FIC SFF Condor Mini System Review :: Conclusion

12-08-2004 · Category: Hardware - Systems

By Doc Overclock

Many things are nice about this Condor, but a few things hold it back from being the ideal portable gaming unit or an Editor's Choice Product. The good things are its very neat design and visual aspects along with how the Condor opens up like an expensive Porsche in order to access the interior of the system. The unit offers very good cooling for an SFF system and there is ample room inside the enclosure for using discreet PCI or VGA cards, which is a nice thing in a Mini-PC.

The drawbacks are a weak 200w power supply that cannot handle the basic power requirements of some the latest high-end 3D VGA cards, which is just such a waste of time when you are building the so-called ultimate gamers SFF. There is also no support for IEEE1394/ FIREWIRE, and that in itself is something of a strange missing element as almost all boards usually have at least on of the large type ports available on the rear I/O.

I personally will challenge anyone on how many SFF systems they have burned up in testing these things. Let me tell you my stalwart chums, in one fashion or another, my techs and myself have had to replace over fifteen SFF systems due to a variety of problems. Usually either the power supply or the actual 12v connection takes a dive after continuous hour after hour running of the system as a test unit resulting in no more working AGP slot or total system meltdown. This is hardcore use true, but still many SFF systems fail when using high-end VGA cards that require large power donations in order to run properly. So far the Monarch Hornet is still my first choice in SFF systems. Good job though FIC, we all start somewhere and with a few modifications this could be the best gamers SFF system for the Intel 478 platform.