M1: The original crowdfunded computer case
The story of the M1 started with a simple idea: motivated by the shortcomings of what had come before, we set forth to do better. The road would be winding, with many paths explored, and abandoned. A grassroots effort from its inception, the design process involved the community of PC enthusiasts at every step of the way. From the overall aesthetic design, down to the smallest detail, every facet was subject to the scrutiny and feedback of hobbyists, DIY'ers, and average users alike.
Through the support of the community, the project successfully raised funds to have a prototype built and tested. This paved the way to a second crowdfunding campaign for a full production run, contracted to the respected case manufacturer, Lian Li. Nearly one thousand first edition M1s were successfully delivered to people all around the world.
The road has been long, but the end result speaks to the passion, dedication, and support of the community and everyone involved. We'd like to offer our sincerest thanks to all of our supporters that have stuck with us and helped to bring this project to fruition.
Minimalist in size and style
The M1 sets itself apart with its unique combination of high performance capability and exceptional flexibility, in a deceptively small and appealingly understated package. Coming in at a svelte 12.6 liters in volume, the all-aluminum chassis has the proportions - and features - of a much larger case. Looking like a conventional tower case, but on a much reduced scale, the M1 has a footprint smaller than many "cube"-style small form-factor cases. It's compact enough to pack into a carry-on, while the featherweight, yet sturdy, aluminum construction makes it easy to travel with.
Small case, big performance
Designed for the mini-ITX motherboard form-factor for maximum space savings, the M1 nevertheless sports big-case features. Support for a dual-slot video card up to 12" is possible by utilizing the full length of the case; a specially designed opening at the front of the chassis allows long cards to be installed with ease.
While other cases in this size class place strict limits on CPU cooler size, the M1 is able to accommodate 120mm- and 140mm-fan top-down coolers of up to 130mm in height. Thanks to the innovative dual side 120mm fan bracket, a single 120mm or 240mm all-in-one water cooling radiator can also be mounted internally.
Custom water cooling
For the truly hardcore, the M1's dual side 120mm fan mount allows for custom water cooling loops using a slim 240mm radiator. Kits such as Swiftech's H220 and Cooler Master's Glacer 240L make it easy, and include everything needed for fully internal water cooling. They can even be expanded to include the GPU in the loop, for greatly reduced noise under load, or for more overclocking headroom. Never before has this level of capability been possible in a case of this size. With properly set up water cooling, high performance, low noise, and small size is no longer a "choose two" proposition.
With its sleek, subtly-faceted brushed aluminum front panel, the M1 presents a refined, minimalist face to the world. An angular, arched cutout exposes the front USB 3.0 and HD audio ports, flanking the central power button, whose two-color LED glows crisply - but not overly bright - when powered. Side and top panels are perforated with symmetrical ventilation areas, ensuring both visual harmony and proper system airflow.
Fully toolless exterior panels allow easy access to the interior, while keeping the clean, smooth surfaces free of the visual clutter of screws or fasteners. The simple upward-facing slot at the front of the top panel provides discreet access to the neatly integrated mount for a slim slot-loading optical drive.
A multitude of possibilities
The M1 was designed with flexibility in mind, so while long video cards and water cooling support are great features, not everyone needs them. If 240mm radiator support isn't required, a pair of 3.5" drives can be installed on the side bracket. At the front of the chassis, either an upward-facing slim slot-loading optical drive or a 2.5" drive may be mounted.
The fully ventilated case floor presents further configuration options, featuring a total of six different mounts for a combination of drives and/or fans. A single 3.5" drive plus an 80 or 92mm fan, or a 2.5" drive plus a 120mm fan are just two of the possible combinations. Utilizing the included stacking bracket, two 2.5" drives may be used on any of the 2.5" mounts. In total, between the side bracket and chassis mounting, up to three 3.5" drives or five 2.5" drives may be mounted, depending on other components.
The M1 is designed primarily to use an SFX power supply, for which it is best suited. However, if the dual 3.5" HDD cage or 240mm radiator support aren't needed, and a short GPU under (195mm long) is used, then an ATX power supply can be installed with an included bracket.
