We're not trying to get you to read an article about a so called "high-end" HTPC case, what we have here is a community designed and crowdfunded project to make a mini-ITX enclosure that will house the most powerful CPUs and hold the most brutal graphics cards. Combine this with the the capacity for internal watercooling and it's clear that the NCASE M1 prototype is something that PC enthusiasts can and should get properly excited about.
The folks behind this are two enthusiasts from Hardforum who designed this enclosure due to their belief that "the potential of the Mini-ITX form factor has been stunted by the lack of high performance cases currently available for the platform. We also share a dissatisfaction towards the overuse of plastic, mediocre aesthetics, bloated case dimensions and lack of watercooling support common to many Mini-ITX cases".
The case measures in at 240 mm by 160 mm by 328 mm and obviously the weight is unknown since no prototype has been built yet. The case supports both mini-ITX and mini-DTX motherboards, along with graphics cards that eat up up to three expansion slots. Graphics cards with two-slot coolers can be up to 12.5" long, and with three slot coolers up to 11-inces long. The CPU cooler can be up to 105 mm tall and the enclosure can support both 120 mm radiators along with 240 mm radiators in multiple positions.
Also included are up to three 3.5" HDD mounts, three 2.5" drive mounts and one mount for a slim optical drive. The power supplies that will fit include SFX and ATX form factors, the former giving a bit more room for expansion or water cooling. Front I/O features two USB 3.0 ports along with a headphone and microphone jack.
The NCASE M1 has already reached its $3,000 funding goal on Indiegogo and has announced that the chassis will be built by none other than Lian Li and is expected to have a market price of between $160 and $200. If you'd like to contribute to the project, $10 will get you on the early shipping list (delivery by April 2013) and $2,000 will get you the actual prototype after testing is complete.