Small form factor PCs are very popular among users for their versatility and compactness. After having used an AOpen Xcube for almost 3 years, I am now a big fan of noiseless PCs with small dimensions. Shuttle is a well respected company which mainly deals with small form factor PCs. Their proposal for entry level users comes with in the form of the SD32G2. What can you expect from such a small box? Does it have what you are looking for? How does it perform, especially when stacked up against normal desktop PCs? We will try to answer all these questions, but first let's meet our new box.
- Shuttle SD32G2
The XPC SD32G2 is the ideal first timer SFF computer. With support for the full spectrum of mainstream components; Intel® Core 2 Extreme/Intel® Core 2 Duo/ Intel® Celeron D/Intel® Pentium 4/Intel® Pentium D, DDR2 memory, value PCI Express x16 cards, the XPC SD32G2 let's you build the best-value computer for the SOHO business segment.
Including bargain integrated graphics and 7.1 channel audio, and a full back panel of the latest industry standard interfaces (PCI E, USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and Ethernet LAN) it is easy to see why the latest G2 chassis XPC is set to become the next best-seller.
- Hot Features
The original G2 chassis is the standard by which other small form factor computers are measured. This 'G2'eneral purpose chassis finds the optimal balance between small size and upgradeability, while still offering exceptional performance and functionality.
Media Connectivity: The integrated media ports on the XPC G's front panel have been designed for excellent functionality. The space between the USB ports has been increased to make room for devices such as digital camera and thumb drives to be installed at the same time. Also the line in jack has been moved to the back panel, providing a neat and functional finish.
Integrated Cable Management: All XPCs ship with integrated cable management to ease installation. IDE and/or SATA cables are pre-installed, and power leads are wrapped and clipped to the chassis.
Intel® Processor Support
Intel® Core™2 Extreme
The Intel® Core™2 Extreme processor for desktop PCs features the latest arsenal of performance-rich technologies. It was designed to run energy-efficient so you can run red hot. Plus, that added energy efficiency enables systems to run quieter.
Intel® Core™2 Duo processor
Experience revolutionary performance, unbelievable system responsiveness, and energy-efficiency built in - up to 40% faster and over 40% more energy efficient.
Intel® Celeron® D processor
The Intel® Celeron® D Processor delivers a balanced level of proven technology and exceptional value for desktop PCs.
Intel® Pentium® 4 processor
Get advanced performance for today's productivity, digital imaging, music and entertainment applications. The Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor provides the performance, quality, and reliability demanded by consumer and business customers.
Intel® Pentium® D processor
Experience the powerful multitasking capabilities of an Intel® Pentium® D processor-based PC with revolutionary Intel dual-core technology.
Intel 945G Chipset
The PCI Express architecture enables increased bi-directional bandwidth to the graphics and I/O interfaces. With theoretical bandwidth up to 4 GB/s per direction, the PCI Express x16 graphics port can provide more than three and a half times the graphics bandwidth over previous high-performance discrete graphics solutions.
Designed to support cutting-edge PCI Express graphics, the XPC SD32G2 has been tested compatible with the latest high-performance graphics cards.
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950
The Intel 945G Express Chipset also features an improved graphics core. Intel GMA 950 enhances the user experience with faster graphics, improved Microsoft DirectX 9.0 3D performance, and better video playback and quality. The increased performance enables smooth standard and high definition video playback. Built-in support of consumer electronic displays allows consumers to plug into native high-definition displays and output to either 720p or 1080i resolutions.
Realtek ALC882 HD Audio
The ALC882 series 7.1+2 Channel High Definition Audio codecs with UAA (Universal Audio Architecture), featuring five 24-bit stereo DACs and three 20-bit stereo ADCs, are designed for high performance multimedia PC systems. The ALC882 series incorporates proprietary converter technology to achieve over 100dB Signal-to-Noise ratio playback quality; easily meeting PC2001 requirements and also bringing PC sound quality closer to consumer electronic devices..
The XPC offers simple I/O connectivity, and then some. Features, such as the Clear CMOS button and Wireless LAN perforation, are Shuttle exclusives, and not seen in other small form factor computers.
The XPC's feature-rich back panel is perfectly complemented by an equally rich front panel. With USB 2.0, FireWire 400, earphones, and microphone built into this sexy front panel.
