We went ahead and reviewed the best and smallest MiniITX cases available on the market today and got a list of 3 of the Smallest MiniITX cases available in 2019. These are great for small workspaces, home theater builds or compact gaming PC’s.
|Name||GPU Clearance (mm)||Case Dimensions (in)||Weight (pounds)||Rating|
|InWin A1 White Mini-ITX Tower||300||9.1 by 8.3 by 13.5||13.2||9.5/10|
|SilverStone Technology ML08 with Handle||330||14.57 by 14.96 by 3.43||7.75||9/10|
|Phanteks EVOLV Shift||350||10.8 by 6.7 by 18.5||14.4||9/10|
InWin A1 White Mini-ITX Tower
The InWin A1 has been described as being inspired by the overall aesthetics of IKEA and Japanese art designs. It’s quite unique with it’s overall look and construction compared to other cases here. The A1 has a nice LED platform on it’s bottom that is supposed to make the case look like it is floating on the air but the illusion doesn’t work that well but nonetheless it gives a very good aesthetic for the case.
Even as described by InWin as “Scandinavian inspired”:
The modern Scandinavian style design is complemented with tempered glass and brushed aluminium. The A1 white presents a stunning and sleek appearance; the black version demonstrates a simple and modern vibe. – InWin A1 Webpage
The glass panel is quite easy to manipulate and use with two plastic screws. One side panel is made of high quality steel construction and it is held in place with two thumbscrews. The overall side panel aesthetics are quite good in combination with the LED platforms.
Unfortunately the A1 doesn’t have any stock fans on its own, so you will probably want to add some fans to make the thermals of the case better. During full load the case has a fairly average thermal signature compared to other cases as well as acoustic signature, so the case does pretty OK on this front.
Also, the A1 has a wireless charger known as a “Qi charger”. This is consistently powered every single second even when the case is turned off. So you can charge your wireless charging phone without much trouble whatsoever.
In conclusion this case is good build quality, good value and overall a very good Mini-ITX case although more pricey than the other choices on this list – it also has more features than the others.
SilverStone Technology ML08 with Handle
The SilverStone ML08 is based off of another quite popular product by SilverStone (the Raven RVZ02). It has much of the same features and is quite similar other than just the outward appearance. Other than that the two cases are functionally the same, this case made our list because of it’s nice build quality, form factor and overall value. You can even attach a handle to the case if you wish to.
The ML08 is quite sleek in its exterior look and it will blend in well with an environment like a Home Theater setup or a small workshop setup. The case feels quite nice and its easy to carry at only 7 and a half pounds. It’s made of high quality steel with some plastic covering, it’s quite sturdy and resistant to damage. It has a very plain look and an even plainer front panel, just a power button and USB’s with a cover. There is also a venting mechanism for the case that increases airflow and overall heat exchange.
The case has a decently subdued acoustic signature at about 34-35 dBA noise on average from 1 meter away, the 34-35 dBA signature is about average for most PC cases in the Mini-ITX category. Similar to that, the average temperature of the case running an Intel i5 CPU with a GTX 1080 was about 55 degrees which is about average for most Mini-ITX cases. All in all the overall heat profile of the case is about average for most PC cases.
Phanteks EVOLV Shift
The slim and tall profile of the Evolv Shift is quite easy to blend into a Home Theater setup or a workshop area. It can easily fit in niche spaces in a container area or a desk. It looks a bit like a tall speaker when you first look at it but it fits in nicely with the black aesthetics. The ultimate duty for this case should be to create a nice premium look that would work well in many environments at a reasonable price, the Phanteks EVOLV Shift definitely meets both requirements and we are quite happy with the overall quality and value of this case (especially with it’s relatively low price). It is made of aluminum and tempered glass, which increases the overall value of the case even more.
Cases these days (especially Mini-ITX cases) now only ship with one or maybe two stock case fans, this isn’t a major issue considering how easy and cheap it is to install more fans or liquid cooling solutions but the one stock fan in the Phanteks EVOLV Shift definitely do not provide nearly enough airflow to prevent heat build up in the case if you are planning to do high intensity gaming with this case with peak temperatures reaching over 60 degrees.
We expected the aluminum construction and the tempered glass to make the case quiet because of their acoustic dampening qualities. This isn’t much for the Evolv Shift as the case is still quite loud, the odd profile of the case definitely makes it more difficult for the glass to reflect back sound into the case it seems.
The Evolv Shift is a great case, if you stick in a better cooling systems like another fan into the Evolv it would go a decent amount to solve the overall problems with the case. The noise is a bit higher than usual but nothing out of the ordinary. Overall, this is a great Mini-ITX case that should be considered given it’s value and price.
It used to be that bigger equals better. But these days the size of the case isn’t nearly as much of a constraint as it used to be. We used to require entire gym rooms filled with computer equipment to get around 1/1000th of the computing power of a cellphone today. MiniITX cases weren’t even possible given the hardware constraints (unless you had a lot of money) as little as 3 years ago. Now these cases can house the finest gaming computers the world has ever seen in a Home Theater or Small workspace environment.