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AOpen EZ65 XCcube SFF PC Review

AOpen EZ65 XCcube SFF PC Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Aopen EZ65 XCcube handled the benchmarks superbly; it would certainly keep me satisfied if it were my 24/7 machine.
 92% Rating:   
Filed under: Computer / SFF PCs Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Aopen Apr 28 2004   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Computer / SFF PCs > Aopen EZ65 XCcube

Inside the XCcube Case

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.

With 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 removed.

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 friendly...

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.

The only 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.

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Contents of Article: Aopen EZ65 XCcube
 Pg 1.  AOpen EZ65 XCcube SFF PC Review
 Pg 2.  Clean White Lines
 Pg 3.  — Inside the XCcube Case
 Pg 4.  The SFF Motherboard
 Pg 5.  Test Specs and Sysmark 2004
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Winbench 99
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2004, Super Pi, PCMark2002
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, AquaMark3, Comanche 4
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, UT2003

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