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MSI Hermes 650-P Barebones System Review

MSI Hermes 650-P Barebones System Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The system when installed with a CPU and hard drive is perfect as a home theatre, or bookshelf PC.
 77% Rating:   
Filed under: Computer / SFF PCs Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Oct 12 2002   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Computer / SFF PCs > MSI Hermies

Using the Hermes; Ease of use

MSI cool the processor with a rather large copper heatsink and the main intake fan is a 40x40x20mm Sunon (KDE1204PKV1 ) which spins at 7200 RPM pushing about 8.3 CFM of air.

An air duct is used to direct the exhaust from the heatsink outside the case and two small 40x40x10mm Sunon fans (5400 RPM, 4.9 CFM) offer assistance. I was a bit surprised to see the processor cooled this way; expecting the opposite to be true. Instead fresh cooler air from the outside is pulled in at the rear of the case and exhausted to the side. The system is fairly quiet.

One of the Hermes greatest features is probably one you'll never notice and that's the amount of noise it produces. MSI engineered the Hermes to be as quiet as possible and they claim the Hermes will only generate 28.6dB of noise when idling and 35dB while under load!

Perfect as a home theatre PC system or bookshelf multimedia system, the Hermes is ideal for situations where noise is a factor.

Unlike MSI's Metis system which is basically based on a Micro ATX form factor motherboard, the Hermes is actually quite proprietary. It uses a custom size motherboard as well as a non standard power supply. While the PSU looks like an ATX, if you look closely to the main power connector you'll notice that one wire is missing. If something were to die in the Hermes (when out of warranty), it would be probably be difficult to replace.

Ease of Use:

As mentioned earlier, the Hermes's exterior is well designed and quite straight forward. All front panel I/O controls are labelled and easy to read. The rear of the computer is not quite as user friendly but even a novice computer user should be able to decipher the images. Because the system can be mounted on it's left hand side (via a foot stand), I was a bit surprised to see MSI did not include a warning about blocking the air vents.

I guess they just assume everyone who is going to use the Hermes on the side will use the foot stand. Since the vents are flush, placing the computer on this side will cut off the exhaust air vents and may potentially lead to overheating.

While the exterior of the Hermes is straight forward, the interior of the case can be quite challenging to work with. Even something as simple as installing memory will require you to remove the PCI riser card and move the front panel out a bit. Something a bit more advanced like changing the processor or HDD will require you to basically disassemble the entire computer!

Putting the Hermes back together can be another challenging task as there are quite a few small cables that get in the way like the two side panel Sunon fan power connector. MSI should use some sort of cable wrap on the cables as it's easy to break them. All in all, expect to spend at least half an hour if you plan to swap out the processor, CD-ROM or HDD!

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Contents of Article: MSI Hermies
 Pg 1.  MSI Hermes 650-P Barebones System Review
 Pg 2.  — Using the Hermes; Ease of use
 Pg 3.  The MS-6535, backbone of the Hermes
 Pg 4.  System Spec's and Benchmarks
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2001, Winbench 99
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2003 and PCMark2002
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001SE, QIII
 Pg 8.  Not bad for such a small PC

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