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The HDPLEX H3.SODD is designed to cool a mini-ITX based media PC system without the use of cooling fans and in this role, it is a great success. With 2.5" drives now reaching a terabyte in capacity, it's possible to store huge HD movie and music collections in a couple of quiet local drives, while maintaining super snappy performance with an affordable SSD for the OS. The Bluray option is also useful, though it comes with a sizeable price tag.
The heatpipe system cools the sample system's i3-2120 processor well, and we expect it would work well to perhaps 80~95W TDP processors. But there's no need to go up to such hot CPUs when even the modest i3-2120 is perfectly capable of handling any HD media task you can ask of it easily. About the only tasks that might benefit from more processing power is extensive encoding of long HD video clips.
The H3.SODD case works well, looks great, and its built well. The design is very attractive:
- In contrast to the H10.ODD, which we consider too deep to be easily placed in many applications (read: shelves), the H3 has a much friendlier depth of 13.5".
- With the PSU mounted on one heatsink bank, the coolings fins on both sides have a real purpose.
- Compared to other fanless mini-ITX case offerings, the H3.SODD is more stylish (re: Coolermaster TC-100 or Logic Supply SolidLogic Montivina), cools better (re: Coolermaster TC-100 and mCubed HFX Micro S13) and is probably better built and cheaper than any of them.
The H3.SODD is listed on HDPLEX's site at US$228. For the option to slip a truly silent, high performance, and high end style media machine under your big screen TV or in your stereo rack, it strikes us as a modest price.
Our thanks to HDPLEX for the H3.SODD fanless case sample.
The HDPLEX H3.SODD wins an SPCR Editor's Choice Award.
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Coolermaster's Fanless TC-100 mini-ITX case
mCubed's HFX mini: Fanless HTPC "heatsink case"
Logic Supply SolidLogic Montivina Fanless Mini-ITX System
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this article in the SPCR Forums.
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