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small atx case

13 Best Small ATX Cases for Compact Builds – 2021

If you’re in search of a small and compact ATX case then you’ve come to the right place.

Not everybody wants a bulky chassis on their desk, especially if it has a larger footprint than it needs.

Providing the interior can support standard-size motherboards, full-size GPUs, and a few different fan configurations; then for most people, there’s not much point in going any bigger.

In this post, we will cover the best small ATX cases that optimize space for compact builds.


What is the best small ATX case?

13. Montech X2 MESH

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions: [L×W×D]: 17.6” x 7.5” x 15”
Volume: 32.3L

The X2 MESH is a budget, mid-tower chassis from Chinese manufacturer Montech. Inspired by the Apple iPhone, it has a minimal, proportionate design with a front grill that cuts off at the same height as its power supply shroud. Behind the mesh grill are two (of three) included RGB LED fans.

Stripping the X2 down to its fame is relatively easy. This involves unscrewing the four corner thumbscrews on the side tempered glass side panel, and a single thumbscrew at the rear for the back panel. The front panel, however, removes with a bit of a pull and then snaps back into place.

Once inside, there’s room for ATX motherboards, 305mm graphic cards, and 165mm CPU coolers. Additionally, two 2.5” SSDs can mount on the top of the power supply shroud. Two more SSDs (or HDDs) can also live in the HDD cage (inside the shroud); alongside a 180mm length power supply.

Thanks to the three pre-installed Molex fans (2 x 140mm, 1 x 120mm), the X2 MESH’s interior temps are pretty good out of the box. Unfortunately, one downside though, is that the front panel design blocks off the P.S shrouds airflow. As a result, it can get quite toasty in there.

All in all, those looking to spend the bare minimum will like this small ATX case.

Pros
  • Attractive design
  • Good ventilation in main chamber
  • Magnetic dust covers
  • Three included RGB fans
  • Cheap price
Cons
  • Front grill blocks off airflow to P.S. shroud
  • Pre-installed fans are quite noisy
  • Hard to manage cables
  • Molded expansion slots
  • Fans connect by Molex

12. Cooler Master MasterBox Q500L

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions: [L×W×D]: 15.2″ x 9.1” x 15”
Volume: 34L

The MasterBox Q500L is a highly functional 34L case that offers impressive thermal performance. It has a simple cube-shaped design that can support standard ATX-size motherboards, as well as perforated front, top, and bottom panels to maximize airflow.

To cover the perforated sides of the chassis, the Q500L comes with three magnetic dust filters. These have a geometric pattern that creates a unique aesthetic. We particularly like that the dust covers are incredibly simple (and satisfying) to peel off for cleaning with either air or water.

An edge-to-edge acrylic side panel on the side of the chassis provides a full clear view of your hardware. Each corner has a thumbscrew to hold it in place. Fortunately, the thumbscrews are rubberized to protect against marks from over-tightening.

Unusually, you will also notice that the I/O port is on the side of the case. This is because you can position the Q500L upright or flat depending on your preference. Due to the equilateral design, another versatile feature is that it’s possible to move the I/O panel to three different locations on both the front and back of the chassis!

In terms of the build, the Q500L can house 360mm GPUs, a normal size ATX power supply, and a 157mm cooler height. Additionally, there’s room for multiple 120mm fans and rads going all around the edge of the chassis. You also get four spots to mount drives behind the motherboard tray.

Overall, it’s a top modular chassis for a compact budget build.

Pros
  • Versatile I/O panel
  • Multiple layout options
  • Fairly lightweight
  • Includes magnetic dust covers
  • Budget price
Cons
  • Transparent panel is plastic
  • Metal is quite thin and bendy
  • Could use more ventilation

11. SilverStone Technology FARA R1

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]: 17.6’ x 8.2” x 15.4”
Volume: 37L

The FARA R1 is an eye-catching mid-tower chassis with a minimalist look and feel. Built to increase air intake while reducing unnecessary space, it features a full-mesh steel front panel and a shortened chassis height. The result is a compact yet breathable 37-liter compartment.

