Overclocking & Conclusion
To aid in overclocking efforts, Biostar ships the iDEQ 350G with a handy System Control Utility. As seen in the image above, the utility offers a wealth of information including CPU and fan speeds, CPU temperature, and CPU clock speed. Using the relatively tame features we were provided with in the BIOS, we were able to reach a maximum stable FSB of 217MHz. Combined with a 16x multiplier, we were running at 3.7GHz which was a slight increase over the stock 3.6GHz setting we initially were testing with. Although not an earth-shattering result, it's hard to complain when you're able to squeeze free additional performance.
Construction: Overall, the fit and finish of the Biostar iDEQ 350G is top notch with exceptional attention to detail. Small touches like the etched hinge status on the chassis go a long way in making the system simple and easy to use. Quality is further seen in little details like the plastic handle on the leaf spring in the heatsink assembly that make cpu removal or installation a breeze. Each aspect of the system feels solid and works as expected leaving the user with the impression that they are dealing with a top notch piece of equipment.
Setup: Out of the box, the iDEQ 350G was extremely painless to get up and running. The unique hinged front portion of the chassis is absolute genius when it comes time to install the processor and memory. All necessary power and data cables have already been cleanly routed through the system, leaving the only tasks to be completed of physically screwing in the optical and hard drives and plugging the cables in. Without question, the system has exceptional preparation and is one of the easiest SFF PC's one could possibly assemble.
Features: Perhaps the only thing wrong with the iDEQ 350G is its lack of any truly unique or interesting features beyond the bare essentials. Granted, the hinged front chassis is an excellent feature. However, small annoyances such as the limited overclocking adjustments in the BIOS take away from an otherwise excellent design. For the current street price of $364, it just seems as if there should be a few more bells and whistles integrated into the system. Regardless, the iDEQ 350G has all the integrated features one would expect of a high end system though it lacks any true whiz-bang features to differentiate it from other SFF systems.
Performance: In terms of performance, the Biostar iDEQ 350G seems to be somewhere in the middle of the pack. Regardless, the system is able to be configured to be capable of tackling nearly any application. Whether you're looking to stick in the latest GPU and a ton of memory for a killer gaming rig or aiming to build a multimedia powerhouse complete with tuners and discrete audio cards, the iDEQ 350G is an excellent choice.
In the end, we were impressed by Biostar's latest offering in the SFF arena. A recipe mixing efficient design, solid performance, and exceptional quality makes the iDEQ 350G an excellent choice for those looking for an all purpose solution. Although it is not perfect, the Biostar system is one of the better SFF offerings on the market. With a few minor tweaks including some more overclocking options, Biostar could very well have a home run with its iDEQ series of SFF systems.
We give the Biostar iDEQ 350G a Hot Hardware Heat Meter rating of 8...
|•_Dual-Core CPU Support
•_Ingenious hinged case design
•_Solid mix of Size, Features, and Performance
|• No support for Extreme Edition CPU's
• Slightly limiting 300W PSU