It’s a very easy thing to find a barebone system today since they have long been present in a broad assortment on the shelves of shops. So, the only problem that remains is the problem of choice. Yes, there are many different models available, but most of them are based on the Socket 478 platform which cannot satisfy a demanding user today. Moreover, the functionality of many available solutions is not sufficient for building a full-fledged and small-size computer for home use.
So, it seems that people who want to have a compact and quiet system have to give up a big portion of the functionality peculiar to ordinary PCs on the latest platforms and to do with a variety of the Socket 478 platform. However, there have recently appeared barebone kits based on new platforms which change the market situation considerably.
The two models from Biostar we have got for our today’s tests represent two diametrically opposite approaches to designing such a system. The iDEQ 210P has the typical component layout with all its typical drawbacks, while the iDEQ 300G is a completely new model with an i915G-based mainboard of the BTX form-factor inside. This latter system is of a highest interest to us since there are few if any barebone models in the market that can boast the same or better characteristics. The iDEQ 210P will serve us as a reference point.
Running a little ahead, I should tell you that the majority of barebone kits are going to be made to comply with the requirements of the BTX standard soon. And this review will show you why.