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The last time I tested a barebone in our labs (see our FIC Condor review), I was left very pleased with the device. The Condor turned to be a small, easy-to-assemble, easy-to-set-up and easy-to-use computer. And it’s only up to you what to make out of a barebone system: anything from an electronic typewriter to a powerful gaming station for running the most advanced games.

At least I could make this with the Condor, although its cooling system was working at the limit when I stuffed the box with powerful components. Well, the Condor is not quite intended for such overloads.

Closer Look

Today’s reviewee is an originally serious system, although of a non-serious size. It is the Qbic EQ3801A barebone system from Soltek, which supports Socket 754 processors from AMD.

There are several color schemes available, and the face panel can be mirror-like. We’ve got a sample made of lusterless aluminum.

The engineers made a good use of the restricted space (33cm length, 21.5cm width and 20cm height) to create a full-featured computer, capable of solving all the range of tasks you may want to set before it. Originally generously endowed, the system also offers upgrade and expand options. For example, the look of the front panel implies that you can install two optical drives into the two top 5.25” bays.

The central part conceals an external 3.5” bay for a second hard disk drive or a floppy drive.

Below, there are a power-on button, a HDD activity indicator and a reset button. The flip-down cover hides the following connectors (from left to right): digital S/PDIF, microphone input and line input, two USB and one FireWire.

The back panel carries two PS/2 connectors for the keyboard and mouse, two COM ports, four USB ports, a LAN connector (RJ-45), a FireWire port, and five audio connectors:

 
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