Silent X Technology:
Integrated Silent X cooling and noise reduction technologies deliver optimized cooling for exceptional stability, comfort and reliability. Optimized cooling features, including programmable smart fans and best-of-class airflow, make the XPC ideal for use in any setting - home, office, dorm - because it's "Super Quiet, Super Cool."
The Silent X concept is embodied in a number of discreet Shuttle technologies:
Integrated Cooling Engine (ICE) Module
The Integrated Cooling Engine uses convection cooling to transfer heat away from the processor and other critical system components. Copper tubing - coated in nickel and filled with distilled water - efficiently channels heat away, providing highly-effective processor and case cooling.
250W Power Supply
This highly efficient PSU delivers enough power to support the modest configurations required the meet the need of a home of office workstation. Tested in our acoustic labs the Silent X 250W PSU operates significantly quieter than most competing power solutions.
Smart Fan incorporates linear control metrics to provide optimal cooling. Under normal conditions, Smart Fan keeps fan speeds low, minimizing acoustic noise. When the load increases, Smart Fan increases fan speeds to provide optimal cooling. Users can customize Shuttle's Smart Fan settings to precisely match their desired temperature and fan speed metrics.
The XPC features more air intake points designed to keep the motherboard cool and stable. The underside edge is lined with intake points. Other intake points are also located on the underside of the machine to improve motherboard cooling.
Shuttle XPC Tools is a straightforward thermal and acoustic management application for your XPC. Including several XPC only features, such as "Smart Fan" management, XPC Tools is the only all-round system management application available for the XPC. With XPC Tools, you can automatically load pre-saved performance configurations for swift switching between maxed-out performance settings for gaming and "Super Quiet, Super Cool" settings for general multimedia entertainment or office productivity. XPC Tools is available for download at http://global.shuttle.com/XPCTools/download.asp
2. Full specifications
G2-type aluminum chassis, silver color
storage bays: 1 x 5.25", 2 x 3.5" (1 internal)
dimensions: 30 x 20 x 18.5 cm (LWH),
weight: 3.2 kg net / 4.8 kg gross
Shuttle FD32, Shuttle form factor,
proprietary mainboard design for Shuttle XPC Barebone SD32G2
Chipset: Intel 945G (Lakeport-G) + ICH7
Award V6.0PG BIOS, 4MBit flash memory
with hardware monitoring and ACPI power management functions
dimensions: 25.4 x 18.5 cm
SilentX 250 Watt mini PSU, supports 100~240V,
connectors: 20-pin ATX, 4-pin ATX12V
EMI certified: FCC, CE, BSMI; Safety certified: UL, TÜV, CB
Socket 775 supports dual core and single core Intel processors:
Core 2 Duo, Pentium D, Pentium 4 and Celeron D
Supports 1066, 800 and 533 FSB clock frequency
Supports 65nm and 90nm manufacturing technology
supports Hyper-Threading and 64-bit extension (EM64T)
Shuttle I.C.E. (Integrated Cooling Engine)
advanced I.C.E. Heatpipe technology, linear controlled 92mm fan
SilentX cooling and noise reduction technology with Active Airflow
2 x 240 pin slots, supports Dual Channel
supports DDR2-533/667 DDR SDRAM memory up to a total size of 4 GB,
max. 2 GB per DIMM
1 x PCI-Express (16X) supports 8 GB/s data transfer
1 x PCI-Express (32 bit)
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (GMA950)
with PCI-E x1 improved bandwidth, features 333MHz graphics core
DX8/DX9 support and enhanced 3D performance
Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT) 3.0, shared Memory max. 224MB
7.1 channel High Definition Audio, Realtek ALC882
analog: line-out (8-ch), line-in, microphone
Optional optical SPDIF input/output (digital audio)
||Gigabit LAN Controller
Marvell 88E8001 Ethernet network controller (Gigabit)
supports 10 / 100 / 1.000 MBit/s operation, supports Wake-on-LAN
Firewire controller VIA VT6308
IEEE1394 OHCI V1.0 compliant
with 2 Firewire connectors (front and rear)
supports 400Mb/s, 200Mb/s, 100Mb/s data transfer rate
2 x Serial-ATA II, 3 Gb/s (300 MB/s) bandwidth,
1 x IDE ATA 100 drives
1 x floppy disk drive
||Front Panel connectors
2x USB 2.0
Firewire (Mini 4 pin connector)
||Back Panel connectors
VGA connectorr (D-Sub 15 pol.)
