Out With ATX, In With Gigabyte's CB91 BTX

More Than Just The Head Comes Off

This extra large small form factor (SFF) PC has room for two 5.25" drives.

Its dimensions make Gigabyte's mini-PC noticeably bigger than the Alt-Star Shuttle boxes. Because it contains two 5.25" drive bays, the CB91's height is nearly 9.5" instead of the 8.25" or so, which is typical of most such PC cases. But this added height makes room for a VFD or another 5.25" device next to the optical drive. A second optical drive can even be installed, however unnecessary that might be.

The black and silver color scheme gives the CB91 a distinguished appearance. The only discordant note in this picture comes from a small flap on the front panel, which is made of cheap plastic. Behind this somewhat chintzy cover, you'll find ports for audio, USB and Firewire as well as various slots for a built memory card reader.

The most notable new feature in this PC appears only when the case is popped open. The upper half of the CB91's case can be folded out of the way just like a convertible car's roof. This leaves an empty, headless barebones PC ready for serious build-up. A word of warning about this configuration: if you install one or more 5.25" devices in the drive bays and then swing the upper part to the side, this SFF-PC tips over easily (you may therefore want to figure out some way to prop things up; we found a stack of books did that job nicely).

More than just the head comes off

Siggy Moersch