NCASE M1 version changelog and suggestions thread

Alexreffand

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Ouch, that sucks. Are you 100% sure you were using the correct screws? It's pretty easy to get M3 and 6-32 mixed up, and they will strip if the threads are mismatched.

All
the chassis threads (including the brackets) on the M1 are M3 threaded, and there are only five 6-32 screws included for PSU mounting (don't use them for anything else!). Those should be in their own labeled bag. Any other screws you get with your PSU, motherboard, etc. should not be used, unless you're sure those are also M3 threaded.
It's worth noting that 3.5" drives also use 6-32 (at least all mine do, I don't know if that changes over 4TB though)
 

Frazhna

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Jun 27, 2013
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welp. i changed my graphics card for the 5th time ever in this case, and the middle gpu screw hole stripped... im delicate with all my things, was screwing this in super gentle because ive heard about threads stripping, 3 small metal rings fell out of the hole. I can only assume these were the threads inside the hole because now the screw just sits in there :/

pretty bummed about this because of the price i paid for it and ive treated this case like an absolute baby...

I feel your pain. My case stripped where the side bracket attaches at the back. I have been thinking of trying some of those helicoils, but I'm not sure they will work in such a thin piece of aluminum. I also considered gluing a nut on the inside and using a longer screw. Let me know if you come up with any good repair ideas.
 

Tyki

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Jun 10, 2016
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Only one that stripped for me is one of the PSU bracket screws. Turned out I didn't even need to unscrew that one, but it still kind of sucked. I will say that the black paint on the back does also easily come off from the screwing, but that is more a nitpick than anything.
 

Qrash

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What about applying a metal glue like JB Weld to the threads of the bolt (M3) and pressing it into place (and wiping away the excess glue)? Still, I think using JB Weld or another metal glue to fasten a nut to the far side of the hole and using a longer screw would be more reliable.
 

Necere

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It's worth noting that 3.5" drives also use 6-32 (at least all mine do, I don't know if that changes over 4TB though)
That's true, but in the M1 the 3.5" HDDs can only be installed using the thumbscrew/rubber grommet combo.

I feel your pain. My case stripped where the side bracket attaches at the back.
Is that on a First Edition/V1? Because threaded standoffs were added to the side bracket mount points for V2 and later. If those aren't doing their job, then I don't think anything will.

I think all this talk of stripped threads has pushed more towards using steel in future cases, at least for the chassis.
 

Chapeau

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I feel your pain. My case stripped where the side bracket attaches at the back. I have been thinking of trying some of those helicoils, but I'm not sure they will work in such a thin piece of aluminum. I also considered gluing a nut on the inside and using a longer screw. Let me know if you come up with any good repair ideas.

I don't think the helicoil will work - I would totally use the glued bolt on the back however.
I don't think re-threading is an option with only the plate depth either...
 

Frazhna

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Yes, mine is a V1. It has served me well for many years and I still love it. I recently switched from liquid to air cooling, which allows me to use the lower position of the side bracket, so I don't need to worry about fixing the stripped thread for now. (it was in the upper position)

After I stripped the thread I started thinking about steel vs aluminum for these small cases. I wondered what the advantages of aluminum over steel is, because it seems like most of the sff cases I see in development on these forums are all aluminum. If aluminum is chosen just for weight advantages, then I agree that it might be a better idea to design cases with steel chassis in the future, because the case is already small, so the little bit of steel that it takes to make a chassis for such a small case shouldn't be that big of a problem.

I wonder if the M1 gets taken apart and re-configured a lot more than your standard off-the-shelf case because the demographic of the Ncase buyer is very excited about their new case and so they are more likely to want to tinker with it. I must admit, that the desire to try another possible configuration was at least part of my motivation to switch to air cooling.
 

wahaha360

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An update on USB-C for M1.

I found the USB-C cable we need for M1 upgrade (USB 3.1 Gen 2). Unfortunately, this cable is so new, that the motherboard connector is made by 2-3 factories at the moment. Their capacities are book until end of the year.

I really tried to buy this cable from them, they won't do it. So USB-C wont' happen until next year.

 
Last edited:

arg

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Hi Necere and wahaha360.

I'm M1 owner with 2x 240 rads build. I guess it's really difficult to realize some extra features in so compact case. However let me leave a feedback on something reasonable to have in next version.

