Interior Design (cont’d)

Of course this is more to look at; choosing a SFF case is a very touchy subject! 

AOpen XC Cube EY855-II Pentium M SFF Review - Systems  1

Spacing of the components – Right

This shot shows the component spacing of the AOpen EY855-II system from the right hand side, assuming the face of the system is directly in front of you.  As with most SFF designs, very little of the space inside goes unused. 

AOpen XC Cube EY855-II Pentium M SFF Review - Systems  2

Spacing of the components – Left

Here is the same shot, but from the opposite side.  You can see here how close the expansion card and video card are getting to the procesor and drive cage. 

AOpen XC Cube EY855-II Pentium M SFF Review - Systems  3

AGP and PCI Slots

Though the AGP slot is only rated at 4x speeds, modern GPUs will still work with it.  From this angle it is obvious that only single-slot cooled video cards are going to work in this case — no X850 XT PEs or 6800 Ultras (well, maybe).  I’m sure that smiling face on the fan is telling us how much fun we are going to have when the system finally boots up.

AOpen XC Cube EY855-II Pentium M SFF Review - Systems  4

AGP card installed

Well, I guess at least a couple 6800 Ultra cards could fit in the system, though this power supply wouldn’t provide enough power to them to function reliably.  Our test installation here also shows a small problem that AOpen needed to address before shipping — the drive cage was coming extremely close to the back of longer graphics cards!  Mixing metal-on-solder action with a running system is a disaster waiting to happen, so AOpen made a quick design add on to help fix things up.

AOpen XC Cube EY855-II Pentium M SFF Review - Systems  5

Plastic guard around cage

The solution was simple: add a glued on plastic protector to the back corner of the drive cage, thus preventing the hard drive or the cage itself from making contact with the back side of a video card.  The protective plastic doesn’t extend all the way to the fron to the case, though most cards should fit fine in this configuration.

AOpen XC Cube EY855-II Pentium M SFF Review - Systems  6

The included CPU cooler

Finally, a view of the AOpen CPU cooler that is provided with the system, outside of the case.  This cooler is noticeably larger than that used in our first look at the Pentium M, but the fan also rotates much more slowly, so the overall cooling effects turn out to be pretty similar in our testing.  That’s not a bad thing of course, as both of these systems overclocked pretty well, as we’ll see on the coming pages.  

« PreviousNext »