The best mini-ITX case in 2021
(Image credit: Corsair, NZXT)
The best mini-ITX case will allow you to create a tiny gaming PC with a footprint little bigger than a modern games console. In fact, if you opt for the NZXT H1, you can build one that even looks like a console. It doesn’t automatically mean you have to compromise on the components you drop into your rig, as many will allow you to use full-size graphics cards and high-end CPUs.
Though it is worth noting that the latest AMD and Nvidia GPUs have gotten far larger than the old dual-slot GPU days. That RTX 2080 Ti is looking small these days. And slow.
Every Mini-ITX case we’ve tested has been selected to ensure it’s not only a space-saver but is also easy to build into, and up to the high quality we expect from any full-tower PC case or mid-tower PC case. Note that stock may be low on some of the more popular cases, but our price widgets will stay up-to-date with the latest stock information, so keep checking here for when they do become available for purchase.
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1. NZXT H210i
The best mini-ITX case
Form Factor: Mini-ITX tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX | Dimensions: 210 x 349 x 372 mm | Weight: 6.0 kg | Radiator Support: 120 mm, 240 mm | I/O Ports: 1x Audio/Mic, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C | Drive Bays: 4x 2.5-inch, 1x 3.5-inch
Great cooling support
Integrated RGB LED strip
CAM-powered Smart Device V2
The NZXT H210i is essentially a tiny version of our favorite mid-tower, the H710i. Built to only support Mini-ITX builds, the H210i does a great job fitting a high-end system into a compact, minimalistic package.
Like its bigger brother, the case comes equipped with NZXT’s smart hub and includes two fans and one RGB LED strip. Available for around $130, the H200i is the same price as most mid-sized towers, but we still think it’s worth it. The case has many features you’d find in a high-end mid-tower, including excellent cable management and a full-sized tempered glass panel.
Thanks to NZXT’s CAM-powered Smart Device V2, the H210i features intelligent digital fan control and offers plenty of room to expand the built-in RGB lighting with additional strips. With added support for liquid cooling and large graphics cards, the H210i is the perfect solution for those who want to make a small but powerful gaming PC.
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2. InWin A1
The best high-end Mini-ITX case
Form Factor: Mini-ITX tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX | Dimensions: 273 x 216 x 356 mm | Weight: 6.9 kg | Radiator Support: 120 mm | I/O Ports: 1x Audio/Mic, 2x USB 3.0, Wireless Qi charger | Drive Bays: 2x 2.5-inch, 2x 3.5-inch | :
Integrated wireless Qi charger
Built-in 600W PSU
When it comes to innovative case design, InWin frequently pushes the boundaries and creates some remarkable cases. The latest A1 Mini-ITX tower is one of those cases with its sleek, compact design and innovative feature set.
The A1 features a preinstalled and pre-cable managed 600W power supply that eliminates one of our least favorite things about building in small ITX cases—trying to find and fit a PSU. It provides just enough power for most ITX builds with discrete graphics cards. One of the lovely modern touches is the integrated wireless Qi charger at the top of the case that allows you to charge your phone effortlessly.
Unlike some of the other ITX cases in this list, the A1 can support big powerful builds with large radiators and lots of storage. It’s still capable of being the basis of plenty of decent builds, though.
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3. Corsair Crystal 280X RGB
The best compact case for big builds
Form Factor: Micro-ATX tower | Motherboard Support: Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX | Dimensions: 398 x 276 x 351 mm | Weight: 7.1 kg | Radiator Support: 120 mm, 140 mm, 240 mm, 280 mm | I/O Ports: 1x Audio/Mic, 2x USB 3.0 | Drive Bays: 3x 2.5-inch, 2x 3.5-inch
Versatile interior layout
Pre-installed addressable RGB fans
Spacious dual chamber design
This guide is specifically for Mini-ITX builds, but Corsair’s micro-ATX Crystal Series 280X is such a great case we just had to mention it. The cube-like tower features a dual-chamber design that makes very efficient use of space for easy cable management and installation. The 280X RGB comes with two preinstalled addressable RGB fans and a Lighting Node PRO controller.
As with the other Crystal Series cases, the 280X features three smoked tempered glass panels that allow you to show off your RGB interior easily. The case offers a wide assortment of cooling options with support for radiators up to 280mm in length.
Despite its micro-ATX classification, we would highly recommend the 280X RGB for both mATX and micro-ITX builds. The spacious interior and versatile dual-chamber design make it one of the most compact cases out there. It isn’t a whole lot larger than other Mini-ITX cases, so it still looks fantastic wherever you place it.
