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PC Cases

8 Best PC Cases for Water Cooling in 2022

11 Mins read

If your PC has high-end components that generate a lot of heat, then it is extremely important to cool them properly in order to avoid any damage or performance throttling. The best way to that is to use water cooling solutions, since they are much more efficient than air-cooled solutions when it comes to cooling. However, liquid cooling systems are oftentimes big and chunky, so you’ll need to use a specially optimized PC case to install such solutions.

Read more: The Best AM4 Waterblocks for AMD Ryzen CPUs in 2022

PC cases that are specially optimized for liquid cooling are slightly different from ordinary PC cases. On the outside they look just the same as standard PC cases, but on the inside, things are slightly more different. For example, best PC cases for water cooling feature support for large liquid cooling radiators, and can accommodate a large number of fans. Most of these cases also offer great GPU clearance, meaning that even the largest graphics cards can fit inside them. Some of these cases even come with special holes which allow you to easily install custom liquid cooling loops that can go throughout the hole case.

Of course, the best PC cases for water cooling can also boast with great aesthetics. After all, what’s the point of having a water cooled PC if you can’t show it off to your friends? Most PC cases that support water cooled systems come with tempered glass panels, or feature a unique chassis design that stands out in your room. Some of them even look like large aquariums, which is quite cool.

In this buying guide we’ve listed the best PC cases for water cooling you can buy in 2022. Down below you can see our top picks for each category.


Best Design:

Cougar Conquer 2

Best Budget:

Antec NX410

Best Mini-ITX Case:

Phanteks Evolv Shift XT

Best Premium Case:

ASUS ROG Strix Helios GX601


Best Overall: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL ROG Certified

Motherboard SupportE-ATX/ATX/M-ATX/ITX 
Color PallettesBlack, White, Silver
Dimensions471 x 285 x 513 mm
Drive Bays4+6 x 2.5″, 4 x 3.5″
Radiator SupportTop: 1 x 360 mm / 1 x 280 mm
Side: 1 x 360 mm
Bottom: 1 x 360 mm / 1 x 280 mm
Fan SupportTop: 3 x 120 mm / 2 x 140 mm
Side: 3 x 120 mm / 1 x 120 mm
Bottom: 3 x 120 mm / 2 x 140 mm
GPU ClearanceUp to 446 mm
CPU Cooler ClearanceUp to 167 mm
Front Panel4 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
1 x HD Audio Jack

  • Supports up to three 360 mm radiators
  • Supports up to ten 2.5″ hard drives
  • Modern and minimalistic design
  • High-quality materials
  • Outstanding flexibility
  • Complicated disassembly procedure
  • Non-standard AURA Sync connector

There is really quite nothing like the Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL on the market. In our opinion, this the best case for building a water-cooled PC, not just because it’s fully compatible with ASUS ROG products and EKWB’s custom liquid cooling loops, but also because it offers plenty of space and lots of useful features.

Although it may not look very big on the outside, the Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL offers ton of space, and can accommodate GPUs that measure up to 446 mm in length. Besides that, in this PC case you can fit up to three 360 mm liquid cooling radiators, or up to nine 120 mm fans, as well as up to ten 2.5″ SSDs. This is all possible thanks to a smart engineering design and Lian Li’s collaboration with world-renowned German overclocker, DER8AUER, which supervised the development of this PC case.

On the outside, the Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL also looks stunning, since it successfully combines minimalistic design with dark tempered glass panels, high-quality materials and subtle RGB elements. The only downside of this PC case is its somewhat complicated disassembly procedure which may prove frustrating to inexperienced PC builders.

