NCASE M1 Mini-ITX PC case

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A Powerful, Refined Mini-ITX Case, Designed by NCASE, Manufactured by Lian Li
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NCASE
Design
New York
United States
2 Team Members

2014-04-19 Update: We are currently in the planning phase of a second production run. Please visit our site and register if you'd like to be notified when preorders start.

2013-09-08 Update: Thank you all for a great campaign.

2013-08-22 Update: More units of M1 available now.


2013-08-19 Update:
If you didn't get a chance to pre-order before 600 units on Indiegogo SOLD OUT, send us a message.

2013-08-17 Update: All 600 Units On Indiegogo Sold Out!


NO ODD Top Cover

 

Who is NCASE?

We are a couple of guys with an interest in hardware and design that connected while discussing what we wanted from a small form-factor (SFF) computer case. We felt that the available cases were either too big, too limited, or too lacking in the aesthetics department. So we set out to design our own SFF case, with input from the community of hardware enthusiasts at [H]ardForum. After months of R&D, through numerous iterations, then a successful prototype crowdfunding campaign and product testing, we've arrived: the NCASE M1 is ready for production!

Now is your chance to own the first ever case developed with direct community involvement - by and for the users. Your support in bringing this project into reality will help show case manufacturers that this kind of community-oriented development can work and result in better products.

If you supported us during the prototype campaign or during development, thank you!

 

The NCASE M1

The M1 is a mini-ITX, small form-factor case that doesn't sacrifice compact dimensions to support high-end hardware. Thanks to its innovative design, the M1 is able to support some of the most powerful PC components available, while still allowing tremendous build flexibility in a surprisingly small footprint. With its refined, understated aesthetics and quality all-aluminum construction, the NCASE M1 is the premiere choice for the discerning enthusiast.


High performance in a small footprint

M1 dimensions

In terms of performance-per-liter, the M1 surpasses every other case of its size. With support for long graphics cards (12"+) and high-performance CPU coolers, it sets a new benchmark for small form-factor cases.

This remarkable space efficiency is thanks to the careful arrangement of internal components: to minimize height while maintaining support for large CPU coolers, the power supply is mounted at the front, with an internal power cable routed to the rear. An opening cut in the front of the chassis allows for a graphics card to use virtually the entire length of the case, and makes installation of long cards much easier. Other space-saving features include the vertically-mounted slim optical drive (or optionally, an additional 2.5" drive), which uses the otherwise unoccupied space behind the front panel.

240mm radiator support

A standout feature is the capability to mount a dual 120mm radiator internally, providing the ultimate in high-end CPU cooling - an unprecedented feature in a case of this size, unmatched even by cases twice as large! This level of cooling performance has never been seen in an SFF before, and truly sets the M1 apart from other SFF cases.


The freedom to build

Unlike most SFF cases which only allow a limited selection of configurations and components, the M1 was designed from the outset with flexibility in mind. Whether it's a multitude of drives, high-performance air cooling, or even custom water cooling, the M1 gives you the freedom to choose what's important in your build.

Multiple case floor mounting options

This flexibility is exemplified in the multi-use space at the bottom of the case, which has integrated mounts for up to two 120mm fans, but may also be used for a variety of combinations of 3.5" drive, 2.5" drives, and 80/92mm fans. There's even a third expansion slot - for fan controllers, for example, or to use a dual-slot graphics card and second expansion card (on boards that support it, e.g., Mini-DTX).

Another example is the multi-function side bracket that can be configured for more airflow using its dual 120mm fan mounts, or for additional 3.5" hard drives with the removable drive cage.

Tool-less exterior panels

Building an SFF can often be a challenge, but the M1 makes it straightforward, thanks to the removable exterior panels. All four exterior panels - front, top, left and right - are virtually toolless and easily removed, while staying firmly secured when attached.

The versatility of the M1 is without peer in the world of SFF cases, and allows the freedom to tailor a build to a variety of tastes.


Design, refined

Understated design

Special attention was paid to the aesthetic design of the M1: from the sleek, subtly-angled front panel, to the virtual absence of visible screws - no detail was overlooked.

With an elegantly understated design, the M1 will appeal to those whose taste runs towards a more refined aesthetic. The brushed aluminum exterior flirts with minimalism, yet retains an identity and sense of purpose. Rather than detract from it, the air vents on the top and sides incorporate the needed cooling into the case in a symmetric, cohesive whole. Aside from the air vents, the simple, linear slot for the top-loading optical drive is the only other feature at the top of the case.

 

Specifications


Dimensions: 240 * 160 * 328mm, 12.6L (250 * 160 * 338mm overall)
Motherboard support: Mini-ITX, Mini-DTX
Liquid cooling support: Single 120mm or 240mm slim radiator
PSU: SFX, ATX (limited)
Drives:
3 x 3.5" mounts:

  • 1 on case floor
  • 2 in removable side bracket (cannot be used with dual radiator)

3 x 2.5" mounts:

  • 1 inside chassis front
  • 1 behind front panel (in place of optical drive)
  • 1 on case bottom (in place of 3.5" drive)
  • included double-stacking bracket allows 2 x 2.5" drives on one mount (depending on drive thickness)

Vertically mounted slim slot-load optical drive


Fans:

  • 4 120mm fan mounts
  • 2 on side bracket
  • 2 on case bottom (in place of 3.5" drive)
  • 1 x 80/92mm fan mount (bottom)
  • 1 x 80/92mm fan mount (rear)

Front ports: 2 x USB 3.0, microphone and headphone jacks
Power button: red/blue power/drive activity LED
Material: aluminum

 

Size restrictions and recommendations:

CPU Cooler:

  • Top-down coolers are recommended.
  • Height restriction: 130mm
  • Cooler cannot extend past the top of the board by more than 10mm. For many larger coolers, this limits motherboard choice to those with centrally-located sockets.
  • Large coolers that extend past the front of the board will prevent the 3.5" HDD cage from being used.

