mCubed's HFX mini: Fanless HTPC "heatsink case"

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To get inside the system you simply lift the polycarbonate cover at the back and then carefully pull it towards the front. The interior is relatively tidy given how much hardware is stuffed into the enclosure. As you can see on the photo below the motherboard is located in the upper right corner with the PCI expansion cards taking up the rest of the backside. Towards the front there's the slimline optical-drive inside the custom silencing box. Below and to the left of the optical drive there are two HDD silencing boxes which contain the two hard-drives. The bottom of the enclosure is full of ventilation holes which (combined with the relatively open cover) encourages convection airflow.

An overview of the internal layout.

A set of 4 heatpipes runs between the processor and the right side heatsink. The same arrangement is used for the north birdge chip. As we learned in our interview with mCubed back in August, the large number of heatpipes ensures a safety buffer. That means that even if one of the heatpipes doesn't work (for whatever reason), the chips are still cooled efficiently.

The heatpipe cooling setup for the processor and the chipset.

As the HFX mini relies on an external AC-DC power-brick, the 12VDC current has to be stepped down to the different voltage rails required by the ATX standard. This is where the internal DC-DC adapter comes in. It's mounted right behind the storage devices, a position which allows for efficient cable routing without blocking any of the convection airflow in the case.

The internal DC-DC adapter.

For the PCI expansion cards a flexible dual PCI-riser card is used in order to keep the system relatively small.

The soundcard and TV-card are mounted via a dual card PCI-riser.

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