In this article, we’ll be looking at the 3 best available smallest Mini ITX Cases currently available. These are great for HTPC systems as well as small gaming machines without breaking the bank.
We’ve previously discussed the best mini ITX cases, but some feedback on social media was that whilst these are excellent cases, they aren’t the smallest. To rectify this, we have compiled a list of the smallest Mini ITX cases that are available. Bear in mind that when using any of the cases on this list that you will need to use a mini ITX motherboard.
An absolute minute mini ITX case is brought to you from the good people at Silverstone. The ML08 is pretty tiny. B0161UXWRA
Curiously, the case actually supports an optical drive in the form of a slim slot loading drive, similar to the way you would load a disc into a laptop. Since many would use this as a way to have an HTPC in their living room, it’s good to see that users can play their movies on this without the need of an external drive.
As with all cases these days, the ML08 supports a dual slot graphics card. Despite its small size, it is actually able to accommodate longer graphics cards up to 13” in length.
Additionally, it can support a PSU inside the case. Whilst it won’t accept a normal sized power supply that you would find in a larger system, it does support SFX power supplies. This is a cleaner option than using a full sized PSU outside of the case and then routing the cables through it.
As you would expect, due to it being extremely small, it is necessary to use a low profile CPU cooler. However, even the coolers on that page might still be too tall! Having said that Noctua have a cooler which is just 37mm tall when the fan is installed. The one listed below is for the AM4 platform, but there is also the option to select the Intel option on the Amazon store page.
- Noctua nh-l9 a-am4. suitable for: CPU
- Main carton Length: 25 cm
- The main carton Height: 46 cm
Of course, Silverstone have also made their own extremely low profile CPU cooler. This comes in at a maximum height of 48mm, which is 10mm shorter than the maximum height supported by this case.
- Supports Intel LGA1156/1155/1150/1151 processors
- Designed for low profile systems at only 45mm tall
- Custom quiet 92mm fan for excellent cooling and low noise
Whilst case fans are not supported by the system itself, the fact that there is more than adequate vents on the case, it means that the PC will never become too hot.
Storage isn’t an issue, either. The case supports two, 2.5” drives, be it these laptop bases HDD’s or SSDs.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any I/O connectors on the case itself. Instead, you’ll need to make do with the connectors that are included on the motherboard. This is an extremely small trade off though when you consider just how many features you get with the PC. Similarly, there is not a side panel window on the ML08. Given that cable management won’t look as pretty as it would in a larger unit, the lack of a case isn’t an issue. This is really the smallest mini ITX case you can buy that has a built in handle. If you don’t like the handle that is on it, it can be easily removed. It does make moving the PC around (ideal for LAN parties), extremely easy, though. The case can also be laid down flat, or can stand upright, like the Sony PlayStation 2 could.
- Highest performance capability in super slim form factor
- Optional models includes removable carrying handle (ML08B-H, ML08B-HW)
- Support graphics card up to 13 inches
Cooler Master Elite 130
Another tiny case comes from Cooler Master. The Elite 110 is more cube like compared to the Silverstone ML08.
When it comes to housing a graphics card, it will support cards up to 13.5” in length, so it is a bit bigger than the ML08. This isn’t the only upgrade, though. The amount of storage drive space is increased. Depending on the configuration that you choose, you can have up to 1 HDD and 3 SSDs in the case, so you’ll never be short for storage. This storage however will be decreased should you choose to use a full sized optical drive in then then a 3.5” drive cannot be mounted, but two 2.5” can be installed.
However, since there are two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 port on the front of the case, it is possible to buy an external HDD to compensate should you install a DVD or Blu Ray drive.
Moreover, the 110 supports full sized power supplies which are generally cheaper than their SFX counterparts. This means that a bit extra money can be spent on a more efficient PSU. It is recommended though that a modular power supply is used to maximise on cable management.
Additionally, there are two options when it comes to cooling the CPU in this case. The first is to use an air cooler. Whilst it still needs to be a low profile cooler, the height restriction isn’t as tight as it is with the ML08. The maximum height supported by the 130 is 65mm. However, a way to get around this is to use an All in one water cooler instead. There is a 120mm radiator mount at the front of the case, should you wish to liquid cool your CPU.
However, if you don’t want to do this, you can use the included 120mm fan to help keep the inside of the system cool. Additionally, there is an 80mm side fan also included with this case. This is great value for money, especially when you factor in that this case is cheaper than a new video game.
- USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 1, Audio In & Out, Front I/O
- Supports up to 2 fans, (1 x 120mm and 1 x 80mm pre-installed)
Bit Fenix Prodigy
Our last pick comes from Bit Fenix. They are well known for producing elegant looking PC cases at great prices and the Prodigy is no exception. It actually resembles the old Power Mac design (which certainly isn’t a bad thing).
In terms of graphics card support, the maximum length that will fit is 12.5”. However, this is more than adequate to support an Nvidia GTX 1070 (although this will be dependent on the manufacturer). One 1070 that will fit is from Asus, which can be seen below.
Despite this being a Mini ITX case, it can support a normal sized CPU cooler. This is quite the contrast to the others mentioned above. It will support a CPU cooler up to 168mm in height.
As an added bonus, there are two fans included, and already installed. These are 120mm and 80mm respectively. If this is to be used as an HTPC, you may want to consider swapping these out for be!Quiet fans.
Moreover, a handle is built into the structure of the case to ensure that it can be easily moved from location to location. It also comes in a variety of colours, meaning that you will be able to pick one that suits your needs.
In terms of storage capacity, it can take up to 9 SSDs or 5 HDDs, depending on how the system is configured. This pretty insane when it comes to storage capacity and something which isn’t seen often. Likewise, a DVD or Blu Ray player can also be mounted inside the case so that it can be used as an HTPC, or playing older games that are on disc.
- 1771 MHz Boost Clock in OC mode for outstanding performance and gaming experience.
- Patented Wing-Blade Fans for max air flow with 105% more air pressure.
- Perfectly matched with ASUS X99-A II Overview motherboards for optimised style and performance.
- Virtually inaudible operation at max. 16.4dB(A)
- Seven fan blades with optimized surface structures ensure excellent airflow
- Advanced fluid-dynamic bearing (FDB) enables a super long fan life of up to 300,000 hours
- Form Factor:Tower
- Specification Compliance:ATX / PS/2
Last update on 2019-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. This site is part of the Amazon Associates program and may receive a commission from any purchases you make from Amazon upon clicking a link.