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

Putz

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cleaned up my wiring a bit, relocted the fan hub to the front behind the panel

IMG_0626.jpg


IMG_0627.jpg
 

Jiv_au

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UPDATE: I replaced this solution with some aluminium heatsink 20x20x6mm and that works even better (42C) without any fan on the bottom. Heatsink attached with Arctic Silver 5. 1mm thermal pad used between heatsink top and side panel to push the heatsink into the M.2 SSD and prevent any gaps.


M.2 SSD rear/back of motherboard cooling solution - a Frankenstein example.

NOT RECOMMENDED UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND THE RISK.

(apologies for the terrible picture quality)
(explanation below)
20180204_212216.jpg


Toshiba OCZ RD400 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD on the back of a Asus Strix Z270i.

All temps stated here are the M.2 SSD PCH reported by HWiNFO64.

Without cooling solution - 70C at idle, 75C under normal use (gaming).
With cooling solution (pic) - 47C at idle, 52C under normal use (30min gaming off said SSD - bottom AF-A9 @ 80%).
(Room temp - 25C)

Cooling solution:
- Aluminium plate (rated 200W/mK 1.5mm thick) located between the motherboard and cage.
- Arctic Silver 5 (rated 8.1W/mK, between aluminium and chipsets on M.2 SSD)
- Thermal pad 7mm thick (rated 3.2W/mK, on the inner side of side panel, made up of 7x 1mm thermal pad)
- Noctua AF-A9 at bottom (held down with Blu-Tack as there are no holes to screw down in that position),

How the heat transfer works (my best guess):
M.2 SSD PCH -> Aluminium Plate -> Cooled by air from AF-A9 (in picture)
M.2 SSD PCH -> Aluminium Plate -> Thermal Pad -> Side Panel which dissipates heat

WARNING: THE ALUMINIUM PLATE IS NOT PROPERLY SECURED. RECOMMEND SECURING IT PROPERLY, OR NOT USE THIS SOLUTION IF YOUR NCASE M1 IS TRANSPORTED FREQUENTLY.

This is what I ended up with after many experimentation...
Firstly the why - because I wanted to have a 3.5" HDD installed, and the side bracket is already occupied by a GPU radiator.
Also the front of mobo is already occupied by another M.2 SSD (Samsung 960 Evo 1TB).

I first started off with thermal pads alone (7mm thick) to make contact between the SSD and side panel to dissipate heat - 63C at idle.
I replaced the 3.5" HDD below the motherboard with another AF-A9 (not in pic), positioned (not screwed down) as to send as much airflow up the back of the motherboard as possible - 38C idle, 52C under normal use with this 2nd AF-A9 at 80%,
But then I wanted to use the only remaining HDD space, so came up with the above solution to utilise the only AF-A9 on the bottom of the case, by transferring heat there. Thus the aluminium plate solution.
Applying the 7mm thermal pad was an afterthought which reduced the temp by another 3~5C.

Electrical tape and Blu-Tack are being employed to ensure the plate doesn't move and cause electrical short for the time being.

In the future I'd permanently glue the plate to the side panel, then around the SSD area add additional aluminium layer so that the plate makes contact with the chipset, then use a higher rated (>8W/mK) thermal pad between them.
The additional layers + plate should add up to be about 8mm thick (so plate + 4 addnl layers for this 1.5mm aluminium), then a 0.5mm or 1mm thick thermal pad can be used to make the final contact between that and the SSD chipset.
Thermal paste + glue should be used between the aluminium layers.
By doing this, the thermal pad acts as a shield to prevent accidental shorting. Even if the plate fell it would be outside of the cage and shouldn't make contact with sensitive components (the above pic is inside, protected only by electrical tape).

This solution betters the M.2 SSD (Samsung 960 Evo) on the front of the motherboard with Asus's own M.2 SSD cooling solution by a few degrees.
However, the 960 Evo, as I understand, operates at a higher temp.