The 1st problem is low air flow through the bottom radiator. Can we have 10-15 mm more room bellow graphic card? And could you please review layout of mounting and air holes on the floor side? Additionally we need holes opposite the graphic card's butt to intake air for bottom rad.

The second one is tight front panel USB cable. Is it possible to have more flexible and not so long? And of cause I'm looking forward for USB type C.

The 3rd is disability to mount dust filter on the top panel. Is it possible to make ferro stripes on top panel? 2x rads builds are pretty hot, and all rads fans have to blow outside. So the air intakes through the top and right panels.
 

arg

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Overall it could be good idea to create a little larger version about +5-15 mm more of each dimension, but focused on water cooling. Something like M1 WC Maxi =))
 

Necere

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Hi Necere and wahaha360.

I'm M1 owner with 2x 240 rads build. I guess it's really difficult to realize some extra features in so compact case. However let me leave a feedback on something reasonable to have in next version.

The 1st problem is low air flow through the bottom radiator. Can we have 10-15 mm more room bellow graphic card? And could you please review layout of mounting and air holes on the floor side? Additionally we need holes opposite the graphic card's butt to intake air for bottom rad.

The second one is tight front panel USB cable. Is it possible to have more flexible and not so long? And of cause I'm looking forward for USB type C.

The 3rd is disability to mount dust filter on the top panel. Is it possible to make ferro stripes on top panel? 2x rads builds are pretty hot, and all rads fans have to blow outside. So the air intakes through the top and right panels.

Overall it could be good idea to create a little larger version about +5-15 mm more of each dimension, but focused on water cooling. Something like M1 WC Maxi =))
Yes, you're really talking about a completely different case at this point. The M1 was never designed for a bottom rad, and the ventilation and mounting holes on the bottom are very specifically positioned to support a large number of different configurations.

Also putting a dust filter on the top panel wouldn't be that effective in a negative pressure setup like you're running. Dust will just get pulled in through every hole and crack in the case instead.
 
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ceski

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What's the latest news with the improved right angle power cables that you were sampling to some users a few months ago?
 

arg

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Yes, you're really talking about a completely different case at this point
Do you have any thoughts on it, or may be even plans on WC focused version? I have had a conversations with some M1 owners and they definitely agree it would be "must have" case.
The M1 was never designed for a bottom rad
In spite of that a lot of M1 funs use it with bottom rad in a custom water loop. In my opinion the possibility to use some configurations of rads is one of the key M1 differentiator. So it's would be great to have a little more room between rad and graphic card, and extra holes on side panel opposite that place.
 

Necere

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What's the latest news with the improved right angle power cables that you were sampling to some users a few months ago?
So far I don't think we've had a single problem with the new cables. New M1s are now shipping with these as standard.

Do you have any thoughts on it, or may be even plans on WC focused version? I have had a conversations with some M1 owners and they definitely agree it would be "must have" case.

In spite of that a lot of M1 funs use it with bottom rad in a custom water loop. In my opinion the possibility to use some configurations of rads is one of the key M1 differentiator. So it's would be great to have a little more room between rad and graphic card, and extra holes on side panel opposite that place.
Well, my thoughts are to tackle several things at once: proper water cooling support (i.e., more than 240mm worth of rads), a window option so you can actually show it off, and good airflow with positive pressure and dust filters.

This is the resulting design I have on the drawing board:



This is the first time I'm showing this, and I won't show the internals just yet, but I'll describe it.

It's a reverse-ATX layout, supports up to a 280 and 240 rad, and an SFX-L power supply (no ATX PSU support). It also supports up to an ATX motherboard, more or less as a side effect of the radiator support.

The downside? It's a fair bit bigger than the M1, at 24L. But that's the price of proper (i.e., performance) water cooling and being able to show off the internals. Still quite compact considering the capability, however.
 

ceski

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So far I don't think we've had a single problem with the new cables. New M1s are now shipping with these as standard.
Cool. If I ordered only a cable from the ncases site would it be in the new style?
 

arg

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This is the resulting design I have on the drawing board:


Wow!!! Looks awesome! It's M2 definitely, not M1 =) I will keep my fingers crossed to the project will be done and released!

