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The floppy drive is also placed vertically, next to the 5.25” bays. The drive is a component of the ASUS Terminator 2 barebone:


The heart of this mini-system is an ASUS P4P8T mainboard on Intel 865G chipset, a dual-channel chipset with an integrated Extreme Graphics 2 core, support of the 800MHz FSB, Hyper-Threading, DDR400 SDRAM, AGP 8x and other industry accomplishments packed into the South Bridge chip:

The mainboard uses an 82801EB (ICH5) chip as the South Bridge, so we get the support of eight USB 2.0 ports, two SerialATA and two UltraATA/100 channels, AC’97 audio, Fast Ethernet and a dedicated bus for Gigabit network controllers.

The mainboard uses a 10/100Mb network controller from Realtek, RTL8100C. The audio capabilities of the South Bridge are implemented through an inexpensive six-channel AD1888 codec from Analog Devices:



The CPU voltage regulator is a three-channel one and uses an ADP3180 PWM controller, ADP3418 drivers and powerful STD90NH02L field transistors from STMicroelectronics with an operating current of up to 60A.

The PCB surface is involved into taking heat off from the transistors. The heat dissipation scheme also includes the panel the mainboard is fastened to, which also transfers the heat through a thick heat-conductive pad. The back side of the mainboard has special contact areas for transferring heat to the pad more efficiently:



So, we have only omitted the exclusive expansion card from ASUS with Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and IEEE1394 interfaces and the FM-tuner card.

The ASUS’ card contains a FireWire controller from VIA (VT6307), a Gigabit Ethernet controller from 3Com/Marvel and a Wi-Fi unit located at the expansion slot. SerialATA and UltraATA RAID controllers are not available in the mainboard because they are just unnecessary in a mini-system.


The FM-tuner module is a height of simplicity, containing an antenna connector, a screened RF unit and a controller chip:


We’ll talk about the FM-tuner later, right now let’s get busy with putting the system together and setting it up.

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