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RL Supplies Modula Mini 5200 review

Kat Orphanides
13 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
550
inc VAT and delivery

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Specifications

2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E5200, 4.000000 RAM, N/A display, Windows Vista Home Premium (XP Home available on request)

RL Supplies' Modula Mini 5200 uses Intel's 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo E5200 processor, making it one of the more powerful PCs here. A whopping 4GB of memory makes its price look even more appealing.

The case doesn't look as brutally utilitarian as Novatech's Ion or Eclipse's EcoPC, but our review sample had a few sharp, unfinished edges, both inside and out.

Inside the case, you'll find an Intel DG45FC mini-ITX motherboard. This is an excellent starting point for a Media Center PC, as it includes 7.1 analogue and digital surround-sound outputs and an on-board graphics processor with both HDMI and DVI ports. The motherboard has a single PCI Express x1 slot, which has been fitted with a dual Freeview TV tuner, so you can watch one digital channel while recording another. The motherboard doesn't have a built-in infrared receiver, so RL Supplies has provided a USB receiver to go with the bundled Media Center remote.

To make the best use of your PC's recording capabilities, you'll need somewhere to store everything you've captured, which is where the massive 750GB hard disk comes in. The only extra feature we could have wanted was a Blu-ray drive. This PC accepts standard desktop components, so upgrading is a simple matter of buying a BD-ROM drive for around £70. The graphics card can decode Blu-ray movies, so this PC will cope easily with playing movies.

RL Supplies has succeeded in building a PC that's both compact and sufficiently powerful for most tasks. Unfortunately, although its active and idle power consumption figures of 73W and 50W aren't completely awful, its standby consumption of 7W is higher than those of most standard PCs, so you should switch it off when it's not in use.

Despite this, we were suitably impressed by the Modula Mini 5200's value and compact design. If you want a low-power Media Center PC for recording TV programmes and playing media files, it's a great choice. If you want Blu-ray playback as standard, Sony's VGC-TP3E costs £71 more.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo E5200
Processor external bus200MHz (800MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplierx12.5
Processor clock speed2.5GHz
Processor socketLGA775
Level 1 cache2x 32KB
Level 2 cache2,048KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typeDDR2
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardIntel DG45FC
Motherboard chipsetIntel P45
Power consumption standby7W
Power consumption idle50W
Power consumption active73W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)1/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portsTV tuner input, S-video out, RCA

Internal Expansion

Casemini-ITX
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)0 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports2
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung HD753LJ
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity750GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Intel GMA X4500HD
Graphics/video portsHDMI, DVI

Sound

SoundIntel HD Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out, stereo line out, optical S/PDIF out, line in, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive modelOpticarc AD-7630A
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Response timeN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

ModemNo
Keyboardnone
Mousenone

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium (XP Home available on request)
Operating system restore optionnone

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years collect and return
Price£550
Supplierhttp://www.rlsupplies.co.uk
Detailswww.rlsupplies.co.uk

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