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ThatCoolBlueKidd

[WIP] NCASE M1 - Small Footprint. Big Performance.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

(best viewed in DARK mode)

559981_376910409074698_1844908773_n.png?

 

Welcome to my 4th build-log, feat:

 

NCASE M1

INTEL i5-9600k

NVIDIA GTX 1080

lets go

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Parts List               (Updated 04 Nov 2018)

CASE:      NCASE M1 v5 (TG)             PRE-ORDERED

CPU:        Intel i5-9600k                      DELIVERED

GPU:       Nvidia GTX1080 FE             ORDERED

MOBO:   Gigabyte Z370N-WIFI          DELIVERED

RAM:      Corsair LPX 32GB DDR4     DELIVERED

PSU:      Corsair SF600W SFX            DELIVERED

SSD:      Samsung 960EVO 256GB     DELIVERED

SSD:      Corsair Force LS 120GB      DELIVERED

HDD:      Seagate Barracuda 4TB      DELIVERED

 

Total Cost: $1,375

(not including salvaged SSDs & Ram)

 

 

Part 0 - Past Builds

Spoiler

First System - The Original:

From Humble Origins this was my first attempt at building a computer after gaming entirely on Macbooks until 2013.

 

i5-4670k (Haswell) | MSI Z87-G45 | GTX770 | Corsair H100i | Corsair 750D | CM EC2 725W | 8GB HyperX Blu DDR3 | 120GB Corsair Force LS | 1TB WD Blue

 

Second System - The  Improved:

A few months into owning my first computer, my AIO died and leaked all over everything else in the system. Corsair luckily replaced/refunded me for everything.

 

i7-4790k (Devils Canyon) | Asus ROG Z97 Maximus VII Hero | GTX980 | Corsair H105 | Fractal Define S | Corsair AX760 | 16GB Klevv Genuine DDR3 | 120GB Corsair Force LS | 1TB WD Blue | 3TB WD Green

 

Third System - The Whiteout:

I started feeling the upgrade itch and sold my second computer. I was bored of the overdone Red & Black theme and wanted to go white & blue. This Computer changed a few times over it's lifespan including the Define S, LianLi PCO7SX and 275R.

 

i7-7700k (Kabylake) | Asus Z170S Sabertooth | GTX1070 | EKWB Hardline | Corsair 275R | Corsair RM850i | 32GB Corsair LPX DDR4 | 120GB Corsair Force LS | 1TB WD Blue | 3TB WD Green
 Samsung 960EVO

 

(I'm not counting 3 other rigs I have also built - 1 for a friend, 1 for my brother and 1 for mining Ethereum back in early 2017.)

Part 1 - Preamble

Spoiler

I had done almost everything I wanted to do with my third PC build. It started with a placeholder i3-6100 CPU while I waited for the 7700k, I moved it from the Fractal Design Define S to the beautiful wall-mounted Lian-Li PC07SX and later the Corsair 275R. I did my first ever custom hardline watercooling loop making use of 100% EKWB Parts, got given a free kit of custom Cablemod cables for my PSU, thanks @CableMod, installed an RGB LED strip (also from Cablemod) and had then it was done. I had basically done everything I could do with my system and the upgrade itch was tingling again. Thus far I had only built ATX sized system and wanted to try something different. About a year ago I built an ITX system for a friend and realized that everything I need and could ask for would fit in a much smaller footprint and would satisfy my desire to build something different and not just another ATX system.

 

I had all the information I needed to sell my computer and build an ITX system.

Part 2 - Unbuildlog

Spoiler

Salvage what I can

The first thing I needed to do was to sell my watercooled PC. Sounds easy right? I started by buying a new hard drive to migrate all my date across from my 4 drives in my system. I decided on the Seagate Barracuda 4TB 3.5'''. After this, I also decided to remove my Samsung 960 EVO 256GB m.2 SSD and my Corsair Force LS120GB and replaced it with a spare Kingston SSD as well as removing my kit of 32GB DDR4 LPX and replacing it with a spare kit of 16GB. I'll reuse these in my new build.

 

Watercooling nightmares

While doing a data migration, I stumbled upon an issue. The coolant I had put in my system temporarily, the Thermaltake C1000 White, had completely separated and turned clear leaving large amounts of buildup all over the loop. Not cool. I also realized I needed to remove the reservoir & pump to access the M.2 SSD to remove it. After draining half of the loop I managed to completely disassemble the reservoir enough to remove the M.2 SSD hidden behind it. I rebuilt the reservoir, flushed out the rest of the loop and replaced it again with EKWB Pastel White. I've learned my lesson about cheap coolant.

 

Draining:

Spoiler

y9ULkXU.jpg

 

SsCzgxo.jpg

 

XSR7Rqh.jpg

New Coolant:

Spoiler

ucgFnPB.jpg

 

Zm6iwYM.jpg

 

After this, the system was all packed up and ready to be delivered to the new owner, who like me 4 years ago was also moving from gaming on a Mac to this beauty. Hope he enjoys it.

 

cDEC3Vq.jpg

 

Part 3 - Platform

Spoiler

Initially I had decided I wanted to try out the Ryzen platform and AMD graphics cards having come from entirely Intel/Nvidia builds. I took a liking to the Ryzen 7 2700 and RX Vega 64. I also wanted to try find a case that I liked design-wise that could accommodate a full-sized GPU and a single 3.5'' drive. Anything after that was luxury.

 

My Initial Platform choice was the Ryzen 7 2700, Asus Strix X370-I, RX Vega 64

 

I then discovered with the help of r/SFFPC that due to limited cooling in any ITX case I choose, I would be better off sticking to Nvidia, so I settled on the GTX1080 instead. After doing a bit more research into the AMD Ryzen platforms, I decided to change the Motherboard from the Asus Strix X370-I to the Asus Strix B450-I to save a few dollars but keep largely the same experience and overclock-ability.

