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A Look Inside – Aplus Blockbuster Storm / Apevia X-QPack 2

Good Looks, Terrible Workmanship - 4 Barebone Cases Compared

HTPC Barebone

The interior has neither changed for the better nor the worse. Neither company has done anything innovative with this design, simply using its default layout. Each case can still house two 3.5” drives and 5.25” drives each and require a micro-ATX motherboard. The designs do differ a little when it comes to the fans, if only superficially. In the Aplus unit, the 120 mm fan is transparent and lit by 3 LEDs. Apevia chose to use an unlit blue fan instead. Additionally, the X-QPack 2 sports an 80 mm fan on the front that draws cool air into the case.

HTPC BareboneHTPC Barebone

Both cases use motherboard tray that can be removed from the case itself to mount hardware on them. Such a tray greatly simplifies the installation of the motherboard, CPU and cooler, and RAM . Besides, it is much easier to attach and route the power cables and the wires for the front connectors this way. Once everything is mounted securely on the tray, simply slide it and the hardware on it back into the empty case. If everything fits, install and attach the PSU and the drives.

HTPC BareboneHTPC Barebone

HTPC BareboneHTPC Barebone

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    weeboll , 22 November 2007 18:59
    reading that makes me pleased i went for an Antec NSX 1300. more compact, good cooling, better looks, very solidly built - its down side is the nonstandard psu and lack of front facing 3.5" bay for a card reader but i'd reccommend it over any of the reviewed cases!
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    nafurahi , 22 November 2007 19:06
    I will be building a micro-atx based box soon Lian-Li v300 for the same price as these looks like much better value