One thing that most people overlook while building a simple PC for their personal use is buying a good-quality PC case. Nonetheless, when it comes to PC building enthusiasts like myself and gamers, they really do pay attention while building a PC of their own and I will certainly agree that it is very important to pair all your components with a PC case that has the perfect balance between features and performance in terms of airflow, cooling, and storage.
PC cases come in all shapes and sizes and one is free to pick any type of case as long as it meets their requirements. In recent years, mini ITX builds have really earned their reputation for being small, compact, and portable while being capable of doing everything that a full-sized build can.
If portability is your priority then you should definitely go for a mini ITX case for your build and most such cases nowadays are built in such a way so that they can accommodate full-sized hardware like graphics cards, motherboards, and even an all-in-one water cooling system.
Things to Look for When Buying the Smallest Mini ITX PC Case
While selecting a PC case seems quite easy it is definitely not so and there are a ton of factors that you need to keep in mind before you set on out to find and buy the perfect PC case for you.
Form Factor and Motherboard Compatibility
Although the list is specifically dedicated to the smallest mini ITX cases out there, there is no stated size about how small an ITX case should be and that is why I highly recommend getting your priorities right because mini ITX cases nowadays are available in many designs and sizes and you are sure to find one that is fit for you. Though this article is about mini ITX cases but if you have a mATX motherboard you can check out my detailed guide on choosing the best mATX cases.
If you truly need an ITX case for a small and portable build, one that you can take to events like LAN parties or to a friend’s house then getting the smallest case available might just be the right choice.
On the other hand, if you are looking for something that can accommodate something more inside like an air cooler or an AIO cooler then you can definitely go for a larger ITX case or you can check these airflow pc cases, the choice is entirely up to you.
Another thing apart from the form factor is that you need to take note of whether the ITX case that you are going to buy is compatible or can accommodate your motherboard. Originally, ITX PC cases were meant to be only used with ITX sized motherboards but now manufacturers have managed to engineer many different types of ITX cases that can not only manage to accommodate ITX motherboards but also ATX sized and mATX sized motherboards as well.
Aesthetics and Looks
Those who say that looks do not matter are just plain stupid and gamers, PC builders, and modders will hardly disagree with that. Having good aesthetics on your ITX PC case really does not add anything to the performance but it really does affect the looks of your entire setup.
Having good aesthetics on your ITX PC case does not always have to be about having RGB lighting on it. A beautiful metal finish or an acrylic glass panel can add so much flair to your overall PC setup. PC cases have really changed with time and they are no longer just big boxes of metals. You can also check these clear pc cases for some aesthetically pleasing cabinets.
Many manufacturers now make ITX PC cases with custom RGB lighting capabilities that give your PC that touch of magic with those ambient lights. Glass panels whether it be acrylic or tempered allows you to flaunt all the good stuff and powerful hardware inside your PC. While RGB lighting is not everyone’s cup of tea, a good-looking ITX PC case with a clean finish and a different color is always good as long as it fits your taste. Since aesthetics and looks are subjective this one is entirely up to you.
Cooling Capabilities and Airflow
A cool PC is a good PC is what I always say to people looking for a PC case. The same thing apologies when you are looking for the smallest mini ITX pc case. While cooling is important it is not the only thing that matters. The lack of good airflow can really degrade the performance of your PC and the longevity of the expensive hardware inside your case.
On the other hand, having a PC case with good airflow capabilities can really change how your PC works and is bound to make it even more efficient. Although you might not notice any significant improvements in performance with enhanced cooling and airflow, your PC will always be impervious to overheating and other related issues like thermal throttling which can severely damage your PC.
As far as cooling goes, most ITX PC cases in the market nowadays do support AIO water cooling systems which is always a good thing and a significant upgrade over air coolers in most cases. What size radiator or cooling fans that your ITX case can accommodate is specific for each case and I therefore highly agree to check out the specifications page of the PC case that you are interested in.
