There used to be a time when only gamers would set up their personal computer in order to personalise their rig and get the most out of it. But times are changing now because the idea of setting up one’s own personal computer is now expanding to professions beyond gaming.
Many people need high performance computers customized especially for their needs now. That is why there has been a huge demand for the component parts of personal computers in the market.
In case you are thinking of building up your own rig, the best way to go is start from scratch. One of the first things you have to buy is a computer case. Depending on the motherboard that you are going to use, there is a variety of cases that are available in the market these days.
Micro ATX and mini ITX motherboards have gained popularity among gamers as well as professionals. This is because they tend to combine the power of an ATX system with the small form factor of an ITX rig. This helps users create a perfectly balanced system which can deliver cutting edge performance without compromising on space.
If you have made the decision to get a micro ATX or mini ITX motherboard, you should look for a case that meets your requirements. With the host of varieties available in the market, it can be a daunting task to pick the right product for you.
That is why we are here to help. The curated list of the smallest ATX cases will help you make the best purchase decision. We have also listed the features of these products as well as their pros and cons, so do check it out before making the purchase.
1. ROSEWILL RS-MI-01 BK Micro ATX Mini Tower
- The case is made of steel.
- It comes with a power supply of 250 watts.
- Power supply PSU mount is located on the top and the main connector has 20+4 pins.
- Compatible with ITX and mini ITX motherboard
- No side panel window.
- One external 5.25” drive bay, and one external and internal 3.5” bay each.
- Equipped with one expansion slot, and the
- Maximum GPU allowance is limited to 270 mm.
- Maximum CPU cooler height can be 45 mm.
- Large side vents allow optimal air flow.
- The front panel provides easy access to 2 USB 2.0 ports and two audio ports.
- The Rosewill micro ATX mini tower weighs 8.5 lbs and has the following dimensions: 5.10″ x 8.70″ x 13.00″
Featuring 3 drive bays and a full height expansion slot, Rosewill’s case comes as a powerful case for anyone who wants to build a blockbuster mini ITX system. With 2 USB ports and 2 audio ports, the stylish and sophisticated steel case is ideal for the demanding customer.
The case comes powered with a 250W PSU that acts as the perfect exhaust fans, the case is perfectly designed to meet your needs without being clunky or heavy. Everything is so well streamlined, clean cut and brilliantly designed, the case will do the job perfectly and efficiently.
The case also comes installed with the front 5.25” drive bay which has optical drive covers. It gives the case a clean cut appearance with all the equipment hidden. It also has large vents on the sides which make for optimal airflow, so the system remains cool and stable no matter how long you use it for.
The case comes equipped with features you would expect from a case that is much larger and expensive. It allows the user to customize their computer themselves without compromising on quality and functionality.
Get the Rosewill Micro ATX Mini Tower so you can put together your dream system in an efficient and sophisticated manner.
- Looks clean and sophisticated.
- Comes with external and internal drive bays.
- Dust filter installed at the bottom.
- The pre-installed fan is silent and functional.
- The case is on the flimsy side.
- Installing CPU coolers is difficult because of design.
- Poor return policy and customer support.
- GPU alignment is not great.
2. CORSAIR CRYSTAL 280X RGB Micro-ATX case
- The Corsair case is made of steel and tempered glass.
- Its dimensions are 398mm x 276mm x 351mm.
- It allows for a GPU of a maximum 300 mm height.
- The PSU height can be 180 mm and the CPU can be 150 mm in height.
- The case has 4 expansion slots.
- It also features two 3.5 inches drive bays and three 2.5 inches bays. Comes enabled with Corsair link and has a clear side window.
- The case has a dual chamber layout.
- It weighs nearly 7 kilograms.
- Inside the case, there is enough space for six 120mm cooling fans.
- You can also fit in three 240mm radiators, one each on the roof, front and floor.
- The front, roof, floor are equipped with PSU filters.
- 32 individually customizable LEDs are installed, controllable by the Lighting Node PRO digital RGB lighting controller and CORSAIR iCUE software.
- Corsair liquid coolers compatible with the case are model numbers H55, H60, H75, H80i, H90, H100i, H105, H110i, H115i.
- The case also comes with a warranty of 2 years.
The stunning tempered glass panel windows of the Corsair case will give your system a chic and stylish look like no other. Put your gear on display in this kickass case and feel proud showing off your wares in such a stunning design.
The case comes in a dual chamber internal layout where you can highlight the core components and hide the cables, drives and PSU in a rear chamber. The case also has dedicated storage capacity for 5 drives so you can keep your system clean without compromising on storage.
It also has dust filters in the front, on the roof and on the floor so your system stays clean. Optimized airflow is insured as cool air is directed to the hottest components without interference.
The small case has massive cooling space, as is obvious from the number of radiators and coolers that can be fitted inside. Choose the case for its unparalleled functionality paired with unmatched good looks.
