We love us some mini-ITX products that enable us to build powerful PCs and HTPCs in smaller chassis and using smaller footprints than traditional ATX and even MicroATX designs. We have reviewed several mini-ITX motherboards including EVGA's Z77 Stinger and even a couple of mini-ITX based pre-build computers like AVADirect Mini Gaming PC and the Digital Storm Bolt. All of these products showcase the capability to get incredible computing and gaming horsepower in a small design.
Recently I came across a thread in the /r/hardware sub-reddit discussing crowd funding for a new kind of mini-ITX chassis design. In what started as a discussion on the HardForum has resulted in a design ready for prototyping and tooling.
That is where the community comes in! The designers have started an Indiegogo.com project to help get funding from users like you and me to enable prototype units to be built and tested. I already tossed in a chunk of money from PC Perspective and I think once you see what they have designed you'll be interested as well.
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.
Just look at the projected specifications and device support:
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
A chassis design that is built not just but a single engineer in Taiwan but rather by actual users that want to perfect a product based on the input from the community DIRECTLY – it is an incredible goal!
I have included some additional images below but you should make sure you head over to the Indigogo.com project page and learn about the NCASE M1 and contribute any amount you can to make this a reality. Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future we'll be able to pick up one for ourselves and showcase it on PC Perspective!