Help me find a MicroATX case

drasnordrasnor Starship OperatorHawthorne, CA Icrontian

I bought one of Thrax's graphics cards and it doesn't fit in my PC. I've been pretty underwhelmed by my current case ( and really could use something more rugged for the road. Unfortunately, I'm constrained by the fact that whatever I get needs to do double-duty as the HTPC. I've been looking around but it seems nothing in this size class is made anymore that isn't fugly or have terrible construction. I'm open to suggestions.


  • Maximum size (HxWxD): 11"x12"x16"
  • Needs to accommodate a mATX motherboard
  • Needs to accommodate a standard ATX power supply
  • Needs to accommodate one full-length graphics card (11") with either front or top power plugs
  • Requires at least one external full-size 5.25" drive bay
  • Requires at least two internal 2.5" drive bays or one internal 3.5" drive bay


  • None or tasteful accouterments
  • External 3.5" drive bay or media card reader
  • Front panel USB/Audio on the front of the case
  • No Front Door
  • Robust construction

I have money to solve this problem.


  • JokkeJokke Bergen, Norway Icrontian
    edited March 2014

    BitFenix Phenom might suit your requirements. Or the Lian-Li PV-V355.

  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian

    I have heard that you do need a bit more space for thrax' cards.

  • JokkeJokke Bergen, Norway Icrontian

    Damn, @Thrax, why is your stuff so... big?


    I think that will solve your problem.

    Silverstone has a lot of nice small form factor cases, many accommodate a laptop optical drive instead, may be worth consideration if it's in your budget. I think the SG09 with a slim optical drive is an appealing option from a cooling standpoint but that looks about a half inch taller than you specked. The SG02-F should work utilizing brackets for your 2.5" drives.


    Here is another option. 11" with side plugs will probably fit fine, but plugs to the rear of the card are going to be pushing it. I can't imagine removing a fan to accommodate here, it looks like it's going to be a strict requirement to move air. One nice thing here is the removable motherboard tray though. Should make building in the confined space tolerable.

  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian

    @Jokke said:
    Damn, Thrax, why is your stuff so... big?

    Only eATX for this monster.

  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    Sadly the BitFenix cases exceed the maximum size bounding box. The reviews on the Silverstone SG02 backed up my impression from the product photos that it has poor construction and incompatible layout (hard drives OR video card, what?) Lian Li V351 is the current frontrunner; it has more drive bays than the V355 but is somehow still smaller. Which isn't saying much, it is barely smaller than the max bounding box. I was really hoping to find something smaller; there's no reason these need to be so large.

  • BlueTattooBlueTattoo Boatbuilder Houston, TX Icrontian

    If the outside physical size plus graphics card are the major constraints, would you consider changing the motherboard? I have been looking for a new mATX case for one of my systems and haven’t noticed any that fit your requirements – all are too tall or too deep.

    This Cooler Master mini-ITX case (I’m sure there are others) fits all of your listed Requirements except mATX motherboard. If you don’t need the expansion slots and can live with two memory slots, it’s something to think about.

  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    Physical height is a hard constraint so that my projector screen is not occluded by the chassis and I have expansion cards: wireless NIC and sound card. I had considered the new motherboard route but honestly that's the same as new computer to me.

  • SignalSignal Icrontian

    Your requirements are pretty limiting. Switching to an external disc drive would open up a lot more case options for you.

  • This might be worth consideration but it looks like it's a bit too tall -

  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like Icrontian

    @Cliff_Forster said:
    This might be worth consideration but it looks like it's a bit too tall -

    Looks like an early 90's Aiwa boombox.

  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Icrontian
    edited March 2014

    I see the resemblance.

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