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

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by wahaha360, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Buttoneer

    Buttoneer n00bie

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    I can confirm that the iChill X3 does fit - just. I wouldn't even say it's a difficult install - fairly straightforward I fact.

    Using a Gigabyte Z97n mobo the power cables are fine as the board isn't very tall and the cooling solution is not quite 2.5 but not 2.0 width either. The shroud over the heatsink and fans just touches the hole in the front panel when fully seated.

    It's an absolute beast of a card.

    However, no chance of putting full sized fans in below it, I think. I did a dummy run with a couple of 120mm noiseblockers and it's far too uncomfortable for me to commit to. I may have another go later since I need to take the whole thing apart again anyway.

    My whole build feels like it's a spring coiled tight. The Dark Rock TF pulls hard on the mobo PCB when done up to what I would consider are normal tensions. The mobo needed forcing into place against the I/O plate. The power cable extension results in bent fins on the CPU cooler, and I can't take out the GPU without busting the retaining clip of the PCIe slot because it's impossible to reach and press when you wish to remove the card. I imagine that touching any part of the setup will result in it flying apart.

    As for my current problems, I assume that when you initially switch the PC on I should expect the fans on the GPU/CPU/PSU (or at least of one these) to roar into life initially. The fact that it doesn't means I possibly have an issue with the switch/mobo jumper and PSU. perhaps cables not sitting fully in place. I'm going to have a play later - always start with the cables, right?
     
  2. Qrash

    Qrash Gawd

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    Yes, start with the cables. Use a minimum number of components. Swap components where you can and only swap one at a time.

    A 2-slot graphics card has just enough space below it for 25 mm thick fans, so any card that is thicker restricts you to slim fans. My son's M1 has two of the slim Noctua fans (as intakes) under his 1070 and they helped lower his GPU temps. He didn't need to use slim fans, but I like that there's a small gap between the fans and the graphics card cooler.
     
  3. Bawjaws

    Bawjaws Limp Gawd

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    I think you benefit from a bit of space between the fans and the GPU, in terms of better airflow and less turbulence (thus lower noise). If there was a bit more room then that would be even better, imho, but slim fans are preferable to full depth ones.
     
  4. Buttoneer

    Buttoneer n00bie

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    My worry is turbulence ruining the operation of what is clearly a very well designed cooling setup on this GPU. If the fans suck air in which flushes through out either end then I need the fans below to be intake which doesn't seem right to me.

    What are currently the slim fans of choice for the discerning PC builder?
     
  5. Bawjaws

    Bawjaws Limp Gawd

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    The Noctuas that Qrash linked to are supposed to be excellent.
     
  6. OfficialMorten

    OfficialMorten n00bie

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    Yeah, I'm exited to get it in my own hands now! :D It is shipped but I dont have my tracking number yet, waiting for that to come. CPU cooler and extra fan is supposed to arrive within next week, so I should have everything ready for the build when the case arrives.

    Going to order the WALLYE Tactik Duffle in early/mid May aswell, gonna be the perfect system to travel with when going on events!
     
  7. Buttoneer

    Buttoneer n00bie

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    Cool, I hadn’t spotted the link, thanks both.
     
  8. CorvaBlack

    CorvaBlack n00bie

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    Look at that, it boots! A few scraped knuckles, but I got it together. The power plug wouldn’t fit with the psu facing out so I had to flip it around. Need to do better with cable management and I’m looking forward to upgrading to a modular psu but it’ll do for now. Core i5 3570k on a asrock z77e-itx board. 3tb 3.5” on the floor, 1.5 tb 2.5” behind the front panel and a 1tb SSD up front. Blower style gtx 970 and a Noctua u9s for cpu cooling.
    Still need to buy a fan for the side panel. I’ll upgrade the psu at some point. Waiting for Silverstone’s passive psu to come out and see how it compares to the alternatives. Pretty happy with it all for now.
     

