Benchmark Summary and Conclusion
Benchmark Summary: Although all three of our test systems were equipped with the same components installed on Springdale (i865G) based motherboards, the SkyHawk IMC6375 was the "winner" in each benchmark we ran. Not only did the IMC6375 place first, it often outperformed the other systems by anywhere from 5 to 10 percent. These results are somewhat surprising as the SkyHawk IMC6375 does not use any kind of memory enhancement technology, which other boards such as the one in the Epox eX5-320S utilize. We would have expected performance much closer to the rev. 1 Shuttle SB61G2 we used for reference, since the original FB61 motherboard also does not have any enhancements. The SkyHawk IMC6375 proved to be one of the best performing Springdale based SFF PCs that we have tested.
This showcase runs almost completely opposite of the last Small Form Factor PC we reviewed, that being the Foxconn e-bot. The e-bot had a sleek, contemporary design, yet was handicapped by the SiS661FX chipset, which hampered its performance. In today's look at the SkyHawk echo-Q IMC6375, we've got a system that performed well, yet suffers from installation problems as well as BIOS limitations.
Although it might not be a huge issue for some builders, we were really surprised to find that most of the cables came loose in the package instead of being pre-routed by SkyHawk. And the wires that were pre-installed created a mess inside the chassis, which made installation of major components such as the video card problematic. The outside of the case hardly fared any better. While we were fond of the LED screen and matching bezels, the overall feel and look of the buttons didn't instill a feeling of quality. We also found the directions, or lack thereof, for using the ETBIOS functions to be lacking and somewhat frustrating. It should be made much clearer what setup will be needed to properly use these functions. We also wish that there would be a way to use the ETBIOS with a third-party video card installed. Intel's Extreme Graphics engine doesn't suit the needs of many users, leaving them with only two options: use ETBIOS with the on-board graphics or install their own card and miss out.
These shortcomings outweighed the good performance we saw throughout our benchmarks. Our final rating of the SkyHawk echo-Q IMC6375 SFF PC is going to be 7 on the HotHardware Heat Meter.