Streacom may not be a name you hear every day in the chassis business, but it’s one that always puts a smile on my face. Their products are well-known in the industry for extremely high build quality and super-sleek designs. They’re a popular choice with the enthusiast HTPC market and even just from the image above, you can no doubt guess why. Of course, premium build quality and design don’t come cheap, so expect to pay triple figures, even for some of their smaller chassis designs.
The model we’re looking at today is huge, as it’s the first Streacom chassis that will support ATX hardware, which means it’s going to be well suited to a gaming build; a pleasing thought for those who loved their HTPC designs and are planning an HTPC style gaming system or Steambox build.
“The F12C is our first case designed to accept all standard ATX hardware, but of course being Streacom, the design is anything but standard. The ultra-minimalist exterior is made from 4mm thick premium grade extruded aluminium panels which are sandblast finished to create this simple but timeless design. The unique design isn’t just skin deep, we have developed a new drive and fan mounting system that does away with traditional fixed location bays, making this case incredibly adaptable and configurable. Drives and fans can be mounted anywhere along both sides of the case and at virtually any orientation. This allows you to mix, match and perfectly position drives and fans for optimal cooling and hardware compatibility.”
The chassis is made from 4mm thick aluminium, which plays no small part in the £190 price tag. There’s room for a full ATX motherboard, long graphics cards, a large PSU and much more!
Chassis Material: Premium Grade (6063) All Aluminium, 4mm Thick Extruded Panels
Available Colours: Silver / Black – Sandblast Finish
Motherboard Support: Full ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
Drive Capacity: MAX 24 x 2.5″ or 12 x 3.5″ (with ITX), MIN 2 x 2.5″ + 5 x 3.5″
Front Ports: None
Expansion Slot: 7 x Full Height Expansion Cards (MAX 310mm)
Cooling: Multiple 80, 92, 120 & 140 Fans (Not Included)
Max CPU Cooler Height: 135mm
External Dimensions: 440 x 320 x 184mm (W x D x H, Including Feet)
Internal Dimensions: 432 x 310 x 168mm (W x D x H)
Power Supply: Full ATX, no Length Restrictions(Not Included)
Remote Control: FLirc or IRRC Solution (Not Included)
Net Weight: 4.4KG
First impressions of the chassis are just… wow! This is one gorgeous looking box! The use of 4mm thick aluminium makes it look and feel stunning and that’s going to be a big selling point for anyone looking for a sleek HTPC design. Of course, it’s also available in black, so don’t be put off if you think this version is a little bright looking. Down the left side, you’ll find two air vents with magnetic dust filters.
The front panel is very minimalist, there’s the power button and a tiny LED in the bottom left and a small IR section in the bottom right, that’s it.
The right side panel has two more large magnetic dust filters.
Around the back, you’ll find support for an ATX PSU, the motherboard I/O and seven expansion slots, so more than enough room here for a multi-GPU configuration.
There are no screws for the top panel, kind of, instead you get these two dials at the back which can be turned to tighten or release the panel; a very nice tool-free solution.
The top panel has three more large dust filters, combined with the two on each side, airflow is certainly not going to be a problem for this chassis. The filters are nice and secure, but you can pop them off with your fingers for quick and easy maintenance.
The filters are a two-part design, the washable mesh and a magnetic outer strip.
There are four feet on the bottom, with tough rubber trips and in the middle, a little more ventilation.
On the interior of the chassis, you can see there’s virtually no obstruction for our hardware, to put it more bluntly, this is very much an empty box. There are two removable rails on the top, which you can see are perfect for mounting 120/140mm fans, radiators and similar hardware.
The expansion slot covers are all reusable and of a very high quality, with a screw guard over the installation screws. There’s also some brackets tucks into the left side fan mesh, these are movable and can be used fro installing cooling and storage drives; very handy!
The only cable on the interior of the chassis are for the power button and the power LED; that’s right, no USB ports or anything else on this chassis.
