Note the sliding drive bay cover and the neatly recessed reset button. Very nice. Biostar is gunning for the Shuttle XPC line, and the company is clearly playing for keeps. Pull off the iDEQ's side cover, you'll find a design influenced by a bundle of new ideas, from a transverse-mounted, sliding 3.5" hard drive tray to an AGP slot arrangement that will swallow a massive GeForce FX 5900 Ultra card. The iDEQ 200P also has much neater cable routing than the typical XPC and more open interior space. My initial impressions were firm: if Biostar has executed this concept well, there's a new SFF sheriff in town.
On paper, the iDEQ 200P has the goods needed to become a state-of-the-art desktop system or a killer home-theater PC (HTPC). Have a gander at the basics.
|CPU support||Socket 754-based AMD Athlon 64 processors|
|Chipset||NVIDIA nForce3 150|
|North bridge||NVIDIA nForce3 150|
|South bridge||NVIDIA nForce3 150|
1 32-bit/33MHz PCI
1 4X/8X AGP
|Memory||2 184-pin DIMM sockets
Maximum of 2GB of DDR200/266/333/400 SDRAM
|Storage I/O||1 floppy disk
2 channels ATA/133
2 Serial ATA 150 ports with RAID 0, 1, 0+1 via VIA VT6420 controller
|Audio||6-channel audio via nForce3 AC97 and RealTek ALC655 codec|
1 PS/2 keyboard
1 PS/2 mouse
4 USB 2.0 (2 front, 2 rear)
2 IEEE 1394 (1 front, 1 rear) via VIA VT6307 controller
1 RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet via Realtek RTL8110S MAC/PHY transceiver
2 audio line out/front out (1 front, 1 rear)
|HyperTransport speeds||200-250MHz in 1MHz increments|
|Monitoring||Voltage, fan status, and temperature monitoring|
The 200P supports all the latest gizmos and doohickeys, including Gigabit Ethernet, Serial ATA RAID, digital optical audio, and the Athlon 64 processor. Thanks to its single-chip nForce3 150 core logic and HyperTransport communications, the K8NBP motherboard ought to have a clean layout, even with its diminutive footprint and healthy complement of features. Let's have a closer look at the box and see what we find.