Some of you are tech savvy and would like to build your own computers. Selecting your own GPUs, cooling systems and RAMs can be fun. However, you also need an adept ATX case or chassis to make your device more efficient.
An ATX case is a protective case for your hardware to comfortably fit in all the components of your computer in a safe enclosure. There are three main types of ATX cases; the mini ITX, micro ATX and the ATX case.
Micro ATX is the middle child in the form factor family lying between the ITX and the ATX. Therefore, it combines both efficiency and versatility. Micro-ATX builds are widely popular among gamers due to their efficiency, versatility, and affordable price point. Besides, the best Micro-ATX cases provide the perfect chassis for both casual and hardcore gaming.
Since, your computer needs the best of components to make it a great machine you have to explore different types of cases before you zero in on one particular product. If you are after a smaller rig which can support multiple GPUs, more memory, and plenty of I/O, then micro ATX is a great option. Not only does this save money, but it can also help you build a powerful computer.
Our Top 3 Picks
10 Best Micro ATX Cases
|Corsair Crystal Series 280X||15.65 lbs (7.1kg)||Mid-Tower ATX||Click Here for Price|
|Fractal Design Define 7||35 lbs (15.9 kg)||Mid-Tower ATX||Click Here for Price|
|Maingear Vybe RGB||22.6 lbs (10.25 kg)||Mid-Tower ATX||Click Here for Price|
|NZXT H400i||16 lbs (7.6 kg)||Mini Tower||Click Here for Price|
|Cooler Master Silencio S400||15.5 lbs (7.03 kg)||Mid-Tower ATX||Click Here for Price|
|Fractal Design Node 804||13.2 lbs (5.99 Kg)||Mid-Tower Cube||Click Here for Price|
|CORSAIR Carbide AIR 240||13 lbs (5.6 kg)||Mid-Tower ATX||Click Here for Price|
|Cooler Master Cosmos C700M||51.6 lbs (23.4kg)||Full tower||Click Here for Price|
|NZXT H1||14.39 lbs (6.53 kg)||SFF ITX tower||Click Here for Price|
|Thermaltake Versa H17||9.92 lbs (4.5 kg)||Mid-Tower ATX||Click Here for Price|
The Corsair Crystal Series 280X RGB is a great case that can easily accommodate different kinds of builds. The 280X has extra room to support full-size components except for the motherboard, which must either be micro ATX or mini ITX.
The Corsair Crystal Series 280X RGB is painted black inside and out. Built of steel and plastic with tempered glass panels, it weighs 15.65 pounds. The tempered glass panels give it a classy look. Moreover, the panels are designed in such a way that there is around 20mm of clearance between it and the front intake fans. It also gives you space to include exhaust fans for improved airflow you might be installing in the roof.
The 280X accompanies two 120mm RGB fans, one mounted in the front, and one in the roof, connected to an RGB controller unit in the back of the case. You can fix an additional 120mm fan on the rear side panel to add to the cooling.
What We Like About Corsair Crystal Series 280X
You can install additional fans for extra cooling support.
What We Don’t Like About Corsair Crystal Series 280X
The machine is quite expensive.
|Three tempered glass panels|
Great filtration system
The Fractal Design 7 features a spacious and widely adaptable dual-layout interior. It can easily house large motherboards up to and including E-ATX.
As mentioned above, the Fractal Design Define 7 works with two different internal layouts, open and storage. The open layout is similar to many current mid-tower ATX cases on the market today. Open layout can support radiators up to 360 mm in front, 420 mm on the top, or 280 mm in the base.
Storage mode makes space for up to 14 hard drives to be installed in the chassis by moving a portion of the hard drive tray to the opposite side of the chassis. You can also install the additional hard drive trays included in the accessory box.
What We Like About Fractal Design Define 7
The new chassis design is designed to fully expose the interior of the case on three sides for easy installation and cable routing.
What We Don’t Like About Fractal Design Define 7
Balancing silence and performance is tough.
|Tempered glass side panel|
|No RGB lighting|
Maingear is a custom PC builder that makes showcase level systems. It is a giant in the boutique space and enjoys a wide fan base. The Vybe is a standard front panel chassis with a flexible and functional design for both air and liquid cooling based builds.
