The fastest-growing area for computers in the past year has been the Small Form Factor barebone computers. That's why it seems every manufacturer lately has introduced a new SFF system in this market segment first created by Shuttle. As you have seen in our SFF reviews, most of the new SFF machines are just "me-too" boxes, but a few have stood out with thoughtful design or extremely quiet operation. However, only a few like Biostar or Soltek, have really challenged Shuttle's leadership in this market. It also seems that almost every new SFF is based on the Intel 865G chipset. With the popularity and value of the 865G, combined with the integrated Intel graphics, this is certainly understandable. It is rare, however, that a new 865G SFF stands out from the crowd.



The Jetway Magic Twin 865 does stand out in this increasingly crowded market. It is the first and only 2-user SFF that we have seen or heard about. Someone in Jetway obviously took a long hard look at the SFF market and asked how Jetway could distinguish themselves in the crowded 865 SFF market. Jetway's answer was the MiniQ 860Twin based on their proprietary 865GFT 2-user SFF motherboard.

So, what exactly is Magic Twin? What can it do?
  • 1 PC can be used by 2 users at the same time
  • 2 users can browse the internet, send and receive email at the same time
  • 2 users can access all software installed on the PC at the same time (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Data Base, games, etc.)
  • 2 users can play games against each other with a dual-port VGA card
Magic Twin looks like a pretty unique solution for a home with 2 kids doing homework, or even as a budget system where Dad or Mom can browse the Internet while a child is doing homework on the Jetway computer. Another interesting use would be the small business with a small budget, which describes just about every startup company. 2 users can share a small Jetway MiniQ computer, which is not very expensive and doesn't take up much space.

What Do You Need for a Twin PC?
POST A COMMENT

25 Comments

View All Comments

  • tyski - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    #8

    I was curious about that too. The easiest solution I would imagine is to have an extra external CD drive, since most SFF don't have room for two internal drives. Wesley, your answer was a little off the mark.
    Reply
  • TheDigitalDiamond - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    Oh hell no... someone did not just make a dream come true.. Omg *Starts slapping people* Am I awake? Am I awake? *Pisses himself* Mama bear, lookie, lookie! Lookie god damn it! XD

    I am overexcited obviously :P I'm gonna look hard at JetWay's other products and see what I can do about a massive one case rig. No doubt anything I was gonna build in the first place could power two users... But now two users can actually use it :D I don't spy SATA support though, diskcontroller time :) If anyone has any specific info on this kind of technology, PLEASE, find a way to contact me! Thanks! :D
    Reply
  • araczynski - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    nice little unit, and a (finally) nicely realized concept. definately a great solution for the typical office user and 'lower/mid' level home user. also curious as to how it behaves/performs when one end is used for gaming and the other for say surfing...i would assume cutting half of the cpu's power from a game would be a significant performance hit, unless perhaps you can allocate a smaller percentage of the cpu's time to the 'lower' level surfing?... lot of nice possibilities. Reply
  • Booty - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    I agree - it'd be nice if they tested this system with additional applications and games. Are there any networking glitches? I know a small accounting firm with about 10 employees that would be happy to swap out their 10 old machines with 5 small, quiet new ones... Reply
  • bloinkXP - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    I wonder if we can get more information on the technology that allows two simulantenous users? Where is it setup? Is it similar to MS terminal server/Citrix technology? All that good stuff. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    #8 -

    The single CD is not really any different than an instance of Office. The end-user appears to have exclusive use, but they actually switch with another user in time-slicing. Each user only has exlusive use for a time-slice. There is never a real case where 2 users access the same program or CD, it just appears that way.
    Reply
  • webrussell - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    How does the SFF case deal with two people playing different games, each of which requires the CD in the drive?

    My thought is concerning my wife's Kindergarten classroom. This would be a great way to conserve space with once CPU but two workstations. However, many of the educational games require the CD in the drive.

    What's the current work-around for this?
    Reply
  • RobertJTownley - Thursday, December 15, 2005 - link

    There are a few companies making free virtual cd drives. This software is essentially a special driver that fools the computer into thinking it has more DVD drives than actually exist. You tell the driver to mount an ISO image file and this becomes the virtual drive.

    http://www.daemon-tools.cc/">http://www.daemon-tools.cc/

    Reply
  • Pumpkinierre - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    Great idea. You mentioned multiplexing but does Hyperthreading fit into this anywhere?
    Reply
  • danishgold - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    There also was a thing called "The Virtual PC BUDDY B-210" it made sharing a PC, between up to 5 people, possible, but without sound.

    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now