Description

Intro: Objective of this project was to build a 4K gaming PC intended to be cool, quiet, as small as possible with some headroom for overclocking.

Build: Except Ncase M1 all cases I found on the market were either much bigger than my previous Node 202 or couldn’t be water cooled using regular size parts. Even with Ncase M1 that is designed for side radiator I would have to go with external reservoir (like the one from FrozenQ) and squeeze DDC pump below GPU or go for some waterblock + pump combo … I didn’t want any of that. I was thinking about super slim bottom radiator like some others using this particular case, but I had serious doubts in performance of such radiator, considering it requires slim fans and its placement between GPU and desk surface is not optimal neither.

So despite the fact that I haven’t seen it done before I wanted to try if I can mod Ncase M1 myself to be used with top radiator while still using regular size, static pressure fans. I decided to give it a shot and at the end of the day I can say it was absolutely worth the effort. I am happy with the looks, temps and performance. Pump is running at 25% and fans don’t go over 50% so it is very quiet as well. While I was buying parts I was worried if single 240 radiator will be enough for both CPU and GPU, but it works like charm.

Part Selection: In case you want to do similar project yourself the ‘only’ thing you need to mod is the case itself as from the box it is not designed for top radiator, just be warned that few irreversible mods are required. Regarding part selection you need a single slot GPU like 1080 Ti, otherwise there won’t be enough clearance above motherboard to fit regular size fans. 7700K I got is ok’ish, I got it stable on 4.8 Ghz with 1.25 V, it’s temp is a bit jumpy but I heard it’s common with 7700K. With my previous build I got good experience with MSI Mobo and GPU so I used them again here, I bought my GPU after Bitcoin hype finished and prices dropped. For RAM I chose Corsair because I got problems with Kingston form factor before. I also got Corsair PSU as I used it previously and knew it’s quiet mode and that it won’t add much heat. Just got flexible cables this time. I wanted Noctua fans because of reputation and I never got those before but I didn’t want their famous color. So because Chromax series isn’t available yet I chose slowest Industrials, just running them half speed. I didn’t have prior experience with water cooling so for radiator and pump type I simply followed performance benchmarks. For water blocks I chose EKWB because of reasons. For fittings I chose Barrow because of those subtle 90 degree rotary fittings. I was considering Bitspower but I find their logo placement too aggressive. So far I am happy with all parts I used in this project. If you have any questions or want me to upload some additional photos please do let me know.

Disclaimer: This is my second PC build and first water cooling project so please don’t judge if tubes are not bent perfectly or case mod isn’t pro enough. I decided to bend those tubes as this gives me fewer potential leak points and a less restrictive loop than with 90 degree fittings used instead. I realize that by the book I should have put radiator in the loop after water blocks. However I read few technical articles about it and came to conclusion that with high flow rate pump in place going with more complicated loop just for that isn’t worth it as temp difference (if any) would be negligible. Temps are averages measured with ambient temperature of 26 °C, because its summer in my place.

Edit: Based on request I added new picture showing how I used original side panel tray to mount top radiator.

Edit: Thanks for making this a Featured Build, much appreciated!!

Comments

  • 28 months ago
  • 26 points

Not sure how you managed it, but you were able to create a computer that runs on Mountain Dew, and I respect you for it. +1

But really though, love the build!

  • 28 months ago
  • 5 points

funny thing: I was drinking mountain dew when I saw this

  • 28 months ago
  • 4 points

Ha, ha, thanks :D. Anyway now when my secret of MLG build is out I can tell you it wasn't that hard, just still can't fully get rid of those air bubbles ;)

http://imgur.com/lt9PDLB

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

LMAO! Very funny picture.

Yeah, with a carbonated beverage, it will be difficult to work out all of the bubbles, but I'm sure it'll happen eventually lol.

