Soltek QBIC EQ3901 SFF barebones system

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April 24, 2005 by Devon Cooke and Mike Chin

Product
Soltek EQ3901M
SFF Barebones System
Manufacturer
Soltek Computer Inc.
Selling Price
~US$250-$290

The Soltek EQ3901 is a SFF barebones PC based around a Socket 939 motherboard. The shape, size and style puts this product smack in the middle of its class. It is nice looking and compact but it breaks no new ground in visual appeal or obvious functionality, looking much like other products from more established SFF brands like Shuttle and AOpen. The socket 939 motherboard immediately gives the EQ3901 high end aspirations; presumably even the loftly AMD FX55 processor can be utilized in this little system.

The EQ3901 is available in two different chassis styles and a number of different color combinations in each style. The unit at hand is Soltek's "Classic" styling, and features a mirrored front fascia. The chassis cover is aluminum, and comes in white, silver and black. The EQ3901 is also available in a "Mania" style, which features bright colors and a retro theme.

The Mania may have different thermal and acoustic properties from the Classic. A cursory examination of the photos on Soltek's website shows that the cover is made from a different material (probably an aluminum and plastic composite) and the side vents look more restrictive than on the Classic chassis. This review can only apply to the Classic chassis as we have not had any opportunity to compare it closely to the Mania.


This one's hard to miss. There's a reason why road workers wear bright orange!


The EQ3901 comes with cables, manuals, and a software package that features a virus scanner and disk tools.

There is some mixup about model numbers. The retail box refers to our smple as EQ3901M, with M denoting the mirror front panel finish. The closest model number listed on Soltek's website is the EQ3901-300P. The -300P seems to denote a unit with a 300W power supply rather than a lower powered one. As far as we can tell, the EQ3901 is only available with a 300W power supply, so it would appear that the EQ3901 and the EQ3901-300P are identical.

SPECIFICATIONS & FEATURES

The EQ3901 is based around a VIA K8T800 Pro NB chipset motherboard and requires an external AGP graphics card. There is no integrated video, which reflects a chipset limitation. AGP rather than PCIe sipport may make it slightly easier to find a low-heat VGA card, but limits the system's future upgradability somewhat.

The motherboard provides 8 channel audio and SATA RAID 0/1 along with dual channel memory, a major benefit of 939 chipsets. Cool'n'Quiet is not advertised, but it is supported. The power supply is rated at 300W, which is fairly high for a SFF system.

Soltek QBic EQ3901 Specifications

Processor

AMD Socket 939

Memory

2 x 184-pin DDR DIMM Sockets
Supporting unbuffered non-ECC DDR 400/333/266 DRAM up to 2 GB
Supporting Dual Channel

Motherboard

Soltek SL-B9D-FGR
VIA K8T800 Pro + VT8237 Chipset
1 GHz Hyper Transport

Audio

8-Channel AC'97 Audio
Expansion Slots 1 x AGP 8x/4x Slot
1 x PCI Slot

Internal I/O

2 x ATA133/100/66 IDE connectors
2 x Serial ATA connectors supported by VT8237. (RAID 0/1)
1 x Floppy connector
1 x Parallel port (via optional cable)
8 x USB 2.0/1.1 Ports. (4 integrated, 4 via optional cables)

BIOS

Award BIOS
BIOS FSB Setting
BIOS Write Protection
BIOS AGP, DIMM, VCore Voltage Setting
BIOS CPU Multiplier Setting

Storage Bays

2 x 5.25" Bays
1 x External 3.5" Bay
1 x Internal 3.5" Bay

Front-panel I/O

2 x USB 2.0/1.1 Ports
1 x Mic-In Port
1 x Line-Out Port
1 x IEEE1394a Port (Firewire)
1 x SPDIF Out Port

Rear-panel I/O

2 x Serial Ports
1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port
1 x PS/2 Mouse Port
4 x USB 2.0/1.1 Ports
1 x Gigabit 10/100/1000 LAN port
1 x IEEE1394a Port (Firewire)
1 x Line-In Port
1 x Front-Out Port
1 x Front Surround-Out Port
1 x Center/Subwoofer-Out Port
1 x Rear Surround-Out Port

Power Supply

300W (APFC)

Dimensions (L x W x H, cm)

33 x 21.5 x 20



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