Best Open-Air Case: Thermaltake Core P3

Motherboard SupportATX/M-ATX/ITX 
Color PallettesBlack, Snow White, Red
Dimensions512 x 333 x 470 mm
Drive BaysAccessible: 2 x 3.5″ or 3 x 2.5″
Hidden: 2 x 3.5″ or 2 x 2.5″
Radiator SupportSide: Up to 1 x 420 mm
Fan SupportSide: Up to 3 x 140 mm
GPU ClearanceUp to 280 mm
CPU Cooler ClearanceUp to 180 mm
Front Panel2 x USB 2.0
2 x USB 3.0
1 x HD Audio

  • Compatible with different motherboard formats
  • Supports wall mounting
  • Supports 420 mm radiators
  • Supports vertical GPU mounting
  • Modular design
  • Wall mounting requires special bracket
  • Not for inexperienced PC builders

The Thermaltake Core P3 Open Frame chassis is a versatile and feature-rich PC case with groundbreaking open frame chassis design. With full support for liquid cooling – the Core P3 is built from the ground up to make even the most advanced PC customization and modification effortless and hassle free, making it a dream to build with.

The open frame panel design is protected with a clear acrylic panel – behind which sits the chassis frame, with support for the latest PC hardware, AIO and DIY liquid cooling solutions. Specially designed dual GPU and PSU layouts, plus a 3-way stand placement (wall mountable, horizontal laying and vertical standing) allow users to position the chassis in any orientation – and appreciate your artwork status worthy build.

The Core P3 open frame chassis enables user to freely build the system from the ground up with given modular panels, racks, brackets, and pre-design mounting arrays. The case also natively supports all types of AIO cooling solutions without the need for extra bracket. Overall, the Core P3 is an excellent PC case with very few downsides.

Best Vertical Case: Thermaltake Tower 900 Black Edition

Motherboard SupportE-ATX/ATX/M-ATX/ITX 
Color PallettesBlack, Snow White
Dimensions752 x 423 x 483 mm
Drive BaysAccessible: 1 x 5.25″
Hidden: 6 x 3.5″ or 6 x 2.5″ + 2 x 2.5″
Radiator SupportLeft: Up to 1 x 560 mm
Right: Up to 1 x 560 mm
Fan SupportLeft: Up to 4 x 140 mm
Right: Up to 4 x 140 mm
Top: Up to 2 x 140 mm
Rear: Up to 2 x 140 mm
GPU ClearanceUp to 400 mm
CPU Cooler ClearanceUp to 260 mm
Front Panel4 x USB 3.0
1 x HD Audio

  • Lots of space
  • Vertical mounting design
  • High-quality tempered glass
  • Supports up to two 560 mm radiators
  • Magnetized dust cover
  • Modular drive bay design
  • Heavy weight
  • Front panel buttons feel cheap

The Thermaltake Tower 900 Black Edition is by far one of the coolest cases on our list of the best PC cases for water cooling. Designed in collaboration with Watermod France, the Tower 900 successfully combines unique vertical design with an amazing flexibility. The case features high-quality 5 mm thick tempered glass panels and unrivaled expansion capabilities to support even the most massive liquid cooling systems.

Thanks to its vertical design, the Tower 900 eliminates GPU sagging issues, and it allows vertical mounting of multi-GPU configurations on an E-ATX platform. The case also features dismantlable modular design, and it offers great CPU cooler clearance (up to 260 mm), and GPU clearance (up to 400 mm). The case also features 1+6+2 modular drive bay design which allows you to easily install multiple hard drives. Due to its large size, the Tower 900 supports installation of up to two DIY 560 mm liquid cooling radiators, meaning it’s able to offer unparalleled cooling abilities.

The biggest drawbacks of this case are its weight and relatively high price. But given the fact that the Tower 900 enables you to do whatever you want and assemble your PC in almost any way, its drawbacks pale in comparison to its advatanges.

Best Super-Tower Case: Corsair Obsidian 1000D

Motherboard SupportE-ATX/ATX/M-ATX/ITX 
Color PallettesBlack
Dimensions800 x 505 x 800 mm
Drive Bays6 x 2.5″, 5 x 3.5″
Radiator SupportUp to 480 mm
Fan SupportUp to 18 x 80 mm
GPU ClearanceUp to 400 mm
CPU Cooler ClearanceUp to 180 mm
Front Panel2 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
1 x Microphone
1 x Headphones

  • Supports dual PC systems
  • Telescopic radiator trays
  • Triple-chamber design
  • Built-in RGB controller
  • Can accommodate up to 18 fans
  • Expensive
  • Tight cable management
  • Confusing instructions