More of those handy universal brackets tucking in the right side of the chassis.
Building a system inside this chassis was an absolute breeze, there’s so much room to work with! There’s no restriction on the size of the PSU, which is always a nice thing to have, as it means we’ve got no conflicts with modular cable connectors and plenty of room to bundle excess cables should you need to. What is missing, is the lack of cable tie loops to help with cable management, but as you can see, it’s still easy to get a tidy looking build.
Installing the rather large Sapphire R9 270X graphics card was a close call, there’s just 2mm of clearance here.
As the famous internet cats say “if I fits, I sits” and that’s the case here, more than enough room for many of the biggest graphics cards on the market and that’s great news for those using this as a gaming HTPC chassis.
There’s even room for another GPU should you feel the need and that ventilation on the right side panel is great for cooling and additional fans should you feel the need; personally, I think this chassis has superb passive airflow too, so it’s up to you how much extra cooling your components actually need.
There’s a good amount of room for a decent size air cooler, but you could get an AIO water cooler up top if you’re feeling adventurous. Personally, I’d be tempted to look into a passive-cooled solution for HTPC use and there’s certainly enough room to do so.
All panels back in place and the whole thing looks as sleek and clean as it did when I took it out of the box; this would make a stunning addition to any high-end home AV center.
If you think that premium build quality like this doesn’t come cheap, you would be absolutely right. The Streacom ST-F12CS Aluminium ATX HTPC Chassis can be picked up from Overclockers.co.uk for £199.99 and that’s a real dent in most people’s wallets. Then again, if you’re matching this up with a large 4K TV, a few high-end GPUs, a sleek AV receiver and more, I guess the cost is more relative to the kind of setup than it would be with a desktop chassis solution.
This is pure gadget porn, it’s as simple a chassis I could imagine, yet it oozes premium quality from start to finish. All of the fuss you find with a lot of chassis has been stripped out and you’re left with the absolute basics, yet it still manages to deliver everything you’re likely to need. There are a few glaring issues, though, but how much they affect you depends on the type of build you’re trying to achieve. There are no front panel USB ports, or any other types of connectivity for that matter. If you’re wanting to use gaming controllers or storage drives, you may want to look into wireless solutions. The chassis also supports an IRRC or FLIRC IR solution, although that is sold separately and a Bluetooth remote would likely be cheaper and easier to install.
There are no fans pre-installed either, but again, this is outweighed pretty well by the seven huge ventilation cut-outs with high-quality dust filters in each. I’ve no issue with this coming without fans, as when you’re spending this much on a chassis, you’re already in the market of a custom build and likely to invest in your own premium after-market solutions, such as a set of super quiet Noctua fans, if you even need them at all that is.
The whole point of this chassis is super clean looks and room for high-end hardware and it delivers just that. The front panel is gorgeous and there are as few visual distractions as you could hope for from a HTPC-type chassis. If you’ve spent thousands on creating a home cinema, you’re not going to want big buttons and lights everywhere that detract from the viewing experience, although I think I would personally prefer the black version of the chassis, but the silver may match up better with your existing hardware, that’s really up to each individual user.
The modular drive/fan mounts are handy. The baron interior of the chassis can be quickly tailored to your own storage and cooling needs, especially so with those top rails that can be used for extra cooling and even a water cooling radiator.
- Extremely high build quality
- Extensive cooling and dust filters
- Modular drive/fan mounts
- Support for large GPUs
- Huge amount of space for PSU
- Clean looking front panel
- Tool free top-panel
- IR support
- No fans pre-installed
- No front panel connectivity
- Expensive, but that’s the premium you pay for thick aluminium vs a steel construction chassis
“The F12C is easy to fall in love with. What it lacks in a little practicality, it makes up for with a truly stunning design that makes for a pleasing addition to any home AV setup.”
Thank you OCUK for providing us with this sample.