capsule review

Micro Express MicroFlex 3464

At a Glance
  • Micro Express MicroFlex 3464

    PCWorld Rating

Micro Express MicroFlex 3464
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

Housed in a stylish black mesh case, the $2299 MicroFlex 3464 achieved an impressive PC WorldBench 5 score of 111, though that's below the average for similarly configured systems. Our test unit had a generous 2GB of 533-MHz DDR2 memory and a 3.4-GHz Pentium 4 CPU, which was overclocked to run at 3.67 GHz.

This MicroFlex includes a built-in 802.11g wireless adapter, with a rather nifty magnetic-mount antenna that you can place away from the case for maximum signal strength. The system also has gigabit ethernet and an ample number of USB ports--two on the front of the case and five on the back.

The case has a clean, businesslike look, though I have a few minor complaints about it. The side is fairly easy to remove, but you have to be careful not to dislodge a plastic ring that directs cool air onto the processor's heat sink. Also, the audio ports on the front panel aren't labeled, so I had to guess which was for headphones and which was for a microphone.

The interior of the case looked rather untidy, with many cables held together with plastic ties, hanging in a large bundle. If you want to use one of the power connectors, you'll have to cut the ties and then refasten the cables; otherwise, they could flop around and get caught in one of the fans. I would have preferred to see a more flexible way of securing the cables, such as with clips that can be refastened. The hanging cables also block access to the drive bays, so you'd pretty much have to unplug everything to upgrade the 16X DVD±RW drive or install a second hard drive. But since the installed hard drive is a sizable 400GB, you probably won't need a second drive for some time.

The ViewSonic VP912b 19-inch LCD monitor that came with our review system (and which we rated highly in our LCD monitor tests) rendered sharp text and bright accurate colors in our tests, though I saw some very slight ghosting in fast-action DVD movies. The ATI Radeon X850 graphics card produced some strong game performance, generating some of the highest frame rates that we've seen for systems with a single graphics card. At 1280-by-1024 resolution and 32-bit color depth, the system generated 307 frames per second--almost twice the average. The graphics card comes with a component-out adapter, so you can connect it to an HDTV display. It is a little disappointing, however, that the monitor doesn't support 1600-by-1200 resolution.

The Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse that came with the system are well made; the mouse is comfortable, and the keyboard has eight programmable keys at the top, plus a group of music control keys. Though the keyboard has a comfortable feel, the keys felt a bit mushy--I tended to be uncertain that I had pressed the keys all the way down.

The MicroFlex 3464 offers plenty of performance horsepower for a reasonable price.

Micro Express MicroFlex 3464


WorldBench 5 score of 111, 3.4-GHz Pentium 4 650 CPU, 2048MB of DDR2-533 SDRAM, Windows XP Home, 400GB hard drive, DVD±RW drive, ATI Radeon X850 graphics card with 256MB of graphics RAM, 19-inch ViewSonic VP912b monitor, Logitech Z560 speakers, midsize tower case. Four-year parts and labor warranty. Lifetime 24-hour daily toll-free support.
$2299
800/989-9900
www.microexpress.net

Richard Baguley

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This PC offers plenty of pep for video editing and gaming, but overclocked 3.67-GHz CPU may cause problems down the line.

    Pros

    • Includes built-in wireless 802.11g

    Cons

    • Overclocked 3.67-GHz CPU
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