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

pmwalk

n00b
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Messages
27
Hi everybody. I just finished building my first computer in the NCASE M1 a few days ago. Everything is up and running fine except for one USB 3.0 in the front of the case. I tested USB storage drives, keyboards, mice, and USB headset. They all work on the right USB 3.0 in the front of the case but the left USB 3.0 doesn't work. Does anybody have any suggestions or thoughts on why only one slot works but not the other. Thanks!

I had the same thing happen to me after I first assembled, and re-plugging the USB 3.0 connection into the motherboard fixed it, as it wasn't plugged in straight. I'd give that a try first, since those USB 3.0 header connections aren't exactly the most secure.
 

csd

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2008
Messages
143
Ncase M1 v4
ASRock X99E-ITX/ac
Core i7 5820K
[placeholder] bundled ASRock fan
EVGA GTX Titan Z SC
Samsung SM951 256GB NVME
[placeholder] Silverstone SX500-LG
[placeholder] Crucial DDR4 2133MHz 8GB
Silverstone PP05-E

Nice! You don't see too many Titan-Z's about, especially in a M1 :)
 

Shrike

n00b
Joined
Sep 5, 2015
Messages
7
First post! I was hoping for it to be more about my finished build, but I'm too worn out now to do a full write up and sort out the pictures I took. Instead, I just want to offer a tip to anyone else who's using the ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac motherboard.

It seems that on the initial BIOS version, this motherboard has a compatibility issue with at least the Kingston HyperX Fury kits, and probably other RAM modules judging by some other posts I've found. It was practically raining BSODs, and I even had a test that could reproduce them with 100% accuracy (copying my steamapps folder from my data drive to boot SSD). They were all memory or driver related, MEMORY_MANAGEMENT was the most common but there was also PFN_LIST_CORRUPT, DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL, and I think a few others. I ran Memcheck for 24 hours and it was clean, so I was fearing it was a bad motherboard...

And that was when I risked a BIOS update. Surprise, it worked! So, any other Ncase owners who have the ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac and are being plagued by BSODs, go update that BIOS before you think to RMA it or anything!

Otherwise, the parts list that went into this build in lieu of photos for the time being:
  • Ncase M1 v4
  • ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac
  • Intel Core i7-6700k
  • 16GB Kingston HyperX Fury 2666Mhz (2x8GB)
  • Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler
  • Noctua NH-F12 Fans x3
  • Reference Gigabyte Geforce GTX 980 (already had it from last year before this build, hence why not a Ti)
  • 1TB Samsung 850 Evo SSD
  • 3TB Toshiba DT01ACA300M HDD
  • Silverstone SX500-LG
  • Panasonic UJ-265 BD Drive
  • Windows 10 Home
 

onegaynerd

n00b
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
21
It seems that on the initial BIOS version, this motherboard has a compatibility issue with at least the Kingston HyperX Fury kits, and probably other RAM modules judging by some other posts I've found.

Yep, a lot of people have been reporting RAM problems until they update the BIOS. I'm going to be testing my luck with a 2x16gb setup on this motherboard soon so hopefully that'll work out.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
6
Skylake and Z170 m-ITX dream is now a reality.

i5-6600k
Asrock Z170 Fatal1ty
Corsair DDR4 LPX 8GB
Noctua NH-U9S with 1x120mm and 2x92mm fans
Sapphire Radeon 290 Tri-X
Silverstone 500W SFX-L
Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD
and of course, an NCase M1 V4









Who needs an optical drive when this is prime cable management area?






 

Pat-Roner

Weaksauce
Joined
May 19, 2015
Messages
74
First desktop pc I've made/had after 10+ years of macbooks and consoles. Feels good!
Built this because I wanted a small, powerfull and quiet pc.

First build I've seen with atx psu and full length graphics card.

