Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #2: NCASE M1 Edition

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Re: Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #2: NCASE M1 Edition

Post by Maelwys » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:37 pm

NCASEdesign wrote:The 3rd slot height limitation is due to the panel clips, which extend into the case. Are you actually planning to have the card in the third slot? As a reminder, the only way that's possible is using a 2 or 3 slot compact mATX/mini-DTX motherboard (or a flex riser if you're up to the challenge).
Ah, I understand now - I was thinking of the slots in reverse, e.g. slot 3 being closest to the CPU. It makes sense that the height limitation is due to panel attachment on the PCIe slot closest to the bottom of the case. Thank you for the quick clarification - much appreciated.

Based on this feedback, full steam ahead using the GTX 960 Strix, coupled with a flexible cable set to minimize pinching on the 6-pin power connector. It's not the recommended blower-type design unfortunately, but an exhaust or two should take care of that, especially considering that I don't plan any overclocks. Silence is much more my "speed".

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Re: Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #2: NCASE M1 Edition

Post by Maelwys » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:06 pm

Just a quick update on my NCASE experience. First, I will say that this case was a lot of fun to build in, and by that I mean it took a while to get everything figured out. It's challenging, like a 1000 piece puzzle - you can't be in a big hurry. After many changes, I ended up putting the following components inside:

Power Supply: Silverstone ST45SF-G with PP05-E kit
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VII Impact
Memory: Kingston HyperX DDR3 1866 2x8GB
CPU: Intel i5-4690K
CPU Cooler: Corsair H80i AIO
Graphics Card: Asus GTX 970 Mini
Hard Disk: Samsung 850-EVO 512GB
Cooling: 2x Gentle Typhoon AP-14

It is not silent, to be sure, but extremely quiet considering how much is crammed in there. First issue was the 80mm fan in the Silverstone ST45. It was loud, did not have any rpm management that I could discern, and had an annoying constant rattle. Terrible, horrible, no good fan; extremely disappointing given the price of the unit. So I ripped it out, and put a Nexus fan on the outside connected to a PWM header on the motherboard. The Nexus has a very small buzz when running at less than full rpm, but it seems to come and go. I may swap it next time I'm in there.

Next to go were the Corsair 120mm fans. Massive RPMs that were completely unnecessary for cooling performance, and they undervolted poorly so were always audible. I replaced them with the GT AP-14s running at 60% power. The Corsair H80i pump is the loudest component at idle. My terrible iPhone based SPL meter says 39db @ 1 meter, which it also says is the sound level of my cat purring. So I dunno. The GTX 970 Mini takes over the sound profile when gaming, but is otherwise unobtrusive.

Idle temps are +10-12C off ambient. Gaming temps are +25-30C on the CPU and +45-50 on the GPU. Internal case temps hover around +30-35C under load.

All in all, it's not a cheap journey, and you can build better larger for less, but I like the way it turned out.

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Re: Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #2: NCASE M1 Edition

Post by Jay_S » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:51 pm

Curious: did you attempt air cooling the GPU? The review reads as if you just went straight for the Accelero hybrid cooler.

We understand that
1) Blower-type GPU coolers exhaust outside the case, but are often too noisy (for SPCR) or inefficient compared to open multi-fan coolers.
2) Open multi-fan coolers are quieter and higher-performing, but recirculate heated air around inside the case which affects other components.

What if instead trying to evacuate heated air from the case, you used directed positive pressure for the GPU and CPU? As in, ducts or baffles from quiet intake case fans to the GPU and CPU, such that they're always fed with cool outside air. And just let heated air bleed from all the other chassis vents.

I guess the principle question is: is hot air circulating within the case still an issue if the components are adequately cooled?

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Re: Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #2: NCASE M1 Edition

Post by Fraked » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:23 am

I finished the exact same build (except a bigger SSD and more Ram) than the poster, and it's really a nice set up.

Very Very silent, the only thing I can hear is the sound of the water just after its start, other than that it's impressive to see such a powerful rig doing so few noise !

Thanks a lot for the article, I was looking for such a small, powerful and silent PC for a long time ...

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Re: Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #2: NCASE M1 Edition

Post by davewolfs » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:56 pm

With the new Zotac card can air cooling be used or is water still suggested? I've read that the MSI cards will fit but the claims are that air doesn't circulate and they just trap heat. Thoughts?

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Re: Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #2: NCASE M1 Edition

Post by voriest » Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:17 am

I got myself an M1 and am planning a new PC. Here's my current draft, I'd like opinions on the cooling/noise side of things. It's based off the build from the review.

Case: NCASE M1
Motherboard: 1151 socket
Hard Disk: m.2
Memory: 16gb
CPU: Intel i7-6700 or i5-6600 (65W TDP)

The stuff I want advice on:

Power Supply: Silverstone SX500-LG 500W
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D9L + Noctua NF-A9 PWM
Graphics Card: Asus GTX 970 Mini
Case fans x2: Noctua NF-S12A (one on right bottom, one on right side)

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Re: Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #2: NCASE M1 Edition

Post by f98pno » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:38 am

I think this looks like a nice build and would be eager to follow it. I would be eager to include a 3,5 HDD though, considering that the WD Red are about equal on noise level as the 2,5 HDDs:
When looking at this build, i get the impression that you could add one at the front part of the bottom panel by just reducing the size of the fan to 80mm. Do you think it would fit in, and do you see any issues in the mounting of it?

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