When hearing about vertical PC cases most users probably think about regular style cases with vertical GPU mounting brackets. These are usually mid tower cases with the vertical mount as the secondary option. This means that the case isn’t built around delivering optimal thermal performance with the GPU in vertical position. Even on most airflow cases, mounting the GPU in vertical position will lead to increased thermals.
This is due to the decreased GPU space when in the vertical position, limiting airflow. Using a tempered glass side panel can only lead to increased thermals. We don’t recommend using a vertical GPU mount if you want to have the lowest possible thermals. Now, there are some tower PC cases, like the Thermaltake A700, which have enough space for the GPU to breathe.
When it comes to skyscraper-style vertical cases, like the Phanteks Evolv Shift 2 Air, most of these have increased thermals due to their slim design and glass side panels. But some cases, like the aforementioned Evolv Shift 2 Air, have mesh side panels that allow the GPU to breathe. This results in thermal results that are in line with the best Mini-ITX cases on the market.
Now, by far the biggest source of issues with these cases are the PCIe riser cables. Most support only PCIe 3.0 standard, which can lead to a wide variety of issues when using PCIe 4.0 boards, like the X570 and B550, in combination with PCIe 4.0 cards, like the RTX 3080 and 3070. You can resolve most of the problems by manually enabling PCIe 3.0 mode on your board, or by getting a high-end PCIe riser cable. While definitely solvable, these issues might leave a sour taste in the mouths of most affected users. If you’re still into building a vertical GPU rig, or a vertical-style PC, read on.
Best Vertical GPU Cases - Our Picks
|Best Mid-Tower Case With Vertical GPU Mount||Fractal Design Meshify 2|
|Best Full Tower Case With Vertical GPU Mount||Thermaltake A700|
|Mid Tower Vertical GPU Case With The Most Original Design||Segotep Typhon|
|Best Vertical GPU Case For Showing Off Your Rig||Thermaltake Tower 900|
|Mini-ITX Vertical GPU Case With The Best Airflow||Phanteks Evolv Shift Air|
|Best Horizontal Case With Vertical Mount||Fractal Design Node 202|
|Best Slim, Console-Like Vertical PC Case||SilverStone RVZ03|
Best Mid-Tower Case With Vertical GPU Mount
Fractal Design Meshify 2
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||413 × 217 × 453 mm|
|Drive Bays||2 × 3.5/2.5”
3 × 2.5”
|GPU Clearance||315 mm|
|Total Fan Mounts||7|
|Front I/O Ports||2 × USB 3.0, Audio In & Out|
Now, there’s a ton of regular, mid-tower cases that support vertical GPU mounts. The thing is, most of these cases put the vertical GPU option only as an afterthought. This can lead to horrendous thermal performance, as well as limited GPU clearance. One of the vertical GPU cases with the best airflow on the market is the recently released Fractal Design Meshify 2.
This is the newest iteration of the legendary Meshify case. It comes with outstanding airflow, excellent internal design, lots of storage mounts, and support for a wide variety of AIO systems. The regular vertical setup supports only 2-slot cards. While better than on most other cases, thermal results are less than perfect.
If you plan on installing a vertical GPU build inside the Meshify 2, we recommend getting a universal vertical GPU riser bracket. Something like this Phanteks model. This will allow you to install a 2.5 or a 3-slot card without issues, at the same time giving the card much more space to breathe.
Aside from its looks to kill and fantastic airflow, the Meshify 2 also supports radiators up to 420mm in length. It has space for up to 9 fa+ns (three come preinstalled with the case). Its front mesh panel is easy to clean, and the case can host up to 14 storage devices in total when in storage layout. The regular layout gives you 6 universal 2.5”/3.5” drive mounts.
When it comes to alternatives, the Phanteks Eclipse P500A is a large mid-tower case with fantastic airflow and lots of space for vertically mounted cards. It also has excellent build quality and looks rather nice. The Lian Li o11 Dynamic is another excellent mid-tower case but again, use an aftermarket GPU riser bracket in order to get more room for GPU fans to breathe.
