- Our pick for the #1 Best Overall Case from our list of Smallest ATX Cases for Compact PCs is the Corsair iCUE 2000D RGB Airflow Mini-ITX PC Case.
- ATX PC cases are compact for space-saving and portability but still have room for all the major components you want in a high-end personal computer.
- Compact PCs are ideal for fitting in unobtrusive locations or packing along to a friend’s house for LAN parties or other team gaming events.
- When choosing the best option from the smallest ATX cases for compact PCs, pay attention to aesthetics and materials, cooling capabilities, cable management, and component compatibility.
Modern technology innovations reduce size and increase features. Newer compact PCs are popular because users get all they want in a powerful personal computer that takes up less space. The smallest ATX cases contain components within a smaller, space-efficient chassis. Your high-performance PC build takes up less room and is ideal for travel or LAN parties.
ATX stands for “Advanced Technology eXtended.” This motherboard specification from the 1990s is now used primarily to describe smaller compact PC cases. ATX cases are typically mid-tower-sized (16 inches x 10 inches x 18 inches), but some are smaller. More recent cube designs reduce smaller case sizes to mini ATX cases that are less than a foot square.
Here are our selections for the Smallest ATX Cases for Compact PCs to help you find the best option for your needs:
- Best Overall: Corsair iCUE 2000D RGB Airflow Mini-ITX PC Case
- Best for Airflow: Cooler Master Q500L
- Best Design: NZXT H510i Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Case
- Lightest Case: Lian Li 011-Dynamic-Mini
- Best Budget Option: Thermaltake Versa H17 ATX Mini-Tower
#1 Best Overall Small ATX Case for Compact PCs: Corsair iCUE 2000D RGB Airflow Mini-ITX PC Case
- 10.67 x 7.87 x 18.03 inches
- Supports three-slot graphics cards up to 320mm
- Can accommodate six 120mm cooling fans
- Removable steel mesh panels for ventilation
- Includes 3x AF120 RGB fans
- 8x RGB LED lights per fan
Compact PC builders will love the Corsair iCUE 2000D RGB Airflow Mini-ITX PC Case, our choice for the best overall case from our list of the smallest ATX cases for compact PCs. This small unit weighs less than ten pounds and the dimensions are only 10.67 x 7.87 x 18.03 inches. Removable steel mesh front, side, and roof panels help keep the unit cool. Plus, there are three fan mounting locations that can accommodate six 120mm cooling fans.
The Corsair iCUE 2000D’s small footprint still accommodates full-size GPUs, power supplies, ATX motherboards, and extra memory. Four different connection ports are accessed in the front panel. Black or white units are available to match your preferences or decor. This compact ATX case is perfect for space-saving arrangements or travel gaming. Check out the Corsair iCUE 2000D RGB Airflow Mini-ITX PC Case on Amazon.
|The Corsair iCUE 2000D supports E-ATX, ATX, mATX, and Mini-ITX configurations.||The Corsair iCUE 2000D is a bit pricey.|
|This unit accommodates up to six 120mm cooling fans.|
|The quiet operation is perfect for small areas.|
|Front, side, and top mesh panels are removable for easy cleaning and maintenance.|
|Cable management is easy with pre-fab routing channels.|
Best Small ATX Case for Airflow: Cooler Master Q500L
- Small footprint at just 15.2 x 9.1 x 15 inches
- Fully perforated chassis for optimal ventilation
- Supports CPU coolers and PSUs up to 160mm
- Compatible with graphics cards up to 360mm
- Movable I/O panel
- Accommodates up to 5 fans
Cooling is vital in compact PCs, and the Cooler Master Q500L provides superior airflow for the most high-end mini-computer builds. The perforated chassis is super-optimized for unrestricted airflow. Plenty of space and four separate fan mounts allow builders to add unparalleled cooling capabilities. The case also comes with a pre-installed rear fan. The clear acrylic side panel allows you to view your PC’s interior at a glance.
Cooler Master added seven PCI-E expansion slots to support numerous hardware components. Flexible positioning brackets allow builders the freedom to place components for maximum space-saving and utility. The front panel has two USB ports and audio connections. Weighing less than eight-and-a-half pounds and with dimensions of only 15.2 x 9.1 x 15 inches, this unit’s small footprint fits into tight spaces and is easily transportable. Check out the Cooler Master Q500L on Amazon.
|The Cooler Master Q500L’s superior airflow keeps your unit cool during prolonged high-end use.||Only one cooling fan is included.|
|This unit includes two detachable dust filters to help keep the interior clean.|
|Flexible component positioning brackets help maximize space.|
|The unit supports full-sized GPUs and RAM expansion cards.|
|Cooler Master’s Q500L ATX Case is affordably priced.|
Best Small ATX Case Design: NZXT H510i Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Case
- 16.85 x 8.27 x 18.11 inches
- Accommodates a full ATX chassis
- Supports custom loop liquid cooling
- Two pre-installed fans
- Built-in bracket for vertical GPU mounting
- 7 expansion slots
Users seeking an easy-to-build PC will be pleased with the NZXT H510i Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Case, our choice for the best compact PC case design. ATX PC cases are all about a smaller footprint without compromising functionality. NZXT is at the forefront of easy design for PCs, and the H5101 is their best compact unit yet. It weighs 18 pounds and its dimensions are 16.85 x 8.27 x 18.11 inches. Two pre-installed fans keep the unit cool.