- Chic and stylish looks, elegant design.
- Functional and easy cable management.
- Easy to open case.
- Quick release HD bays.
- Bottom slots are difficult to use.
- No shielding under HDD bays.
- Not durable.
- Not enough clearance for installation.
3. Thermaltake Core V21 SPCC Micro ATX Cube
- Thermaltake Core V21 Micro ATX Cube has the following dimensions: 336 mm x 320 mm x 424 mm.
- Supports Mini ITX and Micro ATX motherboards of 6.7” x 6.7” and 9.6” x 9.6” dimensions respectively.
- The micro case has a side window that is perforated.
- Comes with only one standard cooling fan of 200 mm length pre-installed in the front.
- It also does not support any external bays, although it does have three 3.5” and three 2.5” internal bays.
- The case also has 5 expansion slots.
- Comes with two USB 3.0 ports.
- Maximum CPU cooler height allowance is 185 mm.
- GPU allowance is 350 mm and ATX PSU allowance is 200 mm.
- A headphone jack and mic port are located in the front.
- The case comes with a stacking option, as well as a provision for the rotation of the motherboard.
- The case also comes with a warranty of 3 years.
The review would be incomplete without talking about its cooling system. Built with a 200 mm turbo fan cooling system that includes liquid and air cooling units, the case is best known for its unmatched functionality and ability to support almost any kind of system.
The Core V21 can be used in vertical as well as the horizontal orientation of the motherboard. It is ideal for customisation that reflects the preference of the user as it allows the best viewing presentation without compromising on cooling or performance.
It also has a PSU dust filter embedded at the bottom and shockproof rubber gaskets on the PSU bracket to reduce noise. The Core V21 has a stackable design which increases utility. You can expand the cooling system or even create dual systems with the dedicated top bottom setup.
Mounting points for all types of cooling systems are installed so that the case comes with optimised ventilation. It also has the ideal alignment for space management. The upper chamber is good for placing cooling systems and the lower one can be used for PSU and drive bays.
With flexibility and enhanced interior design, enjoy the advanced cooling performance and unmatched functionality.
- The top bottom set up enhances functionality.
- Rubber gaskets at the bottom reduce noise.
- Advanced cooling system.
- The motherboard can be aligned horizontally or vertically.
- Expansion slots are difficult to use.
- The audio connector at the front stops working sometimes.
- Case material is flimsy.
4. CORSAIR Carbide AIR 240 Micro-ATX case
- CORSAIR Carbide AIR 240 has the following dimensions 397 x 260 x 320 mm.
- It supports micro ATX and mini ATX motherboards.
- The case comes with 4 expansion slots and three 3.5″ and 2.5″ drive bays.
- You can mount two 120mm fans at the front, bottom, and top. One fan can be installed on the right side panel, and two 80mm fans can be installed at the back.
- The case also allows for one 240mm radiator installation at the front and bottom.
- It comes installed with two Corsair cooling fans of 120 mm length in the front and one fan at the top.
- The front panel has two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone and a microphone port.
- Maximum graphics card length allowance is 290 mm.
- CPU cooler height can be up to 120 mm.
- The maximum length of the power supply unit can be 290 mm.
Corsair Air 240 comes in two stunning finishes in black and white colour. The material used is metal and plastic, and the case offers a spectacular finesse with its looks. The asymmetric design makes the case a unique and interesting thing to look at.
The faceplate of the case is vented, as are the top and bottom panels, allowing for exceptional cooling systems. The front panel has all the I/O ports in an accessible alignment, along with other buttons.
The case a transparent acrylic window on the left panel which reveals the entire setup to the eye of the viewer. The fans and radiators can be adjusted easily by a few centimetres, providing a custom finish that is functional and versatile.
Corsair Air 240’s review would be incomplete without talking about its exceptional interiors. The interior is made with SECC steel which offers adequate mechanical strength. It has a dual chamber system.
The left side of the case houses the main compartments, while the right side is meant for PSU and drives. The motherboard tray has several holes covered with rubber for easy cable routing.
Three Corsair fans come pre-installed for exceptional cooling. Cables and undesirables can be easily hidden for a sleek and classy finish.
It is pleasing aesthetically and offers an elegant design at an affordable price. However, the unorthodox shape does offer some limitations.
- Minimal design and aesthetic looks.
- Reasonable pricing.
- Pre-installed coolers.
- Dual chamber layout.
- Cannot install tall CPU coolers.
- Large width will be difficult to manage in some small spaces.
- No external drive slots.
- Space limited for two GPUs and two coolers.
5. APEVIA X-QPACK3-RD Micro ATX Cube Shape Case
- The case is made of metal. It comes in black and red colours and 2 red tinted side windows.
- Support for Micro ATX, ITX, and mini ITX motherboards of dimensions – 9.6″ x 9.6″.
