Advertisement
Advertisement

CCL PowerCube review

Barry de la Rosa
4 Feb 2011
CCL	PowerCube
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.

Advertisement

Specifications

3GHz Intel Core i3-540, 4GB RAM, 24in 1,920x1,080 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.

CCL	PowerCube

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****
ProcessorIntel Core i3-540
Processor external bus133MHz (2.9GHz QPI)
Processor multiplierx23
Processor clock speed3GHz
Processor socketLGA1156
Memory4
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardGigabyte H55N-USB3
Motherboard chipsetIntel H55

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportN/A

Internal Expansion

Casemini-ITX
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports0
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Hitachi DeskStar (HDS721050CLA362)
InterfaceSATA II
Total storage capacity500GB

Graphics

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

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
SpeakersN/A

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size24 in
Screen modelIiyama ProLite E2410HDS
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsVGA, DVI, HDMI

Other Hardware

KeyboardMicrosoft Wired Keyboard 600
MouseMicrosoft Basic Optical Mouse v2.0

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB (first 30 days collect and return)
Price£350
Detailswww.cclonline.com

Read more

Reviews