Streacom FC5 OD Fanless HTPC Case

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The Streacom FC5 OD case feels sturdy, with a nice, contour-machined, 10mm thick front panel. The top, bottom and back panels are around 2.4mm thick, and sturdy enough not to flex under some pressure.

The sandblasted black finish is not the most attractive I've seen. Unlike the sandblasted natural aluminum finish on Silverstone and Apple cases I've examined closely, minor routine handling often left visible smudges on this very lightly pebbled finish, as if it somehow magnified any dry skin or skin oil residues.

As you'd expect. it's quite nice looking, with subtly rounded corners on the front panel corners and all the side heatsink fins. The front panel is minimalist, with only an optical disk slot, power button with tiny LED light above it, and a small round window that's probably a sensor for an optical remote receiver. The top panel is vented in the area over where the CPU would be.

The side view shows the thick front panel, and the multiple holes through which screws go in to clamp the heatpipes to the heatsink. Note that the side heatsink is actually not a single piece, but two half-length pieces clamped together with two screws in the middle.

The back panel features the 1/O cutout for the motherboard, a single slot cover with some vent holes below it, and a removable rectangular cutout meant for routing a power connector.

The bottom panel has plastic damped feet in the corners, and like the top, it is vented with a pattern of holes, but nearer the other back corner, where there are mounting holes for a 3.5" drive.

Not much to see inside except mounting tray for the optical drive, mounting points for the hard drives and motherboard, and cables from power switch, LED, and that IR remote sensor. None of these cables are identified in the downloaded PDF installation manual. There are extremely thin grommets for the HDD mounting holes; they don't look like they'd do anything to damp vibration.

Closeup of the joint on the side heatsink. Both sides have the same 2-piece assembly. Presumably, as the heatpipes are clamped to both halves of the heatsink, the impact of any thermal resistance at this joint should be minuscule.

The Streacom FC5 OD is fairly close in overall design to the HDPLEX H10.ODD fanless microATX case we reviewed about a year ago, the main difference being the latter's greater depth, which allows the use of a standard size optical drive.

Strong resemblance of overall design to HDPLEX H10.ODD case.

In both the FC5 OD and the H10.ODD, the heatpipes for the CPU are meant to be clamped to the right side heatsink. The distance to the left side heatsinks is much greater, and the horizontal card slot would get blocked if the heatpipes were oriented to that side. This demands a certain type of layout for the board: Ideally the CPU socket should be very close to the right side heatsink, and there should be no ports or tall motherboard components between the CPU socket and that edge of the board.

This is different from the HDPLEX H3.SODD fanless mini-ITX case, which forgoes the horizontal card slot and gains the option to use either left or right heatsinks to cool the CPU.

Asus P8H67-I Deluxe socket 1155 mini-ITX board fits in HDPLEX H3.ODD case, with CPU heatpipes running to the left side heatsinks. The heatpipes cannot run to the right side heatsinks because the SATA ports would be blocked.

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