Unevenly Matched Mini-Trio: MSI vs. Shuttle vs. Saintsong

MSI Hermes 845GV: Classic Desktop

The MSI Hermes 845GV is reminiscent of Siemens' business desktops from the '90s.

View of Hermes from the front.

Rear view of the desktop PC.

With its Hermes series, MSI is pursuing a completely different design than Shuttle's mini-computers: the relatively flat desktop case contains a motherboard (MS-6557) in the Micro ATX form factor, based on the Intel 845GV chipset. The chipset and the platform are the only things MSI and Shuttle have in common. In principle, the PC is also available in a Lite version, without FireWire, TV-out and DVI-out. Because of the chipset, MSI does without an AGP slot, so it is defined quite clearly as a business PC for office use.

Veterans of the trade will remember the numerous types of business PCs from Siemens, the mechanics of which were set up like those of the Hermes. There is a DVI interface to connect a TFT monitor - almost no one needs the old analog VGA out anymore. Basically, less can be said about the Hermes in terms of creative design than with the Shuttle. The grayish-white metal case makes the Mini-Desktop unnecessarily heavy - a panel with a card reader for a wide range of memory modules should be installed instead of the 3.5" floppy drive. But those looking for a sturdy, stably-built mainstream PC will do well to go with a Hermes.