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Horizontal PC cases were rather popular, back in 1994. Ever since then, tower-style PC cases have taken over the market. These days, horizontal PC cases are mostly used for office machines, and HTPC builds. The market is quite a niche one, so getting a perfect case is at the same time easy and complex.
If you want to find the best horizontal PC case for your needs, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered the best gaming, HTPC, and a couple of other picks for the best horizontal PC cases, which you can check out below.
Before we start, we’d like to share a couple of articles our readers might find interesting. First of all, many horizontal chassis have limited GPU clearance, so maybe you should read our guide for the best low-profile graphics cards. Next, our best SFX power supplies list could be helpful since many horizontal case models only support SFX PSUs. Finally, most horizontal models have very limited CPU heat-sink clearance, so picking an AIO from our list of the best 240mm AIO liquid coolers could end up being a perfect solution for that issue.
Nanoxia Project S Mini Rev. B: Best horizontal PC case for gaming builds
We’re starting with a case that’ll be quite interesting to people looking for a horizontal case that supports high-end components. The Nanoxia Project S Mini is a quality-made case that’s not too expensive, and that comes with support for dual-slot GPUs up to 267mm in length.
There are dual-fan RTX 3070 cards out there that fit the bill, meaning you can fit an impressive gaming rig inside the Project S Mini. If you want to check out different RTX 3070 models, read our list of the best RTX 3070 aftermarket cards.
As for the CPU cooler support, you can use air coolers up to 60mm in length. That’s not tall enough for high-performance low-profile coolers, but you can fit something like the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4, ID-Cooling IS-30, or the Scythe Shuriken 2, couple it with the Ryzen 5 5600X, and end up with a quite powerful gaming PC.
Other specs include excellent cooling with support for up to five case fans, enough room for SFX or SFX-L PSUs, and three storage drives (two for SATA SSDs, and one for HDD). The design is immaculate, with a minimalist front side, top glass panel, and even a bit of RGB put in for good measure.
The entire bottom panel can be pulled out, making this case the easiest to work with. The case comes with dust filters, but there’s no PCIe riser in case you’re going for the horizontal GPU mount. Overall, an excellent horizontal case purpose-built for gaming systems.
Fractal Design Node 202: Best console-like case for gaming builds
Another horizontal case built specifically for gaming builds is the Fractal Design Node 202. It is a sleek gaming case with a focus on design, but it can suffer from limited airflow and potential heat issues. It accommodates two 120mm case fans in the GPU compartment to alleviate GPU temperatures and supports CPU coolers up to 56mm in height. The minimalistic design resembles gaming consoles like the PS4 Slim or Xbox Series X, making it suitable for entertainment centers, although vertical clearance is crucial to prevent overheating. It’s compatible with GPUs like the EVGA RTX 3080 XC3 and RTX 3080 Founders Edition, supports SFX PSUs, houses 2.5” SSDs, and includes a PCIe riser card. Dust filters cover most sides, but case fan options are limited.
Overall, a great case, but watch the thermals. If you plan on putting a high-end card inside this case, we highly recommend undervolting it. If you want to learn how, read our CPU & GPU undervolting guide.
SilverStone RVZ03: Best vertical case that can be used horizontally
The SilverStone RVZ03 comes in various colors and RGB options, all featuring a primary vertical slim design. While it can be used horizontally, doing so may impact CPU thermals. Its standout feature is exceptional thermal performance, thanks to three 120mm fan mounts. The case accommodates a dual-slot GPU up to 330mm, CPU cooler up to 83mm, and an SFX PSU. It’s suitable for a high-performance build like an RTX 3080 & R9 5900X combo with proper cooling. Storage-wise, it fits four 2.5” drives, but PSU length may affect drive space. The ARGB version supports AIO coolers, but limited clearance may necessitate air cooling. Overall, a versatile and attractive vertical case that can excel horizontally with thermal considerations.
The SilverStone GD09 is a top choice for horizontal HTPC builds. Despite its substantial size, it’s perfect for a potent VR or living room gaming PC. It accommodates ATX boards and GPUs up to 309mm long, along with CPU coolers up to 139mm tall, offering a wide selection of air coolers. The case’s thickness accommodates up to seven expansion slots, eliminating concerns about GPU cooler design. Cooling is efficient, supported by up to four case fans (two preinstalled). Storage options include one 5.25” drive and up to two 3.5” and 2.5” drives. Note, though, that it lacks AIO cooler support
The aforementioned HTPC cases are pretty large. If you’re planning on building a low-profile HTPC without a discrete GPU and powerful CPU, you probably want something pretty and tiny.
Something hardly noticeable in the living room. And the L80S from RGEEK is just that. A tiny HTPC case with support for Mini-ITX motherboards and pico PSUs. All that packed inside a highly attractive design.
The case comes with support for one 5010 fan (basically a small, 50mm brushless case fan), but the majority of the heat will dissipate via cutouts found all over the case. Thermals are pretty solid when using low-powered CPUs with integrated GPUs.
As for the CPU cooler clearance, you can fit coolers lower than 40mm. In other words, you’re okay with running any AMD APU inside this case. When it comes to space for storage drives, you can fit one 3.5” and one 2.5” SSD drive, which is nice to see in a tiny case like this one.
Cooler Master HAF XB EVO: Best horizontal PC case with handles
The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO is a thick boy, and while it looks like a box design, it’s actually the best horizontal PC case made for LAN parties. You get pretty handy built-in handles, which are very stable for carrying the case around.
You also get a massive amount of space, turning the process of building a PC inside this case a breeze. There’s room for a 180mm CPU fan and GPUs up to 334mm in length, meaning you don’t have to worry about clearance, GPU thickness, and other issues inherent to most horizontal PC cases.
As for the airflow, it’s great thanks to the chunky design and the huge, 200mm fan mounted on the top. You also get two 120mm front-mounted fans (which can be replaced with 140mm case fans), and space for one optional 120mm case fan on the back.
Finally, there’s also room for a 240mm radiator on the front side, making this a rare horizontal case with AIO support. The HAF XB EVO has enough room for a standard ATX PSU, two 5.25” drives, and four 2.5” or 3.5” drives. Pretty solid but not great, considering the sheer size of this case.
Overall, this is a pretty large horizontal case, but if you need space for a tall CPU cooler and a thick GPU or just love organizing LAN parties with friends, this is the case for you. If you’re looking for more PC cases with handles, check out our list of the best portable PC cases with handles.
The B1 from InWin is an exceptionally stylish horizontal case that stands out. It’s compact and versatile, allowing both vertical and horizontal use. The side-mounted fan preserves airflow in the horizontal position, although thermal performance isn’t the best due to its unique design and glass top. Opt for a cooler like the Noctua NH-L9a/NH-L9i for improved CPU airflow. Unfortunately, it’s not suitable for gaming GPUs, but rather low-power HTPC systems.
The small 80mm fan can be a bit noisy under heavy loads, though it provides some active cooling. A rear dust filter maintains airflow quality. The case includes a 200W power supply, indicating it’s not intended for gaming setups. With two 2.5” bays for drives, it suits most HTPC builds. Despite potential heating, the B1 boasts an appealing design, reasonable price, and an included 200W PSU, offering solid value for low-power APU setups.
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