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  9. CorvaBlack

    CorvaBlack n00bie

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    Spoke too soon. Fans spin up, it stays on for a few seconds then fans turn off for a few and then the cycle repeats. Took off the side panels, the low noise adapter, unplugged the gpu and a hard drive, no change. I think that’s all I have energy for rn. May just wait for my next day off to really troubleshoot. Darn it.
     
  10. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    did you not test outside the case first? tear it apart, put the mobo on its box, and use just the board, chip and 1 ram. get it posting then re-add things one at a time starting with the second ram stick.
     
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  11. CorvaBlack

    CorvaBlack n00bie

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    I didn’t, everything worked fine for the last five years in my FT-03 mini so I assumed it would be fine. I’ll give that a try next week when I have the time. Really hoping I don’t need a new motherboard.
    Edit: It works! Tried unplugging most everything, one stick of ram, cpu fans, nothing worked except unplugging the 8pin power connector. Just about to write off my motherboard as a loss when I realised I hadn’t tried unplugging the second stick of ram. Unplugged it, no cycling. Yes! Just have to replace a stick of ddr3. Plugged first one then the other stick of ram back in and...no cycling. I’m assuming that one stick just wasn’t seated properly.
    PPS: Gtx 970 isn’t displaying anything so currently running off the oh so powerful Intel HD4000. Also can’t connect to WiFi. Kind of frustrating but my headphone amp is plugged in and my headphones are playing Carly Rae Jepsen so it’s hard to feel too bad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  12. Qrash

    Qrash Gawd

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    I had similar symptoms with the power supply coming on for only a second and then shutting off. It ended up being the motherboard so I had to RMA it.

    Some people said the cause could have been a bent CPU socket pin. Did you take your CPU out of the socket when you moved everything into the M1?
     
  13. Buttoneer

    Buttoneer n00bie

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    Mine is much worse, unfortunately.

    I had power cycling on off and tried everything above, went barebones and used a screwdriver to short the switch pins, swapped ram in and out, moved and removed ram but it just went on/off etc.

    Just taken the whole thing apart to RMA the motherboard and it looks like the cpu had slipped while I was fixing the cooler on top. It was obviously square on when I started but it's a big cooler so when I lifted the whole assembly to finish the cpu must have shifted and now I have some bent pins on the socket.

    Retailer obviously telling me it's not covered so my choice is to buy another anyway or try to fix. The retailer has offered to try and fix it but that will be a three/four day turnaround at best plus weekend and no guarantees it will work. I'm going to try and pick up some 'helping hands' and precision tweezers today and do it myself - the internet tells me it's easy to do and if that doesn't work I can (reluctantly) throw more money at it and have a new mobo tomorrow if necessary.
     
  14. rfarmer

    rfarmer Gawd

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    Sorry to hear that but it does happen. I have never fixed bent pins myself but I have seen people have success with it, good luck.
     
  15. Bawjaws

    Bawjaws Limp Gawd

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    A mechanical pencil can be good for straightening bent pins. Just be very, very slow and gentle and bend the absolute minimum amount possible, because the pins snap really easily.
     
  16. Qrash

    Qrash Gawd

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    Sorry to read about the bent pins. I think the keys to a successful repair are to straighten the pins so they are as high as possible and in line with the other pins around them.

    That might be obvious, but the pins are thin and it's easy to add a new bend instead of straightening the existing one. This would combine to lower the height of the tip of the pin. You can shine a light at various angles to check that the straightened pin is aligned to its neighbours.

    A lighted magnifying glass or lamp is very helpful.

    Good luck!
     
  17. rfarmer

    rfarmer Gawd

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    The Asrock X470 Gaming ITX/ac is available on Newegg, only itx board I see out so far.

    Oops spoke to soon, release date 5/1/18 but available for pre order.
     
  18. OfficialMorten

    OfficialMorten n00bie

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    I got an email that said my case were shipped three days ago, but still dont have any tracking number, how long have it been before you have gotten your tracking numbers after it being shipped?
     
