No More Penny-Pinching: Seven Mini-PCs On The Catwalk

The purchaser of a compact PC often expects integrated graphics, particularly when he is concentrating on 2-D desktop tasks. But anyone who values 3-D games will in every case need to add a powerful 3D graphics card like the GeForce FX5950 or Radeon 9800. All mini-PCs are equipped for this with an AGP slot. Among the test candidates, five models have integrated graphics.

High-quality and functional front panel : Aopen XC Cube

The barebones’ show their biggest qualitative leap in the case : Manufacturers take daring steps with individual design and coloring. Using light metals for the case is the order of the day. The minis’ basic structure and case are aluminum, which also gives the machines an elegant look. That’s something that the buyer of a discount desktop can only dream of - particularly in the appearance of the material and the finish, they are worlds apart.

For the test, we equipped all of the mini-PCs with the following : DVD drive, GeForce FX5950, two Corsair DDR500 memories each with 512 MB, 7200e hard disk with 80 GB and the associated processors

Insulated against vibrations : fan on the Shuttle XPC bare-bones