The main idea which I would tell right now is - taking into account real very small M1 size the current M1 has enough WC parts compatibility, I world say, a great compatibility. The only significant problem is airflow, that decrease rad's efficiency, especially bottom one. A full length graphic card provisionally divides the M1 into 2 parts - the first one is "above graphic card", and the second is "under the card". So, if you divide the space by a partition right under the graphic card, you get the isolated room for bottom air loop. Just add a couple centimeters of height and drill dedicated ventilation holes, and so we get bottom rad with enough efficiency. May be you may consider that room as attachable chassis/basket, some kind of modular case. The side rad has enough efficiency in current M1 version. It's the way to have no changes in M1 philosophy, and probably way to keep the case within 18-20L. But in this approach the motherboard must be mITX or mATX. Concerns with how to fit reservoirs, pumps and thick rads are not so important, and mostly solved by users.

It's only my thoughts, I'm not professional, just a common user =)
 

Nanook

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So far I don't think we've had a single problem with the new cables. New M1s are now shipping with these as standard.

Well, my thoughts are to tackle several things at once: proper water cooling support (i.e., more than 240mm worth of rads), a window option so you can actually show it off, and good airflow with positive pressure and dust filters.

This is the resulting design I have on the drawing board:



This is the first time I'm showing this, and I won't show the internals just yet, but I'll describe it.

It's a reverse-ATX layout, supports up to a 280 and 240 rad, and an SFX-L power supply (no ATX PSU support). It also supports up to an ATX motherboard, more or less as a side effect of the radiator support.

The downside? It's a fair bit bigger than the M1, at 24L. But that's the price of proper (i.e., performance) water cooling and being able to show off the internals. Still quite compact considering the capability, however.
I like this. But like you said - this is a different architecture. I still like the M1, but as a half step up in size. For my use case, it would be to simply increase height of case by a 20mm on bottom for airflow, and maybe 15mm above. This allows slightly more airflow in the bottom and room for a slim fan up top. Top height increase not as critical. This is very specific for me, and tooling up for a slight change isn't the most practical thing to do.
 

Necere

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Just add a couple centimeters of height and drill dedicated ventilation holes

For my use case, it would be to simply increase height of case by a 20mm on bottom for airflow, and maybe 15mm above.
For adequate airflow to a fan, I now try to go by a rule of thumb of about one quarter of the fan's diameter of clearance. So for a 120mm fan it should be about ~30mm. To get that under the floor of the M1 would require much taller feet - which, really, would be a pretty significant downgrade aesthetically.

But let's say we did add 20mm under the case for better airflow, and maybe 20mm between the GPU and floor of the case so we can fit proper full 25mm thick fans on a rad there, and maybe another 15mm at the top of the case... well, you're pushing up towards 300mm tall, at which point a totally different layout with the rad at the front starts to make more sense. Put the PSU at the back like in a more typical layout, fans at the front so you've got a nice front-to-back airflow and easy access to dust filters. See how this goes? The M1's layout doesn't make that much sense anymore when you start adding a few millimeters here and there.
 

arg

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Necere,

I've drilled more holes on the floor and got 2 degrees drop of fluid T.

I mean now the airflow is VERY weak. You are completely right , that adding few mm of height doesn't make it great. But it can make it much better than now.

My use case is bottom rad fans blow outside via floor. Hot and compact WC systems usually can't use positive pressure scheme, unfortunately. Seems (but need to check) like extra 25-30 mm between GPU and floor, extra 5mm under floor, additional holes on side panels for intake, and holes on the floor for exhaust will be enough. It should be pretty easy for re-designing and production correction, I suppose, it shouldn't be expensive because W and D can stay without changes. It's only about M1 family, WC version.

And what do you think about something like divider to get separate isolated room for bottom rad?

Anyway, your new project is cool, and i'm looking forward it available. But It's another song(c).
 

Boil

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Best solution is to leave M1 chassis as is...

And have a matching pedestal to go UNDER the M1...!

This pedestal would house another 240 rad, and could also have a pump/res combo...?

Anything else would be major changes to the M1 (which is not going to happen, it is an established product), or an entierly new chassis (as presented by Necere above)...

I, personally, would love to see two new chassis' from Ncase...

