With a volume of just 6ℓ but with a maximum TDP of 95W* the FC8 is a marvel of both thermal performance and minimalist design.
The small, sleek all aluminium construction features a highly efficient heat sink that minimises the industrial look by blending it with the outer curves of the case. Front connectivity is also not sacrificed with support for 2 x USB ports and an optional IR receiver, making this an ideal case for powerful and silent computing.
The FC8 Alpha is more than just the next iteration of the FC8 product line, its a massive redesign which subtly redefines its form and function.
The heatsink has been re-tooled to be sleeker, easier to clean, more balanced and ready for future heatpipe configurations. The top panel is now a single piece extrusion, making is virtually unbreakable, and the venting holes have been removed and replaced with a stealth side vent which reduces internal dust and improves convection airflow.
The drive tray has been totally re-design making it easier to install yet more versatile than ever, and now supports 2 x 3.5″* (up from just 1) whilst still having room for an optical drive and 2.5″ drive. If you prefer the non-optical version, there is room for an additional 2.5″ drive, taking the full capacity up to 5 x 2.5″ or 2 x 2.5″ + 2 x 3.5″ drives*. The tray also features variable drive position and orientation mounting, so you can optimally position your drives.
As with all Alpha cases, USB3.0 is native, the power LED is now a subtle pure white, the heatpipes and mounts have been uprated, and it is available with and without an optical drive opening.
The FC8 Evo is the next iteration of our acclaimed FC8 fanless chassis and with it comes a host of improvements and refinements that keeps this chassis on the cutting edge of design and performance.
The ultra-efficient heatsink has now been paired with our new direct touch heatpipes for even better cooling performance. The high grade aluminium extrusion is now finished with a fine sandblast texture and the front USB ports have been upgraded to support USB3.0*. Internal changes include easier drive assembly, support for an additional 2.5” drive and a universal optical drive eject button for added compatibility.
Just like its predecessor, the FC8 Evo is a perfect building block for any silent PC solution.
The original FC8 (now known as the V1) launched in 2011 and has been superseded by both the V2 and V3. The product page has been updated to show the current production version but the user guide and reviews of the V1 are still available below.
EXTRUDED AND PRECISION MILLED PANELS
The FC8 is constructed using 4mm thick extruded profiles for the front, back and wrap-around top/side panel. The heat sink side extrusion is 37mm thick, with all panels being precision machining, hand polished, sandblasted and meticulous finished using a premium anodising process.
INCREDIBLE COOLING PERFORMANCE
Despite being only 6ℓ in volume, the FC8 features an extremely compact yet efficient heat sink that is able to dissipate more than 87W of power from the CPU.
The FC8 also has the ability to utilise a number of different heat pipes and even the HT4, extending its compatibility to a wider range of motherboards and CPU locations.
Reviews & Media Coverage
There are a number of graphics cards on the market that are marketed as fanless and use integrated heat sinks to provide passing cooling for the GPU. The issue with these cards is that they are designed for use with ‘typical’ cases and depend on airflow from active cooling provided by the other fans installed in the case. As our cases tend to be very compact and do not provide any forced airflow, passive cards should not be used as they will likely overheat. If you do want to install a discreet GPU in a passively cooled case, it should be one that has specifically been designed for GPU cooling (such as the DB4), or modified to provide GPU cooling via the case heat sink.
There are really only 3 key points to check in order to determine if a motherboard is going to be compatible with the heat pipes (passive case cooling) …..
- CPU socket location – this is less of an issue these days as most motherboards have similar socket locations (other than thin-ITX) and as the heat pipes do have some adjustment, most motherboard will comply with this.
- CPU socket type – this should be one of the standard desktop sockets, not an embedded or server one type that will either be too small or too large for the CPU cooler mount.
- Component placement – probably the most common reason for a motherboard to not be compatible is the placement of components that might block the path of the heat pipes. Typically this will be VRM cooling heat sinks or plugs, but its easy to evaluate as there should be a clear path for the heat pipes to pass from the CPU socket to the side of the case (heat sink).
Additional heat pipes are available for some cases to allow for different locations and the HT4 can be used to raise the heat pipes above some components
- LH4 – Compatible with the FC5, FC9, FC10
- SH8, MH1 – Compatible with the FC8
- HT4 – Compatible with the FC8*, FC9, FC10
If you are unsure, just get in touch, send us a link to the motherboard you are considering and we will confirm its compatible.
In the past, CPU TDP was a measure of the maximum required cooling performance of a cooler to maintain the normal operating temperature of the CPU. With the advent of performance “boosting” technologies, the specified TDP is no longer an accurate representation of the required cooling performance, but more a baseline reference. When these technologies are enabled, CPUs can boost well above the specified TDP rating and they try to take advantage of thermal overheads. It is therefore important when choosing a CPU for a fanless case to consider the actual maximum TDP that the CPU can output. Wherever possible, aim for a CPU TDP that is below the case TDP rating or consider BIOS settings that will limit the CPU to the maximum TDP supported by the case.
The current CPU mount supplied with the case features adjustable arms that are compatible with the majority of current desktop sockets
Older units (pre 2019)
The FAQ section has been designed to replace that will allow us to more frequently update customers with any information that is useful. If there is anything missing, just let us know and we will add it.
If you have the V3 (Alpha) version of the case, you can use the HT4 in combination with the SH2 heat pipes but it will limit the space available for 3.5″ drives. Depending on CPU location, it might still be possible to install a 3.5″ drive, but it’s not recommended.
There are 3 different designs of heat pipe for the FC8 in order to support different motherboard CPU locations and because of the different version of the case, i.e. V2(Evo) and V3(Alpha). It should be noted that the original FC8 V1 is not compatible with the current heat pipes.
Currently, the V3 is supplied with the SH2 heat pipes. These heat pipes are NOT compatible with the V2. If you require the equivalent heat pipes to support that CPU location on a V2, you will need the MH1 heat pipes.
SH8 heat pipes are compatible with both V3 and V2 cases but are designed for the typical thin-ITX CPU location.
The optical drive bracket has been designed specifically for use with 12.7mm thick drives, so whilst it might be possible to attach it in some way, officially it is not supported.
Assuming you don’t mind the visual compromise of the case being sideways (as the bottom will be visible) plus any marking of the worktop or case because it will rest on its side, then yes, it is possible to use them in a vertical orientation but there will be a slight reduction in cooling performance. As the fins are designed for convection, having them in horizontal orientation is not optimal but the heat pipes will work in any orientation and can actually benefit slightly from being vertical. I would recommend going with a 45W TDP CPU as this will allow more headroom for the reduction in performance but you should still be OK with a 65W, especially if you take some time to optimise it for fanless cooling by undervolting and ensuring it doesn’t boost too high and push the TDP over 65W.
Whilst we are considered in many ways a boutique manufacturer, its not possible for us to produce customised versions of our cases as one-offs or in limited numbers to cater for individual requirements and modifications.
We are however able to offer a customisation service for businesses (OEM / ODM) and depending on the product and type of modification, this becomes viable at relatively low volumes.
If you can’t find the information you need, please send us a message using the ‘Get in Touch’ link at the top right of the page, choose the appropriate department and we will respond with the relevant information.