The Mailman Has Arrived: Four Mini-PCs on the Test Bench

MSI Mega PC (Mega 651): A Living Room PC With Minor Defects, Continued

Feed system for card reader.

The Mega PC's integrated ratio tuner is not ideal.

MSI barebone prior to assembly of all components.

Overall, the barebone system is convincing, with very good workmanship, which is only spoiled by the cheap-looking flap at the front. The sequence for installing components is very strict: first the hard disk is installed, followed by the processor, CPU cooler, memory and graphics card. The cable lengths for the hard drive and CD ROM drive are perfectly matched. When installing an AGP graphics card, be aware that space is very limited: fans of 3D action games can use, at most, an ATi Radeon or a GeForce Ti. A GeForce FX (with cooling elements on the back) is simply too bulky and doesn't fit due to the length. For Windows XP, MSI provides multimedia software that can also be controlled with the enclosed remote control unit. Without a software update, all the IDE devices run in Windows XP only in slow PIO mode. The fast ultra-DMA mode will be available after the update.