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MSI MEGA mPC 945 Barebones Small Formfactor PC Review

MSI MEGA mPC 945 Barebones Small Formfactor PC Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The MSI MEGA mPC945 system is based around the Intel 945G and Intel ICH7 chipsets and is compatible with all Socket 775 Intel Pentium 4/D/XE, Celeron processors.
 78% Rating:   
Filed under: Computer / SFF PCs Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Computer Dec 10 2006   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Computer / SFF PCs > MSI Computer Mega mPC 945

Small Formfactor Redeux

The visual appearance of the MSI Mega mPC 945 barebone small form factor system is clean and uncluttered. It doesn't look like a PC, more along the lines of a network attached storage device, or some really fancy toaster perhaps. This is part of the appeal for us with the MSI Mega mPC 945 barebones. The unconventional simplicity of design lends itself to perfect HTPC use.... except that the Intel 945G chipset this computer is based on really can't carry the full weight of such an application.

With a nice PCI Express videocard installed, one that happens to support HDMI or component output, the mega mPC 945 would look wicked next to any DVD or big screen TV system.

Anyhow, the MSI Mega mPC 945 system PCSTATS tested is based around the Intel 945G chipset, and it comes loaded with the usual allotment of integrated features. However the mPC 945 is able to stand out thanks inpart to a miniPCI slot and wireless 802.11b/g network card. Wireless networking is a rare feature to come integrated into a SFF PC, and with it you can network the PC from the media center to a main home PC, perhaps one with all the movies or music on it. Networking without running wires is a nice feature! The remaining feature include such common traits as Intel High Definition Azalia 7.1 audio, Intel's onboard GMA950 videocard, and a 7-in-1 flash memory card reader. As of this writting, the MSI Mega mPC 945 retails for about $290 CDN ($260 US, £142), making it a rather nice SFF barebones to build a system from.

Easy to Use, or a Royal Pain?

MSI has done an excellent job at designing the internals of the mPC 945 chassis - everything clicks together like clockwork, without the need to any tools. The system operates quietly for the most part, but during intense loads the fans do become increasingly audible. For tasks like watching a DVD or a downloaded movie, or listening to music the fans run pretty quiet.

The performance of the MSI MEGA mPC 945 system as tested was quite good in office oriented benchmarks, even with the Intel GMA950 videocard. In gaming benchmarks, the GMA950 is woefully underpowered and hardly useable. With a GeForce 7800GTX installed the system handles the games just as good as comparable Intel based motherboards.

The MSI MEGA mPC 945 definitely looks different from your average SFF PC. Thanks to this fresh approach we can see a whole host of possibilities for this system when married with a suitably competent videocard (preferably supporting HDMI or component output), and connected over the Gigabit ethernet or 802.11g wireless LAN... If you're looking for something simple and nice to look at, MSI really has come up with a solution worth your consideration.

PCSTATS Recommended Product Award

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Computer / SFF PCs News»

 

Contents of Article: MSI Computer Mega mPC 945
 Pg 1.  MSI MEGA mPC 945 Barebones Small Formfactor PC Review
 Pg 2.  The MEGA mPC 945 Chassis
 Pg 3.  Looking under the SFF hood
 Pg 4.  Inside the mPC 945 SFF
 Pg 5.  Ease of Installation and Tool Free Design
 Pg 6.  Installing Drives and more...
 Pg 7.  Intel 945G and GMA950 integrated videocard
 Pg 8.  BIOS Features are Slim / Test Specs
 Pg 9.  SFF PC Benchmarks: SYSMark2004
 Pg 10.  SFF PC Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 11.  SFF PC Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark05
 Pg 12.  SFF PC Benchmarks: 3DMark06, FarCry, X3: Reunion
 Pg 13.  SFF PC Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 14.  — Small Formfactor Redeux

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