Specs:
i7 4790k
Cryorig C1 with Fractal Venturi HF 140mm
Asus z97i-PLUS
16gb Corsair Ram
1TB total ssd storage
Corsair CS650m
EVGA 980 ti SC+


Originaly went for Msi 980ti Gaming 6G and it fit without modifications to the card itself, but the fans went haywire and RMA'd it and changed to EVGA one since it was rated as the quieter one.

Soundlevels are dead silent, and acceptable when gaming.

Temps normal use:
Cpu - 40-50c
Gpu - 45-60c

During gaming:
Cpu - 60c
Gpu - 77c

All powercables are custom made by Mundi at Icemodz
He does great work and is really competative on price.

Old-modz_transparent_big_BW-Custom-2-Custom.png
.


Now pictures of the build. Hope you like it.

Wd7zWEx.jpg

UfJWAHI.jpg

ONDPI7i.jpg

CDLaWWW.jpg

eCjuPso.jpg

pUBbuOr.jpg
 

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,767
First desktop pc I've made/had after 10+ years of macbooks and consoles. Feels good!
Built this because I wanted a small, powerfull and quiet pc.

First build I've seen with atx psu and full length graphics card.

[...]
Nice build. I assume you used a flexible PCIe riser to move the GPU down a slot? I'm curious how you made that work.
 

Pat-Roner

Weaksauce
Joined
May 19, 2015
Messages
74
Nice build. I assume you used a flexible PCIe riser to move the GPU down a slot? I'm curious how you made that work.

Yeah, I bought this and with great success. The only thing is that I cant fit the slim schyte fans in the bottom. (missing 2mm) But I've ordered a custom bracket, so that I can lower them those 2mm. Will post an update when that is in place.

Using a riser was golden as it enabled me to use the cryorig c1 and an atx psu.
 

Qrash

Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
995
I quickly found a few discussions on this topic and the differences were never very large. Your exerpience supports this.

TBH I thought horizontal was best since the capillary motion of the coolant through the heatpipe's wicking material would not have to fight gravity. Who knows!
 

friend'scatdied

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
1,283
I quickly found a few discussions on this topic and the differences were never very large. Your exerpience supports this.

TBH I thought horizontal was best since the capillary motion of the coolant through the heatpipe's wicking material would not have to fight gravity. Who knows!

Actually his experience was neutral since the inverse was never evaluated. :p

As far as the Ncase is concerned I think the orientation is trivial unless X99 is involved.
 

Qrash

Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
995
Yes, poor choice of words by me. I meant that his experience with the heatpipes in a vertical orientation is still producing good performance. I'll be more careful next time.
 

Epos7

Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2015
Messages
844
What are the preferred slot-load optical drives for the NCASE? I see the slot load top panels are now available for purchase, thinking about picking one up. Reviews of some slot load drives mention that they don't work well when bolted down, like they would be in the NCASE.
 

Sverebom

Weaksauce
Joined
May 11, 2014
Messages
88
Hey guys, three small questions concerning extra large graphics cards and SFX-L PSUs in the M1.

1 - I want to weld an ASUS R9 Fury Strix into the case. The dimensions are 300 x 138 mm. By my understanding the card should fit, even without modding the case because directly behind the I/0 bracket the DirectCU III design isn't as wide as the Strix designs (thus does not collide with frane). Please correct me if I'm wrong. Main reason for that decision that I want a high-end peformance GPU with good efficency, low temperatures and low noise. Contrary to what the R9 family usually delivers the ASUS R9 Fury Strix is quite efficient (thanks to the custom board design) and one of the coolest and most silent high-end performance GPUs that are available. Since many people are running open air GTX980s in their builds without problems, I assume that I should be fine with the Fury Strix, but if you suggest otherwise (and have appropriate data and experience to back it) I would like to hear that before I get my own M1. I should probably add that I want to run the card with custom (always active) fan curve.

2 - I know that even with the V3 PSU-bracket an SFX-L PSU is a borderline incompatible fit with long graphics card, especially with a backplate. What are my chances of gaining a few millimeters of extra space by modifying the power connector and using a custom PSU bracket? Are braided cables significantly easier to bend and route than stock cables? And could I modify the power connectors to behave and feel more like angled connectors?

