Types of CPU Cases Based On Cooling System, Motherboards & Tower

liquid cooling case - Types of CPU Cases

Whether you’re building a new computer or buying one that’s already set up, you need to make sure you choose the right computer casing. If you’re new to the world of computers, or if you like to avoid the technical stuff, you might be wondering — what is a computer case?

There are several PC cases, and the case is a pretty important part of the computer hardware. They protect the internal elements of the computer, like the motherboard.

Suppose you’re building your computer or purchasing some items yourself. In that case, this is particularly relevant because the computer case size will also determine the size of the components you can fit in it. 

Even if you’re not building your computer from the bottom up, you still might need to consider case size if you want to rig your setup a certain way. For example, extra fans or cooling systems and graphics card slots might not fit properly into a small pc tower

So now that we’ve established why it’s important to consider water cooled pc case sizes, we’ll walk you through everything related to computer cases in more detail so that you can pick the right one for your setup.


Some people prefer computer case styles that also accommodate a cooling system. Generally, the CPU cooler styles you have available to you on the market depend on the wattage your CPU can handle, your motherboard sockets, and your PC case size.

There are a few differences between a normal PC case and a PC case with a cooler.

  • If you’re looking to invest in a CPU case cooler, the look is a huge bonus! There are hundreds of different cooler types and styles to choose from, and many of them come with RGB. They’re popular among gamers and can help to give your living space a sense of brightness and character.
  • Aside from aesthetic reasons, people buy CPU case coolers because they’re functional: they’re built to cool down your computer.
  • If you tend to do some intense stuff like gaming or photo and video editing, you’ll find your processor heating up pretty fast. A good air or liquid cooler can work wonders and make your job much easier.


liquid cooling case - Types of CPU Cases

The size of your motherboard has to be compatible with the size of your PC casing. When shopping online, you may have come across the term ‘form factor.’ So what does form factor mean?

It’s another term for the size and shape of the motherboard. There are several types of form factors on the market, and you can differentiate them based on size, slot, and face-plate location.

Whether you’re shopping for a new motherboard to fill your pre-existing computer case or building a new PC, it’s important to know the basics when it comes to case form factors. Let’s take a quick look at the types of motherboard form factors for computer sizes.


ATX (advanced technology extended) motherboard form factors are probably the most common motherboards you’ll find. ATX types usually measure 12” x9.6”, and they’ve been very popular since they came out in the mid-90s. ATX form factors tend to have decent expansion capacity and a good airflow system.

mini atx

This is a smaller ATX motherboard and measures around 11.2” x8.2”. Its mounting holes are located in the same place as in a regularly-sized ATX, and any case that fits your ATX can also fit a mini ATX.

micro atx

With a maximum size of 9.6” x9.6”, this motherboard can support four expansion slots and be used with both Intel and AMD processors. Any case that fits a regular ATX can accommodate a micro atx slim tower as well.

em itx

This measures around 17cmx12cm and is much more compact than the mini ITX. It has dual I/O coastlines and is, again, often used in industrial work.

nano itx

Nano ITX form factors are fully integrated boards with low-power consumption and measure around 4.7” x4.7”. This form factor case is often used in entertainment, media centers, set-top boxes, and the like.

pico itx

One of the smallest motherboard form factors, the Pico ITX is around 3.9” x2.8” and is often used in embedded systems applications.

types of computer towers SIZE

Now let’s talk about computer case sizes. Choosing the right case size depends entirely on your personal needs and preferences.

Do you want a spacious case for a home setup? Or maybe you’re tight on space, and you’d rather have a smaller case that can efficiently get the job done without taking up a lot of room in your house. Let’s go through the types of computer cases out there, and you’ll soon figure out what best suits your needs.

tower size - Types of CPU Cases
full tower case

If you want a case that can fit in anything and everything, you need to be shopping for a full tower case. These are large cases; a full tower size clocks in at around 24” (or even higher). A full tower case can house several internal drive bays (between 6-10) and 11 PCI slots in total.

They’re also known as E-ATX (Extended ATX) cases (although you don’t necessarily have to use an ATX motherboard with the case). If you want to rig up your case with cooling fans, a radiator, and a full-size graphics card, this is the case for you. You can get a lot done with this case if you have the space to set it up. 

mid-tower case

The mid-tower case is a size down from the full tower, and they’re quite widely used. Also known (interchangeably) as ATX or micro ATX case sizes, they measure anywhere between 18” -24”, and if you’ve got a normal, run-of-the-mill PC, this is probably the case you’re using.

