Which Open Air Computer Case Should You Pick?

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n open air computer case is a type of a computer case that is specifically designed for ventilation so that air can flow efficiently in and around. The open flow construction of these cases gives them improved thermals characteristics and better heat dissipation properties. Mostly open air computer cases are used due to their aesthetically pleasing design as look better for display.

Computer cases are designed to contain a motherboard, which a key component of a computer. Motherboards are designed based on their form factors, with the most common being the ATX, mini ATX, and micro ATX. To hold an ATX motherboard, the computer case must have enough room leaving enough space for ventilation. Similarly, the size of the computer case can be reduced to hold small size motherboards, mini ATX, and Micro ATX, so as to not waste any extra space. An efficient computer case is the one that can hold the motherboard and other components with ample ventilation space in a small area as possible. 

Best Open Air Cases

Some of the best open-air computer cases, available in the market now, and their features are described below.

Thermaltake Core P5 Tempered Glass ATX Open Air Case

The Thermaltake Core P5 tempered glass open air case is an ATX open air case, which was introduced in 2019. It has the frame made of stainless steel, with three side panels made of transparent tempered glass. It has 8 expansion slots and can fit in ATX, mini ATX, and Micro ATX motherboards. In terms of cooling, the Thermaltake Core P5 offers liquid cooling and air cooling with 7 fans, fitted at the left side. This PC case can be placed on the floor or mounted on a wall. It was priced at the time of release at around $250.

Thermaltake Core P7 Tempered Glass Full Tower Case

The Thermaltake Core P7 tempered glass full tower case is an ATX open air case, which was introduced in 2017. It is a huge case consisting of three parts; the main casing, which is an extended open air full tower case, with tempered glass panels, and two extended casings on either side connected like doors. It has 8 expansion slots and can fit in ATX, mini ATX and micro ATX and extended ATX motherboards. The Thermaltake Core P7 offers both liquid cooling and air cooling with enough space for radiators and fans. This case is best suited for building a powerful water cooling system to allow the efficient use of heavy components. It was priced at the time of release at around $300.

Thermaltake Core P90 Tempered Glass Open Air Case

The Thermaltake Core P90 tempered glass open air case, introduced in late 2017, is an ATX open air computer case that is designed in the shape of a triangle and has got lots of room. This computer case can be set up horizontally, vertically, or mounted on a wall. It has a triangular shaped base with tempered glass panels on both sides of the base. It also has 8 expansion slots and can fit in ATX, mini ATX and micro ATX and motherboards. It also has 5 USB ports and two audio ports. As the design of this PC case is very open, so the air ventilation is very good, but there is less space for liquid cooling. It was priced at the time of release at around $150.

In-Win D-Frame Open Air Case

The In-Win D-Frame open air case is an ATX open air case designed by In-Win, who is an expert in open air case designing, was introduced in 2013. This PC case is also known as the motorcycle case, which is due to the framework of the case made up of aluminum pipes, much like a sports motorbike. The frame is designed in the shape of the letter “D,” which is why the model is called the D-frame. On both sides of the frame structure are two tempered glass panels, which give the case an aesthetically pleasing look. The open structure of the PC case doesn’t require the need for fans for ventilation as two sides of the case are pretty much open, and air can flow easily. However, this case still includes space for 4 fans in case further airflow is required. The computer case is available in various bright colors; green, blue, orange, and red. The In-Win D-Frame open-air case has 8 expansion slots and 3 USB ports but can fit in only ATX and mini ATX motherboards. It was priced at the time of release at around $200.

In-Win D-Frame 2.0 Open Air Case

The In-Win D-Frame 2.0 open air case is an upgraded version of the above mentioned InWin D-Frame open air case and was introduced by In-Win in 2016. This case also has a frame in the shape of the letter “D,” made up of pipes of aluminum and steel. Similar to the previous version, it has two tempered glass panels on either side, giving the case a pleasing look. This case structure doesn’t require the need for fans for ventilation as both sides of the case are open for air to flow easily. However, there is space for 3 fans in case further airflow is required. The computer case is available in three combinations of colors; blue/white, black/gold, and green/black. The In-Win D-Frame 2.0 open-air case also has 8 expansion slots but only 2 USB ports and can fit in ATX, mini ATX and E-ATX motherboards. This computer case was priced at the time of release at around $1100! 

