Streacom FC5 OD Fanless HTPC Case

Cases|Damping
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TESTING

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Prime95 processor stress software
  • FurMark stability test to stress the integrated GPU
  • ATITool, also for GPU stress
  • SpeedFan and Intel Desktop Utilities to monitor system temperatures
  • Extec 380803 AC power analyzer, to measure power consumption

The case was tested with two different processors, the low power i3-2100T (35W TDP) and the standard i3-2100 (65W TDP). Temperature and power data for four different states were and recorded the temperatures after they stabilized, and up to about an hour of full continuous load. Internal component sensor readings were noted and an external thermometer was used to measure the hottest points on external casing. No effort was made to measure noise.

The only source of noise in this case will be hard drives, so they are what you need to pay attention to for noise here. Use SSDs and there will be no noise.

TEST 1: with i3-2100T

TEST 1: Streacom FC5 OD with i3-2100T CPU
Temps
Idle
H.264 Playback
CPU Load
CPU + GPU Load
CPU
32°C
38°C
60°C
62°C
PCH*
48°C
52°C
60°C
62°C
HDD
32°C
35°C
35°C
35°C
Heatsink
27°C
30°C
50°C
53°C
AC Power
32W
38~41W
62W
67W
Ambient temperature: 21°C

The case cooling system is perfectly able to handle the thermal load of this low power CPU. At idle and during video playback, the system ran cool with exterior temperatures stabilizing at around 30°C, while the internal CPU and hard drive temperatures stayed below 40°C. On load, the exterior became warm to the touch but never hot, while the CPU heated up to modest levels. The right heatsinks (to which the PSU is clamped) always stayed at least 5°C cooler than the left heatsinks (which handle the CPU heat). These are excellent cooling results, though thermal load is low.

TEST 2: with i3-2100

TEST 2: Streacom FC5 OD with i3-2100 CPU
Temps
Idle
H.264 Playback
CPU Load
CPU + GPU Load
CPU
32°C
38°C
69°C
74°C
PCH*
48°C
52°C
63°C
65°C
HDD
32°C
35°C
36°C
36°C
Heatsink
27°C
30°C
55°C
57°C
AC Power
32W
38~41W
72W
91W
Ambient temperature: 21°C

There was no appreciable difference in cooling between the standard 65W TDP i3-2100 and the low power version in idle or HD video playback. But at load, there was a substantial difference which grew wider the longer the test was run. At the start of the CPU + GPU stress test, the AC power draw was around 85W, but as things heated up, the board's efficiency seemed to decline so that at the end of an hour, power reached 91W. At 74°C, the standard i3-2100 ran 12°C than the T version. It did not actually throttle, but I bet it was close.

Keep in mind that the last test, simultaneously running Prime95 and Furmark maxed out on all cores, is a totally over the top, extreme test. Nothing anyone does on a HTPC will push the system so hard. The most demanding task you are likely to ask of a HTPC will be to encode H.264 video to 1080p MP4, either from a true 1080p HD video camera or a Bluray rip. Using an application like Handbrake for this purpose will max the load on all CPU cores, and if it is a long video, it will definitely take a while. This might bring power demand to about 90% of Prime95. In other words, on our test system here with the standard i3-2100, maximum actual use power will not exceed 65~67W AC. This means the Streacom FC5 OD can, in fact, be used safely with a CPU of up to 65W TDP.



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