Cost:
- Aluminium plate (1.5mm x 20mm x 1metre) $3 from local hardware store
- Thermal pad $10
- Arctic Silver 5 $10
- Metal cutting blade $5
 
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rfarmer

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M.2 SSD rear/back of motherboard cooling solution - a Frankenstein example.

NOT RECOMMENDED UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND THE RISK.

(apologies for the terrible picture quality)
(explanation below)
View attachment 52867

Toshiba OCZ RD400 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD on the back of a Asus Strix Z270i.

All temps stated here are the M.2 SSD PCH reported by HWiNFO64.

Without cooling solution - 70C at idle, 75C under normal use (gaming).
With cooling solution (pic) - 47C at idle, 60C under normal use (30min gaming off said SSD - bottom AF-A9 @ 80%).

Cooling solution:
- Aluminium plate (rated 200W/mK 1.5mm thick) located between the motherboard and cage.
- Arctic Silver 5 (rated 8.1W/mK, between aluminium and chipsets on M.2 SSD)
- Thermal pad 7mm thick (rated 3.2W/mK, on the inner side of side panel, made up of 7x 1mm thermal pad)
- Noctua AF-A9 at bottom (held down with Blu-Tack as there are no holes to screw down in that position),

How the heat transfer works (my best guess):
M.2 SSD PCH -> Aluminium Plate -> Cooled by air from AF-A9 (in picture)
M.2 SSD PCH -> Aluminium Plate -> Thermal Pad -> Side Panel which dissipates heat

WARNING: THE ALUMINIUM PLATE IS NOT PROPERLY SECURED. RECOMMEND SECURING IT PROPERLY, OR NOT USE THIS SOLUTION IF YOUR NCASE M1 IS TRANSPORTED FREQUENTLY.

This is what I ended up with after many experimentation...
Firstly the why - because I wanted to have a 3.5" HDD installed, and the side bracket is already occupied by a GPU radiator.
Also the front of mobo is already occupied by another M.2 SSD (Samsung 960 Evo 1TB).

I first started off with thermal pads alone (7mm thick) to make contact between the SSD and side panel to dissipate heat - 63C at idle.
I replaced the 3.5" HDD below the motherboard with another AF-A9 (not in pic), positioned (not screwed down) as to send as much airflow up the back of the motherboard as possible - 38C idle, 52C under normal use with this 2nd AF-A9 at 80%,
But then I wanted to use the only remaining HDD space, so came up with the above solution to utilise the only AF-A9 on the bottom of the case, by transferring heat there. Thus the aluminium plate solution.
Applying the 7mm thermal pad was an afterthought which reduced the temp by another 3~5C.

Electrical tape and Blu-Tack are being employed to ensure the plate doesn't move and cause electrical short for the time being.

In the future I'd permanently glue the plate to the side panel, then around the SSD area add additional aluminium layer so that the plate makes contact with the chipset, then use a higher rated (>8W/mK) thermal pad between them.
The additional layers + plate should add up to be about 8mm thick (so plate + 4 addnl layers for this 1.5mm aluminium), then a 0.5mm or 1mm thick thermal pad can be used to make the final contact between that and the SSD chipset.
Thermal paste + glue should be used between the aluminium layers.
By doing this, the thermal pad acts as a shield to prevent accidental shorting. Even if the plate fell it would be outside of the cage and shouldn't make contact with sensitive components (the above pic is inside, protected only by electrical tape).

This solution betters the M.2 SSD (Samsung 960 Evo) on the front of the motherboard with Asus's own M.2 SSD cooling solution by a few degrees.
However, the 960 Evo, as I understand, operates at a higher temp.

Cost:
- Aluminium plate (1.5mm x 20mm x 1metre) $3 from local hardware store
- Thermal pad $10
- Arctic Silver 5 $10
- Metal cutting blade $5

That is an unique solution. I installed an aluminum M.2 heatsink on mine and have an intake fan on the motherboard side and lowered the temps on mine by 13C. But with the 3.5 on that side this might be the best cooling you can get for your M.2.
 

xfan10

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That is an unique solution. I installed an aluminum M.2 heatsink on mine and have an intake fan on the motherboard side and lowered the temps on mine by 13C. But with the 3.5 on that side this might be the best cooling you can get for your M.2.

which M2 heatsink did you use?
 

