The Best Mini ITX Cases in 2023
If you’re a gamer, then you know how important customization is. We all drop stacks on skins to feel superior when playing, we use animated desktops to relive our favorite moments, and when a developer provides modding support for a videogame, we mod it straight into the ground. We value customization both online and offline, and the first step in customizing your PC is picking the right case. The best Mini ITX cases will allow you to build a full-fledged gaming rig in a petite form-factor.
When you’re using a Mini-ITX case, then you want to make sure that it still has features that support good airflow, enough storage mounts so that you won’t struggle to save all of your games, and plenty of traits that facilitate easy building and cable management.
Additionally, when building in such a small form-factor, you’ll have to make sure that you can still use top-of-the-line components, so a mini-ITX case with enough clearance for the CPU fan and GPU length is essential for building a high-performing, compact system. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best mini ITX cases you can currently find.
- Not just a case, but a whole kit
- Support for 280mm radiators
- PCIe 4.0 riser cable
Since the Mini-ITX case market is not necessarily the most innovative or the most populated market share for cases, we decided to first show you the new and exciting Mini-ITX case that graced us with its presence.
We present to you the Cooler Master NR200P MAX which is technically not only a Mini-ITX case but a whole kit. This case comes with the solution to one of the reasons why a lot of people do not want to get into Mini-ITX builds – ease of use.
The Cooler Master NR200P MAX comes already kitted out with all the cables pre-routed, the power supply in place, the CPU cooler ready to go, etc. All you need to do is bring your motherboard, CPU, GPU, and storage devices and plug them in. Easy as that!
All of the components are also high-tier with a 280mm AIO radiator for the CPU, a 850W Gold Rated SFX PSU, and a PCIe 4.0 riser cable for the newest and fastest of GPUs. The thermal performance is excellent considering that it does a good job at cooling overclocked CPUs but more importantly, the GPU cooling is stellar.
Overall this Mini-ITX case should definitely make your top 5 cases in your list with a big emphasis on the easy setup process. Good job Cooler Master!
- Very easy to set up since everything is already routed
- Good cooling performance
- Can be used with the newest, biggest, most power hungry components
- Available for everyone to purchase
- The price of the kit is higher than just a case
Best Gaming Mini-ITX PC Case
- Mesh panels for very good airflow
- Support for 280mm radiators
- Huge 4 slot GPU support
When thinking of Mini-ITX builds you do not necessarily think of gaming and an easy setup process. The SSUPD Meshlicious is here to change that way of thinking though. This Mini-ITX case is basically a better NZXT H1 case build for gaming performance.
The SSUPD Meshlicious Mini-ITX case is a wonderful surprise for anyone entering the market for a small build because the SSUPD company is a subsidiary of Lian Li, so the quality and the performance of the case are top-notch in terms of airflow and build quality.
The Meshlicious is 14.6 liters in size and has (as you have probably guessed) mesh panels all across the surface of the case. It supports a 280mm AIO and it can take any big (and we mean BIG) mainstream high-end GPU (3070, 3080, 3090).
The GPU compatibility is also assured by the PCIe 4.0 riser cable that the case includes so you can use your modern GPUs at full blast.
The main selling point of this case though is the fact that this case is meant to be a mainstream case that everyone can have access to. This is like we have said quite the difference in approach since most Mini-ITX cases that are good are covered in mystery and exclusivity.
This case is extremely easy to work with and would be THE best Mini-ITX PC case a gamer would buy taking into account thermal performance and ease of use. Plug stuff in and you are good to go!
- Extremely good cooling
- Small footprint
- No compromise build with mainstream hardware
- Good quality design
- Vertical for factor case which might not be for everyone
Fractal Design Torrent Nano
Small but Mighty
- Mini-ITX case designed for airflow
- 180mm front fan
- Compatible with 3-slot 335mm long GPUs
The Fractal Design Torrent is a very popular case that builders use because of its unmatched cooling potential and interesting design. The Torrent Nano is the smaller brother of the Torrent which capitalizes on the same aspects of performance and design while also being smaller.
The case has an open base intake and an open front grille with a huge 180mm front fan for intake. The case might not impress you with its size but the inside is quite spacious making it easy to build in it while using components for maximum performance (3-slot 335 mm long GPUs).
The case is also designed with cable management in mind with a removable top bezel and cable guides on the back side. Overall the Nano has the same advantages as the Torrent line while packing it all in a small form factor that will look a lot cleaner on your desk!
