Friday, April 19, 2024

I can’t wait to try out these upcoming mini-ITX cases


A person setting at a desk with the Cooler Master Ncore 100 Max case.Cooler Master

Mini-ITX PCs have emerged as a compelling option for enthusiasts and casual users, especially where space-saving and versatility are paramount. These compact systems pack powerful performance into a small form factor, making them ideal for various applications, from gaming and content creation to home theater setups and office workstations.


  • Cooler Master Ncore 100 Max
  • Lian Li Dan Cases A3
  • Cooler Master NR200 V2
  • Deepcool CH160
  • Thor Zone NanoQ

Being an avid mini-ITX enthusiast, I’m always eager to discover the latest designs and innovations introduced by case manufacturers. Below are a few intriguing small form factor cases set to launch this year that have caught my attention.

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Cooler Master Ncore 100 Max

Cooler Master

Originally announced in 2023, the Ncore 100 Max from Cooler Master is finally available for purchase. It’s a tower-style modular mini-ITX case that comes with a small form factor 850W power supply and a 120mm liquid cooling solution preinstalled. We saw a similar packaging from Cooler Master with the Max version of the NR200P.


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It features two L-shaped panels made out of anodized aluminum with perforations and mesh filters to encourage airflow. Apart from the fan on the AIO cooling solution, there is also a chassis fan to exhaust hot air from the case. The key highlight of the case is that it can support large 3-slot GPUs up to 336mm in length and 140mm in height. The modular nature of the case lets you extend its width, which is necessary to accommodate large GPUs. The case also comes with pre-routed power cables for ease of installation, and the industrial design makes it look good on a desk.

Cooler Master

While there may be concerns about the efficiency of the included 120mm liquid cooler, Cooler Master has gone for a custom radiator with a thickness of 38mm. Most AIO radiators today come with 27 to 30mm of thickness. As for the pricing, the Ncore 100 Max is selling for about $380, which is not bad considering the case comes with a power supply, a CPU cooler, and a fairly simple assembly process.

Lian Li Dan Cases A3


Lian Li just hosted its 2024 Digital Expo, where it announced a new lineup of products, and their latest case collaboration with Dan Cases is pretty interesting. Called the Dan Case A3, this mini-ITX case is an all-mesh enclosure with steel panels and a special panel on the front lines with fabric.

While it is marketed as an m-ATX case, it is only slightly larger than the popular Cooler Master NR200. You get excellent compatibility and support for both m-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards with a CPU height clearance of 165mm. It can even fit up to 360mm AIO liquid coolers, SFX or ATX power supplies, GPUs with up to 430mm in length (when using an SFX power unit), and plenty of spots for storage and additional cooling fans.

The case doesn’t have a launch date yet, Lian Li says it will be selling it for $70 which is very competitive for a boutique case like this.

Cooler Master NR200 V2

Cooler Master

The NR200 had a huge impact on the mini-ITX PC industry and is still regarded as one of the best cases for small form factor builds. After introducing a special Max version of the case, which included a PSU and a 280mm liquid cooler, Cooler Master is finally bringing an update.

The new NR200 V2 was showcased to a limited audience earlier this year; the biggest change comes from CPU cooling. The case will now prioritize AIO liquid cooling solutions that can be mounted up top. The entire motherboard frame is lowered, while GPU mounting can only be done in a vertical orientation.

Not being able to mount large CPU air coolers is surely a big drawback, especially how well they can perform. A low-profile CPU air cooler might fit, but I suppose Cooler Master is just listening to its fans who criticized the original NR200 for being unable to mount a radiator up top. The case will come with a single 120mm fan pre-installed at the bottom and is expected to launch in both black and white color options with a mesh or tempered glass side panel.

Deepcool CH160

Deeper Cool

Deepcool showcased a variety of new products at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) this year, including their new mini-ITX case range under the CH160 moniker. There will be two models, including a Digital version, which is a vertical-style mini-ITX case with multiple mesh panels and an LED display at the bottom to monitor hardware. This one is claimed to support up to a 360mm liquid cooler or an air cooler with a 175mm clearance, a full-size ATX power supply, and 3-slot GPUs of up to 305mm. It is expected to launch in the coming weeks at $90.

The regular CH160 follows the same design and layout as the Cooler Master NR200 and can fit both SFX or ATX power supplies. The company also says that you can fit large CPU air coolers in this case including their Assassin IV series. Just like the Digital version, this one can also fit 3-slot GPUs of up to 305mm in length, but only if you go for a small SFX power supply unit. It will also come with a detachable handle on the top and a price tag of $70.

Thor Zone NanoQ

Thor Zone

Thor Zone is an independent case manufacturer, and a couple of years ago, it launched the Mjolnir, a premium mini-ITX Case with a 9.7-liter capacity. This year, the company has developed the Nano series, which is yet again a treat for boutique mini-ITX case lovers. Available in two sizes – NanoQ S and NanoQ R, the case features a premium anodized aluminum finish with a stainless steel frame on the inside. The design is quite elegant and almost looks like something that Apple would approve of, especially the cheese grater style grills on the outer shell.

The NanoQ S offers a capacity of 11 liters, while the NanoQ R is slightly bigger, offering a capacity of 16 liters. Both cases can fit air coolers and liquid coolers and up to a 4-slot GPU on the NanoQ R and a 3-slot GPU on the NanoQ S. Thor Zone has listed all the parts supported by the case on its website to ensure that customers can build their PC without any restrictions.

Pricing is on the higher side since the case is made out of premium materials. You can purchase the NanoQ S at a starting price of about $345, while the larger NanoQ R will be priced at around $384.

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