Technology is always getting smaller and more efficient, and your old, bulky PC case is no exception. Save space and unclutter your computer desk by switching to one of the best mini ITX cases instead. These compact cases allow you to maximize desk space without sacrificing performance or style. Some of the best mini ITX cases even allow you to use full sized components like GPUs, so your mini build can stay competitive with the giants.
These cases may be small, but with a high quality mini ITX case you can build anything from a home office computer to a first rate gaming machine. No matter what you’re looking to build, we’ve found the top 8 best mini ITX cases on the market for every ambition.
Choosing the Proper Mini ITX Case
Most people reading this article already know all the specs and features they want from a mini ITX case. For beginners, though, understanding the nuances of each case can be confusing. For first timers and those new to mini ITX, here’s a quick guide to picking the best mini ITX cases for your build:
- GPU Support. Before picking out the biggest, baddest video card for your machine, consider your case’s expansion slot limitations. Some mini ITX cases let you use a 10” or even 12.5” video cards, while others limit you to 8” or less. Mini ITX cases typically feature 3 or fewer total expansion slots.
- PSU Type. SFX or ATX, will it fit? Some of the best mini ITX cases spare a few extra inches to allow builders to use the bigger ATX PSUs as opposed to the compact SFX alternatives. Check compatibility before trying to fit a big brick in a small box.
- Drive Bays. Before choosing the best mini-ITX case for your build, make sure it supports the right drives for now and for any future plans to upgrade. Mini ITX cases can sometimes feature 5.25” drive support, but more commonly support 3.5” and 2.5” drives only.
- Cooling Systems. The compact size of mini ITX cases is both a blessing and a curse. All your components are pretty cramped, and without proper ventilation things will overheat quickly. That’s why the best mini ITX cases prioritize proper ventilation points and offer enhanced cooling options. For instance, some mini ITX cases support liquid cooling, while others offer extra fan slots. Average users can probably get away with a case’s included fans, while gamers and power users need extra cooling.
Top 8 Best Mini ITX Cases Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Mini ITX Cases
For its price, you may wonder how the Thermaltake Core V1 made it to the top of our list. We assure you that price is no indicator of value when it comes to this mini ITX case. At first glance, this case sits a cube-ish 10.2 x 12.4 x 10.9 inches of durable matte steel. Vent holes cover the entire front and sides, all save for the plexiglass panel on top. Cooling efforts border on obsessive with this case, including space for 1 x 200mm (included) and 2 x 80mm fans, as well as support for both 120mm and 140mm liquid cooling systems.
This roomy case makes great use of space. While there’s no 5.25” drive bay or external access to drives, there is room for 2 x 3.5” and 2 x 2.5” drives. Easily remove drive racks you’re not using for even more room. Even with all drives slots full, there’s also space for an ATX PSU and a GPU up to 285mm. That’s enough room for most standard sized video cards. All installation is made particularly easy by Thermaltake’s simple “Chamber Concept” and removable, interchangeable panels.
The front panel starts you with 2 USB 3.0 and (2) 3.5mm audio ports for mic and headphones. Believe it or not, there are still cases out there using USB 2.0, so this is a bonus for such an affordable unit. We recommend this case to beginners and experts alike who want to full sized performance from a small form ITX case.
Falling in suit with the Thermaltake Core V1, the Cooler Master Elite 110 features a ‘cubic’ design measuring 10.3 x 8.2 x 11.1 inches and weighing a svelte 5.9lbs. You could literally hide this case behind a sheet of paper and lift it with one arm fully built. The chassis is made of steel inside and out despite the light weight.
Unlike the Thermaltake’s removable panels, this case uses a single removable cover to reveal 4 sides of easy access. Inside, the drive bay includes space for 3 x 3.5”/2.5” and 1 x 2.5”0-only drives. Mix and match drives of your choice, but don’t expect any external access. There’s space for GPUs up to 8.3”, so you may have to find the downscaled version of your favorite video card. Feel free to use a standard sized ATX PSU, though.
This popular mini ITX case gives you a few options when it comes to cooling systems. It comes with a 120mm front fan, and features 2 x 80mm side fan mounts if you need more air flow. There’s clearance for CPU coolers up to 3”, and support for 120mm liquid cooling. That’s some great versatility, but we mostly recommend this mini ITX case for low impact computing like home theater PC setups.
There’s something about the classic tower case design that still resonates with many PC builders. The Silverstone Tek Aluminum Mini Tower puts a wonderfully modern perspective on the classic profile, giving us a 7.4 x 15.6 x 9.3 inch blank aluminum slate with soft, smooth edges. This case is larger than some of the competition, but the extra space is well used. For instance, the tall feet leave lots of room underneath the unit, allowing exceptional airflow to the included 140mm Air Penetrator fan.
While you’re limited to SFX PSUs, you’re free to use full sized 10” GPUs and there are 2 expansion slots. The drive bay includes support for 2 x 2.5” and 1 x 3.5” drives, perfect for those who plan to work with SSDs. There’s no support for extra fans, but both liquid and air cooling can be implemented with this mini ITX case. With it’s unique design, thick anodized aluminum frame, and advanced out of box cooling system, this is one of the best mini ITX cases around.
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