4x USB 2.0
GigaBit LAN (RJ45)
Firewire (6 pin)
PS/2 for mouse and keyboard
Serial port (COM)
8-ch Audio line-out (2x rear/front, bass/center, surround/back)
SPDIF: optical in/out, coaxial out
optional Wireless LAN module (PN18)
optional parallel port (PC8/PC15)
optional optical SPDIF input/output ports (PC17)
2 x fan connectors (4 pin)
Multi-language user guide,
32-bit Driver CDROM, 64-bit Driver CDROM,
Shuttle Extras CDROM,
I.C.E. heat-pipe module,
Cable for FDD, SATA (1x), PATA (1x)
Screws, Heatsink Compound
3. The Package
The Shuttle SD32G2 costs around €325 (+shipping) as found at several online stores.
The unit is well packaged and secure, no problems during transporting:
The retail package includes:
- The SD32G2 case itself
- 1x Floppy cable
- 1x CD-ROM with 32bit drivers
- 1x CD-ROM with 64bit drivers
- 1x printed Multi-language user guide
The retail box doesn't include any SATA or IDE cables, since they are pre-installed. However, there is only one SATA cable installed, so if you wish to install another SATA device, you have to borrow it from somewhere else...
Let's now examine the box. The box is light, but that's without any HDD or optical drives installed, 3.2kg. The box feels solid and is made of aluminum in a silver color.
On the front, there are several inputs as well as the on/off and reset buttons. In order to install a Floppy or an optical storage device, you have to remove the front. However, the screws are not the usual Philips but hex allen screws. Many users may not have a set of allen keys in their tool box, so this could be an issue. We believe that Shuttle should have used standard Philips screws or at least included a key in the retail box.
Here are the front panel inputs in greater detail:
There's a microphone input, a headphone (Line-out),
2x USB 2.0, 1x
Firewire (Mini 4 pin connector), 1x Power and 1x
Reset buttons. We almost forgot to mention that there are two LEDs, intense blue electric colour, rather annoying, especially in total darkness:
The orange coloured led indicates HDD activity:
On the back, we find the usual array of inputs/outputs. Screws can be loosened by hand, which is very good. There are two expansion slots for PCI and PCI-e cards.
Zooming in on the back panel, we can find:
- VGA connector (D-Sub 15)
- 4x USB 2.0
GigaBit LAN (RJ45)
- 1x Firewire (6 pin)
- 1x PS/2 for mouse and 1x keyboard
- 1x Serial port (COM)
- 8-ch Audio line-out (2x rear/front, bass/center, surround/back)\
- 1x CMOS button
- optional Wireless LAN module (PN18)
- optional parallel port (PC8/PC15)
- optional optical SPDIF input/output ports (PC17)
So what's missing from this box? Well, I would like to have at least a DVI or HDMI output and WiFi on board. For the WiFi, Shuttle offers an extension module (PN18) (or you can simply use a USB WiFi stick), while there's no option for DVI. So you cannot really use this box as a media center, unless you install a PCI-E card with such an output.
4. Opening the case
After opening the case (very easy), we can finally access the interior. Every seems well packaged and secured at their place. This is the left side of the box. We can see the two PCI/PCI-e and memory slots.
Zooming can give us more details. You can see that one SATA cable is already pre-installed. There is another SATA slot available and of course an IDE channel (cable also pre-installed). We do believe that such case should had at least 4 SATA connectors, most optical drives are now SATA also... The 945G Express chipset is cooled by an air blower, while the 950G graphics card by a passive heatshink.
Moving to the left side, we can see the CPU area and the PCI, PCI-e slots. There is also a tiny Clear CMOS button, which can be accessed from the outside, so in case of a bad setting, you don't have to open the box, very handy!
The box can handle two (2) 3.5" devices (2x HDD or 1x HDD, 1x floppy) and a 5.25" optical device.
Removing the storage bay, we can see clearly the interior. The CPU cooler is what Shuttle proposes for silent use. Its made out of aluminum with three heat pipes going to a big aluminum heatshink. In top there is a 92mm fan that blows out the heat out of the box.