Equipped with excellent thermal performance, quiet operation and built in RGB lighting, the Maingear Vybe RGB is a reasonable machine to buy. This is a great case for 1080p and 1440p gaming.
A noteworthy feature of this unit is that entire top panel is also a removable dust filter, held on by magnets. Directly beneath the magnetic dust filter lies mounts for up to three 120 or 140mm fans for cooling your system.
What We Like About Maingear Vybe RGB
There is a wide choice of configuration options.
What We Don’t Like About Maingear Vybe RGB
Since these systems are assembled and ready to ship, it doesn’t leave you many choices in component selection.
|Three included fans|
Great cooling performance
|Fan gets loud under load|
Coupled with strong performance, excellent design and superior build, the NZXT H400i is one of the best gaming cases in the market. Featuring a tempered glass and steel design and accompanying color combinations of matte black, black/red, black/blue, and black/white, it is a classy looking unit.
The most important advantage of the chassis is its cooling potential. It is equipped with two 140mm fans in the front, two in the roof, and one 120mm fan in the rear for standard airflow making it a great air-cooled system. The cooling is further improved by the presence of a 280mm radiator in the front and a 120mm in the back.
Another noteworthy fact is that the space behind the rear panel of the chassis is also home to a NZXT’s custom built Smart Device. This can power up to four RGB LED strips or five RGB Aer fans. It can also provide fan speed control for three different channels of fans with 10W of power output per channel.
The unit has commendable cable management system. The PSU shroud can hide the majority of your cables. It can also comfortably fit in a few more HDDs. There is space for ventilation built into the unit and a few cable routing holes for better cable management.
What We Like About NZXT H400i
The model possesses top quality Case Edition AER fans providing the case with improved airflow.
What We Don’t Like About NZXT H400i
When the system is at full speed, the machine can get noisy.
|Strong thermal performance|
Adept cable management system
|Slightly noisy at full fan speed|
No front-panel USB-C ports
Cooler Master Silencio S400 as the name suggests is known for its whisper quiet operation. The case accompanies a sound damping material on all panels making its operation quiet. Sound dampening material reduces noise from pre-installed fans, the power supply, the steel front door, all-steel panels and all storage mounting points for 2.5” and 3.5” drives.
Available only in black, the Cooler Master Silencio S400 is made of steel and plastic and weighs 15.5lbs (7kg). The front of the Silencio S400 sports a large, reversible-swing steel covered door. The inside of the door is lined with a thick layer of sound-damping material. Behind the door is a single 5.25-inch drive bay to fit an optical drive.
This unit’s fan filtration system is capable of preventing most dirt and dust particles from entering your system. There is a metal mesh filter that is included on the top of the case which is attached by magnets to the edge of the filter.
What We Like About Cooler Master Silencio S400
The unit has mounts for up to five 120mm fans. It can house two fans in the front, two fans in the top panel, and a single one in the rear. Alternatively, the Silencio S400 can be fitted with a maximum of four 140mm fans – two in the front and two beneath the top panel, and a 120mm in the rear.
What We Don’t Like About Cooler Master Silencio S400
Even though the machine is ultra-quiet, it features higher than average system temperatures while in operation.
|Panels lined with sound dampening material|
Solid build quality
|Lacks of a USB Type-C port|
Front radiator support may require hard drive rack removal
Fractal Design Node 804 is an attractive case built to comfortably fit all components. If you want to build a small powerful machine, with a lot of storage space, this is the unit to consider. You can conveniently place water cooling components, tall heat sinks and hard drives. The flexibility of this case presents the users the possibility to easily build their custom PC.
The model features a nicely brushed aluminium design with a big vented area across the bottom for increased airflow. The Fractal Design Node 804 is a dual chambered case; therefore, you can put together a neat and organized optimal system build.
The main chamber has plenty of room and options to make sure users have enough space to fit in the components they prefer. You have room for up to 5x fans in the main chamber alone. There is a cutout space to help make switching and installation of CPU coolers a bit easier. Also, there is plenty of space to pass cables from the front chamber to the rear and vice versa.