Jiv_au

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Seems to work fine though.

With a fan below the motherboard blowing at the SSD, that heatsink would probably be more than adequate. I remember that a large thermal pad would also be sufficient.

The only problem for me is that that heat from the M.2 SSD seems to be adding to GPU temps because the GPU rad 120mm fan (Corsair ML120 Pro) is pushing air out of the case...
How's your temps before and after adding the M.2 SSD at the back of the motherboard?
 

rfarmer

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With a fan below the motherboard blowing at the SSD, that heatsink would probably be more than adequate. I remember that a large thermal pad would also be sufficient.

The only problem for me is that that heat from the M.2 SSD seems to be adding to GPU temps because the GPU rad 120mm fan (Corsair ML120 Pro) is pushing air out of the case...
How's your temps before and after adding the M.2 SSD at the back of the motherboard?

I have a MyDigitalSSD which uses a Phison memory controller and these run very hot. When I first got it I had to do some research because I was afraid it was defective, but turns out all the M.2 using this controller run hot. I was seeing 76C idle and 80C load before, now I see 53C idle and 57C load.
 

Neapolitan6th

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For anyone interested, there is a vertical GPU bracket for the Ncase being sold at Mnpctech right now.

I picked one up and I actually plan to vertically mount a r9 nano sized itx gpu. This way I can still keep the HDD cage on the side and have 2-3 open slots to have watercooling in the bottom or perhaps add an extra pcie device via the m.2 bandwidth or bifurcation.
 
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MultiDoc

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Which motherboard are you using if I may ask ? Interested in the Dark Rock, thats why i'm asking (you have a build log somewhere i can read/see ?)
 

Smitty2k1

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Wow that's a great fit on the cooler. What fan are you using with it?

Also, any reason why you have the PSU orientation setup to pull in air from inside the case instead of outside the case?
 
S

sonsonate

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Which motherboard are you using if I may ask ? Interested in the Dark Rock, thats why i'm asking (you have a build log somewhere i can read/see ?)

GA-Z170N-Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0) https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-Z170N-Gaming-5-rev-10#ov Cannot really recommend the Dark Rock if you want an easy time installing and removing. The mounting setup is wacky as heck on the first go around.

Mounting Experience:
Unlike the Noctua SecuFirm, this has backplate, four pins and four C-clips to mount the backplate. Next, you have to attach four nuts and coupling screws to the heatsink. You can bolt them down really tight and that would keep them in place. Finally, the cooler goes on, but the only real way to get it on is to screw the posts into the nuts from behind. The little wrench they provide for bolting down the coupling screws is really short and can't reach under the heatsink if you've installed it into the case. It would have to be out of the case on your desk. Placing it into the case after mounting the heatsink would require removing the PSU and its mount.

In the above picture, it sort of pushes against the GPU, making it hard to get the GPU in. Rotate it 90 degrees counter-clockwise, the little cooler underneath really presses against the RAM. 90 degrees again, doesn't work and once more, does not work. I originally ordered a Phanteks PH-TC14CS and the 3rd party at Newegg never did get it to me and it's no longer easy to acquire. Same goes for the Noctua C14.

Wow that's a great fit on the cooler. What fan are you using with it?

Also, any reason why you have the PSU orientation setup to pull in air from inside the case instead of outside the case?

Fans are NB e-Loops 120mm 1100RPM model pushing in. Reason for the PSU fan inside is so it can get filtered cool air from the NB blowing directly over it. Since I replaced the fan with the Noctua model that spins slower, I didn't want to encounter any overheating issues. So turning it this way takes care of that.
 
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rfarmer

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Which motherboard are you using if I may ask ? Interested in the Dark Rock, thats why i'm asking (you have a build log somewhere i can read/see ?)

Like sonsonate said the Dark Rock TF is a PITA to install, but it is a really good cooler. I had mine mounted on the same Gigabyte motherboard but I chose the other orientation.

