ABIT products have always been very popular among hardware enthusiasts. It was mostly true for a number of mainboards, which could work unbelievably fast after you make a few manipulations with their BIOS Setup. Frankly speaking, no one expected ABIT to forget these principles in such a popular field as barebone systems. But, let’s start from the very beginning…
ABIT DiGiDice: Closer Look
At first let’s say a few words about the ergonomics and functionality of this set. ABIT DiGiDice is designed in a very popular “Hi-Fi” style and looks more like a mini-system or a small music center, but definitely not like a computer case. However, the manufacturer is not the only one in the today’s market offering a PC case of such a design and construction. Almost all contemporary barebone systems are now designed to match the exterior of consumer electronics devices.
On the left of the front panel there is a pretty large LCD display with vivid blue highlighting, a Shuttle controller wheel also highlighted with the same blue, and hot-keys for fast applications launching:
- Video Control is responsible for video playback in WinDVD player;
- Audio Control starts music playback in WinRip;
- Photo Control allows you to watch digital pictures with Windows default Photo Browser;
- Program Copying starts CloneCD for disk copying.
When you press any of the hot-keys, there appears an icon at the bottom of the LCD display in the status line, and the indicator shows the playback/copy time countdown.
All these manipulations can be also carried out with the help of an infrared remote control unit. As you can see, to the right of the hot keys there is an infrared receiver diode.
In the right part of the front panel under the cover there are two 5-inch bays for optical drives, audio jacks, USB and FireWire ports, and a built-in card reader supporting Smart Media, MMC/SD, Memory Stick, Compact Flash and Microdrive standards. The cover can be moved inside the case along the right side of the barebone if necessary, which makes it much easier to reach the above listed ports and connectors.
But let’s return to the LCD display available on the front panel of our system. Note that this is not a fully graphical display, but a sectional one, i.e. it can display a set fixed of icons provided by the manufacturer. However, despite this fact, it can extensively indicate the system status: it displays the current time, power status, volume level. Moreover, thanks to ABIT EQ Program (ABIT’s brand name hardware monitoring technology), we can also see the rotation speed of the processor and system coolers, CPU temperature and temperature inside the case, CPU working frequency.