Difference Between Full Tower vs Mid Tower Case – Which PC Case Should You Buy?

PC cases are not merely boxes that hold your computer hardware together. There are quite a few things about PC cases to consider when building your PC. Some of these considerations include the size of your motherboard, spacious innards, optimal airflow within the case or effective water-cooling support, reduced noise output (muffled sound), cable management, front-panel connections, tempered glass panels, and even lighting (flashing LEDs).

There’s also the question of whether to buy the sleeker mid-tower case and risk excessive internal heat or if you should go for the off-putting bigger full tower case and risk being stuck with excessive unused casing space. And of course, you’ll have to think about the cost too.

If you’re buying a prebuilt PC, you probably don’t need to bother about these considerations. But if you want to build a computer that meets your particular needs (or if you think the DIY approach to building custom PC makes more cost-effective sense), you will have to give some thoughts to these requirements before purchasing a PC case.

To help you make an informed decision between full tower vs. mid-tower case, this article will show you the most important factors to consider when buying a PC case.

Full Tower Vs. Mid Tower: Major Differences

Typically, full tower PC cases measure about 20 to 22 inches high (or more), while the mid-tower cases are averagely 17 to 18 inches high. Besides the apparent size differences, other factors, such as performance, price, and adaptability, separate the two.

Perhaps one of the significant differences between the two is in the niches they serve. While the full tower PC case is mostly for people who require heavy-duty CPUs, the mid-tower PC case is primarily for standard gaming and workstations.

When buying a PC case, it is better to think of these differences in terms of pros and cons instead of one PC case being better than the other. The question of full tower vs. mid-tower is a question of finding what suits your needs the most.

To help you decide what will better serve your purpose, consider the following advantages and disadvantages of both cases.

Full Tower Case: Pros and Cons

With room for 7 to 10 PCI-E slots, the full tower case is large enough to accommodate enough hardware to serve most purposes, including liquid or water cooling. It also has enough room to support up to 12 fans that can generate tons of airflow!

full tower pc image


  • Full tower cases generally have better cooling than mid-tower cases. With more room to incorporate larger and smaller fans, coupled with adequate space for airflow, your PC temperature can be kept at safe levels while getting better speeds even with over-clocking.
  • It is easier to manage and trace cables when there’s a fault that needs fixing. You can easily follow a cable from a fault point to its source. Also, there’s enough elbow room to troubleshoot or fix issues without necessarily physically dismounting hardware components. This saves you time, energy, and reduces the risk of damaging other components.
  • Full tower cases provide more room for optical drive bays and large amounts of hard drives. So, if you are thinking of a PC case that will give you enough room for upgrades and expansion, the full tower case is what you are looking for. With a full tower case, replacing your PC case may never be necessary.
  • There’s ample space for more of your video cards. With smaller cases, you might need to bend video cards cables at awkward angles to make them fit. Since there’s generally more room for your video cards, cables, and other components, cooling also becomes easier.
  • You can easily incorporate liquid cooling if the need arises without having to buy a new case just for that purpose. Apart from aesthetics (it looks really cool!), liquid cooling is notably more efficient than air cooling.


  • A full tower case is quite heavy. If you have reasons to move your computer around a lot, the full tower might not be suitable for you.
  • Size is one of the disadvantages of the full tower case, especially for people with space restrictions. With the production of custom PC cases – some looking like spaceships – many people would prefer something cuter.
  • Due to its vast space, airflow from the fans might not reach certain hot spot areas inside the case.
  • Full tower cases are pricier than mid-tower cases. This is to be expected considering their size and functionality. However, people who are looking to put together a rig on a tight budget might not find the full tower case very convenient.

Mid Tower Case: Pros and Cons

The mid-tower case is the most common type of PC case in use. Typically, a well-built mid-tower case will have enough room to house 2 to 3 GPUs, 6 – 8 expansion bays, and enough space for about 2 to 3 standard motherboards. But note that most mid-tower PC cases are designed to house only one full-size ATX motherboard considering its size.

mid tower gaming pc image


  • One of the main advantages of a mid-tower PC case is that it provides a balance between performance and size. It is not too small (like a mini PC case), and it is not too big (like the full tower PC case). This means it can fit into smaller spaces and can be moved around easily.
  • Secondly, having up to 6 or more PCI-E slots means that most gamers can use the mid-tower case for most modern games. Most games will run smoothly on 2 GPUs – a feature that is available in mid-tower cases.
  • There’s also active airflow with mid-tower cases. Since the space is compact enough, air reaches all areas of the unit. With support for up to 6 fans, cooling and dust can be effectively managed.


  • Fixing issues or making changes in a small case, such as the mid-tower, could pose a bit of a challenge. You may have to remove some components to get to others. With so many cables packed into a small space, it becomes more difficult to trace faults or dig around inside the case.
  • Although 3 GPUs can fit into a mid-tower PC case, there’s the issue of cooling. The temperature for graphic processing units can go as high as 90 degrees, and since mid-tower cases don’t have enough room for integrating water or liquid cooling system, keeping your system from heating up becomes a problem.

Assessing Your Needs

The size of your PC case alone does not necessarily translate to higher efficiency. If there’s one thing to remember in this full tower vs. mid-tower debate, it is this: heavy-duty components, as well as more components, are better in a bigger PC case just as a smaller case will do just fine for fewer and standard components.

So, the question you should be more concerned with when trying to choose your PC case is whether or not you need more hardware components, and if those components are mostly heavy duty.

And while you’re at it, here’s also something important to keep in mind: choosing a PC case does not mean starting a “war” between Corsair and Thermaltake, AMD and NZXT, or any other computer hardware companies for that matter!

The most important thing is choosing a case that will serve your present, and possibly future, needs regardless of the manufacturer. So, the hardware companies are off the hook.

Here are three simple questions to help you decide whether you need a full tower case or mid-tower case:

  1. What would you be using your PC to do most? If your PC will mostly be for modern gaming or workstation, then a mid-tower case would do just fine. But if you intend to use your PC for heavy tasks, such as digital audio workstation (DAW), video editing, data mining, hardcore gaming, or even a home server, your best bet would be to buy a full tower PC case.
  1. Would you be installing more hardware anytime soon? If you don’t see yourself installing more hardware in the future, a mid-tower case may be all you need. But if you need to install multiple graphics cards to support CAD or gaming, for example, you should consider getting a full tower case. Full tower case would serve you better if you think you will need expansion – think flexible upgrade without having to replace your entire PC case.

Plus, a full tower case gives you elbow room, especially during hardware installation. However, note that upgrading hardware is not the same as installing more hardware. The former simply means replacing an obsolete piece of hardware with a more recent one (you don’t necessarily need a bigger case to do this), while the latter means adding more pieces of hardware to your PC.

  1. How would you want to manage PC cooling? Your PC generates heat – lots of heat – during operation. If you are building a fire-breathing computer with lots of over-clocking (for example, gaming at 4k resolution), you will probably be better off with a full tower case that has enough room for water-cooling. And even if you do not use a water-cooling setup, a full tower PC case gives you place for bigger fans.

Full Tower Vs. Mid Tower Case: The Verdict

So, which PC case is perfect for you? What’s the verdict on the full tower vs. mid-tower case?

Verdict: your particular usage needs will determine which PC case is perfect for you.

It doesn’t matter whether your computer will be stuffed right under your office desk or if you chose to make it the centerpiece of your office – the most important factor to consider when buying a PC case is its usage. At the very least, buy a PC case that has ample space for all the different hardware pieces you’ll be installing, including multiple USB devices.