Last Updated on September 29, 2020 by Scott Krager
Unlike most other cases, they can have just one type of motherboard fit into themselves: mini-ITX motherboards (the smallest motherboards you can have for your gaming PC).
Actually, these cases were frowned upon by the PC gaming community until a few years ago. It’s because, due to the tiny space of mini-ITX motherboards, there wasn’t any expansion option for the future.
Table of Contents
- Best Mini ITX Cases for Gaming Buying Guide
- 1. Thermaltake Core V
- 2. NZXT H200i
- 3. Corsair Crystal 280X RGB
- 4. Fractal Design Nano S
- 5. In Win A1
- 6. Morex 557
- 7. Rosewill RS-MI-01 BK
- Benefits Of Using A Mini ITX PC Case
- Limitations of a Mini ITX PC Case
As you may have realized, these numbers hardly impressed any PC enthusiast back then.
Best Mini ITX Cases for Gaming Buying Guide
But now, with the ever-changing technology in PC components, many people have started to use these mini-ITX motherboards for their gaming PCs.
It’s because now you can have a good quality single Graphics Card and 2×16 GB RAMs (total: 32 GB) into your ITX board, and your PC won’t require any upgrade in 2-3 years.
The shortage of USB ports can also be somewhat countered by using a USB Extension Hub.
This revival of ITX motherboards has led to the indirect resurgence of Mini ITX cases because ITX boards don’t look good in bigger PC chassis.
That’s why here we are doing this roundup review about best mini ITX cases for gaming.
1. Thermaltake Core V
Best Mini ITX Case 2020 Under $50
Thermaltake is known for producing different types of PC cases that provide a fair amount 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 reasonably tough which is somewhat surprising considering it weighs less than 10 lbs.
Behind the front panel, there’s a 200 mm fan that runs at 800 RPM and produces 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 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.
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 even removing the back and side panels first.
For better organization, the inside area has been divided by the Thermaltake into different chambers. There’s an upper chamber which is used to place all the system components, such as your graphics card. This results in the right 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 chamber 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 and Graphics card.
Other than this, Core V1 can accommodate a couple of storage devices (both 2.5′ SSDs and 3.5′ HDDs are supported).
There are some cons to 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 reliable and compact case, that too under 50 bucks.
- Supports Mini ITX Motherboard
- 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic Front Ports, Internal Bay: 2x 3.5 inches, 2x 2.5 inches 1 x 200 millimetre fan, 2 x 80 millimetre turbo fans (optional)
- Interchangeable Side Panels: Symmetrical panels to build the system with personality
2. NZXT H200i
Overall Best Mini ITX PC Case for Gaming
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 as 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 in H700i, there’s no USB-C port, which is a disappointment just as it was with 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 a 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 pieces like this.
There’s space for one 120mm fan at the rear, one 120mm fan at the top, and two 120mm fans at the front side of this case. Also, two AER fans come as accessories 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 in utilizing every inch of space you have by securing excessive cabling.
Due to this management, and a large size for an ITX case, we found its airflow to be excellent.
- Premium quality: All steel construction with the sleek h series design; available in four color combinations
- Smart device: Built in rgb and digital fan controller powered by cam, delivers hue+ and grid+ functionality and includes two preinstalled fans and rgb led strips for dynamic personalization
- Adaptive noise reduction: Optimizes cooling and noise balance for the best gaming comfort
3. Corsair Crystal 280X RGB
Best Mini ITX Case 2020 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 perfect.
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.
The Crystal 280X is a direct replacement to the Air 240 which has gotten older. So, is this successor any better?
Well, there are a lot of new things that you are going to love.
The pricing for both the RGB and the 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’s 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 with an mATX/mini-ITX motherboard. All the main dust vents are covered with magnetic dust covers that are easy to remove.
Even though the tempered glass is no longer a vanity factor, it looks fantastic when done right. 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 least, the entirety of the installation is tool-less so aside from a basic Philips screwdriver, I don’t think that you are going to need anything else.
Honestly, after building the test build in the Corsair Crystal 280X RGB, I fell in love with the case. I have worked in bigger chassis than this and they have never given me the building experience that I had with this one.
Related Post: Best RGB Mini-ITX PC Chassis
- Excellent build quality.
- Great value.
- 2 LL120 fans included.
- The tempered glass looks excellent.
- Massive cooling potential with room for up to six 120mm cooling fans, or a 240mm radiator in the top, 240mm radiator in the front, and 240mm radiator in the bottom
- Two included CORSAIR LL120 RGB fans boast a total of 32 individually customizable LEDs, controlled by an included Lighting Node PRO digital RGB lighting controller and CORSAIR iCUE software to deliver a symphony of color
- Three stunning tempered glass panels put your system on display like no other Micro-ATX case
4. Fractal Design Nano S
Best Mini ITX Case 2020 Under 100
For the longest time, Fractal Design has been one of those companies that are responsible for truly great products.
