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13 Barebones Reviewed Are Anything But Square

ASUS Terminator 2 T2 Offers An Arnold Double Team

ASUS blazes its own trail in the case design of the Terminator 2 series. Both models are identical from the inside and outside. The difference lies in the radio and card reader, which are only found in the Terminator 2-R. The case is more reminiscent of a mini tower than a barebone in the classical sense.

Due to the large dimensions (310 x 185 x 320 mm), the Terminator 2 can be easily expanded. Two 5.25" slots are accessible from the front, as well as two 3.5" slots. One of them is equipped with a diskette drive. In the T2-R version, there is a card reader and the radio with an additional display in the second 3.5" slot. Otherwise, both barebones are identical. There is also no difference in the interfaces.

Twins: radio and clock are only offered in the R version

One with and one without a card reader or radio respectively

The motherboard used in both T2 computers is based on the ATI IGP9100 chipset, which is also responsible for the onboard graphics. For expansions, there is an AGP 8x slot and a PCI slot on the motherboard. The AGP slot for the graphics card is mounted like a regular motherboard, which means it is the first possible slot after the CPU, so that even larger and wider cards will fit in the case. The CPU fan is identical in the two T2 barebones and it is temperature controlled. When the CPU is fully loaded, the fan rotates considerably faster and reaches a noise level of up to 60 dB(A), which is really loud. One of the greatest flaws is the upgrade with 3.5" hard disks. ASUS only planned one bay for this, independent of the fact that you then have to live without the floppy drive and/or the card reader. In addition, no serial ATA hard disks can be used, because none of the ASUS barebones have this interface.