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February 23 2017

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MSI Cubes 2 Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U DDR4 mSATA HDMI Wifi Bluetooth SFF Barebone PC (Cubi2-006BUS)

In this article I talk about the MSI Cubes 2 Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U DDR4 mSATA HDMI Wifi Bluetooth SFF Barebone PC (Cubi2-006BUS), Mini PC that got on Amazon, and I redirected to Brazil via Shipito. This was the 17th time that I used the great services of the Shipito, Browse other purchases.

Motivation

In 2013 I got my first mini PC, the Zotac ZBOX ID83 Core i3-3120M 2.5GHz Intel HM76 DDR3 Wi-Fi A&V Gigabit Ethernet Mini PC Barebone System (ZBOX-ID83-U), He also received in Brazil by Shipito.

The Zotac ZBOX has served me perfectly for 3 and a half years. He was in my TV room. With him I watched videos through Kodi, played with MAME and the Retroarch, captured videos with the Elgato - Game Capture HD60 connected to it, among other features.

But in a day, He was on standby as it used to be when it is not being used, and hung up. I realized he was off and I thought occurred power outage, but had not been the case. Didn't pay much attention at the moment, but when I went to turn it on again after a few days I realized that he was dead.

The power LED was lit in red, how it looks when the ZBOX is energized and turned off. But he didn't care more, in any way. Checked components, I took battery, tried clearing the CMOS, nothing solved. Perfect plate, no sign of stewed capacitor or anything like that. Source also apparently without any problem.

I even tried to send him to a specialized technical assistance in motherboards, but they managed to find the defect. I ended up selling it in the State it was in.

It was time to look for a new mini PC.

Still need a Mini PC?

When I got the Zotac ZBOX ID83 your use was quite different than he had in his last days of life. At first he was in a non-smart TV. It was used even for Netflix.

But in recent years he went to a Smart TV, with Netflix, and won the company of other equipment, like WD TV Live, I've had, but in another TV, and that ends up being more practical to view local videos (on the NAS Synology DS214play), except the 1080 p 60 encoding or h. 265, He does not support.

The acquisition of Framemeister XRGB Mini and my classic consoles also imply that I didn't need more than a Mini PC to play Atari 2600, Master System, Mega Drive, Super Nintendo and Playstation, getting the Mini PC only for consoles that I don't have, arcades and games not supported by SD2SNES.

Then came the Chromecast 2, and the Mini PC also it is no longer necessary to view Youtube videos and listen to music on Spotify.

Por fim, 'm hanging on a Minix Neo U1, I gained na GearBest and I'm still waiting for the arrival. He must replace the WDTV Live, with the advantage of supporting h. 265 and 1080 p 60.

With all that, I contemplated not buy another Mini PC. Maybe just a Raspberry Pi to run emulators.

But after analyzing enough, the option for a Mini PC ended up giving mainly due to the Elgato - Game Capture HD60. The alternative of taking a laptop into the room every time I wanted to capture something that's not very practical.

Another relevant factor is that the Raspberry Pi still chokes on some heavier emulators. Read reports of problems with some games of MAME and even with Super Nintendo Games that use the Super FX, just one of the chips that the SD2SNES does not support. At this point, the firepower of a Core i5 is much larger.

Choice of MSI Cubi 2

To choose the new Mini PC took into account some questions:

  1. Don't be the ZOTAC! ZOTAC never.
  2. Have at least a Core i3 processor, but preferably a Core i5, so counts as a upgrade and I'm not so much the injury. Um i3 de sexta ou sétima geração já seria melhor que um i3 de terceira geração, mas um i5 é melhor ainda. 🙂
  3. Preferencialmente ser algo que dê para reaproveitar o SSD and to memória RAM from the Zotac ZBOX ID83, para economizar com essas duas peças.

Na questão de marcas me deparei basicamente com Intel e MSI, mas acabei gostando mais do MSI Cubes 2, tanto pelo design, quanto pelas configurações oferecidas.

Core i5 estava disponível tanto no Intel NUC quanto no MSI Cubes 2, mas apenas a MSI tinha opções com a sétima geração dos processadores i5, codinome Kaby Lake. Achei até estranho que a própria Intel só tivesse equipamentos até a sexta geração. Ponto pra MSI.