What We Like About Fractal Design Node 804
It has a spacious interior and removable dust filters on nearly every fan mount.
What We Don’t Like About Fractal Design Node 804
The case doesn’t have enough clearance for server grade SAS drives.
|Supports multiple radiators|
Room for up to 10 storage devices
|Not enough clearance for server grade SAS drives|
After their stint with quality RAM modules, Corsair expanded into many other areas of the PC market. Looking at ATX cases alone they have five series in their product lineup that offers you a variety of choices. Ranging from super-large cases for serious custom PC builders to reasonable products for users on a budget, this micro ATX case is well worth your money.
The Corsair Carbide AIR 240 is a cube shaped device designed to give you enough space for fitting in PC components of your choice to get the desired build. The chassis has several vents for letting cooling air into the body of the case. It has a windowed side panel in case you wish to show off your building skills.
The case can hold both Mini-ITX and slightly larger MicroATX motherboards, so you have a lot of flexibility with your build plan. Three case fans are included, and internal channels help you route liquid cooling tubes and internal cables.
What We Like About It Corsair Carbide AIR 240
There are multiple options to fit your cooling fans. The top of the chassis offers room for a pair of 120mm fans. The front offers room for a pair of 120mm fans. Both locations are supplied with one fan each. The floor of the chassis can also house a pair of 120mm fans.
What We Don’t Like About It Corsair Carbide AIR 240
This chassis does not have any kind of optical bay drive slot.
|Room for dual GPUs and liquid cooling|
|Not enough room to fit in two cooling radiators and two graphics cards simultaneously|
Accompanying great thermal performance, integrated ARGB lighting, multi-layout design and a stack of features, the Cooler Master Cosmos C700M is a great machine. Standing at 25.6 inches tall and weighing 50 pounds without any components, it is a relatively large unit.
The Cosmos C700M is equipped with the ability to reconfigure the internal components from a standard layout to a chimney effect that rotates your components 90 degrees. This vents heat out the top of the chassis instead of the back. Ventilation slots can be seen running from top to bottom along both sides of the front panel.
Coming to cooling, the main compartment can easily house one or more custom cooling loops, multiple reservoirs and pumps. The unit supports up to nine 120/140mm fans in total. Fan speeds can be set to low (600rpm), medium (900rpm) and high (1,200rpm) using the fan speed switch located on the front of the case.
What We Like About It Cooler Master Cosmos C700M
All cables can be neatly tucked into the back of the motherboard tray without wires bulging out from the side panel. There is enough room left inside the PSU shroud even after all the cables are fitted in.
What We Don’t Like About It Cooler Master Cosmos C700M
Reconfiguring the motherboard layout may be tough for novice builders.
|Quiet under full load|
Multiple GPU configurations
Excellent liquid cooling support and cable management
Featuring a simple design, this unit is capable for building a powerful PC which can make an excellent gaming computer or an efficient workstation. NZXT’s H1 is ultra-compact and features AIO liquid cooling, making it popular among system builders looking to create a powerful PC.
The H1 is designed to be a builder’s chassis with an integrated and pre-routed PSU and cabling solution. The machine allows builders to make a small form factor rig that builds quickly and also cut down on production time.
The machine provides an efficient cooling solution as well. The cooler is shaped to fit snugly inside the unit and the radiator hinged. You can flip this up for easy access to the motherboard and CPU bracket. For most small form factor gaming build, the temperature is a problem. However, the H1 is able to shift a lot of heat from its compact core.
What We Like About NZXT H1
The pre-routed cables for power and I/O contribute to better convenience while installing the components.
What We Don’t Like About NZXT H1
The only cooling fan on the H1 is a 140mm AER unit.
|Easy installation of hardware|
Dual-chamber layout airflow for GPU, CPU, and PSU
|No support for additional fans|
Thermaltake Versa H17 is budget-friendly case for people looking for decent custom build PC. It is a micro ATX case, with a decent room inside for all your components.
The Thermaltake Versa H17 is a machine that has a thin line of mesh on four sides for increased airflow. You can fix three 120-mm fans or a pair of 140-mm fans in the front of the case. An additional spinner of either size can be affixed on the top. There is also space in the back for a 120-mm fan. One of these fans is included with the case.
