Single page Print

Streacom
The most distinctive cases we saw at Computex were almost certainly the aluminum beauties that Streacom had on display. I get the impression that the engineers here really hate system noise, and the company's chassis can be built up to run in a completely silent manner if a builder desires.

We covered the DB4 cube chassis during the show, but press releases are one thing—getting one's hands on premium hardware like this is important to really get a feel for what sets it apart.

Each of the DB4's side panels are incredibly solid-feeling extrusions of aluminum that go through further work steps to create invisible vents on the back side. The result is a fanless chassis with plenty of airflow potential and clean looks.

Streacom put Asus' Maximus VIII Impact mobo inside the DB4 to demonstrate its wide compatibility with Mini-ITX parts. The Impact puts its power-delivery components on a vertical card that can present clearance challenges with some coolers.

Streacom's companion CPU cooler for this case uses 90-degree heatpipes that make it possible to cool the processor without creating clearance issues with motherboards like this one.

Each side panel on the DB4 can dissipate up to 65W of heat from the CPU. If you don't mind giving up some of the clearance benefits of the 90-degree heatsink seen above, it's possible to use another version that includes a second set of heatpipes. This unit (not seen at the show) employs two side panels to dissipate heat, so it can cool processors with TDPs as high as 120W.

If you can find a fanless graphics card, the DB4 has the PCIe expansion slots for them, as this bottom view demonstrates.

It's a little hard to describe in text, but the DB4 has a flexible interior, too. Builders can position storage devices on the case's side rails using thumbscrew-secured brackets that can be repositioned as needed (space permitting, of course).

Streacom also had a more traditional-looking Mini-ITX tower case prototype on display, too. We agreed not to share pictures of the interior of this chassis, but the design relies on a passive heatsink similar to the DB4's.

Like the DB4's exterior, this little tower is constructed out of thick, beautifully-finished aluminum panels that really feel a cut above almost any other case I had my hands on during the show. The thick cooling fins on the side should be well up to the task of cooling whatever hardware ends up inside.

Last, but not least, we got our hands on Streacom's Open Benchtable portable test bench. We covered this useful-looking piece of kit back in March, and after getting our hands on one at Computex, we left thinking of ways to get a few of these for the TR labs.

Like the rest of the company's hardware, the Open Benchtable is a well-finished, well-engineered piece of hardware. The company says a final version with some refinments to the design will be available soon.

Thermaltake
Judging by the Computex show floors this year, Thermaltake's Core P5 wall-mounted case has become wildly popular. That case has plenty of room for builders to show off fully-custom liquid cooling hardware, but less extreme builders told the company that the P5 is too large to allow for easy installation of all-in-one liquid coolers.

In response, Thermaltake took its winning formula and shrank it a bit. The Core P3 is a more compact version of the P5 that's better-suited to liquid cooling with off-the-shelf components.

As the demonstration systems we saw in the company's booth show, builders can still put custom loops inside the Core P3, too. Those loops just might end up being a tad more cramped than they would be with the Core P5.

Thermaltake's Core G3 is another intriguing chassis. It's a slim-ATX design that lets builders show off their graphics cards with an included PCIe flex cable.

This chassis is about the same size as Corsair's recently-released Bulldog case, but its ace in the hole might be its equal comfort in horizontal and vertical orientations. You will need an SFX power supply to install in this system, but more and more companies are ready to service that demand—including Thermaltake itself.

If you want to put a lot of controllable RGB LED fans in your case at once, Thermaltake's Riing 12 series might be just the ticket. These fans require a proprietary USB hub thing in order to work, but if you're OK with that tradeoff, it's possible to gang up 48 of these things and control them all through Thermaltake's dedicated software. To control that many fans, you'll need multiple hubs, but the tiny size of those controllers shouldn't be an obstacle in cases capable of swallowing that many spinners.