Don't let the small size of the
AOpen EX915 XCube fool
you. It can easily be outfitted with the latest PCI Express and SATA components
to make a real computer powerhouse!
The concept of the small form factor PC
is so basic and simple, yet it took a long before they really caught on.
We've played with a few SFF PCs
already here at PCStats, and while most are visually appealing, they tend to be
a nightmare to work inside of. If you forget one thing during the installation
process you might find yourself having to tear the entire contraption apart just
to fix it. That isn't the case here, when you need to upgrade the EX915 XCube,
it's no big deal, as this tiny SFF PC is so well laid out that almost all the
essential components are immediately accessible. With a solid black anodized
aluminum cover, and aluminum chassis, the AOpen EX915 XCube is also easily one
of the coolest looking SFF PC's on the market... and by that I mean a piece of
kit you can place next to your home theatre system, and not suffer the fate of a
million bright blinking lights. .
Other manufacturers should
definitely take note of the time and effort that AOpen obviously spent designing
their cases. All the little things are done right; from using zip ties to keep
big system cables away from the other system components to rounding over the
sharp metal edges. I can only hope that AOpen will one day come out with a
variant based on the Athlon64 processor and nForce 4 chipset
In terms of features, the AOpen
EX915 XCube is pretty well loaded. There's 1394b firewire, 7.1-channel audio,
and Gigabit LAN for starters. The PC also comes with an integrated onboard
videocard (Intel GMA 900) which is not great for new 3D games, but works just fine in the 2D world...
and for 3D games from a couple of years ago. Should you find yourself needing
something that's not included, you can add one 32bit PCI expansion card as well
as a PCI-Express 16x-based graphics card for gaming. Overclocking was not this
PCs strong suit, so hardcore overclockers should look to more traditional
In terms of performance, the
AOpen EX915 XCube
easily kept up with other motherboard/CPU combos based on the same chipset.
Given that these were all fully-fledged desktop motherboards, this is great to
see. The XCube can easily go toe to toe with with any 915 or 925 based Intel
system given an equivalent processor. If you're in the market for a SFF PC,
definitely check out the AOpen EX915 XCube! It looks awesome, is extremely user
friendly, easy to work on, and is as fast as they come! Compared to other SFF
PCs on the market, the AOpen EX915 XCube is the cream of the crop.
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4. AOpen EZ65 XCcube SFF PC
5. Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz Extreme Edition