The Mailman Has Arrived: Four Mini-PCs on the Test Bench

ECS EZ Buddie: Focus On The Speed Controller, Continued

The overall concept of this barebone system is not exactly creative : the manufacturer has vertically arranged a micro ATX motherboard in a compact housing, so that there is still sufficient space for other components, although the volume appears to be somewhat larger compared to other candidates. A notable feature is the external power unit, thus eliminating a heat source within the housing. The ECS has no problems whatsoever with heat build-up - conventional fans do their job and provide sufficient air circulation (approx. 35°C). However, there is no defined air flow or cooling of the individual components.

A real eye-catcher, and therefore an essential sales argument, is the large LED display on the front, which outputs the clock rate of the processor in GHz. With the aid of a rotation controller arranged under it, the clock rate can be increased or decreased step by step - a nice gimmick for users who like to experiement. In the test we achieved a maximum clock rate of 3.0 GHz together with the 2.8 GHz P4 - assuming stable operation. A potentiometer is hidden behind the rotation controller, which increases the FSB clock rate and therefore automatically increases the CPU clock rate. This appeal of this feature is solely a question of personal taste.

The ECS is based on a vertically arranged micro ATX motherboard.

The card reader slots have a practical location, behind the cover.