For airflow, check out the number of fan mounts that your ITX PC case has and then lead with that. Some ITX PC cases come with special features like dual GPU layouts to give you more clearance for easier airflow and enhanced cooling performance.
Cable Management and Connectivity Ports
No matter how good your PC looks from the outside, a well-maintained PC is one that is clean from the inside. No one likes a bunch of cables hanging from the back of their PC cabinet or even inside the system especially when you have a PC case with a glass panel that shows all of that.
Although you can take care of the wires and cables outside with a few zip ties, the pens inside the case itself are a bit hard to maintain and keep in control.
Just for that fact many ITX PC cases come with cable management features which not only saves you a ton of time organizing your PC but also makes upgrading and modifying the internals of your PC much easier.
Cable management features might include rubber grommets and cable routing space and velcro straps to keep the annoying little wires and cables in check. Having these things on your ITX PC case is definitely not a necessity but having features like these never hurt so make sure the ITX PC case that you are going to buy has them or not.
Another thing that is good to have on your PC case is plenty of connectivity options. Although PC cases offer you the bare minimum such as headphone and earphone ports, some USB ports generally have two, many ITX cases come with USB Type-C ports which is a must-have if you plan to use your PC with newer devices or use it for a virtual reality gaming setup.
Last but not least is your budget that you need to keep in your mind. I never recommend spending so much so on your PC components that it gets you bankrupt. It is always better to save some money for future upgrades.
Aesthetics, design, and RGB lighting are really flashy features that are really not necessary and if you have a small budget then you should opt for an ITX case that does not have them. On the other hand, if you are set out on building a powerful workstation or gaming PC and you are willing to spend then it is alright to spend a bit more on things such as glass panels and extra features that some ITX cases provide.
My Picks For The Smallest Mini ITX PC Cases
Cooler Master Masterbox NR200 Mini ITX PC Case Review
Cooler Master still continues to be one of the best PC components and hardware manufacturers to this day and the quality of the products that they offer is truly mind-blowing. The lineups of PC cases are purely phenomenal and just the looks and features of the Masterbox NR200 are enough to actually show how good can a Cooler Master PC cabinet can be.
The Masterbox NR200 might not be the smallest one on this list but is definitely one of the smallest among all the other ITX cases on this list. The NR200 is not exactly your typical ITX case and is more of a hybrid between an mATX and an ITX case as it takes all the best features from an mATX case and manages to include them all inside a smaller form factor.
The 18-liter ITX case combines enhanced cooling capabilities and thermal efficiency all together in a single package that is versatile and very easy to manage and set up. Featuring an open design, the case allows superior airflow also thanks to the vast number of fan mounts on this baby.
Talking about the design, the cabinet also brings enough clearance that a full-size triple-slot graphics card can be installed inside the system so that you never run out on graphics processing power when you need it the most while gaming. The overall design of the Masterbox NR200 is absolutely great with a sleek steel chassis that blends perfectly into any environment. The NR200 is available in two colors- black and white and you can choose from either one of them.
The two pre-installed 92 mm and 120 mm Sickleflow fans make sure that your PC never runs too hot and your components can breathe without running into heating issues Other than that the case comes with plenty of fan mounts and can accommodate up to 7 airflow fans.
The best thing that you are about to find on the Masterbox NR200 is the fact that it supports water cooling systems and a radiator of size up to 280 mm can be installed inside this baby. The case also supports vertical GPU mounting so that you can have maximum clearance for even better airflow.
As far as customization goes, one of the best things for PC modders and builders is the ability to customize the rubber feet of the NR200. You can even 3D print out some feet of your own and use them on the case. Featuring a full-size tempered glass panel. The Masterbox NR200 is all ready to flaunt all the cool new hardware that you have got inside your gaming PC.
The thing that makes the NR200 one of the best ITX PC cases for beginner PC builders is the fact that the design of it is completely tool-less which means whether you need to set the thing up or dismantle it or open it for a quick upgrade you never need to grab a tool or a screwdriver. The case features pins and thumbscrews for all the removable parts.
- Features a completely tool-less design for easy access to the hardware.
