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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
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

System board, memory and thermal solution

Looking under the hood of the AOpen MiniPC MP945-VX; parts are well laid out given the small space. The only fan in the entire system is embedded in one heatsink which cools both CPU and chipset. The system is refreshingly free of wires. Since all the data I/O goes through one card edge connector the system designers were able to do away with most of the data and power cables typically found in a PC. Those data cables clog up airflow, and make squeezing all this technology into a small package challenging.

Air intake vents can be seen along the entire edge of the chassis, where cool air moves over internal components before the fan exhausts it from the enclosed case.

Inside the AOpen MiniPC MP945-VX, a small 50mm squirrel cage fan draws in air from around the chassis, blows it over the Core Duo T2400 processor and Intel 945GM northbridge heatsink and out to the rear by way of a special duct (not shown). The fan is quiet, and the computer is quiet as a result.

A compound heatsink cools both CPU and Northbridge efficiently, and the single fan operates very quietly. Thin strips of metal thermal interface material replace silicon-based thermal compound which dry out over time. The proprietory copper heatsink does not use a PWM fan, so there is no noise from it constantly spinning up and then slowing down.

Seen here is the bottom of the thermal solution as it is positioned over the processor (left) and Intel 945GM chipset (right). Warm air is exhausted out the rear vent plate, which looks large enough to be a PCI expansion slot, but isn't.

The 1.86GHz Intel Core Duo T2400 socket M (478-pin) mobile processor. The Yonah chip is physically different from its Core Duo desktop counterparts; it uses a more compact package, with pins. Conversely, socket 479 Pentium M CPUs are not backwards compatible with this platform.

The AOpen MiniPC MP945-VX supports socket M (478-pin) processors, it is not compatible with desktop 478-pin processors (like the Pentium 4), or backwards compatible with mobile socket 479 either. Confused? Don't be.

Just remember that socket M (478-pin) Intel Core Solo mobile, or Core Duo Mobile processors are what make this system tick. The CPU installs into this socket (labeled socket 478MT), and the small screw is turned 90 degrees to lock the processor pins in place. Up next, a quick look at some of the internal peripherals installed into the AOpen MiniPC MP945-VX system.

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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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