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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

The SFF Motherboard

Don't let the small size of the AOpen UX4SG-1394 motherboard that powers the EZ65 XCcube fool you, it's easily as powerful as any of the regular sized i865PE motherboards on the market. Sporting the swift Intel i865G chipset, this motherboard can handle even the fastest Northwood Pentium 4 processors without a hitch.

The UX4SG-1394 has almost everything you'd need from even a high end performance PC. It comes with Gigabit LAN, 5.1 audio, on board video (care of the i865G chipset) and obviously IEEE 1394. If there's something else you need, there is one PCI and one AGP slot available for expansion.

There are only two DIMM slots which support a maximum of 2GB of DDR memory, but because you have to install DIMM's in pairs to get the dual channel memory controller functioning, you'd better buy what you need right at the beginning.

There is thermistor inside the Pentium 4 CPU socket to record temperature readings for the SilentTek system used to keep the case cool, with the least amount of noise. The Intel Pentium4 3.0C processor we used for testing ran quite hot, but the system was completely stable.

Even though you'll probably never look at the PCB of the motherboard, AOpen still did a great job at labelling the various ports around the board. With the motherboard out in the open the layout looks odd and out of place, but once it's inside the EZ65 XCcube everything fits together very nicely.

The CPU Cooler and SilentTek

AOpen include a custom socket 478 heatsink with the EZ65 XCcube, and it has a 6mm thick copper base with 23 rather thick aluminum fins. Instead of having the fan blow down on the heatsink in an impingement fashion, the 70mm Everflow (R127015DU) fan blows horizontally across the heatsink. This helps move hot air towards the side exhaust grill in the aluminum case cover.

I couldn't find much information on the Everflow R127015DU fan, which is 70x70x15mm in size, and pushes ~30 CFM of air at around 31 dB. AOpen's special SilentTek technology automatically lowers the rotation speed of the fan on the CPU cooler, and does not raise it until the processor reaches a certain temperature (remember that little thermistor under the CPU?).

This feature worked extremely well during out benchmarking of the unit, and the heatsink could not be heard with the cover on at all.

Overclocking the XCcube

While the BIOS does have basic overclocking options, we couldn't push the AOpen EZ65 XCcube very far. The maximum FSB we were able to reach was a mere 205 MHz; I believe this may have had some relationship to CPU and Northbridge cooling, but since this is a SFF PC I'm not overly concerned about high OC numbers. It's okAY though, I can't see anyone buying the AOpen EZ65 XCcube for overclocking, this system was built with quiet, compact, computing in mind.

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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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