There are generally three types of cases used by most, and they include the micro ATX cases, the standard ATX case, and the mini ITX case, out of which the first one is mostly used. After making a detailed guide on choosing a Standard ATX case in the smallest size possible I though of making a guide on choosing the smallest micro ATX case as it’s a very popular size that people struggle with.
Micro ATX cases measure about 9.6 x 9.6 inches overall. There are a few key reasons why many people prefer micro-ATX cases over other cases:
- The small form factor of micro-ATX cases allows it to be placed at any convenient place.
- They are available in different price ranges to suit the needs of the buyer.
Micro-ATX cases are the best option for gamers as they allow for easy access to the system components and provide more space for other components for future upgrades. Micro ATX cases come with tons of features depending upon the price range. If you just want to cut to the chase then our best choice for a small sized micro ATX case that go for the Antec Slim VSK2000-U3. Click on the link to check it out!
Some come with multiple drive trays and cable management systems for installing more than one storage device on the computer build and managing wires and cables of the various components inside the case. ATX cases can also be used as LAN boxes and also come with fancy features such as RGB lighting to give your setup a charming and attractive look.
List of The Best & "Smallest" Micro ATX Cases
Why choose a small-sized Micro ATX cases?
“Size matters.”. Well, at least in world of PC cases! The size of the components play a very important role in terms of the overall usability of a system. With the advancement of technology, the old, big, and bulky computers have been slowly replaced by systems of much smaller sizes that are compact and more powerful than their predecessors.
A PC build includes a number of components such as the processor, motherboard, graphics card, power supply unit, RAM, etc. After you have bought and gathered them all, the only thing remaining is to assemble them all into a single unit. To do so. We require a PC case, which is the final piece of the puzzle. A CPU case holds the motherboard and all the other components together, allowing the user to run the computer. We will also discuss why having the Smallest Micro ATX Case is a good thing for building a PC.
What are the different Types of PC Cases
One of the most important aspects of a PC build is the size of the case or the form factor, to be exact. A larger CPU case will be capable of storing a larger motherboard and a larger and more number of components inside it compared to a smaller PC case. Larger CPU cases also offer tons of drive bays and storage space and cable management systems, while CPU cases with smaller form factors such as the micro-ATX cases are much more portable and can be carried from one room to the other with ease. Such cases can also fit easily into smaller areas such as desks and tables without consuming much space.
Now let us head on to the different types of computer cases that most people generally use nowadays.
Each type of computer case is used according to the person’s needs, and the most commonly used cases used by consumers include- Tower Cases and Desktop Cases.
The desktop cases or the desktop form factor case are among the most common types of cases in use since the 90s and are mostly found in office environments and houses. They are generally used to enclose all the different computer components, and these cases offer only the basic features that you will need, such as USB ports for connecting external storage devices and peripherals and display ports for connecting your computer to a monitor.
Desktop cases are mostly used by people who want a computer to complete basic tasks such as internet surfing, streaming videos, and audios and who do not plan to upgrade their PC in the near future. This actually means that gamers and professional builders and editors will not find these types of CPU cases much useful than a tower case. These cases are big and bulky and are kept horizontally on desks with a monitor on the top. Desktop cases are slowly being replaced by tower cases nowadays.
Tower cases are a newer type of computer case preferred by gamers and computer builders over desktop cases as they offer a bunch of features and plenty of room for future upgrades. They provide enough space to fit in motherboards of all sizes of different form factors such a standard ATX, micro-ATX
And mini-ITX. Most of these types of cases feature things like rubber grommets for better grip when placed vertically or horizontally, multiple drive trays for installing more than one hard drives or storage devices, different types of display ports such as HDMI port, DVI port, VGA port, side glass panels, new generation USB ports, in-built power supply units, fan mounts for enhanced cooling, dust filters and many more.
Tower cases can be further categorized into different sizes, each with different dimensions and added functionalities and advantages in terms of expandability and portability.
The four sub-types of tower cases include Full Tower cases, Mid-tower cases, Mini-tower cases, and small form factor cases.
The full tower sized computer cases are the largest types of computer cases out there nowadays and are the perfect choice for builders, admins, and gamers who want enough room for future upgrades. They are very versatile and present the user with countless features to enhance the system’s overall performance in terms of cooling and aesthetics. They can hold up to a maximum of 10 expansion slots, which is far more than plenty for the average user. These types of cases are compatible with motherboards of all shapes and sizes, whether it be a mini-ITX sized motherboard, a micro-ATX sized on, or even a full-size standard ATX motherboard.
