Mini ITX cases are some of the most exciting computer chassis on the market today. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials – some of which don’t even look like computer cases! Mini ITX cases have the smallest form-factor out of any of the ATX/ITX formats, and while this can cause issues, it has its own set of benefits, too.
Since many ITX cases come in nonstandard forms and shapes, they offer solutions to gamers with heavy space restrictions. Moreso than that, these strangely-shaped cases just look cool. It’s easy to surprise someone who’s never seen a mini ITX case before, as they probably don’t even realize it’s actually a computer.
However, because everything in a mini ITX case tends to be pushed close together, they face a few distinct disadvantages. For one, mini ITX cases usually require liquid cooling. There’s just not enough space in most mini ITX cases to allow for efficient or effective air cooling (especially on overclocked or high-powered machines), but there are a few exceptions.
The products that you can purchase to go into a mini ITX case are limited, too. Of course, it follows that only mini ITX motherboards are compatible with mini ITX cases, but things like graphics cards, coolers, PSUs, and storage drives must be limited in size, too.
Mini ITX cases are also extremely portable. In fact, many of them come with a handle or some sort of easy-carrying apparatus to make it easy to cart the unit from place to place. A mini ITX case won’t fold down as a laptop does, but because of their size, transporting them isn’t much different than moving a small stereo.
As long as you take time to select only parts that fit inside your mini ITX case, you won’t have any issues with taking advantage of its small form factor. What’s more, you’ll be rewarded with some of the coolest-looking cases out there today.
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Thermaltake Core V1 Cube
Size (HxWxD): 10.9” x 10.2 “ x 12.4”
Connectivity: 2x USB-A 3.0, 1x HD Audio
- Versatile and well-rounded
- Surprising amount of QoL features
- Very budget-friendly
- Attractive, especially in white
The Thermaltake Core V1 Cube is our first irregularly-shaped chassis on this list. Instead of looking like your usual upright PC, the V1 Cube is longer than it is tall, and it’s about as tall as it is wide. Despite what the name suggests, the Core V1 is not perfectly cube-shaped, but it comes very close.
Despite its unusual shape and size, the Core V1 makes an excellent budget case. It’s made of mostly plastic, so it won’t give you that premium metal feel, but that’s part of the trade-off for a budget case.
Additionally, the case can be configured with either a horizontal or vertical motherboard, another excellent quality-of-life addition for PC builders (especially since mini ITX boards can get a bit cramped to work in sometimes).
This case doesn’t have much in the way of aesthetic additions, but it looks very pleasing on its own. It doesn’t look like a computer case, and that’s part of the appeal, in our opinion. Also, the case comes in a white snow edition that looks even more striking than the usual black.
While you won’t find anything in the way of LEDs and extras on this case, it’s incredibly versatile from the get-go. This is especially impressive for such an inexpensive budget case. If you’re looking for a small case that can handle many different builds and setups, look no further than the Core V1 Cube.
Cooler Master MasterCase H100
Size (HxWxD): 11.9” x 8.5” x 12.3”
Connectivity: 2x USB-C 3.2, 1x HD Audio
- RGB fan included
- Interesting “boom box” look
- Price is only OK
- Lack of visual interest
At first glance, the Cooler Master MasterCase H100 looks a bit more like a subwoofer than a computer chassis. However, we do imagine that some PC builders will like this look. While we’re not big fans of the mesh screen that Cooler Master uses on the front of the build, it does feature an attractive RBG fan behind it that adds some much-needed visual interest.
This case is very portable, too. While it has a rectangular space-saving shape as the Core V1 does, the MasterCase is oriented by height instead of by depth. It also has a carrying handle built-in, making this little case exceedingly easy to carry around and take from place to place.
The case only comes in black, which is a bit disappointing, but it’s a small consolidation that the included front fan can be programmed to several different LED colors. The fan is large, too, at 200mm, meaning you have an excellent start on your cooling system already after purchase.
While this case is relatively inexpensive, the Core V1 still beats it in the category of price. Depending on how much you like the case’s aesthetic, those extra dollars might or might not be worth paying for the case. We think the Core V1 is both a more attractive and better all-around investment, but the MasterCase H100 is still an excellent choice for those who particularly enjoy it.
- Lovely case
- High-quality materials
- Several configurations
- Strict space requirements
- Easy to knock over
Phanteks is an excellent creator of small and large form-factor chassis alike, so it’s no surprise that they managed to make their way into this list, too. The Evolv Shift is another non-standard form-factor case, with this one being very tall and skinny. This case is designed to sit upright like a skyscraper, freeing up valuable desk space by making use of vertical space instead.
However, while the case is attractive and cool-looking, it’s clearly designed more for aesthetics than performance. Additionally, it requires a bit more advanced planning than other mini ITX cases to make all of the internal components fit correctly.
