13 Barebones Reviewed Are Anything But Square

Many choices, few run quiet

Consumers increasingly want a second PC or want to put a PC in the living room. There is still a great deal of hesitation because many people still don't know whether a barebone (also known as mini-PC) can replace a PC, a DVD player and/or a video recorder. The answer is clearly yes. Correctly configured, one single barebone does all these tasks - with panache.

Equipped with the right hardware and software, a mini-PC is a true Renaissance machine when it comes to video and audio formats. In fact, provided it has a TV tuner card - whether analog or digital - the mini PC can replace any video or DVD recorder. And to top off its feature set, the barebone PC can also serve as a regular work or gaming computer.

Due to its compactness, the case cannot be upgraded with hardware at will - space is simply too tight. A midi tower can accommodate multiple 5.25" drives and hard disks, but the space in the interior of a barebone is maxed out at one hard disk and one drive. Once again, it is a matter of size. If you want to install more, the case will have to be larger and you can no longer opt for a mini PC. But, who wants to install a PC tower in the living room, anyway? A slick barebone in black or silver would be much more preferable.

  1. Searching For The Quiet Barebone
  2. The Way It Should Be
  3. The Way It Should Be, Continued
  4. Test Candidates With AGP Graphics Slot
  5. AOpen XC Cube AV (EA65): The Multi-talent
  6. Under The Hood
  7. Pros And Cons
  8. AOpen XC Cube EX65: Design Is A Matter Of Taste
  9. Under The Hood
  10. AOpen XC Cube EY65: A Lot Of Intel Platforms
  11. Under The Hood
  12. ASUS Terminator 2 T2 Offers An Arnold Double Team
  13. Under The Hood
  14. Pros And Cons
  15. MSI MEGA Barebones: Two Unequal Brothers
  16. PC Alert 4: Monitoring of the temperature and fan speed
  17. MSI MEGA180: The AMD Version
  18. Pros And Cons
  19. MSI MEGA865: Suitable For Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
  20. Pros And Cons
  21. Jetway MiniQ Twin: Two Users Simultaneously
  22. Under The Hood
  23. Pros And Cons
  24. Soltek QBic EQ3801A: AMD64 Power Barebone
  25. Under The Hood
  26. Pros And Cons
  27. Test Candidates Without An AGP Graphics Slot
  28. Under The Hood
  29. Pros And Cons
  30. Shuttle XPC ZEN: Smallest Barebone With External Power Supply
  31. Under The Hood
  32. Pros And Cons
  33. Test Candidates With A PCI Express Slot
  34. Under The Hood
  35. Pros And Cons
  36. Shuttle XPC SB83G5: VW Meets Barebone
  37. Under The Hood
  38. Pros And Cons
  39. Noise Measurements: All Candidates At A Glance
  40. Configuration Table
  41. Configuration Table, Continued
  42. Configuration Table, Continued
  43. Test Equipment, Continued
  44. Accessories: Useful, Useless And Comical
  45. Shuttles TFT In An XPC Design
  46. Shuttle XP17, Specifications
  47. Shuttle PC40: Upgrade To Quiet Power Supply
  48. Lights Go On In The Peripheral Connectors
  49. Molex Connector: Let There Be Color
  50. RAM Freezer From Revoltec
  51. Area 51 Is Everywhere: The Aliens Have Landed
  52. Conclusion
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