The Mailman Has Arrived: Four Mini-PCs on the Test Bench

Soyo Mini Dragon 651: Old Fashioned Hi-Fi Charm, Not Yet Fully Mature

A look at the two barebone housings from Soyo.

The components are installed in the main housing.

The processor is cooled by a special heat pipe.

Soyo is pursuing an interesting concept in splitting the barebone system into two housings. At first glance, this gives the impression of a mini hi-fi system. The housings are different in terms of construction height, but they can nevertheless be arranged next to or on top of each other. The flatter housing contains, in addition to the main board, the most important components for operation, whereas additional drives, such as a 3.5" hard disk, DVD/ CD ROM or floppy, are accommodated in the second frame. Data exchange is carried out with the main device using a USB 2 connection with the enclosed cable. As the test device is a pre-series sample, the booting procedure does not function via USB yet, so tests were carried out on the IDE connection. A notable feature is the legacy-free design, i.e., ISA interfaces, such as PS7S, are not provided for keyboard or mouse. The power supply for both housings is provided via an external power unit.