NCASE M1: a crowdfunded Mini-ITX case (updates in first post)

BaK2BaK

Weaksauce
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Apr 4, 2014
Messages
124
By any chance, does anybody know if there are fittings that match the silver color of the M1?

The only watercooling element with that colour I've found so far is the Bitspower silver shiny D5 cover:
BP-D5MA-ASL--1024X768-1.jpg
 

Blk

Limp Gawd
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Jan 17, 2015
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153
Since most mitx boards seem to have the m2 slot on the backside, will the hyper kit/u2 kit fit in the m1?

ASRock-Udot2-adapter.png
 

iFreilicht

[H]ard|Gawd
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Sep 23, 2014
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Mine is stuck in customs :( Seems like Lian Li did not include a reciept.

I wouldn't bet on that. It happened a few times to me now that the customs office didn't (want to) notice see the receipt.

Since most mitx boards seem to have the m2 slot on the backside, will the hyper kit/u2 kit fit in the m1?

http://tssdrcdn.thessdreview1.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ASRock-Udot2-adapter.png

I don't think it will. Looks too large, even if you add the space you get from the CPU backplane cutout.
 

Blk

Limp Gawd
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Jan 17, 2015
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153
I don't think it will. Looks too large, even if you add the space you get from the CPU backplane cutout.

That's why i thought too, but i've never seen one in real life, didn't know exactly how large it was.

Then we need more nvme m2 cards, time to step it up ssd manufacturers.
 

Necere

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Jan 3, 2003
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Since most mitx boards seem to have the m2 slot on the backside, will the hyper kit/u2 kit fit in the m1?[/IMG]
The motherboard standoffs are 8.5mm tall, while the CPU cutout allow for another 3mm. The Hyper Kit is 15mm thick, and that doesn't include clearance from the back of the motherboard. So the answer is no.
 

Qrash

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The motherboard standoffs are 8.5mm tall, while the CPU cutout allow for another 3mm. The Hyper Kit is 15mm thick, and that doesn't include clearance from the back of the motherboard. So the answer is no.

Would the Hyper Kit fit on the Asus Maximus VII Impact motherboard's PCIe adapter? Would the Hyper Kit's blocky plastic socket (whatever it's called) be facing the CPU socket or the PCI-e x 16 slot?
 

Qrash

Gawd
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995
I found out the answer on the Maximus VII Impact thread in posts by CybKnight and Kawi:

Some unrelated news, from Asus DIY blog, JJ mention in chat they would need to make a new variant of the Asus Hyper kit before the Intel 750 will work from M.2 slot in Impact due to difference in layout.

I just did some poking around in my case (with an Impact VII), and it looks like this is due to the audio daughter board where the hyper kit connector wants to be. It would be fine, however, if the connector was soldered to the opposite side of the M.2 adapter card.

I'd be fine with removing the audio dautherboard and switch to a USB DAC-Amp audio solution.
 

wreckem

Weaksauce
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Nov 12, 2011
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113
For the Ncase m1, without having to mod anything I believe the adapter will only work with boards that have the m.2 slot laid flat on the front and there is only currently one motherboard that offers that. That board is the Asrock x99-eitx.
 

Mackan

Limp Gawd
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Messages
379
I thought they would replace some SATA ports with U.2 ports for SkyLake motherboards. Yet no motherboard has such port at all. Still have to use M.2 to U.2 adapters for unknown reasons...
 

Blue Fox

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You can't replace SATA ports with it. U.2 is PCIe based. Keeping it as M.2 gives you broader compatibility since there is only a single consumer SSD that requires U.2 at the moment that I'm aware of (Intel 750 2.5").
 

Mackan

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You can't replace SATA ports with it. U.2 is PCIe based. Keeping it as M.2 gives you broader compatibility since there is only a single consumer SSD that requires U.2 at the moment that I'm aware of (Intel 750 2.5").

I know it's PCIe based. I thought many more such PCIe SSDs would come now these coming months, and that vendors would prepare for that by starting to add U.2 ports on their mobos.
And gradually phase out SATA SSDs.