Although these cases provide great storage space for multiple components, they do that by sacrificing portability. A large number of computer hardware and components in these types of full tower cases make them heavier than all the other types of form factors, and hence people find it difficult to carry the system from one place to another. These types of cases should only be bought by people who intend to keep their PC in a fixed sport and who do not plan to change the location of their setup to another place in the near future. These cases will allow you to push the performance of your PC to the limits. Still, one must be aware that one needs to take proper precautions for overheating as full tower cases tend to heat up pretty quickly when attention to cooling solutions are not paid enough. This mostly happens due to poor airflow and all the PC components being cramped into one place.
The next entry into the list of different types of CPU cases is the mid-tower case. The cases are smaller than a full tower case by almost one-third. This might be the most commonly used type of computer case as they are compatible with the most commonly used motherboard types, namely, the Mini-ITX, MicroATX, and ATX motherboard. Depending upon the brand or manufacturer, these sizes of CPU cases offer up to about 8 or 9 expansion slots and multiple input and output ports.
Another important aspect of these cases is that these cases come with cable management options and features, allowing you to arrange and organize all the cables and wires inside your computer, thereby giving it a cleaner and organized look. These cases are also famous among gamers. They come equipped with built-in fans and RGB LEDs for better cooling performance and a better overall look while providing enough space for installing a graphics card and all the necessary expansion cards. These are somewhat more portable and full tower CPU cases and can be transferred from one place to another with just a bit of effort.
Mini Tower Cases
Here comes the younger brother of the mid-tower cases. With a tad bit smaller frame than a mid-tower case, these cases are very light even when stacked with multiple expansion cards and hardware solutions. If you have been looking for a case that maintains the perfect balance between portability and expansion space, the mini-tower case might be the perfect choice. The mini-tower cases are just big enough to support a Micro-ATX or a mini-ATX motherboard without a problem. They mostly provide up to 4 expansion slots, which are enough considering that these cases are pretty lightweight and fairly portable.
Small Form Factor Cases
In this list of all the different types of PC cases, the small form factor case, as the name suggests, is the smallest among them all and is fit for anyone who keeps moving their PC from one place to another. They are the lightest in terms of weight, but they have very limited expansion storage and hence not fit for use in office environments. They are great for gamers, though, as these cases can be used as LAN boxes for LAN parties. They are only compatible with mini-ITX sized motherboards, and hence you also have very limited motherboard choices if you plan to use this type of case. The small form factor case has its own set of pros and cons, but overall it is very low-profile, compact, and portable.
Important Factors for choosing your next PC Case
Now that we have discussed all the different sizes of PC cases that are available for you to purchase, here is a list of other things that you definitely need to keep in mind before you rush in to buy a new PC case.
For the first part of the article, we have talked about all the different sized PC cases, so we will not dive any deeper into that topic. Instead, we will help you choose which size will be perfect for you and when. Dual tower, full tower PC cases should only be bought when you have plans for upgrading your PC in the near future. The huge advantage these PC cases offer is that they are equipped with multiple drive bays and tons of expansion slots to satisfy professional builders and gamers. They also include multiple fan mounts, room for water cooling solutions, and multiple graphics card setups.
The downside to the full tower and dual-tower cases is that they are very heavy as they are full of PC components, making them harder to carry around and move it from one place to another. Due to the chassis being larger than other smaller CPU cases, they generally do not fit into smaller environments, such as the living room. Instead, you will most probably require a separate desk for full tower builds. These cases also increase the risk of overheating the system if you do not equip it with proper airflow and cooling solutions since all the huge number of components remain cramped together in the case.
Mid-tower cases are just the right cases for everyone. They are shorter and smaller than full tower models and still provide you plenty of space for fitting in more than one graphics card and enough expansion cards. Most mid-tower cases fit in micro-ATX motherboards in them, which offer the perfect balance between portability and power, all thanks to the powerful features all packed into a smaller form factor.
Mini-ITX cases are the opposite of full tower cases and are the best choice for gamers who require a LAN box to carry around to LAN parties.
Would you ever wear jeans and a t-shirt for a job interview? Obviously no.
The same is with PC cases.
Aesthetics and looks matter with PC cases depending upon the user and the environment that CPU cases are to be placed in. If you intend to keep your computer in an office environment, you should opt for a case with subtle and elegant design features. An all-black or complete white colored case is preferable over a flashy one with funky colors and LED lights.
If you are a gamer, then definitely go for a flashy look. The flashy look might include over the top RGB LED lights with RGB fans fitted in your PC case along with a stylish and aesthetic frame. The gaming PC cases also come with acrylic or glass side panels that let you have a peek into the system and its components.
