Everyone wants a PC stuffed with top-notch high-end hardware to maximize their performance. However, not all PC enthusiasts have the desk space or floor space to hoard a huge gaming rig. This is why PC component manufacturing companies are putting effort into bringing out cases that are compact yet can hold all the powerful components to bring the best out of your gaming rig.
Small compact PC cases are gaining popularity amongst PC enthusiasts as they have lots of advantages over the normal PC cases twice their size. Moreover, PC component manufacturers are also putting in more effort to provide compact hardware that will allow the users to extract the best performance out of their small PC setup.
If you’re an enthusiast looking for the best smallest ATX case available, then this is the place for you. Here in this text, we will review some of the best compact ATX cases you can lay your hands on. So, without further to do, let’s get started.
- Top Smallest ATX Cases
- Features To Consider – Buyer’s Guide
- Drawbacks Of Tiny PC’s
- Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
- Wrapping It up
Top Smallest ATX Cases
The following text contains an in-depth review of some of the top ATX cases in the market.
1. Corsair Carbide Air 540
|Hard Disk Form Factor||2.5 Inches|
The Corsair CC-9011030-WW Carbide Air 540 might as well be the overall best ATX case we have for you on this list. This case, even though small, has loads of space inside, which you can load with the best hardware. Moreover, the dual chamber design allows excellent airflow compared to other cases of similar sizes. This case comes loaded with three 140 mm case fans which operate very quietly and keep your components from reaching high temperatures. The central aspect of the design focuses on great airflow.
If you have worked in a dusty environment, you probably know how the dust affects the performance of your setup. Luckily, the Corsair Carbide Air 540 has a dust filter incorporated that filters out all the dust, keeping your hardware clean and running perfectly. The dust filters have magnetic sticks allowing simple attachment and can also be cleaned with ease.
The wire management of the Corsair Carbide Air 540 is splendid. This helps keep your PC build neat and improves the aesthetics. All the wires are aligned in their own way, which makes cable management super easy. Other than that, the main chamber houses the GPU, CPU, memory, and the motherboard. On the other hand, the drives and the PSU lay in the back chamber.
A significant flaw in the Corsair Carbide Air 540 is that the 3.5” and 5.25” mounting bays are a little larger than what the advertising says. This causes problems as your CD drives or hard drives won’t be secured ideally and will clatter when the case is moved.
A superior aspect of the design is the acrylic transparent side panels. With these, you will be able to show off your RGB illuminations that come with different components and all other high-end stuff. Overall, this might be the best smallest ATX case available.
- Excellent airflow thanks to the Dual chamber construction
- Superb cable management
- Liquid cooling chassis
- Quiet fans
- Cube design might not seem attractive
- Loosely mounted mounting bays
2. Rosewill Challenger S
|Hard Disk Form Factor||2.5 Inches, 3.5 Inches|
The Rosewill Challenger S is a great compact ATX case with a decent design and great build quality. Although the design is quite basic, it still offers a huge bargain when considering the features and the price tag. This case is pretty deep and can easily hold all the high-end components. This case is the best budget-friendly option on our list and will serve you great.
The dual blue LED intake fans are great, giving your gaming rig an aesthetic touch. A problem with most high-end rigs is you’ll face heating problems. The Rosewill Challenger S has a cuboidal shape, and even though the depth of the case is quite appropriate, the case is relatively narrow, which causes hindrance in airflow. That is why it is recommended to install liquid cooling to keep the main components of your PC from overheating.
The form factors compatible with this case are ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX. The Rosewill Challenger S only comes with a single high-speed USB port located on the front. So, if you plan on gaining better connections, you’ll have to rely on the motherboard to provide you that.
The cable management, in this case, is poor, and you’ll have to do all the work. But if that isn’t a problem for you, this case will prove to be a perfect choice.
- Best budget-friendly option
- Tool-free mounting bays
- User friendly
- Inadequate airflow
- Only one high-speed USB port
- Build quality is not the best
3. Cooler Master HAF XB EVO
|Hard Disk Form Factor||3.5 Inches|
The Cooler Master is a well-known brand and is famous for its high-end cooling accessories. If you have been hunting for a horizontal cubic case, more like a LAN-box-style design, then the Cooler Master HAF XB EVO is the perfect choice for you. This case has everything it takes and is the best all-rounder present on our list. This case is compatible with and supports ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards.
