of the Metis 266 is the MSI 6390 motherboard. It's based on VIA's KM266
chipset which is basically the KT266A with an integrated ProSavage8 videocard.
The board has support for any 200/266 MHz based Athlon processor (it does not
support 333 MHz chips) and the two DIMM slots can handle up to 2GB of
PC1600/2100 DDR RAM.
The first thing that catches your eye when you lay your
eyes on this motherboard is the massive heatsink on the MOSFETS. Good job
MSI, they must generate a lot of heat and remember this is a value oriented mainboard
so it is unlikely MSI did this for sake of appearances.
We were a bit surprised with the small passive
heatsink on the northbridge. As mentioned earlier, the KM266 is based on the
KT266A which on most other motherboards had active cooling plus a ProSavage8
news is during testing we didn't have any stability
problems and the board worked quite well. It's nice to see that MSI has
taken the time to choose a board with an AGP slot for the Metis266 so consumers can upgrade
to a videocard if they wish.
With three extra PCI slots you should have all the
expansion needs covered.
While the MSI G4MX440-8XT
videocard is NOT INCLUDED with the Metis266 SlimPC, we opted to test it the
system with the GF4MX440 card. Integrated graphics are sufficient, but drop in a videocard such as
this and the true potential of the system is realized.
Based on the GeForce4 MX440SE core, the videocard we tested with is
backed up by 64MB of 5ns Samsung TSOP-II DDR Memory. Since the GeForce4 MX
does not generate that much heat, a large (silent) passive heatsink is all that is required. The
card also has TV Out capabilities which are a nice addition.
Even thought the MSI G4MX440-8XT is a value
market videocard, we were glad to see that MSI used a good amount of thermal
paste between the GPU and Northbridge. A full review of this card
can be found here, now let's see how the Metis266 Slim PC handles some office productivity