Graphic oriented mini ITX desktop case with professional monitor. To be used with Adobe suite mainly. Ultra silent build, by far the best build I have ever done.
It was not my intention to build a color-themed / ultra moded PC but a small silent performer. Clean, simple and nice looking if possible. So, aesthetics was only taken into account for external parts, mainly the case.
I focused on performance and silence. That can be accomplished using air cooling with the more semi-fanless components the better. I did a mistake and ordered an Asus GTX970 OC Turbo (blower style), following some recommendations for small cases like this one, however, was too noisy. Avoid blower fan if you want absolute silence, I ended returning it back and purchasing a MSI GTX970 Gaming 4G which has a wonderful heatskin with plenty of copper pipes and 2 fans which operate in semi-fanless mode. Also the PSU is a Silverstone SX500-LG, semi-fanless as well, with better cooling due to its size and 120mm fan (when active).
The rest of the cooling is entirely Noctua:
U9S CPU cooler with 2x AF9 PWM fans attached, pushing air towards top (top exhaust), connected to 'CPU Fan' mobo socket through a low noise adapter and Y cable.
1x AF9x14 PWM helping the CPU cooler and working as rear exhaust, connected via low noise adapter to 'Chasis Fan 2' channel in mobo.
2x F12 PWM bottom intake fans, also with its corresponding low noise adapters and Y cable connected to 'Chasis 1' channel.
Although this case admits several cooling configurations, this setup is working like a charm so far. Having those 2 big 120mm noctuas placed in the bottom as intake, it creates a bit of possitive static pressure with filtered cold air from the base. In order to balance static pressure, rear and top exhausts cause a nice bottom-to-top air flow while dust is kept to minimum. Graphic card fans (probably the noisiest part) rarely enter in action thanks to the bottom noctuas pulling fresh air directly onto the heatskin. PSU, due to its position, is self-cooled with fresh air from one side that is exhausted towards top, not interfering with the rest of the components.
The last part is to profile a nice set of fan curves through BIOS and .... voilá ... silence is guaranteed.
The only downside I have encountered so far is the PSU fan (I guess it is, did not checked deeply). Although is disabled most of the time, it makes a very light rattling sound randomly when spinning at low rpms. This is a known issue from Silverstone in some units, or just maybe the way the fan works (not same quality at Noctua fans). Probably the noise is noticeable given the extremely silent noctuas not poluting your desktop at all. Luckily my unit rarely shows this issue.
Tip: Ncase M1 comes with plenty of accesories, among them, several silicone paddings to be used with 3,5" drives. In case you are not gonna use them, take 4 and insert them into the case feet (take a look at my picture of the base). They will serve as extra dampening to reduce vibrations on full load.