Ports, expansion, and other features
In this era of technology, plenty of ports are a must-have if you own a computer. Make sure that the input and output section of your CPU case has at least 2 USB ports to connect USB storage drives and devices such as smartphones. Some CPU cases have USB Type-C ports and inbuilt USB headers to connect more ports.
One of the best things that separate a PC from any other computing device is the fancy that it can be upgraded and expanded. If you own a PC case with enough drive bays and space, you can be sure of having enough storage space for all your files and documents.
Cable management systems are an essential tool to keep your PC organized and tidy by arranging all the cables and wires of your PC. Make sure your PC case has that. Now let’s take a look at our reviews of some of the best Micro-ATX PC Case in small size.
The Best and the Smallest Micro ATX case
Smallest Overall Best mATX case – Antec Minuet 350
Whether you plan to use your computer in a professional environment such as an office or even your living room, the Antec Minuet 350 is perhaps the best option that you can go with.
In terms of the design, this small case is quite simplistic and exhibits a sleek and simple design without any over the top aesthetics. The build is entirely out of metal and the case is quite sturdy, to be honest. The case, when kept flat measures 100 x 325 x 430 mm and also comes with a stand that can be used to prop the case to save space.
One of the best features of the Antec Minuet 350 is that it comes with a built-in 350 Watt power supply unit which should be plenty to power a typical computer system at home or an office. The micro ATX case comes with 2 drive bays, one measuring 3.25 inch and the other 5.25 inch and also has 2 USB ports and a single eSATA port. You also have the 3.5 mm headphone and speaker jacks for audio connections.
There is a fan mount for installing an 80 mm fan that will keep your system cool with good airflow. There is a switch with three control settings to control the speed of the fan. The case can easily fit a micro-ATX size motherboard and the installation is quite easy as the inside of the side panel has raised domes with screw holes to fix your motherboard without any hassle. Overall speaking, the Antec Minuet 350 is the smallest mATX case out there with such a low price tag.
- 80 mm fan mount with 3-speed control settings to provide enhanced airflow and allow cooling.
- Multiple drive bays to install more than one Hard disk drive.
- A small form factor with a sleek design allows the case to fit into any type of environment.
- Built-in 350 watt power supply to run your system and other components.
Most silent and smallest mATX case – Cooler Master Silencio S400
CoolerMaster always prioritizes quality and cooling over all the other factors. The Silencio S400 is probably the quietest and one of the smallest mATX cases out there right now. The size of the S400 can be specified as a Mini tower and has dimensions of 418 mm x 210 mm x 408 mm. The construction is entirely out of steel which gives it rigidity and aids the durability factor. Overall speaking, the build quality is fine.
The Silencio S400 only comes in one color and sports a sleek all-black color scheme that fits in any environment. With a weight of just about 7 KG, the case is very portable in case you need to place it somewhere else. We can always expect great cooling capabilities when it comes to CoolerMaster, and the S400 comes with two fan mounts in the top panel, one for a 120mm one and the other for a 140mm fan. The front panel has combo audio and headphone jack for your sound input and output and the case is provided with 2 USB 3.0 ports.
The front panel of this small sized micro ATX case features a reversible swing door made of thick steel provided with sound absorbent material inside which keeps the system running at minimum noise levels with its superior sound damping capabilities. Just behind the hinged door, you can find a 5.25-inch drive bay for your storage drive or optical drive.
Other than that there are four 3.25-inch and 2.5-inch drive bays respectively. For your cable management, you have 2 large holes with rubber grommets to pass your fan wires and other 2 medium-sized holes near the PSU tunnel. The case also has tool-less mouths for installing your solid-state drives.
- Great quality sound dampening capabilities that keep your system running at low noise levels.
- You have two different side panel variants- A tempered glass option and a steel panel.
- Multiple drive bays to install your storage solutions and optical drives.
- Supports multiple radiators.
Under Budget mATX case – Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L
CoolerMaster not only manufactures top quality products but also provides their buyers with options from their budget-friendly lineup of products and the Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L is one such model. The Q300L sports one of the most aesthetic looks out of all the other mATX cases that fall under this price range and is a great choice for gamers who want a bit of an eye-appealing gaming setup.
The case is pretty low-profile with dimensions of 9.1 in x 15.2 in x 14.9 in. Making it a great choice for a micro ATX case in a smaller size. The case comes with a tempered glass side panel allowing you to show off your powerful components inside your PC. One of the notable features of the Q300L is its I/O panel which is removable and can be fixed in 6 different places on the case.
This gives you the freedom of placing your system any way you like without having the trouble of reaching the I/O panel. The I/O panel houses a pair of USB 3.0 ports, the headphone and microphone audio jack, and a reset button. The front panel has a full-size magnetic dust filter to keep your system free from foreign particles. The metal side panel has screws with rubber padding which allow you to safely place your case horizontally.