In this case, you can fit all variations of ATX motherboard sizes, plus a decent graphics card setup and a closed-loop cooler. You also get space for 2-4 internal drive bays and up to 7 PCI slots.

Since these are so popular, you’ll find all kinds of well-priced variations of these CPU cases on the market, so if you’re on a budget but you’d still like a lot of room, this is the case for you. 

mini tower case

A mini tower pc case (also known as a micro ATX case) measures between 12” -18”. These are small tower cases and don’t offer much room if you’re looking for expandability, but they’re great for mid-range desktops and have space for 1-2 internal drive bays and up to 3 PCI slots.

While you won’t fit a water cooler into this case, the mini-tower PC case is a great option if you only need to load up some small graphics cards and maybe a small CPU fan.

small form factor case

SFF (small form factor) cases are small computer towers, also known as mini ITX cases. These can get pretty small, so make sure that you’ve planned out what components need to go in the case before you buy it. If you’ve picked a small mini-ITX motherboard, you’ll probably be gravitating towards this case.

You’ll have up to 2 PCI slots at your disposal, along with space for mid-size graphics cards and a stock CPU cooler. If you’ve got a small flat, then this might be an option to consider. 



Full tower case

Mid tower case

Mini tower case

Small form factor


This is an ultra tower case and the largest of all computer cases. It measures anywhere between 22”-30” in length, and 9”-13” in width.

The mid size tower case is common among most computer users, and can be anywhere between 18”-24”, or even as small as 15”. It’s around 6”-10” in width.

On average, mini tower cases may be between 12”-18” in length and 6”-10” in width

SFF cases are the smallest of PC case types and can be anywhere between 10”-14” in length, and 5”-8” in width.


This case can support all ATX motherboard sizes, as well as mini ITX and SSI EEB form factors. 

The mid tower can support all ATX motherboard form factors.

Mini towers can fit micro and mini ATX motherboards.

SFF cases can support micro and mini ATX motherboards.


This is a great choice for professionals and gamers and has optimum space for expansion, whether you need additional slots or a fancy cooler.

An ideal choice if you don’t do extreme gaming or anything extremely intense. The vast majority of people use mid tower cases.

This is perfect for basic browsing, streaming, and work. Although it can’t take anything too heavy, it’s a good choice if you’re living in tight quarters.

These cases are often used to house home media centers for streaming or connecting to a TV or monitor.


Case sizes with these dimensions tend to need quite a bit of room. They can be quite difficult to transport.

Mid tower cases can handle large graphics cards, but you may not always have space to set up an efficient water cooling system.

If you want additional RAM or ROM slots, you should opt for a larger size

This is mostly an option for people who want highly customizable setups. SFF cases might not suit regular computer users.


These can be a bit pricey.

You should be able to get mid size cases at reasonable prices. 

These are quite cheap.

SFF cases range from reasonable to expensive.


So there you have it, now all the information about desktop case sizes is at your fingertips! If you’re looking to buy a case, make sure you assess your needs first, and also how much space you have at your disposal. Once you’ve nailed down which case you’re buying, make sure you carefully measure the computer case dimensions and the components that need to go in it, so you can create the perfect digital setup.



If you’re an intense gamer and like to stay on top of every new release and all the tech trends, you can go all out and spring for a full tower case. These computer PC tower sizes are large and should have ample room for large graphics cards, as well as any cooling systems and RGB fans you want to add to deck up your case.

However, regular gamers can also go for a mid-tower case. You’ll still be able to fit in your graphics cards and a decent cooling system, but the case won’t take up as much room, and you’ll have saved a bit of money in the process.


If you’re a regular user and you don’t use your computer for anything other than browsing, streaming, and gaming, chances are you have a mid-tower case, as these are quite common. However, if you’re not sure what compact cpu cabinet you have, simply measure it and compare the measurements to the chart above. 


This is purely down to your needs and preferences. Heavy gamers should opt for full or mid-tower cases. If you’re a regular office user who just wants to get some work done and chill on Netflix in your downtime, you can also use a mid-tower or even a mini-tower case.

If you’re new to setting up computers, try and go for a case that has a good cable management system (motherboard cutouts) and a tool-less design. SFF cases are generally not for regular users and have small PC case dimensions; if you want a very specific setup for exclusively streaming or connecting your case to a screen, then you can consider this case.


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