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Iwill ZMAXap SFF Review

By: Shawn Baker | SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Sep 27, 2004 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8%Manufacturer: Iwill



The ZMAX as we expected wasn't quite as fast as the PowerColor 9100IGP for gaming when using onboard graphics as it is quite commonly known that ATI have got one of the best (if not the best) integrated graphics engines on the market. You can see though when it comes to synthetic memory and CPU scores, the ZMAX system from Iwill holds itself extremely well and when we placed an ATI Radeon X800PRO inside both systems under 3DMark2001 SE, the Iwill ZMAX was well ahead as the numbers showed.


With this said, if you are really wanting to get the maximum performance out of your small form factor, you need to add in your own external AGP graphics card which can be done with great ease - even with the 250 watt power supply, the ZMAX had no problem powering the X800PRO, Western Digital Raptor hard drive and DVD burner.


While we did have intentions to overclock the system we didn't have much luck since we had problems booting over 205MHz, like the ZEN small form factor system from Shuttle. You can't buy these systems expecting to reach insane overclocking speeds; they just aren't designed for overclocking. You want a small form factor that has the ability to handle a high-end AGP card, have the ability to use the latest processors and run 100% stable at default operation. The ZMAX is able to do this and more which makes it an excellent choice for users interested in upgrading their old small form factor or just want to enter into the small form factor realm.


One thing we did notice which was missing was entertainment connectors on the back I/O plate such as S-Video and RCA video out for a home entertainment setup. And as we mentioned earlier in the review, the inclusion of the faster 802.11g standard would have been nicer than 802.11b but at least some form of wireless is included.


All in all we have a good first attempt from Iwill with just a few minor cons but we hope that they decide to stay on the Small Form Factor bandwagon with some more and exciting models in the future.


- Pros


Good gaming performance with X800PRO


Great looking case


Excellent features


Well designed cooler


Quiet operation


Air filters


- Cons


802.11b wireless, 54mbps 802.11g would have been nicer


Very slim package


Installation wasn't simple


Poor overclocking


Poor onboard graphics performance


Not many video output options


Rating - 8 out of 10


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