10 Best Micro-ATX Cases (mATX) in 2019

Best Micro ATX Case

When building a computer, you’ll want to be sure that you pick the best case available. Beyond the build quality of the case, you’ll want to be sure that it’s compatible with all of your components.

The main aspect that will determine that is the form factor of your case, and there are four primary options.

Out of these choices, the Micro-ATX size (also known as mATX cases or uATX) is considered the best for beginners, as the cases are typically more affordable than the larger ATX form factor while remaining easy to build in.

However, if you’re looking for the right computer case, you may be wondering where you should start.

Today, we’re going to review ten of the best Micro-ATX cases on the market, and we’ll provide you with all of the relevant specs before getting into a more general overview of the product.

We’ve gone over such a vast range of products so that we could make sure that everyone can find the best Micro-ATX case for their requirements.

 

At a Glance: The 10 Best Micro-ATX Cases

10 Best Micro-ATX Cases

NZXT H400i mATX RGB Case

NZXT H400i

  • Available in a range of color combinations
  • Features integrated lighting and an RGB fan controller
  • Adaptive noise reduction balances fan noise and cooling
  • Comes with three 120 mm fans

If you’re willing to spend a little more money on your computer case, then the NZXT H400i is the best micro-ATX case in our opinion. This model is available in four different colors, and it comes installed with RGB strips that will allow you to customize it to your heart’s content.

The included RGB fan controller makes it easy to adjust the cooling on this case. One of the best things about this case is that it was designed with cable management in mind, so you’ll have plenty of slots, channels, and velcro straps that you can use to keep them in order.

Since this computer case features adaptive noise reduction, you can run your fans at higher RPMs without worrying about excessive noise.

Corsair Crystal 280X RGB Micro-ATX Case

Best Micro-ATX Case Under $200

Corsair Crystal 280X

  • Comes in black or white
  • Comes with two 120 mm Corsair RGB fans
  • Triple tempered glass panels
  • Dual chamber design for better cable management and airflow

The Corsair Crystal 280X is another relatively pricey option on our list, and it comes installed with two 120 mm Corsair RGB fans that immensely improve how much you can customize it. Each of these fans features 16 LEDs that can be personalized individually, and they run with the help of an included RGB fan controller.

If you like seeing the inside of your computer, you’ll love that this case features three separate tempered glass panels, giving you near-complete visibility. This case is designed for optimal cooling, so you can fit either 6 120 mm fans inside of it or 3 240 mm radiators.

 

Thermaltake Core V21 SPCC Micro ATX Cube Computer Chassis

Best Micro-ATX Cube Case Under $100

Thermaltake Core V21

  • The motherboard can be oriented vertically or horizontally
  • Comes with a 200 mm front fan
  • Dual chamber design for optimal cooling
  • Can support a total of six storage drives

Another excellent case is the Thermaltake Core V21 which is perfect for both mATX and Mini-ITX builds. In addition, its stackable design means that you can even create dual systems with two of them. One of our favorite things about this case is that it has a dual-chamber layout which greatly enhances airflow.

Related: Looking for a Mini-ITX? – Get a good one

The two chambers keep the drives and the PSU in the lower part of the case while all of the components that generate a lot of heat are located in the top chamber. This ensures that as much air as possible can flow through to keep your GPU and CPU running without any throttling.

Related: Guide to GPU temperatures

This case even comes with a 200 mm frontal fan installed, and it can be removed if you need the extra clearance for larger components.

AeroCool Cylon RGB Mid Tower

Best Micro-ATX Mid Tower Case

AeroCool Cylon

  • Features an acrylic side window
  • Front panel LED with 13 lighting modes
  • Equipped with a removable dust filter
  • Comes with a pre-installed case fan on the front

 

AeroCool’s Cyclon case is one of the better-looking options on our list, and it’s also more affordable than many of the other products available. The LED slash that runs through the front panel features 6 RGB flow modes and 7 solid colors, giving you 13 potential looks.

Unlike many other budget cases, this one also has a USB 3.0 port on the top I/O, and it also supports SD and microSD cards. There is a dust filter installed over the CPU fan ventilation port that can be removed for cleaning without having to take apart too much of the computer, improving convenience.

 

 InWin 301

Smallest mATX Case

InWin 301

  • Tempered glass side panel
  • I/O panel lit by LEDs
  • Supports up to three storage drives
  • Durable construction of 1.2 mm steel

 

The InWin 301’s best quality is that it features a slick design that is complemented by the inclusion of an LED strip around the I/O panel, it’s also one of the smallest micro-ATX cases. Equipped with a tempered glass side panel, it’s easy to see the internal components of this case, and you won’t have to worry about scratches, like with acrylic.

Despite its small size, you can install a 240 mm fan in the front of the case and a 120 mm fan in the back. The case even comes included with a GPU support that will help prevent it from sagging, though it may be incompatible with some of the larger cards out there.

The dust filter on the underside of the case is designed to be removed quickly and easily for simple and regular cleaning.

