capsule review

Micro Express MicroFlex 66B

At a Glance
  • Micro Express MicroFlex 66B

    PCWorld Rating

    System outperformed our other value models by a wide margin; it's a great choice for media editing or gaming.

When it comes to performance, the Micro Express MicroFlex 66B ($999 as of November 6, 2006) is a winner: It managed an impressive WorldBench 5 score of 148. The MicroFlex 66B carries a speedy 2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 processor and 2GB of memory--the only system in our roundup to do so. It also came configured with an ATI Radeon X1600 graphics card. This system produced the best graphics performance of any cheap PC on our gaming tests, making it a good choice as a versatile, low-cost gaming system.

The large, imposing case has plenty of room for expansion, with five open externally accessible drive bays (one of which is a 3.5-inch bay) and one open internal bay. The system's construction improves on previous Micro Express models: Cables are tidily bundled inside the case with reusable ties that prevent them from blocking fans and airflow.

Our only major complaint involves the system's paltry 380-watt power supply, which could become overloaded if you add several hard drives or optical drives.

The MicroFlex 66B came with a 17-inch ViewSonic VP720b LCD monitor that rendered graphics adequately but produced text lacking in sharpness and rather difficult to read at smaller font sizes. Peripherals include a comfortable wireless keyboard and mouse from Microsoft.

Micro Express describes the system as Vista-capable and offers Vista upgrade information on its site.

The fastest cheap PC we reviewed, the MicroFlex 66B is a great value. It's well worth considering if you're on a tight budget and need to perform intensive tasks like video or graphics editing.

Richard Baguley

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    System outperformed our other value models by a wide margin; it's a great choice for media editing or gaming.

    Pros

    • Tremendous performance
    • Plenty of expansion room inside case

    Cons

    • Low-capacity power supply
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