Even though the micro-PC game seems to only really be heating up at the moment with the introduction of so many different NUC-like devices, some companies have been at it for years already. Take MSI for example, which has offered its Windbox miniature systems for quite a long time. It’s now looking to update its latest lineup with a new range of Broadwell processors.
The Windbox III is a line of hardware that if you are a gamer or heavy user, is unlikely to have ever crossed your path. It’s a passively cooled system designed to run digital signs, shopping kiosks and security desks — real back-end enterprise hardware. However, some have used them for home theater systems and as they become more powerful, they are getting more attractive for that sort of application.
The new lineup will support Intel’s fifth generation of core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs, as well as Celerons for those with lower power requirements or shallower pockets. This represents a big upgrade over the original Core 2 Duo hardware that was previously being used in this lineup.
Memory-wise, you are looking at support all the way up to 16GB, which is more than most low-end systems will require anyhow. When it comes to internal storage, there’s enough room for a single 2.5″ hard drive or SSD, though there are two mini PCIe ports, so there’s the potential for add-in cards or extra SSD storage solutions.
In terms of connectivity, the new WindBox III MS-9A75 has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a pair of DisplayPorts and a single DVI port. There are also four USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, along with two antenna for wireless connectivity.