Apevia X-QPack 2

Cases

Overview cont.

Apevia X-QPack 2
Click to enlarge

Around the edge of the aluminium X, the case is made of thin and bendy black ABS plastic which has a bumpy texture. No matter which case colour you choose, you’ll get this black surround which seems to go quite well with the X facia. Behind this you’ll find the main body of the case, which (depending on which version you get) will have transparent plastic windows held in place with black plastic rivets. The back of the case is a single U-shaped piece of bumpy textured aluminium which comes off completely to give easy access to the internals. This cover is made of very thin aluminium – 1mm – which can be bent with little force. Again, this is painted black no matter which colour case you choose to get.

The windows are on both sides and the top allowing you to see pretty much all of the case from the outside. This also allows the rear 120mm fan to shine its blue LED’s out to the world. This fan is mounted above the motherboard blanking plate hold and doesn’t feature any dust filtering or vibration reduction. This fan is paired with a front 80mm fan which isn’t LED equipped but UV reactive. The front fan sucks cool air from the front of the case and blasts it backwards for the 120mm fan to blow it out the back.

Apevia X-QPack 2
Click to enlarge

Apevia X-QPack 2
Click to enlarge

If you take a spy at the back of the X-QPack, you’ll find that Apevia were kind enough to give you a power supply. It’s rated as 500W with two 12V rails and Pentium 4 compatible. You only get a single 6-pin PCI-e connector, an inbred handful of molex connectors (6), a couple of SATA plugs and the all important twin FDD plugs; all sleeved in black netting. It has the usual 20+4 ATX plug but only has an extra 4pin connector, rather than a 4+4pin plug. While this all sound restrictive, it makes sense; most mATX motherboards are yet to need the extra power provided by a 4+4pin plug, you don’t have enough space to install a graphics card that’ll need two PCI-e plugs and there aren’t enough mounting places for drives that need molex/SATA plugs. All of the wires from this power supply are nice and short meaning that you won’t have meters of cabling clogging up the limited space and choking the ventilation.

Apevia X-QPack 2
Click to enlarge

Apevia X-QPack 2
Click to enlarge

Apevia X-QPack 2
Click to enlarge

Once you’ve taken the U-panel off, you can have a look inside. You’ll find a rather strange layout, but most mATX cases of this size do in order to fit everything in. You have the choice of two 5.25” external bays, a single external 3.5” bay and a couple of internal 3.5” slots. The two HDD bays are attached to a removable HDD caddy. You’ll have to remove a couple of screws with your screwdriver to allow the caddy to slide out vertically on its rails. These are mounted next to the 5.25” bays which are front loading and – like the HDD slots – don’t have any vibration killing grommets and are free of any tool-less innovations.

The floppy disc drive slot can also be used for a hard disc if you need more storage space although it’s in a difficult position to get to. On the other side to the hard discs you’ll find a case strengthening rod which connects the front to the rear in order to stop the two bending out from each other. At the back, you can see how tight fitting the power supply is next to the 120mm fan, but the power supply is the standard ATX size meaning that you could swap it out for your preferred brand providing it isn’t too long (it’s a close fit as it is).

Apevia X-QPack 2
Click to enlarge

Apevia X-QPack 2
Click to enlarge

The motherboard area is pretty inaccessible and it looks impossible to get your motherboard in. Fortunately Apevia have done something that I didn’t expect; a removable motherboard tray. If you flip the case round, you’ll find two screws that hold the tray in place and once removed it just slides out the back.

While this is very useful, it puts a restriction on the size of the cooler that you can use. There isn’t much room in the case and your best bet is to stick with the stock cooler provided with your processor (both Intel and AMD coolers will fit easily with a couple of centimetres to spare for air intake). In the manual for the case, the CPU cooler can’t exceed 76mm in height which pretty much prevents any enthusiast cooler from being used.

For your graphics card, you are limited to a single PCI-e power plug if you choose to stick with the provided PSU and 11.5” in length. This should allow an 8800 GTS to be fitted with ease.

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Last modified: February 15, 2011

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