Finding the right spot for your gaming PC isn’t always the easy task most would assume it is. Not everyone has a computer desk or much in the way of space. New York City rents out apartments that are little more than hallways with a toilet on one end and a bed on the other. 

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do and it may seem reasonable to lay a PC on its side, especially if you’re stacking things. There are a few considerations to make, including any of the internal components that are not solid-state components. 

The optical drive may be another issue. While there are gaming platforms out there designed with sideways optical drives, not every PC is.

Can I Lay My Gaming PC On Its Side?

It is usually fine to lay your PC down on its side but there are just a couple of things to be mindful of. If you have a ventilation port on the side you’re laying it on, you’ll need to elevate the case slightly off the surface so there will be sufficient airflow. Optical drives usually work fine whether they’re positioned horizontally or vertically, but some may not work as they should.

You might want to use some rubber to stop the side of your case from getting scuffed up and you should also try to make sure the motherboard is not pointing downward so the graphics card doesn’t slip out over time.

If you do change the orientation of your PC, monitor the temperatures for a while after you make the change just to be sure you haven’t compromised airflow.

Most of the time, PC manufacturers will provide guidance on PC tower placement in the user manuals. If the PC is designed to rest standing up or on its side, that information will be indicated somewhere in the manual. 

If it’s not, you should consider that a warning that setting your gaming PC tower any way other than straight up and down will potentially harm it. Most gaming PCs have optical drives and those drives are not designed to operate on their sides. 

If all you ever do is download digital games then it may not be a problem for you. After all, if you ever need to use the optical drive, you can just right the PC until you are done using it.

Potential Issues with Laying a Gaming PC on its Side

Keep in mind, these are just potential issues. If the manual that came with your gaming PC doesn’t mention laying it on its side, it’s probably okay to do so. But still, contact the manufacturer just to be on the safe side.

Case Vents And the Fan

These fans are typically designed to push airflow in a very specific direction. If you don’t believe blowing air can be affected by gravity, point your AC vents at your face while in a car and take a hard turn. It may cause a problem—then again, it may not.

If you are laying your gaming PC down on a side where there is a vent, prop it up a little so air can still flow.

Related Article: Can My Gaming PC On The Carpet (What You Should Know)

Hard Drive

We are only listing this because there are so many people out there that believe hard drives are problematic when on their sides or upside down. However, a hard drive shouldn’t have any issues, regardless of its orientation.

Optical Drive

We’ve already covered this one above but it’s worth mentioning again since it’s the most common problem when it comes to PC orientation. It’s a good idea to open the tray and look to see how many points/clips are there. If there are four, you are probably fine flipping the PC on its side.

Bottom Line

So long as there are no specific instructions in the manual indicating you can’t place your gaming PC on its side, there should be no reason you can’t do it. Most gamers recognize the fact that ventilation ports are important and you should never block them. Outside of that, it’s up to your own good sense.