You have four expansion slots and a mini-ITX or a micro-ATX size motherboard will fit just right into the case. For the installation of your storage solutions, you have a single 3.5-inch drive bay and two 2.5-inch drive bays. The back of the motherboard treaty has a ton of routing space for your cable management.
The Q300L has a large number of fan mounts for ultimate cooling. In the front panel, you have 2 mounts for 120 mm or 140 mm fans and the rest of the panels have a total of 5 fan mounts for 120 mm fans. The Q300L is arguably the best micro atx case in such a small size.
- Great quality removable magnetic dust filter to keep your system dust-free.
- A large number of fan mounting options for superior cooling.
- Removable I/O panel allows easy access to the connectivity options irrespective of the environment.
- Acrylic transparent glass side panel allows you to peek into the inside of the PC.
Best Value for Money mATX case – Antec Slim VSK2000-U3
The Antec Slim VSK2000-U3 is probably the most bang for its buck. In terms of general looks and design, it looks just like a rectangular slim box with an all-black color scheme. The surface design is sleek and glossy and will fit anywhere such as under a desk or on top of a shelf.
This compact mATX case measures 356 mm x 338 mm x 102 mm and is pretty nifty for its price. The bottom part of the case is provided with rubber feet so that you can easily place it horizontally on a desk or a table in a fixed place. Unfortunately, there are limited cooling options as there are no fan mounts and you only have a pre-installed 92 mm fan situated in the front panel which is temperature-controlled.
The front is plain and for you I/O solutions you have a pair of USB 3.0 port and the typical microphone and headphone audio jacks. You also have room for installing an optical drive. You have a 5.25-inch drive bay that supports tool-less installation and other than that you have a 2.5-inch drive bay and a 3.5-inch drive bay.
A mini ITX or a micro ATX size motherboard will fit right into the large space inside this small case and you are provided with a total of four expansion slots. In the front panel of the VSK2000-U3, you have 2 tiny LEDs that indicate the power and the activity of the drives.
To make cable management easier, you are also provided with a number of cable holders. The 92 mm fan is temperature-controlled as we spoke earlier and it uses a temperature sensor that is supplied directly from a Molex connector and therefore you will not be able to control it with the motherboard. Overall, this is one of the most budget-friendly micro ATX cases.
- Multiple drive trays give you the ability to install more storage solutions into your system.
- A large number of cable holders offer better cable management.
- A 92mm temperature-controlled fan keeps your system cool and running.
Best looking mATX case – CORSAIR Carbide AIR 240 Micro-ATX case
The Carbide Air 240 from Corsair is a top-notch piece of technology in all respects. The Air 240 sports a complete cube-shaped design to allow maximum storage space inside the case while taking up the least amount of your outside space. The dimensions of the Air 240 are 315 mm × 265 mm × 400 mm The Air 240 is available in two color options, the all back design and the completely white one.
The outer chassis houses a number of cooling vents to offer great airflow and keep the inside of the system cool. The side panel is made of acrylic glass and lets you take a peek into the interior of your system. There are three 2.5-inch drive trays available in the top cage and three 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch trays in the rear cage. A good choice for small micro atx case. The black variant of the Carbide Air 240 has some parts that have a metallic finish while the plastic parts have a smooth glossy finish.
The case is made of mainly metal and plastic and stands up pretty well in terms of durability and sturdiness. The white variant on the other hand has a uniform satin white color. Despite the exterior color options, the interior of both the variants is black. The interior of the Carbide Air 240 is separated into two parts and exhibits a dual-chamber configuration which looks quite good aesthetically speaking.
The main half of the system sits at the back of the case while the PSU sits in the front. The micro ATX case performs pretty well at keeping the system cooling owing to the presence of a large number of vents all over the body. The Carbide Air 240 is big enough to support a mini ITX and also a micro ATX.
The cooling is also aided by the availability of two 120 mm fan mounts and two 80 mm fan mounts. On the right side of the faceplate, you have the input and output ports that include 2 USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, a microphone jack, and the power button.
- Dual-chamber configuration helps you keep an organized interior.
- Multiple chassis vents and fan mounting options help keep the system cool.
- A total of six drive trays allows you to install multiple storage solutions.
Computer cases nowadays are available in many different form factors and a micro ATX with the smallest size is the one we tried to discuss here. There are a few deciding factors when it comes to which ATX case is the best for you whether it be a budget-friendly one or a case with great aesthetics and we have just stated and reviewed each one pertaining to your needs in our above article.