MSI releases £235 desktop Eee PC rival ahead of Asus
Ready for Linux
Fed up of waiting for Asus' desktop Eee PC? Rival Taiwanese manufacturer MSI has stepped in with a mini machine of its own, which it's punting at just £235.
MSI's Titan: desktop Eee rival before there's a desktop Eee
The PC's called the Titan - something of a misnomer given the unit's small size. It measures 240 x 185 x 70mm, so it's footprint is less than that of an A4 sheet of paper.
Plenty of portage
The box packs in a dual-layer multi-format DVD writer, 250GB SATA hard drive, and a stack of I/O ports including Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, TV out, VGA, 5.1-channel digital audio out, and legacy PS/2 and serial connectors.
This latest Small, Cheap Computer™ incorporates a VIA C7 processor clocked at 2GHz and backed up with 1GB of DDR 2 memory. It uses VIA's CN700 integrated chipset.
The only thing the unit doesn't come with is software - one of the reasons it's as cheap as it is. That's good news for Linux buffs who won't have to pay the so-called 'Windows tax'.
I bet the serial COM ports are for the POS market. They are probaby trying to get into the POS market like Abit have for no apparent reason.
I have to say this is a good idea but it looks so butt ugly!!!
Please employ someone artistic at MSI
The chipset should have a rather nice mpeg4 decoder on there, and via is supposed to be releasing decent Linux drivers for that eventually. If the drivers were there you should be able to play full on 1080p x264 w/ minimal CPU useage. Otherwise you're completely screwed because that is a slow cpu. I've got a Via Mini-ITX 800MHz from years ago, and that chip is only slight faster than a 400MHz PII. Then again, my whole Mini-ITX system uses less power than the PII does by itself...
Kit like this makes for a nice little vpn/ssh server. I'd rather go for MSI's Geode board - the cpu creates so little heat that they don't even put a heatsink on there.
And I imagine the reason that they left all the ports on the box is because they just used one of their standard MiniITX boards, and those are designed to go in all sorts of embedded / retail / industrial environments, where those things are important.
Re: No good for a media centre PC
The video has MPEG2 and MPEG4 hardware accel so in fact it may be able to play HD subject to the software being able to take advantage of the feature. It is all quite irrelevant at present. You can rip 99% of all DVDs when using the right drive with right firmware (thanks LiteOn). You cannot do that with HD media.
So as far as "real" HD any PC is presently more or less out of the question. There is no point in using a PC if you cannot use the storage. If you are going to keep on plugging the damn BDs into it you might as well buy a proper BD drive.
As far as upscaling to HD res all Vias starting from the first C7 at 1MHz and the first post-S3 videos have enough resource to do that. I have a diskless client using the first Via "media" mb from 4+ years back at 1GHz. It is based around VLC and can flawlessly run "Planet Earth" in 1366x768.
More info found...
Found it listed at ccl online already, but then the titan range was hinted at before CeBIT in a late February press release.
They have some better photos. The front appears to be a brushed metal finish. Maybe brushed nickel.
The "visible screws" in el-reg's front photo are because the flap over the front connections is open - the photo's just too dark to be useful. There are 2 front usb and front headphone/mic sockets.
An msi website news sheet claimed it now had a 600W psu. Probably a typo - the ccl description says 60W; which would be less likely to melt or catch fire. Also this PC is smaller than my 600W PSU!. Their pictures suggest its still an external brick.
CCL say the only fan is on the cpu, and imply its variable speed/noise.
PS: They claim its in stock!
OK - I'll get my coat - its the one with web search guru on the back.
"I'm interested if people have got video working well under 802.11g."
Using TVersity i can regularly stream ANY 1080p or 720p format video from my main pc(via attached terabyte USB drive) via Wifi to my PS3, onto the hi-def telly, its perfect quality.
Of course i could save time and just plug the drive into the PS3, but then the movies need to be in certain formats. TVersity transcodes the buggers in realtime, though thats beyond the 2ghz ability of this MSI thing.
My dualcore (2.6ghz per core) goes up to about 80-90% during realtime transcoding of mkv's to PS3 format.
Still works though, and also plays GTA4!