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Top 5 Smallest ATX Cases

By Anton

Certified Awkward Tech Guy™

Last Updated 29 Oct 2020


What is an ATX Case?

ATX, which means Advanced Technology eXtended, is a form factor developed by Intel in 1995 and considered the most common form factor. Form factors are the description of the shape or the general makeup of the base components used in a computer. It may be a big class of components or may refer to a certain or specific standard. One of these components is the case.

TOP 5 BEST SMALLEST ATX CASES IN 2020

1. Cooler Master HAF XB EVO (The All Rounder)

Cooler Master is one of the highest selling brands for cooling accessories that is expected by the users.

PROS:

- Removable Motherboard Tray

- Large Cutout On Motherboard

- Carrying Handles is the best option for moving around

- Removable Top Panel and Side Panels

- Excellent Airflow

- Extra Hooks for Cable Management

CONS:

- Top does not support 140mm or 120mm Fans

- Little bit expensive than some other coolers

2. Corsair Carbide Air 540

The popular brand Corsair Carbide Air 540 is one of the best smallest cases for ATX Motherboard to meet all of your requirements with awesome design. The design of this product has all focus to high airflow to keep your every component cool and chill.

PROS:

- Fans Support: Six 120mm or 5 140mm Fans Support

- Fans Included: 140mm Corsair Air Series AF140L intake and exhaust fans

- Motherboard Support: Mini ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, E-ATX

- AIO Water Cooling Support: 240mm or 280mm on top – Up to 360mm on the front

- CPU Cooler Height Support: CPU cooler height limitation: 170mm

- Side Panel Glass Type: Acrylic

3. Fractal Design Meshify C-Compact Computer Case

This Fractal Design Meshify C is a compact computer case that provides you optimum performance with its streaming airflow design.

- Can support up to 3 Fans

- Fan Filters

- Good Performance

CONS:

-Don’t support 10.6 inch deep Motherboards

- 3x Fans Radiator Requires Removal of 3.5 inch Drive Cage

-Low build quality

4. Riotoro CR1080 Small ATX Case

The Riotoro CR1080 is a small ATX case offered by RIOTORO. RIOTORO allows full-sized ATX motherboards, graphic cards, and power supplies.

PROS:

-Less expensive

-120mm Blue LED Fan included

-Dust filters to keep it clean

-Clean Cable Management

-Supports every type of ATX Motherboards

CONS:

-Thin Aluminum Material

-Tight Motherboard Tray

5. Corsair Carbide 400C

The Corsair Carbide 400C is one with premium high-quality steel and style material at a very affordable price with many other features. The side panels are the best feature of this case. The side opening of this panel makes it accessible to remove and attach anything.

PROS:

- Simple and Classy Style

- Accessible Side Panel Windows

- Support Long GPU and Water Cooling

-Support up to 360mm Radiator

-Good build quality

CONS:

-No Fan Controller Bays

-PSU cover made of plastic

The Case

It is the part that houses inside the hardware components of the computer system. Included are the pre-installed motherboard and the power supply. The motherboard is the main circuit board where all of the system components are plugged into it. ATX Motherboards also have dimensions. This difference should be considered when choosing atx motherboards that will be put inside the front panel of a case. Primarily, large atx motherboards will require a large case. Small atx motherboards require a small case. Technically speaking, this is not how the motherboard’s dimension is measured. Different models of the motherboard of this small atx case may have different sizes, which means that they can overlap other form factors and need a different case, whether it is small or not.

The power supply is the component that generates the power to all of the hardware components of the computer, including the motherboard. In the ATX form factor, the fan is developed to take the air out of the computer, especially to the front panel.

Power supplies have a dual voltage selector. Like the motherboard, it also has different kinds, depending upon the device used.

Desktop computers may have one that has been installed inside of its case. This will protect the higher - end computer in places where the primary power supplies fail.

