Playing Some Small Games

At this point, we really almost want to be impressed that a computer this small plays games at all. Remember, though, this thing has a Radeon HD 5870 inside—a Radeon that didn't overheat once during testing, either.

The cube may be sitting at the bottom of each of the charts, but look at the numbers. There isn't a single game here that isn't playable with plenty of breathing room. At the same time, we have to wonder if leaving the unit running at stock and allowing Turbo Boost to take the i5 to 3.2GHz on two cores might not have improved the standings a bit. StarCraft II, for example, doesn't scale past two cores at all. Seeing that benchmark GPU-limited is actually a rarity. It's academic, though: 57.8 frames per second is still extremely fluid.

Once greater stress is applied to the graphics subsystem, the cube starts to acquit itself better as the 5870 gets to stretch its legs. Framerates are still beyond playable across the board with the exception of STALKER, which hovers precariously close to the 30-frames-per-second mark. In most cases, the cube with its slower processor and 5870 is able to hang extremely close to the heavily overclocked CyberPower unit with its eVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTS 450's in SLI. Meanwhile the pair of GTX 470's in the iBuyPower Paladin XLC blows everything away, much like the leafblower it sounds like under this kind of load.

Exactly How Much Power You Can Fit in a Mini-ITX Case? Putting Together the Cube


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  • acooke - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    In case anyone else is curious, I emailed Delta and they replied saying "yes":

    > Thank you for your e-mail to Delta Air Lines.
    > According to FAA directives, Delta and the Delta Connection Carriers
    > allow each passenger to carry onboard one carry-on and one personal item
    > such as:
    > - Male or female purse or briefcase
    > - Computer bag (computers cannot be checked and must be carried on)
    > - Camera case
    > - Diaper bag
    > - Any item of a similar or smaller size to those listed above
    > These items must fit easily in our SizeCheck unit (approximately 22"" x
    > 14"" x 9"") and be placed under the seat in front of the passenger or in
    > the overhead bin.
    > You may carry your computer bag as a carry on bag and a laptop as a
    > personal item. The computer bag must fit in our SizeCheck unit.
  • flipmode - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    Nice. Giving me the opportunity to ask two days in a row.

    Am I becoming annoying enough yet?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    Ask and ye shall receive... after a while at least. :-) Reply
  • devlinb - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    I went to AVADirect's website and the only SSD they are offering in this config now is a "Wintec" 60GB.

    Their configurator is a bit of a mess in other areas, it offers a lot of impossible RAM configuration options (4x2GB for example).

    I love the look though, the entire thing looks great. Looking at those interior shot photos, it is worth paying someone else to cram all those cables in!

    Also, the article needs a product shot on the first page. Having to hit the fourth page to see what the case looks like was a bit confusing.
  • jaydee - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    Here's a good comparison PC that legitreviews just looked at a couple days ago. For $400 less (stock), I think it's a much better deal. I would add a Vertex 2 60GB for ~$130.

    V3 Gaming Move 3DS PC:

    SilverStone SG05
    Custom Asetek LC 120mm Liquid Cooling
    Intel Core I3 540 Dual core Processor w/HT @3.82
    Zotac H55-ITX WiFi Mini-ITX
    4GB(2x2GB) Patriot Viper II Sector 5 DDR3-1600MHZ @ 1333MHz
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB
    Seagate 500GB 2.5" ST9500420AS
    Sony Optiarc DVD/CD Rewritable Drive AS-7700S
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit
    Price $1129
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    Playing with the AVADirect configurator, I put together much of the same specs only with an i5-650 CPU (no i3 options at AVA), 2x2GB OCZ DDR3-1600 RAM, EVGA Superclocked GTX 460, and without the Asetek cooler. Total price came to $980. You'd have to do the overclock yourself, and perhaps add a better HSF than what they offer, but it's in reach. Certainly there are a lot of options, and my own experiences with AVADirect have been good. Also note that they come with a 3-year warranty. Reply
  • miahallen - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    nuff said ;-)
  • pjladyfox - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    After taking a look at the link you referenced I have to agree. The AVADirect Nano pales in comparison to that beast especially with the H70 cooler and better overall layout that does not pack things in so tightly that taking it apart would be an issue.

    Thanks for sharing that BTW as well!
  • acooke - Saturday, September 18, 2010 - link

    Thanks for that link. Reply
  • dmuk2010 - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    interesting idea. Why don't they just use a slight bigger SG07? At lease it come with 600W PSU, which can push 5870 and desktop core i7 without problem... Reply

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