Advice FormD T1 vs Ncase M1 - Silent build... but also transportable?

Lallo

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jun 1, 2018
39
2
I've been following the SFF community for a while and it was time to build my own SFF build.
I've been very interested in the FormD T1 and I did actually order it just a few days ago. However I know realized that I might have done a mistake.
I was planning to use an 120mm AIO to cool the CPU, but since I've never used an AIO before I didn't even know about pump noise. After watching a few videos online I just realized that I might not be able to handle that type of noise if the computer is suppose to sit on my desk (which probably will be the case).

This got me looking into the Ncase M1 and "silent air-cooled" builds, using a lot of noctua fans, deshrouding and C14S cpu cooler.
But the cons for me with ncase is that it is larger in volume and doesn't support as large GPUs, making it harder to buy a fitting GPU.

So now I'm stuck.
Should I just keep waiting for the FormD T1 and live with AIO pump noise? Or would an alpenfohn black ridge be enough?
Or should I cancel the order and get an Ncase?
And is it worth getting an used Ncase V5? I see a lot of deals on this case for half the price what I would pay for a new v6. As far as I know the main difference is the extra ventilation on the side panel and the GPU support is 300mm not 290mm? (Is this correct? I'm having hard time finding the correct GPU size compability with the V5).

Potential cooling in FormD T1:
1. 3 slot GPU (deshroud depending on gpu)+ 120 AIO + Noctua a12x25 at the top.
2. 3 slot GPU (deshroud depending on gpu)+ Alpenföhn Black Ridge + 2x Noctua a12x25 at the top.
3. 3 slot GPU (deshroud depending on gpu)+ 240 AIO + x2 Noctua a12x15 on radiator

Potential cooling in Ncase m1:
1. C14S + x2 Noctua a12x25 + deshrouded GPU.
Following THIS guide

The CPU I'm going to use is a Ryzen 3700x and GPU will be any RTX 3070 that has great cooling or can be deshrouded for better cooling performance.

TL;DR: Ordered an FormD T1 and don't know if the cooling with be enough / AIO pump noise will annoy me and wonder if I should change to Ncase M1 v6 or v5 (v5 can be found cheaper and maybe worth it).
 

elvendawn

Trash Compacter
Nov 12, 2020
41
20
Check out Optimum Tech, he has been using the T1 for a while and has lots of good info on his channel related to it. (For example: The Liquid Cooled T1 Build is Complete! - Optimum Tech TL;DW he has a custom loop, not aio, but his build is super quiet in APEX with higher watt parts)

I believe you can achieve a great build in either case that is cool and quiet in medium to heavy workloads with your chosen cpu/gpu with air or water. Research proper water orientations and quality aio pumps that are likely to be quieter, as well as testing different pump speeds. My only concern would be the 3070 in the T1, without a custom water loop that includes the gpu, won't be as quiet as in the M1 with a deshroud. However you can likely make up for that with undervolt and/or reduced power limit in MSI Afterburner if noise is your primary concern over a few FPS drop.
 

Lallo

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jun 1, 2018
39
2
Check out Optimum Tech, he has been using the T1 for a while and has lots of good info on his channel related to it. (For example: The Liquid Cooled T1 Build is Complete! - Optimum Tech TL;DW he has a custom loop, not aio, but his build is super quiet in APEX with higher watt parts)

I believe you can achieve a great build in either case that is cool and quiet in medium to heavy workloads with your chosen cpu/gpu with air or water. Research proper water orientations and quality aio pumps that are likely to be quieter, as well as testing different pump speeds. My only concern would be the 3070 in the T1, without a custom water loop that includes the gpu, won't be as quiet as in the M1 with a deshroud. However you can likely make up for that with undervolt and/or reduced power limit in MSI Afterburner if noise is your primary concern over a few FPS drop.

I've watched all his videos several times.
I actually feel that his custom loop isnt that silent at all. Yes the fans are almost not even audible but in exchange the coil whine fromhis GPU and other components make this annoying high pitched hiss that is even more annoying than fan noise.
Also I'm not planning to do something as complicated as a custom loop.
 
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elvendawn

Trash Compacter
Nov 12, 2020
41
20
Well it sounds like silence is a higher priority than size/portability, which should help guide your decisions. You've done your research and have a good plan laid out for the M1 should you choose to switch. Also water/air makes no difference for gpu coil whine and some cards are just worse than others, however it will be more noticeable the more quit you get. You've selected quality parts that are going to perform well and have much less power draw, which is going to make them much easier to keep cool and quiet.

I don't know much about the Black Ridge with 2x A12s, but I know the C14S can keep my UV i9-9900KS under 70c at load with 60% max fan speed in my Sliger Cerberus, this cpu is pulling about 180watt with the UV, which is 30watt more than a 3700x at stock voltages in max load. In my situation the 2xA14s at 60% speed is slightly above ambient noise, they are audible but barely. Add on a 3fan 2080 limited 80% max power, it pulls in the neighborhood of 190watts under load, this results in the card ramping up audibly only slightly above ambient, but more than the cpu. Combined, it's noticeable, but very quiet and not noticeable with normal volume speakers playing.

I'm sure you can achieve better with the M1 and a deshroud. It's also might be worth trying to block off the side vents on the M1 to force top/rear > down airflow, assuming temperatures don't suffer you can sound deaden the sides or put tempered glass, which is pretty good at blocking/absorbing sound from inside your case.