  19. Buttoneer

    Buttoneer n00bie

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    Thanks both. It's my own stupidity/carelessness but it could be massively expensive. It's already cost me £5 for a set of 'helping hands' (a magnifying glass with crocodile clips attached) and £20 for some extra fine tweezers which are useful enough for me to use again one day. I could order a replacement board and send it back if I do a good job but I think I'm going to have a try first and then just send it back for them to have a go second. So stupid, so frustrating. Why can't these coolers just use the mechanism which is already in place in some way?!
     
  20. Buttoneer

    Buttoneer n00bie

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    Should be on the website. You get the 'order confirmed' email and then get an 'a shipment from order #xxxxx is on its way'. This second one has a link to the website where you'll see the tracking number.
     
  21. OfficialMorten

    OfficialMorten n00bie

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    I contacted SFFLAB about it and they havent recived the shipping numbers at that point and were in contact with Taiwan Postal Service to get them, I just recently got an email with my tracking number, so it's all good now!
     
  22. Buttoneer

    Buttoneer n00bie

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    For anyone interested, I am typing this message from my new Ncase based 8700K/1080 Ti/z370N system! I'll share some photo's later but I grabbed the tweezers and magnifying glass and fixed my bent pins, polished what looked like some charred bits on the processor plate and here we are. Password manager installed, Steam busy loading, and everything looking rosy. I'll try some benchmarks and stresss test shortly and if that works then I can think about some cable management and putting the sides on the case.
     
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  23. rfarmer

    rfarmer Gawd

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    Good to hear, always nice when some good luck comes your way. Enjoy your Ncase. ;)
     
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  24. Bawjaws

    Bawjaws Limp Gawd

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    Good work, Buttoneer ! Glad you got it fixed successfully. Enjoy your case!
     
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  25. MarionSSS

    MarionSSS n00bie

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  26. rfarmer

    rfarmer Gawd

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  27. CorvaBlack

    CorvaBlack n00bie

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    Kinda frustrated with this whole build. Still haven’t got the WiFi working unless I bring my PC downstairs and set it right next to the router. Spent a good bit today trying and failing to get the Gpu working. So I have an expensive pc that can’t connect to the internet and runs Witcher 2 at like 4 FPS (torchlight 2 does actually runs p well though)
    It’s also still noisier than I’d like. Can hear it clearly across the room in between songs when listening to music. Probably mostly the power supply, I don’t think the fans of the u9s at 900rpm are making that much noise.
    I was considering Silverstone’s upcoming passive psu depending on it’s price and a Noctua Sterrox fan. Might be better just to get a Corsair sf450 and an a15 fan then I can put the money I saved into building a silent little music server.
     
  28. Octopuss

    Octopuss n00bie

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    Are there any updates planned for the case in any foreseeable future? I'm thinking I might buy one, but if there were improvements to come, I'd wait.
     
  29. ReaperX22

    ReaperX22 Limp Gawd

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    Far as I am aware, V5 is the final version. It's got all the little minor improvements over V1 (which I proudly own! XD). I don't think they're doing anymore iterations but maybe wait for one of the creators to chime in to confirm.. (Though I vaguely remember this being the case answered by them a while back.)
     
  30. Qrash

    Qrash Gawd

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    To me, your WiFi problem sounds like the antenna are faulty or (more likely) somehow are not connected well to the WiFi device on your motherboard. This forces the WiFi device itself to be the antenna and is why it can only connect when it's right beside the router.
     
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  31. CorvaBlack

    CorvaBlack n00bie

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    Yes, Qrash you are correct. After thinking it was a software problem I finally opened up the case earlier today and saw an antenna cable was disconnected from the motherboard WiFi card. Plugged that back in, says I’m connected but doesn’t actually work. Boot my system off a USB key and it works perfectly. So whatever I did in terminal over the last two days to fix the WiFi broke something. Decide it’s easier to do a clean install/upgrade then figure out and fix whatever I did. Download Ubuntu 18.04 beta. Can’t find my spare external to move the files from my boot drive so I create a second partition and move everything there. That breaks the boot drive. Boot up off the key again, use boot repair then reboot off the ssd. Create a new usb boot drive with 18.04. Reboot, install 18.04 fails at the end. Reboot try again, fails. Use boot-repair, WiFi cuts out and it doesn’t work. Reboot, try again, boot repair works. Reboot and hours later I have a working computer with WiFi again. I love/hate computers.