To meet your preference, the R1 is available in two universal colors: black or white, and with or without a lightly tinted glass side panel. As you can see, this particular model comes with a tempered glass side. For easy access, this is held on by four corner thumbscrews.

With the side panels removed, it’s on to mounting your hardware. The main chamber can support ATX-size motherboards, 347mm graphics cards, and 165mm CPU coolers. Besides this, there’s room for two SSDs side-by-side on top of the full-length power supply shroud. 

For additional storage, two more 2.5″ SSDs can mount behind the motherboard tray, and a single SSD or HDD can slot into the drive cage that lives in the P.S. shroud. It’s worth noting that if you do decide to install the removable drive cage, this limits the PSU length to 160mm.

To cool your components, the R1 has a total of six fan mounts for 120mm/ 140mm fans. Three of these are at the front, two are up top, and there’s one more in the rear. The deal does include one rear exhaust fan; however, you’ll probably want to order some more to go behind the front panel.

All in all, it’s another attractive small ATX case on a budget.

Pros
  • Attractive design
  • Great ventilation
  • Flexible & Easy to use
  • Three front USB ports
  • Fits Large PSUs
Cons
  • Only comes with one fan
  • Tight rear cable management space
  • The PCI-E slot coverings are push out

10. Raijintek THETIS

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]: 14.4” x 8.3” x 14.2”
Volume: 27.7L

Those searching for a compact ATX case with an elegant style are going to love the THETIS. Manufactured using a lot of aluminum (with a silver finish) and high-quality components throughout, this is a strong, lightweight, and gorgeous case that has a premium look and feel.

In addition to the lovely brushed aluminum construction, the THETIS features a high-quality tempered glass side panel with a smoked tint. As you can see, the tint is quite dark. Therefore, it’s preferential for those wanting to hide their internals rather than display them through the side.

Despite its small 27.7-liter size, this THETIS can still accommodate full-size ATX motherboards, 170mm CPU coolers, and 280mm GPUs. Due to being an inverted PC case, the graphics card slots into the expansion slots in the top of the rear panel, and the exhaust fan locates just beneath this.

Having a solid front panel and a large glass side window makes the THETIS more suitable for liquid cooling. The roof of the case has a ventilated mesh top panel and clearance to mount a 240mm radiator. Additionally, there’s room for one 120mm floor fan, plus a 120mm exhaust.

Overall, the THETIS is a well-built, compact ATX case that has a super small volume.

Pros
  • Beautiful design
  • High-quality materials
  • Good radiator support
  • Extremely compact
Cons
  • Top metal mesh cover feels a bit cheap
  • Basic set of accessories
  • A bit pricey

9. Phanteks Eclipse P360A

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]: 18.6” x 7.8” x 17.7”
Volume: 42.3L

The Eclipse P360A brings high airflow performance into a compact ATX case. As an upgraded version of the P300A, it integrates a new full mesh front panel. The ultra-fine steel mesh not only provides the best possible temperatures but also prevents dust from entering the system.

Apart from the upgraded front panel, the P360A closely resembles its predecessor. It has the same full-length P.S. shroud in the bottom of the case. Moreover, flush above that is the same tempered glass side window. One minor difference is that this now removes via thumbscrews at the rear.

Once inside, the interior can support E-ATX motherboards with a 160mm CPU cooler, 400mm graphics cards, and four 120mm fans. You’ll be glad to know that the chassis includes a pre-installed 120mm rear fan. Besides this, there’s room for two 120mm fans in the front and top.

Unlike many other case designs, the P360A takes advantage of front-loading HDD trays (behind the front panel, in the P.S. shroud). These provide easy-access storage for two 3.5” drives. Additionally, for SSDs, it’s possible to mount two 2.5” drives behind the motherboard tray.

Overall, the P360A stands out for its amazing airflow, value, and quality.

