Obviously a SFF comes readily assembled and the AOpen XC cube is no exception. Everything is already mounted into the chassis and all the cables are routed properly and fasted with tie-wraps, paving the way for a quick, trouble-free and easy installation. All that we need to add is a processor, memory, a harddrive and a cdrom, cdrw or dvd/dvd-cdrw combo drive, and if needed, a floppy drive. The manual could very well be one of the best manuals, albeit littered with spelling errors, we’ve seen to date as it explains everything, from the pure basics up to advanced bios settings, illustrated by full color photos of the actual installation. With the manual as a step-by-step guide in one hand and a screwdriver in the other even the most inexperienced pc enthusiast will have no trouble getting the XC cube up and running properly.
Fig 4. The manual is clear and detailed, covering every aspect of getting the XC cube up and running.
We found no difficulties with mounting our devices into the XC cube’ interior. Especially the removable harddisk tray was a nice addition and doesn’t require you to fiddle around with connectors in the cramped interior as the tray conveniently positions the connectors sideways. We opted for a quiet Seagate Barracuda Serial-Ata harddisk in our configuration to see exactly how quiet the XC cube is. We were pleasantly surprised to find that even with a 3.2GHz Intel processor fan noise was kept to a minimum and we would not object to having it sit on our desktop. Only when we were taxing the system to its fullest the processor fan spun up to a higher speed, with somewhat increased noise, but nothing like we’re used to from conventional desktops.
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