HDPLEX H5 Is Fanless with Super Pipes

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 11, 2015 - 08:30 AM |
Tagged: HDPLEX, h5, fanless

FanlessTech published a preview of the updated H5 case from HDPLEX, which accepts CPUs that are up to 90W TDP. That is a lot of potential performance for a silent device, especially since it includes an optional fanless heatsink for dual-slot graphics cards. That said, because the company creates home theater PCs (HTPCs), they have a reasonable amount of room to work with, unlike a NUC (or similar) form factor. It keeps the components cool by attaching them to the case itself with heat pipes, using its mass and surface area as a reservoir and radiator to keep the heat away. The CPU and GPU each have access to eight pipes, sixteen total.

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Beyond the home theater application, I can see this being useful for many professionals, especially sound engineers, who want a lot of performance but no noise. And even though it is not tiny, it is not even a foot and a half at its largest dimension, so it should not be too difficult to find room for it in a cabinet or something. Also, just to put the 90W TDP into perspective, Devil's Canyon is listed at an 88W TDP. You could probably fit one of those in here, although non-trivial overclocking is likely out of the question.

So yeah, fanless Devil's Canyon with options for a fanless discrete GPU. I think I made my point.

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This photo is from the previous model. The upcoming chassis is not yet pictured.

The final design is not yet published, which is why we included the picture of its previous incarnation, but HDPLEX claims that production is currently in the tooling phase. Despite not yet being available, it is listed to sell for $275 USD. If the previous design is any indication, it is quite stylish too. It could pass for a retail BluRay player if people don't stop and wonder why there isn't a brand logo on the front.

Source: HDPLEX

February 11, 2015 | 09:48 AM - Posted by collie

Question about these "All Heat-Sync" cases, and let me be clear, I've been in love with the concept since I saw it first time about 5 years ago BUT i've never had any hands on time, So question(s): does there need to be any air flow inside (for cooling the chipset, ram ect) or does the case dissipate enough heat even from non contact points, is there a thermal limitation on the EXTERNAL temperature, does there need to be moving air outside the case, and finally is it possible to install a passive GPU and possibly link the cooler into the case?

The reason I ask is I have a friend with a benign brain tumor that, for whatever weird reason, makes white noise torture, and it's getting worse as he ages. I built his last 2 rigs for him, completly silent but there has always been serious sacrifices on power due to budget, his current system is a clovertrail desktop, not a smooth experience to say the least. It's about time for him to upgrade, and with cases like this AND the low TDP race to the bottom perhaps his next rig will be more PC and less compromise, perhaps even a minimal 720p gaming system. (and never forget, playing on low is better than not being able to play)

February 11, 2015 | 12:40 PM - Posted by justin150 (not verified)

Collie: I have 2 fanless cases one for an i3 NUC and the other is HDPLEX 3 case which has an i7-3770T inside it (HTPC use only).

The NUC is fine for moderate gaming up to 1080p but will get hot. No use for proper modern games.

Short answer is that currently if you want to do some modern gaming with a separate GPU there will need to be some airflow. Personally I would go for a case such as silverstone TJ08 (although new Thermaltake core x2 looks interesting) coupled with fanless GPU and small PSU. If something like a Nofan CPU cooler would fit you could have minimal noise (low ref 180mm fan only)

February 11, 2015 | 01:16 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Thanks for the advice!

February 12, 2015 | 08:26 AM - Posted by collie

Thanks for the info! Very good to know. HOWEVER for this perticular friend it needs to be fan-less 100%, It's not a big deal, he will be happy without a GPU, I got excited about the idea of throwing one in, even something as low as a r7 240, but i guess that will have to wait till the next build at least.

February 12, 2015 | 06:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Argh, it sounds so tempting, but $275 is real steep considering that's probably without the PSU and the GPU heatsink.

February 12, 2015 | 11:03 AM - Posted by justin150 (not verified)

Collie: For completely fanless with separate GPU is tricky, you will need a fair bit of research. I am sure I have seen a case with separate heat pipes for CPU and GPU. Maybe try QuietPC they might be able to help.

Without a GPU easiest solution is Intel NUC with passive case (several makers).

Streacom do some nice passive cases. I would also look at low voltage RAM (any power savings are a good idea for fanless design) and probably "T" series Intel CPU as this usually has lowest TDP for power outage. Obviously a lapto CPU would be better but often difficult to source those.

SSD not HDD (less noise and heat). PSU would be tricky, maybe external power brick.

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