HTPC enthusiasts often place a lot of emphasis on silent systems for obvious reasons. We have looked at systems with passive thermal solutions before, but never presented the build process for one. Back in May, we had covered Streacom's announcement of the fanless FC9 and FC10 chassis. With support for passive cooling of CPUs with a TDP of up to 95 W and a sleek industrial design, HTPC enthusiasts have been eagerly waiting for these units to hit the market. After some delays, Streacom finalized the design and started shipping the units to resellers in mid-November. We requested for samples of the FC10 chassis and the Nano150 PSU and Streacom's shipment reached us in the first week of December.

Dustin usually handles case reviews and Martin handles PSUs, but, with the Streacom components, we are going to take a different long term approach. We will be using the FC10 and the Nano150 as building blocks for a fully passive HTPC. We also intend the HTPC to act as a testbed for evaluating discrete HTPC GPUs.

The Streacom offerings introduced in May also included the FC9 which supports mITX and uATX motherboards. However, the FC9 supports half-height PCIe cards only. The FC10, on the other hand, supports up to two full height PCIe cards. Hence, we took the decision to go in for the FC10 despite our plans to use a mITX motherboard.

In today's piece, we will first check out the Streacom components in detail. Following that, we will take a brief look at the other components of our passive HTPC build. After that, we will go through the build process in detail and also present some thermal performance results. In the concluding section, we will have a sneak peek at what lies in store in the remaining parts of the HTPC series.

Passive Build Chassis & PSU
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  • Sivar - Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - link

    Much cheaper, more configurable, but unfortunately much taller fanless PC:
  • thodo - Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - link

    That would be an excellent option if both myself and my wife were blind. But yes, would be nice if the Streacom were half the price...
  • thodo - Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - link

    I have recently built a HTPC around the new FC9 chassis and an A10-5800k (underclocked to A10-5700 speeds as I couldnt' find a 5700 to buy). Am really interested to see whether the blu-ray drive you've chosen runs quietly in the FC10. I've used a Sony BC-5800S and it is ridiculously loud even by ODD drive standards. Its clearly audible over even moderately loud audio playback... I notice Streacom have now released their own badged blu-ray ODD so will be interesting to see if that is any quieter also.

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