We apparently see some add SATA Express ports instead, but that's not the real deal. We don't even have SATA Express SSDs as far as know.
 

Blue Fox

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Main problem is lack of available PCIe lanes on mainstream CPUs. Either way they also don't want to limit boards to just U.2 SSDs when an M.2 slot supports it as well with an adapter (but not the other way around). The average user is far more likely to wind up using an M.2 SSD after all due to cost too. Very little incentive for them to do that. Get the ASRock X99 board if you need it. It's what I did.
 

kampongkid

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Jul 4, 2015
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my box was punctured and took a beating in general, but luckily the contents were all intact. pics really don't do this case justice. well worth the money. cheers guys!
 

waters10

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Jul 12, 2012
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I got mine today! I was not expecting it till tomorrow or even next week.

I was very surprised with how light it is. Also, build quality is crazy. First case I spend more than 50 bucks on. Unfortunately, amazon is letting me down and my cooler master s524 v2 may not get delivered tomorrow ... I ordered Tue, but it only shipped today! Can't believe of all the things I ordered from amazon, this package would be the one they screw up!
 

Phuncz

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Main problem is lack of available PCIe lanes on mainstream CPUs. Either way they also don't want to limit boards to just U.2 SSDs when an M.2 slot supports it as well with an adapter (but not the other way around). The average user is far more likely to wind up using an M.2 SSD after all due to cost too. Very little incentive for them to do that. Get the ASRock X99 board if you need it. It's what I did.
The Skylake platform offers 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes for the GPU and 20 (!) PCIe 3.0 lanes for peripherals. That's basically 4 U.2 ports, audio, Gbit LAN, WiFi and room to spare.

The main reason will be, like most of the time, the chicken and the egg problem. With only the Intel 750 as an option (for now), there is little incentive to start replacing SATA connectors yet. But I do expect a Skylake board or two having atleast one U.2 port in the near future.
 

kanashii23

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Jul 23, 2015
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Just join this forum after lurking around and was lure by this beautiful case.will to seek some advice. Intending to get this M1 Ncase but i just got a CPU 6 month ago and will like to reuse as much parts as possible

Existing Build.

Asus Maximus VII Hero
Intel i5 4690k
Corsair H100i
2 x Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-3000 PWM front mount
Cosair 450D
Samsung 840 Pro256 GB SSD
WD 3.5 Red 3TB HDD (Reuse)
EVGA GTX 670 (Reuse)
Asus Xonar DS (Reuse)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB)
Corsair HX750


What I have in mind ,
purchase Asus Maximus VII Impact & Silvestone SFX - SX600-G while reusing the Corsair H100i & mount a 3.5 inch HDD below the GPU. With this board I guess I do not need the pci-e Xonar DS card anymore

For GPU . Should I get either a Asus Strix GTX 970 or EVGA 970 AXC 2.0 & in future maybe 980.
What should be the model I should look out for that can fit into my build.

Since I am mounting a 3.5" HDD below the GPU, Do I need a Noctua FS12 to do fan intake from the bottom? The H100i should be performing outtake? or does positive/negative airflow even matter in such a small case.

Never have I work with such a small case. will over heating be an issue since I live in a tropical country.

Much thanks for reading.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
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Is it smart/necessary to have a intake 120mm fan on the floor of the case, pointing directly into a reference GTX 980's blower fan? I'm not sure about this.
 

Phuncz

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2,630
I prefer a duct rather than a fan, since ducts can't fail or cause noise and don't require a cable. Most of the 120mm fan is obstructed by the GPU's cooler cover anyway.
 

iFreilicht

[H]ard|Gawd
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Messages
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Is it smart/necessary to have a intake 120mm fan on the floor of the case, pointing directly into a reference GTX 980's blower fan? I'm not sure about this.

Definitely not necessary. I know that the Falcon Northwest Tiki has an additional fan exactly like you describe it. Apparently they've got something out of it. Not sure if it would apply to the M1, but I don't think it would worsen performance.
 

