Last Updated on August 8, 2020 by Scott
Micro ATX cases, also called mATX cases by many, are the PC cases that can accommodate micro ATX motherboards (and mini ITX boards too).
Although you can fit mATX boards in some bigger cases (like in mid tower cases) too, but that would make the whole board cornered into the top-left side of that case, and your PC build will not look too pretty.
Table of Contents
In PC Cases’ size hierarchy, micro ATX cases come in the middle. They’re smaller than the mid and full tower PC cases, but slightly larger than the compact mini ITX cases.
Best Micro ATX Cases 2020 Buying Guide
For many people, mini ITX cases are a bit too compact for their liking, and they obviously don’t want to go for bigger full/mid towers either.
Those people can check out micro ATX cases which give them a little bit of both worlds: Space and compactness.
Apart from this, mATX boards and cases also happens to be slightly less expensive than their mini-ITX counterparts, more often than not. Here, we’ve included an mATX chassis that costs less than 50 Bucks!
Best Micro-ATX Cases 2020 Round-up
So, without any ado. Let’s start this roundup review about best mATX PC cases in the market.
Cooler Master Master Box 3.1
Best mATX Case 2020 Under 50
Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1 is one of the those PC cases that are decent without being expensive.
To be fair, there are even more cheaper cases than this one, but they lack all the features, space, and well-built design of this case.
In design, it’s rather simple. There’s a large transparent window at one side (not usual for a budget case), while the rest of the chassis is black-colored.
Having that big of a window means your PC cable management skills must be good at least. And if you are skillful indeed, it give you every opportunity to make it look stunning.
Space wise, it’s very big for an mATX case, largely due to no drive bay for optical drives. It’s so big that you can install graphics cards as long as 380mm, and CPU coolers as big as 158 mm.
In others areas too, there are plenty of options, such as case fans, where you can install three of them: Two 120mm fans at the front, while a single 120 mm fan at the rear side.
By default, it comes with only one 120mm fan installed at the back, but it’s good to have that much space for 3rd-party case fans.
This case supports liquid cooling too: You can have a 240mm radiator at the front or 120mm radiator at the end.
PSU is mounted on ts bottom, which is a plus for overall system cooling.
Being an mATX chassis, it can fit an mATX or mini ITX motherboard inside it.
I would’ve gone for a micro ATX motherboard though, because since it comes with multiple expansion slots, you can use an internal sound card besides your graphics card.
With all components inside, it still weighs less than 15 pounds, which makes it easier to be located from one place to another (without disassembling it).
I tried hard to find any flaw this case which is not entirely subjective, but couldn’t. At less than 50 bucks, this case has everything most people would think their PC case to be equipped with.
All in all, if you want to have some high end components inside a cheap PC case, this is your best bet.
For this exact reason, it is the best budget mATX case for 2020.
- Dark Mirror front panel
- Customizable trim colors
- Full black coating
Antec Performance Series P6
Best mATX Case 2020 Under 70
Antec is a big player in PC chassis market, and their performance series is long known for its feature-packed cases for the budget users.
P6 is the latest addition in that line-up and has continued that tradition of providing good features while being not too heavy on the pockets.
Here’s the list of main features provided in P6.
- Built-in LED logo projector to highlight your rig
- Side mounted I/O ports
- 3.5” HDD cage behind PSU Shroud is removable and relocatable
- Separate PSU chamber
- Magnetic dust-filter at the top and front, and Pull-out dust-filter at the bottom
- Tool-less HDD bays
From looks, it resembles to the MasterBox Lite 3.1 we discussed earlier, because of its black design and a huge slab of tempered glass on its left panel (when viewed from the front).
Since it’s an mATX case, mini-ITX/mATX boards are supported. For traditional cooling, it has a 160mm clearance.
You can have two 120mm/140mm fans at the front, three 120mm or two 140mm fans at the top, and one 120mm fan at the rear end.
It comes with one 120mm fan pre-installed at the back and that fan has white LED too.
In case you want some liquid cooling in the future, there’s room for one 240mm radiator at the front, and a single 120mm fan at the back.
