Soltek QBIC EQ3901 SFF barebones system

Complete|Mobile Systems
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EXTERNAL OVERVIEW

There are four mirrored doors on the front of the case.

  • Two optical drive doors that are designed to open with the drives.
  • A floppy drive bay behind a spring-loaded door.
  • Front USB and audio connectors behind another spring-loaded door at the bottom of the case.


The rough texture on the front is actually a reflection of the ceiling in the lab, not a part of the case itself.

It seems a little odd to have two optical drive bays in a SFF system. Considering how tightly packed most SFF systems are, reserving space for an extra 5.25" drive seems a little wasteful to us. Still, there are other uses for a 5.25" bay (The front panel for a Sound Blaster Audigy comes to mind), so the option is there if it is needed.

The front connectors are fairly standard with the exception of an optical SPDIF-Out port. This is the only SPDIF port on the whole system, which means any equipment that is permanently installed through the SPDIF port will leave an ugly cable hanging out of the front of the case ¬ó the perfect position for being accidentally yanked out. This port would be best used only temporarily.


The front panel connectors are recessed about half a centimeter into the front of the case.

The back panel is notable for the absence of exhaust vents. Apart from the power supply, which does not have an especially open grill, the sole point of exhaust is small vent, about 1.5 x 7 cm. Ten square centimeters is not a large area for airflow. It looks like the power supply is intended to be the primary source of airflow in the system. In fact, there are other models using the same chassis in the QBic lineup (whose model numbers begin with IQ) who rely entirely on the power supply for exhaust.

Adding the area of the power supply vent, we estimate the total area available for exhaust to be about 40 cm sq. This is a minimal amount of airflow. By comparison, the intakes for the case, which consist of a strip of holes along each side of the case, provide about 55 cm sq for intake.

Some further air is allowed in by a vent at the bottom front of the case, but the position of the vent makes it only marginally useful for cooling the underside of the motherboard.


There are two main sources of exhaust: The power supply and a smallish vent along the left side.


Some airflow under the motherboard is provided at the front of the case.



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