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Conclusion

Shuttle’s SX58H7 Ultra-Portable Core i7 Platform
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Any Core i7-based system can pack an amazing performance punch, but did the XPC SX58H7 live up to Shuttle’s incredible claims? Let’s first take a quick look at its overall performance compared to our previous top-performer, the Asus P6T.

Shuttle outpaces several full-sized boards from our previous roundup by placing less than 1% behind the performance of our leading board. It’s even above the average for that roundup, as five of seven roundup products fell below 99% of Asus’ performance. Performance claims are thus validated.

However, as we expected, overclocking was limited by the XPC’s 92 mm fan and four-pipe cooler. It nearly reached 3.6 GHz and ran quietly most of the time while pushing our Core i7 920 to 3.20 GHz, so claims to this ability are also validated even though it comes up short of monster-cooled systems in capability.

The final question concerned whether or not the XPC SX58H7 could really run today’s fastest graphics cards, since it was designed for up to two mid-market parts. We loaded our factory-overclocked, dual-GPU MSI GeForce GTX 295 and found that while power consumption increased to 275 W under Crysis, the twin-GPU assembly was actually cooler than its single-GPU sibling at 44 degrees Celsius. Adding eight threads of 64-bit Prime95 to Crysis brought peak power consumption to 425 W, which is still within the rated limits of Shuttle’s power supply. Gaming capability is fully validated, though anyone looking for space to install two of these monster graphics cards must once again turn to larger systems.

Who can live with the Shuttle XPC SX58H7? Gamers who don’t mind constraining themselves to one double-slot or two single-slot graphics cards and mild overclocks should be completely satisfied. Power users who don’t need additional expansion slots or more than two internal hard drives may also be satisfied, although some must wait for availability of 4 GB DDR3 modules to get their preferred 12 GB system RAM. But while the system is quiet under normal operating conditions, home-theater fanatics who demand silence will be disappointed by even the slightest noise that this XPC makes continuously.

Shuttle’s SX58H7 is likely suitable for the majority of performance PC buyers, although many will remain unconvinced. We believe it’s worth a second (or even a third) look if you want Core i7 in a compact form factor.

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  • 1 Hide
    one-shot , May 1, 2009 7:21 AM
    It is interesting to see the total power consumption of the Shuttle system never went above 212W. This is with a Core i7 and a GTX 260. This system comes with a 500W PSU, which is more than enough. It is interesting to see that large PSUs are definitely not a necessity as the trend continues towards circuit breaking sizes. I have a 650W with 3x19A 12V rails and that is plenty for me. 212/500=42.4% of the PSUs total output. This is fine, but you could get by with an even smaller PSU.
  • 3 Hide
    crisisavatar , May 1, 2009 7:25 AM
    awesome system ( i am unaware of the price ).
  • 4 Hide
    Crashman , May 1, 2009 7:35 AM
    one-shotIt is interesting to see the total power consumption of the Shuttle system never went above 212W. This is with a Core i7 and a GTX 260. This system comes with a 500W PSU, which is more than enough. It is interesting to see that large PSUs are definitely not a necessity as the trend continues towards circuit breaking sizes. I have a 650W with 3x19A 12V rails and that is plenty for me. 212/500=42.4% of the PSUs total output. This is fine, but you could get by with an even smaller PSU.


    It actually went to 425W peak with both Prime95 (8-threads) and Crysis GPU bench (2560 Very-High 8x) running at the same time, but that's not a very realistic test.
  • 1 Hide
    ravenware , May 1, 2009 8:18 AM
    Nice article. Figured the case would run a lot hotter, not bad.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , May 1, 2009 9:56 AM
    xsamittThis is less an article more like an extended AD IMHO.Stay tuned Monday when it's back to SSD or and overclocking contest.


    It shows how the system compares to a standard motherboard and cooler in performance and overclocking. If you want more than standard cooling, you can read any of the X58 motherboard shootouts where a big liquid cooler is used.
  • 2 Hide
    pivalak , May 1, 2009 11:30 AM
    I'm curious, how noisy is it when idle and at full load? Does the fan always run at full speed (i.e. 41.3 dB) when the GPU is used?

