If you’re planning to build a compact yet powerful PC with a micro-ATX motherboard, you’ll need a great micro ATX case to go along with it. Micro ATX cases are smaller than regular cases, but still spacious enough to provide all the cooling and space solutions you’ll need.
Best Micro ATX Case for High-End PCs
There are a countless number of PC cases you can find on the market. Big companies such as Corsair, Asus, NZXT, In-Win, ThermalTake, Gigabyte, and more make tons of cases for all motherboard sizes.
Finding the right micro ATX case for your build can be challenging. PC cases aren’t as important as the system components, but they can easily cost as much. You want a PC case that can provide plenty of cooling, lots of storage space, and look killer.
We’ve handpicked the 6 best micro ATX cases in the market right now. There’s also a buyer’s guide to help you out with your purchase decision.
Our Top Pick
Feature-packed and Beautiful
The NZXT features a large amount of space for a microATX case. You can add up to 5 fans to the case for ample cooling. It also features RGB colors that can be controlled through a device that comes with the case. All that in a beautiful, clean look that comes in several color schemes.
The elegant design of the NZXT H400i will catch anyone’s eye, but it’s the fantastic specs, great airflow, and all-round great features that make it the best micro ATX case for us.
Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1
Fantastic Gaming Case for the Price
The Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1 is beautiful and features a lot of space. You have the option to add up to 6 fans in the case. It also features large clearance for the biggest GPUs out there. The window panel is large with almost no bezels.
At its price, the Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1 is an absolute bargain. It’s a stunning gaming case that will save you money for other essential components without sacrificing performance.
We’ve always been fans of the higher end NZXT cases for their beautiful design, wonderful build quality, and huge space. NZXT’s latest H-series lineup continues the trend of gorgeous designs. The H400i is designed with the micro ATX form factor in mind.
This micro ATX case features a GPU space of 16.2” so practically any graphics card can fit in it. Additionally, you have a 6.5” heat stink compatibility.
The mount of the PSU is at the bottom, and you can add up to 5 fans on the case for ample cooling and airflow. The H400i is one of the roomier micro ATX cases around. You can even slap in a small 120mm or 140mm AIO cooler on the front or rear of the case.
Aesthetically, NZXT takes a minimalistic modern approach. The case has a beautiful, clean look from the front. All the buttons are located at the top. The tempered glass side panel lets you gaze into the build, and the RGB control features let you customize the case’s lighting to fit your style.
You also get to choose between 5 different color schemes. Personally, we love the white one the best because of its clean, modern look.
- Beautiful design
- Spacious for a mATX case
- Great RGB lighting
- Great build quality
- Smart device feature is very buggy
In many ways, the Phanteks EVOLV mATX case beats our top pick. It’s not as modernly minimalistic as NZXT’s H400i, but it does have a great design that doesn’t end up looking gawdy.
The beautiful tempered glass side panel gives you a great view of what you’re packing in your rig. The horizontal clearance of the micro ATX case is 12.5” for the GPU. This isn’t bad as more GPUs can easily fit into this case.
However, if you’re packing a giant like some of the longer AMD Vega cards, you might have a harder time cramming the wires in alongside it. You get the ability to fit in 6 fans – one more than the max number of fans you can add to the H400i.
The Phanteks EVOLV mATX case has one of the sexiest designs for this form factor. The ports are located on the front behind an elegant cover, and the power button is located on top of the case.
It also features Exterior RGB LED illumination and comes in three different colors. We personally love the Anthracite Grey version the most, but the Satin Black and Galaxy Silver color options are also great lookers.
- Sleek design
- Large cooler option
- Very durable
- Comes with 3 fans
- Smaller GPU space
- Flimsy glass panel connections
Corsair’s Obsidian 350D has withstood the test of time continues to be one of the bestselling micro-ATX cases around. This mATX case is well known for its elegant design and fantastic cable management. The beautiful brushed aluminum front panel speaks minimalism, and the gun metal color allows it to be used as either a gaming pc case or one for regular tasks.
You have a clear side panel that gives a fine view of your gear and cable management skills. The panel however is not tempered glass, so expect some scratches after a few month’s use.
You get the option to mount a total of five fans, out of which two are included with the case (front and back). There is also room for two 240mm radiators if you want to go down that route.
The drive bays inside the case are all toolless. There are two 2.5”, two 3.5”, and two 5.25” inch drives bays, offering a huge amount of storage options without needing any tool for installation.
- Very spacious for a micro ATX case
- Great cable management
- Tool-free drive installation
- Excellent airflow
- Poor dust filtration
- Window panel scratches easily
Cube cases are a great choice for individuals looking for lower height chassis with more lateral space. Our favorite cube case is the Fractal Design Node 804. This is one of the most well-known cube micro ATX cases on the planet right now.
The design is minimalistic, coming in an all-black look that is a good option for both gamers and professionals who don’t want their rig to stand out like a sore thumb.
The clearance for the GPU is 12.6”, which we consider average. The heatsink spacing is 6.3”. The PSU is mounted on the bottom. The Fractal Design Node 804’s cube design gives users the option to add up to 9 fans to the case. To control these fans, there’s an integrated three-step fan controller, which we’re fans of (pun intended).
