MPC ClientPro 565
Power up the $3,859 MPC ClientPro 565, and you'll think the local airport suddenly changed its flight path. The clamor from this machine's drives dampens after 15 seconds or so, after which you're left with a quieter--but by no means quiet--desktop powerhouse built for business. The ClientPro 565 that MPC sent to us came packed with high-end hardware, including a muscle-bound Intel Pentium 4 560 CPU running at 3.6GHZ, 1GB of 533MHz RAM, a dazzling 19-inch LCD, two mammoth hard drives, and even an drive for extra storage and backups . These and other goodies somewhat explain the system's sky-high price, but a few cut corners and better deals from competitors take the shine off. MPC's splendid support helps restore some of the lost luster, but it doesn't do enough to sweeten the deal.
The hulking, gray ClientPro 565 tower looks a bit unkempt with its off-white drives, but it's a reasonably attractive system overall. It has ample room for interior expansion, with two open memory slots, four available drive bays, three unused PCI slots, and two 1x PCI Express slots. On the outside, you'll find all the usual ports, parallel and serial included, plus the now-standard complement of USB 2.0 (two in front, four in back), FireWire (one front, one rear), and audio ports in front and back. The only thing missing is a media-card reader--a component we consider essential even in a business system, considering the amount and the different types of data and devices we deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Of course, the Iomega Rev drive located in a front-panel 3.5-inch drive bay is a welcome inclusion, offering 35GB of storage space (and up to 90GB compressed, according to Iomega) on each removable cartridge; one is included. Our ClientPro 565 also included a pair of Seagate 200GB Serial ATA hard drives connected to an onboard RAID controller and configured for contiguous storage, meaning you have a whopping 400GB available as a single drive. A Sony 8X multiformat DVD burner rounds out the ClientPro 565's superb storage array.
In place of the poky onboard graphics chip found in most business systems, MPC supplied our ClientPro 565 with a 256MB eVGA GeForce PCX 5750 PCI Express video card. While this midrange card can't really keep up with the latest games, it offers sufficient muscle for business applications, video editing, and most consumer-level graphics software. Its counterpart is MPC's F1925 monitor, a 19-inch LCD that leverages its 500:1 contrast ratio and 25ms response time to deliver crisp text and gorgeous images. Too bad it doesn't rotate for Portrait computing.
Even the speakers are unusually robust for a business system. The Creative Inspire 2.1 2500 includes two 60-watt satellites and a subwoofer, which gave our ClientPro 565 the power to do justice to business audio and after-hours playlists alike. We did find the speakers' wired remote a bit of an annoyance--we'd prefer speaker-mounted volume controls.
With such a high-end roster of components, we can't understand why MPC would include a wired, no-brand keyboard and mouse. They're sufficiently comfortable and functional, but in a system priced close to $4,000, we expect wireless versions of these peripherals.
Considering its price tag, we also expected the MPC ClientPro 565 to turn in pack-leading performance, both among business PCs and among other systems with similar configurations. Indeed, on our application performance benchmark, the ClientPro 565 easily bested the older HP Compaq Business Desktop dc7100 and also hung in with a handful of mainstream PCs with similar specs. Its 3D performance was less than impressive, but the ClientPro 565 can run older 3D games at respectable frame rates if you keep the detail settings down. This means you can indulge in at least some after-hours gaming. While it might not be necessary for most offices, for nearly $4,000, the ClientPro 565 should show more dominant 3D performance. For application performance, far more important to most businesses, the ClientPro 565 scores well, but comparably configured PCs, such as the soon-to-be-reviewed Gateway 7200XL (priced at $2,625), cost much less.
MPC supplies a standard mix of software, including(with a 90-day subscription), Nero Express, and InterVideo's WinDVD 5.0. You also get a somewhat unusual extra: , a popular and versatile video-editing program. Most business users would prefer an office suite, but anyone interested in video production will welcome Studio 9.0.
The ClientPro 565 includes plenty of support. MPC provides a three-year warranty on parts and labor, with onsite service included for the duration. Phone support is toll-free and 24/7, but it, too, expires after three years. The company's online support continues to fall short, with no real-time help, no FAQ pages, and a generally confusing support site. We were pleased to find a comprehensive quick-start guide bundled with the system, something other MPC systems have lacked, so hopefully the company will address its weak online support, as well.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|BAPCo SysMark 2004 rating||SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating||SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating|