Today we’re going to buy into all the hype for the brand new mini case out from NZXT for a new build, but we’re also going to do some comparisons.
Many YouTubers have built systems with this brand-new mini tower, the NZXT H1, and it’s been lauded almost entirely with praise. Everyone likes how small and compact it is, how easy the design makes your new component installations, how organized all of the included wiring is and they feel the included components of a 650W SFX-L 80Plus Gold Fully Modular Power Supply, a 140mm AIO Liquid Cooler and a PCIe 16x Gen3 High-Speed Riser Card are more or less solid choices. However they don’s have a second USB port on top of the unit, how having a ventilated panel instead of tempered glass could help with cooling, and, how tricky it is to include a more sizeable GPU, though this is always a consideration in any mini-ITX build.
There’s recently been a resurgence among PC builders to start going smaller. There are plenty of reasons for this, but among the top reasons are that they are absolute masters of saving space, they are aesthetically pleasing and they are fantastic for going into the woods for a weekend LAN party! If your woods have decent internet that is. Not to mention, as technology advances and everything gets smaller and smaller, it becomes easier to find great components in a compact size at an affordable price!
Pros and Cons
If you’re straddling a tiny fence on if you should do a mini-ITX build, let’s look at the pros and cons.
They generate a smaller footprint and this size makes them more portable as well as more aesthetically pleasing in a multiple pc setup. Not to mention, there are so many more options these days than there were a few years ago.
However, we can’t have quad channel memory because there’s just enough room for two memory modules. Also, the small size limits the space inside the cases. Not all cases can support a 3.5 HDD and there is limited space for SSDs as well. Cable management is always a pain but NZXT H1 so desirable because they designed a great cable management system. Lastly, the GPU size is pretty limited too, which is one of the disadvantages with the new NZXT model. And, lastly, because the parts are generally much closer together, they generate more heat, so cooling can be a tricky, as mentioned by many H1 reviewers.
The H1 is a fantastic case, but it’s $349 price point could be a sticking point for some. If this is you, then you might consider the NZXT H200i. For one, it’s a more traditional looking case and has much more flexibility in build options as it doesn’t come with as many pre-built-in components. And, at $99, it’s a much more affordable option.
Next up, the Lian Li TU150 might be one of your best bets for a LAN party because it has a handy-dandy little handle on the top, two USB ports on the top and it’s large enough to fit a larger cooling unit inside and is only $110. Another beautiful little chassis is the IN WIN A1, which, on top of just looking great it offers a size compatible with larger GPUs and the power supply is built in, so cable management is simpler. It also comes with a wireless phone charger in it. But you’ll pay for it as it retails around $200.
Finally, there’s the Thermaltake Core V1, which offers two main chambers, an upper one for cooling and efficiency, and a lower one for the PSU and cable management. Keeping in mind how hot these mini-ITX systems can get, great heat management is important. And, at only $50, it’s the most affordable option in our list.
If you have decided which mini tower we’d love to suggest checking out the Optimum Tech YouTube channel. They have some great ITX builds over there that could go a long way in helping you make the best mini-ITX PC possible. We love spreading the love to other tech channels I think are doing cool stuff!
If you need a reminder on how to do a PC build, what component parts you need to consider and all that, we have a five-part series on how to build your own rig right here! Links below. And, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments.