Mini ITX cases are very compact computer cases that are much smaller than conventional desktop computers and are based on the Mini ITX form factor. These are mostly used for space-saving gaming computers, HTPCs, or work computers because their size means they can be accommodated particularly discreetly and easily in a living room or study. You can also bring them to a LAN party without any problems.
Before building a Mini ITX case, the user should consider how they will use it. This is the only way to guarantee that the graphics card fits into the compact Mini ITX case and that all connections for the home computer are available.
Depending on the manufacturer and equipment, you have to reckon with a price between $30 and $200 for one. However, I would recommend not necessarily going for the cheapest models, especially with regard to the processing quality.
What is a Mini ITX case?
Mini ITX cases are more compact than conventional computers. The mainboard only has a dimension of 170×170 millimeters. The standard was created by VIA in 2008 and has since been used by many manufacturers to set up platforms that are as small as possible. The Mini-ITX is about 60 percent smaller than the full-size ATX. It is almost twice as small as the Micro-ATX systems.
The name Mini-ITX generally defines motherboards that are considerably smaller than normal ATX motherboards. The advantage of this is that you can install them in ATX cases. This is because the mounting facilities and connectors are the same as ATX motherboards. Although there are only small dimensions here, the Mini-ITX cases and the Mini-ITX mainboards are constantly becoming more powerful in connection with the ongoing development.
The Pros and Cons of a Mini-ITX Gaming Calculator
The Mini-ITX 2.0 standard for the motherboards of the computers, defined by the processor and chipset manufacturer VIA in 2008, means that very small PC systems can be implemented because the specified dimensions of the motherboard of 170 x 170 millimeters fit in every Mini ITX Casing. However, the user has to be careful with the new graphics cards or the large CPU coolers. This is because they are pretty large, and you can only install them with difficulty or not at all.
The Mini ITX cases are commercially available in different versions. Some have a nice look and offer enough space for the right gaming hardware. Because the Mini-ITX mainboards only have one PCIe Express slot, the housings have a maximum of two expansion slots. The graphics cards, in particular, usually have a 2-slot design and therefore need more space.
Today, the current MINI-ITX PCs usually represent the function of an HTPC. This means home theater PC and means something like a “living room computer.” It is mainly used for slide shows, smaller games, or your home cinema for the whole family. Since the possible applications vary, the hardware must offer suitable options. In addition to the space for the hardware, the connections also play an essential role. This computer needs sufficient connections for memory cards and hard disks, while external housings for hard disks spoil the external appearance.
What to consider when buying a Mini ITX case?
In general, there are three options for a mini gaming computer. These are cases that allow a long graphics card but only a flat cooler for the CPU. A computer case that allows a tall cooler for the CPU but only a small (18 to a maximum of 22 centimeters) graphics card inside, and cases that allow neither need below.
The housing resembles an average midi tower. In such cases, where the CPU cooler or graphics card is rather small, one of the dimensions (width, height, and depth) is usually particularly small. However, there are cube housings for all three options at the same time. Cube means cubes because the small cases look like them. Which case the user chooses depends not only on taste but also on what hardware they plan to install.
A graphics card such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is definitely sufficient for a PC that can run modern games in Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) without any problems. There are some particularly short variants here. In addition, the user does not need a very large cooler for the modern CPU if he does not want to overclock.
However, if it is a larger model, it becomes more difficult. This also applies if you want to overclock a strong CPU at the same time. Some Mini ITX cases require power supplies in special formats, such as SFX. Others can accommodate ATX power supplies, but you must pay attention to the depth dimensions of the respective power supply.
Modular PSUs with detachable cables can be a problem at this depth because the detachable cables are quite rigid near the PSU and are more difficult to bend than fixed cables, so the effective depth is greater than the manufacturer’s specification.
What speaks in favor of the modular power supply units is that the user can omit cables they don’t need, thus saving a lot of space.
The Mini ITX cases are available in many different variants and designs. Many products get an outstanding result in the test or convince the user with an excellent grade. However, the compact design has many disadvantages in use.