49cf529042.jpg


The heatpipes do push the ram over slightly, but I never had any problems. If you go to the Be Quiet site you can check if your motherboard is compatible.
 

MultiDoc

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Thanks for the replies guys. I already have the Noctua NH-D9L, but I was still contemplating between the Dark Rock TF and the Noctua NH-C14S.

From what you said I'll be crossing off the Dark Rock TF. Now the question is: keep the D9L or get the C14S ???

P.S: any idea how long does it usually take for the Ncase to be delivered guys ? I have order 2 weeks ago with the faster of the two options in shipping and still havent even had a tracking number.... :( I got all the parts sitting on my desk for the build to start)
 

rfarmer

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Thanks for the replies guys. I already have the Noctua NH-D9L, but I was still contemplating between the Dark Rock TF and the Noctua NH-C14S.

From what you said I'll be crossing off the Dark Rock TF. Now the question is: keep the D9L or get the C14S ???

P.S: any idea how long does it usually take for the Ncase to be delivered guys ? I have order 2 weeks ago with the faster of the two options in shipping and still havent even had a tracking number.... :( I got all the parts sitting on my desk for the build to start)

Right now on the website it states orders placed by Feb 11 will ship Feb 13. Were you given an earlier shipping date? I got mine on the west coast US 10 days after it was shipped.
 

MultiDoc

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Haven't been given a date when ordered, but I would have thought that it should have shipped by now. Anyway, no work around i guess so still patiently waiting for a tracking number and for it to get here. Parts are sitting eagerly on the desk waiting to get in it :)
 

MultiDoc

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Look what came in the mail today.

I have just got both the tempered glass and acrylic version.

Congrats !!! So jealous... I'm still waiting for mine, checked the tracking today and it's in customs. So hopefully here by weekend (fingers crossed).

May I ask how/where did you get the windowed side panels from ? I have a hard time finding someone that would cut me a piece of tempered glass less than 4mm thick
 

Neapolitan6th

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Look what came in the mail today.


sbhKp6Wl.jpg
W9ku5d7l.jpg


I have just got both the tempered glass and acrylic version.
This is a silly question as it defeats the aesthetics, but will the windowed side panel fit with the side mounted bracket for the HDD cage for example?
 

ReaperX22

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Ooo. Much want.. If I got it though I'd probably want to change my cooler to the 92mm asatek on the rear and have it intake from the back..
 

wahaha360

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Congrats !!! So jealous... I'm still waiting for mine, checked the tracking today and it's in customs. So hopefully here by weekend (fingers crossed).

May I ask how/where did you get the windowed side panels from ? I have a hard time finding someone that would cut me a piece of tempered glass less than 4mm thick


It will be offered as the an upgrade kit via SFFLAB.
 

wahaha360

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This is a silly question as it defeats the aesthetics, but will the windowed side panel fit with the side mounted bracket for the HDD cage for example?

The window kit is NOT compatible with side mounted fan bracket, therefore the 3.5" HDD case will NOT work either.

However, there are so many emails about the window kit despite the trade offs, I just gave up and decided to make it official.
 

Boil

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The window kit is NOT compatible with side mounted fan bracket, therefore the 3.5" HDD case will NOT work either.

However, there are so many emails about the window kit despite the trade offs, I just gave up and decided to make it official.

Now all one needs is a pedestal base to mount the radiator UNDER the chassis (25mm thick fans inside the chassis, on the floor), and a revision to the inside front panel for mounting a pump / reservoir combo...

Maybe a revision to the floor as well, to allow swapping out the standard floor for one designed specifically for a pair of 120mm fans...?
 

Neapolitan6th

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The window kit is NOT compatible with side mounted fan bracket, therefore the 3.5" HDD case will NOT work either.

However, there are so many emails about the window kit despite the trade offs, I just gave up and decided to make it official.
I'm sure many will still love it. I can see some beautiful watercooled builds coming from it with a 240 radiator in the bottom, 92mm radiator in the back, and plenty of room, for the pump/res.

I thought I wouldn't miss a side window, but it really is quite nice to marvel at the internals from time to time.

