Over the past few years, the industry trend has moved towards compact builds and people are looking for the smallest mini ITX cases for their rigs. There is truly no alternative to some of the best full tower cases with a big motherboard and a lot of components but still, the need for a Mini ITX case cannot be ignored. First of all, such a case greatly saves space on your desk and you can use multiple monitors easily, while a configuration like that is very troublesome for a large ATX case. Secondly, since the Mini ITX cases are very small, they weigh a lot less than the ATX cases and this also makes them quite much portable. Last of all, since these cases are small, it also means that the material used in their design is also less than ATX cases which is why Mini ITX cases are fairly cheaper.
All these advantages result in a much better experience and due to advancements in the designs, it is now possible to put high-end components in these cases too, which eliminates the common misconception that one cannot make a high-end PC using a Mini ITX case. We will be looking at the smallest among the Mini ITX cases which would still allow you to build your dream PC. If you want to build inside a compact case, but you don’t want to go down the mini ITX route, check out our picks for the best micro ATX cases as well, which will provide similar functionality at a cheaper price.
The Smallest Mini ITX Cases – 5 Great Options
|1||Thermaltake Core V1 Snow Edition||Smallest White Mini ITX Case|| |
|2||Cooler Master Elite 130||Smallest Mini ITX Case For Air Cooling|| |
|3||BitFenix Prodigy Arctic White||Smallest Tower Mini ITX Case|| |
|4||InWin A1 Black||Smallest RGB Mini ITX Case|| |
|5||Cougar QBX||Smallest Mini ITX Case For Water Cooling|| |
|Product Name||Thermaltake Core V1 Snow Edition|
|Award||Smallest White Mini ITX Case|
|Product Name||Cooler Master Elite 130|
|Award||Smallest Mini ITX Case For Air Cooling|
|Product Name||BitFenix Prodigy Arctic White|
|Award||Smallest Tower Mini ITX Case|
|Product Name||InWin A1 Black|
|Award||Smallest RGB Mini ITX Case|
|Product Name||Cougar QBX|
|Award||Smallest Mini ITX Case For Water Cooling|
Last Update on 2021-11-15 at 21:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Smallest Mini ITX cases are all the rage nowadays due to their excellent space-to-performance ratio. People nowadays are moving away from typical large-sized full tower PC cases and even mid-tower cases, and are now preferring something compact. Mini ITX cases might not be the best airflow PC cases out there, but they serve a specialized function that other cases cannot. This is why we have curated a selection of the smallest mini ITX cases on the market that will be perfect for a small-sized PC build with desktop components. Moreover, these mini ITX cases will also be great for something portable, if that is the route you want to pursue.
1. Thermaltake Core V1 Snow Edition
Smallest White Mini ITX Case
- 200mm Fan Included
- Dual Modular Rack Design
- Great Airflow
- Easy To Work In
- Smart Cube Shaped Design
- Few Expansion Bays
- Difficult Cable Management
Form Factor: Mini ITX tower | Motherboard Support: Mini ITX | Dimensions: 260 mm x 276 mm x 316 mm | Weight: 9.15 lbs | Radiator Support: 140mm | I/O Ports: 1 x Audio/Mic, 2 x USB 3.0 | Drive Bays: 2.5”: 2, 3.5”: 2
Thermaltake is a well-known brand for PC casings, peripherals, and other computer hardware. Thermaltake Core V1 Snow Edition is one of the most widely used Mini ITX casings due to its cheap price and good features. The overall design of the case is quite beautiful with the curvy ends and holed vents. The casing provides a modular design with the upper chamber providing efficient cooling while the lower chamber provides space for the PSU and cable management. Speaking of the PSU, you might want to take a look at our picks for the best SFX PSUs for your compact build.
The snow edition stirs the things with its white color as most of the cases are only available in black. This is also the smallest white mini ITX case in this shape on the market. The I/O panel is placed on the side of the case to provide ease of use. It comes with interchangeable side panels which provide easy customization and there are removable dust filters for the PSU to prevent the dust from getting inside the case. For more options, take a look at our picks for the white PC cases as well.
The included 200mm fan provided great airflow for intake during the testing and we felt no need for any other intake fan. Meanwhile, with two 80mm rear fans, the system was giving a high-pitch noise which is why we think that unless you are using a high-end graphics card, you should use only one fan. We think this case could have used top mounting to improve the airflow but still, it provides a sweet experience and should be your top priority when looking out for a cheap Mini ITX case.