- Comes with 5 drive bays – one 5.25”, one 3.5″ or 2.5″, two 3.5″ or 2.5″ that are hidden and one 2.5″ that is also hidden.
- The case comes with four expansion slots.
- It has four front access ports – two USB 2.0, one USB 3.0, and one for HD Audio.
- The case supports standard ATX power supply.
- There is space for three cooling fans. One red LED fan of 140 mm length in the front comes pre-installed, and there is space for one 120 mm fans on the top and at the back each.
- Maximum allowance for the graphics card is 320 mm and for CPU cooler is 7 inches.
- It comes with a powered HDD LED display in the front.
- The dimensions of the case are – 15.25″ x 10.25″ x 12.75″ and it weighs 10 lbs.
- It comes with a dust filter and a flip-open design.
This Micro ATX Cube case is ideal for everyone – whether you are a professional, a geek, or a gamer. The sleek and compact case is versatile enough to meet the needs of almost every kind of computer user.
A vented mesh design ensures that the case looks elegant and stylish with its clean cut make. Users can install two fans which allow for an extremely efficient cooling system. There is enough space inside the case to allow flexibility while building up your system.
The front panel is equipped with a meticulous design that allows you to connect your peripheral devices effortlessly. The windows are large, tinted and provide a direct view of the inner system, making the whole set up look especially stunning when the red LED fan is on.
It has a flip up top design which allows the user to install everything easily. The 140 mm LED fan also provides extra ventilation and optimum airflow.
The case also comes with five drive bays and four expansion slots so that you can upgrade anytime in the future. The large spaces allow for easy removal and installation of all the components.
It can accommodate an extra long graphics card and supports almost any kind of motherboard, ensuring maximum functionality and versatility.
- Allows extra long graphics card.
- Looks phenomenal.
- Pre-installed LED fan.
- Sleek and compact build.
- Loose ports, stop working after a while.
- Flimsy material.
- Ventilation and cooling not up to the mark.
- Poor customer support.
6. Cooler Master SIL-352M-KKN1
- It is available in midnight black colour and is made up of polymer and stainless steel.
- Dimensions – 200 mm x 378 mm x 453 mm and weighs 10.3 lbs.
- Supports micro ATX and mini ITX motherboards.
- It has one drive bay of 5.25 inches, 3 of 3.5 inches, of which 1 is exposed and 2 are hidden, and 4 drive bays of 2.5 inches.
- The front panel has two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, one audio In & Out, and one SD card reader.
- The case comes with 4 expansion slots.
- It supports standard ATX power supply.
- Maximum GPU length supported is 355 mm and CPU length is 155 mm.
- You can install one 240mm radiator in the front and one 120mm one at the rear.
- Comes with removable top cover and multiple air filters at the top, bottom and front.
- The cooling system features one 120×15 mm fan at the top, two at the front, and one at the rear. Of these, one XtraFlo fan comes pre-installed at the front and one at the rear.
Cooler Master Micro ATX combined silent performance, minimum design and maximum functionality. The case comes with a compact look that is very clean cut and minimal. But don’t be fooled by its appearance. You can fit in a 240 mm radiator and the biggest graphics cards in it without any hitch.
The case also comes installed with sound dampening panels that absorb any excessive noise generated inside the case. It also comes equipped with removable dust filters so that you can keep it clean without any hustle. The dust filters are accessible for the front and PSU intakes.
The top panel of the case is made of a magnetic cover which further prevents any kind of dust particles from falling inside the case. There is also a provision for removing the magnetic cover if you want to improve the cooling performance of the case.
The case has incredible component compatibility due to its modern design that can fit in a 14-inch graphics card and 155 mm CPU coolers without breaking a sweat.
It is perfectly built for micro ATX and mini ATX motherboards. The warranty coverage allows for replacement of the parts and products and free technical support.
- Easy to assemble.
- Reduced noise levels.
- A full-sized graphics card can be fitted inside.
- Stylish and minimal design.
- Flimsy material.
- Not enough room for easy installation.
- The power switch is defective in some pieces.
7. Silverstone Tek SG10 Micro-ATX
- The Silverstone case is made of high strength plastic and has a meshed aluminium front panel. It comes in two colours – black and white.
- The case has 5 drive bays – two 5.25” external ones, four 3.5” internal ones, and one 2.5” internal one.
- It supports motherboards of micro ATX and mini ITX variety.
- The cooling system is comprised of one 120 mm intake fan and one 80 mm fan slot in the front, and one 80mm fan slot plus one 92mm fan slot at the back. It also has oversized vents.
- There are four expansion slots.
- It also has two USB 3.0 ports, one audio port and one mic port in the front.
- It supports standard PS2 ATX power supply.
- An expansion card of 358 mm and 144 mm is compatible.
- CPU cooler height maximum allowance is 140 mm.
- Unlimited PSU allowance and mandatory cable routing system.