Pros
  • Sturdy construction
  • Real tempered glass
  • Programmable LED light strip
  • Removable dust filters
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • No noise insolation material
  • No cable management grommets
  • Materials are quite cheap

8. CORSAIR iCUE 220T RGB Airflow

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]: 17.7” x 8.3” x 15.6”
Volume: 37.3L

The Corsair 220T Airflow is a stylish mid-tower ATX smart case with a compact, high-airflow design. It comes equipped with a perforated front grill and three pre-installed SP120 RGB PRO fans. Additionally, the deal includes a very useful Lightning Node Core RGB controller.

Made from solid steel, the 220T offers fantastic resilience and durability. The chassis is incredibly rugged and leaves no concern over damaging the front grill. You will however have to go a bit more careful with the tempered glass side panel, though, as this mounts using four corner thumbscrews.

The interior provides room for 12” x 9” motherboards, 300mm GPUs, and 160mm CPU coolers. Furthermore, at the bottom of the chassis, you’ll find a built-in PSU cover to keep power supplies and cables out of sight. This can house 180mm PSUs, plus a removable drive cage for two 3.5” HDDs.

Considering the 220T is designed for air intake, the radiator support in the case is also pretty good. Behind the three pre-installed case fans, there’s clearance to install a 360mm rad. Additionally, a 240mm radiator (or two 140mm fans) can fit in the top, and there’s room for a 120mm exhaust.

Lastly, on top is the I/O panel. This has two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a 3.5mm combo jack, and your power/ reset buttons.

Pros
  • Good airflow
  • Removable dust filters
  • Tempered glass w/ thumb screws
  • Includes RGB controller
Cons
  • Limited room for HDD cage
  • No exhaust fan
  • A bit basic

7. NZXT H510i

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]
:  18.1″ x 8.2″ x 16.9″
Volume: 41.3L

The H510i is a bestselling compact ATX case from NZXTs iconic “H-Series”. It’s available in three different color combinations and offers a spacious 41L interior that’s ideal for a range of builds. Since its original release, you’ll be glad to know that it comes with many updated features.

In terms of the build, the H510i goes for an all-steel panel construction with a tempered glass side window. For easy access, a single thumbscrew holds the window in position. Furthermore, a strip of perforations line the length of the steel side panels for adequate ventilation.

The main chamber supports 12” x 9.6” motherboards, 165mm CPU coolers, and 381mm graphics cards. For your GPU, there are seven standard expansion slots, plus two more for vertical mount. Additionally, on the floor of the chassis is a full-length P.S. shroud that can house ATX PSUs.

In terms of cooling, the H510i can accommodate two 120/ 140mm intake fans, a 120mm exhaust fan, and one 120/ 140mm fan in the roof. Impressively, the H510i includes two preinstalled Aer F120 fans with the deal. As a result, you’ll only need to install one more fan in the roof to max it out.

Unfortunately, the H510i does have somewhat low storage capacity with room for just two 3.5” HDDs and one 2.5” SSD. The HDDs slot into a removable drive cage that lives in the front of the power supply shroud. Whereas the SSDs mount vertically on a bracket behind the motherboard tray.

Finally, much like the other “I” versions of the H-Series chassis, a free NZXT CAM-powered Smart Device and two pre-RGB LED strips are included with the deal. The CAM’s intuitive interface allows for effortless control over the pre-installed/ pre-wired fans, as well as the RGB LED strips.

Overall, the H510i is a clean and minimal case that comes with everything you need.

Pros
  • Clean design
  • Includes two fans and a smart hub
  • Great cable management
  • Easy to upgrade
  • Spacious/ affordable
Cons
  • Front air intake is restricted
  • Janky thumb screws
  • Limited fan configurations
  • Lacking storage space

6. Lian Li LANCOOL 215

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]:  
19″ x 8.5″x 18.2″
Volume:
44.2L

The Lancool 215 is a high-performance, budget case built for unobstructed airflow. It features a large honeycomb front mesh panel and comes equipped with three pre-installed fans. Two of these are 200mm ARGB intake fans, which create an awesome dazzling effect through the front mesh.

On the side of the case is a 4mm thick tempered glass panel. This removes by unscrewing two thumbscrews at the rear and then sliding it back with your hands. While having it remove in this way is quite easy, it does require both hands and the glass is prone to picking up greasy fingerprints.