One would be another mITX chassis, but one that supports dual 140mm pump/res/rad combos (looking at the forthcoming EK MLC series) so both CPU & GPU could have their own individually controlled WC solution...

Second would be similar, just larger for a mATX build, allowing things like Threadripper or X299 builds on the mATX platform, and dual GPUs (SLI or CrossFire), but all thre major components still have individual control of their respective WC solution...

But now I am derailing the thread...!
 

Nanook

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For adequate airflow to a fan, I now try to go by a rule of thumb of about one quarter of the fan's diameter of clearance. So for a 120mm fan it should be about ~30mm. To get that under the floor of the M1 would require much taller feet - which, really, would be a pretty significant downgrade aesthetically.

But let's say we did add 20mm under the case for better airflow, and maybe 20mm between the GPU and floor of the case so we can fit proper full 25mm thick fans on a rad there, and maybe another 15mm at the top of the case... well, you're pushing up towards 300mm tall, at which point a totally different layout with the rad at the front starts to make more sense. Put the PSU at the back like in a more typical layout, fans at the front so you've got a nice front-to-back airflow and easy access to dust filters. See how this goes? The M1's layout doesn't make that much sense anymore when you start adding a few millimeters here and there.
I can see how multiple incremental improvements will ultimately add up - death by a thousand paper cuts! And it sounds like you rather "do things right" than compromising... i.e., in order to add a feature, all the requirements of said feature should be satisfied. I respect that
 

Mackan

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So far I don't think we've had a single problem with the new cables. New M1s are now shipping with these as standard.

Well, my thoughts are to tackle several things at once: proper water cooling support (i.e., more than 240mm worth of rads), a window option so you can actually show it off, and good airflow with positive pressure and dust filters.

This is the resulting design I have on the drawing board:



This is the first time I'm showing this, and I won't show the internals just yet, but I'll describe it.

It's a reverse-ATX layout, supports up to a 280 and 240 rad, and an SFX-L power supply (no ATX PSU support). It also supports up to an ATX motherboard, more or less as a side effect of the radiator support.

The downside? It's a fair bit bigger than the M1, at 24L. But that's the price of proper (i.e., performance) water cooling and being able to show off the internals. Still quite compact considering the capability, however.

Looks great, make this happen. :) Don't know how the radiators are positioned, but consider variants with noise isolation on the front and top, i.e. compare to how the Define Nano S is constructed.

I also think it is easier to introduce a larger case than Ncase M1, than smaller. If smaller, I imagine they all start to be constrained the same way, and look alike.
 

Boil

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So far I don't think we've had a single problem with the new cables. New M1s are now shipping with these as standard.

Well, my thoughts are to tackle several things at once: proper water cooling support (i.e., more than 240mm worth of rads), a window option so you can actually show it off, and good airflow with positive pressure and dust filters.

This is the resulting design I have on the drawing board:



This is the first time I'm showing this, and I won't show the internals just yet, but I'll describe it.

It's a reverse-ATX layout, supports up to a 280 and 240 rad, and an SFX-L power supply (no ATX PSU support). It also supports up to an ATX motherboard, more or less as a side effect of the radiator support.

The downside? It's a fair bit bigger than the M1, at 24L. But that's the price of proper (i.e., performance) water cooling and being able to show off the internals. Still quite compact considering the capability, however.

Necere

Personally, I would REALLY like to see the Sidearm project go into production; this would be the WC version with the bottom mounted 240mm radiator, dual 120mm intake fans (also bottom mounted) & FlexATX PSU...
 
A

Aluminyum

Guest
First of all, hi, [H].
This is the resulting design I have on the drawing board:



This is the first time I'm showing this, and I won't show the internals just yet, but I'll describe it.

It's a reverse-ATX layout, supports up to a 280 and 240 rad, and an SFX-L power supply (no ATX PSU support). It also supports up to an ATX motherboard, more or less as a side effect of the radiator support.

The downside? It's a fair bit bigger than the M1, at 24L. But that's the price of proper (i.e., performance) water cooling and being able to show off the internals. Still quite compact considering the capability, however.
ATX, you say? Now that's interesting. Any chance of a steel frame this time?
 

Boil

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Necere

Another option, to avoid 'stepping on the toes' of the M! with Sidearm...

Options (as add-on accessories) for the M1...