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4. Phanteks Evolv Shift
The best living room Mini-ITX case
Form Factor: Mini-ITX tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX | Dimensions: 170 x 470 x 274 mm | Weight: 7.6 kg | Radiator Support: 120mm | I/O Ports: 1x Audio/Mic, 2x USB 3.0 | Drive Bays: 3x 2.5-inch, 1x 3.5-inch
Slim design works everywhere
Excellent water cooling support
Vertical or horizontal orientation
When it comes to PC cases, it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come along from the annoying old beige boxes of the early 90s. Gamers and enthusiasts are now proud to display their systems on their desks. And while there have been a few options that are great for the living room, Phanteks topples the competition with the Evolv Shift and its larger brother, the Evolv Shift X.
We were surprised to discover how roomy and straightforward it was to build despite a small footprint measuring just 6.7 x 18.5 x 10.8 inches. Phanteks accomplished this feat by inverting the motherboard and including a reversible GPU mount that allows you to install your graphics card vertically behind the motherboard. This means the “rear” I/O is moved to the top of the case, hidden away with a door that has a nifty RGB LED in it.
The Phanteks Evolv Shift may not be the smallest ITX case for the living room, but it is by far our favorite. A stunning exterior combined with a well-engineered interior makes it the perfect case to bring 4K PC gaming to your living room. And if you want to take things one step further with custom liquid cooling, the larger Evolv Shift X offers even more bang for your buck.
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5. Cooler Master Elite 110
The best budget Mini-ITX case
Form Factor: ITX tower | Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX | Dimensions: 260 x 208 x 280 mm | Weight: 2.65 kg | Radiator Support: 120 mm | I/O Ports: 1x Audio/Mic, 2x USB 3.0 | Drive Bays: 4x 2.5-inch, 3x 3.5-inch
Compact and lightweight
Lots of storage support
If you’re looking to build a simple, compact gaming system or HTPC, Cooler Master’s Elite 110 is as accessible as it gets. It may not have all of the bells and whistles of the other ITX options mentioned in this guide, but it certainly gets the job done.
When you boil it down to basics, this case is about as necessary as you can get. While feature reduction has it’s ups and downs; this case minimizes the negative and offers one of the smallest form factors we’ve seen.
A smart interior layout with a vertical GPU mount allows you to fit in this little package quite a bit. The Elite 110 supports a broad range of graphics cards up to 8.3-inches long and even leaves enough room for 120mm all-in-one liquid coolers. Unlike other small form factor cases, this one supports most regular ATX-sized PSUs. At a mere $40, it’s straightforward for us to recommend the Elite 110 for builders on a budget.
Best mini-ITX case FAQ
Q. What are the main considerations when thinking about a small form factor build?
A. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a Mini-ITX case. Space will be scarce, as you won’t have room for multiple graphics cards or a stack of SSDs. Proper cable management is going to be your friend through the entire process, and you’ll need to be careful when it comes to component selection too. If this is your first build, a mid-tower case will give you more room to work with—but that’s basically cheating.
If you want to build a budget gaming PC, you’re absolutely better off with a full-size ATX motherboard, as they are much cheaper, but a compact Mini-ITX case with an included PSU can save you a few pennies. Think about the lifespan of your components, though, as you’ll have much less room to expand in the future. If you’ve got some cash to spend, though, consider liquid cooling to address any thermals issues that come with working with a smaller case.
We want to note that your choice of graphics card is far more critical with a Mini-ITX build. It’s not just about length either, as cooling is a far greater concern when dealing with cramped interiors. Generally speaking, Mini-ITX is one of the few times where using a GPU with a blower cooler is often the best decision. Unless you get a bigger mATX case with more airflow, you want your GPU to vent all that heat outside the case.
A little research should eliminate most potential problems and ensure your machine can handle demanding games and storage expansion for the next few years.
Q. Why should I choose Mini-ITX?
When it comes to building PCs, the Mini-ITX form factor is where we’ve seen the vast majority of design innovation.
While a Mini-ITX build takes a little more patience and experience to do well, the rewards are much higher. Having a small, clean build in an interestingly compact package makes you feel good. Mini-ITX rigs make it easier to take your platform to a LAN party or play PC games in the living room (if that’s your thing).
Veteran gaming PC builders looking for a challenge might want to take a crack at seeing what they can cram into a Mini-ITX case and keep everything running without throttling.
Big PC power really can come in small packages.
Dave has been obsessed with gaming since the days of Zaxxon on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. Thankfully it’s a lot easier to build a gaming rig now there are no motherboard jumper switches, though he has been breaking technology ever since… at least he gets paid for it now.