The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO is made of top-quality material and has a sturdy build quality. This portable case is pretty lightweight. This case is very user-friendly, and you can easily add or remove specific parts in your build as the inside of the PC is very accessible.
The cooling qualities of a gaming rig are essential to consider as most PC enthusiasts usually face overheating of the motherboard. But that will not be a problem with the Cooler Master HAF XB EVO, as this ATX case comes with cooling support at the front, rear, and top sections. Moreover, the case also houses liquid cooling support located on the rear and front sections. Other than that, the powerful cooling fans will keep your PC super cool.
The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO can easily house any full-sized motherboard in the market. Moreover, you can also add up to four Hard Disk Drives or Solid-state Drives, and it comes with more space to add some mods. However, it gets complicated when upgrading your components as everything inside the case is well packed in the small compact case. This case is portable thanks to the carrying handles, and it can also be mounted on a wall.
If you are okay with the high price tag, this ATX case is the overall best you can get your hands on.
- Unique horizontal layout
- Great airflow and cooling
- Highly portable
- A little bulky
- Requires regular maintenance
4. Fractal Design Meshify C
|Material||Tempered Glass, Alloy Steel|
|Cooling Method||Water, Air|
|Case Type||Mid Tower|
The Fractal Design Meshify C is a solid ATX case that definitely ensures high and performance. It is well known for its streamlined airflow design and supports ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX boards. The Meshify C comes in an all-black color and has a solid, classic design that brings it above most cases. Moreover, the build quality is also excellent.
This computer case comes with two built-in fractal design fans. The streamlined airflow design allows unrestricted airflow. Other than that, you are provided with seven different positions to install fans. All these cooling facilities won’t let your PC setup to heat up and will significantly enhance the performance of your PC and its components.
One of the best features of the Fractal Design Meshify C is its adaptable hardware storage. The case houses loads of room, allowing you to store at least 5 storage devices. This computer case can accommodate any size motherboard. Moreover, there is also space for a mighty PSU and enormous GPUs. Other than that, the removable drive slots can allow you to adapt the space to your own requirements.
Some other valiant features include superb cable management, vibration dampening cushions, dust filters on the front mesh, seven expansion slots, and many other features making it one of the best all-rounders on this list. The users will surely love this PC case.
- Has support for three fans
- Dust filters
- Streamline airflow design
- Plenty of room
- Does not support 10.6 inch deep motherboards
- Lacks space for new AMD cards
5. Corsair Carbide 400C
|Hard Disk Form Factor||3.5 Inches|
Corsair is well known for its premium cases which come at an affordable price, and the Corsair Carbide 400C is a perfect example to justify it. This ATX case shared its looks with the Carbide 600C but is more compact comparatively. The 400C supports ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards.
The Corsair Carbide 400C has superb build quality, being made of alloy steel material. The exterior has a matte black design which looks super good. The case also has a transparent side panel, exposing all your internal components, which significantly enhances aesthetics, especially if your components have RGB illuminations. The only downer is the plastic PSU covering, which might seem a bit fragile.
The space on the Corsair Carbide 400C is well optimized, and there is enough room for the best hardware out there. The 3.5″ drive slots are found at the bottom front. The cable management is super easy, which makes things much more accessible and neater. The seven expansion slots will permit you to build a setup that features a multi-GPU system. The casing can house up to 370 mm GPU, 180 mm PSU, and 170 mm heatsink. Other than that, the case contains an inverse motherboard installation configuration.
The airflow this case provides is spectacular as you can install three 120 mm fans or two 140 mm fans on the front, with one 120 mm fan on the rear. The balanced ventilation along with dust filters provide the perfect environment for your PC components to work optimally. The I/O panel supports two USB 3.0 and two audio ports. The rest of the connectivity will come with your motherboard.
- Decent design and excellent build quality
- Easy cable management
- Spacious interior for high-end hardware
- Transparent side panel which improves aesthetics
- Lacks fan controller bays
- Corsair link not enabled
6. NZXT H510
|Cooling Method||Water, Air|
|Motherboard Compatability||Mini ITX|
|Case Type||Mid Tower|
The NZXT H510 is a fantastic compact ATX case perfect for fast building. The design is aesthetically pleasing and consists of RGB fans and tempered glass as the key features. Moreover, some other trademark features include superb connectivity options with along with exceptional airflow. This case supports ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards.