1 - Windowed side panel (Use a 92mm x 25mm fan in back of chassis to intake fresh air for MB VRMs & system RAM & such...?)

2 - Internal bracket (attaching to front inside of chassis) for mounting pump/res combo (horizontal orientation, alongside PSU & over GPU...

3 - Pedestal for 280mm radiator... This could be standing on the long edge, with push / pull fans... Intake on one long side of pedestal (window side?), exhaust out the other... Tubing could use existing grommets to exit M1 & matching grommets to go into the pedestal, maybe QD connectors in between...?
 

Necere

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Necere, did you guys ever 2 fans at the top? Curious results would be.
No we didn't.

Looks great, make this happen. :) Don't know how the radiators are positioned, but consider variants with noise isolation on the front and top, i.e. compare to how the Define Nano S is constructed.

I also think it is easier to introduce a larger case than Ncase M1, than smaller. If smaller, I imagine they all start to be constrained the same way, and look alike.
The problem with a larger case is that shipping becomes prohibitively expensive. So we have to look at options like flat packing. That can add some complexity to the design, and of course requires the user to assemble the case.

First of all, hi, [H].

ATX, you say? Now that's interesting. Any chance of a steel frame this time?
Better than not.

3 - Pedestal for 280mm radiator... This could be standing on the long edge, with push / pull fans... Intake on one long side of pedestal (window side?), exhaust out the other... Tubing could use existing grommets to exit M1 & matching grommets to go into the pedestal, maybe QD connectors in between...?
A pedestal is an idea, though it does limit the portability of the M1. And with a 280mm rad mounted sideways like that you're looking at adding 150-160mm to the height, which would put it around 400mm tall. For reference, the ATX concept I posted above is only 350mm tall (though deeper and wider than the M1).
 
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Necere

24 liters is definitely not SFF, but I think it may be the smallest ATX case in existence, and if there's a smaller one out there, it definitely does not support a 240 + 280mm rads. So I think this product will be perfect for people who aren't really into SFF, but want a traditional PC tower without any wasted space and with plenty of watercooling support. I don't think it can be called an M1 WC edition or anything like that, as it's nothing like the M1, plus the M1 already has decent watercooling support. It's more in a category of its own, i.e. a space-efficient and compact normal PC ATX tower, which is a product that doesn't really exist now. So I can definitely see it being very successful and appealing to a wide audience. I know a lot of people who want a compact case, but not Mini ITX, who would love it. Especially with the insane SFX-L offerings from SilverStone now, like their 800W Titanium PSU.

I'm not crazy about the aesthetic though, I think it needs to be more NCase-esque, with similar design language to the M1 and the new slim case you're working on which looks sexy AF.
 

Necere

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Oh, there are definitely smaller ATX cases out there. The Cerberus-X is smaller, I believe, by a liter or two. But yeah, this is really intended to be among the smallest cases you can fit a serious water cooling loop into.

Styling is different, and I know it won't appeal to everyone. Part of the challenge with this design is the need for the highly ventilated front and top panels, in contrast to solid front on the M1 and PCX/rev3 concepts. Both w360 kind of like this design for it's nondescript look that doesn't immediately say "I'm a PC," though (he calls it the subwoofer).
 
A

Aluminyum

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The Cerberus-X is smaller, I believe, by a liter or two.
That's right, it should be around 22 litres. But that case is just a bit too cramped for what it's trying to be.
Styling is different, and I know it won't appeal to everyone. Part of the challenge with this design is the need for the highly ventilated front and top panels, in contrast to solid front on the M1 and PCX/rev3 concepts. Both w360 kind of like this design for it's nondescript look that doesn't immediately say "I'm a PC," though (he calls it the subwoofer).
In my opinion, the front panel resembles a cheese grater (heh). Did you consider using hexagonal vents instead?
 

vipz

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Where does the PSU go? I see 350mm height and ATX mobo support, so that rules out the traditional bottom rear placement. Top rear is possible at the expense of a couple expansion slots but that might conflict with top 240 radiator placement.
 
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Oh, there are definitely smaller ATX cases out there. The Cerberus-X is smaller, I believe, by a liter or two. But yeah, this is really intended to be among the smallest cases you can fit a serious water cooling loop into.

