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February 18, 2013 by Lawrence Lee

Fanless microATX Chassis

HDPLEX is one of the few manufacturers filling the niche of the passively cooled PC chassis. They have currently have three models, all adhering to the low profile HTPC style. The H10, H5, and H3 have varying footprints depending on your needs but the one thing they have in common is they wouldn't look amiss stacked with high end audio/video gear in a home theater cabinet or stand. This puts them in a different class than conventional air-cooled HTPC cases which are often too big, and generate an undesirable level of noise.

Specifications: HDPLEX H5.TODD
(from the product web page)
Material & Color Material: 6063T Aluminum Alloy
Body: Black
Faceplate: Silver or Black
Body Finish: Durable Powder Coating
Black Faceplate Finish: Powder Coating
Silver Faceplate Finish: Brushed Aluminum
Weight 16 lbs(7.5kg)
Dimension Internal 325x370x55mm (L x W x H)
External 325x438x60mm (L x W x H)
Faceplate 460x70x15mm(L x W x D)
Power Supply (Optional) All PicoPSU Supported
80W Internal Fanless PSU Supported
DC 5/2.5 Single PIN Connector Supported
DC 4PIN-MINI-DIN Connector Supported
IEC AC Input Supported
Internal Mounting for FSP 150W Adapter
Cooling System Intel LGA775/1155/1156 Socket Supported
AMD AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2 Socket APU Supported
HDPLEX Fanless CPU Heatsink System support 75W TDP CPU on H5/H3 Series
Compatibility Mini-ITX and MicroATX Supported
3.5" HDD and 2.5" SSD/HDD Supported
Full Height Single Slot PCI/E Card Supported
Slim Tray Loading Optical Drive Supported
Front Ports USB 2.0/3.0 Port: One*
IR Port: One (Optional Internal IR Receiver)

*Internal USB 2.0/3.0 Cable Included

Manufacture Warranty Parts 1 year limited
Labor 1 year limited
Packaging Double Packaged
Dimension: 24"x20"x8"
Shipping Weight: 9kg/20 lbs

The H5 is essentially a sleeker, refined version of the H10 we reviewed two years ago. Both are constructed of an aluminum alloy and support microATX motherboards. The full-sized optical drive option of the H10 has been removed in in the H5 for one of the slim variety, resulting in a shallower chassis. This reduces the size of the cooling heatsinks, so the CPU TDP limit is 75W rather than 125W, which is of little concern given the continuing imporvements in CPU power efficiency. The change also creates enough space underneath the optical drive for an extra 2.5 inch drive in addition to the already existing two 2.5/3.5 inch mounts. Finally, the H5 sports a front USB 3.0 port while the H10 lacked front USB altogether.

The HDPLEX H5.TODD (above) and H5.S (below).

The H5 is available in two different flavors, the US$275 H5.TODD and US$258 H5.S. The main difference is that H5.S lacks an optical drive option. Main chassis is power coated, but one improvement to improve cooling efficiency is that the power coating has been removed from the grooves where the heatpipes contact the side of the case. The powder coated paint was an extra thermal impedance between the heatsink and the hetapipes; eliminating that layer should provide at least a few degrees of cooling improvement. Currently, the H5.S is only available with one faceplate color, black with a powder coat, while the H5.TODD offers a brushed silver option. The power coated facia of the H5.S gives it a more industrial look, while the brushed aluminum of the H5.TODD offers a striking contrast that really pops. The sheer thickness of the nicely brushed aluminum front panel really gives the H5.TODD a very high end AV look. Given the functional similarity between the two cases, we're going to focus on the higher-end H5.TODD.


Our H5.TODD sample was configured with an open frame 80W internal power adapter and shipped with an AC power cord, a PCI-E 1x ribbon cable for the riser card option, and a combined short/long hex screwdriver for opening the top cover. The included accessories vary depending on the power supply and IR/remote options you select.

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