3 - The specs on the website are given with absolutely no elbowroom that could probably allow to squeeze a 300mm graphics card into the second and third expansion slot, right?
 

Dra1c

n00b
Joined
May 8, 2015
Messages
47
Hey guys, three small questions concerning extra large graphics cards and SFX-L PSUs in the M1.

1 - I want to weld an ASUS R9 Fury Strix into the case. The dimensions are 300 x 138 mm. By my understanding the card should fit, even without modding the case because directly behind the I/0 bracket the DirectCU III design isn't as wide as the Strix designs (thus does not collide with frane). Please correct me if I'm wrong. Main reason for that decision that I want a high-end peformance GPU with good efficency, low temperatures and low noise. Contrary to what the R9 family usually delivers the ASUS R9 Fury Strix is quite efficient (thanks to the custom board design) and one of the coolest and most silent high-end performance GPUs that are available. Since many people are running open air GTX980s in their builds without problems, I assume that I should be fine with the Fury Strix, but if you suggest otherwise (and have appropriate data and experience to back it) I would like to hear that before I get my own M1. I should probably add that I want to run the card with custom (always active) fan curve.

2 - I know that even with the V3 PSU-bracket an SFX-L PSU is a borderline incompatible fit with long graphics card, especially with a backplate. What are my chances of gaining a few millimeters of extra space by modifying the power connector and using a custom PSU bracket? Are braided cables significantly easier to bend and route than stock cables? And could I modify the power connectors to behave and feel more like angled connectors?

3 - The specs on the website are given with absolutely no elbowroom that could probably allow to squeeze a 300mm graphics card into the second and third expansion slot, right?

1) Others can answer this question better but I am doubtful this card will fit. Comparing it with pictures and measurements of the 980TI Strix CU3, I think the measurements of the Fury is only about the PCB and does not reflect the size of the cooler. The cooler has a width of more than 150mm and that is without that one heatpipe. If thats correct it will definitly not fit.

2) If you mod your connectors and shorten them you will gain a significant amount of extra room to prevent any bends or pressure, but as someone who uses a SFX-L with some longer graphics cards, I dont think you need to be that concerned about the issues. The pressure that is applied is really minor and while not perfect, I dont think you will ever run into any issues. A custom SFX-Bracket was discussed on the forum already but I think the project did not come to fruition, because it basically needs a power cable that is also a flat design.

3) No you cannot put a card of that length in the bottom two slots because of the front I/O.
 

Sverebom

Weaksauce
Joined
May 11, 2014
Messages
88
Whelp, you are right. The card is wider than specified. Too bad. I wanted that card because of the improved power design and better efficiency since I'm building an SFF-system with obviously limited power supply (and I want than 120mm Fan). However, the cooler designs of Sapphire and XFX should work better anyway because the rear third of the cooler is not covered by a PCB or a backplate, which should improve cooling and make any modifications to the PSU or the PSU bracket unnecessary.
 
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friend'scatdied

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
1,283
What are the preferred slot-load optical drives for the NCASE? I see the slot load top panels are now available for purchase, thinking about picking one up. Reviews of some slot load drives mention that they don't work well when bolted down, like they would be in the NCASE.

Unofficially the most popular option appears to be the Panasonic UJ-265 OEM drive (6X BD-write capable).

I'm not sure if there are any caveats or limitations of the UJ-265 in the M1, so perhaps owners could chime in here.
 

csd

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2008
Messages
143
2 - I know that even with the V3 PSU-bracket an SFX-L PSU is a borderline incompatible fit with long graphics card, especially with a backplate. What are my chances of gaining a few millimeters of extra space by modifying the power connector and using a custom PSU bracket? Are braided cables significantly easier to bend and route than stock cables? And could I modify the power connectors to behave and feel more like angled connectors?

