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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
3 x 3.5" mounts:
3 x 2.5" mounts:
Vertically mounted slim slot-load optical drive
Front ports: 2 x USB 3.0, microphone and headphone jacks
Power button: red/blue power/drive activity LED
Size restrictions and recommendations:
Example hardware installations:
Silver exterior 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.
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?
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.
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.