Standing 697 mm tall and weighing 29.5 kg, the Corsair Obsidian 1000D is a veritable monster. It is also one of the biggest super-tower PC cases available on the market. This case has enough room to house up to 18 fans and four large liquid cooling radiators at the same time. Its best feature, though, is its ability to accommodate up to two separate PC builds, making it an ideal case for building multi-system configurations. The Obsidian 1000D also has integrated RGB lighting, two USB Type-C ports on the front panel, and telescopic radiator trays for easy and tool-free radiator installation. Last but not least, this case comes with its own RGB controller, which is ideal for synchronizing lighting throughout your whole system.

Best Design: Cougar Conquer 2

Motherboard SupportATX/M-ATX/ITX 
Color PallettesBlack & Orange
Dimensions368 x 631 x 744 mm
Drive Bays2+2 x 2.5″, 2 x 3.5″
Radiator SupportFront: Up to 240 mm
Top: Up to 360 mm
Fan SupportFront: Up to 3 x 120 mm
Top: Up to 3 x 120 mm
GPU ClearanceUp to 400 mm
CPU Cooler ClearanceUp to 150 mm
Front Panel2 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
1 x Microphone
1 x Headphones
1 x RGB Control Button

  • Jaw-dropping design
  • Detachable sub-chassis
  • Supports liquid cooling solutions
  • Built-in ARGB lighting
  • Modest CPU clearance
  • Cable management can be pain
  • Lots of plastic elements

The Cougar Conquer 2 is simply a drop dead gorgeous computer case. It features unique and futuristic design, and it also comes with a built-in ARGB lighting that supports system-wide lighting synchronization. Compared to most PC cases, the Conquer 2 features a detachable sub-chassis which can be slid out of its back, and is here to provide convenient and innovative installation experience. The case is also great for modders, since it features detachable elements that can be additionally customized.

When it comes to water cooling, the Cougar Conquer 2 is able to offer great cooling performance, since it supports installations of up to two liquid cooling radiators, and can accommodate up to six 120 mm fans. The case also comes with pre-installed 120 mm ARGB fans, which is a nice addition. With a GPU clearance of 400 mm, the Conquer 2 can house even the most massive GPUs, however, its CPU clearance of only 150 mm is a bit disappointing. Another flaw of this case is its sub-chassis sliding mechanism which can prove to be troublesome if your system is cluttered with lots of cables. However, despite its flaws this is an amazing PC case, and is well worth the money.

Best Budget: Antec NX410

Motherboard SupportATX/M-ATX/ITX 
Color PallettesBlack, White
Dimensions390 x 210 x 485 mm
Drive Bays3+1 x 2.5″, 2 x 3.5″
Radiator SupportFront: Up to 360 mm
Top: Up to 280 mm
Rear: Up to 120 mm
Fan SupportFront: Up to 3 x 140 mm
Top: Up to 2 x 140 mm
Rear: 1 x 120 mm
GPU ClearanceUp to 335 mm
CPU Cooler ClearanceUp to 168 mm
Front Panel2 x USB 2.0
1 x USB 3.0
1 x HD Audio

  • Affordable price
  • Supports up to three radiators
  • Decent expansion capabilities
  • ARGB control button
  • Compact dimensions
  • Mediocre build quality
  • Bundled RGB fans use Molex connector

If you are planning to build a water-cooled PC on a tight budget, and you are looking for the cheapest PC case for such purpose, then look no further past the Antec NX410. This sub-$100 computer case is an ideal budget solution for building a liquid-cooled system, since it supports installation of up to three radiators, measuring up to 360 mm in length. The Antec NX410 can also accommodate up to five 140 mm fans and one 120 mm fan, and it also comes bundled with three Antec’s ARGB fans.

This case also supports installation of up to three SSDs and two 3.5″ hard drives, and can house GPUs measuring up to 335 mm in length. The CPU fan clearance is also great, since the case allows you to install CPU fans measuring up to 168 mm in height. Although its build quality leaves a lot to be desired, the NX410’s expansion capabilities are more than enough impressive, especially for such an entry-level PC case.