Best Full Tower Case With Vertical GPU Mount
|Case Type||Full Tower|
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||582 × 294 × 596 mm|
|Drive Bays||4 × 2.5” or 4 × 3.5”
6 × 2.5” or 3 × 3.5”
|GPU Clearance||410 mm|
|Total Fan Mounts||9|
|Front I/O Ports||1 × USB 2.0, 1 × USB 3.0, Audio In & Out|
If you like the hulking nature of full tower PC cases, the Thermaltake A700 is our first pick when it comes to vertical GPU mount. It’s a modular case with dual GPU placement options. And the vertical GPU option works great. First of all, there’s a ton of room for the GPU fans to breathe, like inside the Meshify 2.
Next, the case itself is humongous with excellent airflow, keeping the GPU thermals in check. Next, this is an excellent option for liquid-cooled builds due to its size and support for dual 420mm radiators. The A700 also has room for up to 11 storage drives and it can host up to 9 fans (one front and one rear fan come with the case). Overall, this is the ultimate tower vertical GPU case, if you don’t mind the size of the thing.
Mid Tower Vertical GPU Case With The Most Original Design
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||582 × 294 × 596 mm|
|Drive Bays||2 × 2.5” or 1 × 3.5”
3 × 2.5” or 2 × 3.5”
|GPU Clearance||320 mm|
|Total Fan Mounts||8|
|Front I/O Ports||1 × USB 2.0, 2 × USB 3.0, Audio In & Out|
Now, while most regular tower PC cases use vertical GPU brackets for the GPU, the Segotep Typhon features a completely unique take on the subject. The manufacturer rotated the whole motherboard mount by 90 degrees to allow the GPU to “hang off” from the board. This looks very impressive and is definitely original. The best thing about this layout is that you have a mesh front panel with multiple fans blowing cold air directly into the GPU. If you want excellent GPU thermals and a vertical GPU setup, get this case.
The thing is, while the GPU is getting a ton of cool air the CPU is hanging around in the back, with the GPU blocking fresh air from reaching the CPU. Not an issue if you plan on using an AIO cooler since the case supports 240mm radiators on the rear side. But if you have an air CPU cooler, be ready for higher than normal CPU thermals.
Another issue with this type of layout is rear I/O access. Yes, you have a removable top panel below which you can access the board and GPU rear I/O panels. This can be tricky and it requires using angled HDMI or DisplayPort cables. When it comes to other specs the Typhon supports up to 5 case fans, up to four SSD drives, and it has solid cable management. The only thing missing is the option for a vertical GPU mount with the fans at the front.
As for the alternatives, there isn’t any other mid-tower case with this design. The only alternatives are two similar cases, also from Segotep. The Argus comes with three preinstalled RGB case fans and the Phoenix is a flashy case we don’t recommend because it has horrendous airflow.
Best Vertical GPU Case For Showing Off Your Rig
Thermaltake Tower 900
|Case Type||Full Tower|
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||752 × 423 × 483 mm|
|Drive Bays||6 × 3.5” or 2.5”
2 × 2.5”
|GPU Clearance||400 mm|
|Total Fan Mounts||13|
|Front I/O Ports||4 × USB 3.0, Audio In & Out|
If you want the ultimate bling PC case for your custom water-cooled build, get the Thermaltake Tower 900. This is a unique case with a rotated board layout, which includes a vertical GPU mount. The case is huge and includes glass side panels on three sides, for increased visibility of your rig. It’s perfect for custom loops but you can also build regular, air-cooled setups inside it. Again, there’s no option for the vertical GPU mount with fans at the front.
If you want an equally extravagant case but smaller and easier to fit onto a desk, check out the Thermaltake Core P3. This case features an open design with a vertical GPU mount that guarantees excellent thermals. The downside is the perpetual war you’ll wage against the ever-present dust. If you don’t mind the dust and want a proper vertical GPU showcase, take a look at the Xtia XPROTO, a superb open case made for those with magical, dust removing powers.
Mini-ITX Vertical GPU Case With The Best Airflow
Phanteks Evolv Shift Air
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||186 × 470 × 274 mm|
|Drive Bays||1 × 3.5”
2 × 2.5”
|GPU Clearance||350 mm|
|Total Fan Mounts||3|
|Front I/O Ports||2 × USB 3.0|
When it comes to the vertical, skyscraper-style PC cases, the NZXT H1 is by far the most popular choice. The thing is, its design doesn’t allow the owner to show off their GPU in all of its glory. Then there’s the abysmal thermal performance and riser cable issues that led NZXT to recall the case. So, if you’re looking for the best skyscraper-like PC case, get the Phanteks Evolv Shift 2 Air. The only issue is that you’ll have a hard time finding this case at the moment. This is why our pick is the previous generation of the Evolv Shift Air case.