Once inside, there’s room for up to e-ATX motherboards, 370mm graphics cards, and 166mm coolers. Apart from this, the interior is relatively compact with just a few grommets for capable management. The rear panel has seven horizontal expansion slots but no vertical slots.

A full-length power supply shroud lives in the bottom of the main chamber. This can house a sliding drive cage, plus 210mm power supplies. For storage, 2 x 3.5″ HDDs or 1 x 2.5″ SSDs can mount in the HDD cage. Additionally, two more SSDs can secure behind the motherboard tray.

The 215s fan support is particularly impressive. Besides the three preinstalled fans (two 200mm intake fans and one 120mm exhaust), there’s room for two 140mm (or 120mm) fans in the roof, and two 120mms on the perforated P.S shroud. As a result, you can also push air up through the chassis.

Finally, the I/O panel can be found on the top. This has two USB 3.0 ports, an audio jack, and three control buttons. The control buttons are for your power, reset, and LED lighting modes.

In short, the Lancool 215 is highly rated, small ATX case that offers fantastic bang for your buck.

Pros
  • Great build quality
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Fantastic air flow
  • Easily to route wires
  • Included fans are pretty good
Cons
  • No vertical PCI-e slots
  • No SSD support on P.S. shroud
  • Glass slide panel prone to marks
  • Doesn’t include an exhaust fan

5. Corsair 4000D

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]:
 18.4″ x 9.1″ x 17.8” 
Volume: 48.5L

The Corsair 4000D is an ATX mid-tower chassis that offers easy cable management and exceptional cooling. This particular version of the case features a solid steel front and smoke-tint tempered glass panels. However, it’s also available to buy in Airflow and RGB variations.

Aesthetically, the 4000D flaunts a clean and modern look with a fairly minimalistic style. Apart from the small Corsair logo at the bottom of the front panel, there’s very little noticeable branding. We also like the distinctive two-tone colors that separate the front panel from the ventilation shroud.

On the side of the case is a large tempered glass window for admiring your internals. Much like the front panel, this is held in place by tool-less clips. We noticed that the side panels do pop off quite easily; however, a pair of captive thumbscrews (at the rear) allow you to securely lock them in place.

Once inside, there’s room for an ATX mobo (with a 170mm CPU cooler), ATX PSUs, and 360mm graphics cards. Thanks to the two vertical expansion slots, it’s possible to mount your GPU vertically. Unfortunately, the case does not include a riser cable so you would have to buy one separately.

For storage, there’s a decent amount of capacity room for both SSDs and HDDs. A total of four SSDs can mount behind the motherboard tray and on the power supply shroud. Additionally, two HDDs can live in the removable drive cage that mounts in the rear of the power supply shroud. 

In terms of airflow, the spacious interior can accommodate up to six 120mm or four 140mm cooling fans. This includes three 120mm fans in the front/ top and one exhaust at the rear. You’ll be glad to know that the deal also comes pre-installed with two 120mm AirGuide anti-vortex fans. 

All in all, if you’re after a quality ATX case with a small price tag, you can’t go wrong with the 4000D.

Pros
  • Stunning aesthetics
  • Great airflow
  • Includes two quiet AirGuide fans
  • Easy cable management
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • Rear fan not included
  • No riser cable
  • Quite big

4. Fractal Design Define 7 Compact

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]:
 18.7″ x 8.3″ x 16.8”  
Volume: 39L

The Define 7 Compact takes the original Define 7 design and shrinks it down into a smaller, more manageable size. To achieve this, it does sacrifice the ability to open up the interior for extra drive space; however, it still retains its modular top panels for either silence or performance.

What’s great about this case is that it’s so user-friendly. The majority of the panels use tool-less latches that quick release with a bit of a jerk. These panels include a brushed anodized aluminum front, a full tempered glass side panel, as well as the removable top.

With the panels removed, it’s on to the build. The compact yet spacious interior has a generous amount of headroom for ATX mobos, 360mm graphics cards, and 169mm coolers. Additionally, there are seven bridgeless expansions slots at the rear and some grommets for routing cables.