    Something I found with my current Shuttle box (i.e. SN21G5) is that, having added a modest dedicated graphics card (i.e. NVIDIA 9500 GT), the heat generated by the GPU was enough to keep the main fan spinning at low speeds even when idle. So as soon as the system is put under some load, even if the GPU is idle and only one CPU core is used 100%, the fan will spin at almost full speed generating quite some noise.

    Since these small computers are often placed on the desktop, next to the user, the noise level is even more apparent than with other systems which generate similar decibel figures, but rest on the floor, etc. So... should I move away from SFF for my next PC if I want a silent Core i7 system with a GTX 260 GPU?
  • -4 Hide
    FrozenGpu , May 1, 2009 12:43 PM
    So what comes w/ this, I figure the Case, PSU, Motherbaord, CPU?, RAM?
    I can't really seem to figure this part out, at ava direct they have this XPC SX58H7 for about $688 I think, but again nothign conclusive as to what it comes w/....
  • 0 Hide
    thejerk , May 1, 2009 12:50 PM
    FrozenGpuSo what comes w/ this, I figure the Case, PSU, Motherbaord, CPU?, RAM?I can't really seem to figure this part out, at ava direct they have this XPC SX58H7 for about $688 I think, but again nothign conclusive as to what it comes w/....


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856101082

    Case, mobo, PSU. Yes, it's expensive.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 1, 2009 12:56 PM
    How about the price.. 710 @ newegg. It's insaaaane! Just for a mini non-standard mobo (lock-in to one manufacturer), heat pipe (tech is awesome), (sturdy) cage and 500W UPS. You'd think for that price they could put a nice carrying handle on top that is recessed when at rest. Granted I love my Shuttles but I coughed up a 'nad when I saw the price. Bargain hunters beware! :) 
  • -1 Hide
    Crashman , May 1, 2009 1:36 PM
    webportalHow about the price.. 710 @ newegg. It's insaaaane! Just for a mini non-standard mobo (lock-in to one manufacturer), heat pipe (tech is awesome), (sturdy) cage and 500W UPS. You'd think for that price they could put a nice carrying handle on top that is recessed when at rest. Granted I love my Shuttles but I coughed up a 'nad when I saw the price. Bargain hunters beware!


    Sorry 'bout the gonad dude: The price wasn't available when the article was written. I'd discuss the idea of adding a pricing coment with funkmaster Angelini now that it's available.
  • -1 Hide
    average joe , May 1, 2009 2:01 PM

    Wow. It's really everything I have wanted. It does seem to cost too much but it really fits my idea of the perfect system. Small and quiet while still being a high end or upper middle performer. Very well done. The 80 plus PSU is a god send. Most micro ATX PSU's are junk and the limiting factor in all small foot print builds.
  • -3 Hide
    etrnl_frost , May 1, 2009 2:10 PM
    There's no way that this can house a GTX 295 without overheating. The heat inside the case would just melt everything together into one big pile of slag.
  • -2 Hide
    chjade84 , May 1, 2009 2:15 PM
    I'm not quite sure I believe those temperatures unless they were tested outside the case, in which case it's irrelevant. Those temps surpass the Noctuna and Vigor coolers which is not only hard to believe seeing what Shuttle uses but also may just be impossible.

    I built 8 i7 920's @ 3.2GHz with Vigor Monsoon III LT's and they ran in the 38-42c/65-70c range.

