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           MSI MEGA PC Barebones System

Product :


Manufacturer :


Reviewed by :

Wayne Brooker

Price :

£229 +VAT @ Simply

Date :

July 24th, 2003.


   Page No:   1
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As surely as the desktop PC is a part of our daily lives so I think it is that the small form factor (SFF) PC is set to become equally ingrained. Since CPU's developed the power to cope the sole drawback to the PC becoming a fully featured and incredibly flexible home entertainment center is its unwieldy size. Shuttle should perhaps be credited as the biggest factor in the push for the widespread acceptance of the compact SFF PC but despite all this there's still a lot of room for development in what is essentially a market still very much in its infancy.

Almost without fail small factor PCs have been just that, regular PCs crammed into small and often very stylish box and I firmly believe that for a large segment of the market this is all they'll ever want or need. I also believe that for other, less computer obsessed individuals the only way in hell we'll ever see an SFF PC in their living rooms is if it stops being just a computer and starts being something more. Well, that something more starts right here in the shape of the MEGA (MSI™ Entertainment Gaming Appliance) PC. We took a MEGA651 for a ride out to see if it could last the pace.

Let's do the specs:

Hi-Fi Audio + Performance PC + HomeTheater
AM/FM Radio Tuner
Audio CD Player
MP3 Music CD Player
Front Panel LCM Display
Provided Remote Controller
TV-Tuner Function(Optional)
6-in-1 Card Reader Function

CPUIntel® Pentium® 4
Socket 478
FSB 533/400MHz
ChipestSiS® 651
SiS® 962
MemoryDDR333/266/200 x 2
Max. 2G
Expansion SlotsPCI Slot x1
AGP 4X x1
On-board USBUSB2.0 x6
On-board IEEE1394 Integrated SiS 1394 Controller
UPD72852 PHY
Front Panel con. x2
On-board ModemMDC module
On-board Sound Integrated Realtek ALC650 AC'97 Codec
6 Channel
On-board VGA Integrated VGA Engine in NB chipset
LANRealTek RTL8101L Fast Ethernet Controller
10Mb/s and 100Mb/s auto-negotiation operation
On-board ConnectorRear Panel:
Parallel port x1
Serial port x1
PS/2 x2
Mic-In/Line-In/Line-Out x1
USB x2
LAN (RJ45) x1
Modem (RJ11) x1

Front Panel:
Mic-In/Headphone x1
USB x2
1394 x1 (4 pin)
1394 x1(6 pin)
Card Reader Function6-in-1 Flash Card Reader
TV Tuner FunctionMS-8606 TV Tuner Card (Optional)
Power off Function
Playback for MP3, Audio CD, AM/FM Radio Tuner (Remote Controller)
Power Supply200W (PFC)
Chassis202(W) x 320(D) x 151(H) mm
Packing Dimension279(W) x 435(D) x 360(H) mm

If you weren't already familiar with the concept of the MEGA PC then I can't imagine you're not already impressed. What we have here is an extremely compact but fully featured PC that comes with an AM/FM tuner and CD/MP3-CD player accessible without even booting to your operating system. Fronted by a vast selection of ports, a swish graphical LCD display and even a 6-in-1 memory card reader this should appeal to even the most PC-phobic of people.

Time for a closer look......




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