The NZXT H510 is a mid-tower gaming case with an inverse ATX case layout. The design is gorgeous, being black above and white at the bottom. The tempered glass is beautiful, and the one-sided glass panel allows you to show off your build from the inside. Moreover, the steel build provides excellent durability, and the case has overall great build quality.
The RGB fans add to the beauty of the case and provide excellent airflow to keep all the components cool. The case has two built-in 120 mm fans on the front. Moreover, you can install a 120 mm fan on the rear side and a 140 mm or 120 mm fan on the top panel. Other than that, the dust filters are installed perfectly, providing a dust-free environment for your PC components to thrive in.
The I/O panel of this case is the most impressive feature. The panel features a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port along with a single USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port. A TRRS 3.5 mm audio port is also present here. The rear panel houses seven expansion slots with a PSU tray at the lower end. Other than that, in the middle, you’ll find two SSD bays while the hard drive trays are at the bottom under the back panel.
This case has a decent amount of space, allowing you to load your PC with high-end components to get the best out of your setup.
- Aesthetic design
- RGB Fans
- Type-C port
- Great build quality
7. Corsair 275R Airflow
|Hard Disk Form Factor||2.5 Inches, 3.5 Inches|
The Corsair 275R Airflow is an exceptional ATX case with a beautiful design that features excellent airflow. This mid-tower case comes in black or white colors and has a stylish compact design that will make your PC setup stand out. This case is compatible with ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX. The PC has loads of AIO support and three built-in fans. Sadly, this compact ATX case lacks a USB Type-C port.
The fan support this ATX case has is fantastic. This case can feature three 120 mm fans on the front, two 140 mm fans on the roof, and one 120 mm fan on the rear side. Moreover, the radiator support is great, as it can feature a 360 mm radiator up front, a 240 mm radiator on the roof, and a 120 mm radiator on the back. Other than that, the dust filters work perfectly well to ensure the ideal environment for your PC components to work in.
The cable management with this case is pretty simple. The Corsair 275R Airflow has enough room to fit virtually all the high-end hardware, allowing you to build a top-notch PC with super high performance. The rear panel hosts seven horizontal expansion slots. Moreover, you can install up to two 3.5-inch drives or four 2.5-inch drives.
The Corsair 275R Airflow is designed very well, with the amazing build quality. On top of that, this case is super affordable and is one of the best budget-friendly cases on the list. It offers some of the most premium features found in expensive cases and will surely surprise you with a low price tag.
- Stylish design
- Value for money
- Great cooling support
- No Type-C port
- No RGB illumination
- Management options are limited
8. Cooler Master MasterBox Q500L
Proving itself to be an excellent chassis, the Cooler Master MasterBox Q500L has all it takes to bring the best out of your PC. The case is ideal for PC enthusiasts who are on a budget and are looking for the perfect compact case to suit their needs. This compact case supports ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards. Although the case lacks an intake fan, that isn’t much of a problem as you can install one yourself with the money you save with this case.
The design of the Cooler Master MasterBox Q500L is gorgeous, being all black inside out. The top of the case is covered with a perforated metal panel featuring magnetic filter covers. This provides a location for mounting two 120 mm or 140 mm cooling fans. The MasterBox Q500L features an excellent filtration system with magnetic seals to keep the interior environment of your computer dust-free. Moreover, it supports up to five 120 mm fans to provide excellent airflow, keeping all your components cool.
The rear side houses a 120 mm exhaust fan. The I/O panel is movable and holds two USB 3.0 ports along with a 3.5 mm audio port and a microphone jack. A hard drive activity LED is also present. The compartment for the main components is pretty neat on the MasterBox Q500L, and you can install a cooler as tall as 160 mm. Other than that, the case features seven expansion slots. It can also fit in multi-GPU setups as large as 360 mm in length. The hard drive tray has space for a single 3.5” hard drive or two SSDs.
Overall, this versatile compact ATX case provides impressive performance when considering how low the price tag is.