Mas na questão de aproveitar SSD and memória RAM não tive muita sorte. The SSD eu pude aproveitar normalmente, ainda que o MSI Cubes 2 more thin and beautiful if it is used only with a M. 2 SATA SSD, because it comes with two covers to the bottom, a line for use without 2.5 drive″ and other more fatty to accommodate a 2.5 drive″.

The ideal configuration is perhaps the one with just a M. 2 SATA SSD, or that you have a M. 2 SATA SSD with the system and a 2.5 HD″ great for data. But not to blow the budget, I chose to take advantage of the SSD to the system and leave the data in the same External HD I was using with the ZBOX. But nothing prevents me to do a upgrade in the future.

As for the RAM, I ran out of options, because all current using PCs or mini DDR3L DDR4, and the ZBOX used DDR3. The DDR3L uses a lower voltage, so equipment that use DDR3L not support DDR3. My laptop uses DDR3, but already has 16 GB of RAM, My wife uses DDR3L.

I ended up opting to sell the 16 GB memória RAM DDR3, and buying new memory for the MSI Cubes 2. How I chose the model with the Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U, He uses DDR4 memory. I decided so by the Kingston Technology HyperX Impact 16GB RAM DDR4 2133 HX421S13IBK2/16, of which I will speak in the next article.

I continued with 16 GB (2x8GB) RAM, as it was with the ZBOX, but now with the option to migrate to 32 GB (2x16GB) If you need to in the future. But for my use, I don't think I'm going to need.

Or modelo Cubi2-006BUS was my option. It features the Intel Core i5-7200U inline and Intel HD video 620 Graphics. Accepts DDR4 memory SO-DIMM up to a maximum of 32 GB.

The Intel Core i5-7200U works in 2,7 a 3,5 GHz. For storage, the Cubi2-006BUS supports a SSD SATA 2 m. and a 2.5 drive″ (SSD or HD). He also has Intel WiFi chipset 3168 (M. 2) 802.11and + Bluetooth 4.2.

There are several other settings of MSI Cubes 2, to meet the most diverse uses and pockets. There are since cheaper models, Celeron processor to more expensive models, with Core i7 processor of seventh generation.

Purchase on Amazon via Shipito

The prices of the MSI Cubes 2 in Brazil are extremely abusive. What I paid in the model with the Core i5-7200U, they charge for models with Celeron. But it is expected, Since each time you purchase a MSI Cubes 2 no Brasil, you're giving another to the Government in the form of taxes.

Despite the Amazon send the MSI Cubes 2 to Brazil, I was not very interested in paying more than the price of the product itself in import taxes for Fear, ICMS for Alckmin and other. Buy from there with sending straight to Brazil is almost as bad as buying in Brazil itself. So I decided to count again with the services of the Shipito.

Purchase made on Amazon in 04/12/2016. I chose to send the deposit of Oregon to avoid State taxes in California and Nevada. My MSI Cubes 2 arrived at the warehouse of the Shipito no Oregon no dia 12/12/2016, and after I check the contents for the photos they sent me, He went to Brazil for USPS Priority Mail.

The package passed by the Rio de Janeiro where he was taxed on 60% do stated value, What is still a hell of a dirty, but at least it's less money going to the Government corruption. No give 04/12/2016 He was already available for pickup at the post office, upon the payment of tax and more R$ rate 12,00 the post office charge for not do their service to take the merchandise in your home.

My cost of shipping plus the service of Shipito was $ 66,53, being $ 59,36 for shipping, US$ 4,17 safe, e US$ 3,00 by the services of the Shipito, including open the package and take pictures of products.

Package processing fee $2.00
Sending $59.36
Secure $4.17
Special request rate $1.00
Total $66.53

These are the package tracking information for USPS:

DATE & TIME
STATUS OF ITEM
LOCATION
January 5, 2017 , 12:41 pm

Delivered

BRAZIL

Your item was delivered in BRAZIL at 12:41 pm on January 5, 2017.

