Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis Test and review: Passive cooling case

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis Test and review: Passive cooling case

Streacom with its case Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis promises to realize the dream of many users who are sensitive to noise. The case is designed for completely passive and noiseless cooling computer. Inside installed motherboard mini-ITX, therefore body-cube is relatively compact. But an interesting and modern design. In this review, you will learn the possibilities and limitations Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis.

The theme of quiet buildings again became fashionable with the advent of a very popular line of Fractal Design Define. Corps worked very quietly, but they were not completely silent. Yet without a minimum air flow it was impossible inside the body, that is, the fans still had the manufacturer to install. If necessary completely silent fanless housing, then it requires a different approach: the body itself to become a large heatsink.

That is the concept we have in the body Streacom DB4 Mini-ITX format. Side machines housing made of aluminum, not only for beauty. They disperse in the environment the heat from the processor. Heat pipes take heat away from the CPU and pass it on to the housing wall. The manufacturer claims that this way can be discharged from the CPU up to 65 W of heat. With the optional kit LH6 possible cooling processors with TDP up to 110 watts. For testing, we installed in DB4 processor with a TDP of 65 watts.

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis Test and review: Passive cooling case

Streacom based on completely passive cooling system: Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis is not only supplied without fans, but has no fasteners to install them. Aluminium cube allows you to set up into five 3.5 “or 12 2.5” drives. optional kit is also available to install an optical drive in a slim-format slot-loading. The DB4 is left room for the power supply, but not the usual ATX or SFX formats. Supported by proprietary power supply Streacom ZeroFlex 240 (ZF240) or partially external PSU Nano line. In our tests, we will consider the third and less expensive option, but require compatible motherboards for him. Below is a video of the first 4K-dating and unpacking Streacom DB4.

Exclusive format and expensive materials have led to a corresponding price. Streacom DB4 be the most quiet housing Mini-ITX, but for it will have to pay 299.90 euros . And the price does not include power adapter. For only compatible internal model ZF240 will have to pay another 139.90 euro . So DB4 clearly refers to premium solutions. Of course, Streacom saves on the CPU cooler, but it’s unlikely anyone will please.

What Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis body and the cooler is a single entity, it can be clearly seen on the sales package. Of course, you get the usual mounting accessories (with Allen key) and cable tightening. Also attached four heatpipes, two mounts heatpipes, a copper base, heat-conductive plate and thermal grease – using them is going to CPU cooler. Accessories Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis securely packed in foam. Not without a well-illustrated manual, which describes the stepwise assembly of the cooler and the housing.

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis Test and review: Passive cooling case

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis: Design

The case is also supplied in the box with thick double walls. After unpacking, immediately pay attention to how well the shape corresponds to the content of Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis. Before us is a massive aluminum cube that is based on two angular rails. Thick aluminum wall not only give a sense of high quality, but also allow the body to perform the function of the radiator. Moreover, the panel is not solid, and have a special surface structure which increases the heat exchange area and cooling performance.

In appearance Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis difficult to determine where in the body front and rear panel, as well as the sidewall. From all sides of the body looks the same – we get a thick aluminum panels. On the sidewalls are no ports or any other interface. Streacom deliberately chose this approach to the surface of the side panels operated as a single radiator. We also get a very original appearance.

If you look closely, the sidewalls consist of alternating T-shaped profiles. As a result, the manufacturer could increase the heat transfer area compared with the conventional surface. The joints of the four aluminum panels are hidden under the T-profiles and are not visible from the outside.

Housing cover black plastic. Of course, plastic is much cheaper than aluminum on the sides, but it is not evident. The lid is fastened with four hexagonal screws that can be unscrewed using the included key.Thus the screws are attached to the cover and do not fall, which is convenient.

Two of the runners are made of the same aluminum alloy as the side panels, they are arranged in two opposite corners. Bottom to the runners glued gaskets of rubber so as not to scratch the surface.Incidentally, the angle from the bottom Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis is very interesting, because here are located the interfaces and the power button. For this reason, the runners made quite high, to raise Streacom body above the table surface. In our system the distance between the body and the table was sufficient to enable the necessary interfaces. But with the adapters can cause problems.

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis Test and review: Passive cooling case

Input Panel / O enclosure is below. It provides only two ports USB 3.0. I / O panel of the motherboard is also taken out downwards. From individual audio interfaces have to give.

The power button is located below DB4 too. It merges with the black background, so you have to look closely. The button is located at the angle of one of the runners. Next added bright LED, which indicates the operation of the system. Because the computer is completely silent, without such an indicator would not do.

