Intro: I have come a long way before achieving a pure happines cramped in a small form factor. My first build was build using Fractal Design Node 202. It was an awesome case to work with it and almost everything was fine, except temperatures. That's why I have decided to switch over Ncase M1, because I wanted to keep my computer as small as possible due to frequent traveling by plane, but still keep it quite and cool. By day I am game developer working with Unity Engine so that's why I have fast SSD in my PC, because switching or importing projects can really take a lot of time if your storage is too slow. By night I play games. A lot.
P.S. If you have any suggestion how can I improve the temps or speed of my computer please do not hesitate to comment!
Case: Ncase M1 v5. Should I say more? It's a really great case, that I had honor to build with. From first glance you can spot, that lot of thought and effort was put into developing it. But even the shiniest armor has some flows. First would be how easy is to leave fingerprints on it. You can barely touch it, and you would see a big, ugly thumb on it. Also a huge minus is no manual how to build in it. I know there is plenty of pictures and tutorials on the internet, but it required a lot of trial and error, before I was able to fit some parts inside. What's more I understand, that the case is pure aluminium, but it would be nice if top panel had some steel parts, because otherwise lot of dust will go through it without any magnetic filter.
I would strongly suggest, that if you are planning to get this case make sure that you know, that other hardware you chose would fit. There is barely any space left for errors.
CPU: I had i5 6600k from my "older" computer, so I have decided to keep it. There is no need to get something faster unless you are doing some heavy duty work that requries i7. For my needs it's more than enough.
GPU: This card is huge. I have spent 25 minutes trying to fit it inside, which requried bending front panel cables to the point, that I was afraid if they won't break. The biggest minus when you build with open cooler GPU and SFF case is, that hot air will be tramped inside your PC. That's why I have put 2 Be Quiet Silent Wings 3 High Speed below graphics card. Too keep air moving up.
CPU Cooler:It was hard to find Noctua C14, because it's no longer produced, but it's the biggest cooler from this manufacturer, that fits into Ncase M1. You can fit 2 x 25mm fans on it and there will be still some spare space between radiator and case fans.
Temperatures & Airflow: I know I might be rebel here, but my fans are placed in Push&Pull configuration starting from the bottom of CPU Cooler. It helps to keep hot air from staying inside the case with a sacrifice of bigger dust accumulation. What's more I have add another fan on the side panel, which also push the air out of the case. It seems to work, because when I play games (the only thing I do, that keeps my GPU at 100% all the time) I have max 60 degree Celcius on CPU and 62 degree Celcius on GPU. My CPU is running stock with 3.9GHz on load. My GPU runs 2012MHz for the clock and 8014MHz for memory. The only interesting thing to keep in mind, is that I undervolted my processor by -0.150mV, which was the lowest I can get before it becomes unstable (sudden crash while developing software is an easy way to loose hours of work).
Fans: Does using so much High Pressure fans sound reasonable? Yes if it comes on how these Be Quiet SilentWings3 fans are good at pushing air through obstacles. In different configuration for CPU Cooler I would definitely chose other components, but in this case more pressure is needed to push the air outside the case or through radiatior. I might test high airflow outtake fans on side panel in the future. Right now my pc is barely audible while working.
It's really important to note, that outtake fan from the side of the case is always going faster than CPU one in order to prevent hot air from GPU go through CPU radiator as much as possible.