A while ago, we published an article that described how you could build a high-end Home Theatre PC. That expensive system was assembled from a range of individually-specified components.

The Hiper HMC-2K53A-A3 'Media Chassis' takes a different approach – it's an elegantly-slimline hi-fi-width 'barebones' system that already contains most of what you'll need.

Comprehensive package

The other bits you'll need to buy are an HDD, CD/DVD drive, DDR2 RAM, CPU, cooler and operating system.

At the heart of the Hiper is an MSI K9AGM2 micro-ATX motherboard, which is designed for use around cost-effective AM2-socketed processors (AMD Athlon64/X2/FX).

This boasts, amongst other things, an onboard ATI Avivo-powered graphics card with 1080p-supportive HDMI output, 7.1 channel sound (plus coaxial digital output), Gigabit Ethernet, i.Link and four USB ports.

Highs

 A great way to put together a multimedia PC for £400 or so. Most of the work is done for you –your system could be pieced together and booted-up within a few hours. You get a remote handset that's approved for use with the Media Center functionality of Vista Home Premium, etc.

Lows

Cooling fans mean the system will never run completely noise-free – especially given how densely-packed it is. If you don't plan to use a tuner card, Hiper says that one of the cooling fans can be removed. There are also only two drive cages, one for an IDE-interfaced notebook-type 'slot-in' CD/DVD, and one for a standard 3.5in SATA HDD