The Best Small ATX Cases of 2019

Smallest ATX Case Header

Here’s the deal:

If you’re looking for the best and the smallest ATX case money can buy, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve procured the ultimate “smallest ATX case” list so you can make the best decision when purchasing your next case!

By the way, ATX is the largest form factor, so even the smallest ATX cases are going to be somewhat large, if that makes sense.

If you really want small, then you should check out the post I wrote about the smallest micro ATX cases on the market. They’re just as cool as the cases below, but even smaller!

Anyway, let’s get started:

Top 5 Small ATX Case Options

When it comes to building a gaming PC, choosing the right case is incredibly important.

Not only are they tasked with protecting your precious components, they must also provide adequate airflow, not to mention they have to look cool!

Anyway, finding the smallest full size ATX case in 2019 can be challenging. In an effort to make your life easier, here are the best small ATX cases:

Case Image Benefits More
Corsair Carbide Series 400C
  • Clean Design
  • Superb Airflow
  • Spacious
View
Corsair Carbide Series Air 540
  • Compact Case
  • Space Saving Design
  • Fantastic Cable Management
View
NZXT H500i
  • Beautiful Design
  • Smart Case
  • Solid Construction
View
Cooler Master HAF XB II EVO
  • Small Case, Plenty of Space
  • Perfect for Travel
  • Supports Full-Size CPU Coolers
View
Thermaltake Core G3 Slim ATX Case
  • Slim ATX Case Design
  • Side Panel Window
  • Full-Size with Low Profile
View

Smallest ATX Case Reviews

This is the part of the article where I go a bit more in-depth. I’ll be taking a closer look at each case, talking about the pros and cons of each one, any notable features, the design, and why I decided to include the case in this list.

The Corsair Carbide Series 400C is hands down our favorite small ATX case.

It’s much smaller than the 600C - the case’s big brother - thanks to Corsair removing this model’s optical drive bays.

This case has a sleek metal plated front panel, and overall the design of the 400C exudes a feeling of subtle sophistication. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true.

We especially love the acrylic side panel window that can be easily opened with the window’s handle.

If you want to check out all of this stylish case packed full of awesome features, check out our review.

The Corsair Air 540 is coming in close second. This case is compact, but with a surprisingly spacious interior.

It ships with 3 140mm case fans, and has room for an additional 3 120mm case fans. There’s plenty of room for hard drives, radiators, and graphics cards.

Corsair manages to pull this off thanks to its awesome dual-chamber design.

The components that don’t require active cooling are moved to the back.

This way, airflow isn’t wasted on the parts that don’t really need it – definitely a cool design by Corsair.

You can get all of the details in our case review.

NZXT is delivering an AWESOME case here, especially for the money. It’s a small ATX but should still have enough room for most components, including larger GPUs, large motherboards, and radiators.

The case has a simple design but it still looks great - available in both black and white, the NZXT H500i has a nice side panel window and a bunch of cool features.

For starters, it comes with an Adaptive Noise Reduction Algorithm that changes fan speed automatically based on temperatures. This way, your case fans will only run as hard as they need to, thus reducing noise and increasing efficiency.

If you want to find out more about this case and its features, check out our review.

This case from Cooler Master is awesome, end of story. It has insane airflow and amazing cable management.

In addition, it has a dual-chamber design to maximize airflow.

Components that don’t need direct cooling (PSU, hard drives) are stored in the bottom chamber.

The motherboard goes in the chamber on top where most of the airflow is.

If you’re always on the go, this case also has nice carrying handles that make transportation easy.

If you’re the kind of gamer that likes to have LAN parties, this is the casse for you.

The Core G3 Slim ATX Case is the second case from Thermaltake’s Core series.

This case offers a stylish full sized form factor without being too big and bulky.

In recent years, Thermaltake has produced many cases that are largely popular, especially their Core series.

The Thermaltake Core G3 is no exception, offering a stylish full sized form factor without being too big and bulky.

