M1: The original crowdfunded computer case

The story of the M1 started with a simple idea: motivated by the shortcomings of what had come before, we set forth to do better. The road would be winding, with many paths explored, and abandoned. A grassroots effort from its inception, the design process involved the community of PC enthusiasts at every step of the way. From the overall aesthetic design, down to the smallest detail, every facet was subject to the scrutiny and feedback of hobbyists, DIY'ers, and average users alike.

Through the support of the community, the project successfully raised funds to have a prototype built and tested. This paved the way to a second crowdfunding campaign for a full production run, contracted to the respected case manufacturer, Lian Li. Nearly one thousand first edition M1s were successfully delivered to people all around the world.

The road has been long, but the end result speaks to the passion, dedication, and support of the community and everyone involved. We'd like to offer our sincerest thanks to all of our supporters that have stuck with us and helped to bring this project to fruition.

Minimalist in size and style

The M1 sets itself apart with its unique combination of high performance capability and exceptional flexibility, in a deceptively small and appealingly understated package. Coming in at a svelte 12.6 liters in volume, the all-aluminum chassis has the proportions - and features - of a much larger case. Looking like a conventional tower case, but on a much reduced scale, the M1 has a footprint smaller than many "cube"-style small form-factor cases. It's compact enough to pack into a carry-on, while the featherweight, yet sturdy, aluminum construction makes it easy to travel with.

Small case, big performance

Designed for the mini-ITX motherboard form-factor for maximum space savings, the M1 nevertheless sports big-case features. Support for a dual-slot video card up to 12" is possible by utilizing the full length of the case; a specially designed opening at the front of the chassis allows long cards to be installed with ease.

While other cases in this size class place strict limits on CPU cooler size, the M1 is able to accommodate 120mm- and 140mm-fan top-down coolers of up to 130mm in height. Thanks to the innovative dual side 120mm fan bracket, a single 120mm or 240mm all-in-one water cooling radiator can also be mounted internally.

Custom water cooling

For the truly hardcore, the M1's dual side 120mm fan mount allows for custom water cooling loops using a slim 240mm radiator. Kits such as Swiftech's H220 and Cooler Master's Glacer 240L make it easy, and include everything needed for fully internal water cooling. They can even be expanded to include the GPU in the loop, for greatly reduced noise under load, or for more overclocking headroom. Never before has this level of capability been possible in a case of this size. With properly set up water cooling, high performance, low noise, and small size is no longer a "choose two" proposition.

Purposeful design

With its sleek, subtly-faceted brushed aluminum front panel, the M1 presents a refined, minimalist face to the world. An angular, arched cutout exposes the front USB 3.0 and HD audio ports, flanking the central power button, whose two-color LED glows crisply - but not overly bright - when powered. Side and top panels are perforated with symmetrical ventilation areas, ensuring both visual harmony and proper system airflow.

Fully toolless exterior panels allow easy access to the interior, while keeping the clean, smooth surfaces free of the visual clutter of screws or fasteners. The simple upward-facing slot at the front of the top panel provides discreet access to the neatly integrated mount for a slim slot-loading optical drive.

A multitude of possibilities

The M1 was designed with flexibility in mind, so while long video cards and water cooling support are great features, not everyone needs them. If 240mm radiator support isn't required, a pair of 3.5" drives can be installed on the side bracket. At the front of the chassis, either an upward-facing slim slot-loading optical drive or a 2.5" drive may be mounted.

The fully ventilated case floor presents further configuration options, featuring a total of six different mounts for a combination of drives and/or fans. A single 3.5" drive plus an 80 or 92mm fan, or a 2.5" drive plus a 120mm fan are just two of the possible combinations. Utilizing the included stacking bracket, two 2.5" drives may be used on any of the 2.5" mounts. In total, between the side bracket and chassis mounting, up to three 3.5" drives or five 2.5" drives may be mounted, depending on other components.

The M1 is designed primarily to use an SFX power supply, for which it is best suited. However, if the dual 3.5" HDD cage or 240mm radiator support aren't needed, and a short GPU under (195mm long) is used, then an ATX power supply can be installed with an included bracket.

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