Micro ATX cases are slightly smaller than their standard ATX siblings while still offering decent modularity, upgradeability, and cooling. So, for those who need something relatively compact that doesn’t sacrifice a lot of functionality, a Micro ATX case is definitely a solid choice.
That being said, finding the best option is a rather tough task, to say the least. And that’s why we decided to show you our 5 best picks. Let’s get right into it!
1: Dark Flash
Best Micro ATX case for budget users
Dark Flash is not exactly a big name. Definitely not when you compare it to other tech-giants like Corsair and NZXT.
However, that doesn’t mean that this case isn’t worth it. In fact, it’s one of the best options in the budget range; if not the best.
It offers decent cooling, plenty of size for bulky components, support for up to 240mm radiators, great modularity, and 4 drive slots. Not to mention that it looks wonderful.
The small door-like design for the tempered glass is a welcome addition. Not that it makes a huge difference, but it can be a huge help for people who tend to regularly check or upgrade components.
If there is one small complaint from us then that’s definitely going to be the cooler support. See, the best aftermarket air-coolers generally ask for 165mm of clearance while the Dark Flash offers 160. It’s a shame that we’re losing so much for just 5mm.
Now, chances are that budget users aren’t going to need a super bulky cooler. But, it’s definitely something to keep in mind for future upgrades. Still, at this price range, we can’t ask for everything.
2: NZXT H510
Best Micro ATX case for mid-range users; also suitable for ATX
When it comes to PC cases, NZXT is without a doubt one of the best. Hard to make an article about our top Micro ATX picks without mentioning the H510.
To be more accurate, the H510 is more of a compact ATX case. So, if you need a Micro ATX setup that can easily be upgraded to ATX, then this is quite possibly your best choice.
As per usual with most NZXT cases, liquid-cooling support is a given. With radiator clearance for up to 280mm, you’ll be able to install most mid to high-end options with ease.
Those of you who like having a ton of storage or raid setups will be glad to know that you’re getting 6 drive slots. 3 for 3.5-inch drives and 3 for 2.5-inch ones.
As for the room, with a cooler clearance of 165mm and GPU clearance of up to 381mm, pretty much anything will fit in there. Overall, this is as close to perfection as you can get.
The only small downside is its size. Due to ATX support and the overall design which allows us to install bulky components, it’s a tiny bit larger than most Micro ATX cases.
But, for that small increase in size, you’re getting massive returns in cooling and upgradeability and that’s a win in our book!
3: Thermaltake Versa H17
Minimalistic look and simplicity + very budget-friendly
RGB and fancy cases with a gaming aesthetic are more or less the norm lately. But, some people just love computers that are classy, elegant, simple, and minimalistic. If you are that type, the Versa H17 is one of the best Micro ATX cases that you can get.
Just do keep in mind that it’s built for Micro ATX only, which means that upgrading to an ATX setup later is impossible. For those who are sure that M-ATX and Mini ITX is the way to go in the long run, keep on reading.
Despite being medium-sized, the Versa H17 offers plenty of room for cooling and powerful components. The cooler clearance is limited to 155mm, which may be an issue for most coolers.
Most reviewers mentioned that they had no problem fitting a Noctua NH-D15 which requires a 165mm clearance. But, take that information with a grain of salt.
Those of you who love liquid coolers will be glad to know that you can fit a radiator of up to 280mm in the front. That being said, it also goes without saying that there is enough room to fit 5 fans in there (4 for those who prefer 140mm setups).
4: Phanteks Evolv
Best Micro ATX case for water-cooling
One of the biggest disadvantages that come with smaller cases is that they often don’t have enough room for effective cooling. Not with the Phanteks Evolv, though.
Despite offering a compact design, this is one of the very few cases that allow you to fit a radiator of up to 360mm in the front (Only if you remove the 3.5 brackets). For a point of reference, most M-ATX cases can barely offer 240 or 280mm at most.
Those who fancy air-cooling have limitless options as well. After all, a cooler clearance of 192mm is probably more than anyone will ever need.
Regarding storage, we’re only looking at 4 drive slots here with 2 dedicated to 2.5-inch drives and another 2 on the 3.5 brackets. That’s plenty for the average person unless you are planning on removing the 3.5-inch brackets to fit a big radiator. In which case, no pun intended, there is no choice but to get a slower 2.5 HDD or a very expensive SSD.
At least there’s no need to worry about cooling. With enough room to fit 6 fans (5 for 140mm setups), your build should become cooler than Keanu Reeves on Cyberbunk’s trailer!
5: InWin 301
Best transparent case
Tempered glass cases have a different feel to them. And as far as Micro ATX ones are concerned, this is one of the best that you can get.
One of its features that we like and wish to see more often is the option of removing the side panel with the press of a button. Despite being so useful, it seems to be a rarity amongst cases.
Regarding cooling options, it offers radiator support for up to 240mm in the front and 120mm in the rear. As for air-cooling, the CPU cooler clearance is 160mm which is enough to fit most coolers. But, not the bulkiest ones.
Despite being so small, the InWin 301 still manages to hold up to 5 fans. 2 in the front, 2 at the bottom (Careful with the PCI-E slot, though), and 1 more at the back.
Now, the single 3.5-inch drive slot (Along with 2x 2.5-inch ones) and the tough cable management are definitely two things that will make it a tough buy for some people.
Other than that, it definitely deserves a spot on our list.
Things to Look Out for When Buying a Micro ATX Case
As you probably already noticed, there are lots of things to keep in mind when buying a PC case and that’s something that makes the choosing process harder.
Many manufacturers will advertise things like build quality, beauty, design, RGB, and things like that without focusing on what matters the most:
- Cooling: Building a small case means that keeping it cool is a bit tougher. If you must pick M-ATX, make sure that it has room for at least a couple of income and exhaust fans
- Upgradability: The case will most likely outlive any other component. You’ll probably want to swap out something in the future, so, make sure that the case of your choice will support it (Compact ATX cases with M-ATX support are a solid solution to that)
- Drive slots: Are you planning on installing lots of drives? Then don’t forget to check if the case supports them and that you don’t need to remove one of the bays in order to fit something else (Such as radiators)
- Compatibility: Bulky coolers and graphics cards need enough clearance in order to fit in. Check the specs of a case before buying it to ensure that it’s compatible with other components
- Cable management: Some cases are easier to cable manage than others
- Size: Motherboards need to adhere to strict size standards, but cases do not. Look at reference pictures or specs to gain an understanding of how big (or small) a case is
That’s all for now. If you still don’t know which case to pick, here’s what each one of them does best in a nutshell:
- Dark Flash: One of the best budget options
- NZXT H510: Best for future-proofing and overall upgradeability
- Thermaltake Versa H17: Very minimalistic and elegant design
- Phanteks Evolv: Possibly the best M-ATX case for water/liquid-cooling
- InWin 301: As far as transparent glass designs are concerned, this is one of the best