- Premium build quality just like the regular Torrent
- Has very good airflow with an open base and front grille
- Well-engineered case with a lot of space to work with
- Easy to cable manage the build
- The looks of the case are unique
- Flex PSU necessary
- Might not look as cool or as unique as other Mini-ITX cases
Cooling Performance Excellence
- 2x 140mm bottom fans
- 280mm AIO radiator
- 3-slot GPU compatibility
- SFX and SFX-L PSU compatibility
If while building your Mini-ITX case your main concern was making sure your components will stay cool then the Sliger SM580 should be your main pick.
This Mini-ITX case supports a 280mm AIO radiator and three slot GPUs up to 328mm long. The GPU specifically receives plenty of cooling with two 140mm fans at the bottom of the case making the Sliger SM580 one of the best Mini-ITX cases at cooling your high-end GPU properly.
It seems to be that the SligerSM580 simply does what it is supposed to do very well and can be easily recommended to those who are more interested in the best thermal performance in a Mini-ITX case above everything else.
- Great cooling for all your components
- Can fit any big hardware (GPUs)
- Great performance since you can run your GPU and CPU at full blast
- Best for air cooling GPU and CPU
- Hard to get sometimes
LIAN LI A4-H2O
A Compact and Minimalistic Case
- 11-liter sandwich layout case
- 240mm AIO compatible
- Compatible with triple-slot GPUs
The LIAN LI A4-H2O is an excellent choice when it comes to Mini-ITX cases as its small form factor (11-liter) enables you to have a minimalistic build that is compact but has great performance.
The case uses a sandwich layout that allows you to fit big parts like a 240mm AIO and a triple-slot GPU while having enough space for all of your other components. The case comes with a PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 riser cable to allow for an easier vertical GPU installation.
The case has fully removable panels for cable management while being well-ventilated with a fine mesh design. The bottom panel is also removable to allow for additional access to your storage devices (or once again for cable management).
Overall the LIAN LI A4-H2O is a great choice if you want to pack decent power into a small build.
- Fully removable panels for easy building and cable management
- Good airflow with all panels being mesh
- Enough space for big components like a 3-slot GPU or a 240mm AIO
- Has a great minimalistic look that many like with Mini-ITX cases
- The sandwich layout might be a bit confusing for beginner builders
How to Choose a Mini ITX Case
When you’re using a compact form-factor chassis, there are certain caveats that you need to be aware of. It’s nothing too complicated, but there’s certainly a learning curve involved if you’re a new builder. Routing is harder because of the limited space, and as most cables are pretty stiff, you need to plan ahead and get a case that’s comfortable to work with.
OK. The main issue with cooling is that a lot of cases, as you can see, rely on passive negative pressure (air leaving your system). If you’re planning on running high-performing components, you need to invest in a product that doesn’t compromise on fan or radiator support.
If you’re interested in a high-end gaming rig, then make sure you can install at least two intake fans and an exhaust fan. This should be the basic setup of any air-cooled system. Adding more fans will only bring diminishing results, so as long as you cover the basic setup, you should be fine.
Additionally, adding radiators will limit the accepted length of your components. Take the thickness of the radiator and subtract it from the GPU length and you’ll find out what the updated hardware limitations are.
Some mini-ITX cases do fit full-sized components, but some don’t. Based on the limitations, you’ll have to source ITX form-factor CPU coolers and GPUs. You will notice a significant drop in performance when working with a smaller GPU, even if, on paper, it has the same specifications as its full-sized variant.
Overall, all case manufacturers specify the maximum length or height of the components, so it’s very easy to pick compatible hardware. Just note that some cases provide better hardware support than others without sacrificing a lot of space.
Innate storage support is also a big topic when building in a Mini-ITX case. Sure, it helps if you can install an nVME SSD on your board, but you also need bulk storage for your PC games, work-related files, media, and more. So, if storage is a big factor for you, then the case with the most drive bays is definitely the way to go. There are plenty of cases with flexible storage options, so just browse ‘till you find one that meets your needs.
If you’re going with full air cooling, noise becomes an issue when running high-end hardware. That’s why you need to get a case with industrial sound-dampened steel panels and, why not, sound dampening pads, as we’ve seen with some cases. Picking up silent-branded case fans will also help with noise.
Cable Management and Routing
Oof. Big oof. Cable management is a real drag when building in a small form-factor chassis. That’s why we highly recommend that you go with a fully-modular PSU to make things easier. A lot of manufacturers choose to limit cable management options to keep manufacturing costs down and to keep dimensions as small as possible. Having a PSU cage, rubberized grommets, and a roomy back cage, these are all indicators that the case is optimized for cable management.
Overall, if you’re running an APU or a low-profile GPU, cable management isn’t crucial. While it will further limit the airflow and will increase dust build-up over time, the negative impact will be minimal.
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