ID-Cooling Stream 1 Case Review

Final Thoughts

 

Building in the ID-Cooling Stream 1 chassis was relatively easy.  Being an open chassis design, everything is easy to access when fitting watercooling parts.  The case incorporates the ability to use G-1/4 fittings to extend a watercooling loop to use the frame (or most of it) as part of the loop.  When the In Win D-Frame first came out, I recall seeing a number of people saying that it’d be cool to run a water cooling loop through the frame (including myself).  ID-Cooling picked that idea up, and made it a reality.  That is something that I think is great for our industry of enthusiasts.

Although they were listening to the ideas of enthusiasts, was it a good idea?  As a concept, I think it’s interesting, and not a bad idea per-say, but I feel ID-Cooling focused too much on the idea and not enough on the details.  Things like the poor paint finish being patched with what appeared to be no different than a permanent marker, welds not being very nice, one of the G-1/4 port blocks welded in out of square, acrylic side panels instead of tempered glass, aluminum frame likely introducing mixed metal issues in your loop.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite happy that someone was listening to the enthusiast market, I just don’t think this example is the best implementation of it.

For the premium price that this chassis is available at (on sale for $359 on  newegg.com at time of review), I would expect to see tempered glass side panels instead of acrylic.  I would expect a higher level of quality from the paint or powder-coat finish as well.  Not being able to plug certain cables into the GPU because of a structural piece was very frustrating.  It almost sends a message that no one bothered to install a system in this chassis before doing the production run.

 

Some Tips For Watercooling
If someone were looking for tips on using this chassis to watercool, I would have to say first and foremost, make sure your fittings will be small enough diameter to work with the recess for the G-1/4 ports in the frame.  I had XSPC 90 degree angle fittings, and they just barely fit.  I could not use Primochill Revolver hardline compression fittings, as they would hit the edges of the block before they were tightened down.

Secondly, and probably most importantly, since you’ll know your fittings don’t work when they don’t fit, but liquid is liquid where problems wouldn’t be evident until it’s too late:  Make sure you run an additive to prevent galvanic corrosion from mixing aluminum and copper/brass.  I will say that again, with emphasis: Make sure you run an additive to prevent galvanic corrosion.  I would recommend running a Pre-Mix coolant like EK, Ice Dragon, Alphacool, etc.  Something that specifically mentions approved or tested with mixed metal situations.  Mixing aluminum and copper or brass can cause issues that I won’t get into here.  It’s a largely debated topic, but I’d prefer to be safe rather than sorry.

 

What I Liked

  • Easy parts access when installing
  • Unique ability for frame watercooling
  • Ability to move motherboard mounting

 

What I Liked Less

  • Aluminum in the water loop
  • Non-Glass side panels with premium price
  • Patched paint finish
  • Cross bars obstructing components
  • [Lack of] Cable management provisions

 

Modability

There really doesn’t seem like a whole lot to mod on these open air chassis other than maybe replacing the side panels with something you’ve made, or painting it.  You could do some mods to the motherboard tray as well, and if you were going to watercool that would probably be likely.  Overall, though, these frame style open-air chassis aren’t the best canvas to be doing some heavy cutting and chopping on.  Great for showing off a custom watercooling loop though.

 

Final Thoughts

I quite liked the idea of running the watercooling loop through the frame of the chassis back when a similar tubular chassis came out a few years ago.  I wasn’t the only one who thought that, and apparently ID-Cooling picked up on, or had, that same thought.  While the parts access while building was nice, that wasn’t much to do with this particular case, as it was this style of case (open air).  While it’s neat being able to route the watercooling through the frame, it seems gimmicky now that it’s actually an option.  Introducing aluminum into a waterloop is also less than ideal for many folks.   I was also unimpressed by the finish quality, and the lack of tempered glass side panels for suck a premium price point.  As a result, I feel 3 Nanners is sufficient.  It’s a decent case, and it gets the job done, but is it worth such a premium price?  That’s probably something for the potential purchaser to decide, but I have a hard time with it myself.

 

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