Streacom FC8 Mini ITX Fanless Chassis

REVIEW INFORMATION
SUPPLIED BY: Streacom
MANUFACTURER: Streacom
PRODUCT: FC8 Fanless Chassis
PROD LINK: FC8 Product Page
PRICE: $189 @ eBay
Price is at the time of testing!

Functionality (40% of the final score) – time to get some scoring done, methinks. First, I love the idea of a fanless CPU cooling solution built right into the case itself. That’s a good idea if I do say so myself. I also like the fact that there is a hole in the drive mounting tray in just the right spot to add a fan if needed. In general, all the little things done right add up to make this case quite a nice one. But there are a couple of things I do need to take points off for. First, the reversible connectors on the card reader and power button PCB. It’s not that hard to get these installed backwards, so you do have to pay attention to what you’re doing when you put a rig together with this case. I’ll deduct a half point for this issue. Now, there’s only one more thing to whine about – the optical drive support. You need to find one with a left side eject button, and that is not going to be easy. In fact, I just got done scouring eBay for a Blu-Ray SATA model with a left side eject and came up with nothing. I did find a few DVD drives, but let’s be honest… people who are buying this case for the price it goes for are probably going to want Blu-Ray. So, you’re more than likely going to have to plan on adding remote functionality with a software eject. That’s going to amount to a point and a half being pulled, methinks. Yeah, I know this case was probably designed when left side ejects were more popular, but that ship is clearly out to sea now. Streacom needs to update their case designs, not wait for the optical drive industry to change again. Of course, you don’t have to use an optical drive at all if you have a network like mine and keep all your media on your main rig’s hard drives. 8.

Value (20% of the final score) – with limited availability in North America, this will be a bit tricky. You can get one of these off eBay right now for $189, or from QuietPC.com for £108.33. That works out to about $176 US dollars. I’ll be honest, that’s expensive as heck to me. But what else is there like this? QuietPC has a similar-looking fanless unit for £191. That’s a pile more money and is the only case there that competes aside from Streacom’s other fanless units. Which, by the way, are also a lot more expensive. At the end of the day, I think I’ll give this case an 8. It’s not cheap, but it’s cheaper than most of the alternatives.

Aesthetics (40% of the final score) – what a great looking case this is. It’s well built, feels like you could park a truck on it, and yet is still sleek and streamlined. Why it almost looks as good as my car. Fit and finish is darn near perfect – all the panels fit together perfectly. I can’t really find anything to complain about regarding this case’s appearance at all… it’s just a great looking product. 10.

FC8 Fanless Chassis – Scoring
Functionality 8
Value 8
Aesthetics 10
Total Score 8.8

SUMMARY

My first mini ITX case turned out to be a very nice product indeed. Aside from a high price tag, which I’m not sure you can work around at the moment in a case this size, there really isn’t a lot going against this case. Yeah, the connectors for the USB, card reader, and front panel controls can be reversed and there was no heatsink grease, but I think these are really minor quibbles. The only major sticking point I can see is the optical drive support, what with needing a slot loader with a left side eject button. Otherwise, this case is small, sturdy, and really good looking. I can’t ask for much more than that.

The GOOD:

  • very sturdy construction
  • fanless CPU cooler built-in
  • looks fantastic
  • small and light

The BAD:

  • $189 and no thermal paste?

The MEDIOCRE:

  • mine came with a severely bent heatpipe
  • limited optical drive compatibility due to eject button location

You can discuss the Streacom FC8 Mini ITX Fanless Chassis and/or it’s testing results in our forums located here.