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Biostar iDEQ 200A Small Form Factor Barebone System - Biostar iDEQ 200A
In terms of connection options the 200A is crammed full with everything you could want from a modern PC. Around the back are outputs for 5.1-channel sound, PS/2 keyboard and mouse, optical S/PDIF, a serial port, D-SUB for the integrated graphics, a FireWire port, two USB 2.0 ports and an Ethernet connector. Around the front is a further FireWire port, optical S/PDIF input, mic and headphone sockets and a further two USB 2.0 ports. The only thing missing is a parallel port, but this is available as an option.
One interesting aspect of the IGP 9100 is the option of using its integrated graphics together with an ATi graphics card to allow for up three displays at once. This might seem like a bit of a niche feature, but the option is there. What is missing however is TV out, which is really a shame on a system with integrated graphics, as the iDEQ would have been an ideal base for a low cost home entertainment PC.
The manuals could do with some work and it would be more helpful if the installation instructions where in colour rather than black and white. There are also some instructions that aren’t needed, such as how to install the motherboard, which comes pre-fitted in the case. More information about the supplied software would have been welcome, since this is only covered very briefly.
For those intending to use the iDEQ 200A as their main PC, performance is as important as features. Our standard set of benchmarks where used to test the performance. Overall benchmark numbers were good, but the Abit DigiDice with the Intel 865G chipset was faster in SYSmark 2004. The iDEQ 200A scored better in PCMark 2004 and the integrated graphics managed to better the 865G with over 2,000 points in 3DMark 2001SE. Adding a GeForce FX5900XT to the mix favoured the Intel 865G chipset again, but not by much.
The iDEQ 200A is yet again an excellent unit from Biostar with plenty of features, good performance and very little noise. It is not perfect as the lack of a TV out feature shows, but this is really a minor issue. The price is somewhat high for the 200A compared to other iDEQ models at £165, but if you want a small form factor system with integrated graphics, then this is the model to go for.
Yet another great product from Biostar with good looks, great build quality and almost every feature you would need from a system its size. Biostar has yet again proven that it offers some of the best SFF systems on the market.