It also supports multiple GPU setups as well as radiators. The radiator size limit for this case is 280mm long, allowing for some high-end coolers.
The big two downfalls of the Node 804 is its price and the average airflow. Although it gives you the options to install a large number of fans, the small ventilation options and airflow design will prevent you from intense gaming at 4K or mining crypto currency.
- Elegant design
- Lots of space
- Integrated three step fan controller
- Weak airflow for the price
- Expensive compared to competitors
If you’re not quite ready to spend so much on the Fractal Design Node 804, the Thermaltake Core V21 is the best micro ATX case in the cube form factor. It’s a compact case that is easy to transport.
The case is compact, but it can hold larger than average GPUs up to 13.8” in length. The heatsink limit is also a generous 7.3” max. The PSU is mounted at the bottom.
Despite the small size, this Thermaltake microATX cube computer case can host up to a whopping 11 fans. It can also hold radiators up to 280mm in length. This makes it a fantastic case for just about any kind of single GPU setup you want.
The versatility of the Thermaltake and its affordable pricing makes it perhaps the best micro ATX case in the cube form factor. Cable management is easy as all the parts are removable, and there are plenty of ventilation options available to the individual.
- Great value
- Versatile case
- Excellent cable management
- Tool-free installation
- Comes with only one fan
- Side panels are flimsy
If you’re looking for a budget gaming microATX case, there isn’t one you’ll find at a better value than the Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1. Right off the bat, you’re greeted with a beautiful looking modern case that speaks gaming without being gawdy.
The front of the case is all glass, tinted black so you can only see the two (optional) front housed illuminated cooling fans.
What stands out about this microATX case is its generous GPU clearance. You can put in a case as large as 14.9” in length with max heatsinks as tall as 6.2 inches. There’s no card in the market right now as long or as tall, so you’re assured plenty of open space for cooling.
The side panel is also completely transparent. It’s big, bold, and beautiful, with almost no bezels so you can show off your build in the most unrestrained manner possible. Of course, the pricing of this case means it’s using acrylic instead of tempered glass for the side panel.
For any PC gamer, this is perhaps the best microATX case you can buy under $100. It offers outstanding airflow, plenty of space for a high-end single GPU build, and looks simply stunning.
- Incredible value
- Lots of space for GPU
- Beautiful design
- Side panel scratches very easily
- No SSD mounts
Your build should directly determine what kind of desktop case you will buy. In fact, we highly recommend you leave choosing your case to the last part. An expensive desktop case can be aesthetically pleasing and offer you great cooling, lots of space, and easy management, but it’s not as important as what’s inside.
More crucially, the components you buy should determine the size and design of your micro ATX case. Not all micro ATX cases are the same size despite being compatible for a similar form factor motherboard.
Once you’ve finalized which motherboard, CPU, graphics card, RAM, and cooler(s) you want to buy, only then should you choose your case.
How beautiful your micro ATX case looks is important, but it’s not as important as how well it functions. One of the three (the others being space and aesthetics) most important aspects of your case should be its airflow and cooling. Airflow can be determined by inspecting the fan slots (and their number) in the case.
You want a good amount of inward and outward flow. This is especially important for micro-ATX builds because they are smaller, and everything is more compact. That means there isn’t much breathing space for the GPPU, CPU, and RAM and their respective coolers.
For this reason, pumping cool (room) air into the PC so the CPU and GPU coolers can utilize it is as important as pumping the hot air out of the case. If you plan to use AIO or other liquid cooling methods, make sure your micro ATX case of choice can fit the coolers you’ve selected comfortably.
Space is the other very important factor you need to consider. It indirectly plays an essential role in the airflow and cooling of your system, but it plays a more important role in, well, storage.
Easy management of cables is essential to prevent clogging and, in turn, heat build-up. You want a micro ATX case that allows for efficient cable management through routing. Placement of the PSU at the bottom is preferred, as it allows you to route the cables more efficiently.
Additionally, you want plenty of HDD/SSD storage space that is easy to access even when you have a very large graphics card in place. You shouldn’t have to dig deep and go through a huge amount of cables to access any component in your PC.
Everything should be easily accessible and removable. This ease of access will directly depend on your micro ATX case. Thankfully, most manufacturers offer clear, detailed pictures of how high-end components fit into their cases.
Micro ATX vs ATX – what’s the difference?
The main difference between micro-ATX and regular ATX motherboards is the size. It is not always necessary that a larger motherboard is more powerful. Larger motherboards offer more slots and connectivity options than smaller ones.
Micro ATX is the smaller form factor for mainstream computers. Smaller factors such as ITX exist, but they don’t offer as many slots for RAM, storage drives, or GPU, so they aren’t always ideal for gaming and intensive tasks.
Can some micro ATX desktop cases fit ATX form factor?
Yes. Many micro ATX cases are spacious enough to fit ATX form factors. However, be mindful that everything will be tighter and you may not have the same access (or the same cooling performance).
Can you build a powerful PC with a micro ATX motherboard?
You can easily build a very powerful computer using a micro ATX motherboard and micro ATX case provided you know what you’re doing. In fact, this is a highly cost-effective way to build a great gaming PC, and we highly recommend it to anyone who isn’t interested in multiple GPUs and/or more than 16GB RAM.