the PA-120 only allows for a generic mobile-CD-ROM drive to sit in its bay. This
is unfortunate because these drives are hard to find, and are expensive. A better
choice would have been to use a slim-CD-ROM drive that are becoming more plentiful,
and are less expensive. This would also be good for the OEMs. I spent some time
looking for a drive that would work, but I could not find one in stock at a reasonable
not having a CD-ROM drive installed, it might just help keep the inside of the
unit cooler anyway. There is not much for ventilation inside of this cramped case,
and I wonder how much of a problem heat would be if you were to have a high-speed
P!!! inside of there. Things have been fine with a Celeron 366 however, as it
runs for days on end with no problems.
fit and finish of the case leaves more to be desired. The plastic casing just
does not seem to fit quite right around the metal framework, as there is a gap
towards the front and it just barely slides on. Otherwise, the innards are of
good quality, solid construction.
case is no fun to take apart and put back together. It involves a screwdriver
and a couple of minutes to slide off the plastic casing and open the metal frame.
There is a hook for a lock on the back, but I hardly think it is necessary. However,
this thing would be easy to just carry away, and maybe hide under a long coat
on your way out the door.
power supply is only a 90W! It does meet the specification for Flex ATX, but I
wonder how it would hold up with a fast P!!! sucking juice. One thing that I noticed
was that the power supply is loud considering how small it is. I expected something
near dead quiet. Also, I had to get a power-supply extension cable just so it
could reach the plug on the motherboard. Apparently this case was designed for
a different board layout than the Gigabyte that I used.
the design is cool looking, and its small size is appealing. However, this case
just isn't very practical for most setups, whether you are an OEM or an extreme
hobbyist like myself. I think that Palo Alto should consider revising its design
to allow for the slim-CD-ROM design, better cooling, a more powerful and quiet
power supply, and finally try to squeeze in at least one expansion slot. Just
by doing those few things, this case would definitely become a lot more appealing.
October 8, 2000