Cooler and Quieter Barebones PCs?

Epox EX5 Mini Me: TThis Machines Deserves Your Attention, Continued

Epox clearly stands out against the rest of the pack. None of the other competitors is equipped with an aluminum case of such good quality, and a big lit display in the front with information about the clock speed, main memory, size of the hard drive, as well as the resolution of the onboard graphics. Epox's barebones is the only one in the world with these features. Also, the setting of the clock is compatible with the clock time under Windows. Furthermore, the lid of the drive slot deserves attention: the keys fit nearly any DVD/CD drive.

However, the installation of a powerful AGP graphic card à la GeForceFX 5900 Ultra demands some effort. For example, squeezing it in past the power supply is difficult. Since there was no insulation, we placed a sheet of paper between both components to prevent a short circuit. Generally, the user should give up on the use of powerful AGP components with big heat sinks, anyway.

Epox did an excellent job of cable routing inside the barebones; both IDE and power cables are perfectly cut in length. Another feature that sets it apart from the others is the cooling solution, which cools both the processor and the Northbridge of the chipset with the same heat sink.

The keys for the loading tray of the DVD/CD drives

A view of the motherboard of Epox