Soltek QBIC EQ3901 SFF barebones system

Complete|Mobile Systems
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INTERIOR

The interior of the EQ3901 is tightly packed. The front half of the case is reserved for drives. It is possible to install two optical drives, a floppy drive and a hard drive, although some users will prefer to use the floppy bay for a second hard drive. The second optical bay could also be used to suspend a hard drive, making this one of the few SFF systems that can take advantage of this popular noise-reduction technique.

The back of the case is occupied by the power supply and the CPU heatsink. This means that all the major sources of heat are concentrated in the back of the case, in fairly typical SFF fashion.


Clearance between the bottom drive and the northbridge heatsink is about 4 cm.


The black box on the right is a blower that serves as an exhaust fan.


The drive cage has an extra optical bay ¬ó useful for hard drive suspension.

As is usually the case for SFF systems, the AGP slot is close to the edge of the case, precluding the use of a double-thickness VGA card. The top face of the card faces the edge of the case, which is less than ideal for cooling but not uncommon in a SFF system.


The CPU fan and the blower exhaust in the background, PSU removed.

The area around the CPU fan is about the only pocket of empty space in the whole case. This area is surrounded by fans: The power supply fan is immediately above the CPU, while the blower pulls warm air away from the CPU. Hopefully, all these fans will ensure that warm air will be exhausted quickly. However, the fans for the power supply and the heatsink are within five centimeters of each other and are blowing in opposite directions. These fans may be fighting for air, reducing cooling efficiency.


The HSF and the power supply directly above may fight for air.



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