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Soltek QBIC EQ3702M Mini Barebone System Review - Page 1 Of 7

INTRODUCTION

Like many of the visitors to nV News, I consider myself to be an enthusiast when it comes to computer hardware. A satisfying accomplishment for the enthusiast is choosing the components for a new PC and assembling the system. In some cases, components that make up the foundation of a system are purchased separately and usually include a motherboard, case, and power supply. Barebone systems are a popular option since components have been selected for us and are often chosen based on compatibility.

Soltek Qbic Mini Barebone System

However, mini barebone systems take convenience a step further as the motherboard, case, and power supply are already assembled. These systems are classified as Small Form Factor (SFF) personal computers due to their size and weight. The majority of mini barebone systems are equipped with integrated graphics, sound, and networking, which allows a full-featured system to be built by adding a processor, memory, hard drive, and CD-ROM.

Soltek Qbic Packaging

Today, I'll be reporting on Soltek's Qbic EQ3702M Mini Barebone System. The EQ3702M is a Small Form Factor personal computer based on NVIDIA's nForce2 Platform Processor with an Integrated GeForce4 MX Graphics Processor (IGP). The nForce2 debuted in June of 2002 and remains a hot selling product due to AMD's continued commitment to the Athlon XP processor during 2003. Soltek's nForce2 based Qbic debuted in May of 2003 with the EQ3701M. The second generation EQ3702M was recently updated to include support for Athlon XP processors running at a 200MHz front-side bus speed.

The following chart explains the naming convention Soltek uses for their Qbic models, which also support Intel processors as well as VIA's C3 Ezra-T processor with the IQ3601 and IQ3602 models.

Soltek Qbic Naming Convention

FEATURES

The EQ3702M is loaded with features that include USB, Firewire, Digital Audio, Ethernet, 6-Channel Audio, and Integrated Graphics with Dual Output and TV-Out.

Soltek Qbic EQ3702M Features

The EQ3702M is based on Soltek's SL-B7A-F motherboard.

Processor

  • Socket 462 for AMD Athlon XP, Athlon, and Duron Processors

Memory

  • 2 DDR DIMM 184-Pin Slots
  • Unregistered, non-ECC memory
  • Dual-Channel DDR 333/266/200MHz SDRAM up to 2GB with 2 DDR DIMM's
  • Single-Channel DDR 333/266/200MHz SDRAM up to 1GB with 1 DDR DIMM
  • Dual-Channel Requires the Same Amount and Type of DDR SDRAM Modules

Integrated Graphics Processor

  • Integrated GeForce4 MX Graphics Processing Unit
  • 256-Bit 3D and 2D Graphics Accelerator
  • nView Dual-Display Supports VGA Monitors and TV Sets
  • Integrated NTSC/PAL TV Encoder with Resolutions up to 1024x768
  • Two VGA Connectors on Board for Analog Display
  • Supported by DDR SDRAM up to 333MHz

AGP Interface

  • 1 AGP Slot, 1.5V, DDR SDRAM up to 333MHz
  • 8X 66MHz AD and SBA Signaling, AGP Pipelined Split-Transaction
  • Long Burst Transfers up to 2GB/sec.
  • AGP 8X/4X, AGP V3.0 Compliant

Media Communications Processor

  • HyperTransport, PCI, ATA133, LAN, USB 2.0, IEEE 1394, Audio Processing Unit
  • 2 ATA 133/100/66 IDE Connectors, 4 IDE Devices, Floppy Controller
  • ACí97 6-Channel Audio - Front Left/Right, Back Left/Right, Center, and Subwoofer
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 Encoder
  • Fast Ethernet 10/100MB

BIOS Features

  • Flash Memory for Easy Upgrades
  • Standard CMOS Features (Time, Date, Hard Disk Type, etc.)
  • Advanced BIOS Features (Virus Protection, Boot Sequence, etc.)
  • Advanced Chipset Features (FSB, AT Clock, DRAM Timing, etc.)
  • Power Management Features (Sleep Timer, Suspend Timer, etc.)
  • PNP/PCI Configurations (IRQ Settings, Latency Timers, etc.)
  • Integrated Peripherals (Onboard I/O, IRQ, DMA Assignment, etc.)
  • SmartDoc Anti-Burn Shield (CPU/System Temperature, Fan Speed, etc.)
  • CPU Ratio/Voltage Control (CPU, DIMM, AGP Voltage, etc.)

Hardware Monitoring

  • Supported by LPC I/O W83627HF
  • Monitors Voltage, Temperatures, and Fan Speeds
  • Soltek Hardware Monitor Software

The following diagram depicts the layout of Soltek's SL-B7A-F motherboard.

Soltek SL-B7A-F Motherboard Layout

Next Page: Inside The Qbic EQ3702M and Bundle

Last Updated on January 5, 2004


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