Tranquil PC MMC-12 review

Price when reviewed

Few people would seriously consider connecting a full-blown desktop PC to their TV. Large, ugly and potentially filled with whirring fans and clunking hard disks, it’s just not an appealing prospect for a living room – unless, that is, the PC in question is the latest silent, super-slim design from the experts at Tranquil PC.

Seemingly crafted from a single chunk of matte black aluminium, the Tranquil MMC-12 is among the most stylish Media Center PCs we’ve seen. It’s a weighty, seriously expensive-feeling bit of kit, and it’s perfectly formed too. Measuring just 40mm high, 225mm deep and an AV rack-friendly 392mm wide, and with an almost featureless front panel, it barely looks like a PC at all – it could be easily mistaken for a high-end Hi-Fi separate.

Silence is golden

That exquisite design is also highly functional. The rows of fins along the MMC-12’s flanks aren’t just for effect, they allow the whole chassis to double as a giant heatsink: the fins provide a larger surface area to dissipate heat, just like a radiator, and make it possible for Tranquil to do away with active cooling entirely. Apart from the subtle blue giveaway glow of the power button on the front, you’d be hard pressed to tell if the MMC-12 is even on.

Tranquil PC MMC-12 - cooling fins

The processor and chipset are pressed flush against the inside of the chassis, a dab of thermal paste allowing the heat to dissipate directly through the MMC-12’s body, and a miniature Intel SSD plugs into the motherboard’s mSATA slot to provide 80GB of fast, silent storage in a tiny footprint. As the Intel DH61AG Mini-ITX motherboard uses a laptop-style power supply, the only noise comes should you use the optical drive, and even that doesn’t spin up particularly loudly.

Tranquil PC MMC-12 - exploded view

It all makes for a power efficient PC too. At idle, the MMC-12 draws just 15W from the mains, rising to 44W running our benchmarks flat out. Playing back a DVD takes the power consumption to a very reasonable 21W. For a PC that’s likely to spend a lot of its time switched on, the MMC-12 shouldn’t result in any unpleasantly high energy bills.

Warming up

There is one noticeable side effect to the MMC-12’s passively cooled design, however: the metal case does get rather hot. With the CPU maxed out for an hour or two, its core temperature crept up to a maximum of 77°C, and the outer casing became uncomfortable to the touch – we measured it at 52°C with our infra-red thermometer.

That’s an extreme scenario, though; under a more realistic load it’s much better. As our review unit came with a DVD writer – a Blu-ray reader is a £132 optional extra – we left a 1080p MKV file looping in the supplied Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre software overnight, and returned to find the CPU at a far healthier 44°C. After more than 14 hours of 1080p playback, the metal casing proved nothing more than warm to the touch. We’d still be cautious of piling other AV equipment on top of it, though, and we wouldn’t keep it in a closed AV rack – as with any passive heatsink it needs reasonable airflow around it.


Warranty3 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity80GB
RAM capacity4.00GB
Screen sizeN/A


CPU familyIntel Core i3
CPU nominal frequency2.50GHz
CPU overclocked frequencyN/A
Processor socketLGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan)Passive


MotherboardIntel DH61AG
Motherboard chipsetIntel H61
Conventional PCI slots free0
Conventional PCI slots total0
PCI-E x16 slots free0
PCI-E x16 slots total0
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free0
PCI-E x1 slots total0
Internal SATA connectors4
Internal SAS connectors0
Internal PATA connectors0
Internal floppy connectors0
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free1
Memory sockets total2

Graphics card

Graphics cardIntel HD 2000
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetIntel HD 2000
Graphics card RAMN/A
DVI-I outputs1
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cardsN/A

Hard disk

Hard diskIntel SSDMAEMC080G2
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speedN/A
Cache sizeN/A
Hard disk 2 make and modelnone
Hard disk 2 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speedN/A
Hard disk 2 cache sizeN/A
Hard disk 3 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 4 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacityN/A


Optical driveDVD writer


Monitor make and modelnone
Resolution screen horizontalN/A
Resolution screen verticalN/A
ResolutionN/A x N/A
Pixel response timeN/A
Contrast ratioN/A
Screen brightnessN/A
DVI inputsN/A
HDMI inputsN/A
VGA inputsN/A
DisplayPort inputsN/A

Additional Peripherals

Speaker typeN/A
Sound cardN/A


ChassisTranquil PC MMC
Case formatMini ITX
Dimensions395 x 225 x 40mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyGeneric
Power supply rating90W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)2
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portno
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks2

Front ports

Front panel memory card readerno

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardnone

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7

Noise and power

Idle/eco noise level0.0dB(A)
Peak noise levelN/A
Idle power consumption14W
Peak power consumption44W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings23fps
3D performance settingLow
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.62
Responsiveness score0.75
Media score0.63
Multitasking score0.48

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos