No More Penny-Pinching: Seven Mini-PCs On The Catwalk

Biostar IDEQ 200A, Continued

However, the outward appearance of high quality is convincing, even it is not quite on the level of a Shuttle or an Aopen. To achieve that level, the front lid must be better placed or even moved. Under the cover, there's plenty of space: The few cables are neatly tied back so that mounting additional hardware components is done with just a few motions. The practical lever for latching the CPU, along with the cooling unit with the integrated heat pipe, are worthy of notice. Two fans take care of air circulation- one on the CPU cooler and another on the system case. Biostar followed our advice from the last test and attached a funnel in front of the CPU cooler. A 3-phase switch on the board supplied by a 200W power supply ensures stable power flow. This makes us wonder if in the future a more powerful model with 220 or even 250 watts would be appropriate. After all, the potential customer could use a GeForce FX5950 in addition to a Pentium 4 with 3.2 GHz or higher, and install several 7200 hard drives in the narrow case. This configuration reaches its 200 watts quickly.

Lateral view of the bare-bones

Twice as good: temperature measurement with a diode in the P4 and additionally on the bottom of the CPU