- The case dimensions are – 168mm x 355mm x 400mm and it weighs 3.46 kg.
- It also supports Kensington locks.
The Silverstone case has been crafted in such a way that it will exceed your expectations for an affordable case while still offering a wide range of features and excellent build quality.
The case comes with a full array of features. They are also installed with dust filters you can remove them easily and clean them due to the quick access design which prevents a buildup of dust.
It also has a CPU backplate cut-out which allows quick assembly of the motherboard inside it. The power supply is mounted on the top making installation even easier.
The interior of the case is designed brilliantly and allows installation of 4 hard disk bays, with a full-length graphics card and the capacity for a full-fledged cooling system to optimise airflow inside the case.
The front port has two USB 3.0 ports, an audio jack and a microphone port. There is also the provision for installing a 14.1-inch long expansion card in the case.
One of my favourite features about this case is probably the fact that it supports Kensington locks. Choose this case for its excellent style and flexibility.
- Small yet efficient use of space.
- Can hold large fans.
- It has enough space for 6 drives.
- The top fan comes off easily to access the components at the bottom.
- Removal of side panels can be tricky.
- The cooling system is not optimal.
- Cable management is not up to the mark.
- It can be difficult to open or close the case after installing everything.
8. InWin 301 Micro-ATX Mini-ITX
- The InWin 301 case is made of tempered glass and SECC. It comes in two colours – black and white.
- The case type is a mini tower.
- The case has 3 external drive bays – two 2.25” ones, and one 3.5” one. Internal drive bays are – one of 3.5” or 2.5” and two 2.5”.
- The side panels are made of steel and are ventilated. They are supported by affixed thumbscrews.
- It supports motherboards of micro ATX and mini ITX variety.
- There are four expansion slots of PCI-E variety.
- The cooling system is comprised of two 120mm intake fan and one 240mm radiator in the front.
- One 120mm fan and one 120mm radiator can be fitted in the back. Two 120mm fans can also be fitted at the bottom which will occupy the PCI-E slot.
- It also has two USB 3.0 ports, and one HD audio port in the front.
- It supports standard PS2 ATX12V power supply with a maximum length of 160 mm.
- A VGA card of 330mm is compatible.
- CPU heatsink height maximum allowance is 160mm.
- The case dimensions are – 365mm x 188mm x 379mm and it weighs 6.57 kg.
- It comes with a pre-installed glass panel.
Constructed with 1.2 mm SECC steel and lined with shockproof stand makes the InWin 301 an absolutely stable and high-quality product that works hard, protects your system and looks good while doing it.
It has a clean cut appearance which is simple in design. The case comes with a spectacular front panel which is further highlighted by a luminescent LED light. It looks absolutely ethereal while gaming in the dark.
You can admire the system you are so proud of with InWin’s 3mm tinted tempered glass side panel. If you want to change it, you don’t need any tools. Simple press a button and it is done.
It has also integrated detachable cable management design, user-friendly affixed thumbscrews, a dust filter that can be easily removed, and an extra graphics cards support holder.
The InWin 310 review would be incomplete talking about its excellent expandable options smartly curated in a compact design. It has an HDD tray, and it supports three SDDs. With four PCI-e slots and a separate PSU chamber, you will not feel any need for space.
The case has excellent and versatile cooling options too. It can support two radiators at the front and back, as well as two fans at the bottom. The flexible interior design allows users to work out their optimal design on their own. Get the InWin 301 for its state of the art design and flexibility.
- Can install 5 fans, excellent cooling system.
- Supports versatile expanding options.
- Tempered glass side panel allows a view inside.
- It is impossible to route cables inside the case.
- Mounting of 2.5” drive bays is not optimal.
- Board mounting is not easy either.
- Takes a long time to assemble everything.
9. MasterBox Q300L Flexible Micro ATX Case
- MasterBox Micro ATX case is available in black colour and is made up of plastic and stainless steel.
- The case can be placed vertically or horizontally.
- The side panel has an edge to edge acrylic transparent view.
- The case has the following dimensions – 387 mm x 230 mm x 381 mm. It is a mini tower sized ATX case.
- It supports micro ATX and mini ITX motherboards.
- The case has 4 expansion slots.
- It does not have any 5.25 inches drive bay, but there is one of 3.5 inches and two of 2.5 inches.
- The front panel has two USB 3.0 ports, and one audio In & Out port which supports HD audio.
- The front panel can be adjusted in 6 different locations.
- The case comes with 4 expansion slots.
- There is one RGB LED pre-installed fan at the back of 120 mm length. You can also install two fans one 120 or 140 mm in the front, two fans of 120 mm at the top, and one fan of 120 mm at the back.
- It also comes installed with one RGB controller, one RGB splitter that has a 4 pin adapter, and 4 removable handles that allow easy transportation.
- It supports standard ATX PS2 / EPS 12V power supply which is mounted at the bottom.