It’s also one of the cheaper cases on this list, so you could use it if you’re building a cheap gaming PC.

Somehow this case can house a full sized ATX motherboard despite how slim it is.

Unfortunately, since the case is so small, cable management is a bit of an issue - that’s really our only complaint about the case.

The cable management has an impact on airflow, but the case is ventilated all around, so the interior still remains cool during operation.

All in all, it’s a fantastic case for the money.

This case isn’t much different from the other cases on our list. It has an included cooling fan and several expansions ports.

The CR1080 has an extremely compact design, and it’s very compartmentalized on the inside. This helps with cable management and airflow, keeping the PC cool under heavy load.

Despite its compact nature, it supports all kinds of motherboards, making it great no matter what size motherboard you’re going to be rocking.

Keep in mind, however, that if you do use a full-sized motherboard, it’ll be hard to fit a large GPU in the build as well, so choose wisely.

If you want to rock an ATX motherboard with a large GPU, you may be better off with a slightly larger, more spacious case.

This case is one of the skinniest on our list, hence the name “Slim Full Tower”.

Rather than being small and compact like the test bench from Cooler Master mentioned above, this case is tall and skinny.

This is great because it allows you to install larger motherboards (up to EATX) in the case, but it’s still able to fit nicely in tight spaces.

It’s also an incredibly light case, making transportation (to a LAN party, for example), easy.

When my parents were divorced growing up, I had to lug a huge case back and forth all the time (well I didn’t have to, but you get the idea) and it was a huge pain in the neck.

I wish I had a case as easily transportable as this one.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the most durable of cases - some parts of it feel a bit flimsy, and some pieces can easily be broken off if you’re not careful.

Some users on Amazon have even claimed the case arrived with broken parts out of the box. If you think you can be careful enough and you’re looking for a tall (yet small) case, then proceed with caution…

This is the third time Corsair is coming up on our list of small ATX cases - what can we say, Corsair is awesome…

As you can see from the picture above, this case looks absolutely awesome. Any gamer would be proud to showcase their components in this beast.

The beautiful tempered glass window is tough, and allows you to display your components inside, illuminated with your choice of red or green LEDs.

In addition, this case has dust filters from top to bottom to protect the inside from getting dusty and making your components too hot.

There’s even room for two GPUs in this case, though it’ll be a tight fit, and cable management is going to be a challenge as well.

However, if you can look past this issue (hey, you did search for a small ATX case, after all), then it’s definitely a solid option.

Great cooling, awesome design, and a fair price.

Featuring a large tempered glass panel and several LED case fans right out of the box, this thing looks awesome.

It has a sturdy design, and plenty of space for even the largest motherboards.

The case also has superb airflow thanks to all of the case fans included, so you won’t have to worry about your parts running hot.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit cramped behind the motherboard tray, so there’s not a lot of room for your cables.

If you can look past that, I’d recommend this case to anyone with some extra money to spend on a case with an awesome design.

I’ll be honest, this case probably looks better than it functions, so I’d only buy it if you want something flashy.

The Corsair Carbide 270R is an awesome case for builders on a budget. It’s not the smallest case on our list, but by no means is it large, and the value here is insane.

You’re getting a sturdy case that looks good, and functions well too.

There’s plenty of room for 280mm and 360mm radiators, not to mention pump/reservoir mounting holes.

Cable management is a breeze with this case too. It ships with a PSU cover, allowing you to hide any extra cables you’re not using.

The inside of the case is spacious as well.

Overall, if you’re looking for an awesome performer that looks good too on a budget, we highly recommend this case.

This case is one of the smallest be quiet! has to offer. Staying true to their brand, this case was designed with acoustic performance in mind.

You can remove the ODD cage if you want to add some more space which is nice in case you have larger components.

The top of the case has a vent that can be closed completely to silence the case, but doing so heavily restricts airflow.

Unfortunately, that’s one of the biggest issues with this model - if you are going to be overclocking (or you think your components will be running hot pretty often), I’d steer clear of this one.

