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That’s entertainment

MSI has unveiled the new Mega 865, which will greatly interest fans of mini-PCs and those keeping up with the growing trend of digital convergence.

MSI has unveiled the new Mega 865, which will greatly interest fans of mini-PCs and those keeping up with the growing trend of digital convergence.

As well as being a mini-PC, the Mega 865 is a barebone model, which means that it comes without key components such as processor, memory, hard disk and optical drives installed.

MSI is aiming the mini-PC not just at home PC users but also at home entertainment fans too. The MSI MEGA 865 id designed to operate as a fully functional multimedia PC that can perform demanding computer functions and combine that with entertainment features such as Hi-Fi stereo, DVD/VCD, MP3 and TV. The Mega stands for MSI Entertainment Gaming Appliance and MSI has emphasised features that will appeal to those looking to build a Home Theatre PC.

The top section of the MEGA is home to all the features that can be accessed without having to boot up the PC. Using this top power button activates the MEGA in HiFi Mode which allows you to play audio CDs, MP3s stored on CD and to activate the AM/FM radio. You also have controls letting you skip, go back and pause tracks. The Shuttle dial is used by rotating it in either direction or it can also be pressed to access certain functions.

Below the Mode button is the eject button for your optical drive. Next to it, you now have a backlit LCD. When you pop in a music or MP3 CD, the lights display EQ mode (classic, Jazz or POP), track and time information, as well as some funky bars that dance to the music.

And at the bottom of the front fascia are the controls that relate to PC features. There is a 6-in-1 card reader, which supports memory sticks, and CF/SD/MMC memory cards. Upon a fresh Windows install, each drive is assigned a unique drive letter. Ports include optical SPDIF in, a microphone and headphone socket, two USB ports, a Firewire port and a mini Firewire port. In simple terms this lets you connect your DV camcorder.

The Mega 865 is based on Intel's 865G chipset, which supports 800MHz Front Side Bus (FSB), dual-channel DDR400 memory and it Intel Pentium 4 processors with hyper-threading. The new multimedia barebone PC system was unveiled during the CES 2004 show held in Las Vegas, USA.

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