Mini ITX case help

I will buy (build) Mini ITX system! But i have zero experience. Can you recommend:

-What mini-itx case should i buy and why so i will not have problems with components size
-Can you recommend what kind of power supply unit (PSU) is the best on the market

I search for good price/performance ratio and something that is future proof!

Thanks! :hello:
19 answers Last reply
More about mini case help
  1. what is your budget range?
  2. ITX is lowend, and is junky.... no offesne, Mini-ATX or ATX would be a better way to go
  3. Mini-ITX cases usually come with a power supply. Some of them are excellent quality and some of them are probably junk.

    What is your budget? What is the intended purpose of the system?
  4. ah, I was talking about aboards, my bad...
  5. I don't know. I have zero experience and don't know how much i am willing to spend. Basically it depends on facts. I googled for PSU and found two options:

    And adapter for picoPSU:


    I would like to have fanless PSU but i don't know if it has enough power and if it overheats? And then is picoPSU reliable and good option or are there better thing? What brick should i buy and which picoPSU model... I would like to be able to use all Mini itx boards on the market now and in near future!
  6. I would go Micro-ATX, however what do you plan to use this PC for, basic task like web browsing, watching videos and listening to music. A home theater computer, or a gaming rig????

    And for a budget, I am guessing you want at least under $1000.
  7. Silverstone has some itx cases you can try.

    Good and small, fits upto about a 10inch video card. This case comes with a 300 watt power supply and they sell a 450 watt unit as well. The power supply is SFX so a normal one does not fit. CPU heatsink space is limited to about 85mm in height.

    The SG07.
    A bigger and badder SG series case complete with a 600 watt ATX power supply. This case can fit a larger video cards(yes the 5970 even fits). 117mm heatsinks will fit in this case.

    The biggest down side to itx systems is less hard drive space and smaller heatsinks. So most times you get 1 hard drive and a slim optical drive.

    Lian Li PC-Q08
    If you are after more space in the case, this may be worth a look, but you are getting into MATX sized cases. Normal DVD bay and more hard drive space. This case also takes a full sized ATX power supply.

    As for boards Gigabyte has its H55N-USB3 out and it works very well, but the socket on most H55 boards is problematic for aftermarket cooling. Zotac has some nice ITX boards as well.

    Just a quick image of a SG05 system with a H55N USB3 with 5770 and i5 750. Note the bolted on 775 heatsink. This is done because it was more quiet and cooler as well. There us a slight mod to place the hard drive higher leaving room for 2 and improving air flow.
    Warning 4meg image

    Uploaded with

    Hope this helps
  8. mattius92

    No i am just looking for Mini itx case and PSU for now. And it really shouldn't matter for what i will use it. If i will buy average Mini itx board on the market. It should just work and have enough power to run it.

    So basically PSU is the main factor I am after. PC case now i see doesn't play a big role. So what (fanless) PSU would you recommend to average Mini itx system. Gaming obviously isn't an option to avarage Mini itx user! Web, TV, Video, Music...


    Thanks for suggestions, but i don't want to go in the "gaming" area with mini itx. Gaming is overkill for mini itx! For gaming there are better - more suitable options.
  9. The pic I posted is my media center :) Never hurts to have some light gaming ability on a media center :)

    Most fanless power supplies will still need some kind of case fan. Getting a quiet corsair or similar power supply may be a better option. It will cool the case a bit and still be cool.

    Just how small do you want to go with your case. With small cases the picto psu is a great option.

    If you are after something small. With a I3 and its onboard video the power supply will handle just fine.

  10. So 150 watt power supply is more or less needed for mini itx and at least one fan in case? Or can i afford to cut down the power more and afford not to use fan in the case? And look after sub 100W picoPSU models? But picoPSU models 120W and 150W should be enough for average mini itx user?

    Does picoPSU have some alternatives on the market? Is picoPSU any good or is there something better?
  11. And there is one more thing. If i compare picoPSU models:

    picoPSU-150-XT has 24 pin connector and P4 connector.
    picoPSU-120 Mini-Fit and picoPSU-120 both have 20 pin connectors and no P4 connectors.

    If i buy picoPSU-150-XT it is not compatible to most 20 pin mini itx boards? But on the other hand is the only picoPSU model above 100W to support 24 pin connector and P4 connector.

    Basically 120W should then be "it" for average mini itx system? Everything above is overkill? If I don't use optical units i could go under 100W easily? Model picoPSU-90 has P4 connector and 20 pin connector.

    So these are my questions:
    -How much is P4 connector important in mini itx world?
    -How much does 24 or 20 pin connection matter in mini itx world?
    -Optical unit is the main factor for sub or above 100W PSU?

