Details of Streacom's upcoming DB4 fan-free case, due to launch later this year, have been revealed - and show a clever modular design that could allow for totally passive cooling of a surprisingly powerful system.
According to details provided by Streacom to silent cooling specialist site FanlessTech
, the DB4 is a sleek 250mm aluminium cube raised from a surface by a single curved-aluminium 'foot' and fitted with a glossy piano-black plastic lid. The aluminium sides are cut with ridges running vertically, and they're not just for show: each side of the case acts as a passive heatsink for the components inside.
Streacom claims that the DB4 is capable of cooling 65W TDP components on each side, with a separate component able to be connected to all four sides. Speaking to FanlessTech, Streacom's Oliver Pusse explained: 'You can use one side for the CPU, one for a dedicated GPU, and another one for our fanless 250 Watt ZeroFlex power supply.
' Even that configuration would leave one side free to cool something else, thanks to an interesting layout that leaves the motherboard sitting vertically and the input/ouput panel facing downwards - hence the raised foot and gap for cable management visible in some of the photos.
It's a clever design, and one that will appeal to those who need truly silent computing, but it is also somewhat limited: while the case is technically suited to up to 260W of passive heat dissipation, its limit of 65W per component - unless the user fancies daisy-chaining two sides together to cool one part, which is unlikely to work terribly well - means that top-end parts aren't going to be compatible. While CPUs will be relatively well supported - Intel's Haswell Core i7-4770S features a 65W TDP, for example - GPUs are going to be a different matter, with only lower-end boards like the AMD Radeon HD 7750 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 squeaking in under the 65W limit.
With that said, even with a sub-65W processor and graphics card a DB4 system should offer pretty acceptable performance, and while it isn't going to playing games across three monitors at ultra-high settings any time soon that's a trade-off many may be willing to make in exchange for a completely silent system.
The Streacom DB4 is expected to launch in late September or early October, at a price of €200 (around £170 excluding taxes.)