Best Micro ATX Cases 2020 – Buying Guide and Reviews

Micro ATX cases are small, fun to work with, and incredibly space-saving. Some might even call them “cute.” While you’ll sometimes need to get a bit creative with which components you pick for a micro ATX case, there are still many benefits that balance out that drawback.

However, micro ATX cases aren’t for everyone. For one, they tend to run hot, since most of the components inside are pushed close together. As such, they sometimes can’t support the performance that a larger case can. Still, they’re bigger than mini ITX cases, so they’re an excellent compromise between space-saving and performance.

That being said, though, a creatively-built micro ATX case is more than enough to build a high-end, cutting-edge gaming rig that will play all the latest titles, and they’re inexpensive, too. In the sections below, we’ll walk you through some of the best cases to choose from so that you can start your micro build off on the right foot.

ModelConnectivityDimensions
(H x W x D)
 
1x USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0
1x 3.5mm Audio Output
1x 3.5mm Audio Input
15.05” x 8” x 15.8”
2x USB 3.0
1x 3.5mm Audio Output
1x 3.5mm Audio Input
13.2” x 12.6” x 16.7”
1x USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0
1x 3.5mm Audio Output
1x 3.5mm Audio Input
15.35” x 8.07” x 14.96”
2x USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0
1x 3.5mm Audio Output
1x 3.5mm Audio Input
13.7” x 13” x 16.9”
2x USB 3.0
1x 3.5mm Audio Output
1x 3.5mm Audio Input
16.45” x 11.02” x 16.22”
2x USB 3.0
1x 3.5mm Audio Output
1x 3.5mm Audio Input
17.8” x 9.1” x 15.7”
2x USB 3.0
1x 3.5mm Audio Output
1x 3.5mm Audio Input
15” x 8.2” x 15.4”

Micro ATX cases aren’t quite as popular as standard mid-tower cases, especially since some of them require liquid cooling to offer competitive temperature numbers. However, out of all of the PC cases available, their space-saving forms and non-standard case dimensions provide the best solutions for users with strange space requirements while still allowing for a robust, performance-based machine.

While it’s common to utilize water cooling in micro ATX cases, it’s not impossible to have an efficiently air-cooled rig setup; the secrets, however, are to start with a chassis that has good airflow already and to maximize that airflow with plenty of fans. Fortunately, we have a few cases that fit that description in our lineup!

Micro ATX cases are a bit more challenging to build in than a standard mid-tower case because of their space restrictions. As such, most beginning builders may have trouble with them. However, if you’re feeling ambitious and have the space restrictions to match, it may be worth your while to try building a micro ATX rig instead!

darkFlash DLM21

Darkflash Dlm21

The darkFlash DLM21 is the first and most well-rounded entry to our list. The case features a pleasing, if simple, outer design, a conveniently-hinged tempered glass door, and plenty of perforations for venting hot air.

The DLM21 comes in both a black and a white theme, and both options look incredibly sharp – as far as aesthetics go, this case isn’t lacking, especially at such an affordable price point. Alternatively, if you don’t want the polygon-style pattern on the front of the case, you can upgrade to the DLM22 model for about the same price. The DLM22 comes in a powder-pink option, too – a rare opportunity at any case size!

Darkflash Dlm21 Color

Overall, the darkFlash DLM21 is an excellent all-around case that’s built exceptionally well. It comes with an extensive sampling of helpful features, such as an attractive tempered glass door, several radiator mounts for water cooling, excellent ventilation, and even an exterior design that’s pleasing to the eye.

With all this at such an excellent price point, is there even any point in going on with this guide? Well, yes! While this case is an excellent all-rounder, especially for beginners, it’s not for everyone. Many people looking for a micro ATX case are searching for an irregular form factor, and some people might be looking for different, higher-end finishes, just to name a few examples.

The Pros

  • Affordable
  • Excellent all-around case
  • Several colors and designs to choose from

The Cons

  • None!

Thermaltake Core V21 Cube

Thermaltake Core V21 Cube

Speaking of irregular form factors, the Thermaltake Core V21 Cube is an excellent example of this. The Core comes in both a micro ATX and a mini ITX version, meaning truly ambitious builders can go even smaller if they want to. However, for most people, the micro ATX case will be plenty small enough.

The first thing buyers will notice about the V21 is that it’s oblong, rather than tall and skinny. While it has about the same interior space as a standard micro ATX chassis, that space is redistributed somewhat. The Core V21 does not look like a computer to the uneducated observer.

Because of this redistributed space, the V21 is an excellent choice for users without much desk space to offer. It can fit on a bookshelf, in a cubby, or even inside of a large drawer. Additionally, five out of six sides on this cube are open-air vents (unless you choose to purchase an extra acrylic window, which is also an option), meaning that this cube-shaped case has incredible airflow potential.

Thermaltake Core V21 Cube Design

Another flexible feature of the V21 Cube is that it’s flippable. The chassis can support both horizontal and vertical motherboard setups. Even the Thermaltake logo on the front is magnetic and removable – it can be switched around to match whichever orientation you decide to use.

The case itself has a substantial fan just behind the front area of the case. This fan moves a massive amount of air, meaning you’ll have an excellent start on an air-cooled build with this case. The case costs a bit more than the darkFlash DLM21 above, but it’s still a very affordable option.

The Pros

  • Multiple orientations
  • Excellent airflow
  • Irregular shape

The Cons

  • Some parts can be challenging to install

Thermaltake Versa H18

Thermaltake Versa H18

The Thermaltake Versa H18 is another excellent, if generic, addition to this list. This version comes with a classy tempered glass window instead of acrylic and plastic, and the case uses a standard upright shape and configuration. While nothing much stands out about this case, it’s affordable, well-designed, and attractive.

The front panel of the Versa H18 is all perforated to allow for better airflow. The hardware strip where the USB ports are located also features an attractive blue LED strip. The Versa H18 is also an extremely budget-conscious pick, and it’s tied with the Rexgear 2 as the cheapest option in our lineup.

Thermaltake Versa H18 Design

Cable management for this case is average. If you end up with too many parts and too much excess cable, you can quickly run out of room for them. However, an experienced PC builder should be able to mitigate these issues.

All in all, if budget is your primary concern, the Versa H18 should be on your list. The case is functional and easy to look at, even if it’s a bit on the dull side. Fortunately, airflow in this case is excellent, and it should be able to support an air-cooled system without a problem.

The Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to work in
  • Excellent airflow

The Cons

  • Cable management is average
  • Boring

Thermaltake Level 20 VT

Thermaltake Level 20 Vt

If you’re looking for a case that looks like you’ve ventured into the next century, the Thermaltake Level 20 VT is for you. The entire Level 20 line of cases from Thermaltake is unique and functional, and that’s no different for the VT. The Level 20 VT is almost entirely glass-encased, so the effect is something like a display case for your PC.

Because of all the hard glass surfaces, this case may not be ideal for an air-cooled setup. However, since this case features so much glass, it’s an excellent display for high-tech liquid cooling setups anyway.

Unfortunately, the case does require a bit of creative cable management, and this is exacerbated by the many viewing angles inside the case. If you don’t manage your cables well, the mess will be on display for all to see.

Thermaltake Level 20 Vt Design

The case is also a bit of a weird shape. Unlike the V21 Cube we looked at earlier, this case is almost cube-shaped instead of oblong. This makes it a bit hard to fit in some places, as it’s quite a bit wider than most micro ATX cases.

That being said, if you have room for this case in your gaming area, the aesthetics of it are a reward on their own. While the case is a bit on the pricy side, those who are interested in the look of this case will be very impressed by the end result. As such, the value of this case comes down to personal preference more than anything.

The Pros

  • All-glass aesthetic
  • Non-standard shape

The Cons

  • A bit bulky
  • Not for novice builders

Rexgear 2

Rexgear 2

The Rexgear 2 micro ATX case comes off as an interesting combination of PC and boom box. However, certain PC builders will like this aesthetic. While the black version looks particularly speaker-like, both the white and the red-on-black options look much more impressive.

One of the best things about the Rexgear 2, surprisingly, is its price. The chassis is tied with the Thermaltake Versa H18 for the cheapest chassis in our lineup. While it admittedly has a bit of an early 2000s spaceship vibe, it’s not an unattractive case if you like the look.

If we had to complain about one obvious drawback of the case, it’s the lack of good windows. The case is quite dark inside, and there’s only one small acrylic window on the side for viewing. As such, it’s not ideal for showing off the goods on the inside, but if that’s not a high priority of yours, this case might still do the trick, especially if you’re going for a monochromatic aesthetic.

