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Old November 23, 2012, 08:21 PM
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cyberspyder cyberspyder is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Markham, Ontario, Canadeh
Posts: 121
Default Streacom Passive HTPC Build

Case - Streacom FC5-OD
Mobo - Gigabyte G1 Sniper M3 (got a pretty good deal on it, needed the features over power savings)
Proc - i3 3225 (mainly because of the HD4000 graphics)
Ram - 8GB Samsung Low Voltage
Storage - Intel 330 Series 120GB SSD
PSU - Standard 150W PicoPSU
Blu-Ray Burner - Panasonic UJ235A

PicoPSU and the AC/DC converter.

Thiiiiiiiick front panel.

Parts (aside from the Blu-Ray burner which is on a ship heading here from China).

Mock fitting.

Lapped all the thermal coupling blocks flat (I know, it's not a mirror finish, went up to 2000 grit).

Installed! Arguably the hardest part of the build, used up my entire tube of IC Diamond. Had to scrounge up some Arctic Silver to complete the jobby, no clue why Streacom did not include any thermal paste...

Power and SATA3 cables in place for future 3.5" hard drive expansion. Still waiting on the slim SATA adapter cable to plug the Blu-Ray burner in, allocated a molex connector on the bottom right.

3.5" hard drive mocked in place.

Now for the stress testing portions, sure an i3 doesn't put out that much heat, but the heatsinks still got plenty hot. Ran Prime95 + MSE full antivirus scan for a day just to be safe (partially because I wanted to cure the thermal paste) and found that the temps maxed out at around 70C, which is impressive for a completely fanless case.

Not bad for a consumer SSD.

Some of my opinions after buttoning up the system:

+Looks amazing
+Passive cooling system works pretty well
+Can fit a surprisingly amount of hardware inside
+Solid construction


-Too many parts make up the case, introduces flex because there are a lot of screw joints, would be better if the sinks were one piece
-Top and bottom panels could be thicker
-Finish could be better, but I understand the 'EVO' edition fixes this
-Unused heatsinks on the left of the case, would be better of the heatpipes were split between the two banks of heatsinks

So far I'm quite satisfied with the system. The SSD definitely speed things up a lot. My boot times were in the 15 second range with the standard installation of Windows 7 before any optimization. It has obviously slowed down a tad bit due to the programs I installed. The HD4000 graphics are amazing and effortless, I do not understand why anyone would pay for a more expensive i5 for HTPC duties (or even i7's) - the i3 is PLENTY.

HOWEVER, the best part of it all? 100% WAF AND its absolutely SILENT.

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