Impossibru NASE M1 4K build

Well the first thing I decided way before getting my macbook was that my next build would have an extra small footprint. After missing the first three batches of the M1 due to financial reasons aka. being broke, I finally pulled the trigger on the V.4. So going ITX is something I'm most definitely going to do.

The gaming aspect is something I really wanted to include. But honestly I'm not really giving up anything, since I haven't gamed for a looong time. And as you said gaming 1080p scaled up to 4K probably Isn't that horrible option.

When I first started planning this build, back in 2012, I was going to go with a Dell 27" 16:9 1440p screen. Then we got G-sync, FreeSync and UltraWide and power requirements kinda snowballed. Up 'till few months ago I hadn't even given a thought on 4K screens, but then along came Tek Syndicate and their damn 4K praising youtube videos! And now I need one.

After giving some thought on getting a 390 or a 970. I think you have a valid point with the Nvidia being less of a pain in the rear when it comes to dealing with thermals. Plus I think the 970 will hold it's resale value better, if and when I update to a more capable card.

Ditching the H100i would also make the PSU fan swap easier to do. I've seen some builds having the PSU rotated 180, so that the externally mounted larger fan is facing inside the case. And who knows, maybe I get lucky and my 600-G is silent enough out of the box.

Do you think it would be possible to mount the fans on the NH-C14 so that it blows away from the mobo and exhausts through the side vent? I was thinking of taking air in from underneath with two 120s and having the side vent as an exhaust. Maybe an extra 92mm intake fan on the back feeding the CPU area with cooler air.

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Sounds like a good plan. It's hard to be disappointed with a 40" 4K screen and a sweet mini-ITX rig. Pick up an Oculus Rift with the cash you saved on the GPU, and you'll be the envy of many a Tek Syndicate member. Take that, Macbook Pro (just kidding).

I think it would be possible to use that fan configuration with the C14, but you'd probably need to do some testing yourself to determine how effective it would be. If you are aiming for overall positive pressure in the case (useful for dust management), you might run into issues, as the zone below the GPU is fairly thermodynamically isolated from the mobo zone, especially if you are using a large card. You might poke around on the M1 Hardforum thread, where many people have thoroughly tested various cooling setups. Whether you go with the C14 or the H100i, I would recommend starting with the minimum fan setup, and only adding additional fans as you need them. On my overclocked rig, I have the power supply taking fresh air from outside and a single 140 mm fan on the top of the C14 also pulling through the side panel, and this setup is enough to cool and ventilate the entire machine, to my great surprise. No case fans necessary. The C14 cools the mobo and RAM, the power supply does its thing through the side of the case, and the GPU breathes through the bottom. All of the holes in the M1 mean that passive exhaust is sufficient, as long as you have overall positive pressure in the case and aren't using terribly power-hungry parts, and you can catch all of your dust with two small filters (side panel and power supply intake). Unlike traditional ATX cases, a well-designed and relatively porous ITX case such as the M1 often doesn't need as many case fans (or any at all), because the individual component intakes and exhausts can interface directly with outside air, so instead of creating a traditional wind tunnel through the enclosure with additional case fans, you can set it up so that each individual component just cools itself through the case panels. I'm astonished at how well this simple setup works. You could try something similar, and if you need more cooling or upgrade to higher-TDP parts later, you can always add a fan here or there for a boost.

So the Asus Impact VIII was supposed to be in stock yesterday, instead it just disappeared from the web store inventory.

Anyways I was looking at the other Z170 boards available and noticed that the Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI has an m.2 on the back. And it's all black. And 100€ cheaper. What do you think, should I pick that one instead of the Asus, since I won't even be going with the ROG theme anymore.

Okay, I think I'm finally ready to order. Can you see any obvious problems?

I'll have to get the 600W Silverstone PSU elsewhere and for some reason the Impact VIII shows as 'Asus Retail' on the list.

And yes, I know the cooler comes with fans, but I don't really like the poo colour scheme.

