Computer cases are one of the most important, but underrated, parts of a PC. Cases not only protect desktops’ parts from damage, but they also control airflow, keep out dust, muffle sound, and can serve as eye candy. That’s no matter what you’re planning to do with your PC or where you’re going to place it. As such, it’s important to know the four major computer case sizes and what makes them unique.
What are the different sizes?
There are three major case sizes, with a fourth that may or may not matter to you. The first three below are the most common, with most cases being MicroATX (Mini Tower) or ATX (Mid Tower). The total four include:
Small Form Factor (SFF) or Mini-ITX cases
Mini Tower or MicroATX cases
Mid Tower or ATX cases
Full Tower or EATX cases.
Small Form Factor (Mini-ITX)
SFF cases, or Mini-ITX cases, are quite special. They’re incredibly tiny by computer standards, and even by other standards. Thanks to miniaturization, cases have become much smaller. That’s why the SFF case was created with one major benefit in mind: it’s small.
SFF cases are great to take on the go, put in a tight space, or just minimize square footage. Plus, as it's smaller, the case is lighter, meaning you can put it in a bag or suitcase and take it with you. For times you need a small case, SFF cases are great. The only issue is that SFF is a bit more expensive, as Mini-ITX is the same quality, in a smaller size.
Mini Tower (MicroATX)
Mini towers are cheap and very average. While that sounds like an insult, it’s great! That means you can have some amazing designs with RGB lighting, unique materials, and more, all for a great price. Plus, with everything inside working with MicroATX, some components are cheaper and smaller as well.
While not as small as an SFF case, mini-towers still allow some portability or space-saving benefits. You can’t fit a mini tower in a shoebox, although you can put it next to a monitor on your desk without using up too much space.
Mid Tower (ATX)
Mid towers are what many think of when computer cases come to mind. They’re perfectly average size, sitting as one of the most popular cases today. Mid towers and their ATX parts are quite common, decently priced, and wide-ranging.
The biggest benefit of ATX is its space/cost ratio — you can fit more in it, making it perfect for the gamer or worker on a slight space constraint. ATX is incredibly common, meaning that parts and components are a bit cheaper than mini-ATX, although a bit more expensive than MicroATX. Even still, mid towers, like the Turtletronix Model V1, have space for multiple GPUs, multiple disk drives, and have low prices to boot.
Full Tower (EATX)
Full towers are incredibly rare for most people, having been used primarily for servers and people with an enthusiast-level commitment. EATX is a massive size, giving full towers the ability to hold multiple CPUs, GPUs, motherboards, fans, and much more. The sheer scale of EATX parts and the size of a full tower case allows maximum breathing room and power. It’s a beast.
Which case is for me?
Here are a few advantages and disadvantages for each case:
SFF | very small and light, but parts can be expensive.
Mini Tower | a bit smaller than average, with slightly cheaper prices to boot.
Mid Tower | perfectly average, whether in size, cost, or use.
Full Tower | great for servers and enthusiasts, although expensive and large.
The case for you depends on what you have in mind for its use, meaning every scenario differs. Depending on your budget, storage space, component size, existing parts, and more, some cases may work better for you, while others don’t. We recommend you check out a company's range of cases, for example, Turtletronix's, to see the dimensions of each case and compare them against your parts before buying.