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AOpen miniPC MP915-B Super Multi System Review

AOpen miniPC MP915-B Super Multi System Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: AOpen mini PC MP915-B (Super Multi) system is based on the Intel 915GM chipset and supports Socket 479 Pentium M 400/533 MHz processors.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Computer / SFF PCs Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Aopen May 30 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Computer / SFF PCs > Aopen miniPC MP915-B

Inside the AOpen mniPC

On the inside of the incredibly compact AOpen Mini PC MP915-B (Super Multi), everything is very well laid out so that there is just enough room for airflow. All the components inside the Mini PC MP915-B fit together like a jig saw puzzle, and the lack of wires does a great deal towards simplifying the "guts" of this computer. When pulling off the aluminum top though, be careful not to tug too hard since there are one or two wires that connect the drives to the motherboard.


Unscrew the four mounting screws at the bottom of the case and pull the aluminum top off to expose the innards of the system.

The system is based on the very small AOpen i915GMx-F motherboard. It has a single 200-pin DDR-2 SO-DIMM memory slot, a single miniPCI slot and a large rectangular aluminum heatsink that cools both the Intel Pentium M 740 CPU and Intel 915GM Northbridge. The Southbridge chipset is located on the opposite side of the motherboard, which is hidden from view.


The ICH6 Southbridge and 915GM Northbridge

Attached to the aluminum top is a large plastic air duct which houses the single 2.5" notebook hard drive and a notebook style slim line AOpen dual layer slot loading DVD writer. To reduce errant noises, small foam pads are placed between the shell and motherboard to keep vibrations in check.

The perfect HTPC with High Definition Content?

Small formfactor computers are often touted for their multimedia abilities, after all a PC able to handle multiple audio/video streams and can change easily depending on the needs of the user. Given the size of the AOpen Mini PC MP-915B (Super Multi), it is quite possible the perfect HTPC candidate. It's smaller than most conventional DVD players, it's absolutely silent under power, and it offer video capabilities at par with much larger systems.

The AOpen Mini PC includes support for standard TV output (S-video) as well as component output (Y Pb Pr) for high definition TV's. Connect the 5.1 channel audio controller to a speaker system, and this little silver box is now the hub of any entertainment system... but its a hub with network connectivity!

With this use in mind, we tested the AOpen Mini PC's ability to handle Microsoft WMV-9 high definition video on its mobile Pentium M 740 processor and integrated 915GM graphics chipset. A video was played back via Windows Media Player 10, which was downloaded from Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase. The Discoverers (IMAX) video is available in both 720P and 1080P formats, and CPU utilization was monitored through Task Manager to give a general indication of system load.

Running the 720P version of the Discoverers video, CPU usage hovered between 38% and 52%. If we assume that the HTPC is dedicated to video playback these values are not too bad. Obviously though, its multitasking capabilities are a little more conservative than what we're used to from a full sized system.

The 1080P version of the Discovers obviously chews up more resources because the resolution is higher. In this test, CPU usage varies between 66-75%. The load is high, but since it remains below 100% there should be no dropped frames during playback.

Now, lets take a closer look at the AOpen Mini PC MP-915B, inside and out...

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Contents of Article: Aopen miniPC MP915-B
 Pg 1.  AOpen miniPC MP915-B Super Multi System Review
 Pg 2.  Exterior Features
 Pg 3.  — Inside the AOpen mniPC
 Pg 4.  Photo Walk through - Disassembly
 Pg 5.  Photo Walkthrough - Memory / Processor
 Pg 6.  Photo Walkthrough - CPU Heatsink
 Pg 7.  Photo Walkthrough - MiniPCI
 Pg 8.  The Mini PC BIOS
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: SYSMark 2004
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi, PCMark04
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark2001, 3DMark05
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, UT2003, UT2004, Doom 3
 Pg 13.  Alternative SFF media PC?

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