MSI Wind Box DC110 mini-PC preview

This is not the first time that we've reviewed a Wind Box from MSIs DC series. It's a very compact net-top in a practical chassis. The DC110 we are looking at today can be seen as the successor to the older DC100. That one used AMD technology, but the new one is equipped with Intel hardware.

The case of the mini-computer has a unique design, and if you like it is probably a matter of personal taste. It's a practical design, which everyone will appreciate. When it sits on the stand, the USB ports are at a slight angle which makes it easy to plug in USB sticks. On the front there are four USB ports and at the top there's a SD card reader. There are frontal audio jacks for both headset and microphone as well. On the back there's a gigabit network port, an optical digital audio port, another analog audio jack, two USB ports, HDMI and VGA. There's built-in wireless network card from Azurewave based on a Realtek 8188CE. It's a single-band 150 Mbit card compatible with 802.11n networks.

The motherboard in the DC110 has a permanently mounted Celeron 847. It's a Sandy Bridge processor that runs at 1.1 GHz with only 2 MB cache. This dual-core processor is therefore slower than other CPUs in that series. It's faster than an Atom, but if you want performance then you're better off looking elsewhere. The DC110 is good for basic tasks and can function as an affordable HTPC, even if the Celeron processor only has Intel HD graphics which doesn't boast very much video processing abilities.

The system comes complete with a 320 GB, 5400 rpm hard disk. Without Windows 8 it costs about £215, including the OS it's another £65. With some effort it's possible to replace the hard disk with an SSD. Perhaps it could be an idea for MSI to sell this as a barebones system as well. You can read the rest of MSI Wind Box DC110 mini-PC preview on Hardware.info.