Mackan

Limp Gawd
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Jun 8, 2014
Messages
379
The main reason will be, like most of the time, the chicken and the egg problem. With only the Intel 750 as an option (for now), there is little incentive to start replacing SATA connectors yet. But I do expect a Skylake board or two having atleast one U.2 port in the near future.

Asus showed their Z170 ROG line up today, and the Extreme board has a U.2 port it seems. First and only board to get it I think.
 

Virtu

Limp Gawd
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Jul 6, 2004
Messages
269
Thing has been stuck at "processed through sort facility" in Taiwan since 11am on the 22nd and hasnt moved. Darn TW Post needs to get their crap together. :p
 

waters10

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Joined
Jul 12, 2012
Messages
23
I got mine today! I was not expecting it till tomorrow or even next week.

I was very surprised with how light it is. Also, build quality is crazy. First case I spend more than 50 bucks on. Unfortunately, amazon is letting me down and my cooler master s524 v2 may not get delivered tomorrow ... I ordered Tue, but it only shipped today! Can't believe of all the things I ordered from amazon, this package would be the one they screw up!
Nevermind. Amazon came through! Package left at 3am and it's already out for delivery! I'll be transplanting my current rig guts to my shiny V4 over the weekend! :D
 

darxider

Weaksauce
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Nov 17, 2013
Messages
91
The motherboard standoffs are 8.5mm tall, while the CPU cutout allow for another 3mm. The Hyper Kit is 15mm thick, and that doesn't include clearance from the back of the motherboard. So the answer is no.

what about this mSATA to M.2 connector? would it fit if the M.2 connector is on the back-side of the motherboard?
 

Carisma

Weaksauce
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Jun 28, 2007
Messages
109
Where is the M.2 location on the Asus Maximus VII Impact? Also will the motherboard support the SAMSUNG SM951?
 

Phot3k

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Jul 24, 2015
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Hi guys,

I recently picked up an Antec 250D and while it's amazing in that it fits everything (and then some) that I would like to put together, it's a lot larger than I expected compared to my current PC-V600F mATX case.

So I'd like to ask you guys about if the following proposal would work with the Ncase M1:

  • Asus ITX motherboard (I think it was a Z97)
  • 2x 3.5" platter drives setup with the cage on the side panel beside the radiator/fan
  • 2x 2.5" SSD's setup on the front and back of the front panel
  • 1x 120MM & radiator AIO water cooler setup on the side of the case as an exhaust (bad idea?)
  • 2x 120MM intake fans at the bottom of the case
  • Obviously will go with an SFX power supply as a full length GPU will be used

I believe the components *should* fit based on my research, but my biggest concern is the platter drives getting heat soaked as the GPU would in theory be blocking the intake from the bottom of the case. And with the placement of the single 120mm radiator, the platter drives wouldn't be getting much if any airflow sitting beside them.

Definitely open to any counter-proposals, (ie, mounting the drives instead to the bottom of the case and going with a 240mm radiator?). Maybe I have the placement of things all wrong, but anyone with experience who can help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
13
I've only been here a few days and I already love this forum. So helpful!

I've got a question about using the GEMINII S524 ver 2 cooler with the SFX - 600 PSU from silverstone. I'm trying to see if it would clear the PSU, which is 63.5mm tall. My calculations are here: The motherboard's standoffs are 8.5mm from the frame and, this coupled with the 47mm clearance under the cooler makes a 55.5 mm clearance total, not including how tall the CPU and motherboard is. With those in the equation, I'm looking at roughly 60ish mm of total clearance from the frame. So, assuming that the standoffs and PSU are screwed to the same frame, I should not be able to clear the PSU with the GEMINII S524 ver 2 cooler, correct?

If this is true, then what are my available options? I'm having a hard time deciding on the best cooler for my build. I'd prefer to go air-cooled, but I can't decide which one is the best. Any suggestions for a good air cooler that would fit a Gigabyte Z97 - WIFI?
 

