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MPC ClientPro 565 review: MPC ClientPro 565

MPC's big tower for businesses is powerful, but the sky-high price needs whittling down.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
6 min read
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 Iomega Rev 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.


MPC ClientPro 565

The Good

Includes a big-screen LCD; two high-capacity hard drives; Iomega Rev drive; video-editing software; powerful processor.

The Bad

Expensive; wired mouse and keyboard; no media-card reader; deafening during start-up, noisy after that.

The Bottom Line

Stocked with mostly first-rate hardware, the MPC ClientPro 565 is overkill for a day-to-day business PC and overpriced no matter how you use it.

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 Norton AntiVirus (with a 90-day subscription), Nero Express, and InterVideo's WinDVD 5.0. You also get a somewhat unusual extra: Pinnacle Studio 9.0, 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.

Application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo SysMark 2004 rating  
SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating  
SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating  
Ajump Matrix 4800 (3.6GHz Intel P4 560, 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz)
Gateway 7200XL (3.6GHz Intel P4 560, 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz)

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).

3D gaming performance (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Unreal Tournament 2003 Flyby-Antalus 1,600x1,200 4xAA 8xAF  
Unreal Tournament 2003 Flyby-Antalus 1,024x768  
Gateway 7200XL (ATI Radeon X800 XT, PCIe)
Ajump Matrix 4800 (Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT, PCIe)

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 a resolution 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).

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:

Ajump Matrix 4800
Windows XP Professional; 3.6GHz Intel P4 560; Intel 915P chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT (PCIe); two Seagate ST3160023AS 160GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA; integrated Intel 82801FR SATA RAID controller

Gateway 7200XL
Windows XP Home SP2; 3.6GHz Intel P4 560; Intel 915GSE chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 256MB ATI Radeon X800XT (PCIe); WDC WD2500JD-22HBB0 250GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

HP Compaq Business Desktop dc7100
Windows XP Professional; 3.2EGHz Intel P4; Intel 915G chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB (shared memory) integrated Intel 915G; Seagate ST380013AS 80GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

MPC ClientPro 565
Windows XP Professional SP2; 3.6GHz Intel P4 560; Intel 925XCV chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 5750 Ultra (PCIe); two Seagate ST3200822AS 200GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA; integrated Intel 82801FR SATA RAID controller

Polywell Poly 939VF-FX53
Windows XP Professional; 2.4GHz AMD Athlon 64 FX-53; Via K8T800 Pro chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce FX 5900XT (AGP); two WDC WD740GD-00FLX0 74GB 10,000rpm Serial ATA; integrated WinXP Promise FastTrak 579 controller


MPC ClientPro 565

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 6Performance 6Support 8