Viewing page 3 of 5 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next
The cover comes off to reveal a neatly built system that shows every sign of
being quiet. Both the CPU and the GPU are fanless, relying on the airflow generated
by the power supply and the case fan to provide all the necessary airflow. Two
2.5" drives are hard mounted in regular drive bays using adapter rails.
One of the drives is an 8 GB solid state flash memory drive that holds the operating system. The
other is an 80 GB notebook drive (the work order: "Make sure it is Samsung
Note the odd location of the CPU heatsink in the middle of the case.
Like some of AOpen's previous boards that use mobile processors, the layout
of the motherboard is a little unconventional. The processor is located at the
front of the board, as though it was designed as a BTX board. The board also
uses SO-DIMMs aka laptop memory and only two slots are provided.
Puget has populated the slots with two 1 GB modules, which is plenty.
Fortunately, the board is conventional where it counts: It uses a standard
Socket 478 retention module. This means that Puget could replace the stock heatsink
(which looks noisy and was included in the accessory box) with an aftermarket
model. Their choice: A Thermalright Ultra 90, a smallish tower heatsink that
is a step down from Thermalright's high end offerings. Given the modest heat
output of the Core Duo, it should be good enough even without a fan.
At any rate, we sincerely hope that it is good enough, since the odd location
of the CPU may make it difficult to cool. Remember how the side intake is likely
to provide the bulk of the airflow? Visualize the position of that vent just
below the video card. Now visualize the air flowing from that vent out through
the two exhaust fans. Notice anything about the CPU heatsink? It's not in the
path of the airflow. Whatever airflow runs across the CPU heatsink will have
to come from the front vent which is farther away from the exhaust fans. We were able to feel some air flowing through the front vent when the system
was running, so there was evidently some airflow for the CPU.
The motherboard requires laptop RAM.
The fan header on top provides 5 volts to the system fan.
Extra power supply cables are tucked neatly out of the way,
and special brackets allow two 2.5" drives to be mounted in standard drive
Cabling was quite neat, with spare power supply cables tucked into an empty
optical bay, and most of the other cables tied together at the bottom of the
case. For the most part, cables were kept clear of the main air pathways.
Neatly tied cables at the bottom of the case.
One nice touch was the way the front panel cables were kept in place: Hot glue.
All of the cables are hot glued in place so they cannot be dislodged during
shipping or when careless users are poking around.
Front panel cables were hot glued in place.
|Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!|