Maximum GPU length supported is 360mm and CPU cooler length is 159mm.
- You can install a 240mm or 120mm radiator in the front and a 120 mm one at the rear.
Comes with multiple air filters at the top, bottom and front.
- The case comes with a warranty of 2 years.
MasterBox micro ATX case comes with a highly flexible design that allows for an easy to build system and high flexibility for unparalleled functionality.
The MasterBox case comes with specially patterned dust filter design which not only creates a different look for your case but also prevents the entry of dust particles inside the system.
Flexibility is the core of this case which is evident from its modular I/O panel. The case has the ability to allow adjustment of the panel in 6 different locations. You can fix it at the front, top or bottom on both sides of the body according to your convenience.
You can also place the case in a horizontal or vertical position depending on your space requirements. The edge to edge transparent side panel allows users to show off their system in a cool design.
The case has 28 mm of space behind the motherboard tray which offers enough space for cable management so that your system always looks top-notch and clean.
MasterBox Q300L review would be incomplete without talking about the cooling system. The perforated front, top and bottom design allows optimum airflow in cooling of the system and ensuring excellent thermal performance.
You can also fit in two fans and two radiators in the front, one fan at the back, and two fans on the top. This ensures that the user does not have to compromise on cooling performance.
Get the MasterBox case for its unique looks and flexible design.
- Looks clean and sophisticated.
- Excellent cooling system.
- Modular I/O panel.
- Can be used horizontally or vertically.
- Magnetic side cover does not work optimally.
- Filter screen comes off easily.
- Cable management is not easy.
- Airflow can be better.
10. Cooler Master HAF XB EVO
- The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO case is made of steel and polymer and comes with a meshed front bezel.
- Its dimensions are 442 mm x 330 mm x 423 mm and it weighs 8.2 kg.
- It supports motherboards of mini ATX, micro ATX and ATX kind.
- It allows for a VGA card of a maximum 334 mm height.
- The CPU cooler height can be 180 mm.
- The case has 7 expansion slots.
- It is compatible with standard ATX PS2 power supply. The maximum length for PSU is 180 mm.
- It also features two 5.5 inches drive bays, four 2.5 inch drive bays and four 3.5 inches bays.
- The case has a front panel with 2 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports that are located internally, and one Audio In & Out port which supports HD Audio.
- Inside the case, there is enough space for 5 cooling fans. You can install one 200 mm one at the top. Two XtraFlo fans of 120 mm at the front come pre-installed with the setup, you can replace them with two 140 mm fans.
- At the back, you can install one 120 mm fan or two 80 mm fans.
- You can also fit in one 240 mm radiator at the front and one 120 mm radiator at the back.
- The case also comes with a warranty of 2 years.
The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO is ideal for both gaming enthusiasts and hardcore office workers. It has enough functionality and flexibility to ensure high performance for almost any kind of user.
The case lets you separate storage and power supply on the bottom part of the dual chamber layout, and you can place motherboard and other platform components on the top level. This ensures that the motherboard enjoys optimum air flow without any obstruction.
You can buy a mesh top case or a windowed one depending on your preferences. It is easy to work inside the HAF XB because the top and side panels can be easily removed.
Also, the motherboard lies flat in the case, so you can use a liquid nitrogen cooling platform because the it can manage to keep such a system stable and self-contained. You can also use a regular fan for keeping your system cool.
The case has enough space to accommodate hard drives and compact water coolers without any hitch. It comes installed with two high-quality fans which further ensure optimum cooling.
The case also has a clean cut front panel with two USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports that are located internally, and one Audio In & Out port which supports HD Audio. Peripherals connections have never been easier.
- Clean cut and sophisticated design.
- The horizontal motherboard allows installation of a liquid nitrogen cooling system.
- Dual chamber layout ensures an optimum arrangement of system components.
- Poor customer service.
- Front I/O board is defective in some pieces.
- Only Megaflow 200 fits in the front, not any 200 mm fan.
- Impossible to access SSD power plug.
11. BitFenix Micro ATX, Mini-ITX – Small Form Factor Case
- The BitFenix Case has the following dimensions 249 x 403 x 358 mm. It is a micro ATX tower type of case.
- The case comes in four colours – black, white, red and orange.
- It has a side panel window.
- It supports micro ATX and mini ATX motherboards.
- The case comes with 5 expansion slots.
- There is one 5.25″ external drive bay, four internal 3.5” and five 2.5″ internal bays.
- It supports PS2 ATX power supply mounted at the bottom and 5 PCI slots.
- Maximum video card length allowance is 250 mm which comes with drive cages. A 320 mm allowance comes without any drive cages.
- CPU cooler height can be up to 120 mm.
- The maximum length of the power supply unit can be 290 mm.
The case has an excellent form factor because of its clean and sophisticated looks. The steel case provides extra durability to it. The case comes in midnight black colour and provides a phenomenal choice for gamers as well as regular users.
