I bought Flirkey’s in May 2020 (9 months ago) and I use it most of the time. So today I’m going to share with you my honesty about this interesting case for the Raspberry Pi.
Made of aluminum, the Flirc’s enclosure not only makes your Raspberry Pi look good, but also provides an innovative solution for cooling it.
This box is marketed as ideal for use in a media center, and as a means of accessing the GPIO pins and SD card slot.
You can see this theory on their presentation page. Let’s see how it works in real life and what you need to know before you try it.
What’s my experience? I don’t think I’ve ever taken my Pi 4 off this case in the past six months, and I’ve never switched to another case. I use it almost every day, mostly to test operating systems and software, not so much to test accessories as to test external circuits. I also use it with an Ethernet cable and my favorite Bluetooth keyboard.
Overview of hinged boxes
After this brief introduction to the case and my use of it, let’s review the important things you need to know about it.
The design of the case is excellent, in my opinion. It looks great on your desk or under the television. The colors aluminum and black plastic go well with other devices (computers, TVs, screens, etc.). alt=width=800 height=156 data-ezsrc=https://feedbuzzard.com/wp-content/webpc-passthru.php?src=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Is-it-Really-the-Best-6-Months-Usage–.jpg-.jpg&nocache=1 data-ez= />
Compared to the one I have, it’s one I like to have around my desk. It reminds me of early versions of Intel’s NUC (like this one).
I don’t know why, but for my desktop use, I’d rather have something that looks like a standard computer than a cluttered case with GPIO pins and a fan in it.
alt=fraspberry pi fan width=405 height=250 data-ezsrc=https://feedbuzzard.com/wp-content/webpc-passthru.php?src=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1611997750_898_Is-it-Really-the-Best-6-Months-Usage–.jpg-.jpg&nocache=1 data-ez= /> It was the first time I had ever been with a pi raspberry fan.
It had other advantages, but was not comparable in design.
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A Flirty case may look like a high-end product, with Apple-like design and innovative features, but it’s not.
You can easily find it around $20 (on Amazon, for example), so it’s really affordable, and in the price range of other Raspberry Pi boxes. Comparing prices of boxes of Raspberry Pi 4.
Actually, I bought mine on P-Supley to test their services. This is a well-known store of Raspberry Pi, based in the UK, which delivers worldwide.
I even have a discount code for you if you are interested (RASPBERRYTIPS), get 10% off all products, including the flirc case package (direct link here). alt=pisupply flirc case package width=1024 height=576 data-ezsrc=https://feedbuzzard.com/wp-content/webpc-passthru.php?src=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1611997753_881_Is-it-Really-the-Best-6-Months-Usage–.jpg-.jpg&nocache=1 data-ez= />Yes, they are very satisfied customer.
As I mentioned in the introduction, the Flirc case has a pretty innovative cooling system. There is no fan or heat sink to stick on the CPU, and it’s not like a traditional passive case. alt=width=800 height=346 data-ezsrc=https://feedbuzzard.com/wp-content/webpc-passthru.php?src=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1611997755_147_Is-it-Really-the-Best-6-Months-Usage–.jpg-.jpg&nocache=1 data-ez= />
In fact, the top of the enclosure itself is a heat sink. The aluminum case touches the Raspberry Pi processor and conducts heat to the outside of the case. The casing can get a little warm after a few hours of normal use, but that’s normal, that’s just how it works.
Message: As shown in the figure, a thermal pad is included. This conducts heat from the processor to the case.
With the exception of the design and cooling system, the other features are pretty much the same:
- The housing is easy to install. There are only 4 screws underneath to hold everything in place. The Pi raspberry fits perfectly into the case, so assembly is not difficult at all.
- The SD card slot is easily accessible. I had no problems. With my Raspberry Pi 3B+, for example, I often put an SD card between the slot and the enclosure, but this never happens with the Flirc enclosure.
