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CCLPowerCube review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £350
inc VAT

The beautiful, compact case is the main selling point here, and the optional Iiyama monitor is excellent, but it's only a sensible choice if gaming or upgrading aren't priorities.


3GHz Intel Core i3-540, 4GB RAM, 24in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

We were immediately impressed by the PowerCube’s beautiful Lian Li case, which is made from thick sheets of brushed aluminium and is a masterpiece of minimalist styling. It’s much smaller than most tower cases, and has a mini-ITX motherboard inside. There’s just enough room inside for the 3GHz Intel Core i3-540 processor, a 500GB hard disk and an optical drive.


There’s no room for anything else, although most people will be content with this much storage space. The inside of the case is reasonably accessible, although you have to unscrew six tiny screws to get the side panel off. The power supply is mounted on a removable caddy and once that’s out, you can easily replace the hard disk, optical drive or memory.

A spare PCI-E x16 slot sits between the power supply and hard disk, at the bottom of the case. However, there’s such a limited amount of space available, you won’t be able to install a standard-sized graphics card.

Although a monitor isn’t included in the price above, CCL can add a 24in Iiyama E2410HDS to the bundle for £153. This is hardly any different from the E2409HDS we reviewed recently. Its CCFL backlight is bright and even, putting some of the newer LED backlit monitors to shame. Colours are vibrant and natural, and the menus offer fine control over colour temperature and gamma, although it’s hard to read as it uses white text on a light-grey background.

With limited space on the inside for peripherals, you’ll be relying on external ports, and there’s a wide selection. There are two high-speed USB3 ports and an eSATA port, so external storage won’t be a problem. There are a further four USB ports on the rear, plus two on the front panel; however, two ports are needed for the keyboard and mouse, so you may need to invest in a USB hub if you have lots of USB devices. There’s also a full set of 7.1 audio outputs and an optical S/PDIF.

We love the Lian Li case and it’s brave of CCL to choose it. Technically, there’s nothing wrong with the PowerCube, but the size and shape of the case limits expansion. The Core i3 is powerful, too, but there isn’t enough room to fit a decent graphics card in the spare PCI-E x16 slot. If gaming doesn’t feature on your list of priorities, and you’re not worried about the limited expansion potential, the PowerCube is a great-looking, space-saving choice. The OP3 Mars is slightly better value, though, as it has more expansion potential and a much longer warranty for the same price.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core i3-540
Processor external bus 133MHz (2.9GHz QPI)
Processor multiplier x23
Processor clock speed 3GHz
Processor socket LGA1156
Memory 4
Memory type DDR3
Maximum memory 8GB
Motherboard Gigabyte H55N-USB3
Motherboard chipset Intel H55


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/1
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support N/A

Internal Expansion

Case mini-ITX
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports 0
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Hitachi DeskStar (HDS721050CLA362)
Interface SATA II
Total storage capacity 500GB


Graphics card(s) Intel GMA HD
Graphics/video ports VGA, DVI, HDMI


Sound Realtek HD Audio
Sound outputs 7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakers N/A

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards none
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 24 in
Screen model Iiyama ProLite E2410HDS
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Screen inputs VGA, DVI, HDMI

Other Hardware

Keyboard Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600
Mouse Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse v2.0


Software included none
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB (first 30 days collect and return)
Price £350

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