2. Cooler Master Elite 130
Smallest Mini ITX Case For Air Cooling
- Relatively Affordable
- Practical Cuboid Design
- Full-size ATX PSUs Supported
- Interchangeable Side Panels
- Good Airflow
- Unimpressive Aesthetics
- Unremarkable Cable Management
Form Factor: Mini ITX tower | Motherboard Support: Mini ITX | Dimensions: 240 mm x 207.4 mm x 398.5 mm | Weight: 6.8 lbs | Radiator Support: 120mm | I/O Ports: 1 x Audio/Mic, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0 | Drive Bays: 2.5”: 5, 3.5”: 3
Cooler Master Elite 130 is an old case but it provides such great features that we could not just resist putting it on this list, however, the design of the case is rather boring. It provides ample space for the graphics card and the power supply but you must use a low-profile CPU cooler because the power supply is quite close to the motherboard. The side panels of the case include big rectangle-shaped holes, which is good for airflow but there is no dust filter there, resulting in the dust getting inside the case easily. The front of the case, however, uses the dust filter which is used along with a 120mm fan for intake. On a related note, you might also want to take a look at our Cooler Master MB511 case review if you want to check out more products from Cooler Master.
This case can use very long graphics cards as nothing is obstructing the path. A blower-style graphics card would also be very efficient, which takes the air inside from the side of the graphics cards and the hot air is ejected directly out of the case. The air cooling mechanisms inside this case are effective which is why we consider this case as the ideal smallest mini ITX case for air cooling on our list. If a long graphics card isn’t your thing, then you can take a pick from our best low-profile graphics card selection as well.
There is also space for an optional 80mm side fan which would directly blow the air onto the motherboard and the processor. The I/O panel is divided into two parts, where the right side provides a power button and a USB 2.0 port while the left side provides two USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks. There is almost no cable management in this case which would upset many users and unless you are not disturbed by the visible fat cables, this case should interest you a lot.
3. BitFenix Prodigy Arctic White
Smallest Tower Mini ITX Case
- Feels Sturdy
- Easy-To-Clean Fan Grills
- Relatively Spacious
- Tower Design
- Not Ideal For Open-Air GPUs
- Wobbly Handles
- Unremarkable Cable Management
Form Factor: Mini ITX tower | Motherboard Support: Mini ITX | Dimensions: 250 mm x 404 mm x 359 mm | Weight: 15.4 lbs | Radiator Support: 240mm | I/O Ports: 1 x Audio/Mic, 2 x USB 3.0 | Drive Bays: 2.5”: 9, 3.5”: 5
BitFenix Prodigy is a case that balances things very well and its rich design provides so many features that a normal user is stunned. First of all, the case provides two big handles for easy transportation while a similar design also exists at the bottom for leaving some space between the desk surface and the case. This also allows the user to invert the case and completely change the orientation of the components which is a unique feature among PC cases.
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The fan mounting capability of this case is also very good with a total of five fans supported in the case, however, the side panel of the case has small holes which is why there is very little room for the graphics card to breathe, leading to a bit higher temperatures. The amount of expansion bays is also unbelievable and it is very impressive to have fifteen internal bays for such a compact case. The I/O panel of the case is located at the side, providing ease of use, and consists of two USB 3.0 ports, a power button, a reset button, and audio jacks. This case might also be ideal for HTPCs due to its size. On a related note, you can find our picks for the best HTPC cases as well.
Surprisingly, the price of this case is not as high as its features and can be considered by even the mid-range budget customers. There are not many cases that rival the qualities and features of this case and if you can afford this case, you will not regret your purchase. This is also one of the smallest tower mini ITX case options you can find on the market, which is a niche design segment.
4. InWin A1 Black
Smallest RGB Mini ITX Case
- Built-In RGB Lighting
- Wireless Charging Module Included
- Impressive Aesthetics
- Good Build Quality
- Only Two Drives Supported
- Difficult Assembly
- Unremarkable GPU Airflow
Form Factor: Mini ITX tower | Motherboard Support: Mini ITX | Dimensions: 224 mm x 273 mm x 357 mm | Weight: 13.2 lbs | Radiator Support: 120mm | I/O Ports: 1 x Audio/Mic, 2 x USB 3.0 | Drive Bays: 2.5”: 2, 3.5”: 2
InWin casings are getting popular very much recently due to their unique designs. Their casings provide unimaginable designs and are priced very high due to this reason. InWin A1 is no exception and the casing provides RGB lighting along with a stylish stand that is transparent in color. The changing RGB lighting and the transparent stand create an illusion that the case is floating in the air, which looks spectacular. This design also makes it the best smallest RGB mini ITX case on our list.
The casing has no top and front fan mounting but you should not get the wrong idea here. There is space for two 120mm fans at the bottom and also a 120mm fan at the side. The bottom fans help the graphics card breathe easily as it is very close to the bottom while the side fan blows cool air inside. There is also space for a 120mm fan at the rear which can be used for the exhaustion of the hot air out of the case. With all these fans, we experienced cool temperatures and there was no thermal throttling among any of the PC components.
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The I/O panel is located at the top of the case and provides two USB 3.0 ports, a power button, and audio jacks. An exceptional feature of this case is that it provides a Qi wireless charger so that you can charge your smartphone by just placing them on the top of the case. The case also includes a 600-watt gold-rated power supply which is not of very high quality but should suffice the needs of most of the users. All these features make this case quite expensive for an average user and that is why it is only targeted at high-end users, to whom it provides a profoundly sweet experience.
