HDPLEX Fanless PC Case

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HDPLEX H1.S fanless PC Haswell build from Olso

Original Review could be found on author’s blog.

Last winter I finally had enough of fan noise from my desktop computer and started to plan a fanless desktop build. I wanted a small form factor, Haswell architecture and the best possible integrated GPU.

In a fanless build the crucial component is the case. I narrowed my list down to Streacom FC8EVO (MiniITX, max. TDP 95 W), Akasa Euler (ThinITX, max. TDP 35 W) and the HDPLEX H1.S (ThinITX or MiniITX, max. TDP 65 W).

The Akasa would have been the cheapest and also the smallest. But the combination of a ThinITX motherboard and a low maximum TDP limits the choice of possible components, which in turn can push the price up. The Streacom is the opposite; factoring in the price of the power supply it would have been around 20% more expensive than the Akasa and the largest of the three. In the end I chose the HDPLEX H1.S, in part because of promising early reviews and in part because a MiniITX motherboard I had on my list of compatible motherboards suddenly dropped substantially in price on Amazon.

I recycled two SSDs and memory from a previous build. All that was left was to pick a CPU. To the get the best GPU available with Haswell I would have had to choose an i5 or an i7, but I chose an i3-4330 as a balance between price and the optimal GPU.

The build took about four hours and, as expected, required patience and some creative cable management. I would not recommend this as a first-time build as you have to plan ahead and figure out exactly how to squeeze all the components in, and the instructions leave some important steps out. Photographs of the motherboard you plan to use are crucial. Keep an eye out in particular for conflicts between the heat pipes, power connectors and vertically mounted batteries. With my chosen motherboard the heat pipes leave only two of the SATA connectors in the clear and block the vertical mini-PCIe slot for the included Wifi and Bluetooth card.

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Haswell build

There a plenty of pieces to keep track of.

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Haswell build

The thick black cable is a double USB cable that had to be gently bent out of the way when the lid came on.

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Haswell build

The mini-PCIe slot is obscured by the heat pipes on the left, as are the remaining SATA slots.

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Haswell build

The fanless PSU is attached to the front panel.

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Haswell build

The green coil had to be nudged a bit in order to plug the connector next to it.

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Haswell build

The vertical plate holds the heat pipes in place, but the external power cable connector conflicts with one of the screws that attach it to the case and it cannot be moved further right without interfering with the heat pipes.

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Haswell build

The complete build fills almost all available space.

The results are excellent. I have now had this system for almost a year and have been surprised by its stability and performance. Under light load the temperature hovers in the 35°C-40°C range. As I am writing this, the ambient temperature is 19°C and sensors reports the following:

Physical id 0: +36.0°C (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0: +36.0°C (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1: +35.0°C (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
After a period of slightly heavier load, such as after a longer coding session where I swap between editing, compiling, running tests and so on, the temperature will fluctuate around 55°C, spiking to 60°C under full load.

I have not subjected the system to a stress test like Prime95 but I would not be surprised if the temperature approached the danger zone under such conditions. But the load that a stress test puts the system under is unlike anything it will experience with my usage pattern and it is not what I built the system for.

The only issue I have had is interference with mobile phones. If I place a mobile close to the case, the screen will go blank or fill with random noise. Something here is not shielded the way it should be. I have not looked into this and it may simply be caused by something like a cheap HDMI cable.

Component list:

HDPLEX H1.S fanless case with 120W Internal AC-DC and 160W DC-ATX Fanless Power Supply
ASRock H97M-ITX/ac motherboard
Intel Core i3-4330
2 x Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3 1333MHz C9
Crucial BX100 250GB SATA SSD
Corsair Force 3 SSD 120GB SATA SSD
Sep 21, 2015

A great htpc case! HDPLEX H1.S fanless PC case Amazon review and Facebook photo album

Amazon Review A great htpc case-HDPLEX H1.S fanless PC case
Facebook photo album
A great htpc case

I needed a case for a new HTPC/hi-fi streamer build. and as it’s going to sit in the lounge it needed to be silent and fit in with the rest of the equipment. Enter the hdplex h1.s which fits the bill perfectly. The build quality is top notch and having the choice of several different psus in a small case is an added bonus. Currently running with standard power but will be adding the 250w hi-fi psu and linear supply to complete the build.