January 4, 2017 , 2:55 pm

Attempted Delivery – Item being held, addressee being notified

BRAZIL
December 30, 2016 , 3:00 pm

Processed through Facility

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
December 28, 2016 , 8:49 at the

Held in Customs

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
December 28, 2016 , 8:48 at the

Processed Through Facility

BRAZIL
December 20, 2016 , 3:05 pm

Departed

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
December 20, 2016 , 1:18 at the

Departed

HOUSTON, UNITED STATES
December 19, 2016 , 6:07 at the

Departed

SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES
December 18, 2016 , 6:43 pm

Arrived

SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES
December 18, 2016 , 12:52 at the

Processed Through Facility

ISC SAN FRANCISCO (USPS)
December 18, 2016 , 12:50 at the

Arrived at Facility

ISC SAN FRANCISCO (USPS)
December 14, 2016 , 8:03 pm

Arrived at USPS Facility

PORTLAND, OR 97218
December 14, 2016 , 6:56 pm

Shipment Accepted

PORTLAND, OR 97218
December 14, 2016 , 6:48 pm

Accepted at USPS Origin Facility

PORTLAND, OR 97208
December 14, 2016

Pre-Shipment Info Sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item

These are the package tracking information by post office:

Data Local Situation
05/01/2017 12:41 AC [Removed] Delivery Effected
04/01/2017 14:55 AC [Removed] Waiting withdrawal
Address: STREET 1,1171 – Center
04/01/2017 09:31 CSD [Removed] Routed
In transit to AC [Removed]
04/01/2017 06:07 CTE CAMPINAS – INDAIATUBA/SP Routed
In transit to CDD [Removed]
30/12/2016 15:02 INTERNATIONAL UNIT RIO DE JANEIRO – RIO DE JANEIRO / RJ Routed
CTE transit Em CAMPINAS – INDAIATUBA/SP
30/12/2016 15:00 INTERNATIONAL UNIT RIO DE JANEIRO – RIO DE JANEIRO / RJ Awarded
Freed peels alfândega
29/12/2016 10:23 CEINT RIO DE JANEIRO / Geara – RIO DE JANEIRO / RJ Routed
In transit to RFB – NOTE ISSUE-taxed Taxation / BR
28/12/2016 08:49 INTERNATIONAL UNIT RIO DE JANEIRO – RIO DE JANEIRO / RJ Routed
In transit to customs supervision – Customs supervision / BR
28/12/2016 08:48 INTERNATIONAL UNIT RIO DE JANEIRO – RIO DE JANEIRO / RJ Awarded
Received / Brazil
14/12/2016 18:48 UNITED STATES Posted

Unboxing

To show the unboxing from the MSI Cubes 2, did the video below. Check out:

As of costume, a Amazon exaggerate somewhat on the size of the box. In the MSI Cubes 2 e the Kingston Technology HyperX Impact 16 GB RAM, There were multiple air bags inside the box.

Amazon box with the MSI Cubi 2

Amazon box with the MSI Cubi 2

Amazon box with the MSI Cubi 2

Amazon box with the MSI Cubi 2

MSI Cubes 2 and Kingston DDR4 memory modules

MSI Cubes 2 and Kingston DDR4 memory modules

MSI Cubes 2, on its packaging

MSI Cubes 2, on its packaging

Note that the size of the box does not change the value of shipping by USPS, because they consider only the weight. So normally I don't give importance to this. But for use by freight courier It pays to pay $ 5,00 the more to the Shipito reduce the box, because they all (DHL, Fedex, etc.) also charge by the volume of the object.

The box MSI Cubes 2 came properly sealed. On the back we see information about the available ports and two mounting options for the bottom.

Bottom of the MSI packing Cubi 2

Bottom of the MSI packing Cubi 2

MSI Cubes 2, in its sealed package

MSI Cubes 2, in its sealed package

On a side there is some information about WiFi and Bluetooth in Europe. Must have something to do with regulation, but I couldn't understand.

