Streacom reveals DB4 passive cube case

June 10, 2013 | 10:54

Tags: #aluminium #fanless-case #fanlesstech #passive-case #passive-cooling #silent-case #silent-computing

Companies: #streacom

Details of Streacom's upcoming DB4 fan-free case, due to launch later this year, have been revealed - and show a clever modular design that could allow for totally passive cooling of a surprisingly powerful system.

According to details provided by Streacom to silent cooling specialist site FanlessTech, the DB4 is a sleek 250mm aluminium cube raised from a surface by a single curved-aluminium 'foot' and fitted with a glossy piano-black plastic lid. The aluminium sides are cut with ridges running vertically, and they're not just for show: each side of the case acts as a passive heatsink for the components inside.

Streacom claims that the DB4 is capable of cooling 65W TDP components on each side, with a separate component able to be connected to all four sides. Speaking to FanlessTech, Streacom's Oliver Pusse explained: 'You can use one side for the CPU, one for a dedicated GPU, and another one for our fanless 250 Watt ZeroFlex power supply.' Even that configuration would leave one side free to cool something else, thanks to an interesting layout that leaves the motherboard sitting vertically and the input/ouput panel facing downwards - hence the raised foot and gap for cable management visible in some of the photos.

It's a clever design, and one that will appeal to those who need truly silent computing, but it is also somewhat limited: while the case is technically suited to up to 260W of passive heat dissipation, its limit of 65W per component - unless the user fancies daisy-chaining two sides together to cool one part, which is unlikely to work terribly well - means that top-end parts aren't going to be compatible. While CPUs will be relatively well supported - Intel's Haswell Core i7-4770S features a 65W TDP, for example - GPUs are going to be a different matter, with only lower-end boards like the AMD Radeon HD 7750 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 squeaking in under the 65W limit.

With that said, even with a sub-65W processor and graphics card a DB4 system should offer pretty acceptable performance, and while it isn't going to playing games across three monitors at ultra-high settings any time soon that's a trade-off many may be willing to make in exchange for a completely silent system.

The Streacom DB4 is expected to launch in late September or early October, at a price of €200 (around £170 excluding taxes.)
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