Soltek EQ3401A
Posted on: 06/23/2004 05:00 AM

Ups

  • Very attractive piece of hardware
  • The Quietest SFF we've tested to this point (Icy-Q!)
  • Cable-routing made easy by the orientation of the drive bays and the cables provided
  • Optical drives hidden behind face-plates. No color-matching!
  • Plethora of ports
  • BIOS provides all the tweaks geeks require

Downs

  • Unable to install/remove DIMMs when the removable drive chassis is installed
  • Two serial ports? I'd rather a parallel port.
  • Chassis may feel a little bit flimsy, but this isn't something that's exclusive to Soltek's SFF

The benchmarks paint a picture that this SFF is inferior to Shuttle's i865G-based offerings (at least from a performance perspective). That simply isn't the case. Performance certainly isn't the most important criteria in my purchase decisions these days. I can say with pride that the EQ3401A is the nicest SFF I've tested to this point based on its design and the features it brings to the table. The Icy-Q cooling system is ingenious and will give you an SFF that you can safely leave on top of your desk without worrying about the whine of fans. It's virtually silent in comparison with Shuttle's SB75G2. Once I acquire another LCD, this may get migrated into a coffee table machine that I can use with a wireless keyboard and mouse on the couch.

If ultimate performance is your thing, obviously this SFF isn't for you as it does lag behind Shuttle's offering. That being said, if worrying about ultimate performance is what keeps you up at night, you probably shouldn't be looking at an SFF at all. You should be looking at a set of Xeons or Opterons and dig into it duallie style. :)

If you're looking for a sleek, quiet SFF computer for yourself, friend or family member look no further than Soltek's EQ3401A. You certainly won't have anything to complain about after picking up this unit. I plan on keeping mine.

If you'd like to pick one up, I'd recommend CoolerGuys.com. They have the unit available, with backpack, for $249.95. They've been good to me, so drop them a line.

Jim Kirk



2CPU.com gives this SFF system a 9.5/10 CPUs!




Printed from 2CPU.com (http://www.2cpu.com/contentteller.php?ct=articles&action=pages&page=soltek_eq3401a,6.html)