Streacom FC9 Alpha Fanless Chassis Review: Page 5 of 7

Posted by Paul Malfy on Friday, July 29, 2016 - 8:00am

Installation Continued

Here is the FC9 Alpha as is looks with no motherboard

The DVD sled is removed to gain access to the hard drive tray

The DVD drive tray removes and flips over to reveal SSD and HDD mounting locations

This small mounting brackets attach to the bottom of the motherboard using small stickers

Here is closer look at the mounting brackets that replace an actual backplate

The FC9 Alpha come with standoffs installed for an ITX motherboard and extra standoffs as well

These are the screws for mounting the motherboard

The hard drive tray can slide back a couple inches to allow for better access to the motherboard standoffs

This is the bracket that allows the hard drive tray to slide back and forth

Here is a closer look at the bracket that allows the hard drive tray slide back and forth

The FC9 Alpha uses a Nano Power Supply

The external power brick came with both American and European plugs

The Nano power supply is essentially a 24 pin connector with a PCB mounted on it

The plug attaches to the rear of the chassis here

This is what the plug looks like from the inside

Once the ram and CPU are installed, it’s time for the CPU cooling to be installed

The FC9 Alpha is an absolutely stunning design. Coming in both black or silver, you can get one to match your home theatre set up. The front is simple yet beautiful, showing only the IR sensor, optical slot, power button and power LED. There are 4 screw, 2 on either side of the chassis that you unscrew to remove the top of the case. Once the top is removed, the inside is revealed. The first thing I noticed was the sled for the slim, slot loading optical drive. This sled is mounted to a hard drive tray that flips over and allows you to mount 2 2.5“hard drives or SSDs with 2 3.5” hard drives on top of them. Once this tray is flipped over, it can be slid back a bit for better access to the motherboard standoffs for an MATX board. If you decide to use an M-ITX board, you can mount both SSDs or Hard Drives on the floor of the chassis. I can also say that any gaming style boards, with heatsinks along the top of the board, Will Not work in the FC9 Alpha. The heat sinks will be directly in the way of the CPU heat pipes that mount on the side of the chassis. On the rear of the chassis are 3 low profile expansion slots, a spot for the rear IO shield, as well as a plug for the power brick for the Nano power supply that is used with the FC9 Alpha, however, the Nano power supply is sold separately. On both the top and the bottom of the plug for the power supply are 2 small screws. When taken out, these screws remove the plug for the Nano power

supply. This is because if your power supply supports it, you can install a traditional 3 prong plug on the FC9 Alpha. One either side of the outside of the chassis, the chassis looks similar to a heat sink. This is due to the fact that the chassis actually is a heat sink.

Here is All the parts needed for mounting the CPU cooling

The CPU block has thermal paste on both the bottom of the block and the top where the heat pipes go

Once the CPU block it mounted to the CPU and the heat pipes are installed, the cover plate is then installed

Finally, the heat pipes are affixed to the wall of the chassis that works as a heat sink.

I ended up using an MATX Gigabyte FM2+ board with an A8-6600k APU from AMD. I had numerous issues attempting to use M-ITX boards in the FC9 Alpha, so much so that it held up the publication of this review. It was all little things, and no fault of Streacom at all. It was more the placement of certain things on the boards I choose. First one had the 24 pin in the way of the heat pipes that mount on the side wall of the chassis. Second board, the 24 pin was too close to the ram slots, and there for the Nano Power Supply wouldn’t plug in. These were all things that I could have easily avoided by simply paying attention before I began building. This is why I decided to use the MATX board. To mount is, I had to add in the additional The CPU mounting hardware comes with 4 heat pipes, the actual CPU block, a cover plate for the CPU block, 3 mounting brackets and a series of different size screws. After applying the included thermal paste, I attach the CPU block to the CPU. I then added thermal paste to the grooves in the block meant for the heat pipes. I then screwed down the top plate, but not all the way in case the heat pipes need adjusting, which they did. Once they are aligned right, I added thermal paste to the opposite end of the heat pipes that attach to the wall of the chassis. I then use the mounting brackets to sandwich the heat pipes to the side of the chassis. The mounting brackets get attached by screwing through the outside of the chassis into a series of holes down either side of the FC9 Alpha. For a small chassis, there was a surprisingly good amount of room on the sides of the motherboard for cable management. I would have liked to have seen a similar kind of bracket to the mounting brackets for the heat pipes to use for cables. Only for the reason both sides have the same screw holes on them for these brackets. It would have made it that much cleaner inside. But I’m just being picky at this point. With a few Zip ties, the inside was neat and clean.

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