- Supports full-size GPUs and multiple cooling fans.
- Comes in an ITX form factor with multiple motherboards support.
- Supports liquid cooling solutions.
- Customizable 3D printed feet.
InWin A1 Plus Mini ITX PC Case Review
The great thing about modern PC cases is that they provide tons of features that you will never find on those old PC cases. Next up on the list is the A1 Plus Mini ITX PC case from InWin that combines breathtaking looks and features to give the user what they really need- A fully functional, easy to use, and easy to access PC cabinet.
The InWin A1 Plus Mini ITX PC Case might just be the best smallest gaming mini ITX case out there in my opinion and the only one out there that comes with a full 5 years warranty along with reliable customer support and helpline.
Just like any other gamer, the first thing on the A1 Plus that will blow your mind is the beautiful RGB LED lighting on this thing. While most gaming PC cabinets come with non-addressable RGBs, the InWin A1 Plus features addressable ones lining the button portion of the chassis.
The transparent and tinted stand that keeps the cabinet upright also acts as a light diffuser to diffuse the light from the RGBs and display a brilliant glow of colors to create a gaming ambiance. The cabinet also comes with an RGB controller in case you are ready to fix RGB-enabled hardware inside your system.
Some PC cabinet manufacturers should really learn what bringing innovation into things looks like. The InWin A1 Plus boasts a charging station on the top which works wirelessly. Compatible with WPC Qi 1.2, the charging station works with all Qi-enabled devices, smartphones, and gaming devices. With 10 W of output power, the A1 Plus has got enough power to juice up all your devices wirelessly, all you need to do is just keep your Qi-enabled device on top of the cabinet.
Looking at the InWin A1 Plus, it is surprising how such a small case can actually accommodate. The square box design of the mini ITX cabinet allows for hassle-free installation and modification. The A1 PLus provides enough room inside it to install a full-size graphics card of up to 320 mm length so that you never have to compromise on your gaming hardware. Support a heatsink of 160 mm, you never have to worry about cooling and airflow issues.
- Available in black and white color options.
- Features a 10 W Qi 1.2 charging station for all Qi-enabled devices.
- Boasts a transparent stand fitted with addressable RGB lights.
- Comes with a 5-year warranty.
- Comes with an included 650W PSU with an 80 PLUS GOLD rating.
Fractal Design Node 202 Mini ITX Console Type Case Review
The thing about Fractal Design is that they always bring something new to the table and that too at a very affordable price. The Fractal Design Node 202 Mini ITX case is just an example of how a PC case can manage to be so compact and different looking and still manage to run powerful hardware that is required for gaming or editing.
If you want something new and fresh then the design aspect of the chassis will surely intrigue you. The Node 202 exhibits a console-type design much like a Playstation or an Xbox. Capable of housing a gaming build, the Node 202 from Fractal Design is a great option if you plan to make a portable build.
The elegant, simplistic, and sleek design of the cabinet allows for easy storage and can easily fit into any given space or room without any hassle. Having a volume of only 10.2 liters, the Node 202 is a great small form factor pc case for mini-ITX builds. Just like the old days, the thing looks like a smaller version of horizontal PC cases but this one can be placed vertically as well as horizontally. You can place it in either way depending on the surroundings or your own personal preference.
If you value aesthetics and RGB lighting way too much, then the Node 202 from Fractal Design might no be the best option for you and you should look at some of the other options on this list but otherwise, it is a solid and well constructed compact mini ITX PC case.
When I first came to know about the Node 202 the first thing that I assumed was that there was no possible way a case this small could ever manage to fit a graphics card inside it but I was definitely proved wrong since the Node 202 features a smart thermal interior design with separate motherboard and graphics card chambers.
The cabinet is compatible with SFX form factor PSUs so make sure you buy one or you can also opt for the kit that comes with an included Integra SFX 450 W PSU. The PSU is custom-made and features customized cables and connectors that are perfectly manufactured to work with the Node 202. Apart from that, the chassis has integrated air filters for a dust-free and tidy interior.