A great HTPC case HDPLEX H1.S fanless pc case review

A great HTPC case HDPLEX H1.S fanless pc case review

A great HTPC case HDPLEX H1.S fanless pc case review

A great HTPC case HDPLEX H1.S fanless pc case review

A great HTPC case HDPLEX H1.S fanless pc case review

A great HTPC case HDPLEX H1.S fanless pc case review

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless PC case Keeps the CPU cooler than a fan! (feedback from Amazon)

Original Amazon Feedback

This is an exceptionally good case. I was absolutely blown away by how well it is designed and built, and the function is absolutely phenomenal.

I have had several Niveus fanless PC’s. They were great cases and had excellent thermo-regulation. The downside to the Niveus was cost – they were thousands of dollars. As they are no longer in production and several years old, I was looking around for a new fanless case. this was the only one I could find that looked like there was even 10 minutes worth of thought put into the design and function. It turns out that this is bar none the best thermo-regulating PC chassis available on the market today.

First, look at these numbers- I ran Prime95 stress test on three chassis: The HD-Plex H1.S, another Mini-ITX system with a CPU fan and case fan, and a Dell Precision M4800 laptop (workstation quality laptop). After 5 minutes, the processors in both the Dell and the Mini-ITX chassis were at 180 deg. F. Contrast that with the H1.S which was at only 170 deg. F after nearly 2 HOURS!!!. The ability of this chassis to move heat away from the processor and radiate it from the case fins is clearly superior to a standard CPU fan. I continued to run Prime95 for nearly 4 hours and the chassis stabilized at around 174 deg. F and never went higher.

This amazing thermo-regulation coupled with the fact this the computer was SILENT (no fan noise) really blows me away. I can not believe that there are not more fanless PC cases being built…This case should be marketed to more than just the high end media server crowd! After seeing these results I am considering switching my every day use desktop to this chassis.

The build spec I used follows:
HD-Plex H1.S fanless chassis w/ 120w AC/DC converter and 160w power supply combo
ASRock z97e-ITX mobo
Intel i3 4130T
Crucial Ballistics Sport RAM (2x4gb)
Samsung 850 1TB SSD

Geekbench 32-bit score of 6340

Cool Thermal pictures for H1.S fanless computer case from Italy Coolprojects.it

ieri in tarda mattinata hanno consegnato il materiale, sulla scatola c’era il mio nome e sul citofono COOLPROJECS, al prossimo ordine sarà importante che tu scriva in nome dell’azienda perchè corriamo il rischio che il materiale non venga correttamente consegnato. Come è andata ? in 3 ore circa ho montato tutto, il mio capo quando l’ha visto montato cosa ha detto ? è rimasto impressionato. Ti allego alcune foto, ho fotografato tutta la sequenza di montaggio. Ho fatto anche dei rilievi termografici che evidenziano l’ottimo prodotto. Volevo chiederti se esistono apparati per montaggio su rack 19″ (tipo armadi LAN).

Temp cursor is P1.

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Computer case from Coolprojects Italy

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Computer case from Coolprojects Italy

CPU Thermal Pictures for HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Computer case

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Computer case from Coolprojects Italy

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Computer case from Coolprojects Italy

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Computer case from Coolprojects Italy

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Computer case from Coolprojects Italy

Processor: Intel i3-4130 LGA 1150
ASUS Q87T Thin ITX
Ram: 4Gb
Operating System: Linux Fedora 16 Kernel 3 ( Web server application / Mail server / Motion detector / IMAP server / Samba server )

HDPLEX H1.S Fanless Computer case from Coolprojects Italy

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