Description

I take part in a Distributed Computing (DC) project that searches for large prime numbers. Very large. This has been quite demanding on my everyday computer, so I decided to do a build that was dedicated to the task.

The i7-8700 (overclocked to 4.3 GHz) has built-in graphics, so I had no need to purchase a separate GPU. I use Microsoft Remote Desktop on my MacBook Pro, hence no monitor.

The NCASE M1 is a really great small form-factor case. Top notch quality and lots of moving parts to play with and customize. If a small form-factor build is your thing, definitely consider this case. Real estate is precious, so I would consult other M1 builds with regards to GPU selection and fit, and/or the use of a different cooler.

My fan configurations are as follows:

I have two Corsair ML120s mounted at the bottom of the M1 Case as intakes, which are combined with a 4-pin splitter (limited 4-pin headers on the MB).

I have a 92mm Noctua mounted in the rear as an exhaust. The 92mm fan is attached to the AIO pump header. The mounting holes in the case will accommodate an 80mm fan, if you want to go smaller. The fan is 25mm thick and no problem with the fit.

I replaced the tan fan that comes with the Noctua NH-C14S with one of their 140mm "chromax black swap" fans. Since this was a luxury purchase, I didn't include it on my part list (it was about $25).

After adjusting down the fan speeds to manage noise, the CPU temp is about 56C under load, with the individual cores measuring in at about 64-68C. The MB temp is 34C. Load is relative, and I tried some computational tasks that were pushing core temps about 10 degrees hotter. I run the tasks 24/7 and the temps are stable.

My intake fans (the two Corsairs) and cooler fan are set at about 1100-1200 rpm; the rear exhaust fan (the 92mm Noctua) is set to run at about 1000 rpm. I used Asus' AI Suite to do this. For what it's worth, I monitor temps and fan speeds using AIDA64. Note: these are speeds that work for what I'm doing at the moment - they may not be suitable for your needs/loads.

Noctua strongly recommends that the bends in the cooling pipes do NOT face upward, so the only way to fit the cooler is with the bends at the rear of the case (on the left if looking at the side of the case). This will require a change in the PSU mount and the need to get the SF Series SFX to ATX Adapter Bracket (version 2.0), which mounts onto a bracket that comes with the M1 case. The bracket is available from Corsair's website. If you copy this build, I would also recommend getting a right-handed Power Cable for the M1 case as it will fit better. The cable does ride tight on the CPU cooler fins near where it exits the case, but this isn't an issue. Others have noted that the Noctua NH-C14 (no "S") is a better fit, but this cooler has been discontinued. Water cooling is another option, of course, but I went with air-cooled for this build.

Update: I removed an LG optical drive that was buggy/defective and eventually refused to eject a disc - that's associated with the red cable in a couple of the photos. I didn't really need the optical drive, so it wasn't replaced.

Update: I'm about six months into 24/7 computations and have had zero issues with this build.

Part Reviews

CPU

No issues thus far. For my computational requirements, I really like the built-in graphics, eliminating the need for a GPU.

CPU Cooler

This comes with one 25mm thick fan in the low profile configuration (easily changed to a tall configuration with the mounting hardware). If you use this cooler with the NCASE M1 small factor case, you'll need the fan mounted on the bottom (low profile). The NH-C14S is a bit of a tight fit with this build, requiring a change in your PSU layout as described in my overall description.

Motherboard

If you go with the i7-8700K, you'll need a 300 series MB. The LED lights were a nice surprise. Make sure you install the AURA app to turn them on/off, and to select different effects.

Storage

I didn't need the PRO version for my needs.

Operating System

Painful purchase, but I wanted networking capabilities.

Case Fan

Simple fan. No rubber corners. Quiet.

Case Fan

Good fans. Noise not an issue at lower RPMs.

Comments

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool build, any pics of the case all put back together and completed?

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Pics are posted.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

SICK! I love it

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

[comment deleted]
  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, thank you for posting the build! I was hoping of doing something very similar, but hoping to use the x16 expansion slot for an elgato capture card rather than a dedicated gpu. Does this board support a x4 in its slot? Maybe through the bios or something? Thanks in advance!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, Thanks for checking it out. It's been a great build. Almost a year without any issues. Your answer is yes. You can also check out the Asus site and get answers there. Any PCI bus slot that supports 16X should support 4X... just not necessarily the reverse.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah good news, thanks for the quick response. I actually picked one up today on clearance but I couldn't find it in the manual. Thanks!