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AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX Ultra Small Formfactor PC Review

AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX Ultra Small Formfactor PC Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: AOpen has employed an unorthodox method of building its super small, super compact, super quiet miniPC MP945-VX small formfactor system.
 89% Rating:   
Filed under: Computer / SFF PCs Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AOpen Jan 23 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Computer / SFF PCs > AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX

External Features of the MP945-VX

AOpen has spiced up the appearance of its Mini PC line quite a bit since the last time PCSTATS tested one of these units. The Mini PC MP945-VX model certainly looks flashier than the original MP915-B unit, although I personally like the older Mac-esque design a little more. Considering either computer, the build quality is just as good.

On the face of the Aopen MP945-VX, the power button is large and easily identifiable. Just below the power button is a microphone port. To the right and left of the large power button are the HDD indicator LEDs which shine a bright blue when the hard drive is being accessed. Above all of this is the slot loading DVD/combo drive.


Near the top is the optical disc slot for the dual layer DVD burner, insert the CD or DVD about half way in and the drive will do the rest. There is an eject button for removing discs, but since the button by default is flush with the front panel it can be a little finicky to engage at times.


At the back of the AOpen MiniPC MP945-VX system are all the ports and connectors, and even room for a large cooling vent which looks suspiciously like a PCI expansion bracket place holder (it's not). From left to right: the Kensington security lock, 12V DC power socket, Digital DVI video connector, Video-output jack (S-video, composite, component), 802.11b/g wireless LAN antenna, gigabit Ethernet jack, Firewire, two USB2.0 jacks, and a collection of headphone/microphone/audio-in mini-headphone inputs.

AOpen cover the top of the Mini PC MP945-VX system with a piece of translucent blue plastic. It is thin, and depresses slightly when squeezed. I sort of prefer how the case was constructed with the 'Mac Mini' MP915-B model, with the MP945-VX, you cannot stack anything heavy on top of the system. This blue top is removed to gain access to the internal components, which does make swapping out hardware a lot easier than the previous shell design allowed for.


The chassis of the AOpen MiniPC MP945-VX system is all aluminum, the sides have a very pleasing brushed metal finish that would blend in nicely with high end audio gear, big HDTV plasma screens, or any desktop.


The white dipole antenna connects the system to 802.11b/g wireless LANs. A Gigabit Ethernet jack provides another means of connection the AOpen MiniPC MP945-VX system to a home network, or external SAN. A Kensingon security lock threads through the aluminum chassis (at left) to allow users to secure the diminutive system.


Hot air is exhausted from the rear of the AOpen MiniPC MP945-VX, and drawn in via this periphery of vents along the bottom edge of the unit.

The dark grey pad on the bottom of the system works to reduce vibrations, and provides a soft non-slip surface to protect table tops or AV equipment below. Aopen revised the way of accessing the MP945-VX, so there is no longer any need to fold back the four rubber corners to gain access to the screws hidden behind. It's important to place the MP945-VX system on a flat surface - do not block these cooling vents!

Now, are you ready to see the inside of this mini-mini computer?

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Contents of Article: AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX
 Pg 1.  AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX Ultra Small Formfactor PC Review
 Pg 2.  First Impressions: Big Potential
 Pg 3.  — External Features of the MP945-VX
 Pg 4.  Internal Features of the MP945-VX
 Pg 5.  System board, memory and thermal solution
 Pg 6.  Internal Wireless 802.11b/g and Jacks
 Pg 7.  Complaints and HTPC Applications
 Pg 8.  High Definition Content Playback and BIOS
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: SYSMark 2004
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark05
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3
 Pg 13.  One Great Little HTPC Machine?

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