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AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX Ultra Small Formfactor PC Review

AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX Ultra Small Formfactor PC Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: AOpen has employed an unorthodox method of building its super small, super compact, super quiet miniPC MP945-VX small formfactor system.
 89% Rating:   
Filed under: Computer / SFF PCs Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AOpen Jan 23 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Computer / SFF PCs > AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX

First Impressions: Big Potential

The tech specs are all well and good, but the total shock value of the AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX as it sits on a desk is priceless; people always ask "what's that?" when looking at the system for the first time. The sleek design allows the AOpen MP945-VX to be placed, and used, just about anywhere you need a high powered multimedia system.


The low-profile Aopen Mp945-VX barely occupies any space on the rear of the massive Samsung 50" plasma screen (here positioned for size comparison). Home theatre PC's have truly been reduced to the smallest possible size - this one is only 1.36L in volume. There is enough empty space behind the panel to integrate a full computer in there, perhaps one day PDP makers will include space for microITX systems to reside?

The small size of the AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX makes for some potentially interesting applications. In the PCSTATS labs we even jerry rigged a custom mount and placed the entire AOpen Mini PC system behind a large 50" Samsung plasma display, keeping the miniPC MP945-VX out of sight yet useable as a home theatre entertainment system. It has multiple video connections through a special dongle cable (analog/digital), and High Definition Component (Y, Pb, Pr) outputs as standard.


As tested, the AOpen MiniPC MP945-VX came pre-loaded with a 1.86 Core Duo T2400 (Yonah) CPU, 1GB PC2-5300 DDR-2 RAM, an 80GB hard drive, 802.11b/g wireless LAN card and DVD/combo drive. The system is based on the AOpen 945GMx-F miniITX motherboard.

Compared to other small formfactor barebones kits on the market, the AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX is pretty competitively priced. Of course the Intel Core Duo processor, notebook memory and a small notebook HDD significantly add to the price of the system. Small formfactor toaster sized PC's that work with standard desktop computer hardware can save a bundle here. Of course what you get though is a much larger system in those cases.

One area where no other small formfactor PC (aside from AOpen Mini PC's) can match the MP945-VX is noise level. Since the system uses notebook parts, it is guaranteed to generate little heat which means there is not much need for large, fast fans which create a lot of noise. During testing, even under 100% load, PCSTATS found the AOpen MP945-VX operated on a nearly silent basis. There is only one small 40mm fan inside the actual system, and it's a laptop grade cooling fan.

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Contents of Article: AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX
 Pg 1.  AOpen Mini PC MP945-VX Ultra Small Formfactor PC Review
 Pg 2.  — First Impressions: Big Potential
 Pg 3.  External Features of the MP945-VX
 Pg 4.  Internal Features of the MP945-VX
 Pg 5.  System board, memory and thermal solution
 Pg 6.  Internal Wireless 802.11b/g and Jacks
 Pg 7.  Complaints and HTPC Applications
 Pg 8.  High Definition Content Playback and BIOS
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: SYSMark 2004
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark05
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3
 Pg 13.  One Great Little HTPC Machine?

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