Powerful Mini ITX Builds For Gaming Under Your Budget

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Powerful Mini ITX Builds

The best Mini-ITX case does more than simply offer a stylish and compact container for your pricey PC components. Every Powerful Mini ITX Builds case we’ve tested has been selected to ensure it’s not only a space-saver but is also easy to build into and up to the high quality we expect from any full-tower PC case or mid-tower PC case.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a Mini-ITX case. Space is going to be scarce, as you won’t have room for multiple graphics cards or a stack of SSDs. Proper cable management is going to be your friend through the entire process, and you’ll need to be careful when it comes to component selection too. If this is your first build, a mid-tower case will give you more room to work with—but that’s basically cheating.

If you want to build a budget gaming PC, you’re absolutely better off with a full-size ATX motherboard, as they are much cheaper, but a compact Mini-ITX case with an included PSU can save you a few pennies. Think about the lifespan of your components though, as you’ll have much less room to expand in the future. A little research should eliminate most potential problems and ensure your machine can handle demanding games and storage expansion for the next few years.

We’ve looked at a vast number of Mini-ITX cases and listed our favorites below. Stock may be low on some of the more popular causes, but our price widgets will stay up-to-date with the latest stock information so keep checking here for when they do become available for purchase.

1. NZXT H210i Powerful Mini ITX Builds

The NZXT H210i is essentially a tiny version of our favorite mid-tower, the H710i. Built to only support Mini-ITX builds, the H210i does a great job of fitting a high-end system into a compact, minimalistic package.

Like its bigger brother, the case comes equipped with NZXT’s smart hub and also includes two fans and one RGB LED strip. Available for around $130, the H200i is the same price as most mid-sized towers, but we still think it’s worth it. The case has a lot of features you’d find in a high-end mid-tower, including excellent cable management and a full-sized tempered glass panel.

Thanks to NZXT’s CAM-powered Smart Device V2, the H210i features intelligent digital fan control and offers plenty of room to expand the built-in RGB lighting with additional strips. With added support for liquid cooling and large graphics cards, the H210i is the perfect solution for those who want to make a small but powerful gaming PC.

Powerful Mini ITX Builds

2. InWin A1

When it comes to innovative case design, InWin frequently pushes the boundaries and creates some remarkable cases. The latest A1 Mini-ITX tower is one of those cases with its sleek, compact design and innovative feature set.

The A1 features a preinstalled and pre-cable managed 600W power supply that eliminates one of our least favorite things about building in small ITX cases—trying to find and fit a PSU. It provides just enough power for most ITX builds with discrete graphics cards. One of the lovely modern touches is the integrated wireless Qi charger at the top of the case that allows you to charge your phone effortlessly.

Unlike some of the other ITX cases in this list, the A1 isn’t capable of supporting big powerful builds with large radiators and lots of storage. It’s still capable of being the basis of plenty of decent builds though.

3. Corsair Crystal 280X RGB Powerful Mini ITX Builds

This guide is specifically for Mini-ITX builds, but Corsair’s micro-ATX Crystal Series 280X is such a great case we just had to mention it. The cube-like tower features a dual-chamber design that makes very efficient use of space for easy cable management and installation. The 280X RGB comes with two preinstalled addressable RGB fans and a Lighting Node PRO controller.

As the other Crystal Series cases, the 280X features three smoked tempered glass panels that allow you to show off your RGB interior easily. The case offers a wide assortment of cooling options with support for radiators up to 280mm in length.

Despite its micro-ATX classification, we would highly recommend the 280X RGB for both mATX and micro-ITX builds. The spacious interior and versatile dual-chamber design make it one of the most compact cases out there. It isn’t a whole lot larger than other Mini-ITX cases, so it still looks fantastic wherever you place it.

4. Phanteks Evolv Shift

When it comes to PC cases, it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come along from the annoying old beige boxes of the early 90s. Gamers and enthusiasts are now proud to display their systems on their desks. And while there have been a few options that are great for the living room as well, Phanteks topples the competition with the Evolv Shift and its larger brother the Evolv Shift X.

With its brushed aluminum front, dual tempered glass panels, and slim design, the Evolv Shift is easily one of the most elegant cases we’ve seen to date. It sits beautifully on any desktop and can even sit horizontally to fit various configurations in the living room.

We were surprised to discover how roomy and straightforward it was to build in despite a small footprint measuring 6.7 x 18.5 x 10.8 inches. Phanteks accomplished this feat by inverting the motherboard and including a reversible GPU mount that allows you to install your graphics card vertically behind the motherboard. This means the “rear” I/O is moved to the top of the case, hidden away with a door that has a nifty RGB LED in it.

The Phanteks Evolv Shift may not be the first or the smallest ITX case for the living room, but it is by far our favorite. A stunning exterior combined with a well-engineered interior makes it the perfect case to bring 4K PC gaming to your living room. And if you want to take things one step further with custom liquid cooling, the larger Evolv Shift X offers even more bang for your buck.

Powerful Mini ITX Builds

5. Cooler Master Elite 110 Powerful Mini ITX Builds

If you’re looking to build a simple, compact gaming system or HTPC, Cooler Master’s Elite 110 is as accessible as it gets. It may not have all of the bells and whistles compared to the other ITX options mentioned in this guide, but it certainly gets the job done.

When you boil it down to basics, this case is about as necessary as you can get. While feature reduction has it’s ups and downs; this case minimizes the negative and offers one of the smallest form factors we’ve seen.

A smart interior layout with a vertical GPU mount allows you to fit quite a bit in this little package. The Elite 110 supports a broad range of graphics cards up to 8.3″ long and even leaves enough room for 120mm all-in-one liquid coolers. Unlike other small form factor cases, this one supports most regular ATX-sized PSUs. At a mere $40, it’s straightforward for us to recommend the Elite 110 for builders on a budget.

Summary

One thing we do want to note is that your choice of graphics card is far more critical with a Mini-ITX build. It’s not just about length either, as cooling is a far greater concern when dealing with cramped interiors. Generally speaking, Mini-ITX is one of the few times where using a GPU with a blower cooler is often the best decision. Unless you get a bigger mATX case with more airflow, you want your GPU to vent all that heat outside the case.

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