AeroCool Cyclon caught the attention of my eyes during the research of this guide. To make sure it really stands up to the promises made by AeroCool, I thought of buying this PC case.
The most eye-catching feature of this PC is its backslash RGB LED, which you can see running diagonally from top to bottom on the front side.
You can switch between 13 lighting modes, 6 RGB flow modes, and 7 color modes. All of this can be controlled by hitting the RGB button on the top of this case.
To be honest, I haven’t come across any other PC case that offers this much customization for such a cheaper price tag. And if you want to choose between Corsair 275R Airflow and AeroCool Cyclon on the basis of aesthetics, then you have a clear choice in front of you here.
In the case of I/Os, the AeroCool Cyclon offers you the most needed ports like USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. Unfortunately, there are no USB Type C ports which I think is justified by the lower price tag of this case.
Moving on, along with the USB ports, you’ll find an HD headphone jack and mic for connecting 3.5mm media.
In terms of build quality, the AeroCool Cyclon RGB isn’t worth praising. Most part of these cases is made up of plastic, again this shows us why this case is so inexpensive to get.
Moreover, the side panel on this chassis is acrylic instead of tempered glass, which means you will see more scratches and discoloration over time.
Now let’s talk about the airflow performance of AeroCool Cyclone RGB. So, there are a total of 5 fan mount positions in this case (one at the back, three at the front, and one at the top). So you can buy 120mm fans and mount them in these positions for optimal airflow.
There’s enough clearance inside this PC case for installing full-size graphics cards and CPU coolers. There’s a dedicated shroud on AeroCool Cycle RGB to house your power supply at two different locations.
Lastly, to make cable management simple and neat, there’s a dedicated tunnel at the back of this case. No doubt, AerCool Cycle RGB is the best budget airflow case you can get under $50 unless you don’t care about its cheaper build quality.
How to Pick a PC Case With High Airflow
As you have gone through all of the cases that we’ve reviewed here in this guide. A question may pop up in your mind that how we had chosen these products. Before choosing a PC case that promotes optimal airflow, there are certain things you need to take care of:
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is the size of a PC case. It’s well understood that computer cases with bigger dimensions offer more space for fresh air to flow inside and cool down the heated components.
But the factor that matters the most in dimension is the width. If a PC case is wide enough, then it will hold more fresh air inside to lower the temperature. A spacious PC case also allows you to install beefy components without any issues.
To maintain proper airflow, a PC case must come with at least one fan a the front and one at the back. The front fan (intake fan) helps in pushing fresh air inside whereas the rear or back fan (exhaust fan) pulls the hot air out of the PC case.
For optimal airflow, it’s better to have at least two fans at the front and one at the back of your PC case. But some PC cases even have fans at the top for more cooling. The fan mounting position also impacts the airflow mechanism inside your computer case.
Remember that airflow is the key factor when choosing the best PC case, especially when you are planning to fit beefy components inside it.
Always pick a PC case that you like looking at. But just don’t fall for the looks of a PC case. It’s equally important to look for airflow and parts compatibility while choosing the style. Visuals of a PC chassis are the last thing you need to look at.
If you want to showcase your build from the inside, then look for a PC case that comes with a side glass panel. Phanteks Eclipse P360A is an amazing case with a large side view panel to show your build in its full glory.
Conclusion – Final Thoughts
Finally, these were the best PC cases with optimal airflow under the $100 price tag. Keep in mind that there’s no need to put a hole into your wallet to buy an expensive computer case with features that you’ll never use.
We come to the last part, which one of these cases gives you the best value for your money. If we had to choose from one of these, then it’ll be the Phatenks Eclipse P360A.
Not only this computer case is aesthetically eye-catching, but it also has plenty of space inside it to accommodate a beefy CPU cooler and graphics card. A spacious PC case also helps in optimal airflow, so Phatenks P360 surely lives up to our expectations at this point.
Is a mid-tower case big enough?
Mid-tower cases lie in between the smaller and large-size cases. We can mid-tower chassis lie on the sweet spot between price and performance. Generally, these types of PC cases are 18 inches tall and easily fit in beefy graphics cards or CPU coolers.
These cases are big if you are building a decent gaming PC with high-end hardware inside it. Also, you can easily fit two graphics cards inside a mid-tower PC case along with a bulky CPU cooler.
Do bigger vents result in more airflow inside a PC case?
Yes, if you have bigger vents on the front side of your case, then it’ll surely result in pushing more fresh air inside your PC case. Also, it’s recommended to have at least two intake fans at the front of your PC case to suck more air inside.
Is it better to open the PC case for airflow?
Yes, if you have a hot or humid area and have a PC case with fewer air vents, then take off the side panel of your case to promote airflow. Here’s a complete guide on how to safely open your PC case.
How Does Case Size Impact the Airflow?
As long as you have a PC case with enough fan mounts on it, there’s need to worry about the size of the PC case. On the other hand, the case size will impact your airflow if there are fewer fan mounts available.
Generally, a bigger PC case will have more space for fresh air to circulate inside and cool the components.
Hi, this is Masab, the Founder of PC Building Lab. I’m a PC enthusiast who loves to share the prior knowledge and experience that I have with computers. Well, troubleshooting computers is in my DNA, what else I could say….