BitFenix Micro ATX also comes with excellent cooling options which ensure that your system is always optimised for excellent performance. With its simple aesthetics, you will be surprised to know how well it handles cooling performance.
The interior of the case is brilliantly designed and well thought out so that the installation of hardware in the enclosure is easy and mess free. Unlike other Micro ATX cases, it won’t take you hours to set up your gig inside this case.
It also has the option to modify the front panel to include LED lights and customise according to your preferences. Flexibility and versatility are the first things that come to the mind when thinking of the phenomenon case.
One of the best features of the case is the number of storage options that come with it. You can fit up to 10 drives inside this case so that you are never short of storage space in your system no matter what you doing.
However, one of the drawbacks of this is the messy cable system as there is poor cable optimisation.
- Durable construction.
- Five expansion slots.
- Enough space for hard drives.
- Can hold dual GPU.
- Two fans come pre-installed.
- No dust filters.
- Expansion slots held in place rather precariously.
- Poor cable management.
ATX Cases – The Buyer’s Guide
We understand that choosing the best micro ATX case can be a difficult venture especially considering how the market is flooded with choices that can scare anyone.
With the host of features and specifications available, it can be hard to decide what works best for you and which one will be able to enhance the performance of your system.
It is difficult to find the answers to these questions when you directly look at a list of products. So before you decide to you pick one product from the above-mentioned list, let’s talk about what features you should consider for finding the perfect case that will work for you.
Here are some of the factors you should keep in mind while looking for the best micro ATX case for your system.
Design & Customization
One of the first things anybody thinks of is obviously the design. The micro ATX cases come with aesthetics that can make anyone want to grab the product right away. Who doesn’t want a rig that has a tempered glass side panel that looks edgy and cool? But do remember that it means you will have to put in extra work hiding away cables and ugly parts. Do not get fooled into buying a tempered glass case if you are lazy.
RGB lighting is another attractive feature, especially for gamers. You can customize the lights to match your mood and it looks super pretty in the dark. However, some people may find it irritating, so pick the option that suits your personality.
The market is deluged with cases that offer endless customisation. Whether it is changing the position of the I/O front panel or using the case itself in a horizontal or vertical position, you can be sure you find something that fits your needs.
If you plan on using liquid coolers or installing custom liquid cooling rigs that come with certain CPUs and GPUs, it is necessary that you pick a case that has adequate openings to install and clean these systems easily. You should also keep in mind that some cases cannot accommodate liquid cooling systems of all sizes.
If you already have a cooling system, you should check if the case you are planning to buy can accommodate the size. Usually, every case has specifications that will indicate the radiator size that it can support so it should be easy to find one that meets your needs.
Having vents at the sides of the case itself can also help reduce overheating and increase the cooling efficiency of the system.
Optimum air flow is essential for running powerful hardware in a system and that can be achieved only by installing fans. However, sometimes installing 3 or more fans can increase the noise factor of the case.
Do not sacrifice airflow for noise reduction because overheating of PC components can cause thermal throttling of the hardware. You can choose to buy a case that comes with noise filters and liners that reduce excessive sound distribution.
For those of you who work in a dusty environment, it can be essential to find a case that prevents the entry of dust into the system components. Cases generally tend to gather dust easily, and buildup of dust can definitely affect performance.
Before purchasing a case, make sure that it has effective dust filters which not only prevent the entry but can also be easily accessed. Make sure you can remove them and clean them regularly so that they do not get clogged up.
Some cases also come with magnetic dust panels which further prevent buildup inside the case. Positive airflow can also ensure that your system does not get affected easily.
Space for components
Always make sure that the case has enough space to handle all the pieces of equipment you want to install in it. It is a good idea to make a list of all the products you want to install inside, and cross check the list with the specifications of your desired product.
Depending on the number of drive bays you want, expansion slots, radiators, coolers, and even the type of motherboard you are going to use, the type of case you need to pick may vary vastly. While picking a case, also make sure that it supports not just the number drive bays you want, but also conforms to their sizes.
Motherboard trays inside these cases can also come in a variety of sizes and orientations. You can choose to install your motherboard horizontally and vertically, so make sure you remember to keep that in mind while buying the case.
Having enough space for all the components is not enough, you should also be able to access all these components even after installation. This is especially important when considering fan mounts. It should not only have enough space for installing fans of 80 to 120 mm size, but also enough clearance from other devices and accessibility to them after all the components have been placed inside.
Another important factor to consider is cable management. Some cases are not optimized for handling the cables of all the installed components without appearing messy and ugly. Make sure that the case you buy has enough space for cable management.
Dedicated sections for securing cables and a black plate that can be removed are good indications that the case has good cable management. This will make space look neat and easy to manage. It will also enhance the modification process even after installation.
PSU shrouds are an important factor that is often forgotten. They help in cases where you need to hide loose cables. The shrouds will keep them in a neat enclosure, which is important for cases that have tempered glass side panels.
