FIC SFF Condor Mini System Review :: Setup and Content

12-08-2004 · Category: Hardware - Systems

By Doc Overclock
FIC SFF Condor Mini System Review

Setup was a challenge, but not so much as to be completely daunting to the seasoned builder or handy tech-head. If this is going to be your first time building a Mini-PC, I cannot stress to you how important it is to RTFM before attempting this venture. For those not familiar with the abbreviation of RTFM, let me refresh your memory. RTFM stands for read the frelling manual, and I mean before, not after or during the setup process. The Condor uses an AMI BIOS that is very straightforward and easy for the user to navigate through, but in truth if the parts are all installed correctly the system automatically detects them and sets the parameters to the most stable and optimal settings.

Trust me you will save an ample amount of time if you familiarize yourself with the basic layout and controllers of the Condor, especially when you have a bunch of parts and wires that need to be attached to the board and you need direction. The system is probably about ninety percent tool-less in its design and almost everything can be removed and installed with just your hands, which does make for easier drive installation and removal. A few tools are necessary, but the requirements are minimal and mainly needed to install the CPU fan. All the needed cables and driver CDs came included in the box, as did the manual and the power cable that goes from the back of the units power supply to your electrical outlet. The manual is a bit light for my taste in any case, so if you want a better description of the system and what its about download the PDF file here.

FIC SFF Condor Mini System Review

As I stated earlier in the review there is a button on the top of the unit that allows the unit to be opened up like a fancy car, enabling the user to access the system. For us, setup was pretty straightforward and the obstacles encountered were mainly in trying to get everything in the unit with the least amount of wire mess and restricted air-flow as possible. I have big hands so getting inside the unit for me is harder than it is for someone with small nimble-fingered hands as even though the space inside is larger than some of the other SFF systems we have reviewed space is always a premium in a Mini-PC. The CPU cooler that was included functioned very well and kept temperatures down to very satisfactory level even with the system in an enclosed space. The BIOS offers nominal feature options for overclocking and that is to be expected as the SFF platform was intended for travel and portability reasons and not as enthusiasts push the limits systems. Overall the effort and time needed to invest in getting the system up and going was more on a positive note than many we have worked on in the past.

FIC SFF Condor Mini System Review