I have to say that I was really disappointed with the “new” manual, as it is far worse than the booklet that used to come with the XC Cubes and not at all up to AOpen’s regular standard. The quick setup guide is now shared between two different products, albeit both for AMD processors. The manual itself is now very generic and covers all of the XC Cube products and the paper stock has gone downhill which makes it hard to figure out what is going on in some of the pictures.
So what about performance results? Well, using an Athlon 64 4000+ in combination with 1GB of PC3200 DDR memory and a Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 SATA hard drive the XC Cube EZ482 scored 195 in SYSMark 2005 with the integrated graphics and 199 using an Radeon X800 card. In PCMark 05 it scored 2669 overall with the integrated graphics and 3641 with the X800.
As I mentioned earlier, the Radeon Xpress 200 chipset is not great for gaming and the 3DMark 03 score confirms this with the XC Cube EZ482 only managing a mere 1544 points. Swapping to the Radeon X800 card bumped this score up to 8632.
The XC Cube EZ482 offers pretty decent performance, but it’s not the fastest SFF system we’ve seen. Considering that it will set you back £242.05 I would have expected something a bit more special, especially when you consider that you can now get the Biostar iDEQ 330P for similar money. To be fair, the Biostar doesn’t have integrated graphics and it doesn’t offer HD quality audio, but in general it’s a far better package.
The AOpen XC Cube EZ482 is a pretty good SFF system, but its externals looks dated and it could do with some re-thinking when it comes to the internal cabling. It should be good as a small media centre type device, especially if you can connect it up via the component video interface.