The best mini-ITX PC cases

Games
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If you you want a kick-ass PC that has about the same footprint as a PS4 or XBox One, this is the case you want. SilverStone’s ML08 changes up the mini-ITX footprint and allows for a full-size GPU at the same time.

ML08 beauty

We’d be doing you wrong if we didn’t mention the ML08 in our lineup, even if it doesn’t take a top spot. We really liked this case for its creative layout, which allows for full-sized reference Nvidia GPUs to be used. The compromise to this feature is that you also give up the ability to use a 3.5-inch drive when you install such a video card. To use a 3.5-inch drive, you’ll have to use a short video card.

What the ML08 lacks in forced air flow, it makes up in layout. The layout of the ML08 places filtered vents directly over the air intake for your GPU and the heatsink and fan in the motherboard compartment. 

The case will only takes and SFX power supply, but the little PSUs that are available provide more than enough power for most builds that will fit in this case. There is a gotcha about this case, though: There’s an internal PSU cable that leads to the outside of the case where you’ll connect your power cable to PC. This means that you have to switch on the PSU before you close up the case, since the “outside” of the PSU isn’t accessible once the panels are closed. It’s an easy thing to overlook, and frustrating when you find out the system doesn’t boot.

ML08 guts

The panels themselves are worth mention too. Both panels are identical, so there’s no need to sort out which one goes where. They are a bit tricky to put on the case, but a little patience and they’ll fit on snugly. Each panel is secured with three screws.

The carrying handle, while a nice touch, is one thing we hated about the case. We tried carrying the case from a commuter train station to our office in San Francisco, and found that the texture on the hard plastic handle bit into our hands in the most unpleasant way. The good thing is that the handle can be left off of the case, without any degradation to its aesthetics.

If you’re looking to build a powerful system with a full-sized GPU (like an Intel i5-6500 and a GTX 980 Ti, for example), this case will accommodate your parts in a form factor so small, it will turn heads when you let people know what you’ve got inside.

If you want a more “gaming”-themed version of the case, SilverStone also offers the RVZ02 under the company’s Raven brand.

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