Here is the CPU cooler uncovered
While the rotating fan is "made" from Shuttle:
At the right side, we can see the "big" PSU, its rated at 250W
with the following output values, they should be enough to power, two HDD, one optical recorder an a PCI-E card, but we will find out later if it does :-)
For our tests, we installed a 3.5" HDD drive. We used the pre-installed SATA and power cables, so everying is tidy and there is lot of room space under the storage bay and the CPU area.
In case you install more HDD and optical devices, space room would be smaller, but efficient for low CPU temperatures:
The BIOS is Phoenix-Award. For most users, it should be very familiar:
Under CPU features, we can disable C1E (speedstep):
While we can manually set the DRAM timings.
PC Health status is always useful for monitoring system voltages and CPU temperature:
Lastly, the Frequency/Voltage control offers the possibility to "overclock" your box. There are not many settings here, so don't expect miracles...
Using Everest Ultimate Edition we can get more information about the board:
Both North Bridge and South Bridge chipsets unveiled:
The 945GExpress chipset supports Intel 950GMA graphics processor
with the following GPU/RAM clocks and Pixel Shaders:
Let's now see how our CPU was identified under CPU-Z:
7. Everest Ultimate Edition 2006 - SiSoft Sandra
EVEREST Ultimate Edition is an industry leading system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for enthusiasts PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. During system optimizations and tweaking it provides essential system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to check the effects of the applied settings. CPU, FPU and memory benchmarks are available to measure the actual system performance and compare it to previous states or other systems. Furthermore, complete software, operating system and security information makes EVEREST Ultimate Edition a comprehensive system diagnostics tool that offers a total of 100 pages of information about your PC. The software has several built-in tests for memory and CPU/FPU.
Due to its lower memory running speed, we wouldn't expect to see the Shuttle 32DG2 perform very well in the memory tests. And the truth is that its slower than the other two desktop motherboards. The big differences can be found in the Copy/Read functions, while in memory write (due to 333@3-3-3-6 timings) it's faster :-)
In the CPU tests, the 945G Express chipset shows very good behaviour and in some tests, even takes first place.
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software. It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what's really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCIe, ODBC Connections, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc. Sisoft Sandra offers a variety of tests for Memory and CPU.
In Sisoft Sandra 2007 SP1, all motherboards are very close, although in the memory related tests there is a difference.
8. PCMARK - 3DMARK
PCMark®05 is everything you need to reliably and easily measure the performance of your PC and determine its strengths and weaknesses. With PCMark05, you will be able to select the optimal upgrades for your existing PC, or choose the right new PC that fits your specific needs. This easy-to-use product gives you the same tools and knowledge that virtually every professional tester in the industry uses. Below you can see the available scores for memory and CPU.
Looking at the CPU score, the Shuttle SD32G2 had the best performance. On the other hand, the memory read/write index was rather lower than the Biostar and Foxconn motherboards.
3DMark®06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests. 3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.
3D Mar06 tests both CPU/RAM and VGA card. We only ran the CPU test, since Intel's GMA950 isn't supported by 3DMark06.
9. Science Mark - PovRay - Nero Digital
Science Mark 2.0 is an attempt to put the truth behind benchmarking. In an attempt to model real world demands and performance, SM2 is a suite of high-performance benchmarks that realistically stress system performance without architectural bias. Science Mark 2.0 is comprised of 7 benchmarks, each of which measures a different aspect of real world system performance.
Pov-Ray s a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The source code is available for those wanting to do their own ports. We used Pov-Ray 3.7beta15 for all tests, since it supports Dual Core CPUs. We used the built-in benchmark as suggested by the developers.
In ScienceMark, due to lower memory speed, the Shuttle SD32G2 was slower than the other two motherboards. In the Pov-Ray benchmark, the Shuttle motherboard also had a lower index.
- Nero Digital
Nero Digital is one of the better known Digital formats, offering both ASP and AVC encoder profiles.
For our tests, we used the latest version of Nero Recode v220.127.116.11 as packaged with Nero Reloaded v18.104.22.168. As a source, we used a VOB file, of 5 mins duration. We encoded for each motherboaRD in two modes (ASP, AVC) with exactly the same preferences (Same bitrate and Dual pass). The encoding time displayed below is what Nero Recode reported. The lower the time taken, the better. All results are displayed in seconds.
