Top 5 Best Micro ATX Case Reviews in 2018
Micro ATX is a motherboard standard which supports CPUs from AMD, Intel, and VIA. Therefore, micro ATX cases are computer cases which can hold such motherboards. Buying a separate computer case is an essential step for setting up your own PC from scratch. Although people still buy complete computers with all parts included, there are more and more cases of users assembling their own PCs.
Most of the time, the people doing that are gamers in need of reasonably priced, high-performance PCs. However, gamers are no longer the only ones looking to build their own configurations. In fact, many professionals now rely on highly demanding software, which is why they also tend to build their computers from scratch. The first step of that process is buying the best micro ATX case you can afford.
In our opinion, the best mATX case is the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-M2, due to its brilliant design and great airflow. However, it’s not the only case that’s worth buying. With that in mind, in this guide, we will introduce you to all the best micro ATX cases on the market.
Top Pick - Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-M2
Loved for its expansion options and excellent cooling, Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-M2 is our pick for the best MicroATX Gaming Case in 2018. Other features that we loved include high airflow design, can hold up to 5 fans and supports liquid cooling systems. It also has USB 3.0 and SSD support.
1. Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-M2 MicroATX Gaming Case
This outstanding case has a hard-earned #1 spot as the best micro ATX case. In fact, its quality surpasses that of numerous more expensive cases.
The intelligent and practical design of this case allows for great airflow despite its small size. The front panel is full mesh and allows air to directly flow to the GPU and all the warmest parts of the computer. The cable management which is built into the case is satisfactory.
This case allows for numerous cooling options. For instance, the front part of the case allows you to install a 240-millimeter water cooling fan. On top of that, there is a built-in LED 120-millimeter fan in the front.
The SPEC-M2 offers enough space for full-sized PSUs and graphics cards. In the front, there is also a USB 3.0 front panel port which is compatible with the newest and fastest peripherals. Besides all that, the case supports dual high-performance SSD drives (2.5’’). It also allows tool-free installation of 3.5’’ and 5.25’’ drives.
The SPEC-M2 doesn’t lack aesthetic appeal, either. An oversized window on the side showcases the interior parts, resulting in a futuristic look. All things considered, the high cooling efficiency and practical design make this the best micro ATX case on this list.
For the time being, this model is definitely the best micro ATX case you can find for the same price. It leaves little room for complaints.
2. Fractal Design Node 804 MicroATX Cube Case
The runner-up in our list is the Fractal Design Node 804 case, with its innovative dual-chamber design.
Anyone looking to set up a gaming PC should be on the lookout for this model. Just like the one before, this case offers some very advanced cooling options.
The dual-chamber design we’ve mentioned separates the components which get hot while running from the ones which remain cool. That way, the overall temperature in the case is decreased simply through design.
On top of that, the Fractal Design Node 804 supports advanced liquid cooling systems, as well as several storage drives.
This may not be the smallest micro ATX case on the market, but it definitely allows for plenty of room for all the large, top-notch elements. Besides, it features some handy dust filters which make maintenance easy. This is a case built to last, and it allows users to create some powerful gaming builds which can run smoothly and without overheating.
This innovative and well-designed case should make any gamer happy with their purchase. Its best features outmatch anything that traditional cases can offer.
3. Phanteks Evolv mATX Tempered Glass Edition
The new Phanteks case is just another edition in a trusted series from a reputable manufacturer. Many satisfied users are ready to stay loyal to their favorite brand, as Phanteks delivers once again.
This version of the Evolv mATX is packed with new features which are there to make your gaming experience even smoother than before.
The Tempered Glass Edition is exactly what a micro ATX slim case should be. What makes the design even more appealing is the presence of two tempered glass panels on the sides.
That way, the interior parts become visible, which has both aesthetic and practical value, in case you need to inspect some of the elements.
Being one of the best micro ATX cases on the market, the Phanteks Tempered Glass Edition offers synchronization with Phanteks motherboards, as well as any Phanteks RGB products. You can light up the case with RGB LED lights.
Different people have different preferences, and not everyone will appreciate the brilliant design of this case. Those who do will be more than satisfied with this product.
4. Fractal Design MicroATX Case with Window
Two of the best micro ATX cases on our list are from Fractal Design, which should say enough about this manufacturer. This case also includes a glass window on the side, which makes the inside parts visible.
