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Not a fan of the ATX form factor and venturing out to the Micro ATX won’t really get you many choices. We understand, and therefore we understand the quest for the best mini ITX case that you can get. It makes sense. Obviously, you are saving space and at the same time building a lighter PC case. This automatically equates to greater portability.
It is also a fact that mini ITX chassis usually can be bought for a smaller price tag. While that is not true all the time and more of the premium features remove the gap, there still are superior builds that can be bought for good value. If you are sold on that in against of (probably) settling for a smaller GPU and lesser future expansions, you are in the right place.
Best Mini ITX Cases and Cubes You Can Buy Right Now
Do keep in mind that the limited space inside the chassis can usually result in a heat-prone interior. This will require a more sophisticated cooling solution than just the case fans. Also, the smaller space makes things a little more complicated for alteration and general maneuverability.
Therefore, it is fair to expect you’d have at least some experience about how to build your own PC, especially when you are working on the small form factor.
Best Overall Mini ITX Case
All that's good in H700i but compact
Due to their solid build quality and generally over the competition support for the needs of a gamer, NZXT cases have never lost prominence. In all the three motherboard form factors, we have either ended up with an NZXT case as our top pick or as the second best. Nothing changes in mini ITX cases too!
Just like the bigger siblings of the NZXT H200i, this one is also a CAM Powered Smart Device. For those who don’t know, CAM is a control feature of NZXT that allows digital control over fans as well as the RGB set up. But don’t think it is all cherry and butterflies and no work. When you plan to overclock the rig, you will find your PC case more than ready for the heating onslaught.
There is space for as many as four fans out of which two AER fans come inside the box. In total, you can mount a 120mm fan on the back and top each with space for two more on the front. In order to keep the air flowing out, the SFF PC case has sufficient vents and also additional space for sophisticated cooling solutions.
Do keep in mind though, while you get the two AER fan in the box, there is no power supply unit included. But you will be able to dock a sufficiently hefty PSU into the aluminum chassis. Talking of missing things, one newer feature that some other mini ITX cases didn’t have was the USB 3.1 ports. The NZXT PC case follows the rest of its lineup and brings you not one but two of those.
As a hallmark of NZXT’s superior designing capabilities, the H200i has good cable management systems. You are easily able to stuff away from the clutter so that when you rig the PC with RGB strips they show off the good parts more than the clutter. After all, the tempered glass panels aren’t there just for the darkness inside to peak out.
There is one area in this otherwise perfect model that some, (I repeat, some) of you might not like. Although well intended, the NZXT case allows you to control individual fans as per your cooling needs.
At higher graphics settings, this can usually lead to noisier computers. But the good folks at NZXT have tried to reduce the extra noise using an adaptive noise reduction mechanism. The company claims they are able to reduce noise by 40 percent, while we don’t exactly agree, the bottom line is that the effective noise produced by NZXT H200i isn’t unbearable at any levels.
While NZXT H200i is more focused on the traditional design type, this Thermaltake case is one alternative that you just can’t, not consider. The open frame computer case has the best possible airflow and also happens to be one of the light-weighted models. You can dock a video card of up to 14.96 inches and adequate sizes of PSU, radiators and multiple fans. There are lesser choices for drive bays, but there nothing on the aesthetic side where Thermaltake Core P1 is beaten.
Best High-End Mini ITX Case
SilverStone Technology RVZ03B-ARGB
Truly Mini-ITX Form Factor
When it comes to mini-ITX cases, no one does it better than SilverStone, when they make a mini-ITX case, it is usually so small and slim that it only fits a mini-ITX motherboard in it and the SilverStone RVZ03B-ARGB is a great example.
When you lay your eyes on the case for the first time, you can see how slim it is and you might question will a whole computer fit in it? But we assure you that this casing does true justice to the mini-ITX form factor, as it cannot fit any other motherboard inside it. The SilverStone RVZ03B-ARGB, Raven as they call it, is a beautiful slim casing, designed to look like a console but much more powerful than it.
The case has built-in RGB lighting in front of the casing, the design is so that you can keep it in either a vertical orientation or horizontal one, whatever suits your need or catches your fancy. Another thing about this case is that this is designed purely for low profile coolers, meaning your fancy liquid coolers or high-end air coolers might not fit in it. But worry not, something like a Noctua NH-L9i will do just fine.