- Exhibits a special console-like design.
- Features separate chambers for the GPU and the motherboard.
- Comes with nicely placed dust filters to prevent dust buildup.
- Extremely compact with a very small footprint.
SKYREACH 4 Mini Review
The new generation demands a compact PC setup wherever they go and fulfilling those demands is the SKYREACH 4 mini, a super-compact and low profile mini ITX chassis that looks nothing like a computer case. Out of the box, all you find is a square piece of metal.
From an aesthetics standpoint, there is not much to it but the SKYREACH 4 Mini is definitely one of the most affordable and versatile mini ITX cases out there right now for purchase.
The cabinet is crafted to perfection and the building and manufacturing processes involve special finishing techniques to give you the best quality product that money can buy. A PC cabinet that allows you to print out its own custom templates is definitely good news for all the PC building enthusiasts and PC modders that are looking for a fine product.
The 3D model is available for download and a consumer can design and custom print their own unique looking SKYREACH 4 Mini. Probably the smallest budget mini ITX case.
Picking the SKYREACH 4 Mini in my hands I was surprised to find out how light the thing actually was. Weighing in at about 1.1 Kgs only, this mini ITX PC case right here is not only one of the smallest ones but also one of the lightest ones out there- a perfect balance between minimalism and usability.
Moreover, the support for 215 mm GPUs, modular components and the distinctive layout of the SKYREACH 4 Mini is what makes this thing so special. Of course, the SKYREACH 4 Mini is not meant for high-end mini ITX builds but it can definitely handle a build for home or other personal use.
- Features a super-lightweight design with a weight of only 1.1 Kg.
- Supports graphics cards of lengths up to 215 mm.
- Comes with custom 3D printable parts.
- Has a volume of 5 liters which could have been more.
InWin B1 Mini-ITX Chassis Review
Long gone are the days when PC cases used to be rectangular or square, InWin again brings something new to the mix with their B1 mini ITX chassis. The thing features a very unique design and I must warn you that the thing is not to fit for gaming mini ITX builds since the InWin B1 does not have enough space for a graphics card but is probably the smallest mini ITX case with no GPU support that is currently available.
The extremely small footprint of the B1 enables you to keep it anywhere no matter where you are. Your desk, the floor, near the TV you can place it anywhere you like. Although unfit for gaming, the cabinet is an extremely good choice if you are looking for a chassis for a small form factor build like a personal home PC or an HTPC. The chassis features a pre-installed airflow fan and also a dust filter to keep the interiors free from dust and other impurities.
The B1 cabinet is meant for ITX builds only and the exterior shows a brilliant balance between performance in terms of ventilation and aesthetics in terms of simplicity. The carefully placed vents make sure that your build never runs too hot. Having great compatibility with anything you buy is always a good thing and thanks to the 60 mm of heatsink clearance the InWin B1 is compatible with both AMD and Intel CPU coolers.
The unique and intuitive oval design of the InWin B1 allows you to remove the stand and place the chassis in either horizontal or vertical position. When kept in a vertical position the B1 can also be used as a headphone stand. Finally, the B1 also comes pre-installed with a 200 W 80 PLUS Gold Certified InWin power supply.
- Features an oval design and can be kept vertically or horizontally.
- Comes pre-installed with a 200 W 80 PLUS Gold Certified InWin power supply.
- Boasts carefully placed vents and dust filters.
- Does not support a GPU.
What can be considered as the best mini ITX cabinet is a pretty hard thing to say as it differs from person to person but since this list is about the smallest ones available for purchase right now, I tried my best to give you a detailed view of the things that you should know before you buy your own PC case.
If I were to pick the smallest and best ITX PC case from this list I would definitely pick the Fractal Design Node 202 Mini ITX Console Type Case. Not only is Fractal Design a highly reputable PC case manufacturer but it also offers reliable products at just the right price. The small and compact design of the Node 202 and the small details like the vents and air filters is what make it the best choice as far as my opinion is concerned.