 

I was also on the fence between the NCase M1, DAN A4-SFX and Loque Ghost S1 but eventually decided the NCase, while bigger than the others was more to my liking (and $5 cheaper :) )

Part 4 - Last Minute Change

Spoiler

I have the luxury of buying most of my parts in-store and shopping around for the best deals for my parts list. On the way to the shops, I decided to change my mind, half an hour before buying.

 

I decided to switch from the B450 platform with the Ryzen 7 2700 and instead go to Z370 platform with the new Intel i5-9600k. I couldn't justify the added price (and heat) of the i7 and i9s and discovered during my time with the i3-6100 that it was surprisingly capable as a chip and it's now in my brother's gaming rig with a 1060. I decided to go back to my slightly more humble routes with the latest i5. I do however gain 2 more cores over my 7700k.

Part 5 - Assembly

Spoiler

I got home and eagerly started assembling the smallest system I've ever owned. I knew that the Intel 9th gen chips released with the Z390 platform but as this was so recent, there was only one ITX Z390 board, the $200 Strix Z390-I. I decided to make use of the backwards compatibility and saw online that Gigabyte had released a BIOS update for the Z370N-WIFI to support Intel's 9th gen - something that they don't actually list on the product page. I was assured that all boards available now would support the new 9th gen. So I went and started assembly.

 

IeZYfSY.jpg

 

And.... Bootlooping. Turns out my board still hadn't been updated and I would need to upgrade the bios with an Intel 8th gen coffeelake chip. The cheapest supporter CPU, the Celeron G4900 would set me back $46, not too bad but I didn't want to buy another placeholder CPU. I contacted Gigabyte and they would be able to help me upgrade the bios free of charge. Thank god.

 

Decent view from their office, but they could really do with a window cleaner...

Spoiler

1YDjwk9.jpg

 

Once I got home, I rebuilt the system with the fresh bios and reached POST.

 

qqNVIl2.jpg

 

As I'm still waiting for my GPU and Case to arrive, I put in a spare RX580 8GB card from MSI that I had lying around. I'm lucky to have enough spare parts lying around that I could probably build another system with what I have in stock. I can't tell if this is a good or bad thing.

 

I also don't yet have a case so I have done the next best thing. I have the computer on the floor balancing on a pile of boxes so that it stays as clean as possible and doesn't get kicked under my desk.

 

kA68Rt3.jpg

 

Those horrible included Corsair PSU cables have to go eventually. Should I go for more Cablemod ones or the reddit-recommended PSlate Customs? https://www.pslatecustoms.com/collections/ncase-m1

Part 6 - The GTX1080

coming soon

 

Part 7 - NCase. Just NTime.

coming soon

 

Part 8 - Benchmarking

coming soon

What games / software / scenarios would you like to see?

 

Part 9 - Mods

coming soon

Please give me recommendations for what you want to see here!

 

Part 10 - The Conclusion

coming soon

 

 

Thank you for the support & help I've received from the LTT community, Reddit's incredible r/sffpc community and those over on CableMod's facebook group for their constant help and input. In the excitement of testing the parts I haven't taken that many photos, and the ones I do have are all in bad lighting. I'll be taking more photos and doing a better job of cable management once the case (finally) arrives. If you would like to be notified of updates to this build, feel free to follow along. Any further input and recommendations is GREATLY appreciated :)

 


NCASE M1 i5-9600k  GTX 1080 FE Z370N-WIFI SF600 NH-U9S LPX 32GB 960EVO

I'm a self-identifying Corsair Nvidia Fanboy; Get over it.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Modding Plans so far:

 

1. Cables

Should I go for more CableMod cables? The NCASE Community's recommended Pslate customs? Sleeve them myself?

 

2. GPU Shroud

I'm going for a greyscale theme and the green GEFORCE GTX has got to go. I'm going to try turn it white.

 

3. Case Mod

I don't want to butcher the gorgeous case but I want to try and get a bit more I/O on there. I'm thinking either some VR pass-through or USB-C.

 

 

Any other suggestions?


NCASE M1 i5-9600k  GTX 1080 FE Z370N-WIFI SF600 NH-U9S LPX 32GB 960EVO

I'm a self-identifying Corsair Nvidia Fanboy; Get over it.

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11 hours ago, ThatCoolBlueKidd said:

Modding Plans so far:

 

1. Cables

Should I go for more CableMod cables? The NCASE Community's recommended Pslate customs? Sleeve them myself?

 

2. GPU Shroud

I'm going for a greyscale theme and the green GEFORCE GTX has got to go. I'm going to try turn it white.

 

3. Case Mod

I don't want to butcher the gorgeous case but I want to try and get a bit more I/O on there. I'm thinking either some VR pass-through or USB-C.

 

 

Any other suggestions?

@ThatCoolBlueKidd the fact you haven't already ordered is hurting my soul. :(

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 hours ago, CableMod said:

@ThatCoolBlueKidd the fact you haven't already ordered is hurting my soul. :(

Slow and steady! Need to wait for the case to arrive to measure runs.


NCASE M1 i5-9600k  GTX 1080 FE Z370N-WIFI SF600 NH-U9S LPX 32GB 960EVO

I'm a self-identifying Corsair Nvidia Fanboy; Get over it.

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57 minutes ago, ThatCoolBlueKidd said:

Slow and steady! Need to wait for the case to arrive to measure runs.

@ThatCoolBlueKidd haha yes! If you decide to go with us, and need help when ordering, email Support@CableMod.com - our support team is always happy to help. :)

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