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5 Best Mini ITX cases 2021 | Slim Mini ITX Guide

5 Best Mini ITX cases 2021 - Slim Mini ITX Guide

There are some people who like to keep their PC compact and then there are people who want smallest PC possible, Mini-ITX PC cases ensure the needs of latter are met.

Now there could be plethora of reasons why someone would want their PC to be that Small and compact. It could be that you want to keep things minimal OR don’t want a huge PC laying on your desk.

Either way, we have prepared a list of the best of the best Mini-ITX Computer cases for 2021, from high-end to ones you could afford on a really tight budget, here, have a look.

NZXT H200i

NZXT H200i - Mini ITX PC case for gamers

NZXT being one of the favorite companies I had to try this and I am glad to say that I’m not disappointed with what they made in the form of H200i. All the things I love about NZXT, the build quality, the color options (especially the red and black one), the front-top I/O options, the size of it, the shape, I just love it all.

Up top, it has an exhaust perforation for a 120mm fan with a dust filter. Now accessing it is not that easy (its a mini-ITX case, so that was already obvious I think) but since it is pre-installed, its not that big of a deal. On the power supply side, the space of power supply supports a standard ITX unit, with a dust filter at the bottom of the power supply.

NZXT H200i -  Top, front and side panel cooling

Talking about cooliong, you can remove the front panel exposing a dust filter and space for 2*240mm fans or a dual 240mm radiator, with a two-heights position for the radiator. There are also perforation holes between motherboard chamber and power supply chamber for better airflow.

NZXT H200i - Back and right side panel - cable management

Opening the back panel the power chamber is totally open and there are pretty great cable-routing options for some good cable management. There is a dual SSD cady tucked away at the back of the case and one SSD holder in the front of the motherboard panel. At the back we also have a little smart-hub (to control lights and fans and such) with everything already pre-routed to make things easy.

NZXT H200i with normal air cooler setup

The built-in LED strip up top is more neatly designed in H200i. Some compromises had to be made because of the small size of the case but overall, highly recommended.

Phanteks evolv shift

Phanteks evolv shift - Mini-ITX small formfactor PC case

Here we have probably one of the most symmetrical PC case I’ve seen. With super-high quality anodized aluminum front and back panels and tempered glass side panels (which have a slight tint to them) on both sides, this is pretty exciting case to work with. Perfect to show off a mini-ITX PC build.

This case supports SFX-L sized power supplies, not enough clearance for a big CPU water-cooler so I’d recommend going with a good air cooler for processor cooling or a very small water-block water-cooler. The I/O options are limited as there are only two USB 3.0 ports on the side of back and no Audio jack ports. Sure that gives it a much cleaner and nicer look but limits the accessibility of the ports.

The top is a nice, sleek looking grill, that looks more like a giant heat-sink TBH but it looks nice as heck. on the side of the top there is a power button with an RGB button as well.

With a push mechanism, the top panel opens up and depending on how you set up the internal layout, you could access all the motherboard ports from the top, if whatever you are plugging in doesn’t require that high clearance. With the top panel popped up, it gives you access to the thumb screws to take off all 4 side panels.

Phanteks evolv shift - Cable management, cooling and internal case design - Mini ITX PC build

On the back, its almost same panel as the front but with one hole at the upper part (for running mouse and keyboard cables) and at the bottom, for the AC power cable. You can also route the mouse and keyboard cables from bottom space for a cleaner look if you want.

This case supports 2*120mm radiators, one at the bottom front and one on the bottom panel. It has 2 SSD mounting plates on the back to hold SSDs, easily accessible and removable. There is a ribbon-styled PCIe extension to mount the GPU at the back side of the motherboard.

The cable management is a bit hard to do, as you might imagine in a case this small. And that’s about it, Highly recommended by me to take a look at if you are going for a mini-ITX PC build.

Cooler master Elite 110

Cooler master Elite 110 - Mini-ITX compact media station PC build case 2021

Elite 110 is the most basic box shaped Mini-ITX PC case, more like a conservative and more “out-of-the-way” take on small form-factor PC case design that works damn well for airflow and internal component structure as well.