Watercooling:

  • Sealed liquid coolers or integrated pump/block and radiator/res recommended.
  • Single 120mm or 240mm radiators only.
  • Thinner radiators only (under 40mm).
  • Fans in push/pull are not recommended due to space constraints.

GPU:

  • Rear exhaust cards recommended.
  • Max length: 12.5" (slots 1 & 2), 11" (slot 3)
  • Max width:
    -For cards up to 11.5" in the first or second slot: 5.5" (4.7" at the PCIe power connectors)
    -For cards up to 12.5" or cards in the third slot: 4.4"

Power supply:

  • SFX up to 130mm, modular or non-modular.
  • ATX support via included bracket is limited to 140mm non-modular PSUs with cards longer than 200mm. ATX PSUs are not recommended due to limited room for long cables. Caution: the AC inlet orientation on some ATX power supplies may prevent the angle plug from fitting, please check carefully. See this image.

 

 

Feature images:

 

 

 

 

 

Example hardware installations:

 

 

 

 

 

Silver exterior images:

 

 

 

 

 

Additional images:

 

 

 

*Images are for illustrative purposes only. PC components shown are not included. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Coke can not included.

 

FAQ

Q: Why is the M1 shipping in January?

A: It take more than 70 days to manufacture and ship the M1 into USA, where we send to customers. We chose a late delivery date to be conservative and mindful of potential problems that are unforeseeable.

 

Q: Will I be able to get the final production M1 shipped to Europe/elsewhere? 

A: Yes.

 

Q: What about Duty and VAT for shipping to Europe/elsewhere? 

A: The buyer is responsible for all fees.


Q: Will the M1 be available to buy some other way than through participating in the production campaign?

A: We have no plans at this time to make the M1 available beyond the crowdfunding campaign.  We are currently planning a second production run, with preorders on our website beginning in late April/early May, and production beginning in June. Visit our site and register your email if you'd like to be notified.


Design/Compatibility Questions


Q: Mini-ITX boards only have one expansion slot and video cards usually only use two, so why does the case have three slots?

A: To accomodate the following:
- GPUs with triple-slot coolers
- Slot mounted accessories, e.g. fan controllers
- Mini-DTX motherboards (which allows a second card in addition to a dual slot GPU)
- Drives / fans / cables (not wasted space if third slot is left unused)



Q: Since it has three slots already, why not just add one more and make it microATX?

A: MicroATX boards are not just one more slot, they are also much longer than Mini-ITX (244mm vs. 170mm). The extra space required for an mATX board is occupied by the power supply; changing the design to accommodate the larger board would necessitate an unacceptable increase in size (and would result in a layout very much like the Silverstone SG09).


Q: Will the Swiftech H220 fit? Will the Corsair H100 fit? Can two closed-loop liquid coolers be installed in the case?

A: The M1 is compatible with both the Swiftech H220 and Corsair H100. It's unlikely that two single 120mm closed loop coolers will fit, however


Q: What thickness of radiator will fit?

A: It's best to stay with slim radiators only (i.e., under 35mm thick), though thicker may fit.


Q: Can a radiator be mounted on the bottom?

A: It's possible, but it's DIY territory. It would require GPU watercooling, a slim radiator (30mm), and slim fans.


Q: Will a pump and/or reservoir fit inside the case?

A: Depending on the parts used, it's possible to mount certain pumps and/or reservoirs internally.


Q: Can a modular ATX power supply be used?

A: A longer GPU will hit the modular plugs, so that's the limiting factor.



Q: What is the case made from?

A: Anodized 1.5mm aluminum.



Q: Who will be manufacturing the case?

A: Lian Li.


Q: Will it come with fan filters?

A: Yes, filters are included.




Find This Campaign On
$152,722USD
raised by 907 people in 21 days
226% funded
No time left
$67,500 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on August 31, 2013
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  • $1USD
    Tips

    Not interested in the M1, but still want to show your support for this or future projects? Feel free to do that here. You won't get anything for it, but it's always appreciated!

    7 claimed
  • $1USD
    Silver Color

    FOR THOSE THAT FORGOT to add $1 for Silver color - use this.

    36 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $15USD
    Extra NO ODD Slot Top Cover

    One EXTRA top cover without Optical Disc Drive cutout for a cleaner look.

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    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $40USD
    International Shipping

    FOR THOSE THAT FORGOT to add $40 for international shipping - use this.

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    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $205USD
    M1 (US Shipping Included)

    **USA Shipping included in price** **ADD $40 TO YOUR TOTAL FOR SHIPPING OUTSIDE USA** One NCASE M1 Mini-ITX case. Standard features: -BLACK, brushed and anodized exterior* -Matte black painted interior -1st edition numbered serial plate -Cables for front USB, audio, power -All screws and mounting hardware *To specify SILVER exterior instead of black, please add $1 to your total. *Christmas season makes DEC 2013 delivery very risky. Jan 2014 is more conservative.

    664 out of 667 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
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