The Shuttle SX48P2 system has proven that it is a very fast system. It is not without flaws, but Shuttle definitely offered an extremely high-end machine that is not limited performance-wise by being a small form-factor (SFF) PC.
- Exceptionally fast system
- Very good cable management
- High-quality construction
- Solid-state capacitors throughout
- Able to use large video cards
- Overheating under heavy gaming/overclocking loads
- Loud system fans under heavy load
- Loud HDD access during activity
- Front-access door could be more solid
- No PCI slot
- Fingerprint reader accuracy problems
This system even worked well when things did not go as expected. If an overclocking setting was too aggressive, it was easy to reset the BIOS by pressing the button on the back of the system. Shuttle provided the high-end hardware with a super fast-CPU and GPU and a quality motherboard that met most expectations. This was clearly a system that did not sacrifice performance for size.
However, the memory and motherboard had drawbacks as it was difficult to achieve higher FSB numbers when overclocking. Higher FSB speeds do not always translate into better performance but it was surprising that there were not more FSB overclocking possibilities. The system could also use some noise dampening with silicon or rubber grommets for the HDD and noise-absorbing material inside the cover to muffle HDD activity. The system is not cheap by any means but Shuttle does offer warranty coverage for overclocking. Indeed, the warranty is impressive, but it should be, considering the cost of the system.
The SX48P2 fits a very niche market for a SFF system that can run the fastest GPUs and CPUs, but otherwise it brings little value compared to the X38- or P35-based systems. For the price, you'd be better served by our immensely more powerful System Builder Marathon: $5,000 configuration.