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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  • flipsake - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    These will be mainstream fairly soon I believe.

    I've always had a montrousity of a PC with all the lights and looks like the death star and sits there taking up half the room, filled with powerful graphics cards and whatnot..

    Then after moving house for the third time I said shag it and got a small little white silverstone case and packed it with an AMD 955, low profile cooling fan and a 5770..

    The difference is incredible, its small, easy to move around, and not some hideous eyesore spaceship woman repeller sitting in my room. Its tucked away and normal human beings can now enter my room without screaming.

    Of course if you want the gigantor nerdmaster 5000 thats fine, but I've made the switch and I am happy, wouldn't ever go back.
  • initialised - Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - link

    This one:

    Silverstone SG07 ITX case with 600W
    i5 760 @ 3.6GHz (180 or 200MHz FSB)
    GTX460 (can take 5970 2GB, I tested it)
    4GB 1600MHz DDR3

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