On top of that, it is solid and tough and allows the air to flow through freely. What’s best about this model is how quiet it is. The new ModuVent tech dampens the noise, and it is even lined with sound-dampening material.The storage is incredibly practical and flexible, allowing you to install up to 5 drives. With this case, you can achieve some truly strong dual GPU setups.
The case is surrounded by rubber grommets which make it very easy for you to manage the cables. If you manage them properly, there should be no visible cables, not even inside the case. Not only is that easier to handle, but it also helps with the airflow. This is definitely close to being the best mATX case you can find.
Gamers (and other users) who cherish simplicity and functionality will love this elegant and practical case.
5. Corsair Obsidian 350D MicroATX Case
This is another model from Corsair, a company which produces the best micro ATX case on this list. Like some other models from this list, this case has a side window panel allowing you to look inside.
On top of that, it boasts a front panel made of quality brushed aluminum. It is compatible with SLI and Cross Fire technologies and boasts five expansion slots.The 350D is a micro ATX slim case with great airflow. Despite the compact size, there is plenty of room for liquid CPU cooler systems, dual full-length graphics cards, dual HDDs, and SSDs.
In fact, the spacious interior is not something you’d expect from the overall appearance of the case. The reason why there’s so much room is the clever design of this micro ATX. This case has five mounting points and enough room for two 240 millimeter fans, which can keep a powerful set-up cool and efficient.
From all the cases in this list, the 350D is the most budget-friendly. It offers an exceptional ratio of quality and price.
What Is a Micro ATX Case?
As we already explained, a micro ATX case is a case which supports micro ATX motherboards. Most of the time, the people who are interested in micro ATX cases are gamers. That is because many video games, especially the newest releases, require exceptionally strong computers with incredible performance values in order to run smoothly.
Passionate gamers dislike being limited by what typical computer stores have to offer. Most of these pre-made configurations are way too expensive for their value. Therefore, many gamers prefer to build their own PCs from scratch, starting with a computer case.
The group that used to be mainly gamers now includes designers, video producers, and all other kinds of professionals. Now, although setting up your own PC can generally turn out to be cheaper than buying a pre-made one, the final price depends on the buyer’s choices. Generally, the goal is to find well-functioning parts which are not overpriced. That is why it’s important to get the best micro ATX case your money can afford.
The models presented in this guide offer a good ratio of quality and price. However, everyone should know how to assess the particular features in order to buy exactly what they need.
What to Look For in Micro ATX Cases
Here are all the things you should take into consideration if you want to pick the best micro ATX case for you.
The best mATX case offers you plenty of empty space on the inside. The amount of free space defines not only the number of parts you can install but also the type. This criterion is the first thing to check for when buying a case. Most users already know what kind of PC they want to set up, so they seek cases which match these builds. Other than the HDDs, SSDs, graphics cards and other essential units, do not forget about coolers, cables, and various secondary parts.
Options for cooling
Most people build their own PCs because they need a powerful, high-performance machine. Naturally, such a PC will tend to heat up very quickly. That is why it’s absolutely necessary to pay attention to cooling options. The best mATX case will allow you to install water cooling systems. Other than fans and coolers, an important cooling system is the airflow. Now, that aspect depends only on the shape of the case, which is why it’s best to choose carefully.
Not all mATX cases have LED lighting. The ones that do are somewhat better for it. While this is not a crucial part of a good PC, having LED lights is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Users building their own PCs will appreciate being able to closely examine the interior of the case with proper lighting.
The best micro ATX cases are often the smallest micro ATX cases too. Every user wants a case which is as small as possible so that it doesn’t take up a lot of space. At the same time, a case should have enough room on the inside to house all the components. If designed properly, a micro ATX slim case can still host many different parts.
The best micro ATX case is likely to have a way to handle excessive cables. Again, those who buy pre-made computers don’t really have to think about this issue. However, users building their own systems usually like to achieve a simple, clean layout. Keep an eye out for features dedicated to managing cables in various models you come across.
Most gamers prefer function over form. However, those willing to invest a lot of money into building a PC can expect great looks in return. Fortunately, the best mATX case is often the best-looking one.
While a micro ATX case is not the most important part of a PC made from scratch, it certainly is an important starting point. These cases are not cheap, and it is essential to get the model that matches your ideas. We believe that the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-M2 has everything the best micro ATX case should have. However, gamers on a budget can find many other effective and reliable cases. Hopefully, our guide has provided you with a good starting point for your search. Good luck!