8 SFF PCs: Small, But Not So Quiet

Shuttle XPC SB77G5: With Alternative Prescott Chipset

The whole world is calling for PCI Express and the CPU socket 775, which means a premature death for the AGP interface. Shuttle proves that this can be different with a sort of hybrid bare-bones. Although the XPC SB77G5 works with a socket 775 for a Prescott CPU, the chipset is from two years ago. The i875P, Codename Canterwood, supports the AGP 4x/8x graphical interface. Because the XPC SB77G5 has no onboard graphics, a graphics card is always needed - otherwise the computer will not run.

Despite the older chipset, this model can use the latest Pentium 4 processors. This is attractive particularly to power users who always want to use the latest CPU, because in socket 478, 3.4 GHz is currently the end of the line. They are better protected for the future with socket 775. The biggest of the Prescott CPUs currently clocks 3.8 GHz, and there is no upper limit in sight yet. On the inside, as with all other Shuttle models, order reigns. All cables are neatly tied to the frame of the case with cable ties.

Unpack it and off you go!

The little black box looks truly elegant

The ports on the front panel are under a wobbly lid

No onboard graphics = no VGA port

The CPU cooling unit/fan must be dismantled for assembly

From this side you can get to the goodies ...

... but here it's hard to install or dismantle components because the power supply is in the way

Pros

  • Older chipset in combination with a new CPU socket
  • Quiet CPU fan with heatpipe technology
  • Neat interior cabling

Cons

  • Little room for large graphics cards
  • Wobbly front panels
  • No onboard graphics
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