Two HardOCP users were fed up with the state of small-form factor (SFF) computer case designs in 2012. They decided to make their own. Wahaha360, Necere and others came up with the $200+Ncase M1, a 12.7 liter wonder that makes use of every square centimeter. They managed to get Lian-Li, a renowned PC manufacturer, to produce small batches of their crowdfunded cases out of high-quality aluminum. The result received rave reviews.
Ncase announced the end of M1 nine years ago.
It's an odd situation. Yesterday, the company announced that the M1 had been discontinued. However, overnight, it updated the post to say that the M1 is still available in the classic design.
Ncase tells The Verge that this is because there's a successor. Ncase adds: "I can tell you that the M1 formula will be used for what we are currently working on. It has been updated and modernized to better reflect current hardware market conditions."
The average video card has grown in size over the last couple of years, which has affected the M1's compatibility. This is a problem that was previously very good considering its size. Because the M1 was already very space-optimized, it was impossible to accommodate larger cards within its current design footprint. This is why we need to redesign the entire system from the ground up. We also have the chance to experiment with alternative manufacturing methods and to update the visual design.
It makes sense. This product isn't out of date, or has seen a sudden drop in demand. There are many worthy imitations, such as the Cooler Master NR200 and Lian-Lis' TU-150. However, the Ncase M1 remains widely regarded to be one of the most popular cases on the market. Buyers eagerly awaited the release of the second batch, tentatively scheduled for November.
It is true, however, that many graphics cards of the latest generation are too big to fit in the M1. If you have enough airflow and a powerful power supply, you can fit a RTX3080 Ti Founders Edition inside. Yes, I did!
Ncases founders also work on other PC cases. Lian-Li also made the 14.7-liter SSUPD meshlicious, a mass market case that SFF expert YouTuber OptimumTech called the 2021 ITX case of choice. The FormD T1 9.5-liter case is also produced in small quantities. Ncase collaborated also on a design called Mach One. If you told me that the Mach One's LRPC concept inspired Microsofts Xbox One S below, I wouldnt blink an eye.
It seems premature to give one for the best computer case that I have ever owned. One that I intend to use for years. One that will likely make an appearance in more Verge reviews than any of the others. Even though we may be buying an Ncase M2, I don't mind pressing F to honor the legacy this brand has left. Ncase changed the face of SFF case design, and regardless of whether you buy your next one from them, your desks will be better because of it.