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MSI launches Broadwell based Cubi mini-PCs

by Mark Tyson on 20 March 2015, 13:05

Tags: MSI, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Windows 8

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacp5i

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MSI has launched its smallest ever mini-PC range. The MSI Cubi PC systems measure just 115 x 111 x 35mm (4.5 x 4.4 x 1.4-inches) and are based upon 14nm Intel Broadwell processors, including a vPro option. The "nifty" new range is great for office, business and UHD HTPC usage says the firm.

The MSI Cubi case has a capacity of just 0.45 litres. It is similar in dimensions to a stack of 4 conventional audio CD album cases but a little smaller in each dimension. (I just assembled such a CD stack as it's better than MSI's comparison of the Cubi to an "an XL soda can".) These are Broadwell based systems which are said to offer a good balance of low power consumption and high performance. Buyers will be able to pick up a Cubi with a choice of Intel Core i5-5200U, Intel Core i3-5005U, Intel Pentium-3805U, or Intel Celeron-3205U processor.

Beyond the processor choice there will be configurable amounts of RAM and flexible fixed storage options available. The common MSI Cubi system specs are as tabulated below:

Operating System 

Windows 8.1

Chipset 

Intel SoC

Graphics 

Integrated Intel HD Graphics

Memory

2GB or 4GB DDR3L 1600, SO-DIMMs x 2 slots / Max 8GB

HDD 

Support mSATA slot x 1, Support 2.5-inch HDD x 1

Wireless 

802.11 ac + BT4.0 option

I/O 

Front: Headset /Mic in x1, USB3.0 x 2, Rear: USB3.0 x 2, RJ45 LAN port, HDMI out, Mini DisplayPort out, DC jack

Adapter 

65W

 

As with many similar rival NUC-like systems MSI positions its most compact mini-PC range as being suitable for both businesses and consumers. In the business space it could be deployed to power an interactive retail display, for example, and is easy to mount to a wall using a standard VESA mount. It is powerful enough for regular office PC duties and offers Intel vPro technology for those organisations which require it. At home you might use an MSI Cubi as a home theatre PC (HTPC) capable of playing back Ultra High-Definition content.

Dual display (via HDMI and mini Display Port) could be useful both in business and at home. While all these systems are said to consume less than 30W there aren't any fanless variants on offer. However MSI says the Cubi is "as quiet as a forest," at 20dB. A Cubi system should fit in nicely with other tech you have at the home or office as it is available in either black or white livery. As mentioned above, availability is scheduled for the end of March but a pricing structure is yet to be announced.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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Wonder why they went MSata over M.2?
Platinum
Wonder why they went MSata over M.2?

Probably because mSATA drives are currently cheaper and more widely available than M.2 drives.
Wonder what HDD Lens is?
i like the “oprional” 2.5 hdd room
Don't see a mention of a IR remote port at the front like interl's, that's a pity.
I use an original Microsoft WMC remote with my HTPC NUC all the time and it works great. Plus it does not take up a USB port.
Personally, given their specs, they are not high end machines. I think that for a NUC there is no real need for high end storage at the moment like a M2, especially as msata is quite cheap for what you can get. Any decent msata should work fine.
And if I need some speed, I would just use Primo ramdisk on my 16GB, I already have this loaded for all my temp files, photo work, etc.