8 SFF PCs: Small, But Not So Quiet

Biostar IDEQ 300G, Continued

The ingenious opening mechanism makes upgrading the iDEQ 300G child's play. No annoying cable connections or crosswise struts as frequently found in other models. The cooling unit of the CPU can be detached from Socket 775 just by moving a lever. Only then do we realize that the CPU socket is placed at the very front of the motherboard. Looking at the board, we see the upcoming BTX form factor from Intel for cases and motherboards.

The iDEQ 300G is designed for two hard drives, one of which should preferably have a serial ATA interface. Although the motherboard also has an IDE port, that is meant for installing a CD or DVD drive. The two S-ATA disks are positioned one behind the other, rather than one on top of the other on chassis as usual. Another disk with serial ATA interface can be connected externally. The necessary connector ports and the power supply can be found on the back of the device.

Transformer, literally?

There is room in the interior for two 3.5" hard disks

This is what the iDEQ 300G looks like on the inside, when it keeps its lid on

Pros

  • Innovative opening mechanism
  • Hardware easy to install
  • Integrated card reader
  • Built-in radio
  • Lots of room for 3.5" drives
  • Quiet and ingenious ventilation design
  • Good interior cabling
  • WLAN module
  • Lots of room for wide PCI-Express graphics cards
  • 7.1 onboard sound
  • Remote control
  • External serial ATA solution, including operating power

Cons

  • Second IDE channel is full
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