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Trigem's Kloss KL-I915A mini-barebones system

Kloss your heart...

Manufacturer Trigem
Model Kloss KL-I915A
Price (street) $355
Availability Now

INCREASINGLY, THE PC IS MAKING its way from the back bedroom to the family room. Pre-built machines based on Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition are one example, but barebones makers are getting into the act, as well. Recently, Korean company Trigem released the Kloss KL-I915A. With a sleek, polished look, aluminum chassis, a front panel display and included remote control, the KL-I915A could be a solid foundation for a home theater PC. Let's take a closer look.

The system
A picture is worth a thousand words, so let's start with a photo of the Kloss box:

Here's a long shot of the KL-I915A. It doesn't take long to realize that this is not your father's computer. Between the stereo-style controls, the glossy black front face and the big hole in the top, there's plenty to separate the KL-I915A from a typical beige box. There's also more to the front face than meets the eye, but we'll get to that later.

Below is a chart detailing the specs of the KL-I915A.

CPU support LGA775 Intel Pentium 4 processors with 533/800MHz front-side bus
Chipset Intel 915G
North bridge Intel 82915G MCH
South bridge Intel ICH6R
Expansion slots 1 PCI-E X16
1 32-bit/33MHz PCI
Memory 2 184-pin DIMM sockets
Maximum of 2GB of DDR333/400 SDRAM
Storage I/O Floppy disk
1 channel ATA/100
2 ports Serial ATA 150 via ICH6R south bridge
Audio 6-channel audio via ICH6R integrated audio and CMI9880 codec
Ports 1 PS/2 keyboard
1 PS/2 mouse
1 serial (DB-9)
1 parallel
USB 2.0 (2 front, 3 rear)
2 Firewire via VIA VT6307 (1 mini front, 1 rear)
1 RJ45 10/100/1000 Ethernet via Marvell 88E8053

2 line out (1 front, 1 rear)
1 line in (rear)
2 microphone in (1 front, 1 rear)
1 optical digital in (rear)
1 optical digital out (rear)


The 915G chipset gives the KL-I915A both integrated graphics and a PCI-E x16 slot if you're not happy with those integrated graphics. A single PCI slot is also included, which is fine since, at this point. there are very few PCI-E x1 cards on the market anyway. Gigabit Ethernet is included courtesy of a Marvell chip, and according to the part number, this chip is a PCI-E part, ensuring that it won't saturate the PCI bus.

In our testing, the KL-I915A refused to POST when a Northwood chip (specifically a 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition) was used. The Kloss web site lists a 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition with 2 MB of cache and an 800MHz bus as a compatible part. To be safe, I'd stick with Prescott processors.