Looks like a killer rig. The only potentially large issue I can spot is the Seagate HDD. I can't tell from the description, but this is a 3.5" HDD, right? With the C14 on the CPU, you won't be able to use the M1's included 3.5" HDD bracket, so the only place you could fit this particular drive would be under the graphics card, and I don't think installing it with an open-cooler card such as yours here would be a good idea. It's a very tight fit, and it might cause cooling problems for both the drive and your card. If you want to use a 3.5" HDD, you could either use a smaller CPU cooler that would allow you to use the HDD bracket, or use a blower-style graphics card that wouldn't interfere with a bottom-installed HDD (most reference blowers are long enough that the HDD won't block the card's intake in the M1). Alternatively, you could use a 2.5" HDD and mount it in one of the front mounts in the case. The M1 isn't really meant for massive storage, and a 2.5" drive would be both noisier and more expensive per volume, but you could for example fit 2 2TB 2.5" drives and your SSD in the front of the case by using the SSD bracket and mounting on both sides of the front panel.

Couple other notes: 1) we don't see many Kfa2 cards over here in Asia, so I can't vouch for this unit, but my understanding is that their reputation is good, so I would just read the reviews and look at the specifications on this 970 very carefully. 2) If you are going to be using your machine for rendering or anything with CPU heavy lifting (as you seemed to indicate in earlier posts), I would just double check to make sure that the 6600K will give you enough power. The 6600K is one of the best chips out there for pure gaming, and it's also great for productivity, but if you're doing serious CPU-intensive stuff, bumping up to a 6700K or a 5820K might make sense. If you do any heavy rendering, encoding, editing, or VM'ing on a regular basis, you'll appreciate those extra cores/threads. 3) Again, I'd recommend trying the machine without the extra 120 mm fans first. It seems counterintuitive, but the one 140 mm on the cooler may be enough for your whole case. My M1 setup is slightly different from yours, but the C14 cools the whole thing, including a 2500K OC'd to 4.3 GHz. Try it and maybe save some cash and some cable-management headaches; if your temps are too high, then add the additional fans. Viel Spaß beim bauen!

EDIT: Ah, I'd forgotten that you'd already discussed your CPU decision above. Sounds like the 6600K will work out fine for you. Please disregard my comments about upgrading. One more thing I wanted to add: you've designed this as a 4K productivity/1080p gaming machine, but there's something we forgot to mention: 21:9 gaming on a giant 4K screen. It's gorgeous and workable with your setup. Maybe no full 4K for gaming, but hard to complain.

The segate drive and cpu cooler may be an issue. You may want to go with a 120 or other solution. The Noctua NH-D9L 92mm works well but you can't put a 120 on the side above it.

I Just have one 1tb ssd for my storage and have bulk on my nas. Although if you put 2 of those drives in there you pc could be your nas.

Also is that a single stick of ram or is the picture just a placeholder?

Totally overlooked the HDD cage issue. I don't really need that much space inside the case, but the €/TB ratio was so low that i thought why the hell not. So I'll be switching that for a 2TB 2.5".

The KFA2 is probably better known as Galax. I picked this one because of the large cooler, it has backplate and a minimal colour scheme that goes together with the gray Noctuas.

I was planning to get the 6700K but during the weekend it was listed not to be restocked until early December and I'm not willing to wait that long. However now it seems to be available within 2-4days. So depending on availability I might go either way. The i7 would be a safer choice on the long run.

My reasoning for the extra fans is controlled dust flow. Making sure that there is positive pressure all around the case and all intakes have filters. Plus I just like tinkering and fine tuning stuff :P

Had to use google translate for the last bit. I'm actually from Finland, but it's cheaper to buy computer parts from Germany. But thanks, I will! :D


It's a dual kit of 8GB sticks. EDIT: Oops, it was a single stick, switching that for a dual kit :D EDIT2: Plot twist! It is was a dual kit all along!

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I believe the ncase comes with 4 fan filters that can be screwed in with the fans.
Mine did at least.

It does, but there are also a lot of perforated areas, with no filtration. So by forcing air in with fans, the perforated panels became the exhaust. Sure the NH-C14 alone will create some positive pressure inside the case, but i think the open GPU cooler will pull in air through unfiltered openings if there are no intake fans at the bottom. However this is just my hypothesis with no experience on building in the NCASE :)

Sounds good. If you are in a dusty environment and find that you need additional dust filters for your GPU or PSU intakes, many M1 owners buy a set of magnetic mesh filters from Demciflex. They're a bit pricey, but super elegant and convenient. Maybe Joulupukki could bring you some for Christmas.

Consider posting a photo of your setup when it's complete, either here or on the battlestation thread!

You mentioned using a C14 cooler. Was it the Noctua NH-C14 or the Noctua NH-C14S?

