In today’s world full of vertical computer cases, going with a horizontal case will make your build stand out from the rest. There was a time when horizontal cases were the norm. You would put your monitor on top of the horizontal computer case and use it like that, but it is not common practice anymore.
There are several benefits to horizontal PC cases besides just looking cool. You can read about the benefits below. So, what is the best horizontal PC case that you can get today? By reading this, you will learn the answer to the question.
Best Horizontal PC Case in 2022
- Overall Best Horizontal PC Case: SilverStone Technology GD09B.
- Runner-Up: Cooler Master HAF XB EVO.
- Best Horizontal PC Case for Enthusiasts: Thermaltake Core P5.
- Best Horizontal PC Case for Mini-ITX: Fractal Design Node 202.
Benefits and Downsides of Horizontal PC Cases
One of the biggest benefits of horizontal PC cases is their convenience. You can install or remove hardware very easily in a horizontal case. You don’t have to plug everything out and lay the case on a flat surface horizontally as you do with vertical cases because it essentially already is in the horizontal position. This means that changing the graphics card can be done in a minute with the best horizontal PC case.
Another potential benefit that might play a huge role for some people is the space it takes. Some desks can only have space for a horizontal case or something square-shaped in place of a large vertical case. Also, if you are not careful, you can tip over a vertical case and destroy everything. With horizontal cases, that is not an issue because they are more stable. This is especially important if your desk is not very durable and might break under the pressure of a computer.
So, most horizontal PC cases are designed to take less space than full towers. Most of them are the size of a generic Micro-ATX case but can often fit ATX motherboards. That is because they make better use of the space inside. This can also be a downside in terms of airflow and cooling, but it is not significant. So, you will be able to fit your horizontal case under or on top of your desk without any major sacrifices.
And another benefit is that you will create less pressure on your parts. Most graphics cards nowadays are very heavy and cause graphics card sag, which is just another way of saying that your graphics card is bent. This is somewhat mitigated by reinforced PCIe slots in newer motherboards, but it still can look bad and your graphics card might break from the pressure, especially during transport.
The same is true for CPU coolers. High-end CPU coolers can be very heavy and can snap from the motherboard, which in turn can destroy other components inside your case as well during transport. Because horizontal PC cases have these components in their natural position, it is a non-issue.
But the main downsides of horizontal PC cases are the airflow and that they can take up more space than a traditional case. We have mentioned that some people might find it easier to have a cube instead of a large tower sitting on their desk, but some horizontal cases can take up a ton of space. You can get a good idea of how much they take up by taking a traditional tower and laying it sideways. Also, the airflow in most horizontal cases is not the best, especially if it is cube-shaped.
Top 4 Best Horizontal PC Case
1- Overall Best Horizontal PC Case – SilverStone Technology GD09B
SilverStone is a company that is well-known for its PC hardware. They make excellent power supplies, coolers, accessories, and computer cases. So, the GD09B is no exception. If you factor in the case’s tiny footprint, it is quite impressive. It has 7 expansions slots and you can even fit an ATX motherboard into it. You also have support for a 5.25″ external drive as well as 2x 3.5″ and 1 x 2.5″ drives. That should be enough for the vast majority.
The case features a gorgeous plastic front panel that has a brushed aluminum finish, but you might expect to see real brushed aluminum at this price point. The rest of the case is made of durable steel painted in black, so the overall design guarantees that your setup will look sleek and minimalist. And the case also has excellent airflow even for a horizontal PC case, so you should not worry about the temps too much.
You also get a 120mm fan included and the overall case is designed with positive air pressure in mind. That means that you will have great, quiet cooling and you won’t have too much trouble with dust either. You also get quick access air filters for easy cleaning. If you get the GD09B-C model, you will also have a USB Type-C front port, which we strongly recommend in 2020. Otherwise, you will get just two USB 3.0 ports and ports for your headphones and microphone.
2- Runner-Up – Cooler Master HAF XB EVO
This case is a close competitor for the first place on this list, but the shape and esthetic might put some people off. It is much taller than the SilverStone GD09B, looking more like a cube. And it looks a lot like an old-school Hi-Fi system with its unusual ventilation holes. But they are there not just for looks. This case has outstanding airflow, even better than the GD09B. It is a strong competitor for the best horizontal PC case title.
