When it comes to building your gaming PC, casing might be the last to ponder upon but it is nonetheless extremely important. There are several reasons why you might choose one casing over another, and these may include style preferences, airflow, budget, and size, etc.
However you do it, the casing will be the cover to your book, no judging but you still have to look good among the best smallest Micro-ATX PC cases out there.
It is important to keep the airflow in mind, of both room and inter-build. You have to consider your room airflow, thus choosing such a casing that is suitable for the environment if your room has got minimal air influx than you better look for casing with proper and excellent airflow to keep things cool.
The inter-build airflow is crucial, depending on your build, you might have to look for a build that can provide efficient airflow to keep things cool and for that matter you might even have to add more fans to the build for which choosing the size of the casing accordingly is a necessary step.
Size is one of the most important factors, which depends upon your motherboard form factor and the size of the components, including the graphics card, sometimes getting a future proof casing is also the idea, so it comes down to your preference.
If either you have cupboard size casing to ensure fitting in all future upgrades or minimalistic and smaller to satisfy your style, while also being in line with your desk space.
Budget is and will always be vital, you might have to compromise a little after spending all the money on the other components for better performance over the outlook, but if you are style enthusiast then there is no harm in spending a little more for a theme build.
Other things to keep in mind are cable management, glass panel, and RBG, which is somehow considered an essential need and thus fulfilled by almost all of the latest casing models.
Size has always been a main focus of manufacturers, the PC components of the late are becoming more and more space-efficient, major motherboard manufacturers have all gradually moved towards the micro-ATX form factor.
In this guide, we have gathered a list of best “smallest” micro ATX cases.
1 x 5.25 external, 1 x 3.5 external, 1 x 3.5 internal
Antec minuet 350 is an elegant and compact mini-desktop Micro-ATX PC case which was first made available in January 2008. It has a very slender shape with quite a narrow space, making it perfect for builders who prefer smaller chassis.
It comes with a three-drive bay but only allows a 5.25 and one 3.25 drive to fit in easily, which means if an internal blu-ray player or recorder is added than there can only be a single 3.25 hard drive, skimming out other internal options for storage but a single one with sufficient space will cover that up.
It comes with an 80 PLUS certified 350 Watt power supply with Universal Input and Active PFC, which might be small but extremely energy efficient and sits perfectly right with a powerful and power-consuming dedicated graphics card and extreme overclocking. The air output is carried by an 8cm fan on the side.
This fan has a 3-step speed control attached to it. The middle setting is said to be perfectly fine for even heavy processing and gaming, and it makes less noise than the CPU fan itself.
The ventilation strategy of the case covers the top and back, the air is brought into the case by the power supply and pushed out by the side fan which drives far more air then the power supply itself, which results in a net influx of air from other areas such as the top grill and the intake situated above the motherboard.
This strategy is quite impressive as the main grill sits right above the CPU socket while the long grill at the side that runs down is perfectly positioned to cool a full-length graphics card. The mirrored surface gives it a very classy and sleek look. It has connectors for E-SATA, HD Audio, and two USB ports on the front panel, which makes things a lot easier.
The lights on the casing for power and hard drive activity are minimalistic and toned down, for all the good reasons. For an ATX form factor motherboard, the area inside the case holds quite a sufficient space.
The housing space for the optical and disk drives slides over past the vertical so it can easily be slid out of the way, in fact, it can also be taken out completely for ease of installation.
Next in line, we have the Antec Slim VSK2000-U3, which is quite obviously slim and small, making it a perfect choice to be a subsystem-based integration and for a Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX gaming PC.
It was first made available in September 2015. With its fairly small size and vertical installation, VSK2000-U3 can save up a lot of space on your desk. It features three drive bays, which includes a single 5.25″ tool-less drive bay, one 3.5″ for HDD, and another 2.5″ for SSD, along with that it supports up to four expansion slots.
Unlike the Minuet 350, the VSK2000-U3 does not include a power supply in the package. Unfortunately, The VSK2000 has no support for a standard power supply and requires a specific TFX form factor PSU.
