Like other components, a PC case is an extremely important factor. Because depending on the PC case, your choices will be limited or more. There are 3-4 types of PC cases available in the market.
Among them, mid-tower and micro-ATX cases are the most popular.
What are the differences between mid-tower vs micro-ATX cases?
Mid-tower cases are usually more expensive than the micro-ATX case. They’re heavier and thus hard to carry around. But mid-tower cases give better motherboard and GPU support. Micro-ATX cases provide decent cooling overall. But mid-tower casing is simply unbeatable due to being more spacious.
Anyways, that was a short summary of the entire comparison. Since both cases are quite different, we’ve compared them head to head in multiple categories.
That way you can notice the pros and the shortcomings altogether. To know further about PC cases, stay with us till the end.
Mid-Tower Case Vs Micro-ATX Case: Primary Differences
We’ve already talked a little about the differences in the PC cases. As we’ve mentioned earlier, PC cases can limit or enhance your choices.
It can also increase or decrease your overall build cost. Because there’ll be some price differences when you consider the case fans.
To understand the comparison better, you must know the fundamental differences first. This way you can get a head-start before we discuss it in detail.
This is the same as choosing an upgrade option from GTX 980. You’ll need to compare multiple categories before finalizing a decision.
To make it easier for you, we’ve brought everything under one table-
|Factors||Mid-Tower/ATX PC Case||Micro-ATX PC Case|
|Motherboard Support||ATX, M-ATX||M-ATX only|
|Graphics Card Support||1-3 Fans||1-2 Fans|
|Case Fans Support||More||Less|
|Cooling Capabilities||More Efficient||Less Efficient|
After going through the table, which one do you like more?
Mid-Tower Case Vs Micro-ATX Case: Detailed Comparison
If you still haven’t picked a side yet, don’t worry. Because while the table is quite informative, it’s not enough to make a final decision. We totally understand that.
There are many users defending either mid-tower or micro-ATX cases. That’s why it can get stressful picking one of them.
To make it easier, we’ve talked about both mid-tower and micro-ATX cases in detail. We’ve also discussed the possible best scenarios for both types of PC cases.
Without further ado, let’s not waste any more time and get started-
Like other PC parts, there are multiple types of PC cases in different price categories. For gamers under budget, the price range is the first concern.
Because there’s no point talking about different attributes if you can’t afford one. That’s why we started the comparison with the price range.
Going cheap on PC cases isn’t always a good idea. But depending on the budget, you may have to make some hard decisions.
Mid-tower cases are considered the standard PC cases. On the market center and websites, you’ll find a ton of mid-tower cases.
Mid-tower cases are more expensive than micro-ATX cases. There are a couple of good reasons for that.
Mid-tower cases come with more case fans and provide more space. The options are limited and customization potential is higher.
Because of all these reasons, mid-tower cases are usually more expensive.
On the contrary, micro-ATX cases are cheaper. The reasons are pretty much the same. They have fewer case fans and come with fewer utilities.
Overall, their production cost is cheaper and thus is available at a more affordable price.
Winner: Micro-ATX cases are cheaper.
Weight & Transportation
After the price range, let’s talk about weight and transportation. Both of these cases tend to be really different in this category.
The sizes of mid-tower cases are way bigger than the micro-ATX cases. They also have more utilities like case fans, case fan hub, etc.
Because of this reason, mid-tower cases can be difficult to carry. They become heavier after you install all the parts.
If you travel around, mid-tower cases will not be friendly for you.
On the contrary, micro-ATX cases are smaller and easier to carry around. They have fewer utilities in terms of case fans and such.
They generally weigh much less; even after a full build.
Thinking about what some of the m-ATX cases look like? Well, here are some stellar Micro-ATX PC cases you can check out-
|Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L Micro-ATX Tower||Edge to edge acrylic transparent side panel |
Body depth height
Extra space behind the motherboard tray
|Thermaltake Versa H17 Black SPCC Micro ATX Mini Tower||Solid and silent|
Good port selection
|DEEPCOOL MACUBE 110 WH Micro ATX Case||Clean and compact construction|
Full-size magnetic tempered glass side panel
Extensive cooling support
Winner: Micro-ATX cases are lighter and more transportation friendly.
So far we’ve only compared the basic attributes of both PC cases. It’s time to get into more technical categories and discuss them.
When buying a PC case, the option that matters the most is the motherboard support. Without enough space, the case can’t support a motherboard.
So, this is really important. Because depending on what you pick, your choices will vary.
Mid-tower cases offer both ATX and m-ATX motherboard supports. In other words, this will not limit your choices while building a PC.
Some mid-tower PC cases support E-ATX cases as well. But they’re generally more expensive and almost a full tower.
If your build contains an ATX motherboard, you’ll have to go for mid-tower cases.
Because m-ATX cases can’t support ATX motherboards. They can only support m-ATX motherboards and some can support ITX motherboards.