Rexgear 2 Design

Unfortunately, this case and its predecessor seem to be plagued by some quality control issues. Though these are rare, if you’re looking at purchasing this case, it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

All in all, the Rexgear 2 by Nanoxia is a cheap, roomy, and functional case, though it’s not necessarily cutting-edge. However, it’s a decent option for beginners and experienced builders alike, especially if you like the unique aesthetic it offers.

The Pros

  • Sturdy and stylistic
  • Many color options
  • Very affordable

The Cons

  • Some QC issues
  • Dark, not many windows

Phanteks Enthoo Evolv MATX

Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Matx

The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv MATX (not to be confused with the standard-sized Evolv) is the most futuristic-looking entry on our list. While this look comes at a price – the Evolv is the most expensive entry on our list by a significant margin – you can rest assured that you have a newer, cutting-edge case to house all of your internals.

Despite that high price, we really can’t say enough about the Evolv. Phanteks has been a longtime provider of high-quality computer chassis, and this one is no different. The case comes in three unique colors, too,  so there’s an option for any builder’s aesthetic.

While most of the Evolv’s panels are opaque, it does have one full tempered glass window. Both the window and the panel opposite it rest on hinges, making everything easy to access. Each of the color options also comes with built-in LEDs that match a different aesthetic: Anthracite Grey comes with red LEDs, Satin Black comes with green, and Galaxy Silver comes with blue.

Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Matx Design

While this case is expensive, that cost comes back to you in premium materials and cutting-edge design. The chassis is clad in pure aluminum, so it has that premium feel that many look for, too. With how much money you’ll save by buying a micro ATX case in the first place, that extra price hike is worth it.

The airflow in this case is efficient, the cable management is good, and the entire thing is solid. Besides the price, there really is nothing bad we can say about it.

The Pros

  • Beautiful
  • Sturdy and well-built
  • Full aluminum cladding
  • Several color options

The Cons

  • Premium price

InWin 301

Inwin 301

If you’re looking for a premium, modern-looking case without the premium price tag, the InWin 301 may be just what you’re looking for. The case is priced only slightly over a budget case, and while it is essentially just a rectangle (no exciting design lines like the Evolv above has), it does have some built-in LEDs, and it comes in two colors.

More than anything else, the 301 looks like a modern case. While it’s simple, it seems like something that could be on the show floor at a tech event today. This case is all about aesthetics. Unfortunately, that makes this case a bit of a mixture of pleasure and pain.

The “pain” that we’re talking about that “all-looks” design aesthetic we talked about earlier. Some practical features have been cut from this case, including proper cable management, easy drive mounting, and good airflow.

Inwin 301 Design

Fortunately, the airflow issues with this case can be alleviated if you utilize all available fan slots, but it’s something to keep in mind anyway. Luckily, it’s liquid-cooling-compatible, too, if that’s what you prefer.

In the end, this case all comes down to what you value most: are you looking to sacrifice a bit for looks, or would you rather have a pain-free case that looks a bit more plain? If you’re in the former camp, this case is about the most attractive high-quality micro ATX case you can get at its price point.

The Pros

  • Excellent aesthetics
  • Built-in LEDs
  • Roomy

The Cons

  • Airflow issues
  • Cable management issues
  • Mounting issues

The Conclusion

This lineup of cases had some really excellent contenders. While you can’t go wrong with any of the options here, out best all-around choice, without a doubt, is the darkFlash DLM21. It’s the perfect combination of visual interest, user-friendliness, and affordability, and it’s a good choice for beginners and experienced builders alike.

However, if the price isn’t a consideration for you, the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv is another excellent option. In terms of quality, you really can’t beat this chassis. It brings that all-metal feel and modern look that even the DLM21 can’t dethrone, but only if you’re willing to pay for that price tag.

If you’re really looking to get some space savings out of your micro ATX case, it’s worth mentioning the Thermaltake Core V21 Cube, too. The Core V21 offers a non-standard footprint that will fit into places that the darkFlash DLM21 and the Enthoo Evolv cannot, on top of being an excellent all-around case. After all, a small form-factor is one of the primary benefits of a micro ATX case!

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