|MSI WindBox 6667BB-004US Barebones-PC Kit|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Notebook | Compact PC|
|Written by Dan Ferguson - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 13 April 2010|
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MSI Wind Box Final Thoughts
The raw benchmarks used in the review provide a solid measure of how well nettop style computers will perform against a full desktop arrangement. The marks are expected to be lower but not too low. While the MSI 6667BB-004US was not originally intended for Windows 7, it showed that it could run the OS and provide decent performance. Some newer games were attempted in Windows 7, but they were only playable at the lowest of resolutions. This may be all that is wanted for many users. While the benchmarks were not spectacular, they proved to be sufficient to play high definition video at reasonable frame rates and perform basic computing needs. This is a computer that will be great next to a television for the slew of web gaming now available. It will also prove capable of running a high quality front end media center, and will even perform adequately to maintain the back end recording and encoding business.
If deciding whether to buy a nettop, all-in-one PC, or an old desktop, the decision will be based on needs. The MSI Wind Box scored lower on most marks but is really a budget platform. The Wind Box is meant to be connected to a television and consume a minimum of space and resources. It performs best when playing video and very light games, or other non-intensive tasks. The next step up in price and performance is the all-in-one option. The performance is better and it offers a form factor including a monitor. It will do better in the processing field but still won't keep up with a desktop. As far as gaming it might do better than the Wind box, but not much. Finally, a desktop performs better than the other platforms tested. But even old desktops come at a premium of power consumption and price. A complete Wind Box system can be built under $220 new (with really good deals), but a desktop still takes $400 to get in on ground floor (with great deals). For me the performance offered by the Wind Box is well worth the savings, and it fills my needs.
In considering the MSI Wind Box package, the software supplied was minimalistic, containing drivers and manuals. It always feels like a bonus to get some kind of extra content. For the Wind Box some sort of entertainment software seems appropriate. Also, rather then supply an optical disk with a computer that has no optical disk drive why not depart from routine and provide the software on a flash drive. In a similar vein, the BIOS options were stark and nondescript. No overclocking or memory configuration options. The boot menu only showed devices presently installed in the system rather than a list of potentially available devices. I was unable to get the computer to boot over a network which seems like a necessary feature for this nettop.
Finally, thumbs-up on providing a gigabit network adapter on a system that will be network dependent. It is easy to take that feature for granted. I also appreciate the VGA port. Sometimes I want to fall back on an old reliable standard for whatever reason.