Want to build a compact but a powerful gaming PC or an HTPC, Our experts have lined up for you the list of best Mini-ITX Cases.
We have selected the top picks based on the following factors; Looks, Space Efficiency, Clarence and Price tag. Here is a quick summary of what we going to look at.
Best Mini-ITX for Gaming
Best Mini-ITX For HTPC
Highly Space Efficient
Best Mini-ITX for Gaming
Best Mini-ITX For HTPC
Highly Space Efficient
Following are the cases that we are going to be discussing in detail. Each of the mini-itx cases has its advantages and disadvantages, We suggest thoroughly reading about each one of them to understand which would work the best for you.
NZXT Manta – Best Mini ITX For Gaming CaseWhile talking about a Mini-ITX case, you expect to see very compact. You would be surprised to see the NZXT Manta, It doesn’t fit the description of a Mini-IXT case, but it indeed is one. Bend the rules, as they say, NZXT proudly introduces the Manta.
There is no doubt a bigger case is capable of better airflow and optimizations options, but it isn’t quite the best option for an HTPC. Manta comes at a hefty price tag which might blog a lot of people off, Though the price tag is very justified considering it’s build quality and looks.
Manta has curved metal plates and panels all around it. A see-through glass on one side. The top of the case is fully covered and has a part of USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks, the power button is also installed on top of the case. Turning it on illuminates a blue light strip in front of the chaise. It is available in several color combinations; Matte Black + Red, Matte Black, Matte Black + White and a windowless model.
Ventilation ports run across the front and top. They are well designed and hide behind case panels. You can install 120mm and 140mm case fans in front and top of the case. The case is very well ventilated, and dust filters in front of the case are also implemented amazingly.
Power supply chamber is fully enclosed and supports any ATX power supply on the market. It Manta is equipped with dual SSD brackets. It has a built-in lighting feature, and it allows you to control the lighting on NZXT logo and i/o led in the back.
This case is perfect for a Mini-ITX gaming build. Its spacious design eliminates most of the negatives that come with a Mini-ITX build. It is a good solution if you are looking to play games on it while also using it to stream media. It is not the best option available for an HTPC since it almost removes all its attractive features(It’s big size).
EVGA Hadron – Mini ITX Case With Power SupplyThe Hadron was EVGA’s first ever Pc Case. It is one of the best looking Mini-ITX cases, the idea behind it was to provide enthusiasts with a cool looking and compact case while making it space efficient.
It is a dream come true for enthusiasts but does carry a hefty price tag. Though it is not quite the truth, Hadron comes pre-equipped with a gold power supply. The power supply is very compact and customized to fit efficiently in the case.
EVGA manufactures two version of Hadron case; One differs from the other with its liquid cooling compatibility. The other version of this case is called the Hadron Hydro, and it differs in dimensions that the air cooled version.
Hadron has a very minimalistic design. The front is made of reflective plastic; you will find a power button in the center and EVGA’s logo above it. It has a windowed side panel which shows off the interior pretty well. On the other side, it has a pair of USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks; Above it, you will find space for optical drive. Bottom of the case has rubber pads to prevent sliding and minimize noise.
EVGA’s Hadron air comes with two pre-installed 120mm case fans routed through a single 3-pin fan cable.
The power supply that comes with the case is very much different than an ATX power supply. It is gold rated, compact, extremely quiet and has a 40mm fan to maintain it’s temperature. It is also one of the major reason for the case of being so space efficient.
It is a good choice for a compact gaming build.
Core V1 has space for 200mm case fans in the front and a pair of 80mm case fans in the back. The case is highly ventilated with meshed grill structure. This also means it’s going to leak a lot of noise. That’s not it; this also causes another issue with is dust collection inside the case. If you are operating at a negative case pressure, it is going to give you a hard time cleaning it.
One of the unique features of this case is its support for custom panels. The case comes with one see-through window panel on the top; you can get windowed panels for the sides too. All the panels are interchangeable.
On the side of the case, You will find a pair of USB 3.0 Ports, HD audio connectors; hard drive activity and power buttons.
