IntroductionBIOSTAR IDEQ 200T SFF Review
The market is now quite literally inundated with a number of small form factor (SFF) barebones units for modern CPUs. At the risk of repeating what's been mentioned before, a decent SFF unit contains a housing that's not much bigger than a shoebox, a mini motherboard that's usually sports a number of useful features, a PSU that, although is underpowered by high-end standards, offers excellent stability with a fully-laden box. And now with every SFF worth its salt offering an AGP port and at least a single PCI slot, the performance difference between a well specified SFF PC and a high-end tower is next to nothing. That's why the SFF market is experiencing explosive growth. Make it small, make it fast, and make it desirable.
It's also fair to say that Shuttle was the instigator of the current crop of SFF cubes. It has a number of cubes for each CPU, usually differentiated by chipset. That's not to say that others haven't or won't try their luck in this lucrative industry. We recently looked at Soltek's AMD-based cube, the EQ3702M, and found it to be a refreshing change from the glut of Shuttles that are omnipresent. Another lesser known motherboard manufacturer, Biostar, reckons it can provide serious competition to all and sundry. The Biostar IDEQ 200T, an Intel Springdale-based SFF PC, is under HEXUS scrutiny today. The question is whether it has enough of the right stuff to be considered a worthy challenger to Shuttle's throne. Let's find out.