Brag has come up with several high-end gaming PCs and home theater PCs in the past. Their latest M’joy is a home theater PC for those who are on a shoe string budget. Keeping this in mind, the PC is configured using entry-level components, but with attention paid to performance.
The M’Joy is powered by the AMD Athlon II X4 645 processor, which has a good deal of power to handle media playback, as well as basic everyday applications such as office suite and web browsing. The memory module used is a single 4GB stick of G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600. It provides headroom for overclocking, but bear in mind that the motherboard and CPU aren’t too overclocking friendly, because they are entry-level components. Also the CPU cooler uses the stock cooler that comes bundled with the processor.
The cables are neatly routed and there’s plenty of room for air circulation.
To keep the price low, Brag has opted to use the Radeon HD 4250 integrated graphics, which is a part of the AMD 880G chipset. However, with the Gigabyte 880GM-USB 3 motherboard, you have two USB 3.0 ports on the rear and a PCIE x16 expansion slot. You can upgrade to discrete graphics, but you’ll need a low-profile graphics card such as the Radeon HD 6450 or 6570. The motherboard has one PCIE x1 and two PCI slots. A 300 Mb/s Wi-Fi adapter is fitted into one of the PCI slots.
Apart from the low profile cards, the rest of the components are of standard form factor thanks to the Silverstone Milo ML03 PC case. Low-profile slots are provided to keep the form factor slim. The storage comprises of OCZ Vertex 2, 60GB SSD for system drive and Seagate Barracuda Green, 2TB for secondary storage. So, you get quick response time and plenty of storage space at the same time. Being an entry-level PC, you get a standard tray-loading DVD-writer. M’Joy’s configuration is very power-friendly and hence doesn’t require a high-end power supply unit. The one installed is the FSP Saga II 400W.
The rear panel includes USB 3.0, FireWire, eSATA and HDMI ports
One of the aspects that we liked about all the PCs by Brag, so far, is cable routing. It’s more challenging in a compact HTPC such as this one due to the lack of space in the case. The power and SATA cables are neatly tied up and routed along the sides of the case to conceal the clutter and facilitate air circulation. The case has provision for adding fans for enhancing air circulation within, but not a single fan is added which is a minor flaw. The cooling is entirely taken care of by the CPU cooler and an intake fan housed in the power supply.
For an entry-level configuration, the performance of the Brag M’Joy is very good. It scored 10145 points in PCMark Vantage and 3.46 points in CineBench R 11.5. These scores indicate that this PC is far more powerful than a similar rig powered by a Core i3 Sandy Bridge processor. It goes without saying that processors by AMD are great value for money in the entry-level segment.
A cost-effective solution for those on a low budget
Further, it took 55 seconds to compress 100 MB of multiple files into 7.zip format using ‘Ultra’ profile and 51 seconds to transcode a 1 minute MPEG video to H.264 format. The OCZ Vertex 2 SSD is a great performer – HD Tune Pro reported average read speed of 136 MB/s, whereas the Seagate Barracuda Green reported 111 MB/s, which is good for a regular desktop hard drive. The PC comes sans any discrete graphics, hence it isn’t suited for gaming. But you can expect decent frame rates at low settings with a Radeon HD 6570.
The M’Joy is a good attempt by Brag and we appreciate the fact that it has carved out something for the budget-conscious audience. If you want an entry-level home theater PC that doesn’t compromise on performance and the quality of components used, this will keep you satisfied.
Updated 24 May, 2013, 3:57 pm IST
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