Case Buying Guide

Carbide Air 540

If you’re interested in building a gaming PC, it is imperative that you choose the right case. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

In an effort to aid those new to building gaming computers, I’ve created this guide to help you understand everything you need to know when it comes to selecting the best ATX case.

So, what’s the deal with ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX?

The names stem from motherboard size categories. Motherboards are grouped into these three categories.

ATX is the largest, micro-ATX is a bit smaller, and mini-ITX is the smallest.

At the moment, full-sized ATX cases are the most popular form factor for a variety of reasons.

ATX motherboards are 12 × 9.6 inches (305 × 244 mm). ATX cases are usually also compatible with micro-ATX motherboards, which are 9.6 × 9.6 inches (244 × 244 mm).

Lastly, mini-ITX motherboards are 6.7 × 6.7 inches (170 x 170 mm), making them the smallest of the three form-factors.

Since cases are responsible for housing motherboards, cases are categorized in the same manner (ATX, micro-ATX, etc.)

It’s always important to ensure that the case you want is compatible with your motherboard’s form factor.

A Great Case Is…

1. A great gaming case is strong. Avoid cases constructed with flimsy plastic – after all, your case is supposed to protect your parts and keep them from breaking, right?

A few plastic parts here and there are okay and most cases have some plastic. However, ensure the plastic is strong and of high quality before risking your expensive components.

2. A great gaming case has fantastic airflow. If your case doesn’t have good airflow, your PC could overheat and shut down.

Despite being able to handle high temperatures, your parts can become damaged if they are too hot. Whether you’re using 80mm, 120mm, or 140mm case fans, airflow is incredibly important!

You may find this PC airflow guide helpful:

3. A great gaming case has room for plenty of quiet case fans! This goes hand-in-hand with airflow. If your case doesn’t have space to add case fans, it’s a no go.

Thermaltake Core G3

Most gaming cases ship with fans included – many of them have cool looking LEDs too.

But before you’re fooled by fancy lights, it’s important to make sure your fans are quiet.

Noisy fans can be especially annoying if you’re sensitive to noise.

4. A great gaming case has enough room for your components! This may seem obvious, but some cases don’t have enough room for CPU coolers and graphics cards.

For example, the first time I built a gaming PC, the hard drive bays in my case got in the way of my graphics card!

5. A great gaming case has good cable management options. This means there is plenty of space for your cables, and they can be run throughout the case in a neat and orderly fashion.

Instead of bundling them up inside the case – which is both ugly and bad for airflow – you can run your cables in the back.

This keeps your case looking clean and promotes good airflow.

Before you pull the trigger on the case of your dreams, make sure that:

  • Your graphics card will fit inside the case
  • Your CPU cooler will fit inside the case
  • Your case has enough hard drive bays

Otherwise, you’ll be quite disappointed!

Do You Need a ‘Gaming’ Case?

Many companies advertise their cases as “gaming cases”. Just because a case is outfitted with cool LED lights does not necessarily make it a gaming case.

Most uneducated customers will buy a case simply for its looks, without really considering the factors mentioned above.

It is more important to find a functional case that provides good airflow and cable management. A good case must also be sturdy and cost effective.

Sure, a good looking case is always nice, but it is not necessary. If you’re on a budget, especially a budget below $500, don’t spend more than $50 on your case.

In fact, I’d recommend spending $40 or less.

Conclusion

Don’t be fooled by advertisements and flashy lights. A great case is sturdy, provides good airflow, has a spacious interior, etc.

Of course, the more you pay, the higher quality case you’ll have. Nowadays, there are so many case options to choose from it becomes overwhelming.

It is a way to show off your personality – at the same time though, it’s important to buy a case that’s functional. If you are building a new gaming PC on a tight budget and you have an old computer laying around that you don’t use anymore, don’t be afraid to tear out the old parts to reuse the case!

At the end of the day, the your PC build comes down to your budget, your personal preferences, and what you’re looking to do with your PC. That’s the beauty of PC gaming – you can tailor your PC to suit your needs!