The AOpen EZ65 XCcube is pretty roomy inside. Important areas that you'll need to get
to during installation of the processor, HDD or memory, are easy to access without deconstructing
the entire computer.
everything installed in the small EZ65 XCcube there is still quite a bit of space to maneuver around in. The cable
management has been done so well that you can even look through from one side
to the other!
I think it's worth giving props to AOpen's designers for
building what I think is one of the best SFF PC chassis and motherboard layouts to date.
This computer is a joy to install gear into compared to some other SFF
PCs we've evaluated. The AOpen
EZ65 XCcube is built from the ground up with a remarkably well
engineered anodized aluminum chassis, a rarity among aluminum cases these days, but a small factor that
plays big in the long term.
A couple good attributes about this SFF PC
case - first all the metal edges are rounded over so there is
basically no chance of cut finger. Second, the power supply cables have been zip-tied to the
frame, so they are out of the way and air flow is
not restricted. Third, the larger cable bundles are either wrapped in mesh to keep
them tidy, or heatshrink.
Data cables from the hard drive and CDROM use
special flattened 80-pin IDE cables which are about the size of a SATA cable
(which incidently, the i865-based board features two headers for so you don't
even need to use IDE). Bottom line, the inside of the AOpen EZ65 XCcube applies
excellent cable management.
The 220W AOpen-branded
power supply which ships preinstalled
is even made from aluminum, so in the long term it will not begin to oxidize as a steel
PSU case can in humid environments.
Installing and removing the HDD/Floppy and CD-ROM (or any other optical drive)
is extremely easy and does not require you to disassemble the entire system.
AOpen place the HDD cage perpendicular to the floppy, so if you plan to upgrade
your HDD, simply slide the cage out from under the other drives and you're set.
On that note, the HDD cage is held in by a thumb screw which can be very easily
We were even able to install/remove memory despite having an ATi Radeon 9800 Pro videocard
installed. Most of the SFF PC's we've tested in the past are certainly not this user
If you decide to upgrade the Pentium 4 processor,
in most SFF computers you would typically have to remove the AGP
videocard, and possibly additional PCI devices. With the AOpen EZ65
XCcube, you can swap the CPU out without having to remove any of
the drives, or cards in the system.
real problem we had was installing a Radeon 9800 Pro. It was
actually a bit difficult because of the space restrictions, but with a bit of force we were able
to get the card to fit into the slot. Tolerances are tight though.
One thing that surprised me was that the 220W AOpen power supply could handle
the power requirements of a Pentium 4 3.0C and an ATi Radeon 9800 Pro at
the same time. Some of the other SFF PC's we have in the PCStats test labs choked
when we tried to use the 9800 Pro as the test videocard in them.