Good to see!
 

M1AF

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Dammit wahaha, I'm trying to save money. Then you bust off with the window?

Sigh, how much money am I about to spend on this thing?
 

Neapolitan6th

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Dammit wahaha, I'm trying to save money. Then you bust off with the window?

Sigh, how much money am I about to spend on this thing?

Haha sometimes I feel the same way.

I've bought two air coolers to try and find the biggest one that would fit.. CNCed brackets.. 5 noctua fans to try and create airflow.. Pwm splitters.. Custom bifurcated riser to use all 3 expansion slots.. Fan filters.. PCIE riser cables..In the future I'll switch to a gpu under 6.5 inches so I can have the extra space to stuff more devices into this wonderfully capable case. Pretty sure I could have bought 2 more NCASE M1s with all the extra gadgets and extras I've bought for it. All worth it though, but I wish I could just make my mind up haha
 

M1AF

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Haha sometimes I feel the same way.

I've bought two air coolers to try and find the biggest one that would fit.. CNCed brackets.. 5 noctua fans to try and create airflow.. Pwm splitters.. Custom bifurcated riser to use all 3 expansion slots.. Fan filters.. PCIE riser cables..In the future I'll switch to a gpu under 6.5 inches so I can have the extra space to stuff more devices into this wonderfully capable case. Pretty sure I could have bought 2 more NCASE M1s with all the extra gadgets and extras I've bought for it. All worth it though, but I wish I could just make my mind up haha

Oh, I understand. Got a link to some pictures of your work?
 

Grendell

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hm i have a real good question (i think) and hope someone can answer this , right now i got a 1080ti founders edition from gigabyte running in my m1 and i am thinking to change it to a evga 1080ti sc black edition or similar , what will happen to the cpu temps ? do they change or will it be the same as bevor ?

the founders card is realy good but can be loud somethimes ;D but the good thing here is that blower style cooler takes the hot temps outside the back , right now i have also 2 120mm fans at the bottom blowing against the founders card ....... if i change to the evga can this fans stay as they are ?

i hope it is somewhat readable .......... i know my engl is not that good ;D
 

Rhialto

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the founders card is realy good but can be loud somethimes ;D

Have you set a fan curve?

feFtv47.png


This currently works for me but I will have to see in the future how it will do. My problem now is that I had to limit the power to not hear the UPS beep all the time when having a load on the video card. I will later get a beefier UPS and then I will push the card back to 100% but as of today I don't play a game that requires it. The 1080 Ti is a bit overkill for now but I wanted for once get my hands on the best video card I could not afford previously. :D So it is totally possible I run into noise issues later when I will set power limit back to 100% but like I said as of today this totally works for me.

Also I've made sure to get the MSI blower card because vent holes on the back are large and this translate to less friction so less noise. The vent holes on your card are the same as the nvidia FE card, they are tiny triangles and there are a lot of those so much more friction = noisy. Test it yourself, just blow air from your mouth, then add a finger at 1 inch of your mouth while you still blow air, you'll hear what I mean.

BZTHH4a.png


And like you I also wanted a blower type to exhaust all hot air.
 

Grendell

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It is not so bad that I can’t play , the game Sound mostly overshadows the gpu noise and if I play with headphones it is no problem at all , but I still would like to know if there would be a difference on my cpu temps

By the way I haven’t payed with the fan curve , my load temp on my gpu is 84 degree Celsius what is normal on all founders had this on my titan , titan x and now 1080ti and the fans have always been loud i never cared :) than I bought for my other pc with a big tower case a gigabyte aorus 1080ti extrem edition and it is soooooo much quieter
 

MultiDoc

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From what I've read so far, the best option/setup regarding performance, temps and noise using a 1080Ti in the Ncase is by removing the oem shroud from the graphics card and having 2x120mm fans as exhaust on the bottom.
 

M1AF

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I went from a 1080ti founders to a 1080ti sc black because the FE was too loud. No issues with noise since switching to the dual fan version. CPU temps increased 5-8c.
 
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