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Date: May 16th, 2005
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product Submitted by: Aspire
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION & WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)



In a small chassis like the X-QPACK, a removable motherboard tray is a must and Aspire has done a great job designing this one. After removing three thumbscrews, the windowed case cover can be slid back and removed from the chassis. Removing two screws frees up the motherboard tray, allowing the user to pull it from the case. The motherboard standoffs are permanently installed in the tray, allowing the tray to sit flush on the case bottom. I understand why Aspire did this, but I like the idea of putting the standoffs where I want them. A bag of screws is provided, and must be used with these standoffs, as they are a different thread pitch than the “normal” brass standoffs seen in other applications. One of the little things that really bug me about some cases is the expansion slot treatment. Many low-cost cases have stamped knock-outs that must be broken out of the case to install PCI cards. Aspire has engineered replaceable steel slot covers into the X-QPACK allowing the user to cover the slots when moving a card.



In this photo you can see the mirror black finish on the power supply reflecting the blue exhaust fan.



At 420 watts and a 25 amp +5 volt rail, this power supply should be plenty good enough for all but the most demanding systems and a power cord is included. I wasn’t able to get any other specs for this PSU, but I assume it lacks PFC and other features desirable in a higher-end power supply. However, I wouldn’t expect a case in this price range to ship with a maximum effort PSU. The PSU is very compact with comparatively short leads. A larger, “conventional” ATX PSU would fit in the space allotted, but could interfere with some longer optical drives and the longer leads would be more difficult to route efficiently.



Another nice feature of the X-QPACK is the sleeved power supply leads. There are plenty of connectors for a case of this size and the black mesh sleeving gives a clean, finished look. Anyone who has sleeved a power supply knows the value of this feature. I would have liked to see another SATA connector, but the one provided was more than I expected. The ATX connector is of the 20-pin persuasion, so an adapter may be needed for some of the newer motherboards. Contrary to the specifications listed on Aspire’s website, there are two floppy connectors.



When viewed from below the 80mm blue LED cooling fan can be seen. Oddly, approximately 20% of the fan is blocked by an internal support. A clear plastic sheet inside the power supply also covers this area which leads me to believe that this is not an accident or design flaw.

 

 


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