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis: Inside

In appearance Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis body mind already it seems special. The interior of the housing is at least surprising. Motherboard Tray “suspended” in the center of the body, the classic rack storage is not due to space limitations.

To get to the interior, just enough to unscrew the lid. After unscrewing the internal thumb screws can be removed by four side panels. They are conveniently attached by four “ears”, ie first panel should move upwards, and then shoot. When mounting should find the angle at which you can insert the panel back. On the other hand, all four panels are identical, so you can not keep track of their location.

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis Test and review: Passive cooling case

After removal of the aluminum panels Streacom body found difficult. We get, in fact, only the frame. Is that in the middle you can see the motherboard tray. With the help of the side mounts are installed drives, power supply (compatible ZF240) and cooling system CPU. Mounting solutions are quite reminiscent of the tested body Aerocool Dreambox earlier .

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis: Installation components

Motherboard tray can be completely removed from the housing. But before installing the motherboard to it should be glued with shims of double-sided adhesive tape nuts M3. Our test system fittings nuts barely passed in the motherboard holes. We had to force to insert them into the holes. But the nuts and then held very securely.

The user may have to collect the cooler of the heat pipes. Four copper heat pipes are inserted in the two heat conductive plates of different sizes on the CPU side and the housing. On the part of the processor between the plate and the CPU heat spreader is inserted into a copper base. By housing wall is screwed larger heat conducting plate, which provides the heat transfer on the aluminum wall.

Thermal grease must be applied to heat spreader processor, as well as the heat pipes in contact with the copper base. Four black mount can be adjusted in length depending on the CPU socket, after which they are screwed to nuts motherboard using the spring-loaded screws. There should observe a sense of proportion. Unlike most conventional CPU coolers, tighten the screws can be more than is necessary. In this case, you can simply bend the motherboard. With the installation of the black fasteners have to tinker too.

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis Test and review: Passive cooling case

The drives are set in either tray Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis motherboard or the mounting side. For the tray can set two 2,5 “SSD / HDD or one 3.5” hard drive. But fasten the drive to the tray should be to install the motherboard. More practical, we seem to be universal mounting in walls. They can be moved along the walls (horizontally) or withdraw, unscrewing the thumbscrew. Mounts can be mounted on all four walls of the body. Drives are installed in perpendicular or parallel to the walls. Streacom recommend the use of storage space behind the motherboard tray.

Different configurations of drives. A few examples: five 3.5 “hard drives or 12 2.5” drives; three 3,5 “HDD, 2,5” drive and power supply ZF240; two 3.5 “hard drives and four 2.5” drive.

In the heat-conducting plate, which is attached to the body, Streacom has provided thermal interface material from the wall of the housing. It provides improved heat transfer between the heat pipes and the housing wall. Thermally conductive plate is screwed to the body of one of the universal mounts.

As for the power supply at Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis officially have two options. You can buy a block ZF240 Power (pictured right) – a compact passive power supply from Streacom. He screwed inside the body to the universal mount. The power supply offers the following tips: 1 x 20 + 4 ATX, 1 x 4-pin. CPU, 2 x SATA, 2 x MOLEX, 1 x FDD. For PCIe graphics card slots is not provided because it is unlikely you will be able to install the card into Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis. But it is also possible to use passive power supply from the Nano series: Nano120, Nano150 and Nano160 capacity of 120, 150 and 160 watts. They combine an external power supply with additional internal components. In the case of Nano 160 available 1 x 24-pin. ATX, 2 x SATA, 1 x IDE, 1 x 4-pin. CPU, which also allows you to power the mini-ITX system.

But in the case of our motherboard Thin Mini-ITX to be available third option. We decided to connect an external power supply of 19 V (it is comparable with large power supplies for laptops, on the left side), the appropriate connector located on the motherboard I / O panel. 120-watt power supply in cost 39.90 euros , significantly cheaper PSU Streacom, but it needs the right support from the motherboard.

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis Test and review: Passive cooling case

The processor and the passively cooled power supply, inside the body there is no fan, and the only SSD drive has no moving parts. Therefore, after the system remained absolutely silent. On the computer signaled only bright LED.

Of course, the body must not only be functional and easy to assemble. It should also provide efficient cooling.

Test configuration

Temperature measurements:

For measurement of the maximum temperature of the CPU test, we used the free tool Prime95, which loads the system for 30 minutes. We chose the Small FFT load that maximizes heat dissipation, and then fixed the maximum core temperature using the system utility Lavalys Everest. We have combined temperature for the individual nuclei, and then divided them by the number of cores. At the same time we loaded the graphics card a demanding test Furmark.