    Of course since you decided to gauge temperature as "Degrees Above Ambient" instead of just degrees, who knows what your temps really were... (I assumed 24c room temp)
  • 0 Hide
    average joe , May 1, 2009 2:41 PM
    I will read a few other reviews but as I stated above. This is amazing work out of shuttle its its real. I have a home office with 3 systems in it. One is a Antec Full Tower monstrosity. Which has a AMD 64 single core in it running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise. It is literally 5 feet tall and used only for testing purposes like once or twice a year. The other is a Dell Power Edge T300 running Debian 5.0. This is my new toy. Talk about overkill.
    My main system is a dumb looking mid tower with all kinds of neon crap on it and ~95 fans. I caved to my gamer nature when I selected it. It was never intended to be in this office and I'm a little embarrassed by it if a client stops by. This little shuttle would give me back my desk and still run a decent game without making me look like I'm permanently 14 years old.
  • 0 Hide
    etrnl_frost , May 1, 2009 3:29 PM
    average joeI will read a few other reviews but as I stated above. This is amazing work out of shuttle its its real. I have a home office with 3 systems in it. One is a Antec Full Tower monstrosity. Which has a AMD 64 single core in it running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise. It is literally 5 feet tall and used only for testing purposes like once or twice a year. The other is a Dell Power Edge T300 running Debian 5.0. This is my new toy. Talk about overkill. My main system is a dumb looking mid tower with all kinds of neon crap on it and ~95 fans. I caved to my gamer nature when I selected it. It was never intended to be in this office and I'm a little embarrassed by it if a client stops by. This little shuttle would give me back my desk and still run a decent game without making me look like I'm permanently 14 years old.

    A lot of the Antec line is perfectly suitable for both gaming, with a professional look. For something like a wolf in sheep's clothing (if you don't mind the noise), look at the New Solutions cases. Otherwise, the p180/2 series are quiet, and sleek looking, without all the crazy lights. You're paying a bit more for those, however.

    I'm sure there are other options, but for the cost, I've found the Antec cases to be quite worth the money.
  • 0 Hide
    Niva , May 1, 2009 4:43 PM
    Agreed about Antec, I have 2 Antec cases at home right now. Especially pleased with the Titan 650 case.

    Of course the point of the shuttle is the small compact form. However, it's not for HTPC purposes, I'm not sure I'm sold onto this. Seems like their board doesn't have wireless either.
  • -3 Hide
    etrnl_frost , May 1, 2009 4:50 PM
    NivaAgreed about Antec, I have 2 Antec cases at home right now. Especially pleased with the Titan 650 case. Of course the point of the shuttle is the small compact form. However, it's not for HTPC purposes, I'm not sure I'm sold onto this. Seems like their board doesn't have wireless either.

    Agreed, with the two PCIe x16, it's definitely not an HTPC. It can be USED as such...

    My personal take: I LOVE the idea of the heatpipes and relocating the CPU heatsink. I'm contemplating seeing if I could apply the same thing to my HTPC at home. However, I'm absolutely serious about using two single slot cards or one of the SLI'd/Crossfired cards in there. They recirculate the heat back into the case, and are not nearly as effective at exhausting it outside the case. As such, a configuration like that...

    To put it simply, I had a case with VERY GOOD cable management (routed cables behind the mobo), used a 200mm and 120mm fan for exhaust, and a 120mm for intake. About 160CFM's at full blast. Threw in a 9800 GX2, and consistently was hitting 90degC on the GPU; on intensive games I could bat 100degC. The CPU was also affected, going up to 80degC at points.

    Simply using a cardboard heat shield to redirect the recirculated air out of the case - now I'm about 50degC at CPU and it's rare to crest 80degC on the GPU.

    As stated previously, you stick a GTX295 in there, you're going to melt that thing.
  • 1 Hide
    scook9 , May 1, 2009 4:53 PM
    if you want a "Smaller" Core i7 system, the mini P180 is an amazing case. I have that with a Rampage II GENE as well as i7 920 and 6gb Dominator. The only thing is that in that case you have to choose between more hard drives, OR more fans, because the hard drive cages have to be removed to add intake fans. I just have a main drive in a scythe 5.25" to 3.5" adapter in the top optical drive bay. This case - with the hard drive cages removed - fits any graphics card on the market, with about 1.5" to spare as well as a TRUE for the cpu cooling (can accomodate water cooling as well depending on the system you go with). I went insane on fans though, 2 scythe s-flex 120 on the TRUE, 2 intakes, and 1 exhaust, all the fastest S-Flex model. SO, my system is somewhat loud, but with other fans, or just less of them, you can have an amazing low noise and high power system. I currently have 2x 4850 and a PhysX card, but you can do 2 GTX295 or 2x 4870x2 if you wanted. Bottom space can take a 1kW powersupply fine as long as you remove the bottom dust filter (not really needed anyway). Although, for a mATX only case, I guess it is a little large, still shorter than full tower.

    Just my 2 cents.
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