capsule review

Micro Express MicroFlex 450B Power Desktop PC

At a Glance
  • Micro Express MicroFlex 450B

    PCWorld Rating

    This power desktop delivers a whole lot of performance without a whole lot of price.

Built around the same Gigabyte X48-DS4 motherboard as the top-performing Polywell Poly X4800-Extreme, the MicroFlex 450B steps down a notch or two on other primary components. A 2.83-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 processor, a single 500GB Seagate ST3500320NS hard drive, and a 512MB ATI 4870 graphics card lurk inside. Though this combo is pared back compared with some other high-end PCs, it still managed a more-than-acceptable WorldBench 6 score of 119 and gaming rates around 200 frames per second.

As inexpensive as the MicroFlex 450B is ($899 as of February 1, 2010), you don't get the feeling that Micro Express has been stingy. Open the black midtower case, and you'll find plenty of room for even large hands to work, with five external bays open--four 5.25-inchers and one 3.5-incher--as well as two 3.5-inch internal bays for additional hard drives. It also has two 1x PCIe slots and two PCI slots unblocked, plus another CrossFire-enabled 16x PCIe slot if you want to up your high-resolution gaming capabilities with a second graphics card.

Although Micro Express made trade-offs to achieve its low price, they are relatively wise ones. The bundled 19-inch LG W1942TQ wide-screen display is smaller than what we see with most power systems, but it does produce a very crisp picture. The basic Microsoft keyboard and optical mouse are both wired, and the LG GH22LP20 optical drive offers LightScribe but no Blu-Ray or HD DVD reading.

Put succinctly, the MicroFlex 450B provides 85 percent of the Poly X4800-Extreme's performance at 33 percent of the price. I could yap more about the relative lack of big-vendor style, but those numbers are the real story.

--Jon L. Jacobi

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This power desktop delivers a whole lot of performance without a whole lot of price.

    Pros

    • Excellent array of back ports
    • Very expandable

    Cons

    • Bundled 19-inch LCD is on the small side
Related:
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.