 

Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X

Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X

  • Available in three color schemes
  • Features internal cable covers
  • Can support up to 10 HDDs and 9 SSDs
  • Tempered glass side panel

The Enthoo Evolv X from Phanteks is one of the pricier options on this list, but it’s also far more capable than competing models. The interior features cable management covers and an intelligent design that is meant to ensure that air flows through every hot spot.

You can install up to 10 HDDs or 9 SSDs in this case, giving you unparalleled storage space, though the cable management will get harder with each one that is installed. This model is also ideal for liquid cooling as it comes with a radiator bracket as well as a fill and drain port.

Related: liquid cooling vs air cooling guide

 

Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L

Best mATX Case Under $50

MasterBox Q300L

  • Acrylic side panel improves visibility
  • Comes with dust filters
  • Cable management space behind the motherboard tray
  • Vertical or horizontal orientation

The second entry on our best micro-ATX list from Cooler Master is the MasterBox Q300L, which provides you with nearly as much value for money as the MasterBox Lite 3.0.  This case comes included with a transparent acrylic side panel that will allow you to show off your cable management skills and components.

The most impressive thing about this case is the way that the magnetic dust filters are designed, as they play both a practical and aesthetic role. These removable magnetic filters feature a geometric design that will keep your case looking good, and since they’re externally mounted, you can clean them easily.

There is also room behind the motherboard tray so that you can keep the cables out of sight, which is an essential feature for a windowed PC.

Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.0

Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3

  • Features an Acrylic side panel
  • Comes included with three trim colors
  • Also comes with dust filters
  • A rear fan comes with the case

The MasterBox Lite 3.0 provides the buyer with immense value for money, which is one of the best things about the Micro-ATX form factor. This model comes equipped with a dimmed side panel that will allow your RGBs to shine through without forcing you to make your cable management perfect.

Since it comes included with dust filters, you won’t have to worry about too much dirt and debris getting inside of your case and causing thermal throttling. Another advantage is that this case comes included with a rear fan, which isn’t common at such a low price point.

One of the only things that bugged us was that there wasn’t much space to manage cables properly, so you’re going to have to do a lot of planning.

Rosewill FBM-01

Best Budget Micro-ATX Case

Rosewill FBM 01

  • Comes included with two fans: one 80 mm and one 120 mm
  • Supports up to three storage drives
  • Dust filter on the case’s underside
  • Excellent build quality for the price

If you’re looking to save as much money as possible, Rosewill has you covered with the FBM-01. This case can support up to three drives, as it features a single external 3.5” bay and two internal ones. Each of these mounting locations can also support 2.5” hard drives and SSDs.

Unlike other cheap mATX cases, this one comes included with two cooling fans. The first fan is a 120 mm model that is mounted in the front of the case, while the second is an 80 mm fan in the rear. There are also ventilation ducts along the side and back of the case to help improve airflow.

For anyone who is looking for a cheap Micro ATX minitower this would be our pick.

The I/O panel was the only part that disappointed us, as it only features two USB 2.0 ports as well as audio in and audio out jacks.

Thermaltake Versa H17

Thermaltake Versa H17

  • Convenient tool-free drive bay
  • Features a covered power supply
  • Cable management space behind the motherboard tray
  • Supports up to four storage drives

The Versa H17 from Thermaltake is our final product, and it’s also one of the most affordable out there. Features like a USB 3.0 port on the I/O panel and a tool-free drive bay help make this model stand out when compared to other budget Micro-ATX cases, and its build quality is also excellent.

There is even a full-length cover that helps separate the power supply from the rest of your components to maximize airflow to the rest of them. To save you even more money, this case comes with a 120 mm turbo fan already installed in the rear.

Micro-ATX PC Case Buyer’s Guide

You’ve decided that a smaller case is ideal for your PC or gaming needs, but before you buy any components, you have to consider the following: component compatibility, cooling options, internal space, cable management – a lot.

micro atx buyers guide

Before buying your case, let’s look at all of these points.

Things to Consider Before You Buy a Micro-ATX Case

Component Compatibility (Motherboards, PSUs, etc.)

You need to make sure that all of your components will fit into a Micro-ATX case. The same motherboard that you put into an ATX case may not fit inside of your micro-ATX case. I recently put together a build using an ASUS B450-Plus motherboard, and the board’s dimensions are:

  • 4” x 13” x 2.1”

But ASUS sells the Prime B450M-A/CSM version, which is designed for Micro-ATX cases and is just:

  • 6” x 9.5” x 2”

You’ll also come across the same issue with your PSU. The majority of cases will be able to accommodate a standard PSU. But when you have a 1000W or higher PSU, you may find that the PSU is sligard model that htly larger in size than the standfits into an ATX case.

One thing I do recommend is that you purchase a PSU that is modular in design.

Since the case is smaller and more compact, removing all unnecessary wires from the unit will keep all of your components cooler and help with cable management.

micro atx layout

Cable Management

Cable management is always tedious and difficult. I am always left feeling like I could have done more to keep my cables nice and tidy, but it’s difficult, especially when you don’t have a modular PSU.

The lack of airflow in a micro-ATX system requires far better cable management than most computer builders realize.

When purchasing your case and components, keep cable management in the back of your mind. Cases with a nice cable management system will increase the airflow inside of the case and allow for an increase in component longevity, too.

