The Best Short PC Cases to Put on a Desk

If you’ve gotten a desktop PC, you could not need to put it on the ground for a number of causes: possibly you reside with a toddler who might get curious in regards to the performance of the ability button, or with a pet that drops an excessive amount of hair. Maybe you want frequent entry to the motherboard rear connectors, or maybe you merely need to exhibit your system.

The downside is that your present case, like most instances that may match the parts you’ve gotten, might not seem like one thing that must be on a desk both: in tower-style instances, I/O connectors in the course of the entrance panel are all however gone, which can require you to get up so as to use them. Depending on what a part of the desk your PC stands on, it may additionally fall over in the event you stumble upon its higher half. Maybe it would not look good to you on a desk both.

There are shorter instances which are way more appropriate than most to be used on a desk. Here are a few of the better of them, for each finances, dimension requirement, or sort of PC.

masthead credit score: oatsmalone

Best for Gaming

The Lian Li O11 Air Mini is without doubt one of the most compact instances that both assist an ATX motherboard or Micro-ATX and a top-mounted radiator. The rear panel is modular, so you’ll be able to set up it in accordance to your present {hardware}. The case makes use of a dual-chamber design to save peak, with the PSU and up to six SATA drives, of which up to 4 3.5″ HDDs, within the different chamber.

After an preliminary recall and alternative of the mesh panels, airflow is sweet with two 140mm followers within the entrance and a 120mm one on the rear. With an ATX motherboard, radiators of 240mm may be put in on the backside or on the aspect (in the event you take away one of many dual-HDD plates), however 280mm ones can solely be put in within the entrance. With a Micro-ATX motherboard you may additionally find a way to set up the latter on prime (in mATX mode) or on the backside (in ATX mode).

Other than that, the aspect window is made from tempered glass, and the underside mud filter is well detachable from the aspect. The prime I/O contains three USB 3.0 ports, together with one Type-C. The case is offered in black or white, for $110 and $121 on Newegg, respectively.

Best Old School

A case that nearly made it into our listing of greatest old-school instances, the Cooler Master HAF XB Evo contains two 5.25″ bays and 4 SATA drive bays (2 of which hot-swappable) in 3 detachable cages. Unlike the Lian Li O11 , this ATX case saves peak by mounting the motherboard horizontally, on a detachable tray, above the drives and PSU.

The CPU and graphics card are saved cool with two 120mm followers within the entrance. Those may be changed with a 240mm radiator or 140mm followers, however 280mm radiators aren’t formally supported, besides the Nepton 280L. You can add a 200mm fan on prime, a 120mm one on the rear, and two 80mm ones behind the SATA drive cages.

The entrance I/O could be very handy to use whereas sitting in entrance of the case. It solely contains Type-A USB 3.0 connectors, however thanks to the 5.25″ bays you’ll be able to add any connector you need. Despite its dimension, the case is simple to carry thanks to massive handles on the perimeters.

Best Value

If you’ve gotten a Micro-ATX motherboard, then the Thermaltake Core V21 will give you the perfect worth at $70. The case contains 5 enlargement slot covers, although mATX instances solely assist 4 enlargement slots, in case you put in a multi-slot card within the backside slot.

This case would not simply seem like a dice, but in addition works like one. Its important physique may be put in in any orientation on the underside panel. If you’ve gotten a graphics card, the default orientation with the motherboard mounted horizontally will present the perfect distribution of weight (and a detachable filter for the PSU). If not, it’s your decision to rotate the principle physique 90 levels in order that the PSU and the CPU cooler are each close to the underside. The Thermaltake emblem is printed on a magnet you could rotate accordingly.

The prime and aspect panels are interchangeable, so you’ll be able to select the place to put the acrylic aspect window (beware not to choke your graphics card with it). The different two panels supply massive vents with magnetic filters.

With a 200mm fan within the entrance, the V21 has no points with cooling. You may set up a 120mm or 140mm fan on the rear, and a 280mm radiator in 3 completely different areas. In a type of areas, you’ll be able to set up it subsequent to a 240mm one!

The PSU chamber helps up to six SATA drives, of which up to three 3.5″ HDDs. The case only offers Type-A USB 3.0 and no 5.25″ bays (although the principle physique has the house for one), however for the value it is onerous to complain.

Most Compact

If you need absolutely the most compact case that may match a Micro-ATX motherboard, look no additional. This case would not even waste house on a PSU chamber, however places the PSU within the entrance, drawing air via the perimeters of the entrance panel and releasing it via the perforated prime panel (the exterior energy twine nonetheless connects to the rear of the field). If you’ve gotten a tower-style CPU cooler, it’s your decision to rotate it 90 levels in both route if potential, because it will not get direct airflow from the entrance.

The case solely comes with one 80mm rear fan, however you’ll be able to add one other one, in addition to three 120mm ones: 1 on prime and a couple of on the backside. The backside spots will also be used for SATA drives, and one other one may be put in behind the PSU. Unless you utilize each of the underside spots for HDDs, you’ll be able to set up one other SSD underneath the PSU.

The entrance panel has two USB 3.0 Type-A connectors on prime. For about $70, it is a good worth. The important characteristic fully lacking is devoted cable administration house, so you may need to use a modular PSU with this case.

Best for NAS

Even in the event you want 10 disk drives in a single bundle, you do not have to purchase a full ATX case. The Fractal Design Node 804 can home 8 of these in two cages within the PSU chamber, and a couple of extra on the ground of the motherboard chamber. The entrance panel has house for two SATA SSDs and a slim optical drive.

Each chamber comes with its personal 120mm rear fan. In the PSU chamber, you’ll be able to change it with a 140mm one. That chamber may home a 280mm radiator on prime (as an alternative of the drive cages), whereas the principle chamber helps 240mm (or two 140mm followers) so long as your RAM is not too tall. Each chamber additionally helps two 120mm entrance followers (the motherboard chamber comes with one), however due to the form of the entrance panel, one in every chamber could be sufficient. That’s additionally why we do not suggest putting in 240mm radiators within the entrance, although every chamber helps one.

Like the ThermalTake Core V21, the case has 5 enlargement slot covers, however in the event you set up any card in it, you need to transfer the entrance fan to the underside of the panel to assist cooling it.

Each chamber additionally has its personal detachable mud filters on the backside and behind the entrance panel. The rear of the case contains a bodily 3-speed fan controller, and on the aspect of the entrance panel are two USB 3.0 Type-A connectors.

More Solutions for Limited Desk Spaces

If you want your PC on your desk, however haven’t got the house for many of the instances we advisable, you could want to accept a common Micro-ATX case. Cooler Master gives two good choices with a 5.25″ bay within the MasterField NR400 and Silencio S400.

If you do not want an exterior bay, the Fractal Design Meshify C Mini and Define C Mini are good alternate options. If you favor to avoid wasting cash, take a look at the corporate’s Focus G Mini.


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