Mini ITX cases are one of the smallest computer cases out there.
Unlike most other cases, they can have just one type of motherboard fit into themselves: ITX motherboards (the smallest motherboards you can have for your gaming PC).
To be frank, these cases were frowned upon by PC gaming community until a few years ago. Due to the very small space of mini-ITX motherboards, there wasn't any expansion option for the future.
Just look at the numbers: More often than not, these boards come with only 2 RAM slots, 1 PCI-E slot (so no multiple graphics card setup), 1 DVI port, 1 HDMI port, and limited number of USB ports.
As you may have realized, these numbers hardly impressed any PC enthusiast back then.
But now, with ever-changing technology in PC components, many people have started to use these motherboards for their gaming PCs.
It's because now you can have a good quality single graphics card + 2×16 GB RAMs (total: 32 GB) into your ITX board, and your PC won't required any upgrade in 2 -3 years.
The shortage of USB ports can also be countered by using a USB extension Hub.
This revival of ITX motherboards has led the indirect revival of Mini ITX cases, because ITX boards don't look too good in bigger cases.
That's why here we are doing this roundup review about best mini ITX PC cases for 2019.
Best Mini ITX Cases 2019 Buying Guide
1. Thermaltake Core V1
Best Budget Mini ITX Case 2019
Thermaltake is known for producing different types of PC cases that provide a fair among of value for their money. One of those cases is core V1.
Although it was released way back in 2015 we couldn't help but include it in this roundup review.
Let's see what we found about this case.
From outside, it has a cubical shape with the dimensions of 10.9 x 10.2 x 12.4 inches. It looks fairly solid, which is rather surprising considering its less than 10 lbs weight.
Behind the front panel, there's a 200 mm fan that runs at 800 RPM and produce very less noise at 13 dBA. Although, this is the only by-default fan found in this case, there's plenty of room in the back panel in case you want to buy two 80 mm fans of your own.
On the front panel, there are two USB 3.0 ports below the power button. These two ports are above two 3.5 mm jacks for microphone and headphone. Below all of these, there's a small reset button.
The top panel of this case has glass so that you can see (and admire) your hardware components from the outside.
In order to start PC building in this case, you just need to remove the screws from the back panel and both side panels. The top panel can also be removed without removing the back and side panels.
The inside area has been divided by the Thermaltake into different chambers, for better organization. There's an upper chamber which is used to place all the system components, such as your graphics card. This results in good amount of cooling and airflow between these components.
To further enhance the airflow for the graphics card, the side panels of this case have been perforated in a honeycomb pattern.
On the other hand, the lower chambers is used for things like Power Supply Unit and Cable management. This area isn't as good for airflow, that's why it's only used for the components that aren't as heat-sensitive as your CPU, GPU etc.
Other than this, Core V1 can be used to store a couple of storage devices (both 2.5' SSDs and 3.5' HDDs are supported).
Overall, this case has a lot of space for a mini ITX case.
There are some downsides of this case. Like it has only 2 USB ports, you can't have a graphics card of more than 10 inches length, and a CPU cooler should be under 140 mm length. But these options are general for all ITX cases.
In return you get a solid and compact case, that too under 50 bucks.
2. NZXT H200i
Best Mini ITX PC Case 2019
In simple terms, H200i by NZXT is a compact version of the mid tower case H700i, which is rated as the best mid tower case by us in the above-linked review.
Let's see if it delivers the same performance level of its big brother H700i.
The first difference you'll see in this case is the lack of USB 2.0 ports. Perhaps in order to cut costs, H200i only comes with a pair of USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks. Like H700i, there's no USB-C port, which is disappointment just as it was in the case of the former.
The 140 mm fan found in the backside of H700i has also been reduced to 120 mm here. Also, the push-button style of side panels has also been replaced by the thumbscrews in H200i.
Removable air filters, have been retained however, for front panel and power supply intakes.
Inside H200i, there's tray for mini ITX motherboard. This tray has a removable 2.5' SSD mounting bracket. There's an RGB LED strip installed along the top side of this case. There's also a connector present, which enables you to install 3rd-party LED strips. You can add up to 4 strips like this.
