Ncase m1

Hey community,

Does anyone have any experience building in this chassis, because I was thinking of downsizing from my current mid tower to something that is a bit smaller especially since the new motherboards are coming out with thunderbolt 3.0 in combination with m.2.

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Its a fantastic little case, I would totally recommend this case to anyone who's looking for something small and stylish.
It can be a little finicky to route cables in but its defiantly doable
If i were you though I'd check out this video first before you buy

Do not let the 3 expansion slots fool you. The front IO cables block the bottom slot and hinders you from using triple slot graphics cards.

I had this problem myself. No my gpu is hanging out the side of my case on a pci-e ribbon cable.

Would you say that the same case applies to those with a 2.5 slot card as I have a powercolor+ 290x, I'm just wondering if that maybe one of the things I had to downsize as well as my motherboard when I bring myself to buy this case.

No doubt the M1 is a high quality case. However, think twice before changing into such a tiny case if your use case doesn't specifically require it. There isn't much into it after the novelty wears off, the next case I'll be getting is a full ATX tower like Define R5 for sure (currently on Node 304).

Also mATX is a great form factor if you still want a smaller case with less headache.

I'm definitely looking into the m1 for my next case. It seems like the need to upgrade frequently is shrinking and the concern over heat is shrinking as well. I have a 2600k, its 5 years old, and i don't really feel it at all yet. I could probably use it for another 3 years if i'm not too picky and suffer very little from it. My understanding is in some benchmarks it even does better than skylake i5's. Next time i upgrade the cpu, mobo, and ram, i have to imagine thats going to last at least 5 years and more likely 8-10. It seems like for gaming developers are hitting a limit of how much they can justify spending. A stronger PC just means higher frame rate and resolution, and GPU is handling that. And videocard is probably the easiest thing to upgrade... So the day to day convenience of a smaller case definately seems worth the once in a very long time upgrade.

In the case of an mATX build, would you happen to have a case recommendation for that type of scenario?

I'm not sure. I'll measure how much of the slot they block when I get home.

Edit: A 2 1/2 slot card might actually work if it isn't too long. The cables from the front IO can be pushed down against the bottom of the case to where they almost look like they could clear the 3rd slot. The problem for me was that my gpu was too long to clear the part that the cables are connected to.

I've done several builds in the M1, and will echo the advice above: it is a terrific case, as long as you are sure that mITX makes sense for you. The M1 is one of the highest-quality ITX cases out there, and was quite unique when it was first released, but if you are concerned about the price tag, there are now more affordable options from major manufacturers. If you have any specific questions about the M1, fire away.

I don't recall any specific builds with the Powercolor+ 290X on the M1 forum, but comparing the dimensions of the card with the M1 diagram, it looks like it would be an awfully tight fit, if not impossible. Additionally, axially-cooled cards above 150 W are generally not a good idea in the M1, as the heat tends to get trapped in the small space and start cooking components, which is why most 290X builders end up moving to an aftermarket air or watercooling solution. If you decide to pull the trigger on the M1, either upgrading to a lower-TDP card such as a Fury Nano or GTX 980 or moving to a blower-style card would be a good idea, unless you are comfortable with providing your own custom cooling solution.

@Atatax the 2600K and the rest of the Sandy Bridge family are still quite popular choices with M1 builders. Asus made a great little Z77 ITX board (P8Z77-I Deluxe) that keeps going up in price as demand rises. As long as you don't need the platform improvements (which many of us will be able to live without for some time), an overclocked 2600K should keep you going for a while yet.

As to going ITX, it's really a personal choice. Some people want lots of flexibility and expandability, so the larger form factors are a better fit. Like you, I came to the conclusion several years ago that ITX was all that I needed in terms of expandability, and the space savings were extremely valuable to me in terms of my lifestyle. The good news is that these days, as long as you plan carefully, you really can get quite a bit of power out of a good ITX build. 18-core Xeon workstations, watercooled Titan X gaming rigs, 20+ terabyte NASes--it's all doable, but it requires planning, and you sacrifice a good deal of your expandability. Think carefully about your personal needs.

Most of these won't be as good as Ncase when it comes to premium feel, though they're also significantly cheaper.

  • Silverstone FT03. This one I've personally had. It has an interesting layout, the motherboard is rotated so the inputs are at the top, which also prevents GPU sagging. The steel/aluminum construction is nice, and IIRC all but one of the sides come off for easy access to the components.

Then some I haven't tried but have researched at some point while choosing a case, and might have ended up buying:

  • Fractal Design Arc Mini or Define Mini. The usual FD stuff in an mATX form factor.

  • Corsair Carbide Air 240. This one is fairly large as far as I know, but you'll have tons of internal space and cable management will be easy.