- There is a slot under the housing through which the GPIO connector or possibly the camera strap can be fed. As we’ll see later, it’s heavy, and you’ll probably never use it that way.
- Finally, there are rubber feet underneath the housing so you won’t scratch your desk or TV cabinet with this housing.
My thoughts on the Flirk case.
What I like
Like I said, I use this bag all the time, so it works well for me, and I like the whole product. I will limit myself to two main points to help you make a decision.
I’ll be brief, as I explained in an earlier episode. But if design is important to you, that’s probably a strong argument for preferring the Flirc case over other options.
If you still have a lot of cables, HATs and sensors lying around your Raspberry Pi, this might not be a problem, but for office or media center use, this is one of the best options.
This makes the cooling system original compared to competitors who mainly use conventional fans and radiators. But how effective is this solution?
In the past I have written a benchmark comparing different cooling solutions, from base cases to ICE towers. You can consult it if you are interested.
I did the same test for Flirc Case so I can share the results with you and compare them to other options. alt=width=783 height=434 data-ezsrc=https://feedbuzzard.com/wp-content/webpc-passthru.php?src=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1611997757_221_Is-it-Really-the-Best-6-Months-Usage–.jpg-.jpg&nocache=1 data-ez= />
During this test I loaded the processor at 100% for 2 minutes and noted the evolution of the temperature. As you can see, the raspberry’s Pi stays well below the maximum temperature of 80 °C and barely reaches 50 °C after 2 minutes of CPU load. So, pretty good.
For comparison, here are the results of my benchmark: Best cooling solutions for raspberry PI 4
The results look good for the Flirk case. It’s obviously not the best option, as a big fan or an armored box will do better, but if looks are important to you, it’s the best choice for a solid cooling system.
And silence is really good for that kind of use.
Even after 8 hours of work on the Pi 4 Framboise, I couldn’t detect any overheating. I don’t like mining or extreme use of processors, but again, it’s perfect for use on a desk or in a multimedia center. This should also be good for a gaming platform.
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What I don’t like.
GPIO / camera access
As I said, this is not my primary use, but I know many of you use GPIO pins on your Raspberry Pi 4, either to connect the HAT or to connect to an electronic circuit. So I think it’s important to talk about it.
First, if you want to use the hat: That’s not possible. There’s no way to connect him to this case. The cover cannot be removed or replaced, so the only solution is to disassemble the assembly. So it’s probably not the best solution for you if you use RBT regularly.
Even if you want to use GPIO pins, this is probably not the best choice. On their website they explain that you can use such a GPIO connector via a slot under the housing, but that’s not very convenient.
You need to plug it in permanently, it will probably hit the top of the cabinet and you need to keep it upside down or unstable. alt=width=600 height=411 data-ezsrc=https://feedbuzzard.com/wp-content/webpc-passthru.php?src=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1611997760_694_Is-it-Really-the-Best-6-Months-Usage–.jpg-.jpg&nocache=1 data-ez= />
So if you plan on using the GPIO pins on a regular basis, for HAT or circuits, I would prefer a different box. For example, the passive speaker I tested earlier was perfect for this.
Again: The Flirc case is suitable for office use, not for anything else. alt=width=600 height=338 data-ezsrc=https://feedbuzzard.com/wp-content/webpc-passthru.php?src=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1611997761_648_Is-it-Really-the-Best-6-Months-Usage–.jpg-.jpg&nocache=1 data-ez= />
It’s the same with the camera. If you use it all the time (or never), that’s fine, but if you want to plug and unplug it frequently, it’s not practical. You have to unscrew the case every time, there is no other way to do it.
I rarely use wifi on the Raspberry Pi. As I explained earlier, I prefer to have a wifi extension on my desktop and connect the Raspberry Pi to it with an Ethernet cable. This way I don’t have to set up Wi-Fi every time I install a new operating system. You can use such devices if you want too.
I saw some bad reviews on Amazon about the wifi issues with the Flirc case. So I checked it out, thought it was probably a bad operation. Here are the results I got.