While it doesn’t feature some of the improvements of the second generation like the increased GPU clearance, better internal layout and easier I/O access, as well as increased airflow, the Evolv Shift Air is still a pretty solid vertical form factor Mini-ITX PC case. Its tall and narrow form factor is impressive to look at and the mesh panels allow for surprisingly solid thermal performance.
You can install dual 120mm radiators inside the case, allowing owners to install both GPU and CPU AIO systems. While 120mm isn’t perfect it’s enough to cool off even the most powerful gaming CPUs of today, such as the Ryzen 9 5900X, as long as you don’t overclock them. The case also has enough room for 3 SSD drives, it comes with quality dust filters, and can host up to three case fans. Overall, it’s a pretty good case that looks amazing but it is slightly tricky to build in.
Now, the Evolv Shift 2 Air has room for only one 120mm radiator but it has more room for the GPU, allowing you to mount virtually any AIB RTX 3080, even 3090 cards. Also, the new version comes with the GPU placed on the left side of the case, which is great for everyone wanting to show off their graphics card. So, if you can find it, get the second generation of the case just don’t forget that even the original Evolv Shift Air is a pretty solid choice.
When it comes to alternatives, the Sliger SV590 V2 is an excellent choice, especially if you want high airflow. Another case to look out for is the SSUPD Meshilicious, an upcoming vertical case with vertical GPU mount, Mini-ITX form factor, superb internal design, and excellent airflow.
If you want to get the regular, glass side panel Evolv Shift, don’t. The glass panel version has horrendous thermals (both the original and the Shift 2) limiting you to either low power GPUs or even low profile cards, in case you want to build an HTPC rig. We can say the same about the SilverStone LD03B. It looks amazing and is one of the rare cases with a proper vertical GPU mount but its thermals are awful. Still, if you don’t care about thermals or live somewhere in northern Canada, you could get it. After all, the LD03B does look stupendously attractive.
Best Horizontal Case With Vertical Mount
Now, the following two PC cases don’t feature vertical GPU mount options but are excellent vertical PC cases and a definite consideration for everyone wanting to go vertical.
Fractal Design Node 202
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||332 × 377 × 88 mm|
|Drive Bays||2 × 2.5”|
|GPU Clearance||310 mm|
|Total Fan Mounts||2|
|Front I/O Ports||2 × USB 3.0, Audio In & Out
The first honorable mention is the legendary Node 202 from Fractal Design. While officially a horizontal PC case, it looks even better when used in a vertical position. It has passable thermal results which you can improve by installing two 120mm case fans on the side of the case. The Node 202 supports dual-slot GPUs up to 310mm in length as well as CPU coolers up to 65mm in height.
The GPU can be mounted horizontally or vertically. There’s no room for AIO radiator mounts limiting your options when it comes to the CPU. Something like the Ryzen 5 5600X should work great but we wouldn’t use a CPU like the 10900K or the 5900X with this case. You can install up to 2 2.5” SSDs and thanks to three dust filters you won’t have to worry about regularly cleaning the insides of the Node 202. Overall, this is a perfect vertical case for a living room gaming PC.
Best Slim, Console-Like Vertical PC Case
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||382 × 105 × 364 mm|
|Drive Bays||3 × 2.5”|
|GPU Clearance||330 mm|
|Total Fan Mounts||3|
|Front I/O Ports||3 × USB 3.0, Audio In & Out|
Last but not least we have the SilverStone RVZ03, one of the best console-style PC cases. The RVZ03 looks pretty good, it comes with an ARGB front panel option, it can fit dual-slot GPUs up to 330mm in length and 149mm in width, and it supports CPU coolers up to 83mm tall. The case also comes with two pre-installed case fans with room for one more, resulting in some of the best thermal results in its class. You can fit up to four 2.5’’ SSD drives (if using an SFX PSU) and while the case supports ATX power supplies an SFX power supply is highly recommended. Finally, the price of the RVZ03B is very competitive making this case one of the best bang for the buck vertical slim cases on the market.