PC Size Means Everything

Soltek QBIC EQ3401M: Lots Of Room For Components

Packaging of the Soltek's bare-bones QBIC EQ3401M for the P4 platform

Attractive mini-PC with many expansion options

Generous offerings with Soltek system

Of all four test candidates, the Soltek bare-bones package offers the most room for components. All told, two slots each for drives in 5.25- and 3.5" form factor are available. For the CPU cooler, Soltek relies on the bundled fan that comes with an Intel P4. Since the mainboard is based on the Intel 865G chipset, there is, in addition to the AGP slot, onboard graphics sufficient for most 2D Office applications. Gaming freaks can add the appropriate card. The reflective front adds a decorative touch and visually speaking goes well with the black case. The deciding factor here has to be personal taste. The plastic buttons, which don't seem as classy as those on the Shuttle XPC, could be rethought. However, the Soltek provides every conceivable feature that could be found on the big desktops. For example, there are even overclocking functions to increase the FSB and memory speed, along with voltages. The "smart fan control" allows the rpm of the fan to be adjusted for the system and the CPU. In addition, the response time can be modified. In practical use, the QBIC puts its best foot forward: At average system capacity, operating noise came in rather low (37 db (A)). The second fan for cooling the components works quite effectively.