There's a space for one 120mm fan at rear, one 120mm fan at top, and two 120mm fans at front side of this case. Also, there are two AER fans that come as an accessory with this case.
Being a mini ITX case, you can't do as much cable management here as you can do in other cases. Nzxt' smart design, however, helps you utilizing every inch of space you have here by securing excessive cabling.
Due to this management, and a large size for an ITX case, we found its airflow to be excellent. Rest assured, your GPU will be kept cool here.
3. Corsair Crystal 280X RGB
Best Mini ITX Case 2019 For Bigger Builds
Corsair’s introduction of a chassis for people who want to have mini-ITX or micro-ATX systems but with proper hardware was really good. The Corsair Crystal 280X RGB was a hit as soon as it was announced.
The dual chambered design with tempered glass just at the right spots was a massive hit among the fans, and not to forget the dual LL120 fans that were included with the case just made things better.
Now the Crystal 280X is a direct replacement to the Air 240 that has gotten older. So, is the successor any better than younger sibling? As a matter of fact, there are a lot of new things that you are going to love.
The pricing for both the RGB and standard version is excellent, additionally, Corsair has maintained their signature quality; so it does not matter if you are handling the plastic part of the case, or the steel part, it is going to be good. The case does come with two LL120 fans and even have a Lighting Node Pro.
You can add multiple 280mm radiators, along a mATX motherboard. All the major dust vents are covered with magnetic dust covers that are easy to remove.
Even though the tempered glass is no longer a vanity factor, when done right, it looks amazing. You can actually install five full sized hard drives if you want to, and the cable management is one of the best you can look for.
Last but not the least, the entirety of the installation is tool-less so aside from a basic Philips screw driver, I do not think that you are going to need anything more.
Honestly, after building the test build in the Corsair Crystal 280X RGB, I fell in love with the case; I have worked in bigger cases than this and they have never given me the perfect building experience.
- Excellent build quality.
- Great value.
- 2 LL120 fans included.
- The tempered glass is great.
4. Fractal Design Nano S
Best Mini ITX Case For Silent Performance
For the longest time, Fractal Design has been one of those companies that are responsible for truly great products.
Even though their upgrades look like they are mostly incremental, but I love the fact that they are following the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, and so far, it has been working great.
Today, we look at the Fractal Design Nano S, as the name suggests, the case is built for people who are looking for a great mini ITX system, and they are not looking for any compromises.
At first I was a bit intimidated by the size because the case definitely looked bigger for a mini-ITX case, but the additional space is to ensure that there is proper ventilation as you will notice once you start building in the PC.
The price alone makes this case one of the most attractive offerings in the market, and not just that, you also get sound dampening material on the case’s panels.
The case also comes with ample water cooling or air cooling support, so if you want to do custom loop, I am sure it is possible. Additionally, the cable management system in this case is among the best I have seen.
There is nothing majorly wrong or broken with the case, however, you do need to understand that for a mini-ITX case, the case looks a bit larger. Additionally, the case does not use a tempered glass panel mainly because it is one of the older, yet very functional mini-ITX cases.
Overall, the Fractal Design Nano S is one of the best cases you can buy in the market if you are looking to build a mini-ITX system.
- Great value for money.
- Roomy interior.
- Easy to build in.
- Legendary Fractal Design build quality.
- Enough room for water, or air cooling.
- Cable management is one of the easiest.
- The case might looks bigger for a mini-ITX case.
- There is no tempered glass included.
5. In Win A1
Best High End Mini ITX Case 2019
I love how In Win has always created cases that were different from everything that is being mass produced in the market.
This has created a niche for these cases, and while in some situations, it might not be a good thing but with In Win A1, things are certainly interesting for people who are looking for a good mini ITX case.
With that said, the A1 is certainly a unique looking case, but I don’t think that it should come as a surprise because it is In-Win we are talking about.
