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?
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  • paranone - Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - link

    (I assume you're from Anandtech, right? Sorry, I'm new here...)
    I read Windows XP can't really have concurrent sessions, it was planned for SP2 to allow one local and one remote session simultaneously but hasn't been left in the final version, TomsHardware also says it's theoretically possible but in practice it doesn't work (that's what they call "fast user switching" you are both referring to, no?).

    Well, since I read the Jetway 915P-TWIN mobo on TH, I'm looking everywhere on the web to find a software solution but although I don't see any hardware trouble in having 2 users sharing a computer and I read Magic Twin is just a "software add-on" or "software layer", you say it needs some special components but which are those?? I can't figure that out and as I see it, you couldn't either (or didn't want to).
    But indeed you can't install the program on whichever computer, it says it's "hardware protected".

    So does anybody know if it's possible by software, know of a software to do it (enjoying our dual head graphic cards and usb plugs) or if it's not possible without hardware add-on (but why!) is there any widely distributed product out there?
    (I saw this : , probably distributed in 2 1/2 taiwanese stores and the Virtual PC Buddy named above is some really old hardware)
  • timbeech - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    Howard Computers has a TwinPC available using the Jetway Motherboard. This unit will play UT2004 with a high-end graphics card allow two users to play each other on the same machine AWA play on the network. It has been tested with a variety of applications that require the cd to be in the drive and it works great.
  • RobertJTownley - Sunday, April 25, 2004 - link

    Multiple IP addresses can be assigned to the same Network Interface Card. No special software needed, look at the static windows ip configuration.
  • fchiu - Sunday, April 18, 2004 - link

    #3- I tried it and each station can join ut2003 and play ok.

    #5- software is installed once and running on one computer. it is still ith in the EULA

    #7- hyperthread will help the system. 2 user will give the system to do more process at the same time. More memory also helps.

    #8- Jetway also make Mainboard with this feature. if you want to stick with SSF just use USB External CD Rom.

    #9- the process is time slice is true. If the first station have a command sending to the drive play a DVD movie, it will not let the second user have access to the drive.

    #10- windows xp allow multiple user login at the same time (switch between user)

    #15- There is only 1 network card and 1 IP. IP is just an address for the network to find the system. software will decodes all the information that is recieve from network card.

    #16- how many percent of the world population uses microsoft windows?

    #18- it is still one computer running one operating system. all this will tell you is the score of the system running 2 benchmark software at the same time.

  • fchiu - Sunday, April 18, 2004 - link

  • asianafro - Saturday, April 17, 2004 - link

    would a kvm switch work in this situation? If it ever were to get support from the open source community, it would be a great way to manage 2 operating systems...
  • yumarc - Saturday, April 17, 2004 - link

    To Panther: 2 users can use the computer at the same time.

    I'd also like to see some game benchmarks tests with a high end video card.
  • Panther - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    alright, I'm clearly missing something here. How is this any cooler than have 2 user accounts logged into any old machine?
  • TauCeti - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    Great! After billions of dollars spend someone invented a system with the ability for _two_ users to work simultanously with windows XP. A miracle!
    If you have 20 children at home i suggest to get some cheap terminals/X-Servers and use a decent UNIX-box. This is surreal.

  • thraxes - Friday, April 16, 2004 - link

    I suppose both users share the same IP when connected to a LAN, is that correct? 2 Useres each with their own IP means two NICs, right?

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