With a backplate, yes you will have trouble.
The included flat cables are going to be better (space wise) than braided cables for allowing more room where the cables and GPU meet.
As per my sig, I've got a Titan-X and SFXL - the cables only just touch my card so there's no bending of the GPU itself FYI.
 

Qrash

Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
995
I just updated my build and want to share the results:

Arctic Freezer 13 - CPU
Arctic Twin Turbo III - GPU]

Very tidy cabling. I've seen others fit an ATX power supply when they use the Arctic GPU coolers, but this is the first build I've seen to include the backplate heatsink. Including the backplate heatsink limits the space to a SFX power suppply.

Is that a fan replacement on the outside of the SFX power supply? How is it working out for you?
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Messages
21
I didn't mod the backside cooler, but it's a very close fit. The RAM modules align
with the cooler's mounting holes and behind the cooler there's just enough room
for the USB 3.0 cable.

I removed the original fan from the SFX power supply and mounted a 80mm fan on the outside.
It's controlled by the motherboard via PWM and tied to the CPU-temperature.

As it's a normal 25*80mm fan versus the original 15*80mm fan I get higher airflow
at the same fan speed. Or the same airflow with lower fan speed.
 

Qrash

Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
995
I removed the original fan from the SFX power supply and mounted a 80mm fan on the outside.
It's controlled by the motherboard via PWM and tied to the CPU-temperature.

As it's a normal 25*80mm fan versus the original 15*80mm fan I get higher airflow
at the same fan speed. Or the same airflow with lower fan speed.

Looks similar to my PS fan mod, except I increased the intake hole to accomodate a 92 mm fan. No going back now!

(I just had to leave the "Guarantee void if removed" sticker in place, eh!)​

In the photo I have a 3-pin Nexus fan attached (wtih soft rubber posts), but I've replaced it with a 3-pin Noctua NF-A9 FLX. The new fan's noise is spec'd to be 17 dBA at full speed (64.6 cubic metres/hour / 38.0 CFM) so I was planning to try it at full speed.
 

Phuncz

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
2,630
I removed the original fan from the SFX power supply and mounted a 80mm fan on the outside.
It's controlled by the motherboard via PWM and tied to the CPU-temperature.

As it's a normal 25*80mm fan versus the original 15*80mm fan I get higher airflow
at the same fan speed. Or the same airflow with lower fan speed.
Be generous on the amount of minimum airflow for the PSU since loading your GPU only or mainly would put more load on the PSU than the CPU ever would (unless GTX 960 or lower).
 

2Entropy

n00b
Joined
Mar 11, 2011
Messages
42
Have to ask... where do all the doodads go? The 120mm sized filters, are they meant to go on the floor? Also no idea what the metal strips are for, or the cage on the side.
 

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,767
I just updated my build and want to share the results:

Arctic Freezer 13 - CPU
Arctic Twin Turbo III - GPU[...]
Very nice build. Almost can't tell there's a PC in there between all the heatsinks and fans :D

Have to ask... where do all the doodads go? The 120mm sized filters, are they meant to go on the floor? Also no idea what the metal strips are for, or the cage on the side.
If you have 120mm fans on the bottom the filters are screwed in with those.The metal strips are the 2.5" stacking brackets, which allow you to attach two drives together and mount them on any of the three 2.5" drive mounts in the case. The cage is the 3.5" HDD cage, which takes up to two drives. The build pics in the first post will give you an idea how the drives can be mounted.
 

tomjaimz

n00b
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
6
Hello all! First, many thanks for all of the hard work and thought that's gone into making the NCASE M1 a fantastic case! I'm putting together the parts for my NCASE build and it's very exciting - for me it's the first case I've built in the last ten years. :)

I am trying to put together a build that is as quiet as possible, while still keeping temperatures at a level reasonable enough to play games with a GTX 970. I'm not too worried about overclocking to get the highest possible framerate - noise is my main priority.

