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First Look: Shuttle KPC

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January 25, 2008 11:16:32 AM

If they release a model (for not too much more) with a PCI-Express slot, then it'll be worth it. Without the ability to upgrade the graphics ... I suppose it'll make an ok media PC or basic web browser...

For high performance though, you need to look at shuttle systems built around the sd32g & better really.
January 25, 2008 11:32:41 AM

No optical drive = DO NOT WANT. What are we supposed to do when (not if, WHEN) the OS blows up or something? Send the whole thing back?
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January 25, 2008 11:36:08 AM

It's got USB ports ... plug in an external (you can get adapters for a few quid off ebay, including power). Shuttle's recent BIOSes have been pretty good with USB drive recognition etc.
January 25, 2008 11:39:52 AM

First thought," Awwww, its soo cute."
a b ) Power supply
January 25, 2008 11:43:03 AM

Not the sort of designs to get me queuing, but I can imagine it being quite popular with non-gamers/video editors etc.
January 25, 2008 1:49:16 PM

How can you beat it for $200? What would you use this for? If you want to use is for a HTPC wouldn't it need to have an HDTV tuner card? I guess It would be an easy and cheap way to brows the web with your TV if it has an SVideo output. No good for watching DVDs since there isn't an optical drive..
January 25, 2008 3:57:23 PM

I could see this catching on in the business market. With Dell general business PCs still in the $400+ range this pretty compelling. Large companies (such as the one I work for) have MS license agreements that allow transferring of the license. Plus most of our users already have flat screens from purchases in the last 5 years. You could pick up these as general desktop replacements for $100 a pop. Not too bad an idea.

I don't think they're intended for any high end use such as a gaming machine or HTPC. They seem great for the business market or general use/dorm room market. They'd also make great cheap test boxes for web servers, firewalls, etc.
January 25, 2008 4:48:35 PM

Call me a n00b.. but what does the 'K' in KPC stand for?

at first I thought Kitchen PC. but that didnt seem right after reading the article.
January 25, 2008 5:15:47 PM

Assuming I find a mini-ATX motherboard with PCIe 2.0 and good enough PSU that will fit in the Shuttle, what will be the biggest graphics card that will fit inside?
Is a 3870 or 8800GT possible? I guess the 3870 X2 will be way too big. Or I'll be stuck with a whimpy 8600GT at best?

edit: I guess I'm talking about a different model of Shuttle that's more upgradable.
Anonymous
January 25, 2008 5:32:36 PM

enewmen said:
Assuming I find a mini-ATX motherboard with PCIe 2.0 and good enough PSU that will fit in the Shuttle, what will be the biggest graphics card that will fit inside?
Is a 3870 or 8800GT possible? I guess the 3870 X2 will be way too big. Or I'll be stuck with a whimpy 8600GT at best?

edit: I guess I'm talking about a different model of Shuttle that's more upgradable.



Your asking for too much... its not designed for that kind of use or it would have been shipped with a PCI-E slot. Good thing that C2D etc.. have come down sooo much in heat or a unit like that would be a toaster oven.

Im also not sure if companies would jump on those either... support not as good dell *cough cough* but also easily "pick up and walk out the company" with. (ie stealing). Hopefully it has the security lock feature that laptops have.

Nothing beats a nice mid case with handles for LAN parties etc...

I love the mod where the guy stripped his LCD and mounted it on the side of his case so it was like and all-in-one. That was PIMP.
January 25, 2008 5:33:36 PM

enewmen:

Most shuttle systems (G series for example) will only fit a single slot graphics card unless you do some relatively extensive modifications to the shell.

However, the P series shuttles are designed differently, and CAN fit dual slot cards - and with some models they even support SLI/Crossfire though for this you'll need to use single slot cards.
January 25, 2008 7:27:54 PM

Sorry guys the K stands for Korporate. Should have included that at the beginning of the article.
January 25, 2008 7:51:03 PM

coret said:
enewmen:

Most shuttle systems (G series for example) will only fit a single slot graphics card unless you do some relatively extensive modifications to the shell.

However, the P series shuttles are designed differently, and CAN fit dual slot cards - and with some models they even support SLI/Crossfire though for this you'll need to use single slot cards.

I though I may be asking for too much.
Thanks. This P seriies is what I was looking for. A single 'dual-slot' card is enough for me for now.
I'll need upgrarde the case cooling & PSU as well I imagine.
January 25, 2008 8:02:46 PM

CPU cooling is quite reasonable actually ... they use custom-made heatpipe coolers placing the radiator of the heatsink right on the back surface of the case with an exhaust fan controlled by the motherboard depending on temperature.

If you're into overclocking, be very careful in which shuttle you choose as you'll be limited by the motherboard. My last shuttle (SD32G5) wasn't bad, but it's particular 945 chipset wasn't so brilliant. Took my e6600 to 2.93GHz but if I took it any higher the hard disk drive controller would fall over and die, which wasn't so useful for getting into windows :) 

As for the power supplies, shuttle PSU's have shown themselves to be insanely reliable, easily supplying up to and above their rated power whilst maintaining high efficiency. The general rule of thumb is that if you can fit it inside the case, the power supply will power it.
January 25, 2008 8:23:26 PM

For 200$ it is nice....

But really what a POS!
January 25, 2008 9:09:05 PM

The title should read:

First AND last Look: Shuttle KPC
a b ) Power supply
January 25, 2008 9:42:17 PM

That PC is really cheap ($100 for a pretty much a full system). I would just grab a E21xx and a cheap vid (PCIe x16 hopefully) card , and 2GB RAM and that should make a pretty small PC for taking to places for non high end gaming.
January 27, 2008 4:52:12 AM

where do i buy one from?
January 27, 2008 2:50:20 PM

Not out yet, like the article says, should be available the end of February or March
January 27, 2008 4:27:46 PM

BillLake said:
Not out yet, like the article says, should be available the end of February or March


nice, i want one for my birthday then! might make a nice novelty item...
January 27, 2008 5:30:35 PM

snarfies1 said:
No optical drive = DO NOT WANT. What are we supposed to do when (not if, WHEN) the OS blows up or something? Send the whole thing back?