BTW, when you shake your computer, does fizz come out of your radiator? ;)

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, I though it was caused by fans when they go over 50% but now it's all clear. Cheers ;)

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Holy be-jesus! Thats a beatiful rig! +1

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thx man!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Insane build. I gave up on finding an SFF setup like this, looks like you made it. Congrats, especially for a first water cooling project, that's quite ambitious !

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Why not this be featured?

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

That would be great.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

HA!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, it happened :)

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

This is amazing. I am very interested to know how you shifted everything down to make room for the radiator.

  • 28 months ago
  • 4 points

Sure, following mods in the case are required:

  • bottom of the case cut to create drain ports and let the GPU sit on the bottom of the case (saving 2mm)
  • back of case cut to make place for I/O shield and bottom PCI Express filed to make sure Display Port cables fit.
  • New motherboard tray cut from 1,5mm aluminium sheet to replace existing tray
  • Radiator bracket screw holes filed to prevent screws from protruding
  • New PSU holder made using L shaped aluminium profile
  • Pump holder made using L shaped profiles
  • New masking plate on the back made using 1,5mm aluminium sheet and 3M brushed aluminium DI-NOC tape
  • few holes in the case drilled, for some 3mm threader was used
  • replaced stock screws on both side of radiator to save around 4 mm in total.

So that would be it if I didn't forget anything:)

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for the thorough write up! How much did you shift everything down by? Do you happen to have in-progress pictures of the brackets and plates you made to move the motherboard and PSU down? Im inspired to try out these mods. I had already cut up my M1 quite a bit for bottom radiator configuration, so I'm ok with trying this version out.

  • 28 months ago
  • 3 points

No problem. Mobo and GPU went down 47mm comparing to the stock setup. I have now 2mm of clearance between fans and motherboard. Initially I wanted to use it for Noctua anti-vibration mounts that came with the fans but the fans are so quiet I opted to keep the clearance just in case ... pun intended :).

Unfortunatelly I don't have any in progress pictures because my place was a mess during that period and I wasn't really thinking about pictures at that point of time. However I made some 'under the hood' pictures that are not so pretty (I didn't even had time to edit them) but they were requested by so many people on redit that I posted them as there were.

http://imgur.com/a/8mTL0

Please let me know if you have further questions.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

These are perfect! It's cool you use the side bracket at the top. Simple mod to mount radiator up there.

For the motherboard mod, did you reuse the old standoffs with the new thin aluminum plate?

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Good point, I forgot about it. I left original tray intact and bought M3 8mm standoffs for my new tray. They are threaded from one end to another so I fixed them to the tray using M3 cone headed screws that came with the case. They look like this:

http://imgur.com/29BfElI

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Very impressive use of space. Amazing not only that you fit everything so well but that the aesthetic result is so clean!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Very impressive loop in that case! +1

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Very compact and well built +1

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

In One Word: The Eye Candy and One:1 Performance of an Agera in an ITX PC Form! (PS: Bugatti in PC Form can go to Bankruptcy. Period.)

It is one of the most beautiful and most well done SFF builds with the Ncase M1 on PCPP! I am absolutely amazed by this build and its features!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man! Can't wait for my new 35" 144 FPS monitor to arrive so I can give it a spin!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Show us what Gmod Looks like in 144 FPS please mate? XD. I absolutely love this build man!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

I like it, very nice color scheme and nice custom loop

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build on my favorite case!! Congrats on the featured!

One question.. Did you have to lower the position of psu in order to mount the rad on top?

+1

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. Yes, this is one of required mods. I had to lower PSU quite a lot to have unrestricted airflow for radiator fans. Therefore I decided not to use original PSU bracket but made a custom mounting and fixed PSU to the front of the case. You can see it better on this (not so pretty) 'under the hood' picture:

http://imgur.com/VchBVcH

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

I wanna build that for myself but do need to know how so any you tube tuts and BTW bro it's sexo like hell seriously its a little beast of beauty

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

"WE ARE NOT WORTHY!!!"