Here's a rough overview of my build at the moment:
Mobo: Asus Z170I Pro Gaming
CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX Black DDR4
SSD: Samsung 850 M.2
Power: Silverstone SFX SX500-LG 500W (w/ Silverstone Short Cable Set)
GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 970 Gaming (w/ Twin Frozr)
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H100i
Fans: Noctua NF-A9, 2 x Noctua NF-F12 industrialPPC 2000

With this in mind I have a couple of relevant questions.

1. Will the MSI card fit with the Silverstone 500-LG (if it doesn't, I will go for the SX600)?

2. I am worried about heating for the GPU, especially as the fans for the Hydro will occupy the space at the bottom of the case, where I could put a pair of NF-F12s to extract heat away from the GPU. Should I consider:
2a. Getting a NH-C14 instead of the H100i, and mount two F12s on the bottom to extract air out of the case? How will that impact noise?
2b. Get the MSI GTX970 4GD5, which has a blower? I haven't seen the noise levels for this listed anywhere, but MSI have a good reputation for low noise. What can I expect from that vs. a poorly ventilated Twin Frozr solution?

Many thanks for your invaluable assistance!
 

astheria

n00b
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
44
What is the best option for sleeved cables for the M1? I have the Silverstone 600W SFX, curious if there's any options that don't involve sleeving them myself or ordering way too long cables.
 

inchikiboze

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
69
2. I am worried about heating for the GPU, especially as the fans for the Hydro will occupy the space at the bottom of the case, where I could put a pair of NF-F12s to extract heat away from the GPU. Should I consider:
2a. Getting a NH-C14 instead of the H100i, and mount two F12s on the bottom to extract air out of the case? How will that impact noise?
2b. Get the MSI GTX970 4GD5, which has a blower? I haven't seen the noise levels for this listed anywhere, but MSI have a good reputation for low noise. What can I expect from that vs. a poorly ventilated Twin Frozr solution?

I can't answer your first question, but as to the second, I can say from experience that the C14 + 970 Gaming is a great combo, both in terms of noise and temps. XelNika did some thorough testing comparing the C14 and the H100i with this card a few months ago, and I was convinced to switch from a H100i + NF-F12 iPPC 2000s setup back to a C14. Much quieter now and no significant disadvantage in temps. I'm running an i5-2500K OC'd to 4 GHz.

As someone who replaced my H100i with a C14, the H100i is not significantly cooler. My own testing showed a 1 C difference in favour of the C14. That's far within margin of error, the fans I used could've accounted for the difference.

Another surprising result of XelNika's tests, which my experience also confirms, is that the MSI 970 doesn't need extra fans on the bottom to stay cool. I run it quite hard, and it occasionally gets up to 77C on a hot day. You have a slightly different mobo-CPU-power supply setup, but in my experience, the C14 + MSI 970 Gaming is a great combination for both noise and temps. It's dead silent at idle, and audible at load, but hardly offensive. I, too, was quite apprehensive about running an open-style card with no extra fan support, but it has performed very well. If you go this route, just make sure you get the discontinued C14 (not the new C14s), and if sound is paramount to you, consider either leaving your CPU at stock speeds while using Noctua's included ultra low-noise adapters or replacing the stock fan with a PWM fan such as the NF-P14r redux-1500 PWM, as I did.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Messages
21
Idle and Load Temps?

CPU: Intel i5 4690K @ 4.00Ghz / Standard VCore: Idle: 32°C / Load: 60°C (Video encoding), 74°C (Prime95 Small FFT) (Hottest Core)
GPU: GTX970 @ 1278Mhz / Standard Vcore: Idle: 30°C / Load: 65°C (Far Cry 4 / Crysis 3)

The CPU gets to 55°C while gaming. Of course the fans stay in acceptable noise regions.
 
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tomjaimz

n00b
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
6
Thanks inchikiboze - that, together with XelNika's tests, answered my question about cooling perfectly. :)

Now I just need to know if the MSI GTX 970 is or can be compatible with an SX500-LG, but I'm not as optimistic about that...
 

Skott

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
4,198
I'am toying with the idea of putting a R9 Nano into one of my M1 cases. Anyone try it yet? :)
 
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