In 2012, tired of the deplorable state of small computer cases (SFF), two users in the HardOCP community forum decided to create his own. Wahaha360 and Necere invented the $ 200 + Ncase M1, A 12.7-liter wonder projected to take advantage of every cubic centimeter of that space. Surprisingly, they managed to attract the attention of renowned computer manufacturer Lian-Li to manufacture small batches of their multi-purpose container from high-quality aluminum, and the result was greeted with rave reviews.
Nine years later, however, Ncase announced that it stops the M1 permanently.
It’s a strange situation. Yesterday the company posted that it had discontinued the M1 altogether – but overnight, the post was updated to read that it’s just the current “classic” design that has definitely disappeared.
Ncase counts The Edge that is because there is a descendant on the way. “I can say that what we are working on will follow the formula that P1 pioneered, updated and modernized to better reflect the current device market,” says Ncase, adding:
Video cards, in particular, have grown significantly larger on average over the past two years – a fact that has damaged the compatibility of the M1, which was previously very good for its size. The M1 was already highly space optimized, so adjusting such larger cards was not possible within the current project track. Hence the need for a more thorough restructuring from the beginning, which also allows us the opportunity to explore alternative manufacturing methods, upgrades to the visual design and additional features.
That makes some sense: This is not a particularly outdated product or where demand has suddenly dried up. While there are many worthy imitators like the Cooler Master NR200 or Lian-Li’s own TU-150 – also with a neat integrated stretcher – the Ncase M1 is still widely regarded as one of the best cases on the market. Expectant buyers eagerly awaited another set that was tentatively scheduled for November.
But it’s true that some of the huge coolers of the latest generation of graphics cards prevent many of them from tuning well in the M1. (However you can easily fill RTX 3080 Ti Founder’s Edition there if you have enough airflow and powerful power supply. I definitely did!)
It is worth noting that the founders of Ncase are also working on other computer cases. For example: The 14.7-liter SSUPD Meshlicious, a mass-market case that specialist SFF YouTuber Optimum Tech called “the ITX case 2021 to win”, is also a Wahaha360 product made by Lian-Li. (So is the 9.5-liter FormD T1, another case is produced in small batches.) Ncase also collaborated a design called Mach Onealso – and if you told me it was LRPC concept inspired Microsoft’s Xbox One S, below, I would not blink.
It’s premature to pour one for the best computer case I’ve ever owned, one I plan to continue using for years, and one that will likely appear even more Rando reviews than those you may have already recorded. But even if we might get an Ncase M2 someday, I don’t mind pressing F for the legacy created by this brand. Ncase has helped change the face of SFF cases, and whether you buy your next one from them or from someone else, our desks are better suited for it.