NCASE EVO

NCASE EVO, originally “M1EVO” is a CNC modular ITX case, with 3 supported layouts. Case pricing starts at US$215, with optional tempered glass panel, vertical GPU riser kit and additional fan/radiator bracket available separately.

SPECIFICATIONS

MODELM1 EVO v1.XEVO v2
OVERVIEWNCASE M1EVO is a remaster of the Small Form Factor (SFF) Icon M1 Classic.NCASE M1EVO didn’t live upto the OG M1 designers vision (Necere). The M1 branding will be dropped with NCASE EVO v2.
MATERIALS3-15mm aluminium, CNC machined and anodised
1.0mm steel, powder coated side panels.
DIMENSIONS366×160×256mm (L×W×H)366×166×256mm (L×W×H)
VOLUMEv1: 14.99 Litres15.55 Litres
CASE I/OPower Button
2x USB-A
1x USB-C
1x USB-C passthrough adapter
Power Button2x USB-A1x USB-C1x USB-C passthrough adapter
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORTMini-ITX / Deep-ITX / Mini-DTX / Micro-ATX (mATX may limit hardware compatibility)Mini-ITX / Deep-ITX / Mini-DTX / Micro-ATX (mATX may limit hardware compatibility)
COOLER COMPATIBILITY1. M1-Classic Config: up to 135mm max height with 4-Slot GPU
2. M1-EVO Config:  up to 135mm max height with 4-Slot GPU3. M1-VGPU Config: up to 50mm max height with 4-Slot GPU
RISER CABLE1. M1-Classic Config: Not Applicable
2. M1-EVO Config: Not Applicable
3. M1-VGPU Config: PCIe X16 4.0
GRAPHICS CARD COMPATIBILITY
1. M1-Classic Config: up to 142 x 358.5mm, 4-slots thick
2. M1-EVO Config: up to 142 x 358.5mm, 4-slots thick
3. M1-VGPU Config: up to 165 x 358.5mm, 4-slots thick
2.5″ / 3.5″ DRIVES SUPPORTED5x 3.5″ or 6x 2.5″ drives (based on components/hardware)
CASE FANS SUPPORTED2x 120 or 1x 140mm (next to motherboard)
2x side 120 / 140mm
2x top 120 / 140mm (separate radiator / fan bracket addon required for installation of top + side fans simultaneously; without splitting the included bracket set between top & side)
LIQUID COOLING SUPPORT1x 120 / 140 / 240 / 280mm radiator / AIO
2x 240 (side / top + bottom)
2x 280 (side / top + bottom)
3x 240mm or 2x 280 + 240mm (this combo is for extreme users and requires very specific hardware configurations, including separate radiator bracket for top / side sold separately)
POWER SUPPLY SUPPORTSFX / SFX-L / ATX (ATX support requires a modified bracket, not currently available)SFX / SFX-L / ATX (ATX support requires a modified bracket, not currently available)

M1EVO V1.X

The Front LED power switch features translucent yellow cover tape, which will need to be removed:

Unfortunately, the mounting brackets holes for the OG case feet don’t align as intended with bottom panel cutouts.

You’ll need to align the holes close to the edges of the panel cutouts and install both screws before fully screwing them both down.

Side mounted PSU installation:

Front mounted PSU installation:

In order to install the top radiator bracket in flipped layout. You will need to first remove the black radiator mounting assembly from the other end of the rear panel and install at the top. This requires the use of 2x silver standoffs secured from outside of the rear panel.

Unfortunately, the M1EVO only includes a single set of radiator/fan brackets, so these will need to be split between top and side, if you wish to install fans in both positions at same time.

The side radiator/fan brackets are not compatible when 135mm tall air coolers. Installing the radiator/fan brackets directly above the SS135 or other 135mm coolers is not possible without causing the side panel to bulge outward. You can in some instances, install a single brackets at its highest or lowest position as we did in BUILD #4, however this will impact total GPU / PCIe clearance.

BUILD #1

CASE M1EVO v1 (reference)
MOTHERBOARDMSI B650M Mortar WiFi (paid link)
CPUR9 7900X (paid link)
CPU COOLERThermalright SS135 (paid link)
GPUGigabyte RX 6900XT Gaming OC (paid link)
PSU Extreme 850R / Corsair SF750 (paid links)
CABLESSFF Cables by CableMod (affiliate)
RAM32GB TeamGroup Vulcan DDR5, 6000MHz, CL38 (paid link)
STORAGE1TB + 2TB NVME (paid links)
CASE FANSNF-A12x25 chromax.Black + NF-A9 chromax.Black (paid links)

You are primarily limited to reference layouts and air cooling when using an mATX motherboard. 240 AIOs are possible, but performs worse overall vs. air cooled systems. vGPU layout is also technically possible, but you’ll be limited LP coolers no taller than 50mm. MSI’s B650M Mortar WiFi primary PCIe slot sits roughly one expansion slot lower on the board than other mATX boards. This reduces overall GPU thickness compatibility from 4 to 3 slots in reference layouts. The lower PCIe slot positioning looks to be limited to MSI’s AM5 boards.

