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THE SAMPLE SYSTEM
AMD reps say the box that we received was not necessarily a recommended configuration. The internal component choices made here, other than the motherboard and dedicated 5-ch amp, was the result of the AMD media team grabbing components off the shelf to compile a system that could show what the Maui platform could do.
We question the utility of the Phenom X4 quad core, which raises both idle and load power substantially over a 45W dual-core X2 with higher clock speed. The CPU cooler choice was a bit odd, too, as there are more suitable proven quiet solutions. But as AMD pointed out, this is just one iteration of Maui; any number of other component choices are possible.
The nMedia case is an attractive black enclosure with an aluminum
facia and steel chassis. Unfortunately the stealthed drive cover makes
a horrible screeching noise when it comes into contact with the optical
drive tray; a bit of damping material on the inside of the metal flap could have prevented this. A hidden panel running the length of the case at the bottom
provides access to USB, FireWire, eSATA, front audio and media card ports.
The case is well ventilated on every side, including a large section above
the CPU cooler. The case is a bit shorter than a typical ATX case though,
so there's only room for two 60mm fans at the back rather than
quieter 80mm models. There is a 92mm fan/placement on the left side
of the case that blows over the hard drive cage.
The power supply is a standard ATX model that is placed upside down to
draw air from the top of the case. Note long 5.1 ch audio amplfier on the right side.
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