In contrast to the BIG AND BULKY trend, some actually prefer the opposite. Small and simplistic builds have a class of their own. That’s why this time, we’re gonna talk about the very best small form factor cases around. And what’s smaller than Mini-ITX cases, right?
There are some cases that are designed for the Mini-ITX form factor alone. These cases are tiny, consume little space, and can build full-fledged PCs. There’s no point in underestimating Mini-ITX builds as they can be as strong as the rest of them.
To house these small yet powerful rigs, you need some pretty darn good cases. So, without delay, let’s jump in to the topic of Best small form factor Mini-ITX cases and what they’re all about. Let’s jump in!
- The Best SFF PC Cases Around
Top 5 Small Form Factor Cases Comparison Chart
|Name & Brand||Motherboard|
|C. Master NR200P||Mini-ITX/DTX||Tempered Glass|
|Silverstone SG05BB||Mini ITX||Alloy Steel|
|InWin A1 Plus ||Mini ITX||Metal|
|Thermaltake 100 ||Mini ITX||Tempered Glass|
|C. Master NC100 ||Intel® NUC 9||Alloy Steel|
Defining a Mini-ITX Case
Mini-ITX cases are rather different from your usual mid towers and full tower cases. Although these cases don’t have a particular size limit, they can easily fit on top your desk. Even in tight corners, or atop your cramped cubicle, these will probably fit in just fine.
You can fit in a Mini-ITX motherboard in most other cases. But that won’t necessarily make those cases Mini-ITX cases. These boards come in the usual size of 6.7 by 6.7 inches. Some cases are specially designed to house this form factor only. Those cases fall under the Mini-ITX case category.
The Best SFF PC Cases Around
Now that we’ve given you an idea about what to expect even from the best small form factor Mini-ITX cases let’s start talking about the cases themselves. I’ve done my research and made a list of the top Mini-ITX cases available in the marketplace. I really hope you find the right one among them.
So, here they are!
The guys at Cooler master have always focused on making PC building as rewarding as possible. They didn’t deviate from their age-old tradition with the Cooler Master NR200P either. Simply put, this case is just elegant and awesome. It offers a large array of features within a small form factor.
The most interesting bit about this case is perhaps that every panel can be disassembled. It offers a 360-degree customizability all the way. You can work on components from any angle you please. Which is a big plus if you prefer to take matters into your own hand. The easy tool-free access is a nice touch too.
You’ll be glad to know that all the external panels, top mounted fans, and the glass panel are secured with pins for fast and easy removal.
With the case, you get the option of either a tempered glass side panel, or a vented one. Either choose a crystal-clear side display or a panel that offers unrestricted airflow for your inner components. It’s all up to you.
As far as cooling is concerned, this case can house seven dedicated fans, and five whole sides of open ventilation. Also, if you prefer to install a CPU cooler, this case can support air coolers up to 155mm in height. Plus, if you’re into water cooling, 280mm AIOs are your limit, which isn’t bad at all.
Also, you get two area options to mount the AIOs, which is pretty impressive for a case of this size. You can build a really powerful system with this one without worrying about your components heating up.
The Cooler Master NR200P is fully equipped to house a single full-length GPU. The maximum GPU size is 330mm in height and 156mm in width. You can even consider mounting one of the flagship GPUs with ease. They even included a riser cable to offer a stylish-looking vertical mount. Sweet, eh?
This case is technically compatible with Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX motherboards. You can mount the PSU in the front area to get a better MOBO clearance. This allows you to have a maximum area of 244 x 226 mm for the motherboard.
And for the material, the case is built with thick, powder-coated SGCC steel. It helps the case from marring while on the go from one place to another. Traveling for a LAN party, have no fear! The case is stronger than you would think.
SilverStone’s Sugo SG05 was first introduced in 2009. The form factor was originally revealed for low-powered computing. Years later, we found the new version, the SG05BB-LITE. This one is an astounding Mini-ITX case that comes without the inclusion of an SFX power supply.
The SG05BB-LITE is fully made of alloy steel. It has minimal dimensions of only 11 x 10 x 14 inches. This size allows it to fit inside just about any corner of your desktop. Weighing around 5.5 pounds, it can be carried around just about anywhere.
Just like the previous case that we discussed; this one also is Mini-DTX/Mini-ITX motherboard compatible. The SFX compatibility is to be expected, and you’re free to get a better, more powerful PSU for the rig you want to build.
If you’re worried about GPU compatibility, this case here supports expansion cards up to 10 inches. This isn’t all that huge, but you can house a moderately powerful graphics card with ease. Also, there’s more than enough room for CPU cooling as the maximum compatible height is 82mm.