My initial check with iwconfig and wavemon showed no problems. The performance and the quality of the connection are comparable:
- alt=width=600 height=407 data-id=6748 data-full-url=https://feedbuzzard.com/wp-content/webpc-passthru.php?src=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1611997763_956_Is-it-Really-the-Best-6-Months-Usage–.jpg-.jpg&nocache=1 data-link=https://raspberrytips.com/?attachment_id=6748 data-ezsrc=https://raspberrytips.com/?attachment_id=6748-.jpg data-ez= />With the body in shreds
- alt=width=600 height=400 data-id=6747 data-full-url=https://raspberrytips.com/?attachment_id=6747-.jpg data-link=https://raspberrytips.com/?attachment_id=6747 data-ezsrc=https://raspberrytips.com/?attachment_id=6747-.jpg data-ez= /> case-insensitive
But if you look closer, you’ll see that the prescription rate is quite different. I thought it was a temporary problem, but when I did the speed test with the Flirc case, there was no doubt: alt=width=731 height=126 data-ezsrc=https://feedbuzzard.com/wp-content/webpc-passthru.php?src=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1611997767_73_Is-it-Really-the-Best-6-Months-Usage–.jpg-.jpg&nocache=1 data-ez= />.
I have an internet connection of 100 MB, with an average of 30-40 MB in wifi, but only 3 MB for flirting :/
I don’t know if the wifi range is affected (it probably is), but I’m sure your internet speed depends on the aluminum case.
Therefore, it is interesting to know if you have a fast internet connection or if you are a bit far from a Wi-Fi router.
We’ve seen that aluminum is not a good idea for a better Wi-Fi experience, but there’s also a small drawback I want to end with.
Yes, the aluminum style is great, but if you use it seriously like I did, you’re constantly plugging things in and out and probably getting little scratches on it. alt=width=600 height=188 data-ezsrc=https://feedbuzzard.com/wp-content/webpc-passthru.php?src=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/1611997768_526_Is-it-Really-the-Best-6-Months-Usage–.jpg-.jpg&nocache=1 data-ez= />
After a few months, your case may look like this. I don’t know if you can see all the scratches in the picture, but you get the idea. You will never have this problem with plastic cases.
They have a black version of this case, the Kodi edition (see pictures on Amazon). Maybe black aluminum is better hidden.
Anyway, no big deal, just something I saw and wanted to share.
short and soft
Before concluding this discussion, a few words about the Flirk case.
Pros and cons
|nice affair||Use of the GPIO and camera ports is impractical|
|Ideal for board games, media centers and retro games.||Slowdown of your Wi-Fi connection|
|The cooling system is pretty good and quiet.||RBT cannot be used with it.|
The raspberry-foot flirting affair –
The Flirc Case is ideal for using your Raspberry Pi as a desktop device or media center. Especially in a relatively static installation where the GPIO and camera ports are not needed. Moreover, it is preferable to use it with an Ethernet cable to get a decent internet connection.
If you have identified your typical use in this ranking, you can buy yours now, you will not regret it. I am an ideal client for this case and, as I said at the beginning, I have not moved on to another case in six months. So it’s all good:
Alternatives to be considered
If you’re not using a Raspberry Pi like I am, don’t worry, I’ve got your back. I’ve already tried other options, and I probably have a better one for you:
- If you need a passive package but use the GPIO ports (with HAT or wire only), you can switch to the shielded version. I tested it here.
- If the cooling system in the Flirc cabinet is not sufficient for you, the only solution I have at this time is to switch to an ICE tower. I looked here, but I don’t know if there’s a reason.
- And finally, if you like everything except the wifi problem, I haven’t found a better solution yet. I received the Argon Neo this week and will be testing it soon, but for now my best advice would be to use a Wi-Fi extender or a Wi-Fi USB adapter ://
If you have anything to add to this exam, have any questions, or would like another exam, please let me know in the comments below. I will do everything in my power to help you.
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