Best Mini-ITX Case: Phanteks Evolv Shift XT

Motherboard SupportITX 
Color PallettesSatin Black, Galaxy Silver
Dimensions371 x 173 x 211 mm
Drive Bays1 x 2.5″
Radiator SupportTop: Up to 240 mm
Fan SupportTop: Up to 2 x 140 mm
GPU ClearanceUp to 324 mm
CPU Cooler ClearanceUp to 72 mm
Front Panel1 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
1 x D-RGB color button
1 x D-RGB mode button

  • Excellent build quality
  • Adjustable dimensions
  • Intelligent layout design
  • Supports 240 mm AIO coolers
  • Very heavy
  • Awkwardly placed front panel

Phanteks is a company known for manufacturing high-quality and innovative PC cases, and Evolv Shift XT is no exception in that regard. In our opinion, this is one of the best-looking and the most flexible mini-ITX PC cases currently available on the market. The Evolv Shift XT features a revolutionary and unique design, which allows you to extended its dimensions depending on the size of your system components. The case supports three different configurations: compact, air boost, and liquid cooled. It also supports installation of full-sized GPU measuring up to 324 mm in length, which is absolutely great if you plan to build a small and powerful mini PC.

When it comes to liquid cooling, the Phanteks Evolv Shift XT offers enough space for an installation of a 240 mm AIO liquid cooler. The case also comes bundled with a high-quality GPU riser cable, and it features ultra-fine mesh side panels. There is also a top hinge open for direct access, as well as convenient access to PSU power cables. It’s also worth mentioning that the case comes with tempered glass infinity mirror D-RGB front panel, which looks great. Overall, this is an amazing mini-ITX case that has a very few flaws.

Best Premium Case: ASUS ROG Strix Helios GX601

Motherboard SupportE-ATX/ATX/M-ATX/ITX
Color PallettesBlack, Silver
Dimensions250 x 565 x 591 mm
Drive Bays4 x 2.5″, 2 x 2.5″/3.5″
Radiator SupportFront: Up to 420 mm
Top: Up to 360 mm
Rear: Up to 140 mm
Fan SupportFront: Up to 3 x 140 mm
Top: Up to 2 x 140 mm
Rear: Up to 1 x 140 mm
GPU ClearanceUp to 450 mm
CPU Cooler ClearanceUp to 190 mm
Front Panel4 x USB 3.1
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
1 x Headphone
1 x Microphone
1 x LED control button
1 x Fan control button

  • Premium design & aesthetics
  • Brushed-aluminum frame
  • Aura Sync RGB front lighting
  • Supports up to three AIO radiators
  • Supports vertical GPU mounting
  • Flimsy motherboard plate
  • Bundled fans don’t support PWM

If you are a sucker for premium brands like we are, then you’ll like the ASUS ROG Strix Helios GX601. It is one of the best looking premium PC cases specifically optimized for water cooling, and can boast with stunning design, aesthetics and high-quality materials. The Helios GX601 features three tempered-glass panels, a brushed-aluminum frame, and integrated Aura Sync RGB front lighting. It is an incredibly clean and tidy PC case, not only because it comes with multifunction cover with graphics card holder, but also because it features rear cable cover for effortless cable management.

The Helios GX601 is also quite spacious case. It supports E-ATX motherboards, and can house GPUs measuring up to 450 mm in length. The case also supports vertical GPU mounting and it comes bundled with a special GPU bracket. Speaking of cooling, this case offers great cooling capabilities. You can fit up to three liquid cooling radiators inside it, ranging from 140 mm to 420 mm in length. The case also comes with comfortable case handle, and RGB-lit front panel. We only wish that the case was a bit more sturdier than it is, and that the bundled fans supported PWM. Other than that, the ASUS ROG Strix Helios GX601 is a pretty amazing case the looks awesome inside your living room.

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About author
Frank is the Editor-in-Chief at ViCadia. He is an avid PC gamer, as well as a tech enthusiast. Besides being a tireless writer, he is also ViCadia’s web developer.
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