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,783
So I'd like to ask you guys about if the following proposal would work with the Ncase M1:

  • Asus ITX motherboard (I think it was a Z97)
  • 2x 3.5" platter drives setup with the cage on the side panel beside the radiator/fan
  • 2x 2.5" SSD's setup on the front and back of the front panel
  • 1x 120MM & radiator AIO water cooler setup on the side of the case as an exhaust (bad idea?)
  • 2x 120MM intake fans at the bottom of the case
  • Obviously will go with an SFX power supply as a full length GPU will be used

I believe the components *should* fit based on my research, but my biggest concern is the platter drives getting heat soaked as the GPU would in theory be blocking the intake from the bottom of the case. And with the placement of the single 120mm radiator, the platter drives wouldn't be getting much if any airflow sitting beside them.
That will all fit, just be aware that you're using pretty much every available inch and it will be quite cramped. You're right to be concerned about HDD temps, but with a blower card they'll probably be fine. If it's an option, I'd recommend 2.5" HDDs as an alternative. Much smaller and easier to deal with.

Definitely open to any counter-proposals, (ie, mounting the drives instead to the bottom of the case and going with a 240mm radiator?).
There's only space for a single 3.5" HDD on the bottom, and it only leaves enough room for a 92mm fan (i.e., no bottom 120mm). With a blower GPU it's also worse heat-wise than using the cage, since they tend to leak hot exhaust towards the rear of the case, where the the drive is. Really, the bottom 3.5" mount is there mainly for people who are doing a custom loop with a 240 rad, or using lower powered/no GPU.


I've got a question about using the GEMINII S524 ver 2 cooler with the SFX - 600 PSU from silverstone. I'm trying to see if it would clear the PSU, which is 63.5mm tall. My calculations are here:
Let me help you out:



(Click for embiggening)

So it looks like the GeminII S524 should just barely clear the SFX bracket, when taking the CPU socket into account (~54 - 8 ~ 46mm).
 

Phot3k

n00b
Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
6
Thanks for the detailed reply! And good to know I'm not too far out off the mark in terms of how it should be configured.

Thankfully I have some 2.5" platter drives for storage lying around, I was just hoping I could re-use my old WD drives for maximum capacity. I just didn't see how any air would be pulled/push across the platter drives.

That will all fit, just be aware that you're using pretty much every available inch and it will be quite cramped. You're right to be concerned about HDD temps, but with a blower card they'll probably be fine. If it's an option, I'd recommend 2.5" HDDs as an alternative. Much smaller and easier to deal with.

There's only space for a single 3.5" HDD on the bottom, and it only leaves enough room for a 92mm fan (i.e., no bottom 120mm). With a blower GPU it's also worse heat-wise than using the cage, since they tend to leak hot exhaust towards the rear of the case, where the the drive is. Really, the bottom 3.5" mount is there mainly for people who are doing a custom loop with a 240 rad, or using lower powered/no GPU.
 

Gnrl Kitty

n00b
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
27
Sooooo are the motherboard standoffs replaceable? I can't get the screws to go in AT ALL. Even without a board, just screwing the screws directly into the standoffs.
 

WiSK

2[H]4U
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Oct 28, 2011
Messages
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Jul 24, 2015
Messages
8
Hi all, bit of a lurker here for the last few months as I've been working towards a new build. Just got my v4 in the mail the other day (build quality is sooo nice compared to what I've used before) and I'm now getting into the nitty gritty details regarding the build.