In my opinion this case will be best for people who are looking for a PC case to build a home theater PC or a home server or a steam-box but maybe also wanna fit some powerful components in it.

All the Port option including audio in and out and two high speed USB 3.0 ports and reset button, which I think is fairly good and standard options. There is a bracket on top-right of the back of the case for a power supply, just so there is more clearance for internal components just by pushing the power supply about an inch out.

Cooler master Elite 110 - Internal frame for components
Cooler master Elite 110 – Internal frame structure for components

Talking about power supply, you can fit a standard ATX power supply in this case according to cooler master, but I will recommend a smaller PSU if you want more clearance for other internal components like radiators or fans.

The whole front is an air cooling vent/grill, you can fit dual 120mm fans there or a a 120mm radiator. Motherboard can be pretty much mounted at the bottom of the case, we recommend going with a mini-ITX motherboard. You can mount the HDD drives on left side of the case, or you can mount 80mm fans if you want instead and on the top mounting plate, you can mount two SSD drives.

Oh, and the logo on the front of the case is the power-button. Highly recommended compact case for a TV lounge media station PC.

Fractal Design Node 202

Fractal Design Node 202

This is a case designed for ITX motherboards and SFX power supplies but seems almost the same size as a gaming console. So it won’t be wrong to call it compact to say the least. Outside is a Solid built case, matte finish, with a front I/O consisting of 2 USB 3.0 ports, audio in and out and a power button.

Fractal Design Node 202 - 2

The inside is neatly organized, with separate compartments for an ITX motherboard, full sized GPU and SFX sized power supply with a little bit of space for cable management behind the power supply. There is also some room under the Graphics cards for 120mm fans.

Fractal Design Node 202 - compact media station PC case 2021 - internal design

In the middle support-bar/section-separator is a cage to tuck away two SSDs. Plenty room for cooling and yet dense and compact enough for us to recommend it in out list of mini-ITX PC cases. You can stand it up using the included solid plastic stand or lie it down in the landscape position. However we recommend standing it up for better airflow.

Overall? Highly Recommended for people looking to build a sleek looking media station or steam PC for their TV lounge.

Corsair Crystal 280X RGB

Corsair Crystal 280X RGB - Full PC Desk setup 2021

Now I know this is a mATX case but due to its compact design, I recommend it to anyone who is looking towards building fairly bigger mini-ITX based PC and still wants to keep it compact. This case is based on dual-chamber design for better space management and does a good job at it.

Now being part of corsair’s crystal series, the left chamber is jammed with tempered-glass panels all around. The I/O is on top of front right corner including fairly basic two USB 3.0 ports, audio in and out jacks and power and reset buttons.

Corsair Crystal 280X RGB - Mini-ITX RGB PC case internal Design

Lets talk about cooling, on the front you can install two, 140 or 120mm fans on front and one on the bottom. OR, you can install 240mm radiators at front, top or bottom as well. So its safe to say that cooling options are plenty.

Front glass is attached with front plastic panel so can be removed along-with that, the top glass can be removed with thumb screws to access the dust filter. Side glass panel can be removed by removing 4 thumb-screws, however its tricky getting it back on because of no holder to place it on before putting in the screws.

Corsair Crystal 280X RGB - RGB Compact PC case internal Airflow

The glass-compartment stays clean as all the storage and power supply components go into the right compartment, where there are two cages, one to house SSDs and other for full HDD drives. They are designed to be removed from the case to install SSDs and HDDs comfortably and then mount the cages back in.

Which Mini-ITX case is best for Your Build?

Well, the use-case scenarios can’t be ignored while deciding which one of these you wanna go with for your mini-ITX PC build. Moreover, where you wanna use the PC can and should be the deciding factor of the case you wanna go with for the specific build.

For example, you don’t want to go with a fancy looking PC case if you are gonna tuck it away in server room for a NAS setup and you don’t want a box-looking, boring case for a PC you want to place on your desk and show off.

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