Earlier today, Intel announced its new initiative for tiny modular gaming PCs that let you swap out modular CPU cartridges (what Intel calls a “NUC Element”), and some PC component makers are already throwing their support behind the initiative. Razer today announced its new Tomahawk enclosure, and Cooler Master has announced its take, called the NC100.
The NC100 enclosure comes with the baseboard that’s designed to let you plug in an Intel NUC Element, and Cooler Master is throwing in one of its SFX-sized power supplies as well. Basically, all you’re getting is a computer case, a place for the computer’s brain, and a power supply for the computer. That means if you want to make a full-fledged gaming PC, you’ll have to get the rest of the parts on your own — including that NUC Element.
Fortunately, it looks like the enclosure is big enough that you’ll have space to fit the full-length graphics card of your choice. (If you were curious, the case is 7.5L in volume, according to a Cooler Master rep, which means the NC100 splits the difference in size between Intel’s 5L NUC 9 Extreme enclosure and Razer’s 10L Tomahawk enclosure.)
The NC100 will cost $199.99 when it ships in Q2 2020 (tentatively April, Cooler Master tells The Verge).
If you just want to buy a turnkey solution for the NC100 case, though, CyberPowerPC will offer custom configurations that you can purchase. Those will have a CPU, a discrete graphics GPU from AMD or Nvidia, up to three M.2 PCIe storage slots, and up to 32GB of RAM. However, CyberPowerPC hasn’t shared pricing or expected availability for those yet.
What Cooler Master is offering with the NC100 is pretty similar to what Razer is offering with the Tomahawk. Razer also plans to sell the Tomahawk enclosure on its own, though we don’t know what that will cost just yet.
There is one key difference in Razer’s plans, though: when the Tomahawk enclosure does go on sale, Razer will only sell you the case — with the NC100, you also get a power supply and a baseboard where you can slot in the CPU — leaving it up to you to source everything else for the PC.
Razer says that, this June, it will ship a full PC in the Tomahawk enclosure, like what Cooler Master and CyberPowerPC are offering with their turnkey computer. Razer is aiming for a starting price of just over $2,000 for that.