All three motherboards, had similar performance with Nero Recode...
10. CINEBENCH -SuperPI
CINEBENCH is the free benchmarking tool for Windows and Mac OS based on the powerful 3D software CINEMA 4D. Consequently, the results of tests conducted using CINEBENCH 9.5 carry significant weight when analyzing a computer's performance in everyday use.
Especially a system’s CPU and the OpenGL capabilities of its graphics card are put through their paces (even multiprocessor systems with up to 16 dedicated CPUs or processor cores). During the testing procedure, all relevant data is ascertained with which the performance of different computers can subsequently be compared, regardless of operating system. All tests were done with the latest available build (R9.5), and the sum of each subtest is displayed at the following chart, except for OpenGL Software & Hardware Lighting tests, since both depend at the installed VGA card.
With CineBench, the Shuttle SD32G2 performed very well, close to the performance of the Foxconn P9657AB.
SuperPI has become an utility to benchmark modern systems. In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi and he collaborated with Dr. Y.Kanada at the computer center, the University of Tokyo. This record-breaking program was ported to the personal computer environment for Windows NT and Windows 95 and called Super PI.
The software offers up to 32M calculations of PI numbers. We tested up to 8M calculations and summed them for a total score.
Probably due to its lower memory speed, the Shuttle SD32G2, produced the highest SuperPI calculation time.
Shuttle doesn't exactly advertise the SD32G2 as an overclocking champion. Despite this, we still had to try. As we saw earlier, the BIOS doesn't offer many options that could help us get a higher FSB frequency:
- You cannot set the internal CPU multiplier from the BIOS. This means limited overclocking attempts, especially with CPUs like the E6600 and higher. That shouldn't be a big problem for E6300 CPUs however
- Not many FSB:RAM dividers, but this isn't a major overclocking factor anyway
- Not many options for memory/core voltages
For our overclocking attempts, we used Shuttle's XPC Tools
The installation process is easy, just follow the wizard. After installation is finished, we can now see how this software works.
The latest and our installed version is 1.50
The main screen offers critical information about the temperatures and system voltages:
While with the Fan Control button, we can set the Fan functions:
Time has come to attempt to overclock our E6600. There aren't many options to play with, just the basic. Let's raise the FSB:
Without modifying the core voltages we pumped up the FSB to 310MHz and our E6600 reached 2.80GHz
The system's stability was confirmed after running Orthos stability software for many hours. We didn't have any problems. There was an increase in CPU temperatures (around 52°C in idle and 63°C under full load). Perhaps with such a small box it is not the best choice to attempt extreme overclocking. While this system can be overclocked, we don't recommend it.
12. Installing a VGA card
The Shuttle SD32G2 offers a PCI-e slot. You can install a "standard" VGA card in order to improve the performance of the box, especially for 3D games. Due to the small dimensions, you can only install small sized VGA cards, like the 7600GT or 7900GS series. For our tests, we used MSI's 7600GT Silent VGA card. Our goal was to see how easy it is to install a VGA card and, if the PSU can handle powering up two HDD and one VGA card at the same time.
Installing the card was very easy, just remove the two screws on the back and the metal clip. Be careful when inserting the card. The MSI 7600GT doesn't need any external power, its powered from the PCI-e slot.
A top view of the box with the MSI 7600GT series installed. As you can see, the passive cooling comes close to the CPU area, adding more "heat" to the whole area.
We closed the case and fired up 3D Mark06. Using Everest Ultimate Edition, we monitored the temperatures of the CPU and GPU. We plotted the temperature graphs, shown below:
The CPU temperature starts from 55°C tops at 64°C. Without the VGA card installed it starts at 44°C and tops at 55°C. This means an increase of almost 10°C with the VGA card installed. Below is a table with all temperatures as reported from Everest Ultimate Edition:
One last point. It seems the case can be easily "damaged". We are still trying to find the small chunk from our case...
Shuttle's SD32G2 is a good proposal for entry level users looking for a SFF system. It supports all currently sold Intel processors for the 775 socket - Intel® Core™ 2 Duo/ Intel® Pentium® D/Intel® Pentium® 4/ Intel® Celeron® D processor (except Quad core probably). Based on Intel's 945G Express chipset, it comes with the Intel GMA950 on board to power up the system. While it's not the fastest solution, it can serve you well for everyday use and it doesn't produce any noise.
