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MPC ClientPro 414 All-In-One review: MPC ClientPro 414 All-In-One

The Good Space-saving footprint; solid application performance and 3D frame rates; built-in six-channel audio; helpful keyboard shortcuts.

The Bad Expensive; design isn't consistent; monitor position hard to adjust.

The Bottom Line The MPC ClientPro 414 All-In-One will save you space and look cool. But you really have to care about these two factors to shell out the extra bucks.

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7.5 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7
  • Support 7

MPC ClientPro 414 All-In-One

Editor's note: We have changed the ratings in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Find out more here.

Meet the MPC ClientPro 414 All-In-One, one very fine piece of decor that doubles as a computer. At $2,499, our test system costs $500 more than the Gateway Profile 5.5 we recently tested, but it features a number of higher-end components. These include a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 540 CPU, 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, and both a DVD burner and a CD-ROM drive. You can configure the system's three drive bays with a number of different options at the time of purchase, including a second hard drive, a 6-in-1 flash-card reader, or a standard floppy. And while it's not hot-swappable, you can take out the hard drive from its bay on the back of the system, so at least you can remove your data or upgrade your storage space easily.

You can't deny that the ClientPro 414 All-In-One looks pretty sexy. All the guts reside in a 2-inch-thick slab hidden behind the LCD panel, so unlike the Profile 5.5, there is no thick base portion--just a simple monitor stand. Unfortunately, the stand is rigid and doesn't allow for much change in the position of the screen. You can basically just tilt the screen forward and backward a bit. The wide, silver bezel, however, looks quite sharp, housing a bright 17-inch LCD panel (15- and 19-inch versions are also available). You can also purchase a number of additional wall mounts and stands. As always, we chide companies that don't get the design consistent across all peripherals, and to MPC we say, make the wireless mouse and keyboard match the monitor, please.

Fortunately, you can always upgrade the mouse and keyboard. MPC provides a full array of connectivity options, including six USB 2.0 ports, a single FireWire connector, a PC Card slot, and an S/PDIF digital audio jack, as well as three video-in ports in different flavors. Add in the built-in wireless Ethernet, and you have an extremely flexible base unit for nearly whatever consumer application you care to throw at the ClientPro 414 All-In-One. The performance results back this up as well; its SysMark 2004 rating of 183 puts it right in the middle of the pack of similarly configured systems, respectable workhorses all.

Our ClientPro 414 All-In-One test system included a 128MB ATI Radeon Mobility X600 PCI-Express graphics card, which delivered 107.1 frames per second on our Unreal Tournament 2003 3D test. Based on that result, we can say that this PC will hold up very well if you use it to play older 3D games, but with more recent titles, such as Far Cry and Doom 3, you should expect a performance drop-off, although they'll probably still be playable.

The integrated, six-channel audio chip matched well with the included I-Trigue L3300 speakers from Creative. The system also featured a TV tuner, although MPC will not offer a Media Center-based version, so if you want DVR features, you'll have to handle them yourself through third-party software, as no such application comes bundled with the system. We also loved the tiny buttons on the front of the screen bezel that give you one-touch access to DVD and TV functions. As a whole, the ClientPro 414 All-In-One will work fine as an entertainment PC. Just don't expect it to revolutionize your living room.

At the quoted price, the ClientPro 414 All-In-One includes a three-year parts-and-labor warranty with onsite service and telephone support during business hours Monday through Friday. You can upgrade the service plan in a number of ways, adding accidental damage or hard drive protection, four-hour onsite service, next-business-day system exchange, in addition to a number of installation and PC-recycling options. MPC's support Web site is thorough, and you'll also find a full electronic user guide preloaded on the ClientPro's hard drive.

Application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo SysMark 2004 rating  
SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating  
SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating  

To measure application performance, CNET Labs uses BAPCo's SysMark 2004, an industry-standard benchmark. Using off-the-shelf applications, SysMark measures a desktop's performance using office-productivity applications (such as Microsoft Office and McAfee VirusScan) and Internet-content-creation applications (such as Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Dreamweaver).

To measure 3D gaming performance, CNET Labs uses Epic Games' Unreal Tournament 2003, widely used as an industry-standard benchmark. We use Unreal to measure a desktop's performance with the DirectX 8.0 (DX8) interface at a 32-bit color depth and at resolutions of 1,024x768 and 1,600x1,200. Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering are disabled during our 1,024x768 tests and are set to 4X and 8X respectively during our 1,600x1,200 tests. At this color depth and these resolutions, Unreal provides an excellent means of comparing the performance of low-end to high-end graphics subsystems. We report the results of Unreal's Flyby-Antalus test in frames per second (fps).

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