- Low price tag
- Supports high-end components
- Great filtration system
- Several layout options
- Only a single built-in fan
- Thermal performance isn’t ideal
Features To Consider – Buyer’s Guide
Whenever you are hunting for the best case available, there are a few things you must keep in mind before you make a choice. The following features are vital to consider as they’ll significantly impact your PC performance.
If you have already bought other PC components before purchasing a case, you must find a suitable case that perfectly fits all your components. Make sure the size of your motherboard, PSU, CPU coolers, and other hardware is compatible with your case before you proceed to buy on.
Build quality is of great importance when buying a PC case. If your PC lacks good build quality, you’ll soon see scratches and dents all over your setup, with pain removing from most spaces. This will render your PC out of shape and make it look so much less attractive.
On the other hand, a sturdy case will speak for itself. Aluminum and steel are mainly used on PCs with excellent build quality, improving the overall impression of your setup.
When buying a case, you must find out which motherboard form factors the case supports. Some of the most popular form factors are ATX, Micro-ATX, Extended ATX, and Mini-ITX. If your case isn’t compatible with the motherboard you desire, you must look for another case that does fit in your motherboard.
It’s a blessing to have decent cable management in your case. This keeps everything organized, preventing all the cables from getting tangled up. Other than that, your PC will look super neat, and you can easily manage the cables while making adjustments. So, cable management is something essential to consider.
Airflow and Filtering
Lots of cases have weak built-in airflow systems. If you are buying a case, it must have at least two built-in fans, along with options to add more. This will improve your ventilation system and keep things from getting heated. Moreover, the cooling system you can install also depends on the compatibility with the case.
Dust filters are essential, and all the best cases should have them. These filters remove dust particles, providing a clean and efficient environment for your components to work optimally.
Drawbacks Of Tiny PC’s
Although compact PCs have many advantages, there are a set of drawbacks to consider if you’re going for a small ATX case.
If you’re going to stuff all the high-end hardware for gaming/content creation or other uses in a tiny case, airflow will be a problem. As the compact cases are only half the size of a typical case, a hindrance to airflow will be caused, and keeping all the components cool will be a difficult task. However, some cases come with great cooling features that discard this problem.
A smaller case means you won’t be able to load your PC with all the best hardware as there isn’t enough room in there. This means there are fewer options for upgrading, and you can only install the hardware that fits in. You will also be using lesser GPUs, and your PC build-up won’t be powerful enough if your aims are very high. However, as the trend for compact PCs is growing, manufacturers are focusing more on bringing out space-efficient hardware that should keep things rolling.
Less interior space also means there will be less potential space on the motherboard. So you won’t be able to install as many RAM modules or other drives. Other than that, there will also be lesser expansion slots, and you won’t be able to equip it to the fullest.
With all that said, small ATX cases are still outstanding, and most of them provide features that will allow you to build your PC to the best. So, if you have a plan to manage heating problems, and you’re mentally ready to lose out on some non-essential hardware, then the compact cases will be great for you.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
What Does ATX Mean?
Answer: The ATX stands for Advanced Technology Extended motherboards. This is a motherboard form factor that displaces the Baby AT design. It specifies the physical dimensions of the board along with I/O ports, connector placements, and power supplies.
Can an ATX Motherboard Fit in a Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX Case?
Answer: You cannot fit an ATX motherboard into a Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX case. However, it is possible to fit Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards in ATX cases.
Which is better, ATX or Micro-ATX?
Answer: The ATX is better than Micro-ATX as it features a more significant number of ports and expansion slots.
Is EATX better than ATX?
Answer: When considering functionality, the EATX board performs better than the ATX board. The EATX provides more slots for components along with additional ports for better connectivity.
Wrapping It up
After going through and reviewing some of the best eight small ATX cases available in the market, we finally conclude our in-depth article. Small ATX cases are proving to be a popular choice among PC enthusiasts, and the trend keeps growing day by day. PC manufacturers are also focusing on building more compact hardware to suit these cases. Although compact cases have their drawbacks, they’re an excellent buy if you know how to manage them well.
After going through this article, you can now make a choice you will not regret as we have lined up the best of the best for you to choose from. We also advise our readers to refer to the buyer’s guide. That way, you’ll know what features to prioritize the most while making a choice. Hopefully, this article will have helped you choose the best compact ATX case for your PC build.