    And yes, this last examples from nukemaster are closer to mini itx system to built then the first examples! :lol:
  12. SunDancing said:
    No i am just looking for Mini itx case and PSU for now. And it really shouldn't matter for what i will use it.

    It does matter if you plan to game on this system.

    You can run a computer with a relatively low-wattage PSU if you do not intend to game. However, if you plan to put a graphics card that requires additional power, that needs to be taken into account when sizing the PSU.

    There are some wattage calculators linked in the stickies on this forum, you may want to look at one of them in order to better determine how much power you need. Here is one from

    Nukemaster mostly has everything covered, I just wanted to point out that there is a purpose to the questions you are being asked.
  13. No gaming.

    So these are my questions:
    -How much is P4 connector important in mini itx world?
    -How much does 24 or 20 pin connection matter in mini itx world?
    -Optical unit is the main factor for sub or above 100W PSU?

    And one additional one. What would be the "ultimate" PSU (price, performance, silence, stability, long life....) on the market capable to output around 100W of power?

    I think we are there I just need some additional first hand info on this questions. :bounce:
  14. How important connectors like P4 and 20vs24 pic are is a matter of the board you select.

    Many boards do in fact have the P4(4 pin cpu power) connector with no real reason as ITX systems such as those with ATOM cpus have no need for the extra power.

    Every 24 pin board I have used worked fine on 20 pin power supplies. But the P4 pin has to be connected for sure.

    There are adapters you can use with a picto psu to splits molex to get the molex and the 4 pin cpu power connector.

    The pictopsu is little more then some voltage regulators on the power supply 20 or 24 pin connector to get the 5 and 3.3 volts needed(as well as standby voltage and -12 and -5 if supported) from the main 12 volts power supply. The reliability will be all about the 12 volt power supply that comes with it or is purchased separately.

    You have to watch this as some of the 12 volt power supplies have a small fan in them that makes them no longer silent.

    If you are mainly after media playback, you may be interested on building an ATOM based system as with the ION platform, you will get bluray and other HD playback as well as flash video acceleration. It will not be a speed machine, but will work as a good media center and web browsing system with very low power consumption.

    This Zotac board comes with an ION platform(ATOM 330 dual core with HT + Geforce 9400 onboard) and its own 90 watt power supply. Add a case,memory,hard drive,odd optional and you are good to go.
  15. Yes yes. I think we are thinking the same now! :) Atom + ION range. And from your first hand experience, ultimate PSU would then be.

    -around 100-150W and if i understand correctly it is better if AC adapter has a little less power output as PSU unit? For example adapter for 120 picoPSU would optimally be in range up to 100W of (continuous supply) output power?
    -Adapter is key factor here. Better the adapter better PSU unit (system)?
    -20+4 (24) pin connector would be optimal selection for all board.
    -P4 4 pin connector would be optimal and i would not have to buy molex splitter and 4 pin connector separately, no matter what board i buy.
  16. The ac adapter should generally have the same power as the power supply, but building an ATOM system will require very little power so even a 100 watt psu may be overkill. At such low loads almost any combination power supply/picto psu should work.

    I do not have any such low power systems(so have no direct psu recommendations for exacly what psu, just a range). My I5 system idles in the 50watt range(this is what i consider to be low power, with the 5770 removed it gets lower). those ION systems will idle under 30 with ease with the right system config.

    I do recommend 90 -110 to have some headroom. Keeping in mind that Zotac board has its own 80 watt psu included with it :)

    Ar you planning to go with 3.5 or 2.5 inch drives. Will your DVD drive be a slimline or normal?
  17. Quote:
    Zotac board has its own 80 watt psu included with it :)

    There are so many options, one could get lost in all this. But not on tomshardware! ;)

    I will not use optical unit. Based on picoPSU recommendation i can then go sub 100W with PSU if i want. But there still is one problem. If i would like universal solution it would have to have:

    -Around 120W
    -20 + 4 (24) pin connector
    -P4 4 pin connector

    And as far as i can tell there is no such thing on the market? I could go with picoPSU-150-XT just to be safe about the power. BUT it has 24 pin connector and not 20+4. So incompatibility with a lot of boards?

    And then suitable AC adaptor. I just don't know. 100w without a fan is pretty much hot!
  18. I have not come across a board in a long time without a 24 pin ATX connector.So i do not think that will be an issue. If it is, they do make an adapter to use a 24 pin power supply on a 20 pin board, so you are not out of luck.

    As for the power brick with a fan, some only kick on at higher load. Your system may never reach that point.

    I have an HP notebook adapter from a desktop replacement laptop. its 120 watts without a fan. It should be doable, even tho it gets hot.
  19. question: does a mini itx, or any other board for that matter, actually use ALL of the psu power? For example, I have a 250 watt psu runing my mini itx system which includes AMD fm1 processor, 16 GB ram and 1 TB HD plus a CD burner.
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