Cooler and Quieter Barebones PCs?

Elitegroup EZ Buddie: A Facelift And A New Cooling System, Continued

While the EZ Buddie from Elitegroup is well-known from the previous tests that we did in July, we integrated it in this test as well since the manufacturer came up with a couple of improvements. The newly modified mirror glass front of the case gives it a better first impression. Just as its predecessor, a big display communicates the CPU frequency, and other activities, such as the access to the hard drives.

In general, the options of the EZ Buddie are very attractive. Slots for card readers and connectors for USB/Fire Wire are still hidden behind the coverings, which can be taken off a bit too easily. The DVD/CD drive is hidden behind a flap that opens vertically. A newly added heat-pipe system to cool the CPU replaces the conventional boxed heat sink. At full load, the temperature of the CPU reaches 62°C, causing an noise level between 54 db( and almost 60 db(A). The indication varies greatly due to the varying revolution speed of the fan.

Thanks to the spacious case, there are nearly no problems concerning heat; the heat source "power supply" is mounted outside of the chassis in a separate case. Unfortunately, the installation of the hard drive is not very much fun because the screws cant on the frame. In exchange, there is a connecting device for an analog 56k modem on the back side of the case. The cable routing inside the system could be better, whereas Epox is the absolute leader here.

Like the other systems, the EZ Buddie offers a pleasant surprise : inside the closed frame, without a visual panel, runs a lit fan.

Spiffy: the control panel is lit!

EZ Buddie's Connectors