Say hello to PCChips' latest small form-factor barebone PC. The EZW-3060 is a fairly standard unit as far as mini-PCs go, but boasts one major feature that sets it apart from the rest. We’re speaking of the EZ-Watcher system, which gives the user a unique LED-based front panel display and overclocking dial.
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The EZ-Watcher front display readout is not entirely unique, as several PCs equipped with front-panel displays of one sort or another have been available in recent times. However few have matched the EZW-3060’s level of complexity and integration. The LED-based display indicates CPU clock speed, as well as system and CPU temperature bar graphs, and even offers basic ‘state of health’ monitors for the motherboard, RAM, and IDE drives. CPU speed is calculated using the system bus clock, and system and CPU temperatures are derived from thermistors (one on the motherboard, and one internal to the P4 core).
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Turn the Overclocking Dial, and the magic begins. As the dial is rotated, the EZW-3060 slowly increases the system bus clock, 1 MHz at a time. The digital display on the front changes to show the correct new clock speed, and for each 3% increase (or decrease), another bar on the LED display illuminates (or disappears). Extremists needn’t worry, though, as once you run out of bars, you can still keep on turning the dial, as high as your hardware will let you. A very neat concept, but will it hold water? Let’s take a closer look.