Streacom FC9 HTPC Case Review
Here at OC3D we often comment on the sonic footprint of a particular component. We will frequently refer to something as being "practically silent" or " nearly inaudible". The desk top PC sitting next to you in your Man Cave may well be very quiet indeed, and eminently acceptable to you in that environment, and if it is the likely hood is you've gone to great lengths and reasonable expense to make it so. Stick it in the lounge however and if you don't notice how intrusive the albeit gentle hum of the fans can be, then your good lady most likely will. While she's at it, she might also point out how ugly the big black case is.
Enter then the FC9 from Streacom. Utilising direct touch heat pipe technology to dissipate heat away from the CPU, the FC9 is able to boast silent operation. And we don't just mean really quiet, we mean totally silent. There are a couple of caveats with regards to max TDP but we'll come to those later. For now suffice to say you're not going to be using it as the base for a monster gaming PC, but then that's not the point of this case.
Available in either Black or the Silver we have for review you're not going to have too much of a problem matching the FC9 to your other Home entertainment components. And with the thick extruded Aluminium chassis you'll be left in no doubt as to the quality of the build.
|Chassis||All extruded Aluminium. Front 4mm, Sides 9mm|
|Colours||Sand Blast finish Black or Silver|
|Motherboard support||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX|
|Storage||3x2.5" or 1x3.5" and 1.2.5"|
|Optical Drive support||1x slim slot loading, left or right eject button|
|Expansion slots||3x low profile|
|USB support||2xUSB2 (side facing)|
|Cooling||Direct touch Heat pipes x4|
|Power supply||Nano 150, nano 150XT, Nano 180XT or Streaflex 250 (none included)|
|Remote control||MCE Compatible IR receiver and remote (not included)|
TDP or Thermal Design Power is a metric that helps define the amount of heat a CPU generates and as such aids in determining the amount of heat any cooling system will need to dissipate. Streacom say that in well ventilated conditions with good airflow a CPU with a max of 95W can be used, however they strongly recommend that as prevailing conditions and the ambient room temperature can impact on the cooling performance of the Direct touch cooling system, that a CPU with a TDP no greater than 65W is used. In real terms what this means is that you're going to be looking at low TDP chips such as the i3 3225 or Core i5 and i7 offerings with the S or T suffix such as the i5 3475S, i7 3770S, 3770T. Alternatively there are quite a few low TDP CPUs with integrated Graphic from AMD such as the Trinity series (FM2) A10-5700, A8-5600, A8-5500 and A85400K to name but a few.
The FC9 we have for review today came with a Nano 150 fanless power supply/adapter unit. There are a number of PSU's available for the FC9 as detailed above and it should be noted that these are a retail option and are not included with the purchase of the case. The Nano 150 used in this review costs in the region of £80 so should you decide to treat yourself remember to factor in this additional cost. The Nano 150 as you might have already guessed is a 150W unit which is ample to power the sort of components the FC9 is designed to accept. Mobo and CPU naturally, along with 3x2.5" SSDs or 1x3.5"HDD and a single 2.5" SSD. An optical drive and a low profile TV/satalite card are also within it's capabilities but care should be taken not to over load the PSU much further.