Over the last two years we've seen a new trend hit the PC enthusiasts crows, little itty bitty PC's. These tiny PC's have hit so hard that they've even come up with a cool sounding acronym for them, "SFF". "SFF" stands for "Small Form Factor" and I gotta admit, it's fitting. :)
Over the last two years we've seen a new trend hit the PC enthusiasts crowds, little itty bitty PC's. These tiny PC's have hit so hard that they've even come up with a cool sounding acronym for them, "SFF". "SFF" stands for "Small Form Factor" and I gotta admit, it's fitting. :)
With the increased popularity of LAN Parties I suppose it makes sense. If you've ever moved your steel chassis based case around a whole lot I don't need to tell you that those buggers are heavy. Even the other relatively recent trend of aluminum cases which cut the weight of your PC's almost in half don't seem to be the trick, no, it's SFF's! People are apparently wanting to be able to carry their computers like a lunchbox into their LAN gatherings, and really, why not?
With the popularity of SFF's growing rapidly it comes as no suprise that the manufacturers list of them is growing about as rapidly as their popularity. What used to be a one company show (Shuttle) now sees several manufacturers producing them and like everything else in the world, more choices is better. Today we're looking at the latest and greatest SFF bare bones system by AMS.
AMS hit the ground running in the Small Form Factor competition with their release of the "g-BOX" series of SFF PC's. The gBOX was a bad to the bone mini-PC with all of the traits of a "real" PC. It was based on the Intel 845 series chipset and did not disappoint. That was fine and dandy but with the release of the Intel 200MHz FSB CPU's it was clear that something new was needed. AMS answered that call by producing the SFF system we're reviewing today, the e-cube. The e-cube is built around and Intel 865 "Springdale" chipset. With a new designed SFF case built around the new motherboard e-cube is once again setting new standards in the SFF competition. The question though is does it warrant you spending YOUR money? Does this newest tiny PC stack up or more importantly, stand out? We're gonna take a close look at this thing and hope to answer all of these questions and more.
We're gonna take you thru exactly what we went thru upon the arrival of the e-cube, shall we?
Upon it's arrival I have to say that the box was, well, smaller than I anticipated.
You can tell the small size of this box by comparing it to the outlet on the wall behind it, not exactly very big eh?
Then we opened the box and was greeted with a box that was impressively, and more importantly, safely packed within it.
While a nice looking box no doubt, what I cared about was what resided inside it, let's take a look..
The EG65 e-cube was packed very well in your standard Styrofoam with two accessory boxes nestled in their own cut out slots beside the actual cube..
Out of the Box:
After we got everything unwrapped we were left with this...
Oh, and what exactly was in those little boxes?
WHAT YOU GET:
Now that we've got everything opened up and laid out, it's time to take inventory. Here's a list of what's included in the retail packaging..
The EG65 e-cube barebones PC
Compacted Floppy Cable
Two Compacted IDE Cables
Bag of Screws
SATA Power Cable
Motherboard Owners Manual
CPU Heat Sink and Fan Unit
As you can see they give you pretty much everything you need right down to mini IDE cables to allow for smooth routing in this relatively tiny case.
Alright, now that we've shown you what you're getting, let's head to page two and tell you in detail about specifications and components, then move on to assembly and benchmarking...
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