So, if you can get over the shape and prefer a futuristic look over something minimalistic, then this case is an excellent choice. You will get a very spacious computer chassis that can fit 2 x 5.25″, 4 x 3.5″, and 4 x 2.5″ drives. Most mid-tower cases do not come with so much space, so it is very impressive. Even if you do not need so many drives, your CPU and GPU will appreciate the extra airflow. And it has support for an ATX motherboard.
You can fit up to 5 fans in this case and it comes with two XtraFlo fans preinstalled in the front already. You can fit a 240mm radiator in the front or a 120mm in the back, so it’s a great choice for enthusiasts. At under $110, the value proposition makes it an easy recommendation. The case is marketed towards people who want a test bench or LAN box. If you fall into either category or just want a cool cube sitting on your desk, this case is one of the best that you can get.
3- Best Horizontal PC Case for Enthusiasts – Thermaltake Core P5
Here is something that looks incredible no matter how you mount it. If it is in the vertical position, the Thermaltake Core P5 looks a lot like a regular high-end gaming tower. But in the horizontal position, it is like a hybrid between a test bench and a coffee table. Please don’t use it as the latter, though. The top of the case is made entirely of glass and it is held by metal rods, so it showcases your build.
This case is marketed towards enthusiasts who want to show off their build in its full glory. It is an excellent choice for a custom water cooling loop because you have space for a 480mm radiator, which is enough for both the graphics card and CPU. It is a very modular case, so you can do pretty much whatever you want with it. You get three hidden 3.5″ bays that are located behind the motherboard tray as well as a 3.5″ tray in the front. You can also install 2.5″ drives there without any problems.
You get 8 expansion slots here and there is support for an ATX motherboard. The I/O port features 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, and HD audio ports. It also has great airflow because of its open design. The build quality of this case is incredible, which is to be expected at this price point. It is around $300, so it is not for everyone. And it does not even come with any pre-installed fans. Another drawback is that transporting an assembled system will be a nightmare in this case.
4- Best Horizontal PC Case for Mini-ITX – Fractal Design Node 202
If the main benefit of a horizontal PC case for you is that it is very tiny so that it does not take too much space, then this is the right case for you. Mini-ITX cases are very small, to begin with, but not all of them take the horizontal position into account. This is the most minimalistic case from the list because it is essentially a tiny black box. You get a fractal design logo in the front and the I/O port that has 2 x USB 3.0 ports and audio in/out.
The footprint of this case is its main selling point. At just 10.2 liters, it is small enough to be placed almost anywhere, yet large enough to fit a graphics card up to 310 mm. It also has a separate chamber for the graphics card for better temps. It can be mounted in both vertical and horizontal positions, so it looks a lot like a smaller gaming console. That makes it a perfect choice for someone who wants to have a computer sitting under their TV.
There is also the option of getting it with the Integra SFX 450W PSU, but it is unfortunately not modular, so we cannot recommend it. As far as the airflow is concerned, there is not a ton of space for fans (Only 2 x 120 mm in the graphics card chamber), but at least there are dust filters everywhere for easy cleaning and minimum buildup. At under $80, the build quality, small form factor, and smart design make it an easy recommendation as the best horizontal PC case for a Mini-ITX.
Choosing the best horizontal PC case is not very difficult because there are only a few good options. Make sure that what you are getting can suit your needs and that it can fit everything you need into it. If you want something tiny (which you probably do if you are buying a horizontal PC case), then the Fractal Design Node 202 is an incredible choice.
If you are looking for something more top-of-the-line, the Thermaltake Core P5 will be a gorgeous choice. The case will showcase your build instead of hiding it behind panels and the openness is great for both quick hardware switching and airflow. But for most people, the Cooler Master HAF XB EVO or the SilverStone Technology GD09B is going to be the best horizontal PC case.
If you care about the esthetics and want something that can be placed anywhere, go with the Silverstone GD09B. If you want the best airflow at around $100, the Cooler Master HAF XB EVO will be amazing. The cubical case will look unique and cool if you can have it on your desk.
No matter which case you choose from the list, you are going to be satisfied. The build quality of all these cases is excellent, so they are going to last you a long time. And all these cases, except the Thermaltake Core P5, can be transported easily so you can bring them to your local LAN event.