My old comp is still kickin', so I've been holing off on picking everything up until skylake and the z170 launches next month (likely getting a 6600k, but may splurge for the 6700k). the build will be used for normal browsing, photo editing, and gaming. I've mentally allocated up to $2k for the build, but anything cheaper certainly doesn't hurt. I'm planning to have this be my build for a minimum of 3-4 years. Right now I'm struggling with the cooling and storage options for it and would appreciate some advice.:confused:

Initial thoughts:

mobo: uncertain yet, but likely an asus mini ITX
cpu: 6600k or 6700k
ssd: 256GB sm951 (might just go with a 500 GB m.2 850 evo)
HDD: ?
Cooling: ?
RAM: 2x8GB (not certain on DDR3L vs DDR4, will be dictated by the mobo; likely DDR4)
ODD: Either UJ265, an external, or just skip
PSU: Silverstone 500W SFX-L
V Card: Still deciding, not certain if I might use an old 5850 and wait for Pascal next year or get a 970, 980 or 980 ti now

Where I'm most struggling is figuring out the CPU cooler and hard drive storage. I've been looking at the H100i, but then that limits where I could put a 3.5" HDD. I could go with a 2.5" (likely a Samsung M9T; want at least 2TB of storage) and put it right behind the ODD (which I believe still works with the H100i), or I could go with an air cooler or H80i and put the 3.5" across from the PSU. I don't want to put a 3.5 on the floor of the case with the video card circulating heat there.

Thoughts? I've heard 120mm AIO's don't really perform all that great, so that would push me towards aircooling if I stick with a 3.5", but I'd appreciate perspective from the smart folks here. Is an AIO a good option? I'm planning on having this situation on my desk, so ideally I wouldn't have something too noisy. How bad is the pump and fan noise?

If I went with air-cooling, what would be a good option for this setup? I've struggled with the various low profile coolers (and noctua's very confusing naming setup for their coolers) and knowing which ones are worth investing in.

TL;DR
1) is a 120mm AIO worth it, or should my choice be 240mm or air cooling?
2) For answer to 1), what are good options?
3) 3.5" or 2.5" for bulk storage? Is the 2.5" performance drop-off noticable (this is for game backups, photos and video storage)
4) For answer 3), where would you place the drive?


Any insights or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've learned a ton perusing this and the build threads which have been incredibly helpful, now trying to get over the last hump...



Guess I have one more question: my current comp is a P8Z77 3570k with a 5850 and 3 1.5TB 7200 rpm drives; would it be worth it to try and convert this to a home server unit (either windows server or something like FreeNAS)? I have no real experience in this area, but thought it could be a fun project and a good use for my older system.
 

spacexman

n00b
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Jul 17, 2015
Messages
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Hi guys. Sorry I have another beginner question! Still figuring out how this all works as I go! I will have 5 case fans in total. 1x Noctua NF-A9x14 in the rear, 2x Corsair SP120 on the side panel, and 2x Corsair SP120 on the bottom.

My motherboard is the Z97I-PLUS. Power supply is the SX600-G. RAM is low profile HyperX Savage. Graphics card is a GTX 980 reference. I have a 2.5 SSD and one 3.5 HDD. Lastly I also purchased the Silverstone PP05-E short cable set. All these parts are here except for the cable set and case.

Right now I just have a few questions.

1. I saw today that the motherboard specifications lists there is 1x4 pin connector for the CPU fan and 2x4 pin connectors for the case fans. That takes care of 2 case fans out of 5. How do I manage to power the rest of the fans while retaining their PWM functionality (all the fans are PWM)?

2. I will be using the HDD bracket to place my single 3.5 drive there. Can I also place a 2.5 inch drive in that bracket? Just wondering because my current case HDD bracket allows for that.

3. Does anybody have any recommendations for a CPU cooler that won't require losing a feature like the HDD bracket or side fans that I already have? I have been looking at the NH-U9S but am not sure if two fans on that can fit.

Thank you for the help so far guys! Really excited to build my first computer.
 

Phuncz

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
2,630
1) is a 120mm AIO worth it, or should my choice be 240mm or air cooling?
2) For answer to 1), what are good options?
3) 3.5" or 2.5" for bulk storage? Is the 2.5" performance drop-off noticable (this is for game backups, photos and video storage)
4) For answer 3), where would you place the drive?
5) current comp is a P8Z77 3570k with a 5850 and 3 1.5TB 7200 rpm drives; would it be worth it to try and convert this to a home server unit (either windows server or something like FreeNAS)?
1) after doing watercooling followed by aircooling, I feel aircooling is the way to go for most builds in the Ncase if noise is of more concern than the lowest possible temperature. If your CPU is 50°C or 70°C during load won't matter except in noise and price. A really good watercooling setup costs more than a few hundred dollar and it's still a lot more dependant on perfect installation and higher difficulty in planning than aircooling.

