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  PCChips EZ-Watcher EZW-3060 Mini-PC 
  Nov 10, 2003, 09:30am EST 


By: Dan Mepham

We've elected not to show you benchmark numbers, as there isn't much reason to. The EZW-3060 performs just as well as any other system out there with similar hardware. And as always, your actual overclocking mileage is going to depend on your particular hardware, so equip yourself well.

In terms of usability and stability, we found the EZW-3060 to be almost everything we hoped for. The overclocking and EZ-Watcher system performed exactly as advertised, and even better in some instances. We were able in all but the most demanding situations to adjust the clockspeed on the fly, without exiting applications, and experienced no instability whatsoever. We were even able to adjust the clock speed during bootup without any loss of stability. Naturally it's safer to exit applications, or at least wait for a period of low-CPU usage to start playing with the clock frequency, but our experience suggests that the EZW-3060 is robust enough in that respect to handle some punishment. Further, the OS-independent nature of the system allows flexibility that just doesn't exist with most other products. The only real criticism we can offer relates again to the SiS chipset, as mentioned earlier. Intel chipsets perform better, are more stable, and enjoy superior driver support.

We found the temperature-controlled fans to be generally effective as well. Naturally things get hotter than they would in a full-sized case when cramped into a small case such as this, but in all cases, our system stayed within safe operating temperatures. It would perhaps have been nice to have the ability to adjust the fan speed versus temperature to some degree, to allow users additional control over the speed versus noise issue. It needn't be complicated, even a Hi-Normal-Low Fan BIOS option would do.

The external power supply is rated to a maximum of 200 Watts, or just 16A on the 12V rail. Hardly a match for most full-sized power supplies, though we experienced no difficulty running at up to 3 GHz with newer video cards. It would be prudent to think twice, however, before trying to stuff the EZW-3060 full of power-thirsty components.

1. Introduction
2. Meet PCChips' EZ-Watcher
3. A Look at the Exterior
4. Under the Hood
5. The Heart of the Beast
6. Performance
7. Summary

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