Graphics cards are becoming shorter and shorter, but you should make sure that the case has enough space to fit in your desired card length. Case specifications will mention the maximum GPU allowance, and it is necessary to match it with the one you have.
You should also match the radiator and cooler size with the specs of the case. CPU coolers, especially, can be quite bulky. When deciding on the case and cooler, check the clearance they need. One thing to keep in mind is that you should match cooler height with the width of the case, as coolers are usually installed horizontally.
The material of the case is one of the most important factors to be considered. The durability of the material is what decides how long it is going to last.
It is essential that you pick a case that comes with the right combination of sturdy and fragile parts. Some components may require the case material to be sturdy enough to support their weight without crumbling under it, while others may require a soft landing pad to prevent accidental damage.
The case should be sturdy enough to not transfer shock or motion to the components. Durability of the case may vary from model to model. It is ideal to spend on a case made of metal or polymer instead of investing on a cheaply made product.
One of the most important factors when buying anything is the budget, obviously. It is essential that you remember what your upper limit is while picking the right product for you. Do not get mesmerized by unnecessary features and blow your budget. Marketing may mesmerize you into buying something that you do not require at all. Just stick with a case that works best for you and fits within your budget.
Having said that, it is also important to not cut back on the quality of the product while trying to save money. Case durability and how well it functions with the specifications of other components of your PC is important because otherwise, you might end up spending more money replacing a low quality or inferior case.
Ultimately the goal is to strike the right balance between finding a durable and flexible case that meets your requirements and also falls within your budget.
ATX Cases – FAQs
1. What is ATX and what is it used for?
ATX Is short for Advanced Technology eXtended. It is a specification that outlines configuration and dimensions of motherboards and improves standardization.
An ATX motherboard has several advantages over other types. For example, they include advanced control facilities including checking the CPU temperature and voltages. As a result, the PC automatically shuts down if overheating occurs.
These motherboards also have a stacked I/O connector panel mounted. With these devices you can easily relocate memory, thus allowing for better ventilation and installation of the key components.
Power management is also easier with the BIOS program. The PC can be turned on by using a modem or network signal because the main power supply is controlled by the motherboard.
Additionally, the PC cannot be turned off while the it is booting. If the computer freezes as it is turning on, you can simply turn it off by holding the power button for 5 seconds.
It is also impossible to place the power supply connectors in improperly because the ATX 2.01 Motherboards have a single keyed Molex internal power supply.
2. What is a micro ATX case?
Micro ATX, mini ATX and standard ATX motherboards are generally different when it comes to their dimensions. Here are the sizes for each of them:
- Standard ATX: 12.0″ x 9.6″
- Micro-ATX: 9.6″ x 9.6″
- Mini-ITX: 6.7″ x 6.7″
A micro ATX case therefore can fit in micro ATX motherboard as well as a mini ITX motherboard, as the latter is shorter in both height and width than the former. However, these cases cannot fit in standard ATX motherboards because the latter is usually longer than the former.
3. How big is a micro ATX case?
A standard ATX motherboard measures 12 by 9.6 inches, and a micro ATX one measures 9.6 x 9.6 inches. A case that supports micro and mini ATX will generally be smaller than one that supports a standard motherboard.
It is also worth noting that a large case may support smaller boards, but it is not necessarily true. It is worth checking the specs of the case to know exact dimensions and specifications to see if it supports the motherboard you want to install in it.
4. Is micro ATX worth it?
Micro ATX motherboards are the best choice. One should go for a standard ATX only if they require more than 4 PCIe slots. Mini ATX boards are good for those of you who want an extremely compact PC.
Micro ATX boards measure 9.6 by 9.6 inches, and mini ITX ones measure 6.7 by 6.7 inches.
Besides the size difference, micro ATX can support up to four RAM modules, but mini ones can only support to. For individuals who are committed to gaming, a larger motherboard may be required.
Other differences to be considered are the number of PCIe slots, which are only four in micro ATX. These slots are used by expansion cards like sound cards, internal modems, and graphics cards.
Depending on the type of PC you are planning to build, the RAM you require, and PCIe slots needed, you should pick the motherboard that best fits your needs.
For gamers, we would advise sticking to micro ATX boards as they offer enough RAM and support enough PCIe slots to set up an ideal rig.
5. What is the smallest ATX case?
Here are the best smallest ATX cases in the market.
- Corsair Carbide Air 240 – CORSAIR Carbide AIR 240 has the following dimensions 397 x 260 x 320 mm. The case comes with 4 expansion slots and three 3.5″ and 2.5″ drive bays. You can mount two 120 mm fans at the front, bottom, and top. One fan can be installed on the right side panel, and two 80 mm fans can be installed at the back. The case also allows for one 240 mm radiator installation at the front and bottom.