This compact ATX case features seven expansion slots and vertical GPU mounting to save even more space. Plus, NZXT’s patented cable-routing channels and preinstalled straps keep wires and cables neatly bunched and out of the way. Users will enjoy viewing their compact case design through the tempered glass side panel. Remove it for maintenance or cleaning with a single screw. This product also includes two integrated RGB lighting channels and three fan channels for versatile build designs. Check out the NZXT H510i Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Case on Amazon.
|The compact size still accommodates a full ATX chassis and components.||This unit is heavier than many small ATX cases.|
|This space-saving NZXT product supports custom loop liquid cooling.|
|NZXT’s patented cable routing keeps builds neat and simple.|
|The vertical GPU mounting saves space and looks cool.|
|A tempered glass side window allows easy interior viewing.|
Lightest Small ATX Case: Lian Li 011-Dynamic-Mini
Our pick for the lightest small ATX Case for compact PCs has to be the Lian Li O11-Dynamic-Mini. Measuring just 15 x 16.5 x 10.5 inches and weighing just 2.2 pounds, Lian Li corners the market on small, lightweight ATX cases. Bundle this compact PC under your arm and go!
The Lian Li 011-Dynamic-Mini ATX case doesn’t surrender effective cooling support or component compatibility for size. It supports up to nine 120mm fans, and the case is customizable if you prefer water cooling. Four dust filters keep your build clean even with all those fans. Cable management is impressive, and full-sized GPUs and other components will fit nicely. Check out the Lian Li O11-Dynamic-Mini on Amazon.
|The extremely compact size is easily portable but still allows room for high-end components and cooling options.||No built-in cooling fans are included.|
|Water cooling is possible with some minor case modifications.|
|The unit allows seven PCI expansions for versatility.|
|Four I/O ports allow flexible USB 2.0 and 3.0 plug-and-play compatibility.|
|The Lian Li 011-Dynamic-Mini ATX case is affordably priced at around $100.|
Best Budget Small ATX Case: Thermaltake Versa H17 ATX Mini-Tower
- 15.4 x 8.1 x 15 inches
- Supports Mini ITX and Micro ATX motherboards
- One pre-installed 120mm rear fan
- Perforated top panel with raised foot stands
- Full-length PSU cover with ventilated design to increase airflow and hide cables
PC builders on a budget can easily afford the price and will enjoy the flexibility of the Thermaltake Versa H17 ATX Mini-Tower. At just $51.99 at the time of writing and only eight kilograms, this compact 15.4 x 8.1 x 15-inch Mini ATX case is perfect for the PC builder with little space and even less cash.
This unique unit features the I/O panel on the side at the bottom, with three USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports and two more jacks for speakers, and a microphone. The Versa H17 ATX Mini-Tower provides ample space for full-sized memory or other items, accommodating up to two 2.5-inch and two 3.5-inch storage devices in hidden drive bays simultaneously. A pre-mounted PSU cover makes a great unused cable storage area in the case bottom.
Compact portability and space-saving characteristics with versatile cooling and plenty of component clearance are affordable with this compact PC ATX case. Check out the Thermaltake Versa H17 ATX Mini-Tower on Amazon.
|The brushed aluminum-style front panel is stylish and elegant.||This ATX case includes only one preinstalled fan.|
|This compact PC case still accommodates five cooling fans and is AIO liquid cooling compatible.|
|The Thermaltake Versa H17 features a pre-mounted PSU cover that leaves space underneath for cable storage.|
|The hidden drive bays can house up to two 2.5-inch and two 3.5-inch storage devices simultaneously.|
|This product is affordably priced at only $51.99.|
How to Pick the Best Small ATX Cases for Compact PCs: Step by Step
The smallest ATX cases for compact PCs all have the same potential issues and approach them with similar solutions. Your PC build plans and intended uses dictate what you need in a small ATX case. Most compact PC builders have limited space or need a portable PC option for gaming or travel.
When choosing the best smallest ATX cases for compact PC build projects, there are four main considerations for most buyers.