But I also feel air cooling provides more reliability and flexibility at a severely lower price. Nothing like waking up one morning and finding a puddle under your rig because that $110 waterblock decided to leak. Or hearing that air-bubble fizzle after spending hours trying to bleed it properly. Some can make it all work flawlessly, but many underestimate watercooling.

2) I have a Scythe Kabuto 2, which is difficult to find since it's end-of-life. But in the end it will depend on your motherboard and other options like the need for the 3,5" HDD bracket. Look at some examples in the Google Doc and the User Gallery.

3) I personally would never use a 3,5" drive again in my main rig, I've offloaded all my "second tier" storage to a NAS and only have an SSD in my Ncase M1. If anything, 2TB SSDs and 2TB HDDs are available in 2,5" format, although the SSD version costs a lot ofcourse. Speed-wise it depends on what you need it for, as long as it's for storage and not for active use, it won't matter much. If you want to have more space for games and regularly need to handle (not just view) your photos and videos, I recommend looking at a second SSD or a single larger one.

4) you can place a 3,5" drive in two locations in the Ncase by default: on the fan bracket using the included HDD bracket, or on the bottom of the case just below the GPU.The first one will make choosing a CPU cooler more difficult as some CPU coolers will run into the bracket and the second option will heat up the HDD because of the GPU and lack of airflow when using a reference design GPU.

5) I've been running NAS4Free for a while now, I used FreeNAS too but it lacked a few important features back then. It isn't for the faint of heart, it requires some background knowledge to setup properly (permissions, installation somewhat) and if the web interface somehow fails, you will need to use Linux/UNIX command line. It can be daunting but also educational and interesting. It depends how good you are at troubleshooting and like challenges.

Windows Server is certainly an option but it will also be overkill/bloaty just for storage needs.

Maybe a third option is selling the hardware and getting a Synology NAS with a few disks. It all depends on your needs and wishes what's the best choice though.
 

iFreilicht

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
1,348
Hi guys. Sorry I have another beginner question! Still figuring out how this all works as I go! I will have 5 case fans in total. 1x Noctua NF-A9x14 in the rear, 2x Corsair SP120 on the side panel, and 2x Corsair SP120 on the bottom.

My motherboard is the Z97I-PLUS. Power supply is the SX600-G. RAM is low profile HyperX Savage. Graphics card is a GTX 980 reference. I have a 2.5 SSD and one 3.5 HDD. Lastly I also purchased the Silverstone PP05-E short cable set. All these parts are here except for the cable set and case.

Right now I just have a few questions.

1. I saw today that the motherboard specifications lists there is 1x4 pin connector for the CPU fan and 2x4 pin connectors for the case fans. That takes care of 2 case fans out of 5. How do I manage to power the rest of the fans while retaining their PWM functionality (all the fans are PWM)?

2. I will be using the HDD bracket to place my single 3.5 drive there. Can I also place a 2.5 inch drive in that bracket? Just wondering because my current case HDD bracket allows for that.

3. Does anybody have any recommendations for a CPU cooler that won't require losing a feature like the HDD bracket or side fans that I already have? I have been looking at the NH-U9S but am not sure if two fans on that can fit.

Thank you for the help so far guys! Really excited to build my first computer.

1. As far as I know, splitters should work just fine with PWM fans, at least two-way splitters. The RPM return signal from the fan might not work as expected, but the PWM signal for control should go through just fine. If the motherboard shows to be too weak to start the fans up, you could also make cables yourself that give the fans power from the PSU directly and let the mainboard just control the speed.

2. Yes, but you'll need a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter bracket. If you already have one of those, great! There are other locations you can mount 2.5" drives in the M1, but I guess you ruled those out already.
 
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