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Compact PC sports Core processors

May 4, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

AOpen announced a desktop PC touted as being the smallest device to accept Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors. The “MP57” includes up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, bays for a 2.5-inch hard disk and optical drive, two PCI Mini Card expansion slots, plus DVI-I, HDMI, and eSATA ports, the company says.

AOpen says its MP57 is the smallest PC to support Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors. While we can't confirm or deny that claim, the device — measuring 6.66 x 6.65 x 1.97 inches — clearly packs a lot of power into a small space. According to the manufacturer, the MP57 supports many of the "Arrandale" Core i5 and i7 processors announced by Intel in January, with TDPs up to 35 Watts.

AOpen's MP57

These 32nm CPUs include on-chip graphics and are designed to work with the QM57 Express chipset, which supports dual-channel DDR3 memory. According to AOpen, the MP57 can accept up to 4GB of RAM via two SODIMM sockets.

As expected for a small system, the MP57 has a bay for a 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drive. Less common, but found here, is room for an optical disk drive too, AOpen says.

According to AOpen, the MP57 also has room internally for two PCI Mini Card slots, one full-size and one half-size. One of these slots would be required to add wireless networking, since this does not appear to be a standard feature on the system. AOpen also lists a "riser card" option, but does not say what functionality this adds.

Touted as energy-efficient and "eco friendly," the MP57 does require a miniature "Silentek 5.0" cooling fan. AOpen says the PC has an Infineon SLB 9635TT trusted platform module, and offers Intel's vPro, a set of hardware-based management and security technologies.

The MP57's front panel, pictured earlier in this story, includes just a power switch and two USB 2.0 ports. The rear panel is said to offer two additional USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and DVI-I video outputs, a gigabit Ethernet port, and an eSATA port.

Suited for home theater use as well as the "high performance office applications" cited by AOpen, the MP57 includes 5:1 surround sound, relayed via three 3.5mm jacks. The device also includes a microphone input and S/PDIF digital audio output, the company says.

Features and specifications listed by AOpen for the MP57 include:

  • Processor — Core i5 or i7 CPUs (988-pin G1 socket) with TDPs up to 35Watts
  • Chipset — Intel QM57 Express
  • Memory — Up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM via two SODIMM slots
  • Storage — bay for 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drive; bay for optical drive
  • Expansion — 2 x PCI Mini Card (1 full-size, 1 half-size)
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x USB (2 front, 2 rear)
    • 1 x DVI-I
    • 1 x HDMI
    • 1 x eSATA
    • Audio — mic in and 5:1 surround out (6 3.5mm jacks)
    • S/PDIF
  • Power — 90W power supply accepts AC input from 110 to 240 Volts
  • Operating temperature — 50 to 95 deg. F (10 to 35 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 6.65 x 6.65 x 1.97 inches (169 x 169 x 50mm)
  • Weight — 3.75 pounds (1.7kg)


AOpen did not release pricing for the MP57, but the device appears to be available now. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

According to AOpen, the MP57 is compatible with Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. The company does not offer downloadable drivers for other x86 operating systems, but the Core processors and QM57 Express chipset are also compatible with Linux, Intel says.

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