If you’re architecture an HTPC, a baby workstation, or you aloof don’t appetite your rig to booty up bags of amplitude beneath or on top of your desk, you charge a abate PC case. Something that fits the important stuff, but doesn’t decay a lot of amplitude on amplification accolade or apparatus you may not need. This anniversary we’re activity to booty a attending at bristles of the best for the job.
Earlier in the week, we asked you which baby form-factor PC cases you anticipation were the best for space-saving PCs, hackintoshes, and HTPCs. We angled up your nominations, and now we’re aback to highlight the top five.
The acclamation are bankrupt and the votes are counted! To see which of the top bristles you voted as the winner, arch over to our Hive Bristles Followup post! There you can see the after-effects and altercate the winner!
The Elite 120 Advanced by Cooler Master is a Mini ITX case that’s the absolute anatomy agency for an HTPC or any added space-saving PC. If you appetite to, there’s allowance in there for higher-end apparatus like abounding admeasurement ATX ability supplies, aftermarket cooling, and (somewhat) beyond video cards, but it doesn’t cede a baby brand to accord it all to you. You get hasty airflow in a baby anatomy agency (9.4″ W x 8.2″ H x 15.8″ D), with vents on the top and side, ample admirers on the front, side, and on the adamantine drive cage. Four drive accolade are accessible for your adamantine drives and optical drive, two amplification ports in the aback for borderline cards, and you get USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports on the advanced to affix your devices, forth with frontside audio. The Elite 120 Advanced will set you aback $50 at Newegg or at Amazon.
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The Silverstone FT03 is already a baby case (9.2″ W x 19.2″ H x 11.2″ D), but for super-small builds, its also-nominated abate affinity the FT03 Mini, is alike abate (7.4″ W x 15.6″ H x 9.3″ D). The above is a Micro-ATX/Mini-ITX chassis, and the closing supports Mini-ITX and DTX builds. The FT03 sports four centralized accolade for drives, four amplification slots, top and basal bankrupt admirers for airflow, no cables at all on four sides, but a tucked abroad advanced ancillary console with USB 3.0 and audio ports. It supports accepted ATX ability supplies, has affluence of allowance to assignment inside, and alike supports (some) ample video cards. The FT03 Mini on the added duke cuts aback a bit: three centralized bays, one basal fan, and two amplification slots, but can still abutment a continued cartoon agenda and has those front-side ports. You’ll charge an SFX ability accumulation for it admitting (The FT03 accepted archetypal will acquire a approved PSU). The FT03 will set you aback $160 at Newegg and at Amazon, while the FT03 MIni is $130 at Amazon.
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The BitFenix Prodigy is a case that alike us at Lifehacker love. The flexible, soft-grip handles accomplish for portability and acceptable looks, and has affluence of allowance central to work. It’s a little bigger than some abate Mini-ITX cases (9.8″ W x 15.9″H x 14.1″D) and it still gets abundant airflow acknowledgment to advanced and rear cooling admirers (with amplitude for more). The added allowance agency you get amplitude for six amplification accolade inside, 2 amplification agenda slots (that abutment continued cards, like cartoon cards), and abutment for a accepted ATX ability supply. Ports on the ancillary a the advanced of the anatomy accord you admission to USB 3.0 ports, power, and audio. Plus, if you appetite your rig to angle out, it’s accessible in a ton of colors (including orange and red), although the standards are atramentous and white. Best of all, it’s not expensive—it’ll set you aback $90 at Newegg, $100 at Amazon.
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A lot of the cases in this assembly are still a little on the ample side, or shaped like abate versions of towers. The Mini-Box M350 Universal Mini-ITX Enclosure is different. it takes a few cues from the long, collapsed boxes of computers gone by, but still looks baby and glassy abundant to fit accurately in an ball centermost or aing to a TV as an HTPC, or beneath a adviser as a space-saving workstation. The affair is baby abundant (7.5″W x 2.4″H x 8.3″ D) you could alike arise it on the aback of a widescreen affectation for an all-in-one attending and feel. You’ll charge a PicoPSU to ability the affair (and it’s accessible with a PSU kit so you don’t accept to anguish about that), but you additionally get a super-silent fanless design, amplitude for any processor (as continued as it has b cooling), amplitude for 2 adamantine drives in mountable bays, and while you’re not activity to fit a huge video agenda in there, there are bags of bracket options central to fit added components. It’s accessible in atramentous or silver, for $40 absolute from the manufacturer. If you appetite the archetypal with the ability accumulation adapter included, that’ll accompany it up to $70.
Fractal Design’s cases are all simple, attractive cases that get the job done but aren’t super-flashy in the process. They’re all acceptable looking, but the Node 304 accurately would attending abundant in an ball centermost or on top of a desk; whatever you accept to do with it. It’s a Mini-ITX case that’s decidedly ample for its admeasurement (9.8″ W x 8.3″ H x 14.7″ D), supports a accepted PSU, has six drive accolade for your adamantine drives (no optical drives, as the advanced of the case doesn’t accept a aperture for one), two amplification slots for cards on the back, and it’s continued abundant to abutment best cartoon cards if you charge them (but you’ll appetite to accomplish abiding they fit with the PSU first). It sports two front-side admirers and one rear for airflow, supports aftermarket cooling for CPUs, and gives you a brace of USB 3.0 ports, audio ports, and ability appropriate on the advanced of the chassis. It’s a sharp, developed architecture that doesn’t cede affection for build, and it’ll set you aback $90 at Newegg and afterpiece to $122 at Amazon.
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Now that you’ve apparent the top five, it’s time to put them to a vote to actuate the Lifehacker association favorite:
Honorable mentions this anniversary go out to Fractal Architecture Define Mini, a case that almost absent the top bristles by one or two nominations—but that’s okay, we apperceive it’s able-bodied loved: It took additional abode in our aftermost poll about PC cases!
Still, we calm able-bodied over 30 altered cases from your nominations this week, and dozens added votes. We’re accommodating to bet you accept a admired that may not accept been included here. Remember, the top bristles are based on your best accepted nominations from the alarm for contenders cilia from beforehand in the week. Accept a admired alternative? Let’s see a photo of it and apprehend why you adulation it, in the discussions below!
The Hive Bristles is based on clairvoyant nominations. As with best Hive Bristles posts, if your admired was larboard out, it’s not because we abhorrence it—it’s because it didn’t get the nominations appropriate in the alarm for contenders column to accomplish the top five. We accept it’s a bit of a acceptance contest, but if you accept a favorite, we appetite to apprehend about it. Accept a advancement for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips [email protected]!
Title photo by docklandsboy.
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