The case itself is designed using high-end material, so as far as the build quality is concerned, you really do not have to worry about getting something that won’t be built nicely.
The case also has a pretty amazing designed, that is also streamlined, and while you can see hints of the signature In Win case, it does not take away from the otherwise design language, and cohesion element that is found in this case.
The case also comes with features such as Qi charging support, which is a great feature, and the space inside the case is plenty for building a decently powerful computer.
It should not come as a surprise that In Win cases are normally built for people who are looking for something different from what is generally available in the market. The same is the case with the In Win A1. It does look apart, but for all the right reasons.
The case might be expensive, sure. But the overall build quality, the building experience, the added features such as Qi charging more than make up for what you are paying.
- Excellent build quality.
- Great value for money.
- Qi charging is a great feature to have for people who have phones that support wireless charging
- Tempered glass panel looks great.
- The case is easy to build in, and has enough space to work without any issues.
- There is no front panel USB 3.1 header.
Benefits of Using a Mini ITX PC Case
First we'll discuss all the pros of using a mini ITX case for your gaming PC.
Less Space Required
This is rather obvious but we'll still explain it.
Many mini ITX cases come in a cubical form which, although doesn't look too gorgeous to some, reduce considerable amount of space.
Consider this example: Corsair Obsidian 1000D is a full tower case having dimension of 12.09 * 28.27 * 27.44 inches. That's 9050 cubic-inches volume.
On the other hand, NZXT H200i (best mini ITX case) has the dimension of 14.64 * 13.74 * 8.74 inches. This is roughly equal to 1750 cubic-inches, which is more than 5 times less than the volume of Obsidian 1000D.
While Full/Mid tower cases are preferred by a majority of PC gamers, they have some flaws. Biggest of them all is their huge weight.
To prove my point, I will take the above comparison.
Obsidian 1000D weights more than 65 lbs, which roughly equates to 30 Kg. On other hand, h200i weighs only 13.2 lbs ( 6 Kg). Now you can clearly decide which one you would want to carry (or rather would not want to carry).
The light-weightiness of ITX cases makes much more portable than full-tower or mid-tower cases.
Due to the smaller dimensions and having less build-material, mini ITX cases often cost less than their bigger siblings. This reduces the overall cost of your gaming PC.
Simple: Small case = small motherboard = less expansion = less hardware = less total cost.
Nowadays you can custom build a gaming PC in less than 1000 bucks.
Look Good To Some People
Yes, these cases aren't everybody's cup of tea but there exists some people who like a cubical design more than a Tower body.
Limitations of a Mini ITX PC Case
If you aren't a newbie in PC building, you won't run into too many problems, no matter what your case is. The being said, below are some problems typically associated with Mini ITX cases.
No Room For Further Expansion
As I mentioned earlier, less cost equals to less hardware expansion.
Mini ITX boards come with single PCI-e slots, which means goodbye to multiple-GPU setup, and have only 2 RAM slots.
Also, there's only space for a single hard drive and a single SSD to fit in.
USB slots are also limited but can be countered by using a USB Hub.
Not Every Graphics Card Will Fit Into These Cases
Due to their smaller size, you can't just fit any graphics card into these cases. Many high end GPUs are very long which makes them impossible to fit in an ITX case.
There are manufacturers who have started to build compact graphics cards. Most of these compact GPUs are 6-7 inches in length which makes them suitable for these cases.
But still, you should do your homework before purchasing any graphics card.
Can have heat related issues
Since the PC components in a mini ITX case are situated a lot closer than what they are in full or mid tower cases, you can have some heat-related issues.
You can't have too much air fans due to less space. Water cooling is possible but only if you have a small radiator.
All in all, don't even try to overclock your components when using these cases.
Not ideal For PC Building
In most scenarios, PC building is not difficult (but definitely time consuming). But when you're building a PC in a mini ITX box, you're naturally bounded by its lesser space.
This makes it very difficult for you to access any components later and do cable management - especially if you have bigger hands.
While these things won't make PC building impossible, be prepared to spend a lot of time there.
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