The advent of CPUs with low TDPs (but having enough power to handle HTPC duties) has resulted in passive HTPCs becoming more and more popular. There are a number of vendors making a play in this niche such as Streacom, Wesena, Perfect Home Theater and HDPLEX. We even looked into the Streacom FC10 in detail with a passively cooled Ivy Bridge HTPC build. I have also been using the HDPLEX H5.TODD in a passive Haswell HTPC and had a good experience during the build process.

Olivier at FanlessTech brought the news of the unveiling of the second generation H5 chassis to our notice. This looks to be one of the more ambitious passively cooled chassis in the market. The new H5 chassis maintains a sleek look and finish suitable for  and has a HTPCs, while also retaining standard AV rack compatibility. The chassis is made of 6063T aluminum alloy and has a powder coated finish. While the body is available in black, the faceplate can be either black or silver. The faceplate itself has a brushed aluminum finish. Internally, the chassis supports a eight-pipe heatsink for the CPU. This configuration can apparently handle CPUs with TDPs of up to 90W. ATX, uATX and mITX boards are all supported.

The specifications of the 2nd generation H5 model are summarized in the table below.

HDPLEX 2nd Gen. H5 Passive Chassis Specifications
Motherboard Form Factors ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX
Drive Bays Optical 1x 5.25" ODD / hotswap HDD cage
Internal 3x 3.5", 6x 2.5"
Cooling Eight-heatpipe heatsink system for the CPU
Optional eight-heatpipe heatsink system for a discrete GPU
Expansion Slots 1x full height (single slot)
1x half height single slot(no riser needed)
1x dual slot (for discrete GPU)
I/O Ports 2x USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0
1x 3.5mm Speaker Port
12V/5VDC via molex output for external HDD enclosures
Rear I/O list is motherboard dependent
PSU Compatibility 80W/160W internal AC-DC adapters
160W/250W DC-ATX power supplies
100W/300W linear ATX power supplies with 19V/12V/9V/5VDC outputs
SFX form factor ATX power supplies
Flex form factor ATX power supplies
Weight 7.5 kg / 16 lbs.
Dimensions Internal 345x370x75mm (L x W x H)
External 345x430x80mm (L x W x H)
Faceplate 430x80x15mm(L x W x D)
Price from $275

One of the interesting aspects is that the faceplate is pivotable, and the ODD/HDD cage can be completely hidden behind it. The main differentiating aspect, in our opinion, is the availability of passive cooling capabilities for discrete GPUs with TDPs up to 60W (such as the NVIDIA GTX 750Ti). This is achieved using a separate eight-pipe heatsink (as shown in the picture below).

More photographs and details are available in this HDPLEX thread.

Source: FanlessTech

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  • HollyDOL - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    Nice chasis... now I'd only need those Skylake i3 T CPUs to become available... Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    Ok, it can perhaps keep CPU and GPU cool but I can't believe it won't cry every other component inside... Memory not the least, but also ssd's and capacitors on the boards... Reply
  • mobutu - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    no, that won't be a problem:

    "Dual eight heatpipe heatsink system for CPU and GTX750Ti.
    One hour playing latest MW, load at 99%, Temp never tops 70C, using GPU-Z for measurement.
    GTX750Ti idle temp between 30-35C.
    Room temp: 27C"

    http://www.hd-plex.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2464

    Amazing!
    Reply
  • Valantar - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    That's simply not true. Sure, chipsets and various controllers can get slightly hot, as well as power delivery components (especially in overclocked builds). Memory, on the other hand, does not need heatsinks at all - they are purely aesthetic (heck, the DDR2 in my old Core2Quad build runs at 2.1V(!), and still doesn't even feel slightly warm under load). And given that this only supports CPUs up to 90W, OCing isn't an option, meaning the power delivery will stay cool as well. Given a decent motherboard with some OK heatsinks on it, you won't have any problems. Reply
  • mobutu - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    nice, this is going exactly where I want it/need it, total passivity with a decently powerful rig, cpu+gpu+internalPSU(see streacom passive 250W internalPSU)

    so far we're limited at 750Ti but next year Maxwell will bring huge steps in passive powerful GPUs :)
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    The 750 Ti is already Maxwell. Reply
  • mobutu - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    sorry, I obviously meant Pascal ... or whatever the name is ;) (16-20nm, hbm etc) Reply
  • mobutu - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    GTX960+ATX :)
    http://www.hd-plex.com/images/overview/24.jpg
    http://www.hd-plex.com/images/overview/25.jpg
    Reply
  • guidryp - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    An awful lot of Fans for a "passive" system. Reply
  • Acarney - Thursday, September 17, 2015 - link

    I think that is more to show the flexibility of the case; going with a passive/semi-passive option doesn't keep you from upgrading in the future if you don't mind some fans... etc.

    I actually was the one that requested he test a 960 and see if it would work in the case (size, power requirements, etc) With how effective Maxwell is, there's a good chance the fan could be turned totally off during any desktop usage or DVR recording. Then when playing a game it'll spin up BUT Maxwell is fairly low noise to begin with AND in all likelihood this case would be 5+ feet away and under a big screen TV. Most people game with their sound on, even a little bit. Between the well built case, the distance, and TV sounds the fan noise probably won't even be a factor. Again, good chance a high quality PSU wouldn't need to spin it's fans during desktop usage.

    Also, I believe the PSU's HDPlex make are fanless, they just might not have enough juice to handle the 960 but I think he did test the 750Ti using his custom built PSUs.

    I've been dreaming of a Xbox1/PS4 equivalent box that could double as a silent DVR/HTPC system and with support for a 960 this next gen case gets DANG close (or is) that equivalent in roughly the same kind of footprint.
    Reply

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