Introduction

Aspire seems to be a company that does not mind marching to the beat of a different drummer. We have seen more boldly themed cases from Aspire than just about any other case manufacturer out there. This is not a bad thing at all though, as many, such as the X-Navigator we reviewed last year, actually represent a very good performance per dollar niche especially for the gamers out there.

Continuing in their tradition, Aspire has recently come up with a Micro-ATX form factor case dubbed the X-QPack, and let us be the first to tell you, this is by no means a case that only gamers should get interested in.

A quick search through your favorite engines on the web for "micro atx cases" will most likely yield droves of squatty-looking mid-towers with no real features separating them from their slightly-bigger mid-tower brothers. One has to wonder what the point is of getting a case that does not allow the use of larger motherboards if it really doesn't have much to offer over the nicer (not to mention only marginally bigger) mid-tower cases.

Well the X-QPack definitely aims to change all that. After a couple days of working with the unit, here is a brief summary of how we feel about the new chassis:

Aspire X-QPack

Included Features

- Excellent layout (good expansion)
- Removable motherboard tray
- LCD temperature monitor
- 420 watt power supply
- Good cooling design

Possible Improvement

- Rounded edges - Tool-Less Features (minor)


Much to gamers' delight everywhere the case comes in red, yellow, green, blue, and silver, and the model we received for review was of the blue variety.

More information on the X-QPack on Aspire's website.

External Design
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  • R3MF - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    #52 -
    "I second (or third or fourth or whatever) the call for some words of comparison to the Antec Aria (it's the only other mATX standard cube case, right?); I can see this offers more bays and a bigger power supply, but what else?"

    add the Silverstone SG01 to that comparison too.

    and have a part two article looking at high-end mATX motherboards.

    that would be ace!
    Reply
  • Noriaki - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    Hey is the 420W PSU that comes with this case 20pin or 24pin main connector? And I know it matters less, but does it have the 6pin PCIe connector? Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    FSP or Fortron Source Power and it's varients are one of the best. Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    I second (or third or fourth or whatever) the call for some words of comparison to the Antec Aria (it's the only other mATX standard cube case, right?); I can see this offers more bays and a bigger power supply, but what else?

    Also, for everyone talking about the power supply not being standard, I don't think anything prevents you from installing a normal depth ATX power supply, as long as your optical drives are not overly long; most of the newer optical drives are pretty short.

    Finally, I do agree about the window. Couldn't they offer a windowsless variant? Cases with windows are just toys to me.
    Reply
  • IronChefMoto - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    I'm not real happy that it has a non-standard PSU -- one of the things that worries me about long-term ownership of my Shuttle SN85G4V3 XPC. The advantage with a DIY mATX box like this SHOULD BE the replaceability of parts. Of course, Antec screwed themselves in the ass with their proprietary Aria PSU in the same way.

    I'm also not keen on the windows. Windows are nice on a large tower where you can clean up your case (when you have the room too). Windows on something like this is akin to showing off a really unkempt closet full of pack rat stuff.

    Nice review, by the way. Would love to see a comparison if and when the Antec Aria II comes out.
    Reply
  • Pannenkoek - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    [OT] Thanks Kristopher, I missed those comments. Odd that that would be possible, but I appreciate the protection of their sources by editors in any case. Reply
  • R3MF - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    [edit]

    with the price difference i could even afford to stick the SST VFD panel in the spare 5.25" bay for use in a HTPC!

    [/edit]
    Reply
  • R3MF - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    @ 44 (re: SST SG01) -

    i agree that SST cases are overpriced, but it is very affordable compared to a shuttle.

    my SN25P cost me £285

    by comparison:
    SG01 = £100 (or thereabouts)
    NF4 mATX M/B = £60 (tho i would pay more for a better baord)
    400W Akasa ATX2.01 PSU = £40 (yeah, sure i need more, not)
    Via ENVY PCI soundcard = £25
    TOTAL = £225

    looks pretty affordable to me.:)

    i only wish there were some high-end mATX motherboards to put in it. i repeat; come on MSI/Abit/DFI/Asus, show us what you can do.......
    Reply
  • Tujan - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    Dont know if that was a positive on a different full size power supply. Or the same positive for a full size DVD player.

    Too Im not fully convinced of the carrying copacity used from the handle of this m-ATX case.

    I think that this case however has been the best looking m-atx alternative out there for a few months running. Everytime I look at Newegg.com they are sold out of them.

    If used one of those ATX 2.0 w detachable wiring would be a super setup.

    Surprising other m-atx manufacturers don't have something like this on a melt already. There are several M-ATX Intel that can run dual-core with this case.Hard to find on the web though. Certainly the m-atx AMDs would go well with it.

    Would get one to carry it around.Looks really good,. Nothing beats its value cost. I would trade out the power supply for one I listed,if it fit.

    All sorts of colors too.


    Reply
  • Tujan - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    Reply

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