Use a 1 GB USB stick. The Eee PC comes with a DVD that lets you load the install files for the original OS onto a USB drive. Odds are good that Shuttle will include the same (since the OS is free and all).

And for other USB 'nix OS's, just go to http://pendrivelinux.com/.


Also, this would be perfect to use as a...
router/firewall: http://smoothwall.org/
NAS: http://www.freenas.org/
LAMP Webserver: http://www.ubuntu.com/products/WhatIsUbuntu/serverediti...
January 27, 2008 9:14:25 PM

tipoo said:
nice, i want one for my birthday then! might make a nice novelty item...


Watch for the follow up article as Shuttle has confirmed they will send the sample out as soon as it is ready. I will try to address all the questions and comments here and hopefully you can get one by your birthday.
February 1, 2008 11:47:38 AM

Nice PBX box, plus or minus the CD-ROM. I've been building TrixBox PBXen on Shuttle boxes for a couple of years now, and they are perfect for this use. External optical is fine for this use, as you only need it for the initial load and any rebuilds.

Can't beat the price point, and low power is nice. Performance isn't everything!
February 11, 2008 4:21:16 PM

This sounds really promising. Great for server type applications or for closed office environments. It's easy enough to plug in an external USB optical drive (which I already have) should the need arise. I might pick one up for XAMPP. For use as a regular PC, though, the lack of an optical drive is likely a problem. The design would have been great for an HTPC even without an optical drive (I rip all my DVDs to HDD, anyway), but not having a PCI Express x16 slot killed that part.

Shuttle KPC Barebone: $100
Intel Celeron 420: $45
1GB (1x1GB or 2x512MB): $25
Western Digital WD5000AACS 500GB: $100

Total: $270

I'd say that's a pretty decent price for a low power sff server. It would be nice if Shuttle would also make the OS available for download for those who buy just the barebones.

I like the white case with coffee... I wonder if the Shuttle KPC makes coffee, too...
April 15, 2008 5:21:36 AM

K guys, i have a question and i don't really care if it has been already asked because it is late where im at and i just want to sleep, but anyway, how would that kpc work out as a small personal home server? im interested in it mainly to set up a home theater streaming thing, a personal CS:S server, and a linux ssh shell server. I figure those basic tasks cant be too demanding, considering my home network is currently running 2x 700MHz 10-year old E-machine DNS servers, i figure this basic stuff the KPC can handle (I think). Also, if i get two of them to replace the e-machines, will i see any kind of speed benefit across the network (right now dl/ul is ok, but it seems like there is some latency in actually connecting to sites).

Any feedback is much appreciated.

Thx
April 15, 2008 11:45:43 AM

Should work fine as a small personal home server, though I'm not sure what "speed benefit across the network" is. you can put a low-end Celeron in it or a high-end Core 2 Duo, and up to 2G memory, so it's pretty much up to you how powerful it'll be. Even the lowest-end configuration will be much better than your 10YO E-machines.

Mine's on order, due in Thursday, guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend! 8*)
April 17, 2008 11:12:32 PM

/*
CPU cooling is quite reasonable actually ... they use custom-made heatpipe coolers placing the radiator of the heatsink right on the back surface of the case with an exhaust fan controlled by the motherboard depending on temperature.
*/

Umm, my KPC came without that fancy heat-pipe/fan assembly, has anyone who has actually done a hands-on gotten that piece? Yes, you can use the Intel fan that comes with the CPU, but that's going to be a lot noisier and less efficient than the usual Shuttle cooler. Either mine's missing something, or this cost reduction thing has gone too far.
April 17, 2008 11:16:13 PM

Just confirmed with Shuttle that you are supposed to use the original Intel fan, and it doesn't come with the fancy Shuttle heat-pipe/fan assembly, nor is that available as an addon.

Sigh.
April 20, 2008 2:39:54 AM

Yeah, I just got one of these and the fan will not stop running!

It also seems that the BIOS is too old to recognize USB-HDD as a boot device option.

Ugh, my ears are bleeding.

I have had no success in configuring ACPI in Foresight Linux to turn the damn fan off. The BIOS setting for smart mode (or any setting) is ignored.

This is really quite annoying. The system temperature is 46 C and the CPU temperature is 36 C. I'm no expert but isn't this rather normal? Why would the fan be stuck at 3K RPM?
April 20, 2008 1:53:25 PM

It really needs some BIOS work, it won't boot from a USB thumb-drive.

[Some of the below may be limitations in the various Linux distributions, I don't know and don't really care]

It won't get past the bootloader on FreeNAS when booting from a USB CR-ROM, it won't bring up the network interface under FreeNAS when loaded from a PATA CD-ROM.

It won't load TrixBox 2.2.6 properly.

Loads Ubuntu 7.1 and WinXPhome SP2 OK from a USB CD-ROM.

OK box for low-end servers (though you can do better if small size isn't a constraint), but for a personal home machine it's pretty limited. By the time you add an optical drive, a USB hub (you'll use up the 4 on the back real quick)2 more wall-warts for the above, and all the interconnect cabling, you're closing in on the price of a Shuttle XPC, which is a far better machine.

I suspect I've bought my first and last one together in one box.

I hate to think I'm going to run XP on it, but I was hoping for a file server, and that's trivial to configure.
!