In the HTPC build world size isn’t everything! These days we are trying to reduce the size of our builds and create fully portable devices. With the vast selection of mini-ITX motherboards available it was only a matter of time before the HTPC case market caught up. In this Top Mini ITX Cases post I will review some of the very best small HTPC cases available on the internet and the features each has to offer. We will take a look at their designs, features and what you can fit under the hood. I have tried to vary the choices to find small PC cases for all needs. Before finding the best small form factor case you need to decide on what you want to do with your HTPC and the types of components you intend to install.
Top Mini ITX Cases for the Smallest HTPC Build
Compare Small HTPC Case Prices
|Morex 557||Smallest||Smallest case, easy access, fast build time, external PSU, PSU included|
|Chieftec IX-01B-OP||More Disk Space||Horizontal or vertical positioning, space for 2 hard drives (2.5" or 3.5")|
|Thermaltake Core V1||Excellent Cooling||Supports most custom coolers, 2x hard drives (2.5" or 3.5"), modular design, support for PCI cards|
|Silverstone Tek SG13B||Gaming HTPCs||Excellent design, 1X 3.5" or 2X 2.5" HDDs, supports custom cooling devices, supports larger PCI cards (see sizes below)|
|IMagic Pi||Unique Design||Cylindrical case design, 1X 2.5" or 3.5" HDD, supports low profile PCI cards|
Morex 557 – Smallest HTPC Case for the Mini-ITX Motherboard
The Morex 557 mini-ITX case is simple but effective. It provides a tiny HTPC solution with just enough space for the bare minimum PC components. One of the great features of this case is its power supply. Firstly the PSU comes included in the price when with so many great looking cases you have to purchase the power supply separately. Secondly the Morex 557 power supply is external. This provides the smallest possible case size, not much bigger than the size of the mini-ITX motherboard. The PSU can be hidden away behind your TV vastly reducing the noise it produces.
Although this case is small it is extremely accessible. The top lid slides completely off giving you full visibility of the inner workings of your HTPC build. The complete build time using the Morex 557 is around 10 minutes! Due to its size and shape a HTPC built using the Morex 557 is extremely portable. It will sit nicely in pretty much any location in your home. It will even mount to the rear of your flat screen TV. The Morex 557 is compact, impressive looking and great value for money. It is the best small form factor case if you only want the motherboard, CPU and a singe disk. The Morex 557 is the smallest HTPC case possible for mini-ITX motherboards.
Case Dimensions: L x W x H 7.72 x 7.48 x 2.44 inches
Read our full Morex 557 Review.
Not bought your motherboard yet? See our range of motherboard reviews.
Chieftec IX-01B-OP – Best Small Form Factor Case with Extra Disk Storage
The Morex 557 is a great case choice but will only take a single 2.5” hard drive. If you want the higher volumes of storage that a 3.5” hard drive offers then I recommend the Chieftec IX-01B-OP mini-ITX case. This is another small case in design and looks pretty neat. It comes with a stand allowing you to make use of both vertical and horizontal positioning. With the Chieftec IX-01B-OP you get greater storage capabilities. You can install a single 3.5” hard drive or 2X 2.5” disks.
The Chieftec IX-01B-OP is an extremely affordable case and is one of the cheapest on our top mini ITX cases list. The look of the case is similar to that of a standard DVD player and so will look great in any living room. The Chieftec IX-01B-OP is well ventilated and the noise levels will remain low. This case by Chieftec is one of the best small HTPC cases if you want that extra storage capacity for media libraries.
Case Dimensions: L x W x H 7.76 x 8.66 x 2.48 inches
Read our full Chieftec IX-01B-OOP Review.
Need storage for your media libraries? See our hard drive reviews.
