Review : Cooler Master NCORE 100 MAX


Cooler Master has just released its new mini ITX case: the NCORE 100 MAX. It reinvents the concept of the mini PC, turning it into a lifestyle product. It arrives with a very pronounced style, but a little bulkier than its competition. So let’s take a look at this new model and compare it with the NZXT H1 – let’s go!

The exterior of the NCORE 100 MAX:

With this model, we have the option of changing the volume to allow large graphics cards to be fitted. Its dimensions are 155mm x 212mm x 481mm in normal mode, and 172mm x 212mm x 481mm in expansion mode. Indeed, this mini ITX model is particularly tall at 481mm. As for weight, we’re pretty light at 6.3 kg, including watercooling and power supply.

With this Cooler Master case, we have the right to a new type of lifestyle product and the design that goes with it. Like it or not, we love it. It’s a product that should go on your desk, a bit like a Mac mini, which has a larger footprint, by the way, because the NCORE 100 MAX is all height.

As for the price, as you can see, it’s a case that sells for around €399, depending on the store. And you’ll be entitled to two anodizing colors: dark grey or bronze.

The control panel :

The control panel is located at the foot of the case. Unlike other products, which generally offer a top-mounted interface. It’s pretty complete, but its position makes it a disadvantage if you want to put your PC on the floor. We find :

  • 3.5 mm headphone/microphone jack
  • One USB-C 3.2 Gen2
  • Two USB-A 3.2 Gen1
  • A power button

The underside :

It’s under the case that you’ll have access to your graphics card connectors. As for the feet, they give a significant height, which helps with the passage of hdmi and DisplayPort cables. This height is also useful for allowing components to breathe.

Rear :

Unlike the NZXT H1, which has all its connections underneath, the NCORE 100 MAX has all the motherboard I/O on the rear. This makes connections so much easier and more accessible. There’s also a power supply connection. And there’s an exhaust fan, just as you’d find on a normal case.

The top :

Finally, we come to the top, where we find a protective grille for the watercooling included with the case. This AIO is a bit special, as the 120mm radiator is much thicker than that found on the competition. Unable to integrate a long radiator of the 240mm type, Cooler Master, aptly named, decided to increase the thickness to provide more surface area for heat dissipation.

It’s also worth noting that, with the radiator at the top of the case, it allows cool air to be taken in and hot air to be extracted directly from the case. A big difference from the NZXT H1, which takes air from components that are already hot, we’ll soon see the difference in our tests.