The motherboard and the power supply are both inside the case, although usually not near the front panel. This protection usually uses the shape of a case capable of housing the motherboard and the power supply neatly. Comfort is considered as having the shape of each part, having enough room, not too small or too big, that they are not squeezed into the case, or becoming loose with every movement of the case.

This is is a known form factor since it was made to make the computers faster. It also has more built functions for keyboard, mouse, printers, and other devices connected to the computer through its drive bays. The development in technology have seen a various plan for the ATX case is made available. Innovations were made like colored lights near the front panel to show which parts of the computer system inside the case are working or fans that cool the power system and the motherboard or front or sides that are either transparent or made of expensive materials. And as technology progressed and innovated, the ATX form factor cases have also become smaller to the smallest atx.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Case

Cases nowadays are of different designs, colors, and shapes. Brand names are sometimes seen on the side or front of the case, which piques buyers’ interests. The case can also contain up of materials that are considered more valuable. Or they may be made up of varieties of designs on its side or front panels. Concerned buyers tend to pick the best case that is available in the market. Simple buyers, however, would prefer what is already part of or pre-installed in the computer set being offered to them. However, consideration should be taken in choosing a case.

The motherboard is an essential consideration in selecting a case. Holes must be in alignment with the holes on both the motherboard and the case. On the other hand, there are holes in the case that is congruent with the ports or drive bays that are found in the motherboard.

The location of the power supply can also explain whether the computer system is in cool condition. Overheating can cause damage to the case and to the other parts of the computer system, specifically the vulnerable parts of the pre-installed motherboard

A case is already labeled at the front as an ATX case. In this case, when it is clearly explained that it is an ATX case, this will mean that the fundamental layout and the configuration of the pre-installed motherboard are also the same. A case can also be labeled as an ATX case by locating at the power connector found on the motherboard side. When the power connector is labeled on a 20 or 24 pin key connector, this is called the ATX form factor. On the other hand, if it is in a 4 or 8 pin auxiliary power connector, this is also an ATX form factor. If this is not possible, an observation of the keyboard port on the motherboard or drive bays can identify whether or not an ATX form is being used. If the ports or drive bays for the keyboard on the case are PS/2 ports for the keyboard same with a mouse mini-DIN connectors, the motherboard contains an ATX factor, and the case is an ATX case. Generally, if the ports or drive bays found for the keyboard connectors are not the DIN5, then it can be safely summarized that the motherboard being used is an ATX motherboard. This will know that the case is an ATX case.

Generally, computers are sought after already consist of pre-installed powerful components such as the motherboard and the power supply. Add - ons may have been installed or purchased already, which are also as effective as the chosen motherboard and power supply. It is also noted that the case where these components are to be placed is as powerful and has more quality. Easy cable management is also one to look for.

This will not only gives security to the pre-installed and planned components, but the case will also give another pleasing content to the design of the work area, gaming area, or even in the home area.

Different ATX Cases

ATX cases have been designed around the world. This is because different types of people are utilizing the computer in different ways. The majority would use the computer for their office work.

The top and best products of the Corsair Company have carried the company’s name. One of these products is the top cases that they produced, manufactured, and designed, which have been divided into several categories: the ICUE smart cases, the mid-tower cases, the full - tower cases, and the small form factor cases.

The small form factor category has the Crystal Series, which has its high-performance and best cooling system housed inside a small case. As a case, it placed into great consideration the power system component by allowing this case to be able to house up to six or more than two 120mm fans that will surely keep the computer system cool despite its high demand for use. This series also makes use of a three-panel tempered glass, instead of the ordinary glass side, for its side panel and a front panel that is a great way of looking at the internal system on display mode. It has also tidied up the cable, drives, and PSU into a rear chamber of the case for better use of cable management. This means that the computer case consists of a dual-chamber layout that helps to tidy up better and faster. Cleaning the computer case from front to back will be a breeze with a full filtration system that is utilized in the side panel.