In all our tests, the SD32G2 was generally slower that the Foxconn P9657AB motherboard. This is due to the fact that the SD32G2 supports only up to 333MHz memory modules (DDR2 667MHz), and not the full DDR2 800 (400MHz). We were able to set however, low timings that may offer some additional boost. On the bright side, with this box you won't need to (shouldn't) buy "expensive" memory modules since it is not an overclockers dream box.
The overall build quality is good, but you need to handle the box with some care. The total weight of 3.2kg (without anything installed) is good, the box feels solid and the brushed silver aluminium has a nice finish and overall look. Compared with our old box (AOpen XCube EZ65-II) it feels smaller. Opening the box is very easy but what we didn't like are the allen screws used for the storage bay at the front front. They look nice, but you have to have a set of allen keys to remove them. Alternatively, Shuttle should include the correct allen key in the retail package.
The board design is clean in layout. There is free space around the CPU area, since Shuttle has designed the Integrated Cooling Engine (ICE) Module. Aluminium is used, but we would like to see a copper design here, more efficient! There are two memory banks for up to 2x1GB memory modules, enough for our use. What we didn't find adequate was that there are only two (2) SATAII connectors. This is fine if you want to install two 3.5" HDD, but what if my 5.25" optical drive has a SATA connection also? You can also install a third 3.5" HDD drive but on the IDE channel. There's also a floppy connector, but we didn't use it.
Shuttle offers several expansion modules for additional: USB2.0 ports, card reader, WiFi, SPDIF, etc. But, you have to pay extra in order to get them. Probably, the WiFi should have been a standard inclusion, as almost all users now have wireless access at home or in the office. But then again, this may have impacted on the price which has been kept low.
In our overclocking experiments, this box could reach up to 310MHz FSB. While it isn't the best you can get from an Intel based motherboard, considering that this is a SFF system, it's a good performance. If overclocking fails, the system won't POST back automatically, and you need to push the Clear CMOS button located on the back. This is a nice touch, since you won't require access to the motherboard.
Passing to the all important noise levels, we were not very satisfied with the box, compared with the AOpen XCube EZ-65II. The box is not very good at dampening noise, probably due to the build material (aluminium). Shuttle hasn't included any shock absorbing rubber mounts for the HDD and optical drive. These produced some noise on our system, and we are still trying to "modify" our box so that it will eventually become truly "noiseless".
The on board VGA (Intel GMA950) offers "basic" performance. You will be able to view HD videos without any problems, but for 3D games you will need something much faster. The built-in PSU can handle graphics cards like the Nvidia 7600GT and 7900GS without any problems. Bigger cards won't fit in, due to the small box size.
Ending our presentation, we are satisfied with our purchase. We had a strong belief in Shuttle's name and at an initial cost of €325, you can start building a SFF PC that can prove to be a good companion for many years. As always, the choice is yours. From our point of view, it is a recommended product.
- Small dimensions and light weight
- Very good finish and solid aluminium structure
- Supports up to 667MHz DDR2 memory, save money with low budget memory
- Generally good performance with Intel C2D CPUs
- Enough room to keep CPU temperature low
- Internal space is tidy, you won't have problems installing all pieces together
- Supports most currently sold Intel CPUs (except Quad Core)
- Has extra PCI and PCI-E slots for easy upgrades
- Shuttle offers several expansions for USB2.0, Wifi and card readers but at additional cost :-(
- Can be overclocked under Windows via XPC Tools
- Has good overclocking capabilities, even though it is not suggested
- Built-in PSU can handle VGA cards like Nvidia 7600GT/7900GS
- Has VISTA drivers
- Front LEDs are too bright!
- Aluminium case scratches easily
- Box is generally noisy mainly due to HDD/optical drive vibrations, you will need to modify box to make it truly noiseless
- Built-in CPU fan seems kind of noisy
- Doesn't offer out of the box DVI or HDMI output for media center box use
- Screws on front are not standard philips but allen (hex) type
- Retail package doesn't include any additional SATA cable
- We would like to have more than two SATA connections