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

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides
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Putting together a packed mini-ITX system can be frustrating but our build proceeded with relatively little stress. The most difficult part of the procedure is ensuring all the headers in difficult to reach spots are connected before installing the larger components and keeping all the cables from impeding the radiator fan. Wire clutter can be a serious issue in the M1 as there are few spots to tie down cabling.

The second fan has to be placed as an exhaust on the heatsink as the other side is too close to the radiator. In this position, it interferes some of the I/O ports so it has to be placed higher than center fan.

The spacing inside is very tight as illustrated by the proximity between the motherboard and the power supply.

The GPU cooler's backside heatsink can be used but it physically touches one of the DIMMs and blocks off the USB 3.0 header.

Without the heatsink, the base of the cooler has nothing to mount to. Luckily the long screws used to clamp down the heatsink are the perfect length/thread to secure the base, though you have to gauge when to stop tightening yourself. The video card's VRM heatsink also requires help as it's designed to take advantage of direct airflow, so we'll employ a case fan on the floor of the case blowing up.

With this assembly method, the board bows slightly as there is no heatsink or backplate to stiffen the PCB.

Our system full assembled. The Noiseblocker fan is positioned on the case floor blowing over the GPU and its VRM heatsink. The radiator mounts on the 120 mm fan placement toward the front of the case.

The power supply is on the opposite side with its fan sucking in cool air from the right side and expelling it out the top of the case. Most of the cables and tubing end up underneath the PSU.

From the top of the case you can see just how jam-packed everything is inside.

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