Who is NCASE?
We're two Small Form Factor (SFF) PC enthusiasts from the [H]ardForum that connected while discussing our visions for the perfect SFF computer case.
Why design the M1?
We believe the potential of the Mini-ITX form factor has been stunted by the lack of high performance cases currently available for the platform. We also share a dissatisfaction towards the overuse of plastic, mediocre aesthetics, bloated case dimensions and lack of watercooling support common to many Mini-ITX cases. So we did the logical thing...we designed the product we wanted to buy - the NCASE M1.
Why should you care?
By backing this project you can prove to companies that more involvement and coordination with the PC building community can result in innovative products where previously there had been stagnation.
NCASE M1: A Powerful, Refined Mini-ITX Case
The NCASE M1 is a new Mini-ITX case that raises the bar in performance, versatility, and design for SFF PC cases. With support for 12.5” GPUs, water or air cooling, and a variety of drive mounting options, the M1 offers unparalleled power and flexibility for its surprisingly small footprint, all wrapped in an elegant, minimalist aluminum exterior.
We've spent months perfecting the design using feedback from [H]ardForum community and Lian Li's engineers. Our goal is to take this design to production, and we need your help.
The next step before production is to test a prototype of the M1. The funding goal is the minimum we need to produce a prototype plus a small components budget to test fitment, thermals and noise.
The more funding we're able to raise, the more hardware configurations we'll be able to test for, which leads to a better product. If we achieve our funding goal, don't let it stop you from backing us! Every little bit will help make the M1 better.
Once we've tested the prototype and made the necessary revisions, the next step will be a limited production run - funded via a second crowdfunding campaign. The retail price of the M1 is projected to be between USD160 - 200.
USD 2000 2 x M1 prototypes from Lian Li (Silver & Black)
USD 50 Import Duty (2.5% of value)
USD 2 Merchant Processing Fee
USD 250 Air Shipping (Ocean shipping takes 30days)
USD 13 Insurance ($0.65 for every $100)
USD 500 Testing Equipment / Components
Indiegogo + Paypal + Bank transfer fees cost 10% of funding
USD 2815 Prototype + Testing Cost
USD 2700 Estimated Funding Net Fees
USD 115 We are paying the difference
How can you help?
Make a donation and spread the word.
Every little bit helps. If you know anyone who would be interested in the M1, send them a link to this page! The more people hear about this project, the better the chance we'll hit our goal.
Your contribution will help us bring this project into reality, foster innovation in the SFF market, and change the way PC hardware companies approach future R&D.
NCASE M1 Technical Specifications
Dimensions: 240mm x 160mm x 328mm (250mm tall w/feet), 12.6L
Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Mini-DTX
Expansion Slots: 3
GPU Support: 12.5” (slot 1 & 2) or 11” (slot 3)
CPU Cooler Support: Up to 105mm tall; 120mm and 240mm radiators also supported
Drive Support: 3 x 3.5” HDD mounts; 3 x 2.5” drive mounts; 1 x slim slot-load optical drive mount
Power Supply Support: SFX or ATX (up to 140mm non-modular, or longer w/short GPU)
Fan Support: 2 x 120mm side & bottom mounts; 80/92mm bottom & rear mounts
Front Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, headphone and microphone
*Specifications are preliminary and may change.
*Images are for illustrative purposes only. PC components shown are not included.
Q: How can I get an NCASE M1?
A: By contributing to the production crowdfunding campaign, which will be launched after the current campaign has ended and the prototype has been tested. The current campaign is only to help us produce and test a prototype.
Q: Do I need to contribute now to be able to get a case during the production campaign?
A: No. Contributing $10 now will put you on the list to receive a case from the first shipment, but is not required to participate in the production campaign.
Q: Does being on the early shipment list guarantee I will receive a case?
A: No. It only puts you on the list for the first shipment. The first shipment will only happen if the production campaign is successfully funded.
Q: When will the first shipment of the M1 be?
A: The tentative timeframe for the first shipment is August. Once the current campaign has ended, there will be a testing period, followed by the second crowdfunding campaign, and then the production run (contingent on full funding of the second campaign).
Q: Why does it say "delivery: April" then for the early shipping list?
A: Because Indiegogo requires a delivery date for each perk. All it means is you'll be put on the early shipping list by April. The actual production M1 first shipment won't be until after succesful funding of the second campaign and manufacturing.
Q: When will the production campaign launch?
A: We expect to have it launched towards the end of April. If you've participated in the first campaign, you'll be notified when the production campaign launches.
Q: How much will I have to contribute during the production campaign to get an M1 case?
A: $160-$200, plus shipping and fees to your country.
Q: Will I be able to get the final production M1 shipped to Europe/elsewhere?
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.
Q: Can I preorder an M1?
A: No. The only way to get an M1 will be through participation in the second crowdfunding campaign.
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 answers to these questions is a tentative yes based on published specs and drawings, however it's impossible to be 100% certain without testing the actual physical parts. With any type of water cooling setup, the tubing will likely be the most challenging part.
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? Magnetic ones?
A: Yes. No.
Q: Will the logo be on the side, as shown in the pictures?
A: The current plan is to include an adhesive-backed vinyl decal (AKA, a sticker) with the design shown in the renders, which will be shipped with the case but not applied. You'll be able to apply it wherever you want (or not).