Aspire X-Qpack Mini-ATX Case Review

Cases & PSU/Cases by piotke @ 2006-03-23

It?s not the size that matters, it?s how you use it! The downsides of barebone system are most of the time the weaker PSU, diminished cooling abilities and expansion limitations. Aspire has built a small case, the X-Qpack, that looks like a barebone, but just a tad bigger and aims to remove these restrictions.

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Testing & Conclusion

Testing

Piotke's Test Setup
CPUIntel P4 Prescott 3,2 GHz + Zalman CNPS 7000B Cu
MainboardAsus p4p800 Vm
HDDSeagate 120 gig
VGAAlbatron GF4 MX480
Memory4*512 Mb TCCD (Corsair + Adata)
OpticalNec 2500 DVD writer

  • All results were taken with room temperature at ~22°C. Due to room temp fluctuations, different mounting and user error can account up to 1-2°C of inaccuracy from obtained results. Please keep this in mind when looking at the results.
  • Noise level of each fan was recorded with SmartSensor SL4001A. The sensor was placed ~65cm away from the front of the case. The lowest dBA reading in the test room was ~37,8 dBA.
  • System was stressed by running Prime95 for 60min (after Thermal Compound’s burn-in). Speedfan was used to log maximum obtained temperatures.
  • Arctic Silver kindly send us their “Lumière” thermal testing compound which has the same color as Ceramique, requiring a mere 30-minute of break-in time!

    Power Supply Test

    Madshrimps (c)


    Even with a power hungry Prescott 3.2Ghz installed the volt lines hardly fluctuate.


    Noise / Performance

    Madshrimps (c)


    Without the rear fan installed case temperatures become quit high. This results in a high CPU temperature. Though the setup is really silent without the exhaust fan, I fear a bit for the temperatures under load.

    Madshrimps (c)


    And as I expected, the CPU and case temperatures become quit high. Having the fan installed results in an excellent performance. The setup is noisier, but it certainly isn't outrageously loud. You can also clearly see both the video card and HDD benefit from the airflow.

    Conclusion

    Aspire has delivered a great case. Not only is it eye catching, it delivers in the cooling department without sounding like a jet-engine. The dual temperature sensor is a nice extra that makes it easy to monitor temperatures.

    The removable mainboard tray is feature I love the most. The case is quite large for a “mini-PC” but unfortunately it’s a few mm too low to fit every video card, especially one with an aftermarket or fancy cooling.

    The size, lightweight and the handle make it a very interesting buy for those who like to move their case around. Speaking of buying this case, it’s quite affordable, for ~110 €/$ you also get the rear 120mm and a high quality 420Watt PSU.

    PRO
    Dual Temperature sensor
    Removable mainboard tray
    Affordable price ~€110/$100 at the time of writing


    CON
    Incompatible with certain -rather exotic- CPU/VGA coolers


    Madshrimps (c)


    I would like to thank Fredrik from Aspire for arranging the review sample.

    Question/Comments: forum thread
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