The H17 has no liquid-cooling features like reservoir mounts. However, you can still equip AIOs with radiators up to 280 mm in length in the front and 120 mm in the rear.
What We Like About Thermaltake Versa H17
There is a cable routing gap to hide cables behind motherboard tray. This ensures smoothness for building the system and contributes to better airflow.
What We Don’t Like About Thermaltake Versa H17
The fans on the inside of the unit have no filters.
|Easy cable management|
AIO liquid cooling compatible
|No PSU dust filter|
Find out what parts you want
Before building a cool new computer all by yourself, you will want to know what motherboard, graphics card, and cooler you will be using. Also you will have to figure out how many drives you will want to install. This will tell you about the size and shape of the cases you should consider buying.
Full-towers, mid-towers and mini-towers are those form factors which usually support micro ATX boards. Unless you are building a powerful workstation, a mini tower will probably be the best PC case option for you instead of a full tower.
A cooler is an important part of your custom PC build. Therefore, always select a compatible cooler for your ATX case, because airflow is an important factor while choosing a micro ATX case. The better the airflow, the better is the thermal performance of your computer.
These are special slots inside a PC case for installation of fans for additional ventilation. Their sizes can vary from 80mm up to 200mm. Check the number of fans that you are going to need to build your computer. Then select an apt case that gives you enough space to fit in the fans without cramming the case.
Removable air filters
Look for removable air filters when you consider buying a chassis. Even though they are not present on every chassis, this promotes removal and reduction of excess dust inside the machine.
GPU clearance refers to the space required by a graphics processing unit to comfortably fit in the given space of a case. It means that there must be enough room inside your micro ATX case to house a chosen GPU. Do note that if a GPU clearance has 12 inches and more, then it will be able to support almost any video card.
Choose a case with cut-outs in the motherboard tray. This will let you route all the cables in the back of the case. This allows better cable management and convenient building of your computer.
Are micro ATX cases good for gaming?
Micro-ATX builds are extremely popular among gamers due to their efficiency, versatility, and affordable price point. Moreover, the best Micro-ATX cases provide the perfect chassis for both casual and hardcore gaming, with loads of great options to choose from.
Can a micro ATX fit in a ATX case?
Micro ATX motherboards can be used in full-size ATX cases. Micro ATX was designed to be backward compatible with ATX. The mounting points of micro ATX motherboards are identical to full-size ATX boards.
What is the difference between Micro-ATX and an ATX Case?
Micro-ATX is smaller than the regular ATX as the name suggests. ATX measures 305 mm x 244 mm, while the micro-ATX is more square-shaped, measuring 61mm x 244 mm.
Micro-ATX has lesser expansion ports compared to the full-sized ATX motherboard. Micro-ATX boards have three expansion ports, with four being the maximum, while ATX motherboards have five expansion slots.
Micro-ATX form factor has fewer drive bays than the full-sized ATX board. If you want more space to house any future expansions, a micro-ATX board is not a suitable option.
What is the difference between Micro-ATX and a mini ITX Case?
The first noticeable difference is the size of the two. The mini ITX is smaller that micro ATX. Micro ATX measures 244 x 244 MM and on the other hand, the mini ITX measures 170 x 170 MM.
The micro ATX supports up to 4 memory slots while the mini ITX version supports two slots. In case you want to expand your RAM mini ATX wouldn’t be a great option to choose.
The difference is more noticeable between micro ATX versus mini ITX when it comes to PCIe slots. The Micro ATX motherboards have four PCIe slots while the Mini ITX motherboard has 1 PCIe slot. Primarily, the slots are employed for integrating graphics card into your system.
Even though building your own computer rig can be expensive, you know it will have the components and the functionalities your computer needs to have. You can customize it to be a gaming computer or a workstation.
Micro ATX cases add to the functionality of a computer system. It helps in improved airflow as well as gives clearance to fit in all the desired components into your machine. You have to stick to a budget to buy a case and note down all the features you would be wanting out of the unit.
Follow your requirements and budget for choosing an advanced micro ATX case for your optimal system build.
Last update on 2020-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API