5. Cougar QBX
Smallest Mini ITX Case For Water Cooling
- Side Hinge Design
- 7 Fan Mounts
- Good For Water Cooling
- Not Ideal For Long PSUs
- Troublesome PSU Mounting
- Proprietary Screws
- Constricted For Air Cooling
Form Factor: Mini ITX tower | Motherboard Support: Mini ITX | Dimensions: 178 mm x 291 mm x 384 mm | Weight: 9.96 lbs | Radiator Support: 240 mm | I/O Ports: 1 x Audio/Mic, 2 x USB 3.0 | Drive Bays: 2.5”: 4, 3.5”: 1
Cougar is a German brand that manufactures gaming products and Cougar QBX is one of its two Mini ITX casings. Despite that, the quality of this case is quite impressive. The casing provides a brushed-aluminum look like the famous Corsair Obsidian series, although the actual material of this case is plastic, which is sturdy enough to withstand bumps and presses. As this casing is targeted towards gamers, the cooling capability of this casing is eminently overwhelming as it supports a total of seven fans, which is why it can be coupled with high-end PC components without affecting the performance.
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The top fans are the major factors in exhausting the hot air while there is space for two 120mm fans at the bottom for the efficient cooling of the graphics card. The fan along the side panel can be used to throw air directly on the motherboard which greatly extends the life of the motherboard, although there is no dust filter on the side panel. This case would work best with an AiO liquid cooler or even a liquid-cooled hybrid graphics card. This functionality makes it the best smallest mini ITX case for water cooling on our list. If you’re interested in more cases like this, check out our selection of the best cases for water cooling as well.
We observed no issues during the testing as all the components were cooled very efficiently, however, make sure that your power supply is not long enough that it blocks the path of the graphics card, and if it does then choose a graphics card with a short length. This is the only issue with this casing and if you plan to use a small power supply, this casing will take care of all of your needs at a minimal price.
Things To Know When Buying a Mini ITX Case
Choosing a PC case can be a bit of a tricky decision. Unlike most of your components, the PC case is not exactly functional in terms of performance, but choosing the wrong one can still indirectly affect the performance of other components. Airflow is the paramount factor that you should consider while picking a PC case, and in the smallest mini ITX cases unfortunately the airflow suffers a bit. Still, you should be mindful of these factors when picking the best case for you.
The first order of business should be to decide the size of the case that you want. There are basically 4 types of computer cases out there on the basis of size. Firstly, there is the ATX form factor, which can be labeled as the standard mid-tower configuration. Smaller cases in the micro-ATX form factor also exist, and so do extremely compact cases using the mini ITX form factor, which is the focus of our roundup. Take a look at our guide for mini ITX vs. micro ATX cases if you’re confused about the two compact form factors.
Secondly, you should turn your attention to compatibility. A PC case should, first and foremost, be able to hold and support each and every one of your PC components. Think about the motherboard size, the radiator size, the number of fans, the number of SSDs and HDDs, the size of your CPU cooler, and the size of your graphics card. You should also think about cable management and aesthetics, since the computer case is a showpiece for your particular build, so it should definitely look nice. Moreover, airflow becomes a strong consideration here since that is the part that may directly impact your performance.
Using these tips, you should be able to land on the perfect case for your build. If you want a more in-depth walkthrough, be sure to check out our detailed PC case buying guide for this purpose. Using the steps mentioned in the guide and our selection of the best smallest mini ITX cases, you should have your compact PC build ready in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Micro ATX cases, although smaller than standard ATX, are still larger than mini ITX cases. Furthermore, micro ATX cases are actually cheaper than mini ITX cases in most instances. Due to their larger size, micro ATX cases also tend to have better airflow than the smaller mini ITX cases. However, on the flip side, the mini ITX cases are typically much smaller than your average micro ATX case which can play in your favor if you want a really compact build. You would also want to opt for a mini ITX case if you want a build with some sort of portability factor
Generally, the smaller the case, the worse it is in terms of airflow. However, good engineering and smart design can often overcome the challenges you might face in this regard. Look for mini ITX cases with large perforated panels and huge vents. Furthermore, you should also keep in mind the number of fans that the case is able to hold. An important thing to note in this regard is the “breathing room” of the fans. You should make sure that the case in question has enough space in between the fan and the chassis/components that the air can be pulled/pushed with ease.
Mini ITX cases are often much more expensive than regular ATX and micro ATX cases. This is because mini ITX cases are specific cases that require a lot of R&D in terms of tooling and manufacturing, so they end up costing more due to their limited volume. Micro ATX cases are also more readily available for the exact same reason, while small mini ITX cases tend to be a little rarer. It all comes down to the specificity of the cases in question, and the market for the cases which is way smaller than the one for regular cases.
The benefits of opting for a mini ITX case are clear. These cases are really compact and their small size is their main strength and primary selling point. The small size, and consequently low weight, also make these cases the ideal cases for a portable build. If you want a portable computer with desktop components that you can carry from one place to another, then you might want to go with a mini ITX case for that build. However, the airflow situation and higher price of small mini ITX cases are also to be considered before making a purchase decision.