This case is designed that air cooling can cool it down to temperatures that your PC does not heat up in the slightest. With the fan placements done properly, you can actually get lower temperatures than many famous mini-ITX cases, including the Corsair Crystal Series 280X, which is one of our favorite mini-ITX cases out there.
One huge disadvantage, in this case, is that it does not have any 3.5” hard drive bays, meaning you will have to stick to the 2.5” hard drives. This can kind of feel annoying, but when we said truly mini-ITX form factor, we meant it.
It comes included with slim fans that are made by SilverStone Technology themselves, they have custom made these super-thin fans which are actually so good, that if you just replaced the fan placements you could keep the temps on the CPU and GPU way below the stock configuration of many mini-ITX cases.
Once the whole thing is assembled it weighs around what an Xbox One would, having almost the same portability, but you can build a PC much powerful than any console in just this small case.
While it is still a debate on whether one should spend so much on a PC case or not. Companies like Corsair and Alienware are making loftily priced PC cases. Here’s a really unorthodox model that will instantly convert your gaming PC set up into a suspected base from outer space. And that too, coupled with Cougar’s hallmark designing, 350mm graphics cards, 360mm, and 240mm radiators, as well as superior LED lighting. The price is a concern, but the case is made of strengthened aluminum and 5mm tempered glass that also give it an expensive look to match.
Best Budget Mini ITX Case
Cooler Master Elite 130
Impressive potential in small packaging
Largely known for their variety of PC solutions, the Cooler Master cases have made a mark in different form factors. However, not all their products are as affordable as this hugely popular mini ITX PC case, the uniquely designed and surprisingly spacious Elite 130!
If you have been connected with the PC hardware components market, you’d already know the songs of praises there are for the Cooler Master Elite 130. If not, this is a Best of Computex model from yesteryear and for good reason. The small form factor chassis is ideal for a limited space gaming PC set up. And it is doesn’t even burden you more than just a discounted PC game.
We are exceptionally fond of how effective the small PC case is against heat. Not only does it make use of the perforated mesh panel on the front but also vents out the heat on both the side panels. While this will need additional support in demanding hours, the mini ITX PC case has got you covered from the get-go. The chassis comes with two fans: 120mm for the front and 80mm for the side.
If you are going to test the mettle of your PC with this case, you’d better ramp up the cooling system with a 120mm water cooling system from the front. And maybe also add more fans to the side panel as you can see in the image above. Looking at how the Cooler Master case allows up to 13.5 inches (343cm) of graphics cards, your rig might actually be quite a notorious one. Hence, always in need of those additional cooling solutions.
Any good mini PC case should consider the ease with which hardware components can be set up inside the small form factor chassis. Unless you have filled to the brink all mounting slots inside the PC case, the intelligent placement of slots and style of HDD and SSD mounting, makes it easier to manipulate the hardware configurations.
Talking of, you will be able to dock up to three HDD with one SSD or up to five SSDs inside the chassis. Also the larger sized GPU cards and greater support for cooling systems, it is expected that the power requirement of the PC will be higher. Which is why it now makes sense that the Cooler Master Elite 130 has sufficient space for full-size PSUs.
Want something that looks cooler than the CoolerMaster case above? Here’s a highly rated mini ITX case from BitFenix. The company is known for related products and has a very spacious model in this one. You can mount 1 x 5.25 inch, 5 x 3.5 inch including two modular ones and 9 x 2.5-inch ones if you want. There are five 120mm fans and also two USB 3.0 ports. The take away is that it isn’t as cheap as the Cooler Master Elite 130 model.
Mini ITX cases are some of the more widely chosen models by PC enthusiasts who have been there and done that before. And if done right, you can actually avail more advantages out of a mini ITX PC case than bigger chassis because it takes lesser space.
Gamers want more portability now, but you do need to keep in mind that the benefits of a mini ITX form factor case might come at the cost of a number of other highly requisite features. For instance, you could miss out on immediate expansion possibilities, or any substantial future proofing. You could also be an amateur and end up miscalculating the extra heat venting required by the small PC and so on. The point is, do your homework before you do it yourself!