Build a Computer Using Aluminum Mini-ITX Cases
For the beginner, the number of motherboard sizes and types can definitely be boggling. The largest form factor for motherboards is the standard-ATX with a smaller micro-ATX variant. The next smaller one, the Mini-ITX form factor was developed for little machines dedicated to specific tasks, such as POS systems, while even smaller versions include the nano-ITX and pico-ITX form factors. Motherboard size is an important factor, but generally, you only need to look at the physical dimensions, instead of the mounting posts because ATX and ITX standards all share mounting point positions.
What Types of Computers Use Aluminum Mini-ITX Cases?
- NAS: A network-attached storage device is a small computer connected to a wireless network and allows authorized members of that network to access the files from within the storage. Custom NAS systems can be built just like a normal PC and can, therefore, use a small computer case for Mini-ITX boards. When doing so, consider that number of drive bays in the computer case along with the number of SATA ports in the motherboard for connecting multiple high capacity drives.
- Enthusiast Builds: An enthusiast build is a gaming PC built with little to no budget constraints and can reach the top echelons in terms of performance. Computer cases for these PCs would generally have to be able to accommodate a large power supply, multiple SSDs, and HDDs, along with many exhaust and intake ports for 120 mm or 80 mm cooling fans. Many cases dedicate a section at the bottom rear for power supplies because these components can vary greatly in size.
- Budget Builds: A cost-effective PC can also use aluminum computer cases and even take on the small form factor for portability. Many mini-ITX chassis feature a minimum of two drive bays and an SSD tray along with ample space for a power supply and a decent graphics card.
What Are the Features of Aluminum Mini-ITX Cases?
- Lightweight: Aluminum is an inherently lightweight material, so it is ideal for builds of any size. Removable and acrylic panels also reduce weight while improving aesthetics; their efficient design ensures optimal and sustainable use of materials.
- Cable Management: Enthusiasts may want to choose aluminum computer cases compatible with ATX and mini-ITX standards for flexibility in planning out layouts and such. Cases typically include cable management channels, which easily allow you to anchor fasteners like cable ties.
- Cooling Solutions: When going the custom liquid cooled route, more space is always better to allow clearance for reservoirs and pipes. For air-cooled builds, prioritizing fan ports is required. The larger the exhaust and intake ports, the better.