I had been running a build in a Bitfenix Prodigy for a while and liked it fine but thought that, for what I was using it for (light gaming, some virtualization, everyday computer tasks), it was still too big.
I don't overclock, I have two drives in it at most, and I can't remember the last time I'd used the disc drive.
I'd seen the NCASE M1 a bunch online and really liked it, so I decided to transplant all of the parts from my last-ish gen Haswell Prodigy build into an M1.
I love the NCASE M1. It's a great size and looks fantastic. I'm impressed with the flexibility built into the mounting for fans and drives.
One complaint, which I knew going into this, was that there isn't a manual included. I figured it all out because of documents the NCASE people have on their site, but a lot of the stuff I found online was for older revisions of the case (mine is v5, I found a lot of v2 documentation).
The case is a bit pricey too, but I think it's worth it. If I were to go for a cheaper mini-ITX case, I think the Fractal Node 202 would be my first stop.
Watercooling seems to be a popular choice with the NCASE M1, but wasn't a good fit for me. I don't overclock, and didn't want more noise and maintenance than necessary, so I'm only cooling with air.
The NCASE people recommend top-down CPU coolers, which was tricky. I would have loved to have used a Cryorig C1, but I've seen a lot of builds here and on other forums that struggle with making larger top-down coolers like the C1 fit in the NCASE M1.
I've only done very mild customization in terms of how the fans run both for the CPU and case and I'm not super happy with the temps, but I'll probably do more tinkering to strike the right balance of quiet and cool.
Intel Core i5 4430
This CPU has been fine for me for some gaming (mostly Blizzard games these days) and occasional virtualization. This replaced an AMD Phenom II X4 955 a few years ago and I've had no complaints.
I've never been drawn to overclocking because of the added heat and power, but I don't really know a ton about it so I'll look into it in the next iteration of my build.
The Z87E-ITX has been great, the only thing I would change about it would be to add another case fan header.
Crucial Ballistix 16GB
16GB has been plenty for me. I chose this kit because its heatspreaders are very low-profile. I think it also has lower CAS latency than a lot of comparable kits, but that probably makes absolutely no real-world difference.
The Samsung Pro 850 was probably overkill for what I needed. I could have gotten a cheaper, higher capacity model and not noticed any difference.
I'm using the 2TB drive mostly for serving movies and TV shows off of Plex, so I'd like to get a home NAS (probably some 2-bay QNAP or Synology ) sometime in the next few months and get a MSATA SSD with more capacity (probably 500GB) to save on space, noise, and heat.
Corsair SF 450
The Corsair SF 450 is a fantastic PSU. I don't draw a lot of power with this machine so I'm very comfortable at 450 watts, and the modularity and performance of it are impressive. I don't think I've seen its fan spin up yet!
I may replace the stock cables with sleeved, shorter length cables.
Sapphire Radeon R9 380 Compact
The R9 380 has worked fine for me, but it probably didn't need to be as small as it is. In the Prodigy and even in the M1, a full-sized card works just fine.
For smaller cases, the conventional wisdom seems to be to go with a graphics card with a blower-style cooler, so I'll upgrade to one of those with more VRAM when I have the chance.
I'm pretty happy with how everything's turned out in this build. I do feel like I've kinda missed the train with this current gen and am missing out on some cool things (DDR4, M.2, etc.), but this machine does what I need it to do and looks fantastic.
Thanks for reading! Formatting shamelessly stolen from Eltech