Check out builds from the community
Looking for some inspiration? Thousands of enthusiasts have assembled and modded the NCASE M1, with builds covering the gamut of light-use desktops, professional workstations, and ludicrously overpowered gaming rigs. Navigate to our collection of user-submitted build photos we've compiled over the years to see what's possible.
TechPowerUp awards NCASE M1 Editor's Choice
The NCASE M1 is an amazing chassis and looked at on its own deserves a full 10/10. Numerous big case brands have tried creating the perfect ITX chassis to fit as much as possible into as little space as possible and here is a new brand with their first chassis out of the gate that pretty much leaves absolutely nothing to be desired... The flexibility and choice presented within the M1 are amazing, as are the ease of assembly, quality, and its cable-management potential.
Read the full review →
Hardware Canucks awards NCASE M1 Dam Good and Dam Innovative accolades
We finally have an outstanding, beautiful, full aluminum mini-ITX case that reassures my confidence in what the designers at NCASE can do, and I really can't wait to see what they'll do next, because this is a Dam Good and Dam Innovative case. I personally love what they've done with the size, the design, the internal flexibility at this size, and it's clear that functionality has been prioritized.
Watch the full review →
Linus Tech Tips reviews the NCASE M1
The M1 is a stunningly strong first entry from a new manufacturer, and delivers exactly what it promises with a thoughtful internal layout that wastes no space and allows your PC to be as quiet as it would be in a much larger case without compromising on thermals.
Watch the full review →
Silent PC Review recommends the NCASE M1
Any trained eye can see that the NCASE M1 is a passion project even without knowing its origin story. It's absolutely gorgeous and surprisingly compact considering the components it supports. The well-conceived design is so detailed that everything fits with very little room leftover. The vertical slot-loading 5.25 inch drive in particular was ingenious as it hides the increasingly unpopular optical drive option without using up much space. It's also clear that usability was a key factor. Every panel pops-out easily, giving users unfettered access to every corner of the chassis during assembly, while the alternate drive/fan placements allow for some nice flexibility.
Read the full review →
Read SPCR's Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide: NCASE M1 Edition →
PC Perspective awards NCASE M1 Editor's Choice
The NCASE M1 is a beautifully simple enclosure that accomplishes the goal of creating a fantastic mini-ITX solution. It’s styled with a minimalist approach, and small enough to be unobtrusive just about anywhere. The quality of the case is high, and it certainly feels like a premium part - especially with its ultra-light aluminum construction. If these become widely available the M1 would make a solid recommendation for someone looking to go all-out on a mini-ITX build.
Read the full review →
Glob3trotters awards NCASE M1 Perfect Award
This exists purely because of passion, hard work and the need and the quest for something absolute. It has so much brainstorming, research and ingenious solutions for space optimization in it that we think it will be a long time until someone else can match it from a technical point of view. The design is very special and all proportions are true much like Da Vinci’s Golden Ratio.
Read the full review →
M1V5B1: M1 Version 5, black exterior with optical disk drive slot
M1V5B2: M1 Version 5, black exterior without optical disk drive slot
M1V5S1: M1 Version 5, silver exterior with optical disk drive slot
M1V5S2: M1 Version 5, silver exterior without optical disk drive slot
Discluding protrusions: 328mm x 160mm x 240mm
Including protrusions: 338mm x 160mm x 250mm
307mm x 157mm x 237mm
400mm x 240mm x 340mm
Exterior: 1.5mm brushed anodized aluminum
Interior frame: 1.5mm powder coated aluminum
Interior fan bracket: 1mm powder coated steel
What's in the box
1 x M1v5 chassis
1 x Internal Power Cable
1 x SFX PSU Bracket
1 x ATX PSU Bracket
1 x Side Filter
2 x 120mm Filters
1 x Side Bracket
1 x 3.5" Drive Bracket
2 x 2.5" Drive Bracket (4 pieces)
Coolers are limited to 130mm in height with the side bracket installed, and no fan installed.