I however am still not using any cooler, since I decided to see the Black Friday deals and make the order during next weekend or early next week. Post office workers went on strike, so there's no point ordering sooner, as my package would just sit in customs.

Also I've pretty much buried the plans on going 4K. Input lag seems to be a real issue with the current Korean monitors and I know I couldn't live with the sort of pixel defects some of the monitors ship with.

Thanks for the fast reply. I quickly skimmed the post and missed it. I have an M1 V3 and thinking about possible builds.


Good question: it's the C14 (non-S), the old version. The heatsink on the new C14S is higher, such that you can't mount a standard fan on top of it in the M1. You could use the S with a single fan on the bottom, but that would give you much less ideal airflow in this particular case. The old C14 is no longer being produced, so if you'd like one, snap one up while you can find one. It's still one of the best, most versatile low-profile coolers out there.

Lag on the IPS monitors is certainly there, but most of the newer VA panels are quite speedy, and will suffice unless you're looking for extreme ~1ms response. I've had good luck so far with buying "perfect pixel" monitors that arrived without flaws, but it seems that others have had issues. When it comes down to it, if you want a sure thing and a real warranty, it's probably best to save your money and buy from a name brand. Some of these panels, though, jeez, they're going for like $450 US--even with a dead pixel or two, that's just incredible value at this point in time. It will likely be years before we see the big brands selling 40" 4K with any reasonable quality for these prices.

EDIT: fixed quotation

For 450USD I might give them a try, but I have to count in 24% import tax plus customs fees. So they are not that amazing value for us here in the EU...

The new Acer X34 UltraWide with 100Hz IPS panel would be awesome, but 1300EUR is a bit steep. I just can't justify spending that much on a monitor. So I'll probably get some 27" 1440p IPS screen with G-Sync support.

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Yes, $1300 is insane, especially when you'll probably be able to get a similar G- or Freesync panel for much less in a year or so. For pure gaming and value yes, 27" 1440p is still the sweet spot, as it has been for the last couple of years. Here in Asia, the ballers are upgrading their first-gen variable refresh monitors to the new ones like the Predator, so you sometimes see used ROG Swifts or XB270HUs with discounts online. Might be something to look into if you're price conscious.

The 24% import is painful, but when you think about it, you're still coming in under $600, which is what panels like the AMH A399U were selling for just six months ago--a price that was impressive enough to prompt Wendell to make a video about it and make everyone lose their minds. Not quite as insane a deal as $450, but still pretty amazing. Ask the people who bought their panels back in the spring for $600 whether they regret buying: I bet you'll find that most of them don't.

To quote Wendell: "For me, 39-inch, 4K, in this good an image quality, it's a no-brainer. I'll probably actually order a few more of these. It's that good."

If you'd like, you could start a new linked thread to spitball ideas for your build.

Wellp, Black Friday didn't go exactly as planned. I'm now a proud owner of an Asus MG279Q. A FreeSync monitor. So no 970 for this build :D

Also getting my hands on the PSU is going to take two weeks. Frustrating as hell. Almost ordered an ATX PSU and a R9 Nano. But maybe a 390 is more sane choice. I know it puts out a lot of heat, but I'll make it work :P


The display is here! And it is glorious! No pixel faults, just slight backlight bleed at the bottom and quite a bit of IPS Glow, which was to be expected. My old Dell U2410 had about the same amount and it never really bothered me. So this one is a keeper. Now I just need to pick an AMD GPU.


So everything is finally ordered. Most of the stuff is due to ship by the 10th from Germany, so I might have all the parts within a week. Yay!

I ended up getting a Sapphire Nitro 390. Yes, I know. It is HUGE. But it should fit in the NCASE without any modification.
Rest of the build is pretty much the same I had planned, with slight changes due to what was in stock at the time of ordering. I went with the 6600K because the estimated delivery times for the i7 kept being pushed further and further.

Also got a Steelseries Rival 300 mouse and a Vortex Pok3r keyboard in black with mx browns. Christmas came early this year :P

I bought Win10 Home but I'd really like to try out Linux. The problem is, I have no idea where and how to even start. What flavour would be the most suitable? Will there be driver support for the Asus Impact VIII? How should I partition the SSD and what to install first, Linux or Windows? Any advise is much appreciated and if this gets way off topic, I'll make a separate thread over at the Linux Helpdesk section.