So now that we have taken a closer look at the Streacom FC9 aluminium HTPC chassis, does it tick all the boxes for a good HTPC case? Does it look good? Perform well? Come in at a decent price? Well it’s time for my final thoughts on what has been a very demanding and interesting review.
Starting out with the aesthetics of the Streacom FC9, it is nothing short of stunning. From the finish all the way down to the extruded aluminium metal work, the FC9 in my opinion is the perfect blend of style, sleek and top drawer looks. Aside from the actual quality of the panels which I might add is nothing I have seen from a chassis before, but the FC9 has literally blew me away since I took it out of the external packaging. It is also worth noting again that the FC9 is also available in silver; black and silver is more likely to go with existing audio/visual setups around people’s homes but I can imagine modders putting their own stamp on this case.
The exterior all the way through to the interior is mesmerising and I probably haven’t raved about a product this good since…well ever. Myself personally, I have really never seen the need for a HTPC as an entertainment system, especially with today’s current generation gaming consoles with their included Blu-Ray drives, Wi-Fi connection and swanky controllers, but today might be the day that changes. The interior itself is laid out rather well and one thing I do really approve of us the folding HDD cage which also opens up the front end of the case. As previously mentioned you can install 3 x 2.5” HDD/SSDs or 1 x 3.5” HDD onto the cage itself which should provide ample storage capacity for a HTPC but you could of course do the ghetto modders choice and double sided tape extra 2.5” drivers around in spare nooks and crannies.
Performance wise the FC9 is pretty much exactly where I would expect it to be for a chassis like this; silent but holds its own. Now when I say silent, I mean exactly that. Due to the Streacom FC9’s passive cooling system, the 4 x copper heat pipe design is not only to ensure practical silence within the case, but it also does a fairly good job (as well as it was ever going to be) of cooling our Intel Pentium G3220 CPU. The good thing is the performance during HD playback was brilliant although as I was expecting, the Prime95 burn test did push the passive cooled CPU to its knees a little; with that said though, the case does exactly what it is designed to do without any issues.
One thing I need to really point out is that for £203, you only get the FC9 chassis itself which in my opinion, is certainly worth the price for the amount of quality you are getting; this is quite a bespoke HTPC case and with it being fully aluminium with nice thick panels, that is of course going to come at a cost. Now once you add a power supply, Streacom remote for use with the IR receiver and anything else you may need, this will of course add an additional cost which you will need to factor in before you purchase. The NANO150 150w power supply comes in at roughly £70-80 so once again, factor this into the total price.
Although the Streacom isn’t ever going to be considered as a budget option (for obvious reasons), I feel there is a huge place on the market for the FC9, especially for those looking for quality and more importantly, 100% silent cooled chassis; there is nothing worse than when watching a film and hearing the faint whir of the CPU fan going flat out. Overall the Streacom FC9 HTPC chassis is the perfect blend of aesthetics, function, style, craftsmanship and performance all rolled into one. The FC9 is over here all you enthusiastic HTPC users and it is here to stay.
Based on the good performance, the fabulous looks, great functionality and not to mention, my great deep passionate love for this case, it greatly deserves our gold award and of course, editor’s choice because to be fair, if I had to pick up the courage to go to a full HTPC (which I will now), I will certainly be opting for the FC9.
Big thanks to Streacom for sending us in the FC9 and NANO 150 for the purpose of the review, I look forward to seeing more Streacom has to offer in the future.
What can I say? The Streacom FC9 isn’t just a fully functioning and elegant HTPC case; it is a lot more than that! With it’s fantastic performance, superb build quality and its attention to detail, it is no wonder that the Streacom FC9 has literally cleaned house in this review. If you have £200 to spend on a solid HTPC case and you want one of the best on the market, look no further than the FC9.
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