- Cooling Capabilities
- Component Compatibility
- Cable Management
- Material Durability and Aesthetics
Let’s review each of these criteria in more detail.
Compact custom PCs require various methods of cooling to keep the components from overheating. Gamers and other high-end users will load a PC over prolonged periods so superior airflow and how much cooling capability is supported is vital. Most small ATX cases support multiple cooling fans and include at least one out-of-the-box. Some products even allow for liquid-cooled setups.
ATX case construction is a notable factor in PC cooling. Smaller cases that hold components closer together need more than fans to generate sufficient airflow. Mesh panels or other vents help air to flow through the unit and remove heat. Tight mesh can compromise this effect and cause your ATX unit to run hotter and work harder. Choose a unit with multiple cooling options and large-pore mesh for the best cooling performance.
Can everything you want to include in your PC build fit into the ATX case you want? Some new GPUs are bulky and may not fit or work with ATX motherboards or fit into the available space. Memory, power supply, and cooling options also need to fit comfortably, with adequate space for airflow in between.
For example, our best overall choice, the Corsair iCUE 2000D RGB Airflow Mini-ITX PC Case, allows a GPU length of 334mm, a CPU cooler height of 180mm, and a PSU length of 180mm. The Lian Li O11-Dynamic-Mini allows a somewhat larger GPU length of 395mm but a smaller CPU cooler height of 172mm. The typical standard GPU is 9.6 inches or 243.8 millimeters long. Length may fit but bulkier cards may not.
Smaller-size compact ATX cases have less room to route and hide cables. The most compact PC must have sufficient space to organize your components and cables. Bunched cables crammed against case walls or other components cause overheating because airflow is restricted.
Some small ATX cases provide cable routing helps to help builders with this concern. For example, the NZXT H510i Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Case features patented cable-routing channels built into the case, keeping wires and cables neatly bunched and out of the way. This facilitates better cooling and also makes a neater appearance when viewing your PC through a clear side panel.
Material Durability and Aesthetics
Small ATX cases must be sturdy enough to hold your components and withstand heat, but you also want a nice-looking PC. Steel and tempered glass are the best materials for longevity and appearance. Some products have acrylic clear side panels, which are cheaper and not as durable as tempered glass.
High-grade steel material is preferred because most compact PC case panels are mesh to facilitate airflow. Multiple holes in the panel mean less strength. A weaker or cheaper metal case material can bow or not withstand bumps or impacts, allowing damage to your computer. Choose an attractive ATX case with high-grade steel and tempered glass construction.
What to Know Before Buying the Smallest ATX Cases for Compact PCs
The smallest ATX cases for compact PCs are generally compatible with all four basic compact form factors: E-ATX (up to 280mm), ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX. The differences are sizes that accommodate more ports and slots for components. Most ATX motherboards support three or four PCI slots, four RAM slots, and up to 16 ports. E-ATX is larger and can handle more, while Mini-ITX is smaller, accommodating less.
All this matters when determining the size ATX case you need for your planned PC build. The motherboard, power supply, GPU, CPU, memory, cooling options, and other components must work and fit in the available space. Plus, the interior framework must accommodate all your components. A small ATX case with a corresponding motherboard that can handle your build is useless if everything doesn’t fit into the case.
Using the Smallest ATX Cases for Compact PCs: What It’s Like
Newer smaller ATX cases are the ultimate convenience for the space-saving or mobile PC builder and user. Their smaller footprint and lighter weight are much easier to fit into small spaces or carry along for the regular weeknight LAN party. Using is a breeze — building is another matter.
Planning a compact PC build includes careful attention to the size and features of any ATX case you consider. After balancing your needs for high-end functionality and compact portability, using your compact PC will convince you to never buy or build a full-size PC again.
|Rank||ATX Case||Key Features|
|#1||Corsair iCUE 2000D RGB Airflow Mini-ITX PC Case||Supports E-ATX, ATX, mATX, and Mini-ITX configurations, accommodates up to six 120mm cooling fans, quiet operation, removable front, side, and top mesh panels, easy cable management|
|#2||Cooler Master Q500L||Superior airflow, includes two detachable dust filters, flexible component positioning brackets, supports full-sized GPUs and RAM expansion cards, affordably priced|
|#3||NZXT H510i Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Case||Compact size, supports custom loop liquid cooling, patented cable routing, vertical GPU mounting, tempered glass side window|
|#4||Lian Li 011-Dynamic-Mini||Extremely compact and lightweight, supports up to nine 120mm fans, allows seven PCI expansions, four I/O ports, affordably priced|
|#5||Thermaltake Versa H17 ATX Mini-Tower||Brushed aluminum-style front panel, accommodates five cooling fans and is AIO liquid cooling compatible, pre-mounted PSU cover, hidden drive bays, affordably priced|
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