Even though their upgrades are mostly incremental, I love the fact that they are following the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, and so far, it’s been working great.
Today, we’re looking 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 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 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 panels.
It also comes with ample water cooling or air cooling support, so even if you want to have a 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 except the lack of a tempered glass panel.
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.
- Roomy interior.
- Easy to build in.
- Enough room for water, or air cooling.
- Cable management is one of the easiest.
- There is no tempered glass included.
- Define Series ITX case including a side panel window: designed for silent computing with sound dampening and ModuVent technology
- User-friendly construction: Superior cable management and compatibility with full-size components
- Flexible storage options: room for up to 4 drives
5. In Win A1
Best High End Mini ITX Case 2020
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, with In Win A1, things are indeed attractive for people who are looking for a high-quality mini ITX case.
A1 is undoubtedly 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 and has a pretty fantastic design 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.
It 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 generally built for people who are looking for something different from what is usually 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 makeup 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.
- Compact Mini-ITX chassis capable of housing powerful hardware
- Tempered glass top wireless charging Station
- Clear, RGB base creates a Floating illusion
6. Morex 557
Best Fanless Mini ITX Case 2020
In market this saturated, having a company introduce a new PC case is not the easiest road to travel.
There are just so many cases available that it becomes hard for the newer products to survive, especially if you are looking at a case that is made for even a niche market.
We are, of course, talking about an HTPC case, and the case we are looking at right now is the Morex 557, it is one of the affordable HTPC cases available in the market.
So, what is so good about this Morex 557?
Well, for starters, it is a case built for those who are looking to build a decent home theater PC, and in all honesty, it does look like a pretty good case for that. If looks are something that do matter to you, the case is definitely going to be satisfactory on that level.
Despite its rather small size, the building experience is one of the best in the market, and if you are familiar with the art of building a PC, you will only be taking 20 minutes to complete the build process.
Another great thing about this case is that it can be wall mounted, or you can even attach it to the rear of the TV. If that is not what you are looking for, you can even put it in one corner and it will fit just right in.
So, what is lacking?
To be fair, there is nothing glaringly wrong with the case.
However you have to know that this being an HTPC case, the market is pretty thin when it comes to components that are made for this case.
Overall, the Morex 557 is definitely a good HTPC case for the price you are paying.
- Ultra Compact Mini-ITX Enclosure
- Fan-less; perfect for silent and quiet applications (mounting holes for up to 4 x 40mm fans and 2 x 60mm fans)
- VESA mounting and wall mounting hardware included
7. Rosewill RS-MI-01 BK
Best Mini ITX Case 2020 With Integrated Power Supply
Rosewill is one of those companies that absolutely require no introduction.
Especially when you look at the fact that they have some of the best cases available in the market, and the one thing that we absolutely love about the company is that they are producing products that are fitting every budget as well as the use case.
The case we have our hands on today is the Rosewill RS-MI-01 BK, it is one of those mini ATX cases that have come increasingly popular in the modern market and if you are looking for something that is small and gets the job done, this is the way to go.
Its design is simple and straightforward. It is pretty compact, so you can easily put it anywhere you want without any issues coming in the way.
You are also getting a power supply, which is another great thing and you should never really overlook this factor.
As for the complaints that I have with this case, I would say that the overall build quality of this case is average at best, and the power supply that comes with the case is not something that you should be pairing with a higher end system.
And last but not the least, the internal cooling is not as strong as we would have liked.
Overall, the Rosewill RS-MI-01 BK is a respectable case mainly because the affordable price tag it carries. You are definitely getting your money’s worth but we feel that if the company had introduced some better features with an added premium, we would not have minded paying a higher price either.
- Featuring one external 5.25" drive bay and two 3.5" drive bays (one external and one internal)
- Equipped with a 250W power supply unit to handle ample power consumption for most mini-ITX systems
- Features a convenient front I/O panel for easy access to two USB 2.0 and two audio ports
Benefits Of Using A Mini ITX PC Case
First, we’ll discuss all the pros of using a mini ITX case for your next PC.
Less Space Required
This is rather obvious but I’ll still explain it.
Many mini ITX cases come in a cubical form which doesn’t look too gorgeous to some but reduce a considerable amount of space.
Consider this example: Corsair Obsidian 1000D is a full tower case having dimensions 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 enormous weight.
To prove my point, I will take the above comparison.
Obsidian 1000D weighs more than 65 lbs, which roughly equates to 30 Kg. On the 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 PC Case => small Motherboard => less Expansion => less Hardware => less total cost.
Nowadays, you can custom-build a gaming PC in less than 500 bucks, thanks to these cases.
Look Good To Some People
Yes, these cases aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but there exist 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 issues 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 only 2 RAM slots.
Also, there’s only space for a single hard drive and a single SSD to fit in (in most cases).
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 be fit in an ITX case.
Some manufacturers have started to build small 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 for these cases.
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 PC 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.
Last update on 2020-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API