Tiny – Powerhouse 450 System review

well-rounded business desktop
Photo of Tiny – Powerhouse 450 System
£1,500 + VAT

Ho-hum. Another month, another new processor from Intel. The chip company seems to be churning out newer, faster CPUs at a ridiculous rate of knots, but as long as there are buyers interested, who can blame it? The latest chip is a 450MHz version of the Pentium II processor, which Tiny has used as the basis for this office workstation PC.

As with the majority of business systems today, the Powerhouse 450 System is built from a tower case. A rather more stylish case than one would usually associate with a Tiny PC, in fact, as this one conceals its 32-speed CDROM drive and 1.44MB floppy drive beneath a curved front panel. There’s a hinged door, too, behind which is a 100MB Iomega Zip drive, running off the same EIDE channel as the CDROM drive.

Removing the case cover reveals a Microstar motherboard with Intel’s popular 440BX chipset. This chipset is popular in part because it allows the use of 100MHz system RAM, which is considerably faster than was possible before. Tiny has fitted 64MB of this new type of memory, and there’s space for another couple of DIMM sticks should that prove insufficient. For more permanent storage, there’s a 10GB UDMA Maxtor hard drive, which should be just about adequate for most users…

Handling the graphics output is an 8MB ATI Rage Pro 3D 2x AGP graphics card along with a 17-inch monitor, which together can cope with a top resolution of 1280 x 1024 with 16.7 million colours. Sound, meanwhile, is generated by a Yamaha PCI wavetable sound card and a pair of amplified speakers. Tiny has also supplied an internal 56kbps modem and a programmable keyboard with this PC, which comes with Windows 98 and Microsoft Office 97 Small Business Edition pre-installed.

Company: Tiny

Contact: 0800 821333

This PC looks good, is well-made and has been priced sensibly. Tiny doesn't yet have much of a name in the corporate arena, but if this system is any indication of the company's intentions, that may change in the near future. The speakers and modem may not be particularly useful in a large office, though.