The elevated standoff for the motherboard makes things a whole lot easier as well. It makes for easier component installation all in all.
There’s a 120mm fan included offering ample airflow inside the case. You can install aftermarket ones later on if you wish.
Finally, the front I/O. It’s pretty basic if you ask me. Two USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks are included. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done just fine.
Who said that small Mini-ITX cases couldn’t be super stylish? The A1 Plus from InWin creates its own signature with a smoking sick style! The tinted transparent stand adorned with addressable RGB lights offers a truly awesome sight to behold.
Apart from that, the matte black structure is prepared with fitted dual vibrant addressable RGB loops. Not to mention, the case comes with two Sirius loop ASL120 fans. These offer adequate cooling along with the added RGB finesse.
Also, the circular RGB outline is placed on both sides of the fans. So, no matter how you place the fans, the radiant lights will be visible.
Yet another interesting part is, the PSU is pre-installed inside the A1 Plus. Even the cables have been managed along with two dedicated GPU connectors (PCI-E 6 + 2-pin) for the most demanding graphics cards. Did I mention it’s a 650-Watt Gold certified PSU? How awesome is that?
There’s a dedicated wireless charging station in the case, and it’s now WPC Qi 1.2 Certified. If your mobile device is Qi enabled, you’ll get 10W of constant power delivery. This applies to wireless gaming mice as well. InWin definitely went all out with this bad boy over here.
Now, let’s talk convenience. The square structure of the case offers a hassle-free installation of powerful hardware within the Mini-ITX form factor. You can house CPU coolers of the maximum height of 160mm and GPUs of the maximum length of 320mm. You can literally install the best of them in the A1 Plus.
Loaded with features, the case has minimal dimensions of just about 13.5 x 8.27 x 9.09 inches. To be honest, it’s not that heavy even. The weight of this thing is only 16.7 pounds. Yeah, it’s not super light, but I bet you’ve seen worse.
To be frank, the Thermaltake Tower 100 Black Edition simply looks badass. This one is basically the mini version of the iconic Tower 900. It might be smaller in size, but it really doesn’t fall short when it comes to the right features in the right places.
The case features a 4mm tempered glass that offers a nice and clear view of your inner components. It’s just great for all those who wish to showcase their rig to the onlookers. The glass panel covers the front, left, and right.
By the way, TT even threw in two 120mm fans straight out of the box. One is located ant the top. And the other in the outer rear exhaust. To top it off, you can install an extra 120mm or 140mm fan atop the PSU cover. You can also consider a basic 120mm AIO cooler for water cooling.
The dimensions of the case are limited to 10.47 x 10.47 x 18.22 inches. Which is way smaller than the Tower 900 that I talked about earlier. But that’s to be expected from a mini-tower case, right? The weight is moderate as well. I wouldn’t call 16.65 pounds too heavy, to be honest.
As for the I/O, there’s a high-speed USB Type-C port and two USB 3.0 ports. Apart from the connectivity, I really have to appreciate the design as well.
The case even offers a lot of storage options compared to a basic Mini-tower case. The Tower 100 supports up to two 3.5-inch HDDs or up to four 2.5-inch SSDs. Plus, there are two 2.5-inch SSD brackets at the side. It’s more than enough for a basic PC build if you ask me.
You can literally store terabytes of data in this one.
Now, let’s talk a bit about the dust filter design that the case offers. Convenience comes first, right? There are a total of eight fine filters located at the top, bottom, right and left. These offer great protection from outside dirt and dust. Plus, they’re easily removable and super easy to clean.
Speaking of the design, apart from having a smaller footprint to consume less space, the Tower 100 has a special heat dissipating design. The vertical structure allows heat to escape from the top, just like a chimney. Keeping your system cool at all times.
The last cherry on top is the dismantlable modular design. This case here features modular panels, brackets, racks, and pre-designed mounting arrays. Nothing seems unreachable in this one. Making hardware installation seem like a total breeze.
Let’s finish our best small factor PC case list with a bit of style! The MasterCase NC100 from Cooler Master is truly one of a kind. Apart from its modern and futuristic look, it actually brings a lot to the table. Let’s see how it holds up in our list of best small form factor cases.
First of all, let’s talk about the size. The case has minimal dimensions of 14.6 x 8.5 x 5.1 inches. The volume of the case is a total of 7.9 liters. Just imagine, a case of this size is well equipped for a full-length GPU! How amazing is that?