Side of the MSI packing Cubi 2

Side of the MSI packing Cubi 2

Side of the MSI packing Cubi 2

Side of the MSI packing Cubi 2

Side of the MSI packing Cubi 2

Side of the MSI packing Cubi 2

In the box we have, beyond MSI Cubes 2, the bottom choice for use with HD or 2.5 SSD″, the power cord, cables to connect the HD or 2.5 SSD″, power supply, VESA adapter for rear mounting of monitors, screws and manuals.

MSI Cubes 2 and accessories

MSI Cubes 2 and accessories

Manuals and brochures that accompany the MSI Cubi 2

Manuals and brochures that accompany the MSI Cubi 2

MSI Cubi power supply 2

MSI Cubi power supply 2

MSI Cubi power supply 2

MSI Cubi power supply 2

VESA support MSI Cubi 2

VESA support MSI Cubi 2

Bottom cover MSI alternative Cubi 2, for installation of HD or 2.5 SSD"

Bottom cover MSI alternative Cubi 2, for installation of HD or 2.5 SSD″

Bottom cover MSI alternative Cubi 2, for installation of HD or 2.5 SSD"

Bottom cover MSI alternative Cubi 2, for installation of HD or 2.5 SSD″

Screws that came with the MSI Cubi 2

Screws that came with the MSI Cubi 2

SATA data cable and power cable for connecting HD or 2.5 SSD"

SATA data cable and power cable for connecting HD or 2.5 SSD″

SATA data cable and power cable for connecting HD or 2.5 SSD"

SATA data cable and power cable for connecting HD or 2.5 SSD″

Power cord of the MSI Cubi 2

Power cord of the MSI Cubi 2

The MSI Cubi 2

The MSI Cubi 2

On the front of the MSI Cubes 2 We have a USB port 3 Type A (traditional) and another USB port 3.1 type C. We also have the access to secondary memory (HDs, SSD), headphones output and microphone input.

The front face of the MSI Cubi 2

The front face of the MSI Cubi 2

The left side is smooth, without any input/output, and the right side has only the entrance to Kensington lock.

Left Lateral aspect of the MSI Cubi 2

Left Lateral aspect of the MSI Cubi 2

The Lateral right of MSI Cubi 2

The Lateral right of MSI Cubi 2

On the back, We have the hot air outlet of the heat sink, the power supply input, HDMI output, Mini DisplayPort output, Ethernet network entry, and two more USB ports 3 Type A.

Back face of the MSI Cubi 2

Back face of the MSI Cubi 2

At the bottom we have the various stamps of MSI, Intel and HDMI. There are also fit to hang it by screws.

The bottom of the MSI Cubi 2

The bottom of the MSI Cubi 2

Installation

Time to open the MSI Cubes 2 to install memory and SSD. The card is very compact, as expected. When you open the lid to the bottom we see the slots for memory, SATA port, m. 2 SATA slot, among other components

 

MSI Cubes 2 inside

MSI Cubes 2 inside

MSI Cubes 2 inside, with the memory modules installed

MSI Cubes 2 inside, with the memory modules installed

The SSD is mounted on the bottom choice. Don't make nonsense of arresting the SSD before by the cables as I did, because they will not enter and you will need to remove the SSD to put them. 🙂

Installing the SSD in the MSI Cubi 2

Installing the SSD in the MSI Cubi 2

Installing the SSD in the MSI Cubi 2

Installing the SSD in the MSI Cubi 2

Installing the SSD in the MSI Cubi 2

Installing the SSD in the MSI Cubi 2

With the SSD installed in alternative cover, the MSI Cubes 2 looks more chubby, but still very nice. 🙂

MSI Cubes 2 chubby with 2.5 SSD" installed

MSI Cubes 2 chubby with 2.5 SSD″ installed

MSI Cubes 2 chubby with 2.5 SSD" installed

MSI Cubes 2 chubby with 2.5 SSD″ installed

With everything ready it's time to take the MSI Cubes 2 for the living room. I got a place for him in the same niche that my Super Nintendo and my Playstation One, where he can stay with the External HD and to Elgato - Game Capture HD60 hidden behind him.

Note that o MSI Cubes 2 designed to lie on the table, or hanging sideways in vesa or wall support. No feet to keep standing on the table. So, I opted not to take avoiding plastics scratch the side in black piano. In the future I will put four feet silicone adhesive so it can be left thus without scratching.