Thermaltake Core V1 – Best Mini itx Case for Cooling
The Thermaltake Core V1 mini-ITX case is the first cube style case in our list. One of the areas that Thermaltake as a vendor really get right is cooling and the V1 is certainly no exception. This is one of the top mini ITX cases if you are planning to use the heat generating processors such as the AMD FX9590 or gaming graphics cards. The dual modular design allows you to incorporate the top cooling solutions whether they be air or liquid devices and the chassis is designed for optimum air flow.
Ther Thermaltake Core V1 is the perfect solution for a gaming HTPC. One of the downsides of choosing the best small form factor case is the lack of space for components. The Core V1 has plenty of room for some performance parts and you can put together some powerful builds. It is one of the few small mini ITX cases to support 2X 3.5″ hard drives (or 2X 2.5″ if you would prefer). It features two slots for PCI cards and the advanced chamberisation will ensure that performance gaming graphics cards always remain cool. The case does have a length restriction on PCI cards so please check prior to purchase. Cube cases are certainly different and will look good along side your living room entertainment centre. The Thermaltake V1 is one of the best small cases for those of you who want a HTPC build for gaming.
Case Dimensions: L x W x H 12.4 x 10.2 x 10.9 inches
Read our full Thermaltake Core V1 Review.
Need a power supply? See our range of PSU reviews.
Silverstone Tek SG13B Mini-ITX Cube – Best Mini ITX Case for Design
Silverstone Tek are one of the market leaders for producing top mini ITX cases for HTPC builds. Their devices are all well designed, well built and yet still very affordable. One of the best small HTPC cases by this manufacturer is the SG13B Cube Case. Cube cases are a good choice if you want to keep your HTPC small yet still get some power under the hood. Their cooling is excellent and the SG13B will take many of the custom cooling options out there allowing you to utilise some of the heat emitting PC components.
The SG13B will accommodate 1X 3.5″ hard drive or 2X 2.5″ disks. It will take 2X expansion cards and offers card lengths of up to 10.5″. This will allow you to install some of the high end graphics cards making this case a real winner for gaming HTPC systems (Width restriction of 5.11″. Please check that your chosen card will fit prior to purchase). The SG13B also supports full sized ATX form factor power supplies offering you higher wattage’s and will reduce PSU expense. With the additional space the Silverstone Tek SG13B mini ITX case offers it is a great choice for those of you who want gaming or 4K video capabilities. The SG13B is available in a range of colours.
Case Dimensions: L x W x H 11.22 x 7.13 x 8.74 inches
Putting together a gaming build? [Read: Best Motherboard for Gaming]
IMagic Pi Mini-ITX Cylindrical Case – Top Mini ITX Cases if you Want Something Different
And now for something completely different. Introducing the iMagic PI Cylindrical Mini-ITX case. This is for those who like to be different and want something quirky. Why should a HTPC case have edges? The iMagic PI is a cylindrical design case to house your HTPC build. Stand this next to your TV set and it will not look like a desktop PC at all. It will sit nicely with other modern tech products and has a similar feel to it as the popular Amazon Eco device.
Despite being a non-standard shape the case is surprisingly easy to access your inner workings. The outer chassis comes completely off and all components fit neatly onto rails running through the centre. The case will take either a 3.5″ or 2.5″ hard drive. Do not expect to fit too many expansion cards due to the cases size but it will take a single low profile PCI card. This case looks fantastic and if you are choosing the mini-ITX form factor then expansions are not so important. The iMagic PI is one of the best small HTPC cases if you want something a little different and is available in a range of colours.
Case Dimensions: L x W x H 8.11 x 8.11 x 10.87 inches
Need a low priced CPU? [Read: Best CPU for Under 100 – Power without the Price]
Best Small HTPC Cases – Final Thoughts
If you are planning to use the a mini-ITX motherboard and want the best small form factor case you need to think of the purpose of your HTPC build. Work out what components you are going to need and decide how small you can go. Bear in mind that high performance components require cooling a small form factor cases are not usually as good at this as their larger cousins. You must also ensure that you get the correct power supply to suite your chosen case. There are some great looking case out there and you will not be disappointed with the five listed above.