So this machine has been the result of about 2 years of planning and part collecting. It all started after I realized that college was on the horizon, and my monster sized tower was not gonna go well in a tiny dorm. After the initial steps of converting my rig to ITX, I slowly built up the rig over time to what It is now. This tiny rig is a super portable workhorse that has served me well in everything I've thrown at it. Nothing earth shattering, but still on the upper end. The following goes through much of the choices that lead to the final product.
The thing that probably drew your attention was the paint and the small form factor, so lets start with that. I explained above why I decided to go with something so small, but it wasn't just space saving. I wanted something that could be taken places on a whim because my old rig (in a phanteks monster case) was way too cumbersome. This NCase M1 is tiny enough to fit into a wheelable suitcase along with a keyboard , mouse, mic and all the cables. It is an amazing thing to be able to take around with me. And that leads to the second thing, the paint. Good god I love it. To start off, I didn't paint this. A friend of mine was commissioned to do it at a very reasonable rate. But the reasonable question to ask about it would be this: "Why would you make a MSI Corporate themed PC for personal use?" There are a number of reasons for this actually.
I love this branding. The MSI OC Series caught my eye just as I was getting into PC building. The striking Lightning Video Cards and M Power Motherboards were so cool and I loved the black and yellow color scheme. But as I finally began to build my first PC, all of the components were moved on to other branding and dropped the yellow. The only new component that had this branding was the 980Ti Seahawk that still has the best looking video card backplate of all time IMO. So when I saw a lightly used one of these on craigslist for $350 (Just before the mining craze) I swooped that up in a heartbeat. That's when the gears began to turn in my head. Maybe I could make a compelling argument that colored components still have their place in the world and that RGB shouldn't be on everything. Please MSI, Bring it back.
It is a good portfolio piece. I have actually had a decent small time PC building business as a hobby, and this thing is a great way to show off, especially with the professional looking pelican case and the fact that it has been based around something like a logo.
I mean, just look at it.
The CPU --- I had it before hand, very nice and no need to replace it.
The Cooler --- It populated the other radiator spot and provides great cooling for that toasty CPU. It also deals better with transport than a custom loop
Motherboard --- I went with MSI because it was slightly cheaper and because I was kind of going for an MSI build with the GPU anyway.
PSU --- A bit bigger than I need, but the fanless mode kicks in on even medium workloads so that puts it miles above the 450W variant in my book.
Monitor --- That was just a steal at $400, especially 3 years ago.
Anything I didn't mention for the most part was just because I wanted to add it.