  • CPU Multi-Core: 81°C
  • Gaming – GPU: 77°C
  • Gaming – CPU: 76°C

BUILD #2

CASE M1EVO v1 (flipped)
MOTHERBOARDMSI B650M Mortar WiFi (paid link)
CPUR9 7900X (paid link)
CPU COOLERThermalright SS135 (paid link)
GPUGigabyte RX 6900XT Gaming OC (paid link)
PSU Extreme 850R / Corsair SF750 (paid links)
CABLESSFF Cables by CableMod (affiliate)
RAM32GB TeamGroup Vulcan DDR5, 6000MHz, CL38 (paid link)
STORAGE1TB + 2TB NVME (paid links)
CASE FANSNF-A12x25 chromax.Black + NF-A9 chromax.Black (paid links)

Flipped / inverted layout provided improved thermals vs. reference layout with the same hardware. The bottom case fan was set to intake, with CPU and rear case fan set to exhaust. It’s important to note that the included fan brackets cannot be side mounted directly above the Thermalright SS135 cooler. For mATX.

  • CPU Multi-Core: 81°C
  • Gaming – CPU: 76°C
  • Gaming – GPU: 71°C

BUILD #3

CASE M1EVO v1 (flipped)
MOTHERBOARDMSI B650M Mortar WiFi (paid link)
CPUR9 7900X (paid link)
CPU COOLERDeepCool LS520 SE (paid link)
GPUGigabyte RX 6900XT Gaming OC (paid link)
PSU Extreme 850R / Corsair SF750 (paid links)
CABLESSFF Cables by CableMod (affiliate)
RAM32GB TeamGroup Vulcan DDR5, 6000MHz, CL38 (paid link)
STORAGE1TB + 2TB NVME (paid links)
CASE FANS3x NF-A12x25 chromax.Black (paid link)

When using a 240 AIO with mATX motherboard, you will be limited to max radiator length of 278mm if you wish to install a rear 92mm slim case fan. We were able to fit 282mm long radiator with no rear case fan installed. Setting the AIO fans to exhaust, performed poorly, being heavily outpaced by Thermalright SS135. Setting fans to intake outpaced SS135 by fair margin, but subsequently increased GPU temps.

  • CPU Multi-Core: 73°C (AIO intake)
  • CPU Multi-Core: 90°C (AIO exhaust)
  • Gaming – CPU: 72°C (AIO intake)
  • Gaming – GPU: 75°C

BUILD #4

CASE M1EVO v1 (flipped)
MOTHERBOARDRog Strix B650E-I Gaming WiFi (paid link)
CPUR7 7800X3D (paid links)
CPU COOLERThermalright SS135 (paid link)
GPUGigabyte RX 6900XT Gaming OC (paid link)
PSU Extreme 850R / Corsair SF750 (paid links)
CABLESSFF Cables by CableMod (affiliate)
RAM32GB Gskill DDR5, 6000MHz, CL30 (paid link)
STORAGE1TB + 2TB NVME (paid links)
CASE FANS2x Arctic P14 Slims, NF-A14 chromax.Black, NF-A9 chromax.Black (paid links)

This build is running both CPU and rear case fan as intake, with side case fan set to exhaust. This configuration marginally outperformed side intake, with rear exhaust. The case fans above GPU are set to intake, to assist GPU cooling and reduce GPU noise.

  • CPU Multi-Core: 72°C
  • Gaming – CPU: 60°C
  • Gaming – GPU: 70°C

BUILD #5

CASE M1EVO v1 (flipped)
MOTHERBOARDRog Strix B650E-I Gaming WiFi (paid link)
CPUR7 7800X3D (paid links)
CPU COOLEREK 280 ARGB (paid link)
GPUGigabyte RX 6900XT Gaming OC (paid link)
PSU Extreme 850R / Corsair SF750 (paid links)
CABLESSFF Cables by CableMod (affiliate)
RAM32GB Gskill Ripjaws DDR5, 6000MHz, CL30 (paid link)
STORAGE1TB + 2TB NVME (paid links)
CASE FANS2x Arctic P14 Slims, 2x SWP4 140’s, NF-A9 chromax.Black (paid links)

Using a 280mm AIO with fans set to exhaust in ITX setup provided lower overall hardware thermals than the best air cooling configurations. We also tested 2x 120mm slim intake fans at bottom of the case, one below the motherboard and the other below the PSU. This offered no meaningful reduction in thermals.

  • CPU Multi-Core: 68°C (AIO exhaust)
  • Gaming – CPU: 58°C (AIO exhaust)
  • Gaming – GPU: 66°C

CONCLUSIONS

The NCASE EVO is one of the better boutique ITX case releases of 2023 in our view. Its features CNC aluminium chassis and is well equipped for both air and liquid cooling. It also supports both ITX and mATX motherboards, which is a nice inclusion. It has area’s that can be improved upon, but overall a solid case.

Unfortunately, most 4090/4080 graphics cards are not compatible with 160mm wide EVO variants, without use of the vertical GPU kit. This limits the case to liquid cooling / AIO for CPU cooling. NCASE suggests the use of 180° 12VHPWR adapters in reference layouts. We highly advise against this due to the uncertainty and risk of connector melting.

We suggest those considering the M1EVO to wait for the 166mm v2, which should also features number of other case improvements and avoid the need for unbranded GPU power adapters.