Styling is different, and I know it won't appeal to everyone. Part of the challenge with this design is the need for the highly ventilated front and top panels, in contrast to solid front on the M1 and PCX/rev3 concepts. Both w360 kind of like this design for it's nondescript look that doesn't immediately say "I'm a PC," though (he calls it the subwoofer).

It's not the front vent, that's clearly necessary (I assume there will be a dust filter behind it). It's just the rounded angles and the panels' edges, and how they come together, and the lack of the signature I/O cutout, it's just a different design language. But I'm guessing that is a very rough first draft. Your early renders of the PCX case also looked very different, but your latest render is very M1-like, which I like. I just love the M1 styling, I think it's good for product continuity and for the establishment of a brand to keep a familiar styling that people grow attached to and associate with NCase. I think those three products - the PCX, the M1 and now this ATX case can be a powerful product line.
 

Necere

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That's right, it should be around 22 litres. But that case is just a bit too cramped for what it's trying to be.
Right, and I'm doing things a bit differently with this layout so it's better optimized for multiple rads.

In my opinion, the front panel resembles a cheese grater (heh). Did you consider using hexagonal vents instead?
Not such terrible company to be in, is it?

Haven't considered hex vents, and doubt I will. IMO round, square, or slotted are best aesthetically.

Where does the PSU go? I see 350mm height and ATX mobo support, so that rules out the traditional bottom rear placement. Top rear is possible at the expense of a couple expansion slots but that might conflict with top 240 radiator placement.
Yup. The PSU mounting will be flexible though, so you can pick your poison. Block a rad slot, or PSU over the motherboard? One of those trade offs to keep the volume down.

It's not the front vent, that's clearly necessary (I assume there will be a dust filter behind it). It's just the rounded angles and the panels' edges, and how they come together, and the lack of the signature I/O cutout, it's just a different design language. But I'm guessing that is a very rough first draft. Your early renders of the PCX case also looked very different, but your latest render is very M1-like, which I like. I just love the M1 styling, I think it's good for product continuity and for the establishment of a brand to keep a familiar styling that people grow attached to and associate with NCase. I think those three products - the PCX, the M1 and now this ATX case can be a powerful product line.
I hate limiting myself to one style though, you know? I mean, I wouldn't call this an M, because I see value in keeping similar-looking products in the same line. But there can be different lines.

I did try some M-style variations, but didn't really come up with anything I liked.
 

rfarmer

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Love the idea of an inverted ATX case, I had always wanted to do a build in a Lian Li PC-A05FN. Had some serious design flaws but was such a cool case.
 

Necere

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Love the idea of an inverted ATX case, I had always wanted to do a build in a Lian Li PC-A05FN. Had some serious design flaws but was such a cool case.
It's been a while since I've thought about that case. I'd totally forgotten about it.

It was actually the PC-A05 that was inverted ATX; the PC-A05FN was the followup where they reverted it to standard orientation.
 

rfarmer

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It's been a while since I've thought about that case. I'd totally forgotten about it.

It was actually the PC-A05 that was inverted ATX; the PC-A05FN was the followup where they reverted it to standard orientation.

Thanks, I remembered the case but not the model. When I googled it showed that, but you are absolutely correct.
 

Boil

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A pedestal is an idea, though it does limit the portability of the M1. And with a 280mm rad mounted sideways like that you're looking at adding 150-160mm to the height, which would put it around 400mm tall. For reference, the ATX concept I posted above is only 350mm tall (though deeper and wider than the M1).

The overall size & component selection is what draws me to SFF...

I do not need SLI or CrossFire GPUs (do I WANT them...? yeah, would be a nice e-peen thing, but I do not NEED them...), sound cards are dead, audio & video input (capture) can be done with USB / TB devices these days...

So, for ME, SFF ITX builds are what I crave...!

BUT...! I also want to water cool, so that needs more room...

Super ideal, no compromises for me would be INDIVIDUAL loops for the CPU & GPU, each component controls itself...

Dual 240mm rads would obviously do the job, but dual 140mm rads could work as well; 120mm minimum for each component is the 'standard' requirement, dual 140mm 'AIO's would cover that...

I say 'AIO's because I feel the (forthcoming) EK pump/res/rad combos would be best here...

Now I am rambling...
 
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