However, as a result of that aesthetic-centric design, the tower is a sight to behold. It’s clad in tempered tinted glass and aluminum, which looks and feels so much more high-quality than plastic. As long as you stay on top of your cooling solutions and double-check your space requirements, this case shouldn’t give you much trouble.
The entire case looks like it’s made of aluminum at first glance, but it actually uses two dark-tinted tempered glass windows that show off everything on the inside. In our opinion, this chassis should be called the Stealth, not the Shift.
Of course, if you’re prone to clumsiness or you have children and animals who frequently knock things over, this case can support a horizontal configuration, too. While this configuration doesn’t have quite as much of an efficient footprint, it’s very low-profile and stable this way.
The price on this case is a bit higher than that of our other two, but it’s still a fantastic mid-range case. We also believed that the top-quality materials used with this chassis justify the price a bit. Oh, and did we mention that the Evolv Shift comes in two colors, too?
- All of the lights
- Nice metal chassis
- Might have too many lights for some
- Needlessly expensive
- Faulty PSU
The InWin A1 Plus is the most expensive option in our lineup by a significant margin, but it’s easy to see why. This compelling case is decked out with eye-catching LEDs right from the get-go, as well as a few other nice elements.
Namely, the case comes with three included RGB fans that match the lighted base, and the unit also has a built-in wireless charger for your smartphone or other devices. This charger is located on top of the chassis itself.
We think, personally, that the inclusion of a wireless charger is a bit off-the-wall (and it is a bit finicky in practice, too), but some users may find it useful.
However, because purchasing an inexpensive wireless charger these days is so easy, we don’t consider it much of a bonus. It wouldn’t take more than a minute or two to attach a similar charger to any other mini ITX case.
The RGBs, though, are definitely eye-catching and unique. You don’t see rainbow-style RBGs like the ones on this case every day; many PC builders prefer to make their builds while focusing only on one or two colors. This unit, though, cycles through the whole rainbow spectrum, both in the included fans and in the clear base. If you don’t like the rainbow look, the base and fans are fully customizable, though.
In our opinion, this case occupies a weird space between unique and gimmicky. Some users may be very attracted to the RGB-heavy nature of the case, but others won’t care at all. If you have the money to spend on it and you like a light show, then this case will definitely please you.
However, if you either plan to add your own LED lights or you’re not a big fan of lighted PC builds, this case will seem unnecessary and, frankly, a bit gaudy. Even to us, this case toes the line between too much and just enough.
While this unit does come with a PSU, it’s very unreliable. If you’re planning to purchase this case, we recommend being prepared with another just in case this is still an issue. Unfortunately, if the PSU was higher quality, it might justify the price of this chassis a bit more.
- Striking looks
- Sturdy and well-crafted
- Horrible assembly directions
- Very heavy and bulky
- Some space restrictions
The Thermaltake Core P1 TG capitalizes on a case design we’ve all done a double-take at least once: the open-air design. The Core P1 TG (TG stands for tempered glass) essentially has two sides only, and the sides are connected by free-floating metal bars. As such, if you really wanted to, you could reach your hand inside the case while it’s running (never do this, of course)!
Aside from its striking looks, another exciting feature of this case is that it’s wall-mountable. In this way, it works a bit like a display case for your rig; the pieces inside are fully exposed for your and your guests’ perusal, and mounting it on the wall keeps it out of harm’s way, too.
Speaking of which, while an open-air case seems like a cool idea, in theory, they require a particular type of individual to be successful in practice. If possible, we do recommend mounting this unit carefully to a wall. Why do we say this? Because, if this unit is on your desk, one unintentional coffee spill could end up frying your entire build.
While we love the open look of this case, the purpose of it is somewhat defeated in a case this small. If you have the wall space for a computer chassis and you have internal components that you want to show off, wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of a mini ITX chassis in the first place?
That being said, if this case speaks to you, don’t discount it right off the bat. It’s priced reasonably well for such a compelling concept, and while it’s incredibly heavy, it’s sturdy, too. Just be sure to know any space limitations associated with this case before buying it, as some options, such as 280mm radiators, will not fit in this case.
- No-nonsense, sturdy design
- Easy to paint or customize
- Portable and subtle
- No-nonsense, sturdy design
- Easy to paint or customize
- Portable and subtle
The Node 202 from Fractal Design is a very interesting mini ITX case. We think it looks suspiciously like a VCR player, especially since it only comes in all-black. While the shape is interesting and the chassis is metal, from the outside, the build is definitely a bit plain according to our standards.
However, builders who are fans of the no-nonsense, LED-free look will find this case to be compelling. It’s well-built, incredibly compact and portable, and easy to hide. This unit could even fit in a drawer if you wanted to hide it away while not in use.
Despite being rather small and cramped, this case has been thoughtfully designed. The spaces for the motherboard/CPU and GPU are kept entirely separate inside the case. This way, air always moves through the case without impediment or interference, and the components don’t share heat as much.