On the front panel, there are two 3.0 USB ports along with audio input/output jacks. The Antec VSK2000-U3 can easily house in a graphics card that is up to 200mm long.
For cooling, there is a sole 92mm temperature-controlled fan, which is a two-wire job using a Molex plug, according to the reviews the fan is considerably loud, especially for an HTPC build and should’ve been replaced with a PWM case fan for a change.
The only ventilation strategy is out through the back, which can get things uncomfortably suffocating sometimes. The Antec VSK2000-U3 has a very sleek and compact design, a perfect preference for an ATX or smaller chassis requiring builder.
The material used is not high-density but it compliments the overall style, giving it a classy black look and weighs in at about approximately 3.49 Kg.
Good-looking case in a slim form factor.
Requires a low-profile GPU instead of a regular one to fit.
Released earlier in 2020, the CoolerMaster Silencio S400 is another excellent choice for an ATX-form build, super silent as the name suggests, the Silencio s400 is designed impressively to maintain the equilibrium of quality and style. The build quality is a super solid construction of steel and plastic and comes only in black.
To the side, there is a seamless tempered glass for style enthusiasts to show off the components and RGB set-up, while the side panel steel is specially designed to be sound-dampened for a perfectly stealthy performance with virtually no noise, although it can be removed to illuminate the unrestricted ventilation.
The front-right edge of the top panel has two USB 3.0 ports, power and reset buttons, a single four-pole 3.5mm Combo Headset Jack, and a bonus SD card reader slot.
With its extensive housing for drives, it can easily support a single 5.25” Optical disk drive, and up to four Hard disk drives and four Solid-state drives, the housing can be shifted forwards and backward to make space for either a longer PSU or to gain additional space for a radiator, it can also be completely removed for ease of installation or if there is no need for internal storage, which seems highly unlikely.
The support for cooling includes a single 120/140mm Fan on top, and by removing the ODD cage, space for another 120/140mm Fan can be unlocked, the ODD cage can also be removed to make space for a 20/240 Radiator, just in case.
To the front, there is a mounting location for two 120/140mm Fans and a single 120/140/240/280* Radiator, which might need interfering with the HDD mounted below the ODD bracket, depending on the size of the radiator. For the rear side, it supports a single 120mm fan and a radiator of the same size.
The maximum size for the graphics card that can easily be adjusted in, is at around 319mm, which is quite sufficient. At default, the Silencio S400 serves space for a 140mm power supply with the HDD cage at the backmost position but without the radiator and HDD cage, it can easily house in a decently large 325mm power supply.
The package includes dust filters for front, bottom, and top to keep the components clean, along with a clearance of 167mm steel CPU Cooler and a 166mm TG CPU Cooler to maintain the temperature and keep the components cool at all times.
It has a reversible steel front door, and the mounting of it allows the door to open from either side of the case. The overall build quality is quite excellent, and the functionality is impressive, the design makes up for a super good showcase of enthusiasm and class.
Solid build quality
Reversible front door
SD card slot
Poor thermal performance
Front radiator support may require hard drive rack removal
Next up we have the super cool and classy, MasterBox Q300L. Standing at #2 on the Amazon for best-selling computer case as of May 2020, the MasterBox Q300L was first made available in March 2018. The MasterBox Q-Series might be small but excels excellently in functionality and provides an all-power thermal performance as well, making it a popular choice for ATX-form build.
The case can be placed in both vertical and horizontal positions, depending on your personal and desk space preferences, assisted by it’s modular I/O panel that can be easily adjusted to six different locations, including either side of the body, the I/O panel can be set-up at the front, top or bottom.
The I/O panel includes two USB 3.0 ports along with Audio In & Out which supports high-definition audio. For cooling support and better thermal performance, the front can carry two 140mm fans and up to a 240mm radiator.
Along with support for a single 120mm fan or radiator at the rear and two 120 fans on the top, assisted with the open design of the perforated front, top, and bottom for excellent ventilation to provide maximum cooling and ensure the best performance under all circumstances.
It only has a single 120mm Non-LED fan pre-installed to the rear of the case. The MasterBox Q300L allows a CPU cooler up the size of 159mm, a 360mm length housing for a full-length and even bigger graphics card, and a fair space of 160mm for the power supply.
