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Arctic MC001-BD Entertainment Center Review (BD/passive)

The American Megatrends bios is a fully featured ‘no frills' configuration, although we would assume that the majority of people buying this system will never need to even touch it as everything is configured ‘out of the box'.

As this system is passively cooled, there is no need to manually configure or tweak fan parameters in the bios.

The Arctic Cooling MC001-BD Entertainment Center is built around the Intel ATOM D525 processor, which is a dual core design which operates at 1.8ghz. It is built on the 45nm process and has 512k of Level 2 cache. Onboard graphics are supplied by the ATI Mobility HD5430 GPU which has 80 unifed shaders and 512MB of GDDR3 memory via a 64 bit memory interface. The core is clocked to 500mhz and the memory operates at 800mhz. While the memory is branded 1333mhz, the bios speeds are limited to 800mhz with 6-6-6-15 timings at 1T.

The Windows Experience Index is not the most exhaustive of test results, but we try to include it when possible as a point of interest, and topic of conversation. The overall score is limited to 3.5 by the ATOM processor, otherwise it would score 4.9.

The system automatically pre-configures setup on first boot which will take around 10 minutes. Above, an image of the installed applications right after initial startup. It is a clean configuration with no ‘crap ware' installed, just essential drivers and tools.

Arctic Cooling are using the 32 bit version of Windows 7 for the MC001-BD, which is a surprising decision. They claim on their webpage that “The 32 bit Windows consumes fewer resources and offers lower loading time than its 64 bit counterpart while performing at the same level for most applications.” We can't say that we agree and with 4GB of memory installed it would make more sense to the use the 64 bit version of Windows 7. They are using software which utilises the memory above 3.25GB as a ‘cache' system.

PCMark Vantage
PCMark 7
Cinebench 11.5 64 bit
FRAPS Professional
HD Tach
Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 11
HQV Benchmark 2.0
Cyberlink MediaEspresso
Call Of Duty: Black Ops
Dead Space 2
Dirt 3

Technical Monitoring and Test Equipment:
Lacie 730 Monitor (Image Quality testing)
Thermal Diodes
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp
Extech digital sound level meter & SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter
Kill A Watt Meter
Nikon D3X SLR, 60mm Nikon Lens with R1C1 Kit (4 flashes)
Panasonic Lumix TZ10

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1. Introduction2. Arctic Cooling MC001-BD (Bundle)3. Arctic Cooling MC001-BD (External)4. Arctic Cooling MC001-BD (Internal)5. Bios, …