The top mid-tower ATX cases category of Corsair boasts its Carbide series design. These are cases that resonate designs that are sure to deliver the expected performance required from the company. The most popular in this series is the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-04 Tempered Glass, which has the title as a case as “bold and ready to build.” The reason is that the case invites the user to build the computer system from the ground up while allowing for a simpler build that does cleaning and tidying up the different wires, cables, a graphics card, and other paraphernalia a breeze in terms of cable management. The removable dust filters functioned as additional cleaning options for the case at the front and ensuring that the system inside is maintained a good clean. It also sports the three panels tempered glass design for its side panel and a front panel that invites and awe all who will see and look at and marvel at the design of the system installed inside. And the cooling system is a sure hit because of its five or more than two 120mm fans.

Another well-known form of this small atx case is the top Corsair Carbide Series 400C design. It has a filtration system that uses dust filters inside the case. However, several features in the other top Carbide series products are not present in the case. This is a case that is built along with the lines of old school cases with its all-steel exteriors even at the front case. Instead of using the tempered glass panels that are usually seen in other Corsair cases design, the top Corsair Carbide Series 400C case sports a hinged and latched full side panel window. The full side panel window gives way for a view of the system installed inside and can be easily accessed. Like the other Corsair cases, the cooling system has been well designed to provide its performance using 120mm fans despite the absence of a tempered glass side panel. Despite having its design from front to back, this case still gives a cooling system and design that will make sure that however hard the computer system is used, it will not easily overheat. Moreover, the design is still beautiful to look at from the front because of its design. This case still packs a punch worthy.

Corsair provides the consumers and users with their Obsidian series layout in the top full tower case, where the Corsair Obsidian 1000D is located at the front. In this case, an installed 18 fan mounts will provide the best coolness of the system. It also has room for four 480mm radiators that can be accessed by the user.

This is a case that has leveled up in almost all of its types and designs. Not only is the cooling the best, but it also has three small chambers inside instead of the usual two-chamber design that we are familiar with. This explains that all of the wires, ports, and cables connecting and connected to the motherboard, power system, graphics card, and other system components inside the case can be easily tidied for a very clean cable management and streamlined look. This case holds two motherboards and two power systems inside. As such, this Corsair case gives content for the presence of two personal computers in one amazing computer case. The tempered glass side panel gives an additional point of interest even from the front view.

Another top company is the American computer hardware company, namely the NZXT. Among its unique and varied products are computer cases that are geared towards those who stand in front and its best value quality and power above all. NXZT produced the top NZXT H200i and the best NZXT H500i cases that are widely recognized and used as some of the best cases design available.

The best NZXT H500i was built and had the design that best allows the user to utilize their dream personal computer. Unlike the Corsair cases and design, this top NXZT case has an all-steel build that only has one tempered glass panel that sports an easy side viewing of the internal system housed inside. This is a must case to have because the cable management that has been installed and has pre-installed channels and straps at the back of the motherboard trays. This makes installing the wiring inside the case easy for top cable management, which the consumer expects. The finished and installed system is neat and with its design even from the front.

The top cooling system has been streamlined to provide the users with the best possible cooling for the system housed inside this case. Also, by putting in a side layout for the storage, the NZXT H500i helps for a clean looking.

Another front product of the NZXT Company is the well-known NZXT H200i, under the category of a small form factor ATX case. Geared towards the mini itx category, this case have a lot in its small body. It has three fan channels that have the best of 10W per channel. This also makes sure that the cooling system inside the case is as best as possible. Designed to bring pleasure to the user, front and center, this case allows for features that are not usually seen in mid and high tower cases with its cool design.

The cooler Master logo is also famous. Products of the Cooler Master are designed to be at the forefront and deliver optimal performance while giving the user a design that is totally beyond expectations. One of its well-touted products is the Cooler Master H500P Mesh, which, as its name provides, has a mesh design in its side pane that user’s expected. Produced to allow Cooler Master Case has panels that can be easily taken off for easy access to the system that is installed inside under a strict cable management. The Cooler Master Mesh panel allows for easy cooling since two 200mm RGB fans have been accessed there. Air can easily come in and get out through the side panel, thus helping to the cooling of the housing panel and the system inside up to the front. For those who enjoy showing off their system and cable management housed inside their case, this small ATX case from Cooler Master has a side panel that is made of light grey tinted tempered glass that easily shows the system from the side view while a plastic panel cover has been installed to show off the system from the above panel, or because of its transparency.

