AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II Mini PC Review :: Introduction

09-12-2005 · Category: Hardware - Systems

By Benjamin Sun

AOpen is a Taiwanese manufacturer of computer components. AOpen makes motherboards, video cards, small form factor PCs and more. AOpen is part of the Acer group with 20+ years experience with the manufacture, and selling of computer components.

Small computers have become more and more popular ever since the first Shuttle XPC was introduced in 1999, the SK25. Personally, I love small computers that fit in a drawer or fit in a cabinet. The market for small computers has grown to the point where virtually every motherboard manufacturer is making at least one model of SFF PC.

Intel has been stuck on the Netburst (Pentium 4) architecture for nearly 6 years. Sure improvements like higher FSB, more L2 cache, 64-bit support and dual cores differentiate the P4 of 1999 from the 840D of 2005, but the basic architecture is similar. Intel released the Pentium-M two years ago. The P-M is characterized by high performance, low power usage and longer battery life.

AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II Mini PC Review

Today, I'm reviewing the AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II SFF. It's the first small form factor PC I've seen sporting the 855GM chipset. It should be an interesting review as most SFFs use chipsets based upon Intel 915 or other desktop chips. The important things when looking at a P-M computer are power consumption, heat, and aesthetics.