Temperature evaluation mode in idle mode (single operation of the system) is not so interesting, because processors and graphics cards manufacturers have long implemented a very good power-saving mechanisms. For example, reduce the CPU core voltage and frequency in the event of inaction. Therefore, the heat generation components is significantly reduced.

Temperature Rating:

Core i5-2400S processor works with a TDP of 65 watts, the ultimate test for our body. At first glance, the temperature more than 80 degrees under load seems to be critical. But we should remember that the 4-core processor Intel cooled completely passive, we used to load stress synthetic test. Even in this worst-case scenario, the system is not turned off, the CPU temperature remains below the critical level. Housing a little heated, but heating has been uneven. On the back wall (where it suited heatpipes) we got about 40 degrees Celsius at full load, on the side of – 27 degrees, the front body – 25 degrees. It was significantly lower than at small-medium temperature loads. After half an hour of work in the CPU idle warm it up only to 35 degrees Celsius.

Unfortunately, our CPU temperature measurements do not reflect the temperature of the other components. All components of the power system, memory, and storage devices do not receive even the minimum airflow. But it is difficult to predict how this approach will affect the longevity of the system.

Evaluation of noise:

To measure the noise level, we used the Sound meter Voltcraft SL-400, which is located at a distance of 20 cm from the front of the housing.

The level of noise Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis body was in the lead, even though he has not gone to the absolute first place due to measurement error. Subjectively body Streacom quieter any other buildings with a slowly rotating fans, since he did not publish noise.

Other measures in the review:

We measured a maximum height of CPU cooler, and the maximum length of a video card with a tape, as well as the distance between the motherboard tray and the side panel. To measure the thickness of the walls we used a micrometer. We also take into account the data published by the manufacturer. Of course, at the same time we made a certain measurement error. For this reason, we recommend that you consider the values ​​given below for comparison purposes only, and do not take them as the ultimate truth.

It is unlikely that you will be able to install the card in Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis, as appropriate cooling capability is not provided. And the available space does not allow: a maximum length of 20 cm, height – 11 cm.

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis: conclusion

Many people dream of a completely silent PC. With housing Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis dreams can become a reality. We liked the quiet operation of the test system, although Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis has its limitations, which should be taken into account before buying the system. Some limitations to be expected.The choice of power units is reduced to several models, TDP TDP should not exceed the specified level, the same applies to the length of the video card. Other limitations are due to the structure. The body can cool Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis only processor – any graphics card cooling is not provided, would otherwise have to break the concept of passive housing. However, the compliant power supplies is still no PCIe slots for high-performance graphics cards.

In practice, the TDP is really the limiting factor. Especially if you run synthetic extreme load. We used the CPU, which works with a maximum TDP, valid Streacom. In everyday scenarios, 65-watt processor receives sufficient cooling. But under stress Prime 95 processor heated up to very high temperatures, which is hardly worth recommending for a long period. If you are sensitive to this issue, several options. You can avoid long-term extreme load on the CPU, use the CPU with TDP less or increase cooling performance with the optional module LH6. Of course, on the market you can buy ready-made systems with passive cooling, but they are usually equipped with less powerful processors. With this in mind DB4 appears in a different light, yet 4-core Core i5 processor belongs to a different category than the Intel Atom or “junior” CPU Core i with a TDP of 35 watts.

Who can recommend Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis? Gamers, fans of high-performance and cost-effective users of housing is unlikely to fit. But if you plan to collect expensive and silent system for an office or bedroom, or a multimedia PC for the living room, the body Streacom perfect. Materials, modern design and workmanship meet the highest bidder. DB4 looks very noble and beautiful. The assembly system DB4 we recommend to users with some experience, because will have to overcome some difficulties.

For a long time we have not done the body, like the Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis, which works also as a cooler, allowing you to assemble completely silent system. In the market there are alternative solutions like most of Streacom, as well as from other manufacturers, for example, or Akasa Impactics. But compared with them Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis body looks more interesting and noble. For their quality we award our housing award “new idea”!

Benefits Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis:

  • Quiet operation thanks to the passive CPU cooler with heatpipes, an optional kit is available at a higher cooling performance
  • Beautiful and noble appearance with massive aluminum walls
  • All cables can be carried out under the hull
  • Flexible interior configuration
  • Streacom offers compatible passive power supplies

Disadvantages Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis:

  • Significant restrictions on the selection of components (TDP limit for the CPU, video card use is unlikely to succeed, a few PSU compatible models)
  • The relatively time-consuming installation of components and assembly
  • High price

Source: streacom

Streacom DB4 Fanless Chassis Test and review: Passive cooling case was last modified: December 18th, 2016 by Tomas Shellby