Internal Space

The internal space will often provide more than enough system bays for hard drives and SSDs, but you may have difficulty with larger graphics cards. You want to consider all of the components that you’ll be installing on your computer.

Different cases may offer different layouts, so choose a case with the optimal layout for you.

Cooling Options

Cooling is important, and since you have less overall airflow when running a micro-ATX setup, you’ll need to maximize the fans you use with your system. Liquid cooling is an obvious choice for high-end units, but if you’re using fans to cool the system, try and maximize your case fans.

micro atx liquid cooling

The case may or may not have fans pre-installed.

If there are no fans installed, make sure that you purchase some when buying all of your components. I recommend also running software to check your CPU’s temperatures under load when you have your system up and running.

High temperatures will lead to the premature failure of many components.

Cooling is one of the key areas of consideration when choosing your case. You also want to consider fan placement. You’ll want fans that pull cool air into the case and others that will act as an exhaust to remove hot air from the case.

If you do not properly map out your fans, they may actually cause airflow issues, which will cause the system’s interior temperature to rise.

LED Lighting

LED lighting is very popular, and a lot of newer motherboards actually have onboard RGB controls for these lighting options.  The LED lighting options will not impact your computer’s performance, but they will improve aesthetics.

Lighting is a nice addition for any gaming setup.

If you want lighting, choose a case that offers it, purchase fans that allow for the LED lighting and also purchase a motherboard that has RGB lighting sync available.

Front Panel

The front panel stops you from having to reach to the back of your tower to plug in a USB drive or plug your headphones into the audio jack. The good news is that most cases will come with multiple port options on the front panel.

The ports that are most recommended are:

  • Audio jacks
  • USB ports

I recommend a front panel with at least two front USB ports so that you can plug your phone in to charge or also plug in any other USB-connected component you like. The front panel should also have a port for your microphone – a must-have for gamers.

If you want to prepare for the future, I recommend choosing a case with USB 3.0 or higher ports so that you can enjoy higher transfer speeds.

Dust Filter

A lot of people overlook dust filters, and when dealing with a rig that is compact, you can’t afford to have massive dust build-up inside of your computer. The dust will cover most of your components and fans.

The thicker the layer of dust, the less air will be able to flow through your case.

dust filter mATX

Dust filters will be able to trap dust before it’s able to cover your components. You will need to clean off these filters over time, but they’re a great way to enhance the cooling of your case.

Micro-ATX FAQs

What is a Micro ATX Case?

Micro-ATX, also called mATX, cases are designed to allow for a standard depth and width of 9.6 inches for the motherboard. You may also find cases that offer motherboard spaces that are as small as 6.75” x 6.75”.

A lot of these motherboards can also fit into a full-sized ATX case.

Intel introduced the first mATX motherboard in 1997. MicroATX cases are designed to be smaller than a full-size case. The smaller size allows for easier storage and a smaller tower. But aside from the small case, these units can run just as well as a traditional ATX case.

Are Micro ATX Cases Good for Gaming?

Yes. If you want a smaller case, then a mATX will more than suffice for gaming. These cases are no better or worse than the large ATX cases you’re used to using. One consideration is that you will have fewer expansion slots.

If you want to install a multiple graphic card setup with SLI, you may have the slots to do it, but the space will be limited. I have seen gamers build these powerful SLI rigs, so they are possible, but make sure that the case offers enough space.

Otherwise, you will want to pay close attention to your system’s cooling.

gaming micro atx case

The one disadvantage you’ll have is that the system is more compact, so you’ll need to optimize your cooling. You’ll need to optimize the cooling for positive and negative air pressure – it’s more than just attaching fans at random.

If you’re able to maximize your cooling, the mATX will run just as well as an ATX rig for gaming.

What’s the Difference Between ATX and Micro ATX?

Space. The cases vary in size. The motherboard for an mATX is smaller in size, and there’s less interior room available. The traditional ATX will have:

  • 5 expansion slots versus 3 to 4 on an mATX
  • ATX cases are rectangular
  • mATX cases are square

The traditional microATX motherboard is 25% smaller than an ATX board, so the case is allowed to be more compact. You’ll be dealing with a square versus rectangle case, and you may miss out on a few expansion bays as a result.

The only major difference is the size of the case, which varies from one case to the next.

It really comes down to personal preference when choosing between an ATX and mATX case. If you want a case that’s more compact but has more issues with airflow, choose an mATX. You will need to make sure that the motherboard and PSU you choose will fit properly, but aside from this, you can build your own mATX rig even with an SLI setup without issues.

What’s the Smallest mATX Case?

We chose the InWin 301 as the smallest micro ATX case above but there are a few other cases in our list that could be picked depending on your requirements. A few others worth looking at are:

  • Corsair Carbide Air 240 Case
  • Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L
  • Corsair Crystal 280X RGB Case
  • Thermaltake Core V21 Case

Conclusion

As you can see, there are so many Micro-ATX cases to choose from, and a lot of them are much more affordable than their ATX or Mini ITX counterparts. We hope that this guide has helped you pick the best micro-ATX case for your next build.

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