I hope it all works out man! I'll be doing something similar and looking forward to seeing a build log. :)
 

Lallo

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jun 1, 2018
39
2
Well it sounds like silence is a higher priority than size/portability, which should help guide your decisions. You've done your research and have a good plan laid out for the M1 should you choose to switch. Also water/air makes no difference for gpu coil whine and some cards are just worse than others, however it will be more noticeable the more quit you get. You've selected quality parts that are going to perform well and have much less power draw, which is going to make them much easier to keep cool and quiet.

I don't know much about the Black Ridge with 2x A12s, but I know the C14S can keep my UV i9-9900KS under 70c at load with 60% max fan speed in my Sliger Cerberus, this cpu is pulling about 180watt with the UV, which is 30watt more than a 3700x at stock voltages in max load. In my situation the 2xA14s at 60% speed is slightly above ambient noise, they are audible but barely. Add on a 3fan 2080 limited 80% max power, it pulls in the neighborhood of 190watts under load, this results in the card ramping up audibly only slightly above ambient, but more than the cpu. Combined, it's noticeable, but very quiet and not noticeable with normal volume speakers playing.

I'm sure you can achieve better with the M1 and a deshroud. It's also might be worth trying to block off the side vents on the M1 to force top/rear > down airflow, assuming temperatures don't suffer you can sound deaden the sides or put tempered glass, which is pretty good at blocking/absorbing sound from inside your case.


I hope it all works out man! I'll be doing something similar and looking forward to seeing a build log. :)

Does this mean that getting a V5 Ncase could be a good idea to force airflow?
The Ncase v5 only supports 290mm cards in 3 slot though....
 

elvendawn

Trash Compacter
Nov 12, 2020
41
20
I can't really give you a recommendation on what to buy, but I can do my best to provide information you can use make your decision. I don't have either an M1 v5 or v6.1 (yet), so I don't know the exact limits without researching myself. It does look like the v5 is more restrictive in airflow on the sides around the video card slot, that could be good or bad depending on your goals. If your goal is to stick the well established setups, I recommend just following M1AF's guide, and consider that good enough, and it very likely is.

I also think the M1 is a prime candidate, with some tweaks/customizations, for a top>down or bottom>up airflow that would have better fluid dynamics with fewer number of fans and allowing for reduced fan noise turbulence that will have a cascading effect by allowing for solid side panels to block and absorb more sound than perforated sides. In this case I don't think it would matter if you had a v5 or v6.1. So far I've not found examples of this in the M1 so I don't know how well it will work or if at all, hopefully others might know, however I still plan on trying.

It looks like most of the RTX 3070s are going to fit in there. Saw this referenced in the v6.1 compatibility guide.
 

tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
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1,589
As much as being a traditionalist myself, I think, however, if you have no preference between the traditional layout (M1) or the sandwich style (T1) and have no dislike of a riser cable, I would suggest trying out the T1 first, which is 'state-of-the-art' and a much more recent design) and especially you have already ordered it.

For 3700X, I think the T1 recommended NH-L12S or the Black Ridge should cool it sufficiently. I do not think an 120 AIO is needed. If so, you still have the option to hunt down a quiet pump.

My 2 cents.

BTW, consider doing a Build Log for the entertainment of all of us here. Thanks.
 

Lallo

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jun 1, 2018
39
2
As much as being a traditionalist myself, I think, however, if you have no preference between the traditional layout (M1) or the sandwich style (T1) and have no dislike of a riser cable, I would suggest trying out the T1 first, which is 'state-of-the-art' and a much more recent design) and especially you have already ordered it.

For 3700X, I think the T1 recommended NH-L12S or the Black Ridge should cool it sufficiently. I do not think an 120 AIO is needed. If so, you still have the option to hunt down a quiet pump.

My 2 cents.

BTW, consider doing a Build Log for the entertainment of all of us here. Thanks.

I also thought the Black Rigde could cool it at first. Then I watched this video and I must say I wasn't really impressed with the sound ( check 9.00). I think that might be a bit loud for me even if the recording isn't the best.

Hmm I keep changing my mind. Earlier today I was sure I'll be going for the Ncase because I watched this video and thought the humming of the AIO was to annoying but now you changed my mind again,

Pump noise is @ 2.09 and the reviewer says that the pump noise is noticable when the panel is open but not closed. And I don't see that the T1 would have any kind of sound isolation.

Anyway... Still not decided ^^ Maybe I'll get both and try for myself.
 

Thac0

Chassis Packer
Nov 12, 2020
20
9
This was pretty close to the decision I was faced with. I went with the M1 case to give myself a little more room for error. I also thought the additional height with the feet would help cool in less friendly environments (like carpet). Most of my travel is via car, so the additional volume isn't a major problem.

Airline travel is a little trickier. In the US, an M1 + soft case should come under carry-on weight fairly easily. Non-US airlines typically have lower allowed weight for carry-ons. If being able to bring your computer via carry-on is important to you, I'd look into what airlines you expect to fly on and what their carry-on policy is.
 

tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
1,742
1,589
I also thought the Black Rigde could cool it at first. Then I watched this video and I must say I wasn't really impressed with the sound ( check 9.00). I think that might be a bit loud for me even if the recording isn't the best.

....

Anyway... Still not decided ^^ Maybe I'll get both and try for myself.
But remember that that was Dan A4, which, IMHO, does not have better air ventilation than T1, considering the T1 mesh side panels and the top panel being more porous, thus allowing more air to go in and out for cooling, thus lowering the fan speed and associated noise. Also, T1 allows 2 top fans, allowing better ventilation. One can, of course, argues that having higher porosity and more fans means more noise coming out though.

As I suggested, try T1 and do all you with it. If you still do not like it, try M1.