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A single PCI slot is also available for any additional expansion cards you might want to fit to your computer. Added to this is a mini-PCI slot hidden under a small flap at the bottom of the case, which allows for an optional Wi-Fi network card upgrade. The antenna is fitted to the rear of the case and Biostar has fitted a wire between the mini-PCI slots and the rear of the chassis. There is a further slot on the left hand side for an DOM (disk on module) card. This is for an optional upgrade that will add a Linux based media playback application to the iDEQ 300 range.
In the centre of the case, seated immediately behind the CPU heatsink is an air duct and a reversed blower fan – if that is a correct term – which sucks the hot air out of the rear of the case. The air duct has openings on each side to suck hot air away from the graphics card and from the space below the second hard drive caddy. The 300W PSU also has a small fan.
The 5.25in drive bay is at the top of the chassis, much in line with every other SFF case on the market. Due to the pre-routed cables it’s actually not that easy to fit a drive as the screws have to be fitted in-between the cables. The front flap might hide the look of your beige optical drive, but the way its designed means that it can get caught on the drive tray when it’s closing.
Biostar hasn’t managed to get around this issue but it has solved the problem of lining up the eject button. This is a common problem on several SFF barebones, as the eject button on optical drives are not always in the same place. Biostar has by far the best solution for this. A small track has been fitted on the inside of the case where the front mounted eject button applies pressure. This then has an adjustable slider which can be moved all the way down to the middle of the optical drive. As a result, I can’t see any optical drive that won’t work with the iDEQ 330P.
The built-in card reader handles Compact Flash Type I/II and Microdrives, SD, MMC, SmartMedia and MemoryStick and has a USB 2.0 interface. The front also sports an optical S/PDIF input, a microphone and headphone socket, two USB 2.0 ports and a six pin FireWire port. Interestingly, the front of the iDEQ 330P has an infrared window, although at time of writing, Biostar UK couldn’t confirm if this was for IrDA or for an optional remote control.
The rear of the case features two PS/2 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a six pin FireWire port, an RJ45 connector for the onboard Gigabit Ethernet controller, two serial ports, optical S/PDIF output and five audio connectors. The audio connectors provides for 7.1-channel sound courtesy of an AC97 Realtek controller. The line-in port can be re-configured for the additional outputs and there is also a rear mounted microphone connector.