• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Question Basic micro atx mid (mini?) tower

Herr Kutz

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2009
I'm looking for a basic micro ATX mid (mini?) tower. The more plain looking, the better.

Due to the size of the desk it will be placed in, it needs to be relatively small. The maximum dimensions of the desk cubby are 11"(W) x 17"(H) x 18"(D). Usb ports need to be front mounted so they can be easily accessed/used (power button too if possible). I would also like at least one 5.25" space for a DVD drive (2 preferred so I have the option of installing a front mounted usb/card reader) and I would prefer something wide enough to accept normal height video cards. Something along the lines of the old Antec NSK3480.

I am currently using an Antec NSK1480 which is 4.5″(W) x 15.1″(H) x 16.1″(D).

The closest thing I've found to what I'm looking for is the Fractal Core 1100 at only 6.9"(W) x 14.10"(H) 16.14"(D). Thought I would run it by the forum before deciding to see if there is something better on the market.


Nov 23, 2016
I have two of those Core 1100. If you really want card reader and DVD, that is probably one of the smallest you can find that fits ATX mobo and PSU. Five things that are bad about that case (if that matters to you):
- PSU is on top and sucks in hot air from CPU
- only one front fan
- The dist filter is a joke. the bottom of the front has a 20mm opening that bypasses the "filter"
- zero cable management options
- teh mobo tray doesn't have an opening for the CPU. So if you replace the cooler, or re-apply paste, you need to remove the mobo.

They were good a few years ago, but today i wouldn't by them new. I mean, if you are interested in one, send me a PM (I guess I have to work on my sales pitch....)

Unless you do card reading and DVDs often, I'd recommend using external devices (via USB) and get a modern case without 5.25"

Edit: I use one tucked behind a living room PC, they are the narrowest regular ATX tower at 175mm I could find, but too long/deep due to the DVD option


Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
I'd hit up a mom 'n pop computer shop (if any remain in your area) and see what used OEM cases they have lying around. Guess it depends on the philosophy of the owner, what they charge for these parts... at one local shop, they'd sooner throw them in the dumpster than sell them cheap (don't want to hurt sales of new cases?? ...so I pull out of dumpster and they're FREE lol), but at another I frequented more often, I'd get cases for $10 then haggle to get a combo discount on multiple items. :)

Obviously with the OEMs you have to pay attention to whether it follows mATX standards and consider the PSU form factor too... I usually put a higher-cap PSU in, and the cases usually didn't include the PSU anyway.


Senior member
Oct 19, 2001
One of the case companies sold scratch and dent cases that were almost perfect at a large discount. I don't have the link anymore.