There is an extra 28mm clean routing space for neat cable management, right behind the motherboard tray. The housing for storage drives is relatively small but sufficient for an ATX-form factor chassis, with a single 3.5″ drive bay and a couple of 2.5″ ones.
The edge-to-edge, wide glass panel to the side provides an aesthetic showcase of the components, a full view with pure class. The supreme functional and high-density quality of the aesthetic design along with the easily customizable look sits right in with your preference for a fine, future-proof case for ATX-form factor build.
Instead of the magnetic dust filters, it offers RGB LED control and 1-to-3 splitter cable and four removable handles to assist in mobility. It offers pretty much the same features as it’s successor, with it’s detachable and modular I/O panel that can be adjusted to 6 different locations, including both sides of the body, the I/O panel can be set-up at the front, top or bottom.
The I/O panel comprises two USB 3.0 ports along with Audio In & Out which supports high-definition audio. The Q300P can also be arranged in both vertical and horizontal positions on the desk.
For cooling support and better thermal performance, the front can carry two 140mm fans and up to a 240mm radiator, along with support for a single 120mm fan or radiator at the rear and two 120 fans on the top, assisted with the open design of the perforated front, top and bottom for excellent ventilation to provide maximum cooling and ensure the best performance under all circumstances.
It features two pre-installed fans, a single 120mm to the rear and a 120mm RGB LED fan upfront. The MasterBox Q300L allows a CPU cooler up the size of 159mm, a 360mm length installation space for a full-length and even bigger graphics card, and a fair space of 160mm for an ATX PS2 PSU.
There is an extra 28mm clean routing space for neat cable management, right behind the motherboard tray. The housing for storage drives is limited but sufficient for an ATX-form factor chassis, with a single 3.5″ drive bay and a couple of 2.5″ ones.
The edge-to-edge, wide glass panel to the side provides an aesthetic showcase of the components, a full view with pure class. The excellent functionality and high-density quality of the artistic design along with the easily customizable look and RGB fans and lighting control make it unbeatable.
The second last recommendation for an ATX-form build, on our list, is the Corsair Crystal 280X. Released in February 2019, is a fantastic show of RGB lighting and aesthetic design for a premium price, however, the standard version does not include the RGB lighting on a slightly lower price.
The Corsair Crystal 280x might be relatively expensive against its competitors but makes up for it with adequate functionality, enthusiastically classy design, quiet performance, and effective ventilation strategy.
It comes with three elegant tempered glass panels, iCUE software-controlled RGB lighting, and an innovative dual-chamber. The Crystal 280X offers a paint job of two colors, black and white, to pick from.
The efficiently compact Corsair Crystal 280X offers maximum cooling for an ATX-form factor build, providing neat space for up to six 120mm or 140mm fans around the build (a pair of fans on each side, top, front and back) or three radiators of 240mm, one each for the top, front and rear.
The top and front of the chassis are divided into two sections, with two-thirds capped by tempered glass panels and the final third built of steel, where the I/O panel is located on the upfront side.
The tempered glass panels on the top and front are raised above the surface to allow better airflow into the chassis. The I/O panel comprises of two USB 3.0 ports, separate input/out audio jacks along with power and reset buttons.
This case also features a separate housing compartment for storage devices, which can hold up to three 2.5″ and two 3.5″ drive bays, in a neat package, to maintain proper management. Inside the casing, there is a dual-chamber layout, which gives space for both showing-off of components with RGB lighting and to neatly manage the cables in a tight space.
It allows a max 180mm length PSU, situated at the rear, simultaneously housing a 300 mm long dedicated graphics card and 150mm high CPU cooler for efficient thermal performance.
The design allows a flow of cool air directly to the hottest components without interference from any of the other parts. The PC is kept from dust by filters located on the front, top, bottom, and the power supply
Another solid recommendation from among the corsair’s ATX-form factor cases is the Carbide Air 240. Released in June 2019, the Carbide Air 240 is a super sleek and compact case, shaped like a cube, relatively smaller in height but perfect for an ATX-form build and spacious enough to hold in large components like a dedicated graphics card or maybe even two.