MSI Cubes 2 up and running

MSI Cubes 2 up and running

MSI Cubes 2 up and running

MSI Cubes 2 up and running

MSI Cubes 2 up and running

MSI Cubes 2 up and running

MSI Cubes 2 up and running

MSI Cubes 2 up and running

Unlike Zotac ZBOX ID83, the MSI Cubes 2 does not come with remote control, so I connected it my old Remote Control for PC, I bought the DX in 2009. Breaks a twig for simple functions, How to navigate in Kodi.

Another problem that I faced was the lack of USB ports. Are only 4, one is type C, that may be the future format, But today is essentially useless. The ZBOX ID83 had 6 doors, Although some were only USB 2.0.

Luckily I still had my Hub USB 3.0 with 4 portas ORICO W8PH4-U3. Then put the External HD in one of the rear doors, After all hard drives don't always get along with passive hubs. In another rear USB port I connected the Hub USB 3.0 with 4 doors.

At the 4 ports Hub USB 3.0 with 4 doors I connected the receiver of the Remote Control for PC, the receiver WIRELESS Controller for XBox 360, the receiver Wireless keyboard with Logitech Touch Mouse K400R and to Elgato - Game Capture HD60.

The left front USB ports MSI Cubes 2, where can I call eventually some other accessories, like USB adapter for two SNES gamepad controls, the Adapter cable to connect two joysticks Mega Drive, the Adapter to connect two joysticks Atari 2600 the PC via USB, and the Super Nintendo gamepad (SNES) PC Buffalo.

The MSI Cubes 2 has been connected to the Yamaha RX-A830 7.2-Channel Network AVENTAGE Home Theater Receiver using a HDMI out 2.0 4K-3D 60 Hz Vention of 2 meters.

Table-Summary

And this is the purchase summary table:

Product Name: MSI Cubes 2 Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U DDR4 mSATA HDMI Wifi Bluetooth SFF Barebone PC (Cubi2-006BUS)
Name Original: MSI Cubes 2 Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U DDR4 mSATA HDMI Wifi Bluetooth SFF Barebone PC (Cubi2-006BUS)
Store: Amazon
Value: US$ 379,99
Current value: US$ 374,99
Payment Method: Credit Card Visa International
Shipping Type:
  • FREE Super Saver Shipping (Amazon)
  • USPS Mail Priority (Shipito)
Shipping Fee:
  • Free (Amazon -> Shipito)
  • US$ 63,53 (Shipito -> Brazil)
Package Home Country: USA
Purchase Data: 04/12/2016 (Amazon)
Submission Date:
  • 07/12/2015 (Amazon -> Shipito)
  • 14/12/2015 (Shipito -> Brazil)
Data Delivery:
  • 12/12/2015 (Amazon -> Shipito)
  • 04/01/2016 (Shipito -> Brazil)
Time in Transit:
  • 5 days (Amazon -> Shipito)
  • 21 days (Shipito -> Brazil)
Declared content: computer parts
Type Marked Content: Gift
Declared Value: -
Taxed: Yes
Taxable Value: -
Tax Value: -

Final Considerations

In its early 45 days of use, the MSI Cubes 2 been doing quite well your role. Installed Windows 10, the MAME, the Retroarch and Kodi. Installed also Elgato - Game Capture HD60 and I made some catches with her. Everything worked to the satisfaction.

And I'm ending here with a positive assessment to the MSI Cubes 2 Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U DDR4 mSATA HDMI Wifi Bluetooth SFF Barebone PC (Cubi2-006BUS). Do not forget to share the article with your friends if you like. Good fun and good shopping. 🙂

About the author

Skooter

Skooter is a computer scientist and the founder of Skooter Blog. He is interested in everything related to technology and he likes to save money by making his purchases directly from abroad.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.skooterblog.com/2017/02/23/msi-cubi-2-intel-kaby-lake-core-i5-7200u-ddr4-msata-hdmi-wifi-bluetooth-sff-barebone-pc-cubi2-006bus/

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