Unique Features

Thermaltake Technology Company, Ltd. is a Taiwanese company that manufactures PC case designs and other computer components. It released the Thermaltake core G3 that has pre-installed 120mm fans. This Thermaltake core g3 allows for easy gaming that uses not just on USB 3.0 but also the two USB 3.0. The added presence of the USB 3.0 in the Thermaltake core G3 means sufficient data transfer ports in the computer system. Dubbed as a slim atx chassis, the Thermaltake core g3 is proud of catering and gives service to hardcore gaming enthusiasts.

The Thermaltake core g3 with usb 3.0 has been designed for 4k virtual reality gaming coupled with a cooling performance that is at the front of its game or core g3. To some, it uses a two-way layout that lets the user place the case in several varieties of ways to maximize the space available for it. Thermaltake Core g3 has its 240mm radiator that uses a liquid cooler at the front, which 240mm radiator provides power to the water cooling system of this core g3 chassis. A water cooling system has also been added to a better cooling system inside. The use of water cooling is not usual in other companies’ cooling systems since the use of fans is what is preferred by many. However, new advancements in technology have shown that water cooling may be a better pick than the usual or ordinary cooling system. And to make sure that the system inside remains clean and free of dust, dust filters were installed. The dust filters are removable and easy to use the design of this case.

These small cases are all designed to give the maximum of everything that is expected to make sure that the installed system inside is protected. This protection is shown by providing the best cooling effect. This cooling measure is shown by the different case providers, from the smallest case to the largest, to store inside it a larger number of fans or radiators that help to cool the system. A cool housing assures that all of the computer system components are protected from overheating that can damage the parts inside. It also secures the motherboard from damage that any overheating or changes in the temperatures can bring to it.

The smallest ATX cases are also designed to carry with it a layout that will allow users for the best wiring system. The smallest ATX or the atx micro ensures that all the wires, cables, ports, and other connections can be easily installed. This adds to the awesome look of the system and actually helps in displaying the system installed. The cleaner design also allows for the airflow inside the case that greatly helps in the cooling process.

High Performance

The tax micro and the mini ATX were produced to answer to the call for smaller and smallest atx cases but with a high build quality performing computer components. Designed to be backward compatible with the ATX form factor, the micro ATX was designed for this purpose. Based on a normal-sized ATX board, the micro ATC motherboards are on the subset. It also contains an identical I/O panel to that of a full-sized ATX. This similarity to a full-sized ATX gives way to the atx micro or micro ATX to fit inside a normal or regular standard ATX case.

More importantly, micro ATX uses the same power connectors, which provides for the use of power supplies with installed micro ATX boards. The micro ATX and micro atx case have been popular to be almost identical to a normal or regular standard ATX that it even has the same chipsets that let the micro ATX use almost the same number of components as the regular or standard ATX. In terms of expansion slots, however, the smaller size of the micro ATX stops. It’s from having the same number of expansion slots as a regular ATX.

Dimension

In terms of dimension, it is known that a mini itx or micro ATX has a smaller size than that of a regular or in a full-sized ATX. This means that micro atx or mini itx will usually have a lower capacity when referring to expansion than that of the regular ATX. Whether it is a mini itx or not, size is really important

Advances in the Micro ATX Case

The innovations in modern technology, however, may soon see the differences between a regular or full-sized ATX case version and a version of the smallest ATX case. New versions of the micro ATX has come and progressed with dual GPU configurations on its motherboards. Also, the use of low profile PCI cards can be found and seen in micro ATX cases. Added to this is the use of power systems that have distinct dimensions that are nonstandard to other features. These changes have been eagerly appreciated by doing it yourself computer enthusiasts, especially the on-gamers who will now have less expensive but has in their own a product that can perform as if it is a regular sized atx cases model.