In other words, your options in motherboards will be limited if you choose an m-ATX case.
Winner: Mid-tower cases support more motherboards and have better spacing.
So, if you plan to get mid-tower cases, here’s what I can confidently recommend-
- NZXT H510 Flow is a compact Mid-tower casing for every PC enthusiast. You can’t really go wrong with NZXT cases!
- Next up on the list is the Corsair 4000D Airflow Mid-Tower ATX PC Case. You can fit about anything you want in this case.
- AeroCool Cylon RGB Mid Tower is the last one for me to recommend. If you’re tight on budget, this can be the ideal pick.
You can choose whichever mid-tower case you prefer and get it started!
Graphics Card Support
Like motherboards, graphics card support also matters a lot when choosing a PC case. You don’t want to face a scenario where you can’t fit a GPU in the case.
Mid-tower cases are generally bigger, so of course, mid-tower GPU support is better. If you choose to get a mid-tower PC case, you can fit almost any GPU on the market.
If you’re getting triple fan GPUs, you’ll have to go for a mid-tower PC case.
Also, remember that some mid-tower cases can’t support the RTX 3000 series graphics card. AMD’s RX 6000 series is also not supported by some mid-tower PC cases.
These graphics cards are incredibly bigger and longer. Make sure to look at the GPU clearance specs if you’re getting the latest GPUs.
There are a lot of other differences between 1-fan, 2-fan, and 3-fan GPUs. That’s why I always plan accordingly before making the final decision.
On the other hand, m-ATX cases mostly support up to dual fan GPUs. The GPU clearance of the m-ATX cases isn’t enough for triple fans.
If your build has a single-fan or dual-fan GPU, you’re better off with m-ATX cases.
Winner: Mid-tower PC cases have better GPU clearance.
Case Fan Support & Cooling Capabilities
Casing fans help the PC keep the overall temperature lower. That’s why cooling capabilities are something that you can’t ignore while buying a PC case.
Mid-tower cases can support up to 3 intake fans and 1 exhaust fan. That’s the average mid-tower cooling support you’re going to get.
But if you increase your budget you’ll get 2-more fan slots. In total, you’ll have 5 intake fans which will be perfect for keeping the temperature low.
With the 2 extra fan slots at the top, you can easily mount a 240mm AIO cooler. You can also fit a 360mm AIO cooler at the front.
In other words, mid-tower PC cases provide exceptional cooling capabilities. Not to mention, the overall bigger space is also great for airflow.
Micro-ATX cases suffer when it comes to case fans. In the front, you can fit 2 case fans and 1 at the top. So, in total, you’ll get 3 intakes and 1 exhaust fan in most micro-ATX cases.
Because of this reason, you’ll have to stick to the air coolers instead. Don’t worry though, because air coolers can easily compete against AIO coolers.
Winner: Mid-tower cases dominate this round.
Final Verdict: Which One Should You Get?
If you still haven’t picked a winner yet, don’t worry. We’ve given our own verdicts based on the information that we used to compare.
If you’re looking for a better motherboard, GPU, and cooling support, pick mid-tower cases. They might be expensive but they’re more futureproof.
Your choices won’t be limited ever and you can easily upgrade your PC parts later. And you then won’t have to change the PC case.
But the micro-ATX case is perfect for someone who’s going for a minimal design. For entry-level PCs, m-ATX cases are perfect. You’ll use an air cooler, m-ATX motherboard, and dual-fan GPU.
Micro-ATX cases are also cheaper so it keeps the overall cost low.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does RTX 3080 fit in the mid-tower case?
Yes, some RTX 3080 cards can fit in most mid-tower cases. But there are specific cards like MSI’s Supreme X and Asus’s Strix which may not fit. Because these cards are extremely long even for triple fan counterparts. But most RTX 3080 graphics cards will fit in mid-tower cases just fine.
Is Mid Tower the same as micro ATX?
No, the mid-tower cases are not the same as micro-ATX cases. Because mid-tower indicates the size of a PC case. Whereas micro-ATX indicates the size of a motherboard. All mid-tower cases can support m-ATX and ATX motherboards. But mini-tower PC cases can’t support ATX motherboards.
Can 3 fan GPUs fit in mATX?
No, triple fan GPUs can’t fit inside an mATX PC case. Most of the recent micro-ATX PC cases are advanced and have nice cooling capabilities. But the graphics card clearance issue still exists and it’s going anywhere soon. The mATX PC case will always be too small to fit the triple fan GPUs.
That was everything we could explain in the mid-tower vs micro-ATX case. We hope that this comparison helped you reach a decision.
If you’re still not sure, go through the parts that you’ve chosen one more time. If they don’t have any high-end parts, pick the micro-ATX case. You can also seek some expert advice from shops.
Finally, have a nice day and a happy building!