Aside from a VCR, this unit also reminds us a bit of a gaming console, albeit a small one. If you’re a fan of the console look, this case may appeal to you for that reason, too.
Additionally, since this case is shaped rather simply, it would be very easy to customize with art, skins, or stickers of any kind, if that’s something you enjoy. While it only comes in black, we’ve run across several white, or off-colored home builds online since the case handles paint very well.
Do be aware that this PC case has some clearance issues – it’s only just over 3” wide on its shortest side, so this can cause some clearance issues with large parts (CPU coolers in particular.) This case does optionally come with an included PSU that works well. The PSU option doubles the price of the case, but it’s not a bad option, as buying a separate mid-tier PSU would cost about the same as buying the bundle.
Another critical thing to remember is that this case cools much better when it’s oriented in its vertical position, and it’s quieter this way, too. If you’re planning to push for performance, in this case, you should plan to keep it vertical whenever possible.
- Very attractive facial design
- Many RBG options
- Cheap plastic chassis
- Too expensive for materials used
The RVZO3 from SilverStone’s Raven line of cases is one of the most eye-catching computer chassis we’ve had the pleasure of looking at in a long time. The front of the case features a Halo-esque sunken LED strip that looks attractive both vertically and horizontally.
While the case we’re looking at has programmable LEDs in this area, it comes in an addressable RGB option for slightly more, too. The addressable option, or the RVZ03-ARGB, is identical except for the better RGB capabilities.
Both versions of the case come in either silver-black or full white builds, giving the consumer a bit of color flexibility. While we’re a fan of the many exterior customization options of this case, it’s made from an unsatisfying plastic chassis despite looking like metal. This was definitely a letdown.
Despite that, this is an undeniably attractive case, though the materials and design don’t really justify the price, in our opinion. However, it does undoubtedly look very cool. If this case speaks to you for any particular reason, go for it – you can’t go wrong with any of the entries on this list!
Like the Node 202 above, this case is made to separate the motherboard and GPU inside your case, so heating is very efficient, especially in a vertical orientation. However, the case can, unfortunately, give off a strong plasticky odor during the first few weeks of use (we’re chalking this up to the cheaper plastic housing).
Size (HxWxD): 13.7” x 8.3” x 14.6”
Connectivity: 1x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C 3.1, 1x Headset Audio
- Sharp, clean lines and colors
- Excellent cable management
- Great price
- May be too bulky for some
The NZXT H210 is the only mini ITX option in our lineup that utilizes the traditional tower shape. While many users will prefer this, this design choice tends to eliminate the H210 for people with unusual space constraints. Since space issues tend to be what prompt people to build a mini ITX PC in the first place, we question the wisdom of such a decision.
Despite that, however, this case speaks for itself: it’s incredibly popular, incredibly reliable, and incredibly sturdy. Each case comes with an internal “clip” that makes cable management much more straightforward. This is a patented part of the NZXT lines, so you won’t see quite the same thing on any other chassis out there.
While the H210 doesn’t come with any built-in LEDs (and it doesn’t need any, in our opinion), you can upgrade to the H210i if you want them. Just be aware that the price upgrade from the H210 to the H210i is significant, and it pulls the PC case firmly out of the budget-friendly territory.
Both the H210 and the H210i come in an appealing array of colors, including white, red, and all-black. All three case colors look incredibly sharp – we can’t choose a favorite!
This case is incredibly quiet, and it’s effortless to build in for a mini ITX case, too. If you have trouble building in small spaces, this case should definitely be on your radar. The cable management solutions in this case are exceptional, as well, and they help the case look incredibly clean when it’s finished.
All in all, aside from having a relatively standard shape in a sea of oddly-shaped chassis, this model shows a lot of promise for an excellent price. The only caveat is, if you’re looking for a specific form-factor, this is not the case for you.
It’s impossible to argue that mini ITX computers aren’t fun and full of surprises. As long as you’re willing to work with the difficulty that sometimes comes with such small spaces, you can build an unbelievably powerful computer inside of a surprisingly small (or oddly-shaped) form factor.
However, while everyone has their own wants and needs for their gaming PC, there are a few clear winners in our lineup. Our last entrant, the NZXT H210, is definitely the best all-around PC case, as it provides a sleek, attractive look and many features at an excellent price. While it’s missing that irregular form factor, we really have no other complaints about this mini ITX case.
If you’re on a budget and looking for something attractive to get the job done, we must recommend the Thermaltake Core V1 Cube. The V1 Cube is an incredibly versatile mini ITX case with several customization options, all while maintaining a very affordable price point.
The Fractal Design Node 202 is an incredible case that justifies its value, and we believe it deserves an honorable mention, too. While selecting components and building inside of it can be a bit of a challenge, if you’re willing to take on that challenge, it brings a lot to the table. It’s incredibly stable and well-built, and as people on the internet have shown, it’s easy to customize it to your liking, too.