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AOpen XC Cube EZ65
By Vijay Anand
Category : Barebone/SFF
Published by Jimmy Tang on Wednesday, 4th February, 2004
Rating : 5 out of 5 stars  

When An SFF Meets An Apple G4 Cube

We have seen a plethora of SFF designs from our reviews coverage and a glimpse of what’s to come in our overseas events coverage, but we believe one SFF style would always be sought after if it were executed well. How about one that resembles an Apple computer system? Ask yourself, how often have you eyed on the latest iMac, eMac or a Power Mac? We cannot deny that Apple Computer Inc’s line of personal computers are among the most sought after because of their appealing design and usability, but it comes with a hefty price tag and uncertainty because the majority of users are deeply entrenched in the world of Microsoft Windows and software that runs on them.

Today, we are proud to say that die-hard PC users no longer have to forego the beauty of Apple computer systems because of AOpen’s bold entry into the SFF arena. It may not be the most perfect substitute, but as AOpen’s first SFF system, we are astonished by the effort put in to their XC Cube line of SFF systems. In this review, we take an in-depth look at AOpen’s XC Cube EZ65, which is based on an Intel 865G platform.

AOpen’s new product packages maintain a very simple and clean design, but as the saying goes, don’t judge what’s inside by its cover.

Here is what’s in store for you when you purchase an AOpen XC Cube EZ65 barebone SFF system:

  • AOpen XC Cube EZ65 barebones system
  • Custom-length floppy, CD-ROM, HDD-IDE and SATA cables
  • Power cord
  • AOpen P4 HSF
  • AOpen XC Cube User Manual
  • AOpen XC Cube Easy Installation Guide
  • Drivers CD (with Pro Magic 6.0 software)
  • AOpen XC Cube Step-by-Step Installation Video CD
  • Installation kit (contains needed screws)
  • Soft Cloth for cleaning the AOpen XC Cube.

    Something that caught our attention in the above-mentioned list was the inclusion of an Installation Video CD that goes through every assembly step in order to fully complete building an SFF system. After viewing it ourselves, we’ve got to hand it to the folks at AOpen that even the uninitiated can easily put together an AOpen XC Cube system from scratch. Once again, AOpen has shown how consumer orientated they are when developing products. It was as if their R&D and company philosophy revolves around the consumer’s usage point of view. This wasn’t the only friendly aspect as there were others such as the Easy Installation Guide that lived up to its name of simplicity and the User Manual with more detailed information and loads of color pictures to guide you. Kudos goes to AOpen for the consumer friendly appeal found in the XC Cube SFF series.

    Before we take an in-depth look at what this SFF had to offer, we detail its main specifications below:-

    AOpen XC Cube EZ65 Technical Specifications
    Case Parameters
    • AOpen custom form factor ATX specification
    • Slots for 2 expansion cards (1x AGP 8x/4x, 1x  PCI)
    • 1 x 5.25-inch drive bays (external)
    • 1 x 3.5-inch drive bays (external)
    • 1 x 3.5-inch drive bays (internal)
    • Power button
    • Blue LED for power on indication
    Expansion Ports
    • Front Panel 
      • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
      • 1 x Firewire port (6-pin)
      • 1 x Firewire port (mini-DV)
      • 1x Line-out / Headphone
      • 1x Mic-in
      • 1x Optical output
    • Back Panel 
      • 1x Serial Port
      • 1x Parallel port
      • 1x VGA output
      • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
      • 1x RJ45 10/100/1000Mbps LAN port
      • 1x Center/Bass speaker output
      • 1x Front Left / Right speaker output
      • 1x Rear Left / Right speaker output
      • 1x SPDIF Coaxial output
      • 1x SPDIF Optical input
    Motherboard Type and CPU Support
    • AOpen UX4SG-1394 AOpen Form Factor ATX
    • Based on Intel 865G chipset
    • Supports Socket-478 CPU (400/533/800 PSB)
      • Willamette not supported
    • Supports dual-channel DDR266 / DDR333 / DDR400 memory
    Storage Subsystem
    • Intel ICH5 Southbridge
      • 2x IDE ATA-100 connectors
      • 2x SATA ports
      • 1x Floppy conenctor
    Graphics Subsystem
    • Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2
    Sound Subsystem
    • Realtek ALC650 6-Channel sound codec with SPDIF output/input
    Case Cooling
    • SilenTek
    Power Supply
    • AOpen 220W (with Active PFC)
    Dimensions & Weight
    • Width: 200mm
    • Height: 185mm
    • Depth: 300mm
    • Material : Aluminum body/cover with acrylic front panel
    • Color: Pearl White
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