Before receiving this product for review I was extremely
sceptical about how well a Small Form Factor PC would
handle my needs, both as a performance user and as a reviewer.
The nature of my PC use demands that I use the latest
components which as well as drawing a lot of power and
creating a lot of heat always stress the other parts of
the system to their limits. I just didn’t think
a machine as compact as this would be able to handle it…
lets see if I was right or wrong…
The Shuttle comes packaged in a stylish box (including
handy handle). The box, as with most products gives you
an idea of the features of the unit within as well as
some product photography.
to display high resolution images, these may be classed
as popups to some software
Opening the box we see that the Shuttle within is well
protected by foam and the CDs/bundled products are nicely
stored at the side of the system in a box. We believe
this foam will protect the shuttle from all but the worst
courier, infact UPS went some way to proving this when
our original sample turned up in terrible condition –
torn, bashed etc. The unit inside however seemed to be
fine aesthetically. There was an issue with a memory slot
not working however this wasn’t the case in our
replacement and so we can put this down to extremely rough
treatment by UPS – something which shouldn’t
happen to you.
Shuttle are very thorough in their software/accessory
bundle. Pretty much everything you are going to need is
Above you can see the manual for the
xPC, motherboard manual, NV Raid Manual, Driver/Utility
disc, case feet, screws etc, additional power splitter,
additional IDE cable, Sata cable and Sata Power cable.
A second Sata data cable would have been nice incase you
choose to install a second HD rather than a floppy drive
however they are very cheap to buy separately if needed.
Shuttle use Phoenix Award Bios in their SN95G,
the bios is fully configurable from overclocking settings
and memory timings to fan and voltage control. As far
as we could see there is nothing to set it apart from
the options available in full size motherboards which
Above you can see the xPC in all its
glory. The case is extremely stylish and well designed
from an aesthetic point of view. Both sides feature the
Shuttle logo with air vents below and the top/sides are
brushed metal which looks and feels high quality. The
front panel is very sparse which is nice and all drives
are hidden away. Behind the top panel is a DVD/CD-rom
slot, the second panel is your floppy drive and the base
panel hides the front USB/Firewire and audio ports. As
well as giving a nice clean look these panels can also
hide your horrible old white components and keep your
system looking good regardless of what’s inside.
The buttons used to open the panels are
slightly different, the CD rom button is raised and connects
to a plastic arm which moves from the button to press
the cd eject button where as the two other panels use
a push to click closed and open design.
Finally on the front panel we have the IDE/power lights
which are in the centre of the case and the reset power
buttons which are either side of the activity lights.
Moving to the rear of the system and
we see that the shuttle doesn’t lack in connectivity.
There are the various audio ports required for your surround
sound including coaxial and optical digital out and optical/line
in. 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 network card, 1 Firewire and a
serial port. Pretty much everything you are going to need.
Placement of the optical out is somewhat strange (top
right) however it works so no real complaints there. You
can also see on the rear of the case the 2 grills, the
larger is to allow airflow for the CPU and the other (smaller)
is for the PSU. On the right of the system you can see
the AGP and PCI brackets.