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FIC's Condor mini-barebones system

The bird is the word

Manufacturer FIC
Model Condor
Price (street) $255
Availability Now

SMALL FORM FACTOR systems have been steadily catching on in the last couple of years, and Lord knows we just love the little buggers. Shuttle has been in the lead from the beginning (and they're doing their best to stay there) but lately other companies have been trying to nab a piece of the SFF sales pie.

One example is FIC and its Condor system. The Condor is an interesting, uhm, bird, larger than a Shuttle cube but still smaller than most "regular" PCs. With its innovative fold-open enclosure and emphasis on tool-free design, does the Condor fly? Let's find out.

Tech specs
We'll start off by looking at the specs of the Condor. Here's a handy chart for your perusal.

CPU support Socket 478 Intel Pentium 4 processors with 400/533/800MHz front-side bus (Prescott supported)
Chipset Intel 865G
North bridge Intel 865G MCH
South bridge Intel ICH5
Expansion slots 1 4X/8X AGP
2 32-bit/33MHz PCI
Memory 2 184-pin DIMM sockets
Maximum of 2GB of DDR266/333/400 SDRAM
Storage I/O Floppy disk
2 channels ATA/100
2 ports Serial ATA 150 via ICH5 south bridge
Audio 2-channel audio via ICH5 integrated audio and ALC202A codec
Ports 1 PS/2 keyboard
1 PS/2 mouse
USB 2.0 (2 front, 4 rear)
1 RJ45 10/100 Ethernet via Intel 82562EZ

2 line out (1 front, 1 rear)
1 line in (rear)
1 microphone in (rear)
1 optical digital out (front)


There are a couple of notables here. One is support for Prescott processors, though obviously only those of the Socket 478 variety. Also, in spite of its larger form factor the Condor has the same number of drive bays as most Shuttle cubes. There are a total of three expansion slots, however (1 AGP and 2 PCI), and the placement of the slots (with the PCI on the "outside" relative to the AGP) makes the Condor much more GeForce 6800 Ultra-friendly than the typical Shuttle.