In terms of fan support, the main chamber can house triple 120mm front fans, dual 120mm top fans, and a 120mm exhaust. To get you semi-fitted out, we especially like that the deal includes two Dynamic X2 GP-12 stock fans. One of these is pre-installed in the front and the other is in the rear.

Lastly, a ventilated power supply shroud with a two-part removable cover is located at the bottom of the case. This can store a 165mm PSU with the removable drive cage or a 200mm without. The drive cage can fit two 3.5” HDDs. Additionally, two SSDs can mount on the back of the motherboard tray.

Overall, the Define 7 Compact is a quiet and understated small ATX case.

Pros
  • Sleek aesthetic
  • Open-top access
  • Excellent build quality
  • Pop-open side panels
  • Sound-damping
  • Five front USB ports
Cons
  • Loses some Define 7 features
  • Tight rear cable clearance
  • Only available in black

3. Sliger Cerberus X

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]:  
15″ x 6.8″ x 14.1″
Volume:
19.5L

The Cerberus X is an insanely compact ATX case from U.S. manufacturer Sliger. So compact in fact that the volume measures just 19.5 liters to make it one of the smallest ATX cases you can buy. Surprisingly, the interior is also quite versatile featuring several configuration options.

One of these configuration options includes building with either an ATX or an SFX power supply. Both sizes can mount in the top-rear of the case with cables exiting out the rear. Alternatively, an SFX PSU can fit in the roof of the case (behind the front panel) with cables exiting out of the top.

With an SFX power supply in the top-rear of the case, the Cerberus can accommodate 12” x 16” inch motherboards, 330mm length GPUs, and up to a 75mm cooler. An ATX PSU in the same position can fit a 48mm cooler. Unfortunately, though, this is quite limiting for anybody requiring more clearance.

Another option, however, would be to mount the SFX PSU in the roof of the case. Due to blocking the top half of the front panel, this is the preferred method for liquid cooling. The radiator would then secure on the floor of the case and then any drive brackets can mount on top of that.

Aesthetically, the Cerberus has a minimal design with an X-shape front panel. This particular version of the case comes equipped with a ventilated side panel and a carry handle. Made of high-gauge aluminum, both panels have a powder-coated finish, which has a lovely texture to touch.

Overall, if you’re searching for a highly customizable compact ATX case, this is a great choice. What’s also great is that the manufacturer sells plenty of extra parts and accessories to get it built exactly the way you want. Of course, those will come at an additional cost.

Pros
  • Ultra compact design
  • Versatile mounting options
  • Easy to buy accessories
  • Well ventilated
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Struggle for space

2. Fractal Design Meshify S2 Compact

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]: 18.7” x 8.3” x 16.8”
Volume: 42.3L

The Fractal Meshify S2 Compact is a well-designed mid-tower chassis with a bold, stealth-inspired aesthetic. To provide excellent ventilation and filtered airflow, it has an iconic and somewhat abstract angular front panel that blends elegantly into the rest of the case.

Apart from style and breathability, what’s great about the S2 is that it’s both modular and very user-friendly. The majority of panels use bolt-free latches that quick release with a bit of a tug. This includes a large tempered glass side panel, the front panel, as well as a removable top.

With the chassis stripped down, the S2 is a breeze to access and assemble. The main chamber can support ATX motherboards, 341mm graphics cards (with its front fans), and 169mm CPU coolers. Additionally, there are seven bridgeless expansion slots at the rear but no vertical slots.

At the bottom of the case is a full-length power supply shroud with a two-part removable cover. This can house a 200mm PSU or a 165mm with the HDD cage and front fan. We did find this area is a bit of a squeeze to build in, however, in order to make things easier the HDD cage can shift along.

On top of the power supply shroud, it’s possible to mount two 2.5” SSDs via removable brackets. Additionally, two more can install behind the motherboard tray. Also at the back of the case are multiple tie-down points, cable guides, and velcro straps that make it easy to manage your cables.