The maximum length of graphics card, on the other hand, you can put into this case is 390mm (10mm more than what’s being offered in MasterBox Lite 3.1).
For Power supplies, the maximum supported length is 160mm.
In terms of connectivity, there are 2 USB 3.0 ports at the front (obviously, this number will be much more once you’ll fit your motherboard into it), along with Mic & HD Audio jacks, Power button, and reset button.
All of this ports/buttons are located the front of left side (right next to glass slab).
On the top side, there are dust filters, below which you’ll find 120/140mm mounts (more on that later).
At the back, you’ll find a 120mm fan mount along with a pre-installed 3-pin white fan, and 4 PCIe Slots.
To keep your PSU dust filter, there’s a dust filter at the bottom too. Apart from this, there are four thumb-screws on drive bays using which you can move it forward or backward to adjust a bigger-sized PSU.
In storage devices, p6 has space for up to six 2.5″ SSDs (or four 2.5″ SSDs and two 3.5″ HDDs) – way more than what a home PC user needs.
So, if your looking for a budget mATX chassis and MasterBox Lite 3.1 feels too basic, you check this one out. It’s just slightly expensive than the former but offers much more features.
- Flexible hard drive mounting system for up to six 2. 5” SSD. 3. 5” HDD cage is removable for easy system configuration.
- Direct airflow cooling System with 120mm x 3 or 140mm x 2 fan locations (top), 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2 fan locations (front) and a 120mm White LED fan pre-installed in rear.
- Smooth and streamlined design with 4mm tempered glass Side panel, Clean silhouette, elegant finish and white LED logo projector. No wasted space.
From outside, InWin 301 looks like a typical mid tower chassis, rather than an mATX one, with 14.3″ x 7.4″ x 14.6″ dimensions.
It can accommodate mATX as well as mini ITX mobos, but I would recommend a mini ITX build unless you’re a seasoned PC builder (more on that later).
On the front side, you’ll find regular buttons (for the power and reset operations) along with headphones and mic jacks, and a couple of USB 3.0 ports. Additionally, there’s a Backlight section below the InWin’ logo, which causes it to glow when turn the PC on.
Backlight intensity is a bit too much, in my opinion, and there’s no way (apparently) for you to turn it off from your PC.
Its left panel has a slightly tinted tempered glass slab through which you can show off your finished build. To make removing and installing this panel easier, there’s the tool-free latch and a plastic strip on the top and bottom of this panel respectively.
To have a proper airflow, InWin has made hexagonal-shaped perforations at the front of right panel. A similar perforated area is on the bottom side too, but is covered with a removable dust filter.
Below this case, there are two large feet on which it stands, and while it’s less tough than I would have liked, the rubber bumpers on these feet make them able to keep this case steady.
An unusual thing we found about this case in a removable plastic piece on the right side of where you’ll place the motherboard.
By removing this piece before doing anything else, you’ll free a lot of space for yourself. Then, you can hide the long wires behind that piece, after you’ve finished building the PC.
In order to keep the cost lower, InWin hasn’t installed any fan into this case, though you install ones from 3rd-parties. Two 120mm fans or a 240mm radiator at the front, two 120mm fans at the bottom, and a 120mm fan at the rear, is what you can fit into this chassis.
In terms of clearance, you can have up to 6.3 inches deep PSU here, whereas the limit for the CPU cooler and Graphics card is 158mm and 330mm respectively. This is why you would probably have to look into some smaller graphics cards in the market.
For storage there’s a 3.5″ HDD tray that can also be used for 2.5″ drives, in addition to two more slots reserved for 2.5″ drives. This way, you can put up to three SSDs (or two SSDs with an HDD) here – not too much but not not too less either.
Overall, In Win 301 is a good midrange chassis with some pros and cons. For pros, it has a tempered glass side panel, along with solid build and right-panel cutaways.
For downsides, on the other hand, there’s no fan inclusion, front lights of the case being too bright, and the relatively small number of storage slots.
- Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboard compatible
- Detachable tempered glass side panel, remove by pressing a button
- Clean front panel with stunning LED I/O Display
Thermaltake Level 20 VT
Best mATX Case 2020 Under 100
Thermaltake has recently released a bunch of different PC cases with each of them targeting different build types. The smallest among that line-up is Level 20 VT, which is aimed towards mATX-based builds.
From design, it looks like the Thermaltake V1 mini ITX case we discussed in the mini-ITX cases round-up (it was declared as best budget mini ITX case).
One particular thing I like in the design, is that unlike other cases discussed earlier, it has four sides with tempered glass panels attached to metal frames.
Yes, you’ve right. Front, top, right, and left sides have 4mm tempered glass panels. And this leds to another goodie.
Its top and bottom panels are swappable, as well as its left and right panels.
It means that you can place this case without any regard to its orientation. Just move the bottom and top panels to the new (after changing orientation) top and bottom sides, and you’re done.
The I/O panel is attached to the top side by default, but you can remove and attach it to any of its sides, using a screwdriver.
Speaking of I/O panel, it has USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 ports, and HD audio and mic jacks etc.
On the back panel (which is the only panel in this case that doesn’t come off), there are standard motherboard and PSU cut-outs, along with 5 PCI-e bays.
On the bottom side, there’s a dust filter over ventilation area. Since this bottom panel is also removable, installing PSU and routing cables is much more easier.
Apart from this, I am also impressed with the space management of this case. It has a 2-chamber design, like Thermaltake V1, where motherboard and PCI-e components are on upper chamber, while PSU and drive bays are on bottom chamber.
Speaking of drive bays, you have a lot of options.
There’s room for three 3.5″ drives (that can also be used for 2.5″ drives) under the motherboard tray in the bottom chamber, along with three caddies for 2.5″-only drives along with the right side of the case.
You can move the latter three slots for 2.5″ disk drives in order to have optimal cable management.
As far as air cooling is concerned, it comes with a 200mm fan pre-installed at the front but you can install more fans than that if you want to.
For starters, you can have two more 120mm/140mm fans at the front. After this, there’s option for four 120mm or two 140mm + two 120 mm fans at the top, one 120mm/ 140mm fan at the the back side, and two 120mm fans at the bottom.
All in all, you can raise the total air fan count up to 10.
For liquid cooling too, there are plenty of options. You can have a single 280mm radiator and single 240mm radiator, or two 240mm radiators side by side, or a single 180mm radiator, at the top side.
At the front, you can have one 140mm/180mm/240mm radiator, while on the rear, there’s space for a 120mm radiator.
In terms of clearance, you can have a graphics card as long as 350mm, and CPU cooler not greater than 185mm. PSU length is also limited to 200mm.
Overall, this case has everything you may need right now, or even into the future. My only issue with this case was the mediocre airflow which requires at least 4 case fans to work properly.
But still though, this is the best midrange micro ATX case for 2020.
- One 200mm Black Front Fan Pre installed
- MAX CPU Cooler Height: 185mm
- MAX VGA Length: 350mm
Phanteks Evolv mATX
Best High-End mATX Case 2020
So this is the last and the best micro-ATX case in this roundup.
On the first glance, Enthoo Evolv looks a lot similar to the original Evolv PC case. Thanks to some similarities between their respective layouts (such as the aluminum exterior), you’ll be forgiven to think that both of them are indeed same.That being said, there are many differences, such as the 3 mm thick Tempered glasses on both sides, I/O panel hidden under the front bezel, and the RGB lighting option.Its back side has four expansion slots, like the most cases listed here, along with a drive cage for 3.5″ hard drives and 2 trays that can accommodate HDDs/SSDs with 2.5″ size.To keep the case cool, Phanteks has put two 140mm fans, one each at the front and the back. But if they feel them to be insufficient anyhow, you have a number of places to add a few of your own.At the front, there’s space for three 120mm or two 140mm fans, while the top side can fit a single 140mm or 120mm fan. Even at the back side, which has a 140mm fan already in place, you can put another 120mm fan.The I/O panel is at the front, but you won’t be able to see it unless you flip-up the cover at the top. It has 2 USB 3.0 ports, in addition to the RGB lighting controls, and headphone and mic jacks.Under this PC Case, there are four aluminum feet covered in rubber to provide extra grip. There’s a removable dust filter the bottom side which covers the PSU fan from getting dusty.From inside, Enthoo Evolv has divided into two compartments. The bottom side is for PSU and different storage components, while the upper area is reserved for other components.As far as the water cooling is concerned, the front side can have a 280mm/360mm rad, while the 240/280mm rad and 120/140mm rad options are for the top and back side for this case, respectively.In order to have that extra space for liquid cooling probably, Phanteks have removed the 5.25″ drive bay.But still, there are a few things you need to know in terms of clearance.
