APEVIA X-Master AL/500 Reviewajmatson - September 14, 2008
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Now that we have the Aspire X-Master out of the package, we can see what it has to offer us. The case is a compact desktop style case with the drives mounted sideways instead of the traditional horizontal way. This allows for a more compact, space saving design that takes up little room but offers enough expansion for what you will need. We reviewed the case with the silver colored bezel, however Apevia offers several other colors, such as black, green, blue, and red in addition to the silver. All of the Apevia X-Master cases come with a 500 watt power supply included, which we will take a better look at later in the review. There are two spaces for external 5.25" drive bays and one 3.5" external drive bay in the front as well as the vent for the power supply to the left of them. On the left side of the case (top if you lay it flat) there is a vent which allows for the PSU to pull in cool air to keep the temperatures down. In the rear toward the bottom of the expansion bays there is the power plug connector for you to plug the case into the wall for power.
Removing the side panel (top) we can get a better look at the inside of the X-Master. The case is small to conserve space but has enough room on the inside to work and place your components. The power supply is mounted to the left of the drive bays, which is why a pass through cable is needed to connect the power supply to the power connection at the rear of the case. When you pull off the front panel you see what I mean as a power cable extension comes from the back of the case and loops through to the power supply. To the right of the power supply are the external drive bays for your CD and floppy drives. You can also install an HTPC media panel in one of them if you desire. All the way on the right hand side is the single internal 3.5" bay for your hard drive (Apevia states three internal 3.5" bays though there is only one dedicated bay; you can use the floppy bay and the second 5.25" bay if they are not being used). The front panel of the case has a power button, reset button, a power and reset LED, two USB ports, a Firewire port, and a headphone & microphone port.
The back of the case has two 60mm rear exhaust fans (Apevia says they are 80mm but they only measure 60mm wide). There are also seven expansion slots that are available since the X-Master can take up standard ATX size motherboards. Next to the expansion slots is the power cable extension that allows the power supply to be mounted at the front of the case.
Now let's take a look at the power supply that is included.