MSI‘s Entertainment Gaming Appliance, or MEGA PC is a unusual piece of hardware that comes with some interesting features. This ‘barebones’ system comes without any software on board equating to a big monetary saving but it does include a powerful Intel Pentium 4 “Prescott” that can be expected to give around 3.0Ghz of power. Plus the motherboard supports 16x PCI-Express GPUs but there’s no indication yet of what graphical hardware the 915 comes with as standard. The Instant-On mode is a nice bonus allowing the user to play DVD, VCD, CD, MP3, FM and TV without needing to boot up an operating system.

The system contains a 7-in-1 card reader that supports CD, SD, MS, SM, MMC, mîcrodrive and MS-Pro, it also comes with InterVideo Home Theater 2.5 which lets you use the machine more like a home entertainment device and can be controlled with the included remote control.

The MEGA PC 915 would be a worthwhile purchase for someone who isn’t confident of their ability to build a machine from scratch but who knows enough to put together and install all the other parts and software. Although there are many systems that offer the functionality of the 915, the money saved by buying a ‘barebones’ system makes it a much more economical choice if you are prepared to put the effort in. Current models of the MEGA PC such as the 865 come without RAM, HDDs or external hardware (i.e. monitors) and retail for around £220 which is pretty reasonable.

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