Bu full length, I mean to say, GPUs that are 2.5 slots thick and up to 320mm in height should fit in just nicely.
Apart from the size, the case weighs only about 10.8 pounds. I mean, it’s not heavy at all. Also, it can be carried almost anywhere. You can feel secure as the case is made of powder-coated steel that resists scratches and gives the promise of longevity.
Dents, bending, or crushing? Not a chance!
Like all the good ones, this can also be disassembled from all sides. Making the case fully accessible from all sides. These sorts of features really make PC building seem easy. So, kudos to Cooler Master for that!
The case also includes two slim 92mm fans for optimal cooling. This helps immediate exhaustion of hot air that promises the best thermal performance at all times. Plus, the heavy ventilation flanks from all sides help to keep the components inside nice and cool.
By the way, I should also add that the case here is fully compatible with the Intel NUC 9 Extreme Compute Element. Also, this awesome little case also comes with a high-efficiency V650 SFX Gold power supply. Which is well optimized for the NUC 9 Extreme Compute Element as well.
This case checks all the right boxes to be one of the finest Mini-ITX cases around. A big thumbs up from my side.
Tips to Get the Best Small Form Factor Mini-ITX Case
As you’ve read so far, I already recommended the best cases at hand within the Mini-ITX form factor, according to my book. But even then, if you want to get just the right one by yourself, here’s a small list of tips to help you out.
If you’re opting to get the best Mini-ITX case for yourself, you should take a real close look at the hardware compatibility. Not all cases support similar types of components. You should double-check component compatibility like the PSU size, GPU length, CPU Cooler height, and so on.
There’s no point in getting a case that’s incompatible with your components. So, it’s best to take a look at the hardware support and measurements beforehand.
PCI-E Slot Check
Many of the modern small form factor cases come with riser cables. Make sure that the case you’re getting offers a PCI-E 4.0 support for the cable. It’s a good idea to recheck this before getting your desired Mini-ITX case. Otherwise, you might have to end up doing some aftermarket shopping.
Cooling is essential when you’re opting to get the best Mini-ITX case for yourself. Small compartments can generate heat. It’d be wise to choose a case that has proper air ventilation, both air and water-cooling support, and adequate fan slots. Remember, a cool PC always lasts longer.
It’s also easy to keep the CPU TDP in check if you can house 240mm or 280mm radiators inside the case. It’ll also help if you choose the fans that offer the best air-cooling efficiency.
If you look into the marketplace, you’ll find cases of all shapes and sizes. This bit really depends on personal preference. Follow your heart and pick the case that you feel okay with (In terms of design). But do keep in mind the previous points that I mentioned. A pretty but inefficient case just won’t do.
The Mini-ITX Case Limitations
However small and handy Mini-ITX cases might prove to be, they do come with a few limitations. I thought it’d be best to let you know all about them before we jumped into the best list. So, let’s begin.
- Two DIMMs Only
Unlike the ATX and Micro-ATX cases, Mini-ITX builds can only be made of two RAM DIMMs. There are only two slots dedicated to the motherboards. So, if you install 16GB RAM DIMMs per slot, you can’t go beyond 32 GB of total RAM in your RIG. Which is okay as it’s all you’ll probably need in most cases.
- One GPU Limit
Mini-ITX cases are built to support one GPU only. As Mini-ITX motherboards come with one dedicated PCIE x16 slot, you won’t be able to use features like NVDIA SLI or AMD Crossfire. So, it’s best to keep that in mind while building your next Mini-ITX build.
- The Power Limitation
Mini-ITX cases don’t come in with universal PSU limit on the usual rate. In many cases, you’ll be limited by the SFX form factor. There are some PSUs built by popular brands like Corsair or Silverstone that are custom made for Mini-ITX cases.
Some cases can squeeze in full-sized ATX 12v PSUs, but it’s wise not to expect that on the usual rate.
- Miniature Cooling
Mini- ITX cases can support mostly moderate sized AIO coolers. You can house up to two fan radiators in most cases. Which isn’t all that bad if you ask me. But if you have some custom loop fantasies in your mind, it’d be best to drop them straight away as this form factor isn’t custom water cooling friendly.
Well, now that we’re at the end, let’s recall all that we’ve talked about. We’ve discussed the basics and the limitations of a small form factor Mini-ITX case shared the best list of products available based on our research, and lastly, equipped you with a few tricks to help you pick one by yourself.
I pretty much think that’s enough info to let you know all there is to know before making your purchase. I really hope I could help you out with this. So, let’s end the discussion without further delay. I hope you have an amazing shopping experience.