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Everything You Need to Know About Mini Computer Cases

Computer towers and other cases don_x001A_t have to take up a lot of space. In scenarios in which space is a precious commodity, a mini PC case can be a great way to accommodate your computing needs. Whatever those needs are, you_x001A_ll find a wide selection of new and pre-owned mini computer cases on eBay.

What is a mini computer case?

Mini in this context refers specifically to the Mini-ITX form factor. Mini-ITX is a motherboard form factor that measures 6.7 inches by 6.7 inches. A Mini-ITX case is a computer case that has been designed to accommodate this form factor without wasting much additional space. Larger computer cases can often accommodate Mini-ITX mainboards but are larger than necessary. The smallest Mini-ITX cases available, often called ultra-compact or similar, can look a lot like media boxes or other compact consumer electronics for home entertainment. Mini-ITX is often used for:

  • Web stations
  • Home theater PCs
  • Home security hubs
  • Home automation hubs
  • Budget-friendly gaming systems
Does a mini computer case require specific component sizes?

A Mini-ITX case cannot accommodate motherboards with form factors larger than Mini-ITX. Some of these cases can accommodate smaller form factors, such as Micro-ATX, but not all. In terms of components, there are no standardized limitations, but you may be restricted by the internal space available. Many component manufacturers offer low-profile cards, which are not as thick and not as wide and are therefore easier to install in a small computer case.

What ports are available on Mini-ITX cases?

As with all computer cases, Mini-ITX does not support inputs and outputs directly but rather can provide more convenient access, such as via front-mounted USB ports, to technology facilitated by the mainboard and the components connected to it. Some of the ports you can expect to find include:

  • Audio in/out
  • Headphone jack
  • SD card reader
  • USB 2.0 and 3.0
How do you cool a mini computer case?

Small PC cases are often used in scenarios where passive cooling is enough. Due to lesser internal surface area, a small case with get hotter relative to a large case with the same components. Many small cases do have case fans that blow hot air out. This is in addition to the PSU fan, which blows outward, and the CPU fan, which, if applicable, moves air internally. Low-profile fans, which lie horizontally and which take the place of a motherboard component, are an option for additional fan cooling.