Cougar Conquer Open Air Case

The Cougar Conquer open air case is an open air case made up of an aluminum frame, supported by two side panels made up of tempered glass, giving it a futuristic look. It has three fans for air cooling at the top, although there is space for two more fans at the front for more airflow. It has 7 expansion slots but only 2 USB and audio ports and can fit in ATX, mini ATX and E-ATX motherboards. It was priced at the time of release in 2017 at around $280! Cougar Conquer open air case, with a stylish, beautiful design, good performance, and a relatively low price make it one of the sought after open air cases right now.

Thermaltake Core P1 Tempered Glass Mini ATX Open Air Case 

The Thermaltake Core P1 tempered glass mini ATX is an open air case with a small form factor. It has a frame made of steel with four pipes on the corners supporting a 5mm tempered glass panel, with the sides open for efficient air ventilation. This case also includes liquid cooling solutions alongside air ventilation. It has 5 expansion slots, 6 USB, and audio ports and supports a mini ATX motherboard only. It is available in two colors; black and red, with the color illuminating the body of the frame. This case was priced at the time of release, in 2017, at around $115.

In-Win D-Frame Mini Open Air Case

The In-Win D-Frame mini open air case is the mini version of the In-Win D-Frame open air case, mentioned above. Similar to its bigger counterpart, this case has an aluminum frame in the shape of the letter “D” and two tempered glass panels on either side. An addition to the frame is the rubber bumpers to prevent damage to the frame and to resist sliding. The case also has a radiator for liquid cooling but no fans, instead of relying on the open sides for air ventilation. It has only 2 expansion slots and 3 USB and audio ports and supports mini ATX motherboards only. The In-Win D-Frame mini, like its bigger version, is available in various colors; black, green, blue, orange, and red and was priced at the time of release at around $200.

Computer cases can be differentiated on form factors, ventilation features, aesthetic design, construction, and price.

Form Factor

ATX cube cases are one of the most used worldwide. Similarly, micro-ATX cube cases, including small motherboards, are also used extensively. Micro ATX, having a form factor of about 25% less than that of ATX, meaning that the space for fitting computer components is 25% less in micro-ATX than ATX, is also used. E-ATX motherboards are also now being used, which are basically ATX motherboards with extended size hence the name. For Example, In-Win D-Frame open air case is compatible with ATX, mini ATX, and Micro ATX, while In-Win D-Frame Mini open air case can only support mini ATX motherboards only.

Cooling Features

Most PC cases are designed to enable good airflow through their bodies to tackle the issue of heat dissipation. For efficient ventilation systems, fans are also installed to provide an external source of airflow. Some cases are also designed with a liquid cooling system where a series of pipes are fitted to control the flow of liquid to reduce temperatures. Ultimately, cooling depends upon the design of the case, and open air cases are designed to provide a good airflow channel. The Thermaltake Core P7 tempered glass full tower case is one of the best open air cases for cooling purposes.

Aesthetic Design

As open air cases are usually fitted with high-end PC components, with users spending lots of money on these components, a computer case with a beautiful look is preferred. The Cougar Conquer open air case, for example, has a unique and beautiful look as compared to some other computer case designs.

Construction

Construction of a computer case is very important as it affects its cooling effects and looks. The strength of the case also depends upon the material used in the construction of the frame and the panels. Usually, the frame is made of steel or aluminum, and the panels are made of tempered glass. For example, the In-Win D-Frame mini open air case has rubber bumpers on the body of the frame to prevent damage. 

Price

The ultimate deciding factor for a user when buying is the price of the computer case. Most of the cases mentioned below lie in the same price range, but some, like the In-Win D-Frame 2.0 at around $1100, are very expensive.

Conclusion

The user’s decision on choosing the best open air computer case depends upon the make of the computer hardware components, cooling characteristics required, physical features of the case, and its price. Overall, a case such as the Cougar Conquer open air case with beautiful design and good cooling systems and available at $300 can be viewed as a good choice when compared to the other open air computer cases. The Thermaltake Core P5 can also be judged to be an efficient and cost-effective computer case due to its reliability and accessibility. 

Photo by 洋榤 郭 from Pexels

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