Just like the NZXT Mamta, Thermaltake Core V1 also has space at the bottom for power supply. This space is very useful for adjusting long cables. Thus, Improving your cable management. Most good cases have started to adopt this approach, and it is nice to see this in Mini-ITX cases.
The case is a perfect solution for anyone looking to build a compact gaming pc. There is enough space for a long graphics card, multiple SSD mounts, etc.
Phanteks Evolv Shift – Smallest Mini ITX CaseEvolv Shift is one of the most premium Mini-ITX cases. It is the smallest case we have talked about so far. It is compact and good looking while being very affordable. You heard it right; the case very well justifies its price.
One thing to notice is that it’s also much thinner than any previously discussed cases on this list. This makes it perfect for an HTPC or a desk PC build.
The front of Evolv Shift has a tinted metallic look. It has ventilation ports on the front to intake air. On the right side, It has dual USB 3.0 ports. Unlike most other cases on this list, Evolv Shift doesn’t have audio jacks which aren’t a problem in itself. Both the side panels are made for visual appeal and have see-through windows.
The top panels can easily be removed to access your i/o. The case comes equipped with RGB led on the top, which can be controlled with a button. There’s also space for optional RGB strips. Bottom, top, and sizes are all pre-equipped with high-quality dust filters.
In most other cases, Only one of the side panels is windowed; it makes it easy to manage cables since the other side isn’t going to be visible. If you are using this case, you will have to be extra careful with cable management.
It’s a dream case for an HTPC build or a gaming PC. With it, you get everything you can expect from a case.
Rob at CaseFansGuru, has this to say.
“Honestly, I don’t see a need to take such approach. If you need a portable computer why not get a laptop instead?”
The idea behind having a handle is not to make it portable but to give it an attractive and unique look. Though the handle helps a lot in carrying the case that is not, it’s sole purpose. It’s undoubtedly one of the coolest cases we have looked at so far.
Corsair’s 380T has an I/O panel on the top; with dual 3.0 ports, power/reset, fan speed buttons and dual audio jacks. The I/O panel is implemented beautifully and adds to case’s attractiveness.
Front of the case is equipped with a 140mm case fan, which can be replaced with dual 120mm fans or a 200mm fan. It also has a filter to prevent dust entering the case from the front.
Side panels of the case are designed very uniquely which resembles a door. Both the right and left panels are identical and interchangeable. One of the panels has seen through windows; It’s not as big as the ones in the NZXT manta or the EVGA Hadron, but they give you a good view of the interiors. This also gives you much more leniency on the cable management; since it’s not going to be visible.
We highly recommend this for an HTPC, Gaming PC or a Mini Server Build.
What is a Mini-ITX Case Used For?
Currently, their hardware capability is very limited and a high-end gaming computer cannot be built inside of a Mini-ITC case. These limiting factors are; need to operate under safe temperature, noise production, and hardware size. High-end Graphics Cards such as a GTX 1080 consume a lot of space and it’s not practical to install multiple of these inside a Mini-ITX case, even if someone managed it, control their performance will be disastrous.(Due to temperature control)
Mini-ITX cases surely look very attractive but aren’t yet compatible with supporting high-end gaming. They are widely used for custom console builds and HTPC.
An HTPC is a device dedicated to streaming media. They do work somewhat like a cable box but are used for streaming services such as Netflix. They might not seem like much of a use at first because most smart televisions come with WiFi support and there is no such need for a computer to stream media. That is not quite true, though those televisions are capable of streaming media when it comes to 4k resolutions, they might not give you the performance you expect. Processing 4k media is real time takes a lot of computing power and an HTPC solves this problem.
The best part is that they are not limited to only streaming media, Installing an operating system such as windows will add to its features, Giving you an option to use it like a computer whenever needed.
Why Build A Mini-ITX PC?
When it comes to Mini-ITX builds there are a lot of problems you need to overcome to make it a successful build. In ancient gaming builds you don’t need to worry a lot about cable management, temperatures, and sound it produces.
Building a Mini-ITX PC can also replace devices like CD/DVD Player, Cable Box Surround Sound Receiver and a video gaming console; this justifies the reason to build yourself a Mini-ITX PC today.