Cooler Master NCore 100 Max: A Compact and Powerful PC Case for High-End Builds

The Cooler Master NCore 100 Max vertical PC case, first showcased at Computex, is now hitting the retail market. Designed to cater to gamers who prefer a small footprint without compromising on power, this case is ideal for building systems with large GPUs, like the RTX 4090. However, its $379 price tag reflects its premium status in the market.

Dec 31, 2023 - 00:02
Jan 13, 2024 - 07:21
Cooler Master NCore 100 Max: A Compact and Powerful PC Case for High-End Builds

Design and Features of the NCore 100 Max

The NCore 100 Max offers a 96-percent layout, meaning it’s almost a full-size keyboard with a compact form factor. The case, measuring 14.84 inches long, 5.16 inches wide, and 1.57 inches tall, is built to fit into small spaces while still accommodating powerful hardware. It features a metal mesh front and an aluminum alloy top plate, prioritizing both aesthetics and ventilation.

Pre-Installed Components:

  • 850W SFX Modular Power Supply: Ready for high-end builds and ATX 3.0 compliant.
  • 120mm AIO Cooler: Thick cooler to handle powerful CPUs, pre-installed for ease of setup.
  • PCIe 4.0 Riser Cable: Included for vertical GPU mounting.

Ease of Installation and Cable Management

Building a system in the NCore 100 Max is facilitated by pre-installed components like the PSU and AIO cooler. The case's design allows for straightforward disassembly and reassembly, with side panels easily removable for regular cleaning of the dust filters. Cable management is a key feature, with most cables routed up one corner of the case, confined in a small space without adding bulk.

Also Check AMD's CES 2024 Event: Unveiling New Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs

GPU Compatibility and Installation

The NCore 100 Max supports graphics cards up to 13.27 inches long and 2.44 inches thick as standard. For larger GPUs, an "expanded mode" allows for cards up to 14.06 inches long and 3.11 inches thick. This versatility makes it compatible with most high-end GPUs, although fitting larger cards like the RTX 4090 requires some adjustments.

Challenges and Considerations

One challenge with the NCore 100 Max is the power cable setup, which may require checking for loose connections upon initial setup. The compact nature of the case also limits options for storage, with a tight fit for a 2.5-inch SSD or hard drive. Users may prefer to rely on M.2 slots on their motherboards or external storage solutions.

Performance and Acoustics

The NCore 100 Max, with its open-frame design and ample ventilation, is not designed for quiet operations. The front-facing AIO cooler and PSU fan contribute to the noise, especially with high-end GPUs generating significant heat and fan activity.

CPU Cooling Considerations

While the 120mm AIO cooler handles most CPUs efficiently, users aiming for high-end CPU-intensive tasks should consider the thermal demands. The NCore 100 Max might not be the ideal choice for those seeking the absolute best performance from top-tier CPUs.

Pricing and Value Assessment

The NCore 100 Max's price point of $379 positions it as a premium offering in the small form-factor case market. While expensive, the inclusion of a high-quality PSU and AIO cooler adds value, especially for those looking to build a high-end gaming PC in a compact space. The price might still be a deterrent for some, but discounts could make it more appealing.

Conclusion: A Compact Powerhouse with Premium Pricing

Cooler Master's NCore 100 Max stands out as a compact, well-ventilated case capable of housing powerful gaming systems. Its ability to accommodate large GPUs, combined with a solid build and efficient design, makes it a strong contender for gamers and enthusiasts. However, the high cost and potential noise levels might require consideration for those on a budget or seeking a quieter setup.