If you just put air fans at the front, you’ll be left with as much as 319 mm length for your graphics card. But liquid coolers are much larger in size, you’ll have much less space for the GPU if you go with the later option.For power supplies too, you’re limited to 216mm but (fortunately), there’s a workaround in case you have a bigger PSU. All you need to do is to remove the HDD cage.Apart from the relatively heavier weight (20 lbs), and the fact that its left and right sides are hinged, there are no downsides in this case.
Even the second point is quite subjective and some people may even like those tempered glass panels to be opening/closing like doors.On the other side, there are a ton of features that easily outweigh these minor cons.All in all, this is the best High-End micro ATX case you can have in 2020.
- Aluminum body (3mm). Clean interior – Hidden PSU/HDD/Cables. RGB LED illumination. Dual Tempered Glass Panels
- Magnetic Tempered Glass Panels on hinges. Quick release panels for easy access. Removable dust filters. Long GPU support (up to 319mm/12.5in)
- Phanteks Premium fans 140mm. 26mm cable management space + additional cable compartment in bottom. Support Synchronization with RGB Motherboards and Phanteks RGB products
Things To Look In An micro-ATX Case
Below are some of the main things you need to consider while choosing an mATX PC case. These factors are generic and must be remembered while buying any PC case, not just mATX ones.
Drive bay is a space inside a PC case which is used to accommodate different types of drives, such as DVD drive, floppy drive, Hard Disk Drive and Solid State Drive etc.
Drive bays are found in 5.25″, 3.5″, 2.5″ and 1.8″ sizes.
One thing you should note here is that these sizes (5.25-inches, for example) don’t refer to the bay itself. Instead it refers to the width of the disks used inside the drives mounted into that bay.
5.25′ drive-bay is used for CD/DVD drive, while 3.5′ and 2.5′ drive bays are for desktop and laptop based hard drives respectively.
For extra ventilation, many cases come with fan mounts and they’re available from 80mm to 200mm. Depending on that fan mount area of your case, you’ll have to choose your case fans.
Although we’ve discussed about case fans in detail in above-linked guide, you just need to learn one quick thing that larger fan can produce same amount of force as the smaller fans, by running relatively slower.
This may entice you have a mATX case with bigger fan mount.
Besides at the back, front, and top of your case, you can also mount these fans next to your hard drive (Hard Drives DO produce a good amount of heat).
In basic terms, GPU clearance is the space required by a graphics card to fit inside your PC case.
So, if you have a graphics card with 7-inch length (just as an example) then you would need slightly more than 7-inch space of your case to fit that card.
That’s why you should note the GPU clearance before buying a case.
PC CASE PORTS
So, as you can see, having lesser ports in your case is not a good thing to have.
But if you’ve short-listed a chassis with a limited number ports, it’s not the end of the road, and there are some workarounds in the form of USB adapters and expansion cards.
But still, because you have to buy these adapters/ expansion cards separately, it’s better to have a good amount of ports on your PC case in first place.
LED lighting is subjective, and isn’t necessary for the most people. But there are some people who want their PC builds to scream ‘R-G-B’.
Those people should go for a case with RGB lighting so that it can blend well with other gaming peripherals.
Like all things in your gaming rig, choosing a PC case also comes down to your budget.
Good thing about thing is that we have included budget as well as high-price options, so that everybody get something according to his/her budget.
Last update on 2020-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API