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 Morex Cubid 3688 Mini-ITX Case Review - Page 2 of 2

Posted:  August 18, 2003
Author:  Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer:  Morex
Source:  Logic Supply

The following components were installed into the Morex Cubid 3688 for this review:

VIA EPIA M10000 Nehemiah Motherboard
Hitachi 2.5” Notebook Hard Drive
• 24x10x24x8 Panasonic Slim CDRW-DVD Combo Drive (also from Logic Supply)
• 512MB Crucial PC2100 DDR SDRAM

The first thing to be installed is the motherboard, which requires the removal of the drive tray.  The bottom of the case has the four motherboard mounting posts pre-installed, which accept screws from the included bag of hardware to secure the board in place. Although not included with the case, I used 4 paper washers to help insulate the screws from creating an electrical short on the board…  just in case.

Click Image For Larger ViewClick Image For Larger View

The motherboard fits snuggly into the space provided, without much room to spare between other features of the case.  Be sure to tuck in the CPU fan’s power lead, so that it avoids the case’s exhaust fan, as pictured in the above right image.  At this point I attached all of the front panel connections per my motherboard manual, as well as connecting the IDE ribbon to the motherboard in anticipation of completing the installation. 

Once the motherboard was installed (including the memory), the drives were mounted to the drive tray.  The optical drive sits in the contoured slot to the front of the tray, and is held in by four extremely small screws provided (get out your precision screwdriver for this). The mounts in the tray are slotted so that you can slide your optical drive forward/backward and line it up perfectly with the front of the case. After a brief test installation, I found the position I wanted for the optical drive, and tightened the screws.  The hard drive mounts across the back of the tray using four holes for mounting screws from below. There are different standards for drive mounting holes, with most modern drives using a pattern to match the drive tray.  But, if you happen to have a drive like mine, you may only be able to use two of the mounting holes. Two screws will hold the drive well, but to reduce vibration and the risk of an electrical short, I used felt pads between the unused set of mounts and the bottom of the hard drive.

Click Image For Larger ViewClick Image For Larger View

With both drives secured to the drive tray, I fastened the whole assembly to the case frame with the four screws.  Everything fit well, with very little room to spare.  The drive tray sits just millimeters above the motherboard, and with everything in place there is little airspace left. The IDE ribbon is then folded and tucked to reach the two drives, which it is sized specifically to do.  The only two power connectors are then attached to the drives, and the internal work is done.

Click Image For Larger ViewClick Image For Larger View

The fully assembled Morex Cubid 3688 is pictured in the two images above.  Everything fit back together nicely, and you are left with a stylish, ultra-compact computer ready for action.  The image on the below left shows the complete assembly mounted on the included base, and the below right image is provided for size comparison with a standard ATX midtower case. The AMS gTower is absolutely massive in comparison, but looks very similar in styling to the Morex Cubid 3688... maybe they’re related!

Click Image For Larger ViewClick Image For Larger View

Click Image For Larger ViewThe image on the right shows how the front panel LEDs look during operation. The left half of the image is in low light with no flash, and the right half of the image was taken using the flash. The power LED is an intense blue, and the hard drive activity indicator is a bright yellow, but not quite as intense as the power LED. The single 60 mm case fan is very quiet, but at 3000 RPM (per my BIOS data), it should be moving a decent enough volume of air to keep this little case cool.

For those looking to house their Mini-ITX system in an ultra-compact, well designed case, the Morex Cubid 3688 is a very attractive choice.  The external appearance is clean and uncluttered, and the function does not suffer for the sake of its form.  The attention to detail put into the internal layout, as well as the inclusion of items such as the power adaptor, special IDE ribbon, and optical drive adaptor, make installation a snap. Although the case can be used in either the horizontal or vertical orientations, use in the vertical position may be of particular interest due to the included support stand, and the benefits that may be experienced in keeping the case cool.  The exhaust fan is located right next to the CPU, which will help keep it cool in any position, but with the case upright, it will act as a chimney, forcing hot air out the top and drawing cool air in through the bottom.

There are two features of the VIA EPIA M10000 motherboard that have been lost due to the design of this case… the onboard Firewire ports and the one PCI slot.  Although the PCI slot is probably impossible in a case this size, even with a PCI riser card installed, I would think space could easily be made for Firewire ports on either the front or back of the case.  The image on the right is my concept for this, and after laying it out to scale, I may get the Dremel out and add two Firewire ports to the back of the case.

Available from Logic Supply on about August 25, 2003 for $89.95 (US), this is not a cheap case, but compared to other high quality Mini-ITX cases with similar features, it is a very good price! Another option worth investigating from Logic Supply and Morex is the Cubid 3677, which is nearly identical to the 3688, but with what some my consider a more stylish front face.

The attention to detail, attractive design, and over-all ease of use earn the Morex Cubid 3688  a rating of five out of five stars and the accolade of being “Highly Recommended”!


• Very attractive and well designed.
• The attention to detail that went into this case is apparent when you see how well everything fits.
• Ultra compact size is excellent for home theater, portable usage.
• External power adaptor eliminates much of the heat in the case.
• Case fan is nearly silent, and intelligently placed next to the CPU to exhaust the hot air.


• Ultra compact size eliminates use of PCI slot and Firewire ports on a VIA EPIA motherboard.

Special thanks to Logic Supply for supplying the Morex Cubid 3688 Mini-ITX case to BigBruin.Com for review!

Please drop by the BigBruin.Com Forum and feel free to discuss this review.

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