OMG this is the best build I have ever seen! Super cleaver using the mounting bracket on top and insanely clean cable management. Well done and congrats on featured build!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for the gorgeous GREEN.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Always a fan of the small form cases that have a punch! Great build!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

So, where does the power supply fit into all that?

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point
  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

So glad to see another custom loop build!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

"Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence" :D

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Well said

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

What are the load temps like? I have a watercooled 6700k in my m1 and decided to leave out my 980ti since I could only fit 1 30x240mm radiator.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

I just double checked those temps for you and finished running Valley test for 1h. Average temp on GPU was 36° C and 53° on CPU, with ambient temp of 25° C.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Great modification and contests on the featured spot.

Thumbs up.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks amazing. I think that you made all of the right choices on the part selection and I see absolutely no problem with the tubing. This is especially good for a reasonably low price of $2676.84.

And how did you get it to run at 49C under load on CPU at 4.2 GHz and 38C on the GPU at 2.01 GHz. Those are the coolest temperatures that I have ever seen on this site.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Because questions about temps appear quite often I just double checked them and finished running Valley test for 1h as it was recommended to me. Average temp on GPU was 36° C and 53° on CPU, with ambient temp of 25° C. However my CPU is overclocked to 4.8 GHz, 4.2 GHz you mentioned is a stock clock value for this model.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Oh, yeah, my mistake. I knew that it was a 4.8 GHz overclock, but I accidently typed the wrong thing. Yeah, I meant that those are really low overclock temps for an "under load" category temperature. As of right now, the i7 7700K is still one of the best CPUs on the market even now that the X-Series is now out and arguably the most game-able. Just a very good job. (And Temps)

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

DAMN Good build! I had the node 202 before and I didnt like it. Ncase was impossible for me to get esp here in Africa. I sold it and was thinking of going back to ATX but this here can change my mind. Keep it up man.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Regarding Node 202 it is very compact and in my opinion a very good case for small form factor air cooled PC. However I need to admit it's plastic exterior doesn't look that great when compared to brushed aluminium of Ncase M1.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

I can't see the power supply. Absolutely fantastic case mod. +1!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, PSU is not so visible because it is located behind a pump.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

those temps. Did you delid the i7? My temps still hit 60c with an evga AIO. I delided and used thermal grizzly.

https://pcpartpicker.com/b/NPV6Mp

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

No I didn't delid because I am happy with those temps I got. I noticed in your build temps after delid dropped to 42.0° C and that's very good. Also your bespoke backplate looks great!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome build. Really tight work, no pun intended XD

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks XD

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Damn, What's the weight on this? Is it easy to move around?

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

I just checked. As on pictures it weighs 7.5 kg. It's not that much heavier from my aircooled Node 202 (https://pcpartpicker.com/b/v7r7YJ) which weighs 6.8 kg, also as on pictures just without headphones :).

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice, love the color sceme. I also love the simplicity and lack of LEDs

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I even turned of all LEDs that came by default with the motherboard and are controlled by MSI Gaming App. Maybe I would have left those MB Function LEDs that show status of components but those are not RGB and their red color didn't match the scheme so I turned them off as well.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Can never get enough of this case!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Those are some killer mods, amazing build.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Pretty damn awesome for the components and size! Looks great to boot =D

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :)

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

This is the size of my toaster...

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, my toaster it a bit smaller but temps are not that great.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow, this computer is crazy powerful.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :)

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi men, where do you buy the ball fasteners for the acrylic panels?

Nice build!

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi there,

I didn't use ball fasteners, just regular screws, I simply drove them through those original plastic clips. I had to disassembly the panel few weeks ago to clean some dust that GPU back-plate collected over those months and got no problem assembling it back again.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Damn! This is... very sexy! amazing how you managed to cram so much hardware in this small case ahnd even made it look so good!

1+! Love it! :D

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, much appreciated!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

You are very welcome! :D

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow! congrats on the feature!

