I have wanted to build in this case for a while. Finally pulled the trigger. It has been my longest build to date waiting for parts. Expedited the shipping, customs had it for 28 days. Felt like a Bad Luck Brian meme. Before anyone complains about the lackluster Acer WMR headset, it was free and got me into VR in the first place. Waiting for next gen before getting a better one. WMR is generally terrible and I thought this headset would never get any use, but SteamVR total changed that. It has been great.
Things I loved about the build: 1. SFF PCs have always been awesome to me. I have had a bunch of Shuttle barebones and NUCs over the years, but I wanted something way more powerful. 2. The NCASE M1! There are other cases out there. The DAN Cases A4-SFX v2 was appealing, but I liked that the M1 did this w/o needing to have the GPU in a separate chamber. There were no compromises for 2-slot GPU selection either. 3. Overclocking potential despite being a SFF PC was awesome. Getting to 5.2GHz while maintaining respectable temps really reinforces the great engineering choices. I know I had to de-lid to accomplish this, but that is the cost of mass production.
Challenges: 1. The mITX header placements are well thought out on this board, but I had to leave out front USB 3 until the flat ribbon extension is back in stock. It is just one of the worst cables to route and I could not have done it w/o the cable or header eventually snapping. 2. Normal mITX routing and cable management challenges. 3. Glass… this build was supposed to feature a TG side panel. Ordered the mounts for the glass from OptimumTech and everything. I have had two local companies make a panel for it, the first one broke on delivery. It was dropped and they just refunded me since it was something they did not want to do in the first place. The second one is “working on it.” I have decided to wait for the SFFLAB panel they are announcing soon in Q2 according to an email they sent. 4. GPU sag. Going to get an adhesive hook or something to keep the GPU from sagging.
I use this mainly for “portable” VR. By portable, I mean being able to transport a full, decently spec’d PC without many compromises. Its secondary use is on-location edit in Adobe’s Creative Suite.
The CPU was de-lidded and capable of sustaining a 24/7 5.2GHz (-2 AVX offset) overclock. Max temp around 68 under gaming load, low to mid 70s under synthetic.