- Thermaltake Core – Thermaltake Core V21 Micro ATX Cube has the following dimensions: 336 mm x 320 mm x 424 mm. The micro case has a side window that is perforated. Maximum CPU cooler height allowance is 185 mm. GPU allowance is 350 mm and ATX PSU allowance is 200 mm. It also comes with a stacking option, as well as a provision for the rotation of the motherboard.
- Cooler Master HAF XB EVO – The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO case dimensions are 442 mm x 330 mm x 423 mm and it weighs 8.2 kg. It allows for a VGA card of a maximum 334 mm height. The CPU cooler height can be 180 mm. It also features two 5.5 inches drive bays, four 2.5 inch drive bays and four 3.5 inches bays. Inside the case, there is enough space for 5 cooling fans.
- Corsair Crystal 280X RGB – Its dimensions are 398mm x 276mm x 351mm, and it is made of steel and tempered glass. The case has 4 expansion slots and a dual chamber layout. It can also fit in three 240 mm radiators, one each on the roof, front and floor, and inside the case, there is enough space for six 120 mm cooling fans.
6. Which is smaller Micro ATX or Mini ATX?
Mini ATX dimensions are 6.7″ x 6.7″ and micro ATX motherboard dimensions are 9.6″ x 9.6″. Therefore, mini ATX is smaller.
7. Can a micro ATX fit in a mid tower?
Full tower and mid-tower cases are generally used to fit standard ATX motherboards, but they can also fit in smaller micro ATX motherboards.
Although sizing varies from model to model, most mid-tower cases are 18 inches in height and 8 inches in width, so they can easily make room for a micro ATX motherboard, while still ensuring enough room to fit coolers, graphics cards and storage drives.
8. What is the ATX 12v for?
Over the last few years, ATX Technology has undergone several changes to deal with modern development in power. For the last few years the new format of ATX, called v2.0 or 12V is being used.
This model has a 24 pin main power connector over the previous 20 pin connector and it also does not require a 6 pin AUX power connector. Serial ATA power connectors are a must in this version, and it also shows minimum power wastage in conversion, and thus, higher efficiency.
The most notable change in the modern version of ATX is an addition of 4 pins which ensure additional power can be transferred through the rails.
One of the major advantages of this version is a decrease in wastage of power. When current is pulled from the wall outlet there is the conversion of power from high to low, on the level at which the PC requires it. But even though less power is used, there is extreme wastage in the transfer in the form of heat.
This new version of ATX ensures that less power is pulled from the wall outlet. Minimum efficiency rating with these versions is 80%, but higher ratings can be found in the market.
9. Is my motherboard ATX?
The technology was first released by Intel in 1995, and it is now one of the most commonly used form factor for motherboards. If you have a desktop computer, you most likely have an ATX motherboard.
Here is how to find out the form factor without opening up your computer. Windows users can type ‘cmd’ in the search menu. When the window opens, enter the following command: wmic baseboard get product, Manufacturer, version, serialnumber, Model, Name. After that, press enter.
The window will reveal the following specs:
- Manufacturer: the motherboard manufacturer.
- Name: Base Board or motherboard.
- Product: the motherboard product name.
- Serial Number: of the motherboard.
- Version: of the motherboard.
After that, you can search for the form factor online by using the information above. You only need to know the manufacturer and product name.
Search for manufacturer and product, and it will reveal the form factor.
10. Does the motherboard affect gaming?
Yes, motherboard does affect gaming, because it features the most important parts of your computer, such as graphic cards and CPU. Motherboard is needed for a computer to be functional so if it dies you cannot use the computer until it is fixed.
It is essential that you keep in mind the hardware you plan to use while purchasing the motherboard. For example, you should keep in mind the number of PCIe slots you will need for video cards, drive bays you may require for memory, and USB ports that are needed for connecting peripherals.
Many games require very heavy duty memory so make sure you find a motherboard that stands up to the rigorous requirements.
The variety of small ATX cases is extremely high in the market and there are hundreds of products available to choose from, not to mention the fact that new ones are launched regularly.
As a result it can be difficult to find the best case for your rig. All of the cases we have mentioned above are designed to allow maximum flexibility and functionality to use the space available.
Whether you are a gamer or building a PC for your office, a small and elegant case is better than a bulky leg. Even though all of these product have their pros and cons, they are certainly the choice models in the market when it comes to picking the absolute best of the best available.
If you prefer a case that comes with customised RGB lighting and an acrylic tempered glass panel that allows the user to view the inside of the system, we have an option for you. Or if you simply prefer a durable case that will support your components in the best possible way, there are plenty of options available too.
Check out the above mentioned list to find the best cases, compare their features, read reviews, and make a list of your own pros and cons in order to find the best micro ATX case for you.
We have also included a buyer’s guide to help you in your quest, and included a questionnaire to answer the most pressing questions. We wish you good luck in your ventures in building a custom PC.