The Beauty of Micro ATX Cases

Micro atx cases or m atx casing versions have also been known to give access to the use of expansion slots that are more in number than the mini ITX or a smallest atx case. Atx micro cases or micro stx case, therefore, paves the way for the use and installation of a dual graphics card and configuration for a quad-channel memory. This means that the micro ATX case is cheaper than a regular-sized ATX case and a much better buy and pick than the mini ITX case that is starting to become a popular trend in the computer world.

FAQs

Will a mini ATX fit in an ATX case?

The size of the ATX case will determine the size of the motherboard that can fit inside the case. On the other hand, it can also be said that the size of the motherboard allows for the idea of the size of the case. The ATX case layout is designed and produced with the size of a regular motherboard in mind. As such, the spaces inside the case allow for a good fit for a regular-sized motherboard.

The layout of a case is almost similar in most instances, and this helps for the use of a regular ATX case as housing for a smaller ATX motherboard.

Simply speaking, when the motherboard that is housed or located inside a case is of the regular size and is therefore large, the case itself will be large. But this large size of the case makes it to house smaller motherboards inside it. Products that are being produced and designed now provide for their use as housing for smaller sizes of motherboards than what they are originally made for.

The Corsair cases support the housing for the mini ATX, the micro ATX, and even the mini ITX. This is also distinct to the other brands of ATX cases that have been discussed. In fact, the NZXT series allows and gives opportunities for future use of the smallest atx case possible at the moment. This is because their popularity helped the ability of the case to adapt to their users’ changing needs.

The possibility of their shifting to the smaller versions of the form factor ATX is quite high. As such, to be able to be more desirable. The smallest ATX cases have to be capable of providing these needs and expectations of the users.

Is the micro ATX cheaper than ATX?

One rule of having the best and most performing in the products that are being used is the usual tried and tested rule in having the products in a market that is always evolving.

However, there are consumers that are very sensitive about the cost of buying only the best in components and systems for their personal computers and networks. Small ATX cases may be the norm and simple, but regular ATX cases are also being used.

Usually, some computer enthusiasts who want to build up their system personally tend to become budget-conscious, especially when they have some products in mind. This is where the question of selecting a regular or full-sized ATX is better than having a smaller sized, or even the smallest ATX case other than the micro ATX comes in.

At the moment, for those who like to construct heir computer system personally, preference has been made for the micro ATX. Build along the same lines as a regular ATX, and it has the best features that can also be found inside a regular or full-sized ATX case. This smallest ATX case can easily provide almost the same kind and the same type of performance, functionality, and adaptability as a regular or full-sized ATX case.

The budget-sensitive buyer will find these considerations far outweigh the fact that because the micro ATX is smaller than the regular or full-sized ATX, there may be some functions that will not be available. One of the best features of this case is the expandability of the regular ATX model. Some of the slots found in a regular-sized ATX model are distinct and cannot be found in a micro ATX simple because of a lack of space. This explains that the micro ATX, despite its lower price, has lower expandability attached to it.

Is Mini ITX or Micro ATX smaller?

Innovations in technology have allowed for smaller and smaller versions of what once were computer components that occupy large spaces that give birth to the smallest atx. In this day and age, smaller becomes synonymous with accessibility and mobility, which are important to the majority of computers around the world. And this has been seen by manufacturers who have slowly but surely started producing smaller versions of computer components.

The cases used for the housing of the system and components are usually divided into three form factors. However, the ultimately used is the size of the motherboard that will be installed inside the case. A regular or full-sized standard ATX motherboard usually measures 12 by 9.6 inches long. The Micro ATX motherboard has a smaller size because it only measures up to 9.6 by 9.6 inches or even smaller.

About the author

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.

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