Feeds

MV Cubik GamePro small form-factor PC

Performance worth the price?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Review Small form-factor PCs have always been an attractive proposition. The combined advantages of svelte external dimensions, portability, whisper-quiet operation and sheer sexiness usually outweigh the limited internal expandability. Out-of-the-box performance is often as good as a tower system, and that's why MV, better known as a purveyor of high-quality laptops, has decided to launch a gamer-orientated SFF PC. The MV Cubik GamePro, using Shuttle's SN95G5 barebones chassis, arrives loaded with a capacious 250GB hard drive, GeForce 6800 GT, 1GB RAM and Athlon 64 CPU. A gamer's delight or a £1127 shoebox? Let's find out.

MV GameProFor starters, that's a lot of money for a system that doesn't include a monitor or speakers. Around £240 of that cost goes directly towards the Shuttle chassis. Still, given MV's desire of creating a fast mini-PC that caters for the gamer, the SN95G5's support for AMD's socket-939 gaming goliath CPUs is a sensible one.

The SN95G5's gorgeous, minimalist exterior is always worth a look. The brushed aluminium and stealthed drives make it one of the most aesthetically pleasing cubes around, and certainly one of prettiest in Shuttle's 22-model range. The uppermost section hides a black Sony DW-D22A multi-format, dual-layer DVD rewriter. The drive's tray is accessed by pushing the silver button on the upper left-hand side, which, in turn, pushes down the stealthing flap in front.

Just below, MV has opted to install a matching multi-card reader instead of a floppy or second hard drive. Again, it's a sensible inclusion. The 6-in-1 reader supports Compact Flash, MMC, SD, Memory Stick and SmartMedia cards.

Front-mounted ports include a couple of high-speed USB 2.0, 4-pin FireWire, microphone and headphone. These four are the norm for any self-respecting cube today, and MV's looks that much classier with the ports initially hidden via the lower latch.

MV GameProShuttle's SN95G5 can be turned into a wireless wonder by incorporating an optional wireless module into the chassis. Gamers are as likely as any group to require wireless connectivity, so it's a shame that an SFF PC priced at over £1100 doesn't have it as standard.

MV uses an Inno3D GeForce 6800 GT 256MB AGP model that's clocked in at 350MHz core and 1GHz memory. It's a solid, high-end card that consistently produces decent performance in a wide range of current games. The SN95G5's single PCI slot is left unoccupied, with sound running from the nForce3 250 Ultra chipset's basic AC'97 integrated audio through Realtek's six-channel codec. But a discrete hardware card would have been nice given the price, especially as the chipset is so lacking when compared to its nForce2 APU predecessor.

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.