    Still need to get the gtx-970 working but I played Torchlight 2 today and got over 40fps with my HD4000 so as long as I stick to indie/older games I still have plenty to play.
     
  32. Shottie

    Shottie n00bie

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    Still need to do some tuning and extra work, but the air cooled direct die 7900x is going okay so far:
    SbNi8R0h.jpg
     
  33. rfarmer

    rfarmer Gawd

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    Looks very cool, looking forward to your thermal results.
     
  34. Shottie

    Shottie n00bie

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    Stock temps under aida64 load for 49 minutes. As you can see, they had stabilized a long time ago.
    Max 56C on 3 cores.

    oqjdamh.png
     
  35. Qrash

    Qrash Gawd

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    I thought most heatsinks were designed to make contact with the IHS and couldn't be tightened to be very much lower than that. Did you have to make a mod to the cooler's mounting hardware so that the heatsink could be set lower to come into contact with the die?
     
  36. Shottie

    Shottie n00bie

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  37. Buttoneer

    Buttoneer n00bie

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    So you will recall my setup s broadly Gigabyte Z370N Wifi / i7 8700K / Be Quiet! Dark Rock TF / Inno3d 1080 Ti X3.

    With no panels on the case my thermals are a dreamy 58c for the CPU cores and a very nice 67c for the GPU after a 30m stress test using the Spy thing in 3DMark. However, stick the panels on and the GPU is driving the temps right up to 87c with the CPU over 70c and the system alarm going off. So that's just not working out for me, but then I don't have any supplementary fans at all.

    So what should I do? 2x slim noctua's under the GPU bringing air in or exhausting? Is it a 92mm at the back also exhausting or should it be input? I am a big fan of positive pressure as you can filter the air properly but I clearly need to prioritise cooling more than I'm used to in a build, which is surprising considering how tight the ML07 is.

    Or should I perhaps bite the bullet and go for a Kraken G12/Eiswolf and 240 radiator on the bottom mount? I thought air cooling was supposed to be superior but putting the heat to be removed close to the edges of the case seems like a pretty good idea to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  38. Shottie

    Shottie n00bie

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    You will want the two bottom fans as intake. You only want to use them as exhaust if you use an aftermarket sink like the accellero III.

    I find that I have about 4-6c better CPU temps if I use the 92mm fan as exhaust out the back. So my setup is 2x120mm bottom intake, 1x140mm side intake on the cpu cooler, 1x92mm fan as exhaust out the back.
     
  39. Alexreffand

    Alexreffand [H]Lite

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    I'm not sure what gave you the impression that air cooling was superior, but it's just not the case. Liquid cooling lets the cooler always pull fresh air over it, while an air cooler will always only have access to what's inside the case. Not to say air cooling is bad, just far more dependant on air circulation than liquid cooling. You should definitely use the bottom fans as intake, letting the gpu breathe no matter which cooler you use for your cpu. 92mm on the back for exhaust, and personally I'd still go with an aio on the side as an intake. If you still want to stick with air then side fans need to be intake as well, but if you stick with air then the gpu is going to heat up the air the cpu gets no matter what configuration your fans are in.
     
  40. Nobu

    Nobu [H]ard|Gawd

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    Given the same transfer surface area and good airflow, they are equal. Air coolers with large fin arrays can do just as well (or better), but require good airflow through the case to do so. This can be easier or harder in a sff case, depending on the design and configuration, because the small volume means it takes less airflow to cycle all of the air in the case, but also means it can easily be blocked by components and turned into a hotbox.