Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
While up until this chassis hit the lab for testing, we will admit that Streacom was not even on our radar. So like we always do, we look at Streacom's site to find out what we can about the company and just what it is they do. In this instance, it did not take long to see our heads were in the sand because Streacom has a full line up of thick aluminum cases to fit anything from an NUC to an ATX HTPC chassis with plenty of air cooling and water cooling support. What they all have in common, though, is that they all appear to be refined designs with simplicity in mind. Offering designs that anyone would be proud to have to sit in their office, next to the TV as an HTPC in the living room, or with their smaller designs, the possibilities of where you can sleekly house a PC are truly endless.
To get more specific about the model that we have at the lab, this is the largest solution to case design that Streacom currently offers, yet this is not a large chassis by any means. This chassis, built with thick extruded sections of aluminum, and unlike most makers out there, this chassis is completely screwed together. This design does indeed remind of us cases from other makers, where thick aluminum is used for a solid design, yet still looking great. Streacom still has one ace in the hole that we never have in our long tenure of looking at cases, ever run across before, and to be blunt, it is pure genius.
What you are about to see from Streacom is the F12C black edition, but for those that like the more natural appearance of aluminum, they also offer a silver edition with all the same goodies you will see with our black version. It is made and intended to go into an HTPC role in the house as it is wide, low to the ground, and has the motherboard lying flat on the bottom of the chassis. However, while we have seen many forms of this design before, we have never seen one so well thought out and easy to use with anything from Mini-ITX to full ATX motherboards. There is just so much going on in this design that are somewhat revolutionary to the chassis scene; you too will find it hard to keep your chin off the desk while reading and seeing what this Streacom F12C is all about.
You can find this same chart on the Streacom site, covering everything the F12C design has to offer. We have first explained the high quality of the Premium Grade 6063 aluminum, which is the last grade before you lose the ability to form it without cracking or snapping the aluminum panels in the process. In either the silver or the black versions, you are offered 4mm thick extruded panels, and everything is either attached or gets mounted to these panels making the entire design rock solid.
Inside, you can use a Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, or an ATX motherboard, but that choice also affects the storage ability. If you use a Mini-ITX motherboard in the F12C, you can pack in up to twenty-four 2.5" drives, twelve 3.5" hard drives, or a combination of both. If you decided to go the ATX route, you are then limited to two 2.5" drives and possibly five 3.5" drives. There are seven expansion slots in this design to hold just about any video card on the market. There are no fans included in this design, there are many locations to add them to the chassis, but the fans also use the same revolutionary drive mounting plates, and is something to keep in mind. There is also a limitation to the CPU cooler height of 135mm, but with a pair of supports that run across the top of this chassis, you can also support dual radiator water cooling, as long as it uses a thin radiator. There are no limitations on the length of the PSU or the video card, and we also see that this is FLirc or IRRC capable of remote control, but you do need to purchase the panel to make it work separately.
What is left are the size and weight of the F12C to cover. Looking at the F12C from the front, you will find a chassis that is 440mm from left to right. It is 320mm from front to back and stands only 184mm tall. While that may seem like a lot of chassis, if opting to use an ATX motherboard, there is enough room for the motherboard and a PSU on its side, from side to side. From front to back, there is only a small amount of room at the front to attach wiring, and you are out of space. This is also why Streacom mention that the choice of system plays hugely on what sort of storage arrangement is possible. The last thing to know about this chassis is that it weighs in at 4.4KG, which for those on this side of the pond, that is roughly ten pounds of aluminum sexiness. One thing we cannot find online, on the box, or in the manual, is what sort of warranty terms Streacom cases offer with the purchase.
One thing we found is that if you are on the west side of the Atlantic, obtaining this chassis is down to just one option unless you happen to run across these on eBay or similar resale sites. As of writing this, we see that Only Newegg has them in stock. Amazon has other cases from Streacom but does not show the F12C in any listings. What we did find out, is that if you do want this chassis, prepare to dig a little deeper into your bank account. This chassis is listed at $275 and comes with free shipping. Up front compared to what we normally see, this is near twice the cost of other options, but we feel the cost is justified, and once you see what all goes into this design and how good it would look in any environment, you can see the value in a chassis of this magnitude. Keep in mind too that Streacom makes these cases and when purchasing the F12C, it will ship directly from them.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: HIS HD7950 IceQ (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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