Building the System: Motherboard and Power

The M1 starts out with a completely open look after the panels and the long radiator/drive bracket are removed, and there's a surprising amout of room to work with for a case that's just over 13" on its largest side.

It's crucial for this "openness" that all brackets can easily be disconnected, and makes working in this case so much nicer than some SFF enclosures (especially since the longer side is what are working from).

Speaking of brackets, the one that starts off blocking access to the motherboard tray has a dual 3.5” hard drive mount connected by default, but this can’t be used with a 240mm radiator installation (we'll cover storage later).

The front panel I/O is connected at the bottom, and isn’t in the way – unless installing fans or hard drives on the lower mounts.

It's cabling that make things a bit trickier to get a totally clean install in a case of this size, but the side panels aren’t windowed so there’s a lot of room for forgiveness here (we’ll look at cable management with the final build).

Installing the System

First things first, we need to install a motherboard. This is very simple since nothing is in the way, and the motherboard tray’s gigantic cutout should help make CPU cooler installation painless.

Installing the motherboard is very simple, and after four screws we have our mini-ITX board in place.

The Power Issue

Now the question of how to power this system must be addressed. The bracket just to the motherboard's left is designed for a SFX power supply, but the M1 offers full ATX support. How?

The bracket that would secure a small form factor PSU is removable, and this has to go in order for the larger PSU to fit. First the larger bracket is attached to the ATX power supply:

And then it installs with two screws on each side, accross the front of the case.

There is a sufficient air gap for cooling, but things are pretty tight

Looks like long graphics cards are going to be blocked by this ATX PSU

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