In terms of fan support, the chassis can accommodate up to seven 120mm or four 140mm fans. A nice bonus is that the S2 Compact comes equipped with three pre-installed, quiet-operation Dynamic X2 fans. Two of these are 140mm intake fans and one is a 120mm exhaust.

Overall, the Meshify S2 Compact is a fantastic ATX case that offers incredible craftsmanship and a truly well-thought-out design.

Pros
  • Lightweight, yet solidly built
  • Attractive geometric front mesh
  • Three USB ports on front/ top panel
  • Includes three Dynamic X2 fans
  • Slide-out/ flip out dust filters
  • Easy to build in
Cons
  • Fans don’t have PWM control
  • No RGB (a pro, for some)
  • No fan hub included

1. Lian Li Case O11D Mini

Motherboard: ATX
Dimensions [L×W×D]
:  16.5″ x 10.6″ x 15.0″
Volume: 38L

The Lian Li O11 Dynamic Mini is a highly modular, small form factor ATX chassis. Roughly 20% smaller than the original, it refines and upgrades the iconic 011 Dynamic mid-tower – while retaining most of the design elements that made it so popular.

Much like the original O11D, there’s a reason why this case is rated so highly. Not only does it look super clean with its minimalistic steel frame, brushed aluminum side panels, and tempered glass front and side – but it also takes cable management very seriously…

In the rear chamber (behind the angled motherboard), you’ll find plenty of room to store cables, and the back sidebar helps to conceal any mess. To access this space, two elongated rubber grommets allow for easy cable routing from the front (to the back) without any obstructions.

Besides cable storage, the rear chamber also has room for an SFX/ SFX-L power supply and some dedicated drive space. For drive space, two 2.5” SSDs can fix on the back of the removable sidebar. Additionally, two 3.5” drives can install next to this (in the HD cage), underneath the power supply.

Conversely, in the front chamber, there’s room for multiple motherboard configurations. Depending on how you position the interchangeable expansion slots, the O11 Mini allows you to install ITX up to E-ATX boards. Of course, larger motherboards will limit the amount of radiator space inside.

With an ITX setup, it’s possible to mount up to 360mm radiators in the top, 240mms at the side, and a 360mm at the bottom. Alternatively, an ATX configuration has no top radiator space. Instead, you will only be able to mount radiators on the side/ bottom depending on the size of your GPU.

Overall, due to the tempered glass design, those looking to water-cool their system will especially like the O11 Dynamic Mini. In this particular setup, it’s easily the best small ATX case around!

Click here for the Lian Li Air Mini!

Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Modular design for ATX, M-ATX, ITX
  • Easy to build inside
  • Includes fan filters
  • Superb cable management
Cons
  • Does not support ATX PSU
  • Thumbscrews a little hard to turn
  • Top cover could have more holes
  • No included fans

What is the smallest ATX case?

NameDimensions: [L×W×D]Volume [Litres]
Montech X2 MESH17.6” x 7.5” x 15,0” 32.3L
Cooler Master MasterBox Q500L15.9” x 9.1” x 15,0”34.0L
SilverStone Technology FARA R117.6’ x 8.2” x 15.4” 37.0L
Raijintek THETIS14.4” x 8.3” x 14.2” 27.7L
Phanteks Eclipse P360A18.6” x 7.8” x 17.7” 42.3L
CORSAIR iCUE 220T17.7” x 8.3” x 15.6” 37.3L
NZXT H510i18.1″ x 8.2″ x 16.9″ 41.3L
Lian Li LANCOOL 21519,0″ x 8.5″ x 18.2″ 44.2L
Sliger Cerberus X15,0″ x 6.8″ x 14.1″ 19.5L
Fractal Design Define 7 Compact18.7″ x 8.3″ x 16.8” 39.0L
Corsair 4000D 18.4″ x 9.1″ x 17.8” 48.5L
Lian Li Case O11D Mini16.5″ x 10.6″ x 15,0″ 38.0L
Fractal Design Meshify S2 Compact18.7” x 8.3” x 16.8” 42.3L


We hope you found a small ATX case for compact builds on this list.

Click here for the 10 Best Mesh PC Cases for Airflow!

Click here for the best Inverted PC cases!








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