MSI Mega mPC 945 SFF PC - HotHardware

MSI Mega mPC 945 SFF PC

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It's hard to believe that the first time we set eyes on a Small Form Factor PC was back in December of 2001.  Back then, Shuttle was breaking new ground with several new products that helped give birth to a whole new sector in the PC industry.  As Shuttle's successes mounted with each new release, other manufacturers took notice and also started jumping into the Small Form Factor foray.  One such company to deliver their own mini-barebones units was MSI.  Their Mega mPC Series of SFF systems is comprised of various solutions that cater many different applications.  Whether your loyalties lie with Intel, AMD, VIA, NVIDIA or ATI, MSI has an mPC to fit your needs, some of which deliver unique designs that are both elegant and innovative.

With the mini PC industry going into its fifth year, it's hard to believe that we are just now writing our first review of an MSI Small Form Factor PC here at HotHardware.com.  Dubbed the Mega mPC 945, MSI is offering a robust little unit which is built around Intel's 945G chipset, and loaded up with integrated features that help it standout from the pack.  We'll run the Mega mPC 945 through its paces and size it up to see just what this Small Form Factor PC brings to the game.  From design, ease of assembly to performance and features, we'll try to give you clear picture as to just how "Mega" the Mega mPC 945 stacks up. 

MSI Mega mPC 945
Features & Specifications

CPU
Supports Intel LGA775 Pentium4, Celeron D, and Pentium D

FSB
1066/800/533 MHz

Chipset
Intel 945G+ICH7

Main Memory
2 240-pin (Dual channel DDR2 667/533) DIMM, Max memory size at 2GB(1GB/Channel).

On-Board VGA
On Board Controller GMA950 integrated in North Bridge

HDD Interface
IDE/SATA

On-Board Audio
HD Audio CODEC: Realtek ALC880
8 Channels

On-Board Communication
Realtek 8110SB(10/100/1000MB Controller)
802.11 b/g Wireless LAN

On-Board IEEE 1394
VIA VT6307(IEEE 2 port Controller)

Storage Subsystem
7-in-1 Card Reader

Expansion Slots
PCI 2.3 x 1
PCI-E 16 x 1

On-Board Headers & Connectors Rear Panel
COM x 1
VGA x 1
PS/2 x 2
7.1 Output x 1 (Mic-in/Line-in/ Line-out, RS-Out/CS-Out/SS-Out, SPDIF-out x 1 (optical))
LAN (RJ45) x 1
USB2.0 x4
Wireless LAN antenna (optional) x 1

Front Panel
Mic-in x 1
Headphone-out x 1
SPDIF/In x 1
USB2.0 x 2
1394 x 1 (4- pin)
1394 x 1 (6-pin)

Power Supply
260W Full Range

Chassis
210(W) x 330(D) x 175(H) mm


When assessing the specifications of the Mega mPC 945 above, it is evident that MSI packed a lot of features into a very small box.  With integrated graphics, dual-core CPU support and integrated WiFi, the Mega mPC 945 has an impressive spec sheet. 

When we looked at the retail bundle that accompanied the Mega mPC 945, we found the basics covered nicely, with no extras dressing up the packaging.  A comprehensive installation manual and driver CD was included as well as a power cord, a WiFi antenna and a custom CPU Heatsink.

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