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AOpen EZ65 XCcube SFF PC Review
AOpen EZ65 XCcube SFF PC Review - PCSTATS
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

AOpen EZ65 XCcube SFF PC Review

There's a well known saying that good things come in small packages, but that hasn't always rung true with Small Form Factor (SFF) PCs. With the birth of SFF computing, we have seen these tiny toaster-sized PC's evolve from novelty items which could barely handle first person shooter games, to systems which rival even the most powerful full-tower computers today. With so many custom built full-sized computers out there forming one big ocean of beige, it's good to know that SFF PC's aren't just for word processing on integrated graphics chips anymore.

Shuttle were the first mainboard manufacturer to mass produce SFF PC's, and they have arguably become quite successful at it once their first AGP-less models were discontinued. As the SFF PC movement has gained momentum, companies from Abit to MSI, and Soltek to AOpen have each introduced their own varying models onto the market. Some SFF PC's have included a bewildering array of blinking lights, stereo and home theatre options, questionable overclocking modules, and even electro luminescent front panels. In this review, PCstats will be testing out AOpen's brand spanking new EZ65 XCcube - a small form factor PC built on impeccable design, with one of the best internal layouts we've ever seen.

The Aopen EZ65 XCcube is based around the powerful, yet thrifty Intel i865G Northbridge chipset, and ICH5 Southbridge. It supports any Socket478 Pentium 4 Northwood processor, but it is unclear if it will work with the newly released Prescott core (known to demand a little more power than previous processors). The board has two available DIMM slots for upto 2GB of DDR RAM, in the PC3200 region. Other standard features include 5.1 audio, IEEE 1394, Serial ATA, Gigabit LAN (Broadcom), 8X AGP and PCI slots.

The EZ65 XCcube is equipped well enough to replace a standard workstation PC in the home or office, at just a fraction of the space required for a full-sized computer. AOpen's XCcube can also be used in places where space is an issue, and where the multimedia powers of a small computer would be great; for example, as part of a home theatre set up.

AOpen EZ65 XCcube


User Manuals, power cord, case screws, IDE and floppy cables, EZ65 CPU heatsink, driver disks, Serial ATA, ATA-molex power cord, shammy for polishing the XCcube.

First impressions say a lot, and after cracking open the colourful XCcube box, we immediately thought AOpen had abandoned the PC market and gone Apple.... if not in the technological sense, at least in appearance.

The clean white front of the EZ65 XCcube is reminiscent of recent Mac's, but what is under the glossy white aluminum chassis is certainly not Apple technology. To maintain the clean, uncluttered appearance, Aopen have hidden the 5.25" CD-ROM and 3.5" Floppy bays behind some plastic flaps which match the front of the case perfectly. The CD-ROM bay cover only opens when the drive's tray is open. This is accomplished with a small chrome-plated button just to the right.

To access the floppy drive, if you happen to install one, the spring loaded flap opens by pushing it in. The same mechanism is used to hide the lower media ports. If you use a lot of multimedia devices with your PC, it is pretty handy to have all the jacks up front, and accessible.

AOpen have made things simple for the user by placing these ports up front on the EZ65 XCcube. There's an optical out, a microphone and headphone jack for music, two USB and two IEEE 1394 ports as well. When the multimedia jacks are not being used, the flap can be closed so they are not visible.

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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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