It has a very unique design, shaped like a cube, available in both black and white, with a large and impressive full-length edge-to-edge glass panel to the side. Inside, despite the small height it provides maximum room for large components and maximized cooling system.
Due to its flexible installation, it can be arranged in both vertical and horizontal positions. The wide cube-like shape of the Carbide Air 240 is remarkably useful as it is divided into two separate chambers, The left chamber which can be seen through the glass panel, a majestic showcase of hot components, with vents at the top, side, and bottom.
These vents are covered in a metal mesh, and all of them are filtered to keep out the dust. The left chamber comprises of motherboard, CPU, and graphics card.
The right chamber, on the other hand, is housing a tool-less storage bay and power supply, it has a full-length vent at the lower side for the PSU and storage bays, which is capped with Corsair’s signature magnetic dust filter.
The tool-less drive bay is impressive, as it is very easy to be taken out without the need of removing any screws, it supports three 3.25 drives and three 2.25′ ones, making up for sufficient storage capacity. The right chamber provides space for a max 255mm long PSU.
The Carbide Air 240 gives excellent support for dedicated graphics power with a max size of 290mm long graphics card, of which two can be installed at the same time.
The outstanding liquid cooling support of the Carbide Air 240, allows 240mm radiators on the top, bottom, and front, assisted by the pre-spaced holes. However, with a micro-ATX motherboard with dual GPUs, you can only install a front 240mm radiator.
With the promised space, the Carbide Air 240 provides sufficient space for cooling fans, the package comes with three fans from which a pair of 120mm intakes are located at the front and a single 120mm fan up top, it allows the installation of another 120mm fan up top and a pair of 120mm on the bottom, plus a pair of small 80mm blowers at the backside.
For cooling power, the Carbide Air 240 allows a max CPU cooler height of 120mm, which can be enough considering the other cooling options. The I/O panel is situated on the right side up front, it comprises of the expected pair of USB 3.0 ports, a microphone, and a headphone jack, along with power and reset buttons.
Near-mid tower capacity in an SFF design.
Six tool-less drive bays.
Excellent cable management.
Large side window.
Poor machining on some thumbscrew holes.
Questionable sideways orientation design.
Not enough room for two cooling radiators and two graphics cards simultaneously.
If you are looking for something that can sit right in with a low-budget along with great functionality, then the Cooler Masters Master Box Q300L should be your primary choice, it is a brand new, future proof ATX case with top ranking on Amazons best sellers. It has no such cons, except for a slight downfall in thermal performance at certain times. It has a very sleek and almost perfect compact design, keeping up with both users functionality and aesthetic requirements. The second-best on the list with a slightly higher price would be Corsair Carbide Air 240, with its unique design, it provides much more than most of the ATX-cases in the same price range.
What is the smallest ATX case?
Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 is the smallest ATX case. It has a Dual-chamber design, spacious interior and it keeps the temperatures cool. Air 540 is also good in cable management and well-regarded for its unique design.
What is compact ATX?
The term ATX usually means that the particular case is designed to fit the components of the ATX motherboard. If you are a gamer or thinking about building a PC that gives a nice small look than go for the smallest ATX.
Is Mini ATX good for gaming?
Yes! They provide a very immersive experience of gaming. They are small and mighty at the same time because they have all the main features of a standard ATX but the only downfall is that they have fewer PCIe slots and, to be honest, standard ATX provides better aesthetics.
Is Mini ITX better than micro ATX?
Well! The answer is no. Micro ATX provides more PCIe slots than Mini ITX. Go for standard ATX if possible. Only if you are looking to build the most compact PC than go for Mini ITX as they can get more expensive than standard and micro ATX.
Zakriya is right from Pakistan. He was raised with a quest for gaming craze with an organization of specialized folks. This is the place he understood that computer games can grow your creative mind to unlimited universes. Gaming is no longer for him only a method for amusement, yet enthusiasm. From the youthful age of 8, gaming was simply the main method for communicating. At whatever point he got the opportunity to play computer games, he took it with two hands and played for quite a long time. Much to his dismay that gaming would turn into his closest companion.
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