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EPOX eX5 Mini Me (Barebone mini PC)
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Old 26th October 2003, 13:01   #1
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Default EPOX eX5 Mini Me (Barebone mini PC)

Epox eX5 Mini Me (eX5-300S)



EPOX eX5 Mini Me is an amazing feature packed multi-media mini barebone system, which is well-specified for home and business application. Building on EPoX`s reputation for high performance and overclockability, the eX5 Mini Me will continue the trend and include the overclocking features that users have become akin to within our desktop range of products.

The advanced design by Epox achieves an impressive low noise level that will put other mini PC to shame. A very low noise level of "below 30dB". Silence is a very important feature especially if it is to be used for a living room entertaintment PC.

Unique to Mini Me is the front LCM with blue backlight. The Audio controls allow you to play CD / MP3CD / DVD-Audio without turning on the PC. When the PC is on, the same controls bring up the OS-independent Music On-Now! media playing software with GUI.

The CD drive bay cover ensures maintains the elegance of the sleek aluminium case irregardless of which CD / DVD drive is installed.

Powered by the newest Intel 865G chipset with ICH5, the Mini Me packs the latest features such as 2x SATA, 2x Dual Channel DDR400, AGP8X and more. Perfect for living room PC / home entertainment PC / Music server / LAN gaming box... Epox Mini Me is the latest generation of barebone mini PC

Features:

- Full Aluminium eX5 mini casing
- EP-4PGF+ mainboard (Intel 865G chipset with ICH5)
- 200W APFC quiet PSU
- 3G-Tek Cooling kit with Airduct (cools CPU & Northbridge)
- Music On-Now! utility and Windows GUI Application
- LCM Display with Blue Back Light
- Front controls plays CD / MP3CD, works with and without turning on PC
- Front ports (PS2 keyboard/mouse, 2xUSB2.0, 1394, Mic/Headphone)
- TV Tuner (optional)
- FM Radio & WinXP Remote Control (optional)
- 7-in-1 Flash card drive (optional)

Specifications :


Mainboard EP-4PGF+:
• Intel 865G Chipset with ICH5
• Socket 478 (533/800MHz); HT Technology
• 2 DIMM slots for Dual Channel DDR 400
• 2 x P-ATA for ATA-100, 2 x S-ATA
• 1 x PCI , 1 x AGP 8X
• 5.1 Channel Audio onboard

Front panel:
• USB 2.0 x 2
• Headphone x 1
• MIC x 1
• IEEE1394 x • PS/2 Keyboard and PS/2 Mouse

Rear panel:
• USB 2.0 x 4
• IEEE1394 x 1
• Serial port x 1
• Paralell port x 1
• S/PDIF Out 1x Coaxial and 1x Optical
• VGA (15Pin) x 1
• LAN 1x 10/100 Ethernet

Casing:
Material: Aluminum Alloy (special coated to repell dust)
Dimension: (W) 200 x (H) 180 x (L) 300
Drive bay: 1 x 5.25" bay; 2 x 3.5" (1x int / 1x ext)
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Old 26th October 2003, 13:03   #2
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EPOX, the self-styled mainboard manufacturer of choice for the hardcore overclocking massiv, has just entered into full production of a ‘mini-barebone’ PC that overcomes the main fundamental annoyance of all the small form factor PCs we have tried, which is noise.
The drone of many such PCs have been likened to the intrusive ‘dustbuster’ disaster that NVIDIA introduced on its short-lived GeForceFX 5800 ULTRA, but with the added annoyance of a thermostatically controlled fan that rather too regularly spins up and down dependent upon fluctuations in the host CPU temperature.

An official from EPoX confirmed it has investigated all the competitive offerings from manufacturers such as Shuttle, and therefore focused a significant amount of development towards ensuring that their first entry into the increasingly crowded small form factor PC market, could boast a noise rating of less that 30dbA.

EPoX says it has achieved this relatively impressive low noise level claim, via a number of well thought out designs, which we can confirm include a bespoke folded fin aluminum CPU HeaTSink with a thick copper base, called 3G-Tek, which innovatively triples up as the cooler for the Intel 865G Northbridge and additionally draws heat from the PCB of the system hard disk. Airflow within the chassis is also likely to be surprisingly good (for this type of compact system) as particular attention has been paid to ensuring that data and power cables do not interfere with air drawn through the various grilles on the aluminum alloy chassis.

Although within the din of the chattering halls of Computex, we could not validate EPoX’s claims other than to say that we did observe this thermal control design running on a 3.2GHz with no issues, the two low speed 10mm deep fans attached to the 3G-Tek and the 80x80x25mm mm fan in the eX5-300S PSU could well deliver what EPoX say.

Intel,er, ‘Extreme Graphics’ are present but so thankfully is a full sized AGP 8x slot which apparently will take even an NVIDIA GeFORCE FX 5900 ULTRA, but one positive benefit of the Socket 478 mainboard is the ICH5 Southbridge which provides two S-ATA controllers.

New features of note include a number of trick means of controlling the eX5-300S multimedia functions, including a GUI driven embedded DOS menuing system that allows user configuration and playback of a music play-list from CD, DVD or HDD without booting Windows; EPoX call this ‘Music On-Now’ and whilst it isn’t the first feature of its type, it is one of the most intuitive and flexible. EPoX eX5-300S can be controlled not only via mouse and keyboard, but by a number of buttons set below its attractive blue LCD display control panel and via a fully featured infra-red remote control.

The whole system, claimed to be the most compact yet introduced to the market, is of a tool-less design and we can testament to having watched EPoX Product Manager ‘Cool’ Chris van den Pool easily remove and refit the 3G-Tek cooler by hand and without the usual risk of (potentially component damaging) screwdriver slippage…

Exclusive EPoX distributor in the UK, Actron Electronics, also introduced a series of P4 and AMD Athlon/NVIDIA nForce2 ‘mini-barebone’ PCs based upon a Chyang Fun chassis, but as a number of EPoX officials have stressed, the eX5-300S is the first official EPoX ‘mini-barebone’ that was designed from the ground up by EPoX.

The EPoX eX5-300S does away with a floppy disk but does come complete with a generally more useful 6-in1 Flash Card Reader, but lets hope the Windows BIOS flashing system is reliable…

Accessories available for this interesting box include a rucksack with a internal protective shell (presumably for LAN Party gamers) and a Home Theatre Speaker System
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Old 28th October 2003, 14:00   #3
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a small (p)review here http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=12241
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