- When mounted, coolers cannot extend past the top edge of the motherboard 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 preclude use of the 3.5" HDD cage.
Rear exhaust cards are recommended, especially for cards with a TDP greater than 150W.
Maximum card length:
- 317mm in slots 1 & 2
- 279mm in slot 3
Maximum card height:
- For cards up to 317mm, or for cards in the third slot: 111mm
- For cards up to 292mm in length in the first or second slot: 140mm
- For all cards: 120mm at the PCIe power connectors
Graphics cards with PCBs which extend to the full height at the corners will not fit in the M1, due to interference with the chassis. See this post for more information.
For more detailed GPU size limitations, refer to this diagram.
Optical Disc Drive Support
- Slim slot-load drives up to 12.7mm thick are supported via vertical mounting with an ODD slotted top panel.
3 x 3.5" Mounts
- 1 x 3.5" is available on the bottom of the enclosure
- 2 x 3.5" is available via the removable side 3.5" HDD bracket, but can't be used with conjunction with a dual radiator or ATX PSU
3 x 2.5" Mounts
- 1 x 2.5" is available inside the enclosure, towards the front
- 1 x 2.5" is available behind the front panel, in lieu of an optical drive
- 1 x 2.5" is available on the bottom of the enclosure, in lieu of a 3.5" drive
Sealed liquid coolers, or integrated pump/block and radiator/reservoirs, are recommended. Only single 120mm or 240mm radiators are supported. A 240mm radiator on the side bracket precludes use of ATX power supplies or the dual 3.5" HDD cage.
Recommended maximum radiator length: 290mm, or less if installing a 2.5" drive at the front of the enclosure
Recommended maximum thickness of radiator & fans: 60mm
Frequently Asked Questions
When cases are in stock, you may order directly from this website. At times when we have no inventory available, we may instead offer pre-orders for the next production run.
Orders are usually shipped in batches weekly, with exception to holidays. Typically, order made between Monday to Saturday are shipped the following week between Wednesday to Friday.
Items are restocked after production runs. The period between production runs varies based on demand, but is typically one production run every 3 months.
The M1 comes with the following: screws for drive and fan mounting, rubber softmounts for drive mounting, 3.5" HDD cage, 2.5" stacking brackets, slim optical drive bracket, SFX PSU bracket, ATX PSU bracket, front USB/audio ports and power switch, left-angle internal AC cable, 2x 120mm fan filters, 4x 120mm metal fan grilles. No fans or paper manual are included.
Each version has a few minor revisions. You can see a list of changes here.
Yes. The only difference is the top panel, which may be easily swapped out.
Yes. All panel versions are compatible with all chassis versions.
See this image
The side, top, and front panels require no tools to remove. Using your fingertips, simply pull them away from the case by the edges.
There are two types of drive mounting:
- For the rounded keyhole mounts (2.5" mounts, one bottom 3.5" mount), attach the rubber softmounts and screws to the drive first, slide the drive into the keyholes.
- For the spade-shaped keyhole mounts (on 3.5" HDD cage and one bottom 3.5" mount), insert the rubber softmount into the keyhole first, then screw the drive
Additionally there are small brackets included which allow 2.5" drives to be installed together in a stacked fashion.
Please see the compatibility section for size restrictions and links to more information.
It most certainly can. Radiator requirements are often exaggerated, but this also has to do with expectations and what your goals are. A 240mm radiator and full water loop in the M1 can significantly lower the noise of the GPU, while keeping temperatures below stock.
Yes! Demciflex offers magnetic filters specially designed for the M1. They can be purchased directly from their site. Additionally, other members of the community have spearheaded the development of the following accessories for the M1:
- WALLYE has developed a high quality bag soft-shell carrying bag for the M1 (among other enclosures)
- FrozenQ offers a reservoir for attachment to the rear fan mount of the M1
Please note NCASE has no affiliation with any of these individuals or companies.