Well deserved!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

did you consider the Dan A4, I know its limited and is getting shipped next year, but just wondering if it was one of your options.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

I was checking Dan A4 for my previous air cooled project and my first PC build. However I decided to go with slightly bigger Node 202 because with this I was able to isolate GPU from the rest of the case and I used 2 high pressure fans blowing fresh air into GPU helping it blow out the heat. I was using it until now and from that experience I can say that with default aircooling Dan A4 would trottle on 7700K and GTX 1080 Ti unless you would seriously underclock it, but then what's the point? With no place for even for a pair of full size additional fans I don't see how Dan A4 could be properly watercooled.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

With no place for even for a pair of full size additional fans I don't see how Dan A4 could be properly watercooled

Agreed!!!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

This thing's so small, for a second I thought I was looking between my legs.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

I think a delid by Silicon Lottery on the CPU would vastly improve the heat transfer between the IHS and the Supremacy Waterblock. They offer professional delid services on pre-existing Intel CPUs that use thermal paste between the die and the IHS. Might be worth a look.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

How did you do the side panel like that? Can I do it on the RAIJINTEK Metis Plus Mini ITX Tower? Thank you in advance! The build looks fantastic.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I see the case you mentioned already comes with a window in the side panel. But looking at it here I guess you could replace it with a plexi panel or tempered glass and mount it using 4 original mounting holes in the case https://www.overclockers.co.uk/media/image/thumbnail/CA03FRT_155719_800x800.jpg

I used plexi because it's lighter, I could drill holes myself using regular screwdriver and when you have the sides polished it looks like a glass so nobody can tell the difference unless they touch it.

I guess the easiest way is to measure the size you need and order it from someone who can polish the sides as well. If you cut it yourself it wont be pretty unless you have some pro tools.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I see. I'll try going the plexiglass panel route, then, because you're saying it looks nicer. Thank you for the tips!

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

New to building so I've been lurking around for a guide to follow for my first. This build looks like my favorite so far but I was wondering if it would hurt to switch out the Intel CPU for one of the AMD Ryzen variety? would it physically fit differently? would it interact with the gpu better or worse?

sorry if these are dumb questions, new to this. Thanks

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, I don't have experience with Ryzen CPUs so I don't know. What I know is that I wouldn't recomend following my build if you never built PC before. Here is why: - you would need to mod the case that is quite expensive and you need to be comfortable with power tools. - this is a watercooling project which by default is much more complicated than aircooling - this is a bend hardtubing project and so you need to be ready to waste at least half meter of tubing before you learn how to bend them.

For my first project I chose something more simple that helped me get used to constrains of small form factor PCs: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/v7r7YJ

If I would be building a new PC right now I would consider this case: http://www.louqe.com/

Good luck on your project.

Lohki

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

I love how it looks.. I need something like this. Need to build a gaming PC for Launchbox. I have never done water-cooling and RGB lights so its a must for this build. It will go in my living room media center so i need it to be small and look good. I need to fit this in a $1000 dollar budget. doable?

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  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

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  • 28 months ago
  • 0 points

Comments like this are not appropriate for this site.

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  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

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  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Happy to hear it from Ncase M1 user who knows that struggle is real ;)

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  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, that's easier said than done. In NCase "skeleton" 3 sides, front, bottom and back are made from a single piece of aluminium so it is difficult to make it changed for V6 as it would require back of the case to be made of segments that are adjustable. Moreover, this setup only makes sense with single slot GPU, so basically only for watercooling.

Anyway in the morning I wrote a message to Ncasedesigner on Reddit. Maybe they could use some of those ideas and make another case, designed mainly for watercooling? Who knows, but that would be great.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

Quick update: I got a message from Ncase saying they did discuss such option in the past but decided to create bigger ATX case for watercooling:

https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/compact-24l-water-cooling-oriented-atx-case.2644/

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  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man!

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