If you are an avid computer enthusiast, you know that it’s all about the motherboard. Mothers–they run it all, don’t they? While building a computer is a great hobby, it can also be a pricey one. However, the micro ATX case might be the answer. Buy a motherboard case that is smaller than the standard ATX cases and more affordable. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best micro ATX cases on the market so you can decide which is best for your computer. Pull up a chair and stay awhile. There’s plenty to say.
|Thermaltake Versa H15||Alloy Steel Material|
|Thermaltake Level 20 VT||Tempered Glass|
Easy access to the components
|NZXT H400i|| Optimizes Cooling|
Noise balance for the best gaming comfort
|Fractal Design Node 804||MicroATX Cube Case|
Aluminum, Alloy Steel Material
|BitFenix Prodigy M||USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio|
PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)
What are Micro ATX Cases?
If you are wondering, ATX stands for Advanced Technology Extended. A micro ATX case is a smaller version of the standard ATX case, which works as a motherboard for a computer. A micro ATX differs from a standard ATX case in the size, airflow, and PCIe (peripheral component interconnect express) slots.
A micro ATX motherboard is square and measures 244 mm by 244 mm, while a standard ATX is rectangular in shape and measures 305 mm by 244 mm.
While a micro ATX case is significantly smaller and lighter, it still has enough room between components to promote enough airflow to prevent overheating.
The popular mini ITX option is even smaller than the micro but comes with a hefty price tag and has some issues with restricted airflow.
Since the micro ATX is not only an affordable option but a tech-friendly one, let’s take a look at some of the best micro ATX cases and what they have to offer.
1. Thermaltake Versa H15 – Best Budget-friendly
The Thermaltake Versa H15 is a budget-friendly option when it comes to micro ATX cases. Oh, and did we mention it looks rather sleek with its modern, black exterior and mesh front?
Designed for gamers, this micro ATX case looks great and works well. There are ventilation holes at the bottom and rear of the case to increase airflow throughout the internal components. With rubber pads on the bottom to further increase airflow, this micro ATX case gets proper ventilation for your computer components.
Speaking of computer components, there is enough room inside for a DVD drive or similar. It comes with a rear fan pre-installed and has tool-free installation.
- Designed for gamers
- Mesh structure on the front panel provide superior airflow
- Cable management within the case could be better
2. Thermaltake Level 20 VT – Best High-End
Now, this higher-end micro ATX case looks sleek if we do say so ourselves. The front of it has LEDs that light up. What more could you ask for? Adding to its cool factor, this micro ATX case comes with a 4 mm thick tempered glass side panel on either side.
It is literally “cool” because there is enough room inside to include a liquid cooling system. It comes with a 200 mm rear fan pre-installed and can house up to five more 140 mm fans at the front, rear, and top of the case.
If overclocking (running your computer faster than it is intended to run), then a liquid cooling system is necessary. The Thermaltake Level 20 VT makes it easy to do. Plus, you can hide all of your cables in a specially designated spot because seeing all of those cables decreases the wow factor. It’s like they thought of everything.
- This micro ATX case is made with heavy-duty materials
- Multicolored LED lights on the front panel
- Higher price tag so less affordable
3. NZXT H400i – Best Overall
It’s like all of these micro ATX cases are in high school as they are all “best” something or other. Maybe it’s not exactly like that, but you get the point. The NZXT H400i receives the best micro ATX overall award, and here’s why. It has a modern design with a tempered glass side panel and RGB (red, blue, and green) lighting.
It looks sleek like the Thermaltake 20 VT. It comes with three integrated fans, so less for you to buy a la carte. The Cam Powered Smart Device system allows for easy installation and management of the RGB lighting and integrated fans.
While it is larger than most micro cases, it can support GPU (graphic processing unit) cards up to 16.2 inches in length. One of the best features is Adaptive Noise Reduction that reduces noise but also helps with cooling. Add all of that to superior steel construction and plenty of motherboard compatibility, and we get why this is the best micro case overall.
- Built-in noise reduction technology
- It comes with a CAM Powered Smart Device system
- A little larger than competitors, which leaves less room for desk space
4. Fractal Design Node 804 – Best Cube-Style
Described as “sleek-looking” in several reviews, this cube-style micro ATX case is large enough to fit seven fans in addition to the three pre-installed fans. The pre-installed fans are silent series fans, reducing the computer noise for a better gaming experience.
Combine that with the ability to run four radiators simultaneously with a water cooling system, and you know that this computer won’t overheat. There is still room for more after all of those fans. This micro ATX case fits HDD (hard disk drive) and SDD (solid state drive) drives.
More room on the front panel allows for an additional ODD (optical bay drive) to be installed. This thing has room everywhere, and we love it.
- Stylish cube shape with a matte black exterior for a sleek look
- It comes with multiple fans pre-installed
- There is limited capacity for PCIe hardware
5. BitFenix Prodigy M – Best Motherboard Support
If there is a modern micro ATX motherboard, there is a good chance that the BitFenix Prodigy M is compatible with it. It is like the micro mother. There are various connectivity options on the exterior to include four HDMI ports, audio input ports, and a network connector.
There are five panels on this micro ATX case that allow for expanding the motherboard with PCIe extensions. Did we mention that it comes in several different fun colors? Everything from Fire Red, Atomic Orange, Cobalt Blue, and Vivid Green and some generic colors are offered.
Compatible with micro ATX and mini ITX motherboards, it also fits four HDDs or five SDDs for optimal storage. The BitFenix fits up to five fans for cooling purposes, so you never have to worry about overheating. Are you trying to decide which color to get? There’s no wrong pick.
- Panels are heavyweight and bring more durability to the case
- Universal micro ATX compatibility
- While the heavyweight material is durable, it makes it harder to move the case around
6.Thermaltake Core X2 – Best Capacity
If you want expansion opportunities to the max, this is the micro ATX case for you. The design lends itself to be stacked so you can expand this case to your heart’s content. Stack away. Install an advanced cooling system in this case and still have room for more.
Install up to six storage devices and a VGA (video graphics array) connector up to 480 mm long. Even after all of that, you still have room for all of your cables. The side panel is transparent, so watch your computer work.
Also, this micro ATX case comes with two fans already pre-installed. With all of that, it’s no wonder that this is the best micro ATX case for capacity.
- Compatible with a dual system set-up
- This case can be used with a stackable cooling system
- It only comes in black
Are ATX motherboards compatible with Micro ATX Cases?
While you can put a micro ATX motherboard into an ATX case, it doesn’t work the other way around. ATX motherboards can’t work in a micro ATX case. It’s crucial to realize that while a micro ATX motherboard can work in an ATX case, the compatibility is still different. There are restrictions on a micro motherboard regarding overclocking abilities and the number of PCIe slots available. While it can still work, it’s essential to keep these things in mind.
Best Micro ATX Cases Done!
We gave you the “best of” list, and now it’s time to build that fantastic computer. Save yourself some money and go for a micro ATX case rather than a standard ATX case. It’s a great way to get started in the computer building process without breaking the bank. Decide which feature is most important and go enjoy your gaming experience on a whole new level.